Tuesday’s election still fills me with awe, and not just for Barack Obama. The American electorate is wiser than I dared hope. Even John McCain, who ran a shoddy campaign, delivered a concession speech that was generous and inspiring. Sarah Palin has flown back to Alaska with new respect, I would hope, for the power of community organizing.
I spent the week prior to the election in a place I’d never known existed—Northeast Philadelphia—with a marvelous group of people, most of whom were volunteers.
This time tomorrow we’ll know how Sarah Palin and Joe Biden fared under the debate lite rules the parties agreed to for tonight’s engagement. (You might check out what Slate says at http://www.slate.com/id/2201334/pagenum/all/)
Can Palin hide her woefully inadequate knowledge of Civics 101 in 90 second answers? Is even 90 seconds too long to keep Biden from falling off the message wagon? We’ll see.
Especially since John McCain picked Palin (after being denied his first pick Joe Lieberman and refusing the Republican party’s choice of Mitt Romney) I’ve been thinking there must be a better way to select the second person on any presidential ticket.
John McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, 44, as his running mate makes indelibly clear the Democratic error in not exposing the Republican abuse of power that has flowered since the attacks of 2001. The opportunity for someone as inexperienced and volatile as Palin to exploit these newly assumed powers is all too real. George W. Bush's and Dick Cheney’s quest for the “unitary executive” has lead them to trample on Constitutional protections Richard Nixon only dreamed of violating. And no matter what his claims of being a maverick, McCain has yet to assert that his view of power and how to yield it differs from theirs.
Summarizing reporting by the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, and Barton Gellman and Jo Becker of the Washington Post, Hendrik Hertzberg wrote back in the July 9, 2007, New Yorker: “... it is now, so to speak, official: for the past six years, Dick Cheney, the occupant of what John Adams called ‘the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived,’ has been the most influential public official in the country, not necessarily excluding President Bush, and his influence has been entirely malign.
Random reflections on politics, the media, political activism, women's lives and spirituality, often inspired by travel, cultural events or what I read.
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