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Recently, as I've been watching the course of the Sarah Palin-for-VP extravaganza, one disturbing element in the extravaganza has stood out like a sore, you know, thumb. This personal disturbance finds it's source in what I consider to be a concerted effort to diminish any prime-time expectations of the Alaskan Governor in this week's VP debate.
Why is this happening?
How can the McCain-Palin campaign machine, aided by usual suspect Knee Pad Media members, get away with suggesting to American voters that we must grade Sarah Palin on a curve? Why should Americans have to evaluate Palin differently from other candidates? Is it because she is a woman? Should Palin be allowed to lower the bar of expectations because she is female? Why is it that one of the biggest questions this week has been, "How must Joe Biden act toward Sarah Palin?" Why are all the talking heads insisting that Biden must go easy on Palin? Why does Biden have to watch himself and yet Palin only has to speak "in complete sentences", to not be judged to have fallen on her face?
Why should Sarah Palin be treated any more respectfully than Hillary Clinton was treated during the primary? Why shouldn't Palin be subjected to all the sexist smears and patriarchal pus to which Hillary was subjected? Is the answer found in the simple fact that Sarah Palin is a Republican woman and not a Democratic woman? Is it really that simple?
I think so.
Socially conservative Republicans hold to a philosophy of patriarchy.
Patriarchy...'a form of social organization in which the father is the supreme authority in the family, clan, or tribe and descent is reckoned in the male line, with the children belonging to the father's clan or tribe.'
Sarah Palin, from all information available thus far, aligns herself with the Pentecostal, Assemblies-of-God, doctrine of 'women subjecting themselves to their husbands'. Patriarchy. That's all well and good as far as religious belief goes. However, does the fact that Palin holds fast to this religious belief, exempt her from meeting the most minimalist qualifications to be a heartbeat away from the most powerful job in the world?
Hillary Clinton does not accept patriarchy as America's working model. Sarah Palin does. Hillary doesn't accept thinking that states that men are the "supreme authority" in the family, or in the nation. Sarah Palin does. Sure, Palin's patriarchy is based on her religious perspective. But that's beside the point. Hillary was expected to answer numerous tough and challenging questions....why not Sarah Palin?
I think that because Palin does accept the superior position of males in our society, as a good Republican woman would do, she is being graded, evaluated, differently from how Hillary, or any other non-patriarchal woman would be graded or evaluated.
It's as if Sarah Palin doesn't really have to know anything about anything....foreign or domestic....because, after all, she's only running as VP in support of the GOP male in the race. Palin, at least it seems to me, is the doting wife figure on the GOP ticket reinforcing John McCain's male-dominant role. Because that's her role, American voters are being prompted to forget about Palin's cluelessness and deer-in-headlight persona....hell, that's just the way women are.....and instead, almost preposterously...."let Sarah be Sarah". What-the-hell-ever that's supposed to mean.
I bring all this up because Thursday night's VP debate, from every indication, will be a do-or-die moment in this general election cycle. McCain is currently 6-7 percentage points down in his race with Obama. If, indeed, Sarah is allowed to be Sarah, the fallout could end any flickering hopes that John McCain might still have of becoming president. Personally, I don't see how the Alaskan governor can get through all the questions without causing most of American viewers to be embarassed FOR her. One writer called this "empathetic embarassment".
If my expectations prove to be accurate....also expect the emerging meme after the debate to be one drenched in sympathy. The Village and the Republicans will continue their onslaught of "the mean liberal media" who had the audacity to expect Sarah Palin to answer tough questions. ALL the questions Sarah Palin will be confronted with will, by definition, be "gotcha" questions.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, will not be offered any such slack. If Biden looks at Palin, he will be characterized as attempting to be intimidating. If Biden doesn't look at Palin, he will be characterized as disrespectful. If Biden gives smart answers with evidence that he's well versed, he will be showing off....as all elites do. If Palin doesn't give smart answers exposing the fact that she's not well versed....well...thats' because the questioners all hate her, are prejudiced against her, and are trying to trick her up with "gotcha" questions.
All of this teevee theater has been created by Maverick Man McCain, who in his first executive decision ever, chose a complete unknown, who knows very little, to take his place if he falters and can't continue as president.
That is not an example of "Country First" by any stretch of one's imagination. In fact, it's the furthest thing from putting country first.