Thursday, September 18, 2008

just asking

  1. What one personal thing do you like most about Governor Palin?
  2. What one personal thing do you dislike most about Governor Palin?
  3. What one political thing do you like most about Governor Palin?
  4. What one political thing do you dislike most?
  5. Favorite line from convention speech? Least favorite?
  6. Most revealing or significant Q&A exchange with Gibson?


JTB said...

My answers:

1. apparently, she breastfeeds. not relevant to her qualifications as VP, but that's why this question is "personal."
2. her tendency to allow the use of her children as political objects. different from just putting them in the spotlight, though that also raises my mommy hackles. her children are various object lessons for the morale/ity of America: the soldier son, the pregnant daughter, the special needs baby. see? they come with labels, not just names.
3. I haven't yet heard anything from her regarding her political stances that I like. Nothing. Nada nada nada.
4. I dislike most that for a candidate so quick, witty and articulate (personal qualities, not qualifications, these) most of what I've heard from her is bullshit. In the technical sense: a lot of words that are put together without saying anything in particular. I'm an academic and a former English teacher. I know bullshit when I see it.
5. favorite: pitbull in lipstick joke, because it immediately prompted the mental rejoinder, "what's the diff btw a hockey mom and a VP?" least favorite: "sort of like a community organizer but with responsibilities."
6. well, it's hard not to go with the waffling on the Bush Doctrine, but I really do think the answer to Gibson's query about what special insight proximity to Russia gave her on the Georgia conflict can't be beat for vacuity:we're neighbors Charlie, we can see Russia from here, you really can.

JDM said...

What's the deal w/ Palin? Just asking...

JTB said...

I have a sick fascination thing happening, I know. I'm trying to saturate myself with info to get it out of my system. It's not working.

But I also wanted to post something positive about her, which is, I really do like that she seems supportive of breastfeeding. I tried hard to think of something positive regarding her political stances, but I just couldn't. (Which is the real reason I'm not tempted to vote for her. Hillary Clinton also rubs me the wrong way, but I could have voted for her had she won the nom, despite my dislike.)

JDM said...

I like that she's overtly feminine, that she wears makeup and skirts and has long hair and babies – that she hasn't tried to hide her femininity to be a political leader. I don't like her glasses, which are too boxy and pseudo-intellectual. I like that she's against political entrenchment (at least until she's entrenched); I dislike that she's been holed up in Alaska and hasn't had to think about larger issues. Favorite line: community organizers; least favorite: "we’ve got oil." Didn't watch Gibson.

Now: can you name a Republican woman whom you respect – either for political or personal reasons?

J-Wild said...

1. Her accent (I'm from Seattle).
2. The way she says, "MAN" when talking about John McCain. "This MAAAANNN will reform Washington." Super annoying.
3. She was elected Governor waaaaay up in Alaska.
4. She has absolutely zero substantive things to say on her own about the challenges facing this country. Her only political function is to serve as the wedge in a re-ignited culture war.
5. Favorite: "Thank you all, and may God Bless America."
5a. Least Favorite: "Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored to be considered for the nomination for Vice President of the United States."
6. Gibson: "Didn't you say to yourself, 'Am I experienced enough? Am I ready?'"
Palin: I didn't hesitate, no....I answered him yes because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can't blink.

Thank you that was somewhat cathartic, even though she is becoming increasingly irrelevant by the day. I have actually stopped thinking about her. And JDM, how about Kaye Baily Hutchinson, Christi Todd Whitman, Elizabeth Dole, etc..

JTB said...

Thanks for keeping the conversation going in my prolonged and nearly unprecedented three-day blog absence!

Interesting; mostly I just wrote this post to be able to state something I do genuinely like about Palin as role model. (Breastfeeding is so often not the normative assumption in our society and I firmly believe that this is detrimental and also unnecessary--it's a skill, but heck, so is changing a diaper, and with the right kind of support even difficult problems can be resolved.) I really just wanted to try to identify some ways that she doesn't put my back up--as a change of pace, since it's so easy to enumerate the ways that she does. But I thought it would be more interesting to offer some open questions and invite other responses while I was at it.

I don't like "femininity" as a category, but I don't find it necessarily offputting that Palin is attractive or that she dresses in a flattering way that is not simply men's clothes cut down for women. Women have female bodies and there's no reason to hide them or mask them. So I guess that's another (sort of qualified) positive observation.

I would like to think that I'm the kind of person who can honestly respect someone with whom I differ--be it politically, theologically, or whatever-ly, and I'd also like to think that this is obvious to other people. Maybe it's not, and I need to do some soul-searching. But my harshness on Palin is not really the result of political disagreement--I have a strong personal and emotional reaction to her that has more to do with my perception of her public image and the suspicion of disingenuity in it. Maybe that's unfair, but I experience her as personally oppressive. I haven't felt that in reaction to other female political figures.

JTB said...

I guess in my soul-searching I ought to conduct a thought-experiment: imagine Sarah Palin, unchanged except that as a candidate she supports policies I endorse. Do I still experience her as oppressive? annoying? can I vote for her? do I respect her?

will ponder this.

Vasca said...

Curious...what are/were your feelings about Hillary?

JTB said...

hi Vasca,

frankly, Hillary makes me nervous; but had she won the nom, I'd've voted for her. Despite my uneasiness about her, which I've never been able to properly analyse, I think she would have been the more likely candidate to put some things into motion re hralth care and the war in Iraq that need to happen. So the bottom line is, I could vote for a candidate based on issues despite personal dislike.

In the end, with regard to my thought experiment, I think the supermom image is aligned with political policy in a way that makes it hard to imagine a version of SP who supports the political stances I advocate. So that experiment sort of flopped. But the reverse scenario with Hillary ought to go some way toward being able to justifiably claim that I am able to make a judgment about a candidate's likely potential actions in office and vote on that rather then knee-jerk emotional dislike...

Cheryl Russell said...

She breastfeeds!? Why don't they put this on a freaking poster! The Breast is the Test! ;)

Seriously, I can't answer any of those questions. This is the first time since I turned 18 that I have been completely and totally....disenchanted...disengaged....disgusted. On the up side, I have become more engaged with Christ and how I'm supposed to live the other 364 days out of the year. Still not sure that God cares what lever I may or may not pull on election day.