Tuesday, September 02, 2008

McCain's judgement?

What does the disclosure by Gov. Sarah Palin that her 17 year old, unmarried daughter is five months pregnant, have to do with the price of political eggs? The answer is both nothing and everything--- depending on the context.

Barrack Obama responded that it is a private family matter and urged the media keep it off limits in the political discussion—which generally speaking is the correct position.

The problem is that in the George W. Bush era, social conservative morality is firmly entrenched as a political criterion---- thanks to its proponents, the evangelical right. Therefore, judgement of familial moral turpitude is, by their terms, a legitimate target in accessing a political aspirant.

The irony of the situation for Sarah Pain and evangelicals lies in the rigid values they embrace and wish to force by political means on the rest of us. For example, they would eliminate abortion as a medical choice, under any circumstances.

In Sarah Palin’s political agenda, sex education would be against the law in public schools.

The double irony, here, is the rational for opposing sex education----i.e. it’s specificity encourages lax sexual behavior----that somehow, specific enlightenment about sexual mechanics will give legitimacy to immoral behavior and will thus contribute to the problem of unwanted pregnancies. Hence, evangelicals (and Sarah Pain) believe only they have the proper solution to "the problem"—and that is abstinence, taught and inculcated by and within the family.

When a sixteen year old has sex and is five months pregnant into her 17th year, is that some sort of failure in parenting? Sarah Pain’s social conservatism is her political philosophy. Therefore, is asking that question sociological or political?

I believe, as does Barrack Obama , that such a questions are only relevant in the sociological context—in spite of evangelical’s success in framing them within their political agenda. Those questions have no place in politics.

However, the legitimate question in the wake of Sarah Palin being the chosen one for Vice President is what does it say about John McCain’s judgement? .

Thwarted by Republican leaders in his desire to choose Senator Joe Lieberman, or Gov. Tom Ridge, McCain chose Gov. Palin after a 15 minute phone conversation and no vetting process whatsoever. By way of contrast, Mitt Romney and Gov. Tom Pawlenty underwent two months of scrutiny. Choosing someone to stand a heartbeat away from the presidency, is the most important decision a candidate can make. John McCain made it with a gut, kneejerk reaction rather than careful consideration and thoughtful process.

. This is not a characteristic we need in a President.

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