Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin for McCain's VP Pick!

I'm curious about McCain's VP choice. The obvious comment is "Ah, look. McCain respects women after all! He's willing to run alongside Republican Mom number six thousand seventy-five."

On the one hand, she's the only person in this election (as either a Presidential or VP candidate) with executive experience, McCain included(though unfortunately only about two years of it, which is less stellar). On the other hand, she's got no legislative experience, which makes it much harder for voters like me to figure out what the hell she believes and whether it represents us. Voting records are good quick and dirty ways to get a ballpark idea of who believes what.

ontheissues.org is generally a pretty good site for this, so I guess I'll go through here first. Lots of areas on here are unknowns, which means we either have no idea what she wants or plans... or she doesn't actually have any plans yet.

She's pro-life, which is to be expected. My opinions of pro-life women notwithstanding, at least this'll make it clearer to women who (somehow) still believe that McCain is pro-choice. Her main stance on civil rights is that marriage should be between one man and one woman. Pretty standard. Death penalty is also A+ by Palin. I guess her state's administration is so efficient by now that they don't wrongly convict people anymore like the rest of us. Good for her! [/sarcasm]

Pretty sure she also wants to open up the Alaskan wildlife refuge for drilling, and that's all we know about her stance on energy and oil. Judging from this she'll probably be on board with McCain's discredited offshore drilling plan.

What our health care system needs is competition. Evidently the free market will fix it. Again, pretty standard. She does, however, disapprove of taxes which discourage small businesses, which I can agree with her on. Favoring corporations at the expense of the smaller businesses has proven... unwise. So as far as her faith in the free market, she's being consistent here. She thinks competition is good, so she isn't simultaneously discouraging it by fellating big corporations. Good for her on this one.

Overall, she's clearly made her constituency happy. She's got a high approval rating, and that's something. Better than Bush (whom McCain believed was right more than 90% of the time) and that means that at the very least Palin has more sense than McCain. She certainly pisses off oil companies more, something McCain has been too scared to do. We'll see if she and McCain end up clashing here.

So! I think she'll make conservatives happy. I think she'll give them something to point to besides their abysmal record to claim they respect women, and that's gotta make them feel good. She also seems to actually be doing many of the things McCain abandoned years ago: mainly disagreeing with her party now and again.

My main issues with her are her social policies, since we don't have too much information on anything else. I mean, hell. They called Obama an unknown but at least he had a voting record. I'm having to cobble together a profile of her in my head from scattered statements she's made about issues that matter to me.

So I'll look at Alaska, and assume that if she's governor she agrees with things that're going on there in cases where she hasn't expressed disapproval.

Alaska ranks well as far as access to contraception and public funding for reproductive health services. Their laws and policies rank 14th in their ability to facilitate access to those services (which isn't fantastic, but it's better than my state which is 42nd). Their teen pregnancy rates are pretty good, since 29 states out of 50 have them beat. Contrast this with McCain's state, which is number two. Despite being pro-life, Palin was in charge of a state that's actually doing sensible things to decrease unwanted pregnancies (particularly among young women).

Their stand on gay rights... not so good. Palin supports their 1998 amendment barring gays from receiving equal marriage benefits, because she believes that married gays threaten "the family structure." However, it's not all sour notes here. She did veto a bill that she thought was too discriminatory against gays, suggesting that while she doesn't want gays and straights to be equal there are at least limits to how unequal she wants them to be.

So she's not as bad as McCain. He arguably picked a woman with more sense than he has, with a better ability to make consistent moral decisions. This is lukewarm praise from me, though, since McCain set the bar pretty low to begin with.

Edit:

She's also a creationist, who thinks we should "teach the [nonexistent] controversy." People everywhere who believe in science... start cringing.

Edit: She does not believe that humans can cause climate change, but acknowledges that her own state would be hard hit by such changes.

1 comment:

The Dictatress said...

Sweden votes for McCain. Cheap Vacation is nice.