And The Mud Continues to Fly…

Yes, it seems as though the best chance Senator John McCain thinks he has is to throw mud, and he has begun the slinging by continuing the nonsensical charges about an association with someone who was a sixties radical that has been debunked in the major press outlets.  Meanwhile, those same outlets (Reuters, CNN, New York Times) are reporting a gross abuse of power by McCain’s running mate, Governor Sarah Palin.  What’s the chance that he has actually associated with Mrs. Palin?  And this is the thing that scares me the most about this Republican ticket.  Normally, I could care less about the VP pick.  However, as the current VP has demonstrated an unhealthy predilection to abuse his power, I would like to see the practice stop.  Worse, McCain is no spring chick.  He could actually die in office, and this woman would then be able to continue her perssonal crusades, not from the Governor’s office, but from the Whitehouse.

In the meantime, President Bush is nowhere to be found, except in a sketchy piece in today’s New York Times, in which he told people that it’s a good thing he’s still president and that he wouldn’t have wanted to deal with the economic mess his own deregulation helped create day one in office.  The problem with this statement is that he has spoiled nearly everything he has touched: our budget, education, foreign policy, our Constitution & Bill Of Rights, our standing in the world, and many other things.  Please let’s hope the damage can be contained by a prompt change of power.

What Of Sarah Palin?

Up until today I haven’t said anything of Senator John McCain’s choice of a running mate.  I have very little knowledge of Governor Sarah Palin.  The press has gone into some detail about the fact that she was a beauty queen and that her 17 year old daughter is pregnant.  I don’t think it is necessary to drag family into this race, when there apparently is plenty bad to say about the candidate herself.  But before I go there, we should recognize at least some of the good.  Getting to be governor of a state is no small achievement.  Alaska is the largest state in the Union, and if you were to cut it in two, then Texas would be the third largest state.

Distance represents a serious problem for the people of Alaska, as they are isolated from the mainland of the United States and from each other.  The average cost of education is well over $25,000 per student because of distance issues.  These costs are offset by the revenue-sharing arrangement that Alaska has with oil companies.  Governor Palin has been lauded by at least one editorial writer for putting some distance between her and the oil companies.

What’s more, she has a big fat target to run against.  As I’ve written previously, I don’t think much of Senator Joseph Biden, although I do believe that he offers a humility worthy of the job, something that I suspect the governor doesn’t have, if for no other reason that she has fewer scars.

Because Alaska is so isolated its needs are unique and quite disparate from any other state.  Its budget is easier to balance due to oil, and the population density perhaps the lowest in the nation.  Hence, leading this state does not qualify one easily for the presidency, which is the quality one looks for in a vice president.

In addition, her questionable ethics and streak of vindictiveness, as reported by the New York Times, leaves me cold with memories of the still current administration, and President Bush, himself.  We need leaders with unquestionable ethics.

By the way, here is a quick geography quiz: what are the northern most, eastern most, western most, and southern most states in the United States?

Answers in a future blog entry.