No wonder that at the time McCain selected her to be his veep, surveys put her popularity in Alaska at record-breaking levels. She did it all as the mother of four, then five, children.

In comparison, Barack Obama, the community organizer, failed so miserably that he fled the job for that perennial safe haven of smart kids in the middle class: law school. And that was as a single guy, with no familial responsibilities. Since then, the only work he's done as an executive is run his presidential campaign.

And we're supposed to worry about whether Sarah Palin can handle the job?

Sarah Palin
www.gov.state.ak.us
Sarah Palin

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Just because a candidate is a woman doesn't mean she's a woman's candidate. New Times columnist Sarah Fenske and Amy Silverman, her editor, were at each other's throats over Hillary Clinton — but that was nothing compared to the vitriol they've exchanged since John McCain picked Sarah Palin. Finally, Amy and Sarah agreed to disagree — and to share their two very different perspectives with readers.

Read Amy's column here.

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After more than a decade in politics, there's absolutely no evidence that Palin's work has suffered because of her family. I'd be concerned if whistleblowers came forward, alleging that Palin never showed up at the office. Or that she was so distracted by her kids, she accidentally vetoed a good bill. That would make her big brood relevant.

But nothing like that has surfaced. And it's not as if reporters aren't looking.

Indeed, the whisper campaign doesn't intimate so much that Palin will neglect her work so much as that it suggests she'll neglect her family. That's even more odious.

For one thing, it's almost impossible to disprove. (The kids are doing okay? How do we know they'll be okay in five years?)

For another, you wouldn't hear it said about a male politician. Think about Al Gore in 1992; he was the father of four kids, one of whom would end up getting busted repeatedly for drugged-out driving. Most recently, Al Gore III was caught driving 100 miles per hour with pot, Valium, Vicodin, and Adderall in his car. He had a prescription for none of the above. Have you ever heard anyone say Al Gore ought to stop barnstorming the world with his PowerPoints and take care of his boy? Or that the poor kid was driven to drugs because his daddy was too busy being veep during his formative years? Right.

Beyond that, the arguments about Sarah Palin's big family are wrong for another reason: They ignore the truth about big families.

Of course children aren't cheaper by the dozen. But in some ways, they are easier to raise — because, at some point, kids start raising each other.

I would know. I'm the second child in a family of five, which meant I started folding diapers at 3 and could change them by kindergarten. My mother never drove us to play groups, because we were our own play group. And though my older sister and I used to beg my parents to break down and buy a dishwasher already, they always just laughed.

"Why do we need a dishwasher?" they'd say. "We have you two." It wasn't a joke.

I was reminded of my family as I watched Sarah Palin's speech last week. As Palin introduced herself to the Republican delegates, she began to talk about her husband, Todd. Todd was holding baby Trig — but based on where the speech was headed, it was pretty clear Todd was going to have to stand up, and soon.

The modern woman in me, the part that assumes that all children under 12 need constant watching, wondered what the heck Todd was going to do with the infant. But the big-family part of me knew right away: Sitting next to Todd was a perfectly capable 6-year-old. And so, of course, Todd deposited the child right into another child's lap on national TV.

You wouldn't see that in a small family — or, I suspect, at the Democratic National Convention. There, a 6-year-old is a baby. There, too, they'd surely have the infant in an ergonomically designed stroller or, perhaps, watched by a Mandarin-speaking nanny, to prepare him for the global economy.

Not the Palins.

My parents used to have a Bible study in their house every week, and it was my job to keep my baby brother Adam quiet in his bedroom while the adults had their prayer meeting. I still remember my guilt when Adam, an ornery kid from day one, grabbed a crayon and bit off the end of it. How horribly embarrassed I was when he puked a suspiciously red waxy substance onto the carpet. And how bizarre, today, to realize how young I was at the time: 6 years old and the baby's life was in my hands.

But Adam survived (a teacher, he's recently been accepted for officer's training for the Marines). And of course I survived, if only because I never told my parents the truth about Adam's sudden bout of vomiting.

It's the secret of all big families: Children are much less fragile than any of us realize.

Naturally, Trig Palin was okay after his dad handed him off to his 6-year-old sister. And as for that 6-year-old babysitter — well, Piper Palin was more than okay. You only had to watch her spit-combing her baby brother's hair that night to realize that a YouTube star was born . . . and that this little girl was ready for her moment in the spotlight.

She's going to be okay; Trig Palin is going to be okay. Heck, even pregnant Bristol Palin has options that most 17-year-old single moms can only dream of: chat with Diane Sawyer? Lucrative book deal? She's going to be okay, too.

There's no reason for Sarah Palin's very real accomplishments — ethics reform, new taxes assessed to Big Oil, natural gas pipeline plans — to be overshadowed by Nanny State-style "concern" for her family. The kids are all right. Let's talk about the future of the country.

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35 comments
jmp
jmp

She does have more experience in the executive role than any of the other three. Scary that.

BLF
BLF

I think Sarah Palin is amazing. She's a mom. She went from mayor to governor. Obama ha zero experience running anything except maybe his campaign. Palin- Wasila,Alaska then the State of Alaska, plus she's a mom so she uns the family too.Thos who say she's stupid and a horrible choice: Alaska has a ton of gas and oil that we need. And guess what, it's in our own dang country. No more need for depending on Middle Eastern oil sources.Also, Baby Trig has down syndrome. Obviously, she can bring to light ideas on how to better care for children with Down syndrome. While Obama is slammin McCain and Vice versa, she's getting her ideas for our country out in the open.

get real
get real

I'm a pretty good judge of character, as well as a former Republican, and in my opinion, Palin comes across as a braindead, mean-spirited religious zealot... someone who would have made a good deputy in Hitlers Nazi Party... ambitious, selfish, simpleminded, divisive, primitive, ignorant rabble rouser.

"Palling around with terrorits"... a clear attempt to fictionally link Obama with modern day al Quaeda, as opposed to a reformed, former anti-war hippie radical who engaged in some anti-war machine violence when Obama was in the third grade.

Get real Palin, you lying, conniving, disingenuous, manipulative, poisonous spider.

Heather Chin
Heather Chin

Two points: 1) Mayoral duties are indeed significant, but comparing the stresses, corruption and resistance of downtown Phoenix to a smaller, more tightly knit town like Wasilla is flawed in its persuasiveness. 2) Equating the large Palin family to family togetherness - as if smaller families lack that bond - is offensive. I understand perhaps you didn't mean for your words to come off like this, but your argument puts that dichotomy forth as your main point. Democrats as ubiquitously wealthy and un-family oriented enough to afford nannies?! Nannies being put in a stereotypical category of oblivious, subservient Asian immigrants? Now this is offensive, whether to small, close-knit families or struggling, working, lower middle class couples or single parents who support either Democrats or Obama, or to the general Asian American population.

Just a heads up on how your words can come across.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

#27's comment is outstanding. She describes many of us very well. McCain lost my vote with his poor judgment and selection of Sarah Palin. Palin is not credible and Troopergate matters.

This Republican will vote for Obama and flip the switch in the state of Arizona and Maricopa County.

Kwaayesnama
Kwaayesnama

Sarah Palin and me.

I wish to share my views on Sarah Palin with you; she and I have a lot of things in common.

My education matches hers it took years for me to earn my degree taking a few courses at a time here and there. So I have that in common with her.

I was president of my PTA and an officer in my woman�s club. So I have that in common with her.

I was a soccer, baseball, and basketball mom. We have that in common.

I own a small business where I make out budgets and do my own marketing, so you could call me an executive. So I guess that is another thing we have in common.

I am married to a Joe six-pack, but he says he is a Joe 12 pack. I wish we did not have that in common.

I have three children and five grandchildren. She�s catching up to me.

I am a catholic and have never had an abortion. I used birth control when I was too old to safely have a healthy child.

I will be voting for Obama. Why? Because I would never presume that I have the intellect and education to be � a breath away from being the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. It takes more then charm and snappy remarks to have my finger on the nuclear button. That is something that speechwriters and pundits can�t teach a candidate in a few weeks. Sorry I want intelligence running this nation.

And just think I�m a white, Republican grandmother.

sheridan mayer
sheridan mayer

SURELY you jest !! Your thoughts are Ridiculous, to say the least. It's nice to know you come from a family of five. So do I. That's where the similarity ends. This Palin chick is NOT qualified to be DOGCATHER . Her kids are NEGLECTED & she & her Dude husband are ignorant, dangerous, uneducated, animal-killing MORONS. Of course, you cannot figure this out. They are the Perfect Picture of "pious-hypocrite" creepy people & the country deserves MUCH better. An INSULT to the US & THE WORLD IS LAUGHING OUT LOUD !!! SO, NOW YOU KNOW. yours in disgust, s.

unreliable narrator
unreliable narrator

I would imagine that with the revelations of the last couple of weeks�in particular the astonishing lacunae in her knowledge which Gov. Palin has plainly revealed via interviews and debates�that you've reconsidered much of this ill-advised column, and thus there's no need for your readers to continue being appalled, flabbergasted, and gobsmacked at its slenderly researched, overly enthusiastic assertions.

On the other hand, maybe you thought Dan Quayle really *was* a John F. Kennedy; and maybe you're actually impressed by her memorized Ronald Reagan quotations, and her refusal (or inability) to answer questions directly asked of her; and maybe you still actually think she's "just regular folks" and that the practice of law really is just for dummies and weaklings; in which case I can only say, I hope you have a really good time during President Palin's administration, hunting rats, scavenging gasoline, shooting other Americans to get to the clean water, and hopefully not catching MRSA. I'll be in another country, thinking of you all.

anon
anon

I respect your right to have your views.... but there are quite a number of items you may have overlooked. I read Sarah took 312 days (at her home office)out of 18 months to be away from the government seat - and reputedly charged some 60,000 dollars to the citizens of the state of Alaska for it. Now it's reported she didn't claim this as income on her taxes... hmmm. Together with her secretiveness (ie claiming executive priveledge about various emails and matters of public business), I'm beginning to identify a profile that feels a lot more "elite" and "priveledged" than just a "hockey mom". She also appears to have a habit of evasiveness and lack of honesty about her background and achievments. It's too bad (unless she actually feels she's not qualified).I want integrity, honesty and transparency in government- period! (And it would sure be nice to have a literate role model for our children!!!!)

Vic
Vic

You people really amaze me!!! Sarah is running against Biden - a career Senator who made so many Gaff's at the debate that makes one wonder what he is doing in the Senate (Hey Joe Where did you Go!!- You lost the Debate because of your stupidity. This guy did not even know what the Vice presidents job was - what a loser! Neither of our Presidential candidates are Perfect and both are pretty scary. With all the doubt all you have to do is ask yourself What advisors is the winner of the Presidents race going to choose. This makes the choice much easier. Vote anybody else but Obama

Vic
Vic

You people really amaze me!!! Sarah is running against Biden - a career Senator who made so many Gaff's at the debate that makes one wonder what he is doing in the Senate (Hey Joe Where did you Go!!- You lost the Debate because of your stupidity. This guy did not even know what the Vice presidents job was - what a loser! Neither of our Presidential candidates are Perfect and both are pretty scary. With all the doubt all you have to do is ask yourself What advisors is the winner of the Presidents race going to choose. This makes the choice much easier. Vote anybody else but Obama

bee mee
bee mee

You speak of her children like they are an ideal family. She has a daugther who obviously ignored the abstinence education, a son who was told by a judge on drug charges "join the army or do jail time" so he is in Iraq, and a baby she carries under her arm like a football until it is time for a photo op. This is not a family to me, it is a disaster that has already happened. And you say she may have neglected them, well the people of Alaska paid for her to live in her own home "travel pay" when she was supposed to be in the capital. Money which she never paid taxes on. She is incapble of presenting herself in front of an audience without looking like a teenager trying to flirt rather than an educated person who has the ability to handle a national office & I for one would hate to see her in such a position.

kate
kate

If you were the boss, who would you hire???

OBAMA: Harvard law professor, Juris Doctor of law degree, constitutional law expert, Senate committees: foreign affairs, homeland security, veterans affairs, family, education, health.

BIDEN: Juris Doctor of law degree, Senate committees: Foreign affairs (chair), economy, health, crime, women's affairs, education, technology, environment

McBUSH: graduated from the naval academy in the bottom 5% of his class, senate committees: economy, environment, official conduct (arguably the 3 biggest Republican failures!!!!!!!!!)

PITBULL PALIN: went to 6 different universities before finally getting a BA degree in journalism, no domestic or foreign policy experience but can see Russia from her house.

SERIOUSLY, THIS IS A NO BRAINER!!!!

If you vote McBush/Pitbull, the fate of your country will be in jeopardy. Everyone here in Europe is laughing at Americans--- America has become the butt of all jokes--- people are asking, how can they seriously consider voting for McBush and his Pitbull for another 4 years of Bush's failed policies? Don't they ever learn???

Remember the frontpage headline of London's Daily Mirror newspaper back in 2004 when Americans re-elected Bush: HOW CAN 59 MILLION PEOPLE BE SO DUMB?

Chas
Chas

Hypocrisy of the left, Really?Just because Bristol is pregnant we can not questions Gov. Palin's abstinence only views, Really? By doing simple math we can see that Sara and the First Dood were already pregnant when they eloped. So a mother who only talks to her daughter about just saying no and when the daughter gets knocked up by the town redneck and I shouldn't suspect the mother's views. Oh give me a break, that is like having guns laying all around the house and never teaching your kids gun safety and then the kids shoots himself or a playmate and we shouldn't blame the parents. Where do we start with Governor Palin's record. As the Mayor and her start of her executive experience, she was forced to hire a City Manager by the local Republican party because she had screwed up so spectacular she was giving the party a bad name. She insist that the Mayor has to for the first time have a city supplied vehicle. Then Ms.Hockey Mom decides that her baby, her hockey playing son needs a new rink to skate in so she orders construction started on a white elephant on land the city did not have title to and would not for the next 8 years. So for land that was worth $150,000 the city has now paid 10 times more at a million and a half dollars with all the Lawyers fees that the city had to pay, for the Real Land owner. Demanding Loyalty from the City Librarian, Really the Librarian has to be Loyal to the Mayor? All Hail Caesar!! Charging Rape victims for the investigative kit, I have never heard the like, in fact this is so bad and unbelievable that the Governor had to pass a State Law to prevent Palin as Mayor doing this. So Palin's city budget can afford to buy her a new SUV but can't support Rape Victims, WoW. So Governor Palin leaves a city over $$20 million in debt after starting her term 6 years earlier with ZERO debt. In her last year as Mayor Palin runs for LT Governor and uses City offices, City Staff and City Equipment to campaign with. After losing this election Palin is appointed to a State board and snitches out another Republican who is using his State Office to make phone calls for political uses. Palin runs against the Country's most unpopular Governor and manages to win. Surprise, no not really everyone would have been surprised had another Republican not been able to beat that Republican, Palin campaigns on the promise of using Federal Monies to Build: Yes you guessed it the Bridge to Nowhere. After the US Congress stops the project Governor takes the $259 million and continues to Lobby the Federal Government for funds to Build the Bridge to Nowhere and another $400 million plus bridge and oversees construction of a $36 million Road to Nowhere, that was supposed to lead to the Bridge to Nowhere, As there is no bridge yet, the road is a total waste of tax dollars. Palin does not fire the Executive Chef but instead assigns her to cook for other parts of the State Government. Palin does not sell the State jet on EBAY for a profit but instead sells the jet at a loss to a campaign contributor. Palin signs a $500 million contract for a pipeline for the US owned natural gas fields in Alaska to be transported through Canada to mostly be used by the Canadians to assist in getting oil from shale. There is no guarantee that one section of pipe will ever be laid and even then construction won't start for at least 10 years. So if the Federal government fails to grant approval or the Canadian government does not grant approval the State of Alaska pays a foreign Oil Company $500 million for nothing. Since being elected as Governor Palin spends most of time and most nights at home because she decides she won't live in the State Capital and charges the State of Alaska for the privilege of sleeping at home. Oh and feeding her and her husband and kids and also tens of thousands of $$$ dollars for flying her husband children all over the State and even for trips to Washington DC. Palin as Governor continues as she did while Mayor to pay a Lobbyist to get funds from the Federal Government to send federal $$ dollars back to one of the richest states to the rate that Alaskan residents get the return of federal tax dollars at the highest rate of all 50 states. IN fact Alaskan citizens do not pay income taxes but instead receive a yearly oil dividends check form the State, this years check was over $3500 to each citizen. Yes that means the State of Alaska paid the Palin family almost $25,000.Any wonder why she is popular. Since being selected as the Republican Vice President nominee Palin tell the Lie time after time that she said "Thanks, but No Thanks to congress for the Bridge to Nowhere". Even after having the fact pointed out to her and the McCain campaign that this is a LIE, Palin still repeats this LIE time after time. Palin also continues to tell the LIE about the State owned jet. Now we are hearing different stories about how the Palin children learned their mother would be the VP nominee. IN fact two different stories on two nites on the Fox network. The First Dood told Greta that the children din't know until the morning of the announcement but the Governor first tells ABC's Charlie Gibson that she was asked and without blinking knew that this was her mission and no Blinking was allowed or maybe it was blinking would be a weakness or somthing was said about blinking during that blizzard when the Governor was telling the world that she was so ready and strong to be VP that there was never any doubt. But then on Fox's Sean Hannity she tells this new tale of a family vote but Levi the Army Soldier not getting a vote because he would be off doing his thing. His thing, you mean off being in a war zone and maybe getting wounded or worse. So what I see is someone who has very little to no experience and what little she does has been blown up. I see the McCain/Palin ticket or is it the Palin/McCain ticket being noted as one of the most negative campaign team who has told LIE after Lie after LIE, who even after it being pointed out the stories they are telling have no factual basis continue to tell those same LIES in every speech and in every commercial. So no I don't see any reason for ANYONE, man or woman to respect this backstabbing, two faced no-experienced small town Mayor deserves any respect, much less mine or anyone else vote for VP and a high odds chance of becoming the most powerful person on this planet before the four year term would be finished. For a person to tell this many flat-out LIES about so many things is a serious problem. And after reading all the public documents in Troopergate I think I will agree with the Child Custody Judge and the State investigators and say that Sarah Palin stories were refuted by facts and other witnesses. This is more the story of a Petty Vindictive hateful person. Her stories of the events concerning her sister's divorce and custody battle are obviously overstated, over-hyped and very obviously slanted against the facts and Trooper Wooten. For anyone not to believe that the Governor herself was involved and had knowledge of the Pressure being hammered on the Alaskan State Police Commissioner, is for someone to be able to suspend belief of the facts. I have seen this very same story in dozens of custody battles and have seen families become involved with details that only make it worse for the children involved. That is why the Judge in charge of this divorce and custody case advised the Governor's sister over two years ago to stop the harassment of Trooper Wooten or it could be considered as a form of child abuse. Now we see the usual lately when a Republican becomes embroiled in a violation of the Law. As a registered Republican I have watched our Party veer so far towards the right that it has become scary. Now Palin is stonewalling, Lying, and telling different versions of different stories. With High Powered Attorneys supplied by the National Republican Party and the McCain campaign. In a matter that she shouldn't have become involved in at all, she refused to listen to Professional State advisers who informed her that the State had already punished Trooper Wooten for a small portion of the violations the Palin Family accused him of. If I remember correctly 3 of 18 that he was accused of. And no this is not about a Trooper that violated rules and laws. This is a story about a Petty Vindictive Women who has LIED, and illegally used her powers as a Governor who is trying to punish a man that did the unforgivable, he divorced the Governor's sister. Each and EVERYONE of the violations Trooper Wooten was accused of was overblown and overstated. Is Wooten the smartest best trained Law Enforcement officer around. I don't think you would find many to make that claim. However Cop's kids all across this nation want to know how their Mother's or Fathers law Enforcement equipment works. The Tasor incident was stupid but not close to near the amount of power that is used on a suspect. Shooting a moose when his wife could not using his wife's game tag was wrong but occurs often but is still wrong. The drinking incident had several version of the events told. And NONE of these events were so pressing that the Palin Family reported them over two years, until after the divorce and custody case were filed. The whole Palin Family including the Governor, her husband, her sister and father all assisted in the processing and eating of the moose meat. For a Father or Mother to take such a highly visible position knowing that the embarrassing news about their 17 daughter was about to break and would be nation rumor monger fodder for everyone was and is crazy. Sometimes Kids are more important that any job. So someone please tell me a good and true reason why anyone should vote for Palin and John McCain who picked Palin, not for her qualifications, which she is sorely lacking but instead to try for the mad ex-Hillary voter or to take attention off of himself and his failing campaign. Everyone of her so-called qualification has been dispelled when bought under the bright lights of examination. There has never been a Presidential campaign where one either side or Party has been shown to be so untruthful. Why should anyone place their trust in someone who is showing trust is misplaced. No myself and Republicans I know agree that the party has veered to far to the right and so far wrong that this time we will not be voting Republican, they have deserted us with these two choices, McCain and then Palin.

Lewis
Lewis

What an awfully researched article. How on earth did Barack Obama "fail" as a community organizer? Why this descriptor is used so disparagingly by conservative pundits is beyond me. In his years as a community organizer, Obama increased the budget from $70,000 to $40,000 and the staff from 1 to 13. After that, he became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review - hardly "(fleeing) the job for that perennial safe haven of smart kids in the middle class".

Sarah Palin on the other hand, running as a "fiscal conservative", managed to increase Wasilla's debt from $1 million to *24 million* over her two terms, in a town of just under 7000 people. She also lobbied for $27 million in pork-barrel funds - an action criticized by McCain himself.

Hana
Hana

I am so disappointed in this article. I have come to rely on the New Times for the best reporting in AZ, and couldn't believe some of the points Sarah Fenske was making. Palin maybe a great parent, but her politics and lack of experience make her unfit to be vice. I know plenty of very competent parents that I would never want to vote for- George Bush's daughters seem to be raised very well for example. Fenske further weakens her article by claiming that Barack "escaped" to the "safe haven of law school." Call me sexist, but I would much rather have the President of the Harvard Law Review making decisions for the country rather than a woman who went to five sub par universities before graduating with only a minor in political science. Then there's Palin's creationist beliefs, her decision to cut funding for unwed mothers after she found out her daughter was pregnant ( Apparently Palin forgot that not all pregnant teenagers have the resources that Bristol does) and her incredible lack of experience and knowledge not only in leading, but in economics, foreign affairs and Washington in general. All of this I expected to be looked at a little more critically by the Fenske, who usually does a great job in her column. Maybe for the next column she'll pay less attention to the nostalgia of her childhood memories and more attention to the reality of the situation.

Real Dem
Real Dem

Disgusted Dem- How on earth could you vote for another 8 years of the same economic policy? Sarah's "maverick" label is completely fake. She and the republicans in Alaska are all in on a Ponzi scheme to keep Big Oil and Corporations in power.Karl Rove throws money at these people and they all perform a dancing monkey act where one gets fired and another investigated, and now the republicans are blocking the legislature from doing their jobs.There was allot of grooming involved and all you have to do is follow the money. You are racist if you think Barack is uppity. Mc Cain will have all the same people as Bush in his cabinet. Inexperienced, paid off mobsters from Hell!

Disgusted Dem
Disgusted Dem

Our state has the worst deficit in the country. Sarah Palin has made her state work financially. In one of the most difficult times in our country her citizens like her. Our Governors record on education should terify anyone with children.The issue at the heart of our economy is dependence on foriegn oil. She has taken on oil companies. As a working mother I respect her choices. Her children are children not perfect.Considering the teenage pregnency rate in Arizona.. the thought glass houses comes to mind. Sarah Palin is real, she has been consistent and true to her point of view even when it was not popular. Pontius pilot was a Governor I wonder if that is what Hillary is saying about her "Friend" and former supporter Arizona Governor. Fannie and Freddie Mac run by Democrats, the congress Democrats, this state a Democrat we have one of the worst foreclosure rates in the country. If you are going to pick on Alaska's Governor... you may want to start at home. We have one of the worst education systems in the country. Obama's children are in private schools. Palin's son is serving in the military as are John McCains and even Joe Biden's sons. Sarah Palin was an outside the box choice. If a better economy matters then McCain/Palin is the only choice. As a registered Democrat I won't be voting for Sheriff Joe or Andy Thomas but McCain and Palin will be getting my vote. Maybe the Democrats will throw me out just like Leiberman.

Shawn
Shawn

How sad to read these comments. It just show's the depths of self-righteous hyprocrisy the left brings to the national political debate, from a position based in negativity. More of the typical "I'm for because they are NOT " along with a hefty dose of "everything is horrible and it's

dudefish
dudefish

Sarah, Wow. So many contortions of logic. So little space. The kids are not alright. The kids are screwed up, and it may well be because their parents (not just their mother) are putting their ambitions over their childrens' well-being. They shamelessly parade them before the camaras, then hypocritically complain and cry sexism and media predation when people ask questions about them. If John McCain had selected a man who held Palin's worldview on such matters as creationism, global warming, aerial hunting, earmarks (she's a pig in lipstick when it comes to federal pork), you'd be apopletic (with good reason). And that's not taking into account her complete cluelessness when it comes to foreign or military or economic policy. Furthermore, Troopergate is precisely the kind of story you'd be pushing if it had happened in Arizona. To apply a different standard because somone has ovaries is the definition of sexism.

Leslie S.
Leslie S.

I am not going to vote for a candidate based upon their age, sex, color or religious preference. I am voting for change and, in my opinion, the Republicans are not offering any change that I can see except to lead us in to another 4 years of the same old same old. This article represents the opinion of the author, but it does not represent my opinion. I'm not afraid of Palin as a person; I'm afraid of the power she would have to make decisions for her own benefit, beliefs, and best interests and not for the good of the country as a whole. I am distrustful of those who use the Bible as basis for their beliefs as she does. "No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means." -- George Bernard Shaw

Linda Nagy
Linda Nagy

EEYYEEWW! YUCK! I couldn't hardly get through your article without the picture of Dolores Umbridge saturating my brain! As a woman, Palin is just a hot, steamy pile of ICK to this AZ hockey mom!

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

Indeed, Ms. Devermann, I don't agree with her "polotics". As to "what gives" and why I am so afraid of her, "this woman" has given new life to John McCain's awful campaign intending to give us (at least) four more years of Bush Administration policies. She has rescued The Mummy by appealing to uninformed swing-voters with her (entirely superficial) qualities of youth, beauty, sex appeal, personality, and charisma; all qualities lacking in John McCain himself, incidentally, but possessed by his opponent Obama. You can read further explanations of my terror by following this link to the Rogue Columnist, whose commentary and analysis are "too dangerous for corporate media", and reading the comments after the main article:

http://roguecolumnist.typepad....

Marjorie Devermann
Marjorie Devermann

I couldn't agree with your article more. Why is the left so afraid of this Woman ? If you don't agree with her polotics fine but I think it is more than that ........what gives.

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

One of the primary jobs of VP is to set the tone for education policy in the nation's high-schools -- something we might expect Mrs. Palin to do while President McCain is deciding whether or not to bomb Iran.

Everyone in this country, whether liberal or conservative, ought to be at least mildly concerned about teenage pregancy. Babies having babies. Does ANYONE wish to encourage unwed teens to get pregnant? (I don't see any hands raised.)

Now, the last time I checked, there are only two ways to prevent pregnancy: (1) abstain from sexual intercourse; (2) properly use contraception when having sexual intercourse. (The latter, incidentally, is a pretty good idea, outside of married monogamy, even if you're not particularly worried about pregnancy, to avoid sexually transmitted diseases -- some of which can result in birth defects, stillbirths, or worse.)

Palin advocates abstinence without sex-ed and without making contraceptives available to teens. And it seems clear enough -- unless the whole backstory about Palin is a front and a fraud -- that she is neither an absent parent nor a weak one. If her press is to be believed, Palin is, in fact, right there on top of things, bringing a strong personal will guided by strong personal religious beliefs. There is a father present in the home, also, who apparently shares these beliefs.

Yet, her unmarried teenage daughter became pregnant while living at home! Now, that's a powerful criticism -- either of Palin as a moral leader, or else of the kind of abstinence-only educational policy she advocates.

Sure, her daughter might still have become pregnant if she had been thoroughly educated about how to use contraception and about the prophylactic as well as the contraceptive reasons for using it, even if she had been given free access to contraceptives and cautioned to insist on their use when engaging in sexual activity. After all, not every type of contraceptive is 100 percent effective, and some headstrong individuals will ignore anything they are taught, regardless of the care with which the information is imparted. But she would have been FAR LESS LIKELY to become pregnant had she received thorough and realistic sex-ed, not only from her teachers but from her mother, AND been guaranteed access to contraceptives.

So exactly what DOES the unwanted pregnancy of Palin's unmarried teenage daughter teach us about the kind of policies she would implement as Vice-President of the United States of America?

It teaches us that "abstinence only" is a kind of wishful thinking carried out by conservative parents in a society whose overall values, influencing children outside the home and church, are considerably more licentious than those of saints and disciples.

It teaches us that, in a society in which carnal sin is more probable than not, the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies is to teach practical methods for avoiding conception and to provide means making this a realistic option in practice.

It tells us that a Vice-President whose idea of sexual education is based on a kind of conservative fairy-tale, and who remains dedicated to it despite her own personal experiences to the contrary, is not the candidate which responsible persons concerned about teenage pregnancy should want setting the sex-ed agenda for high-schools across the nation.

Because if teens are having sex despite being raised by parents who feel strongly about abstinence and who have no qualms about indoctrinating their children to follow such beliefs, and neither contraception nor abortion is an acceptable alternative, then the logical outcome is teen pregnancy.

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

I genuinely admire Ms. Fenske as a talented writer and journalist. However, I think she's dead wrong on this issue, in nearly every particular.

Here's a revealing excerpt from an article in The New Republic:

"I think this experience thing is phony as a three-dollar bill. This guy's been in elected office for twelve consecutive years. That's more than Reagan was, more the Carter was, more than George Bush was, in fact double the amount of time Bush was in elected office, the same as Clinton and Bush One, and a couple of years less than John Kennedy. Some of that was in Illinois which is hardly the minor leagues of American politics, and he represented more people in his state senate district than live in the entire state of Alaska. He was an extremely effective state legislator. He's been an extremely effective United States senator. And frankly I don't know exactly what John McCain's executive experience is, to tell you the truth."

http://www.tnr.com/politics/st...

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

Here's a really great article on this issue from New York Magazine:

The Sixty-Day War

With one hastily made decision, John McCain upended the presidential race. An investigation of the bloody new political realities.

http://nymag.com/news/politics...

Link provided by the Rogue Columnist (our old friend John Talton). Please check out his blog at:

http://roguecolumnist.com

 BRosenberg
BRosenberg

I suppose I will be the tiny minority in support of your article. Thanks for an honest well researched piece. It�s not amazing to me that the first few comments are written by obvious Neanderthal types that cannot put 2 intelligent words together, only personal insults.Governor Palin seems like an open and good person. Whether you agree with her politics and views or not, does not give you the right to throw personal insults at her or anyone else. It is a sad comment on our society when you see the comments made by Mr. Fallai and Mr. Annoyed American. Why not an intelligent comment on specific issues and your agreement or disagreement and why? No, only an insult. How sad.I for one am impressed with Governor Palin. I have not decided whether she and Senator McCain will get my vote yet. I will wait and see and mostly listen especially to the few debates we will be able to hear. It is most unfortunate that too many voters will be swayed by the �gotch ya� press the one line sound bites and the negativity from both sides.Thanks.

myself,_smith_and_wesson
myself,_smith_and_wesson

September 12, 2008

Why are so many women apoplectic over John McCain�s selection of a running mate? There has been a flurry of emails circulating around the country to and from women who are pleading with their fellow sisterhood to think twice before throwing their support to the Republicans based solely on his vice presidential pick.

There seem to be two major reasons for this agitation that intertwine and make for messy feelings. One is that she is reviving his lackluster campaign with reasons that are reprehensible to women and to those who love them. A revived campaign with a qualified woman would still hurt, but it wouldn�t insult our intelligence. The other reason is that her selection was a bold and bald political move that was made with John McCain�s best interests - not ours.

One of these emails implores women to withhold being too smitten over a vice presidential nominee who shares nothing in common with them regarding issues that will impact their lives for generations to come.

Sarah Palin does not represent women. Not in the areas that affect our lives and those of our children and grandchildren. Sure, she�s pretty, feisty, and �just like us.� But do we really want someone like us? I know next to nothing about almost everything - is this my standard of excellence? Would you not wonder about the quality of our schools if a senior used her argument of having foreign policy experience because Russia is so close to Alaska that she can see it?

As these women write, what exactly does she have in common with the feminine gender besides plumbing? Don�t we also value sex education, birth control, a pro-choice platform, environmental protections, alternative energy development, science, freedom of speech, gun control, separation of church and state?

And this list does not even address her appalling lack of real preparation to be a heartbeat away from a 72 year old four-time cancer survivor. We all really need to think hard about the implications of her taking the presidential oath of office in this crazy world.

A comedian on the Jon Stewart Show said she wanted a leader she can relate to. �Like me, or worse.�

A delegate leaving the Republican convention said that Sarah Palin makes Americans feels like anyone can be president. This sentiment, however, used to be associated with a certain level of achievement commensurate with the office.

Why are we suddenly embracing the ordinary? Suddenly we have elevated mediocrity to be the benchmark for huge success. Stories of how Barack Obama went from food stamps to Harvard is now considered elitist. What has happened to our collective common sense? Don�t we want our children to see an example of how far they can climb with hard work and real accomplishment? Why are we instead foisting an interesting but otherwise woefully unqualified woman to possibly lead us in this increasingly dangerous world?

When a potential American leader says that �you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission that we�re on . . . you can�t blink.� Good Lord, really? I want my leaders to blink like crazy and think and rethink a mission before plundering ahead for the sake of appearing committed. Have we forgotten the unblinking, unwavering decision of our current president to rush into Iraq?

She has morphed Bush�s cowboy mentality into a wilderness one. When she promises us she will not blink, does she realize that using that strategy may work when confronting a bear, but not when facing the threat of nuclear annihilation?

It seems that women who are excited about Palin are voting with the organ in their chest. Men, who describe her as a hot babe, are voting with the organ that�s a little lower down.

We need to engage that organ between our ears, because we could be about to embark upon a slippery slope in our national security if anything should happen to John McCain.

So ladies, please think again before you throw your enthusiastic support for this undeniably interesting, attractive and spunky woman. Maybe instead we can find a better fit for her in the public arena - like the fourth judge on American Idol.

Michael Fallai
Michael Fallai

I don't know how anybody with two brain cells to rub together could possibly think that Sarah Palin is fit to be the Vice President.

She has no clue about foreign affairs other than the talking points which the McCain campaign prepared for her in the last week. None. Zero. Zip.

She is a proven, compulsive liar.

She is a creationist and a religious nutbag.

What the hell are you smoking, Sarah? I cannot believe you are truly such an idiot. But, maybe I have been too charitable.

 
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