Seeing Past the Slave to Study the Person

Published: September 20, 2008
In “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family,” Annette Gordon-Reed follows four generations of Sally Hemings’s relatives.
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H R Clinton on health care for women

Published: September 19, 2008
The Bush administration wants to undermine women’s rights and women’s health by placing ideology ahead of science.
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NY Times: "Lipstick Bungle"

Published: September 19, 2008
Read original article here

Support for Sarah Palin among Republicans seems just as superficial as she is. When asked why they liked her, the answers described a talk-show host, not a vice president.

Mr. McCain, on Monday you repeated your delusional notion that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. Now, the federal government is working on a deal to save that economy from collapsing. You have admitted that the economy is not your forte, so you could have used a running mate with some financial chops. (Remember Mitt Romney?)

But no. Who did you pick? SnowJob SquareGlasses whose financial credentials include running Wasilla into debt, listing (but not selling) a plane on EBay and flip-flopping on a bridge to wherever. In fact, when it comes to real issues in general, she may prove to be a liability.

In what respect, you may ask?

It turns out that the Republican enthusiasm for Sarah Palin is just as superficial as she is. They were so eager for someone to cheer for (because they really don’t like you) that they dove face first into the Palin mirage. But, on the issues, even they worry about her.

In a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted this week 77 percent of Republicans said that they had a favorable opinion of Palin. But when asked what specifically they liked about her, their top five reasons were that she was honest, tough, caring, outspoken and fresh-faced. Sounds like a talk-show host, not a vice president. (By the way, her intelligence was in a three-way tie for eighth place, right behind “I just like her.”)

When those Republicans were asked what they liked least about her, they started to sound more like everyone else. Aside from those who said that there was nothing they didn’t like, next on the list were: her lack of experience, her record as governor and her lack of foreign-policy experience.

Also, most Republicans think you only picked her to help with the election, not because she is qualified, and a third said that they would be “concerned” if for some reason she actually had to serve as president.

And Palin is proving to be just as vacant as people suspected. In her interview with Charles Gibson last week, she didn’t know what the Bush doctrine was. At your first joint town hall meeting with her in Michigan on Wednesday, in front of an invitation-only crowd of Republicans no less, she dodged substantive questions about the issues as if they were sniper fire, while issuing a faux challenge to the audience to play a game of “stump the candidate”. Seriously?

Many of your supporters will no doubt cry sexism. Fine with me. But that defense rings hollow. I find many of them to be sexist. Fresh-faced? Delegates on the floor of the Republican National Convention wearing buttons like “Hoosiers for the hot chick”?


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