Thursday, October 30, 2008

About "Dodging the Question"

The bullshit in the china shop is Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. That was about the third thing I realized, on August 29th, when I heard the GOP had saddled us with this burden.

The first thing that crossed my mind was that Palin is one of the least qualified choices the GOP had. The second thought was that her presence on the most important ticket in the country, and in the most important national election in more than a generation, would bring national attention to Alaska like nothing since Joseph Hazelwood left the bridge, leaving his crew to challenge Bligh Reef.

The third thought - the bull in the china shop one - had to do with the effect of Palin on Alaska politics, more than upon national politics. I knew immediately that her enormous popularity among Alaska voters would blow out some close races for the legislature Alaska Democrats were hoping for. Palin's Alaska base, so depressed by a constant stream of GOP convicted corrupt bastards - some of them active evangelical Christians - would now show up, blessed and prayed over in their decision, to support Palin.

A lot of other Alaskans figured all that out about as fast as me. Some didn't.

By noon, prominent Alaska politicians - and candidates from the Democratic Party - were praising Palin. For her ethical values and history. I came unglued, as I realized how bad this might get, if I sat on my butt and didn't help get the word out. I wasn't going to "dodge the question - '"is Sarah Palin qualified?'"

But others had to respond. Like just about anyone running for any office in Alaska in October and November elections. Everyone had hers or his own approach. Over Labor Day weekend, there were a lot of reports coming in to me, showing Democrats were continuing to praise Palin for things I knew to be uninformed or untrue.

I sent out a lot of "say one nice thing, then STFU!" messages to candidates, or to their staff or volunteers. I yelled at a couple of campaign people.

As I was yelling on my cell phone to one friend, I realized that Progressive Alaska needed to step back from directly helping Alaska legislative races, or the Begich and Berkowitz campaigns, so that PA could concentrate on helping get the word out on a politician I had known for almost 18 years - Sarah Palin.

In tonight's KAKM/KSKA/APRN debate, both sets of national seat candidates were asked, "Do you feel Sarah Palin is qualified to be vice president?"

Since deciding to step back from directly supporting or fundraising for Berkowitz and Begich, I've asked myself several times, "was that choice the right one?" Listening to Ethan and Mark dodge the question, was mildly frustrating. But listening to them reinforced my belief that it was best to back away from those candidates, spending the recovered time helping others educate the public about Sarah Palin.

We'll see how it goes, if Ethan and Mark are elected (they will be) on Tuesday, when they are asked, sometime next year, "Is Sarah Palin qualified to be Governor of Alaska - yes or no?"


Anonymous said...

I really appreciate what you've done. I'd never heard of SP and when I did all I could say was "WTF?" I found your blog thru a link at DU and have been reading every day since. I have told all my friends about your blog. I certainly hope wisdom and justice prevail next week.

Peace to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

I was never excited about MB and EB either. I will vote for them though. Thanks for all your critical and informative insight in this political season.

Anonymous said...

Ethan Berkowitz

" I know Sarah Palin. I like Sarah Palin. But I’m not supporting her for vice president of the United States. (Young interjected here: “Surprise, surprise.”)

I’m not supporting her because I think the other ticket is more qualified and offers more opportunities for America. This is not to take anything away from her as governor. I’ve been telling people along the campaign trial, if you like the job Sarah Palin is doing as governor, vote for Joe Biden for vice president. …"

This is a good answer that doesn't alienate voters and that's the pressure for them. Ethan's answer clearly states that Obama/Biden are the qualified team.

clark said...

a lot of people are sick of triangulating and weasel words and are wishing people would stand up for their true beliefs. with all the revelations about palin in the last month, what do they really have to lose? the voters that are still on the fence about whether to vote for stevens and young? let them go ahead and do it.

Anonymous said...

Why would Ethan or Mark say she is not qualified? She has been a mayor and a governor. We all know she is not qualified because she is ignorant on all the issues. We are starting to see the real Sarah now.

Anonymous said...

For the umpteenth time, Sarah Palin is an American Citizen, unconvicted of any felonies, and of sufficient age to be qualified to run for Vice President. Those are the ONLY requisite qualifications for that office. Ask an intelligent question, or make an intelligent statement. If you do not think she is a good choice for VP, make your case. But please, do not contribute to the dumbing down of society by asking if she is qualified. It's almost as bad as pronoucing nuclear "nookyooler". My take on her choice is, only if we have all gone insane and will change the name of our nation to the United States of Bizzaroworld. But she is qualified.

Unknown said...

There are a mixture of reactions out there, from angry outrage to quiet discomfort. I think Mark Begich is trying to attract his Democratic base along with moderate Republicans. Mark's strategy is going to pay off on election day. I have the outrage, but recognize Mark's smart approach.