Thursday, September 11, 2008

Can you handle the truth

I know a lot of my republican friends are lovin' on the new Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin. Big surprise: I am not. I try not to post about politics much on my blog (despite the fact that I work in the department of political science as a research associate and I majored in political science back in college). To be fair, this isn't related to my research....I've been mulling over a post related to my research for several days now...but that's another post. Maybe...I don't want to alienate 90% of my friends who read my blog.

But this is election related. You've been warned. So don't feel obligated to read my political post.

Yesterday I was listening to the radio when I heard this story on NPR about Sarah Palin and her catchphrase "Thanks but No Thanks" regarding pork-barrel spending and her state of Alaska. The short of it is this: she never said Thanks but No Thanks to the federal government, she ended up taking government earmarked funds and spending it on other projects in Alaska. If you don't understand what prok barrel spending and earmarked funds are you need to read up on it. It's a central component to McCain and Palin's campaign and Palin's comments about her past have been flat out, not true. So I'm not a fan.

And although I won't be moving to Canada if they win the election, I will be preparing myself for at least 4 more years of frustration with how my country is being run and having the urge to change the channel every time the president is on.

22 little remarks:

Ben said...

But then wouldn't a governor who did so be breaching her fiduciary trust? After all Alaskans pay federal taxes, do they not?

Felicity said...

What I find frustrating with politics in general is how you can like PART of a politicians platform, or something about that person, but not all of it. What if I like one thing but hate another...for both candidates?! This is what decision making is for, I know. But still...frustrating.

Leilani said...

Ummm, is this the biggest reason you don't like her?

Anna said...

Leilani -- biggest reason so far (major hypocrisy at the center of someone's campaign promises is reason enough for me). There are like 8 weeks til the election or something so I'm sure more will come.

Leilani said...

Yeah. On both sides I'm sure. Which is why I'm not happy with either party.

Mardi and Jeremey said...

Even considering this, I feel like the republican vote is the "lesser of two evils". Obama's policies scare the crap out of me.

Brandon said...

Hmm.

Let's be honest, if your standards are so high that you'll discount any politician who is a hypocrite, maybe politics is not for you.

Anna said...

agreed politics is not for me. That's why I HATE elections and campaigns and love political science -- i study foreign affairs, way more fun. Plus I like a job where we talk about how to solve world poverty in pragmatic terms. Good times. Can't wait for the election to be over.

graham and heather said...

I think it is interesting to hear a different point of view. And honestly from someone who doesn't seem so blind and/or closed minded. This is one reason I love America, our choices and opinions. Thanks for your opinion. :)

CJ said...

I'll preface this by letting you know that I'm not the fire-breathing Republican I used to be--which hopefully will soften my the e-sound of my remarks. (I'm more Libertarian now.)

Your post points out what to me is a bigger issue. McCain has--in a masterful and daring stroke of political maneuvering--completely changed the debate. Sadly, it is for the worse of the country (although clearly better for him politically). I'm sure we could find loads of votes and earmarks to take issue with regarding Biden's senatorial career. But we're not talking about Biden, b/c he's old news and Palin's a fresh face. She's garnered great popularity not b/c her policies are sound or her judgment is proven--but b/c she's pretty, a woman, and has gained a reputation as a maverick and working small-town girl. In other words, people relate to her or "like" her, and that's half or more of what people vote on. If Palin were a better-known male governor of a larger state, we wouldn't be talking about her record like this; we'd actually be discussing the candidates themselves. It's a shame that McCain made a choice based on such an ultimately vacuous basis and worse still that so much of the nation is swooning over it.

CJ said...

Oh, and while I respect the heck out of the man, think he inspires, and would improve our standing in the world (no small thing, that), I can't vote for Obama b/c his demagoguery on the economy and plans for immense spending at a time of huge red figures (thanks, Bush & Republican congress for spending so wastefully) is death to economic growth. Economists agree on all these things--it's just that the American people like to be told it's someone's fault that jobs are going overseas (it's not; it's economics and trade--even in labor--improves the lot of *both* sides) and that we should tax the evil rich and oil companies to make the poor better off (we clearly shouldn't; penalizing corporate profits penalizes economic output and kills jobs--it's microeconomics 101).

Holly Strong said...

Wow Anna. I just have to say I think both candidates stink and I don't want to vote for either one. BUT, I want to vote, so I will be choosing the best of the worst.....whomever that is. It's a sad country we live in right now as far as voting for someone goes. UGH!!!!!

Helena said...

Yikes, people...I'm Swiss. (Don't attack me for saying that)

Ali said...

I just have to say, I love her.

Anna said...

CJ I actually agree with you on a lot of that -- though I worry more about foreign issues and I think Obama will do far more for us there so I vote for him.

Leilani, surprisingly Dr. Laura put it best, why I dislike Sarah Palin -- a woman who will leave her down syndrome infant in day care so she can further her career more than 40 hours a week, is not someone who strikes me as having her priorities straight. Read Dr. Laura's post here: http://www.drlaurablog.com/2008/09/02/sarah-palin-and-motherhood/

CJ said...

Anna,

On foreign issues, I'm torn. There's no question that Obama's election would immediately improve the world's view of America--which I really don't care about per se, but b/c it would facilitate bigger goals and smooth foreign relations.

But when we get down to actual policy, I'm not sure what to think. Obama has virtually zero experience here--and this isn't an area where it's easy to argue that experience is unimportant. That said, I don't want a continuation of anything remotely resembling the Bush Doctrine. So, ugh.

I'm not sure why foreign relations are a preeminent issue for you, though. It's in the top ten for sure--or probably top five--but so many things at home are more urgent right now, IMO. If we dont't fix things economically, energy-wise, and education-wise, this next century will be the rise of the Asian Tigers and the decline of America.

CJ said...

I'm not a big fan of the double standard from liberals who question Palin's commitment to family. It seems like oh so much hypocrisy--as it does when Repubs say it should be a "private matter".

Leilani said...

Thanks for the read, I agree with what Dr. Laura says. I must say I was surprised at how young Palin's children are. I still see these issues as being petty since you can see the same behavior in the other party. And I thought you had a bit of the feminist in you :)

Ali said...

Am I just totally uneducated when it's the foreign issues with Obama I am most afraid of? When people say that everyone's view of America will be better if Obama were be President, isn't that just because we would be all out of their business and then they would have more free reign to terrorize our country even more than they already have shown they have power to do in the past? Isn't one of the biggest things Obama plans to do is to pull out so many of the investigations on possible terrorists and people that hate us and let them do what they want? I think that's what most scares me about Obama- or country having way more 9/11's to remember. I think that's more to be afraid of than the natural up and downs that any economy has. Inform me.

Anna said...

Ali
--I don't think Obama plans on being soft on terrorists, have you been listening to Fox News or something?
--Honestly, there are many of us who feel that going to war with a country, invading, taking over the government, giving tacit control to a certain group etc...has done more harm than good. This includes professors here in the department who are Middle East or International Relations experts. Invading a country is not the best way to deal with terrorism, at least not in the case of Iraq. Though actually I think Afghanistan was a good idea, but we decreased our resources there too soon so we could start another war in Iraq--for heavens sake finish what you started and finish it well.
--Obama is more in favor of diplomacy, the Europeans like him more and it will help rebuild our allied relationships in Europe, which is crucial.

Overall Ali, I don't buy into the argument that invading a country is going to reduce terrorism. If anything it makes them more angry against the west. There has been this huge insurgency in Iraq that I think has FED terrorism, not fought it. I'd worry more about budgets for CIA and someone stepping up to the plate and funding homeland security. You should worry more about someone putting small pox into our water supply than a suicide bomber walking into the high rise someone you love works in. That's just my opinion.

CJ said...

I more or less echo Anna on this. There are a few reasons why so many foreign countries prefer Obama, and why it would up our standing in their eyes. First, he's not Bush, not from Bush's party, and was (rightly) against the Iraq War from the start. Most countries viewed the Iraq w=/war as an unnecessary invasion with grave consequences. Even though I don't believe we went in for oil or w/ imperial ambitions, much of the world interpreted it that way.

Second, he's a minority with a mixed-race heritage w/ a father from Kenya, which adds credibility internationally.

Third, he's stressed the need for greater diplomacy (although I question how effective it will be, but think it's necessary to at least moderate anti-American sentiment).

And no, I don't think he's likely to just let terrorists go. I'm not sure he's as strong-armed as I'd like him to be, but I also think caricatures that paint him as spineless are just political lies.

And, again, I'm not an Obama supporter, but the above is accurate.

henderson said...

If you think her comments bothered you before, you should watch her interview with Charlie Gibson on ABC!

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