Monday, September 08, 2008

This one's for Shelia.

First of all, "Howdy!!" I've long been wondering who the heck was reading my stupid old blog all the way up there in Alaska. I could see your little blip on the sitemeter map, and I felt humbled and curious. And it was you!!

I want to say thank you for posting your very local views and opinions about Sarah Palin. It does seem that she's got some really cool characteristics, not the least of which is being a ball buster. And clearly she's made quite an impression during her time in public office there in Alaska. But I still just cannot support her in an office as important as Vice Presidency of the United States, and again, that makes me sad.

I am a hardcore feminist in that I believe that women absolutely should be considered on equal terms with men, no matter what the playing field. That part of me desperately wants to be able to be thrilled and excited by a female vice-presidential candidate. But I honestly feel like she is being used by her party to pander to sections of the voting populace that they heretofore had difficulty reaching, and she either isn't aware of this (pitiful) or doesn't care (scary). I grew up behind the Pine Curtain--a place that is filled to the rafters with serious gun-loving, abortion-hating, immigrant-blaming, feminist-bashing, Bible-thumping, N-word dropping good ol' boys (and gals). I KNOW people like Sarah Palin. Hell, I'm related to people like her, which is one of the reasons I left the Pine Curtain and have never moved back. But Ms. Palin and I stand so far apart on so many issues, that I feel like she's speaking on behalf of my grandmother's generation, not my own. Although I'm intimately familiar with her world view, I simply don't understand it, and I'm very sure she'd have a difficult time sharing mine.

Nothing about this election has excited me. I'm not thrilled with the Obama/Biden ticket, but I will vote for them come election day because it means voting against the Republicans.

The Republican polices of the past eight years have prolonged an astronomically expensive and unnecessary war while virtually ignoring where the real problems still lie (Afghanistan), have made enemies of countries who used to consider us friends because of our arrogant "do as I say and not as I do" approach to foreign policy, driven our economy into the crapper while the cost of everything has skyrocketed, done nothing to decrease our slavish independence on foreign oil, and on and on and on. And the most disturbing trait of this administration (and that's saying a lot) is their feeling that they're simply above the law--invoking "executive privilege" and "for reasons of national security"--whenever they don't want to play by the legal rules and putting a positive spin on everything they can in order to avoid admitting to anything. The fact that the McCain/Palin camp is now trying to convince voters that they're who we should vote for if we really want some change in Washington is seriously insane. They saw that the "change" mantra was working for Obama, and now they're trying to co-opt it. Pathetic. And what's sadder, is that there are millions of uninformed voters out there who will fall for it hook, line, and sinker.

Bear in mind that I am in a blue county (one of very few in Texas) surrounded my a whole lot of blood red, so my measly vote counts for almost nothing here. But I will cast it, while mourning the fact that four more years have come and gone and there is still not a viable 3rd party candidate in the running--not because there aren't capable people with interesting ideas out there who could be leading a strong third party--but because the Mighty Media deems it so.

Yep, there's much more wrong with this whole picture than the fact that we've got a slate of less-than-stellar options to choose from on November 4th.


Mags said...

Awesome post, KM. And snaps for women everywhere.

Though I loves me a ballbuster, sorry, Shelia...I just can't go for this one.

I agree that she does not appear to be as bad as the rest of them, but she is still deep in the negatives on social services, the environment, separation of church and state, and public school support. And, I find her selection to be a cynical ploy for my vote on the basis, my vagina.

I'm glad you like her, and that you feel she has done a good job as governor. And, perhaps she does have a future in national politics.

However, this year...I desperately hope you get to keep her.

Hecticmom Undone said...

Amen sister!

I agree with just about everything in this blog post (except the fact that I'm in CA and we're purtee much blue over here.)

Karla said...

You said it so well. I want to be more excited about Obama, I really do, and maybe I will be, but right now i just feel so sick and cynical about it all.

I'm tired of them all saying what they think I want to hear and not what should be said. Hell, I sort of like Ron Paul because at least he says what he means. He's a cool guy. Bot no one will ever listen to him, even if some of his ideas are pretty far off, at least he's got some NEW ideas.

But my main issue is a woman's choice, still, which is sad, because it should be a non-issue so that we can focus on other stuff. And there are SO many things wrong. But Obama's got my vote because he's pretty much the only game in town for what matters to me.

Lee said...

Sheila, I'm curious: What kind of power and responsibility does the governorship of Alaska have?

Down here in Texas, our governor is actually a very weak office. People tried to argue in 2000 that having been the executive of a state would make Bush ready for the executive of our nation. I tried to explain to anyone who would listen that it did not — down here, the governor mostly signs or vetoes bills and not much else. Heck, even with Bush's reputation as the king of the death penalty, the truth is, even our governor's power to commute a death sentence is extremely limited. (The real power over state government here lies with the Lt. Gov.)

I hear all the "strong woman" arguments, but the bottom line for me: I have close personal experience watching an unprepared governor advance to the presidency, and have been apologizing for my home state ever since and cringing as he wrecks our nation. I'm tired of waking up every day and having the morning news put me into an angry funk. I'm ready for a break.

Jojanna said...

There is a reason why we read this blog and it is a shared view of family and the world as women. I can be assured that Karla May would be appalled at the thought of someone banning books or taking a city from zero debt to 22million in the hole to build a sports complex in a city with no sewer system.
We as mothers know that when that "call comes in at 3am", we maybe awake but if there are 2 babies in our house, we are going to be too exhausted to pick up the phone.
I am currently fighting my school district for the advancement of women through Title IX. I love my husband dearly but that bond is so different than the one I share with my mother, daughter, and sisters. So I have no reservations about pulling the "Girl" card and telling this woman she has too much on her plate to be running the country too.

Karla May said...


Please don't hate me for posting this. It's just that your comment sat with me all weekend and really made me think. I just wanted to share my thoughts with you.

Karla M.

Anonymous said...

Yes! Great post, KM. I have been reading your saga since I left Houston in 2006. I just can't organize my thoughts fast enough when people ask me re SP. I may memorize your talking points. Thanks.

Shelia said...

Wow. I'm honored! A post just for me!! And, to be acknowledged by some of the women whose opinions I admire so much... I love you guys!

Okay.. so I'm a lurker who found your little band of rebel women a few years ago and bookmarked your group, reading your stuff in a voyeuristic way... yet feeling like you're my friends. Yeah.. I admit it! I'm a blog-stalker!! Wait.. does that sound weird?

Really, I lived in San Antonio for 8 years and since moving back up here, it's nice to feel as if I'm connected to the Southwest through you folks.

My response? No worries! I wasn't trying to convert/convince, just feel like Sarah's not getting the real deal in the press and it kinda bites everybody in the butt who knows her. Do I agree with her all the time? Hell no.. in fact, I tend to think her kids are pretty screwed up and it's because they are simply passed off onto other people to raise, to some degree. While I'm not a "Mom's should be at home with their kids where they belong" person, she's taking an extreme stance and her kids have suffered for it... obviously.

I feel like she's very extreme in her opinions, as do most politicians on each side. It seems to be the way of business in politics. I also think they're trying to get the "kitty" vote by pulling in a woman... and I think it's working! The funny thing is how the guys on the extreme right feel about her, as well as those on the left. I think she's equally hated by most because of her mostly moderate views. Those aren't being discussed, but being a woman/mom who's gone to Juneau every year advocated on behalf of those with disabilities, I've seen her in action funding social programs and pissing off the repubs who expect her to cut that stuff in her budget. Nobody ever talks about those kinds of things. Yep, I hate it that she doesn't support sex ed in schools, hate it that she's "stone age" in many issues surrounding women, and seriously wonder if this is the right move for her personally. However, she didn't ask my opinion, either.

As far as Gov in AK, she is in charge of the entire state budget and does it mostly single-handedly, vetoing like crazy since she's been in office, mostly from the Repub side. Murkowski, the Gov before her was extreme right and he grew government in AK to be the biggest it had ever been! If he'd have stayed in, he would have been impeached for sure. She's overseeing the gas line contracts and after over 30 years of "talking" and millions of dollars put into the pockets of political friends, she shook things up. My husband believes she's "destroying this state" which are the exact words he says all the time about her! While the Gov in TX may not do much, it's almost daily we see her in the news passing legislation, or veto-ing it, and with a woman gov in office, the good-ole-boys tend to keep her in the news and on her toes most of the time. What else does she do? Uhhh.... I suppose I don't care much!

Funny thing about the "no sewer" in Wasilla? I live here... and we have a sewer system with city water and sewer. So, not sure about that. As far as the 22 mill city debt from the sports center... I'm not going for that either. With the Valley being so far away from Anchorage and other schools, we really needed a sports center to facilitate the kids' activities. People hated it because it appeared to be a "social program." With winters so long up here, and sports being the way our kids keep sane, the city voted on it and it passed. So, we're okay with it, and am not sure who's bitching! If they're in Wasilla bitching, I bet they've gone to the games there.. because that place is hopping all the time. My girls do soccer there and we go to the hockey games, etc.

I've never been a liberal feminist, but support a woman's right to choose, support a woman's right to equal pay and education, support sex ed in schools, and strongly advocate for those without a voice. I also own guns, my husband is out moose hunting right now to fill up our freezer (even though I don't eat meat), sport fish better than any man I know, and support our military with a passion.

I'm training for a marathon and run around my community with a gun in tow... bears!! I love living here because of all the diversity in this state. People will say.. "diversity in AK?" In the Anch school district, there are more than 90 languages spoken. This is a huge Russian community as well and AK is fast becoming one of the most diverse states, something I would have never imagined having grown up 200 miles south of here.

Thanks for the post Karla... I feel special! Don't ever worry about offending me! As a mom of 4 kids, one of whom is disabled and participates in a social program to pay for his needs, I straddle that political fence better than most! So, don't mind me... I'm just reading and enjoying life in Austin through your eyes.

OH yeah.. and it so pissed me off we have no Whole Foods up here! Can you work on that for me? My daughter ahd husband have MAJOR food allergies and getting stuff for them to eat is a bitch and a LOT of work on my end! That would be great if you could fix that problem for me!

Love ya... and the rest of you folks!