Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sarah Palin and sex education

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times today, Sarah Palin might have a slightly more liberal position on sex education than John McCain and the Republican Party platform. Apparently Palin believes that education about condoms should accompany indoctrination about abstinence; in other words, unmarried people, and especially teenagers, should "just say no" to sex--but be prepared if their hormones won't take no for an answer.

This serves as a reminder of just how extreme (and probably opportunistic, because he can't possibly believe this nonsense) McCain's positions on so-called "values" issues really are. As I said in the previous post, McCain is very vulnerable on these and many other questions, and the Obama campaign should be hammering away on them. I would like to see an Obama "attack ad" showing a woman going in for an illegal abortion in a dirty backroom where the abortionist is some sleazy character--you know, just how it was before Roe v. Wade. There is plenty of evidence that this issue alone is a winner for Obama and a loser for McCain--so let's use all the ammunition at hand. And unlike the Republican attack ads, this one would actually be true.

"Sambo beat the bitch!" That, at least, is what an article in the L.A. Progressive, quoting a waitress, claims Sarah Palin said at a restaurant right after Obama beat Clinton in the primaries. The article also cites others who know Palin and call her vindictive and mean, with examples. I obviously can't (and don't) vouch for this story, but I would imagine (and fervently hope) that mainstream media outlets with serious resources are right now doing the kind of vetting of Palin that the McCain campaign should have done. If she is a racist (and sexist!), we need to know it, and soon. (Thanks to regular commenter Richard for this link.) On Sarah and what McCain's "decision" to pick her really means, Frank Rich is required reading this week.

Sarah won't put food on the table. A story in today's Los Angeles Times concludes that Palin is not impressing working class women struggling to make ends meet.


Joseph Caputo said...

As much as I would love Obama to attack McCain on abortion, women's and gay rights, it's probably in his best interest to not emphasize his liberal social views at this point.

We are in a very different place than we were 8 years ago and marriage and sex education seem small compared to the economy and Iraq. According to a NYT op-ed by Charles Blow Saturday, two-thirds of Americans would feel comfortable to have contraceptives introduced in school. If this was the deciding issue of this election, Obama would surely be in the lead.

If Obama focuses too much on anything outside the economy or Iraq, I worry that McCain would attack Obama as being out of touch with the "real problems" of America. Although sex education is important, Americans have learned to live without it. If Obama wins, a change in these policies is an added bonus, but if McCain wins, well, then at least we know what to expect with more of the same.

Plus, it really should be parents who have these conversations with their kids, schools should be backup.

Richard said...

This campaign is going to go into a personality contest ditch where any issues (that democratic voters might have an interest in) are going to be drowned by comparisons between two (or 4) personalities. It'll be a beauty contest.

I can't understand at all (like you) why the Democrats don't use the same tactics that have always won elections for Republicans.

Get in there and fight dirty, Obama!

Tell Americans that:
- McCain was known as 'songbird' in the Vietnam prisons
- He blew up no less than five $1 million dollar planes as a young Navy pilot
- He got shot down while bombing an innocent populace, and was rescued by a local, who he has almost completely ignored for the past 30 years
- He is reaching, at 72, Alzheimer's Mark 1, which means he can remember his youth, and perhaps yesterday, but nothing in between.
- When he came back from Vietnam, he dumped his wife, who supported him throughout, because she was disfigured in a car accident. He married a Mob/brewery heiress.

Instead, his 'Courageous Hero' image seems impregnable, and image is what matters to American voters.

Richard said...

This is interesting:
“Sambo beat the bitch”

Michael Balter said...

Thanks for the link to the LA Progressive, Richard, I am going to repeat that in the post as not everyone looks at the comments page.

Richard said...

Thanks for the attribution.

But: "I would imagine (and fervently hope) that mainstream media outlets with serious resources are right now doing the kind of vetting of Palin that the McCain campaign should have done"

No hope - they're selling soap suds, not news.

Michael Balter said...

Joseph, thanks for your comment. Some food for thought: This is totally anecdotal, and not scientific, but one of my cousins and his wife are Republicans. Yet they are voting for Obama because of McCain's stand on abortion. Even if you are right that Obama himself should not (over)emphasize his liberal social views, there are a lot of pro-choice Republicans (especially women) and at least other groups and activists should be making a point of this--and no doubt are.

Anne Gilbert said...

Most women I know are pro-choice, for a variety of reasons, even if they never have to face the possibility of an abortion. And I don't think any of them would vote for McCain or Palin.

But what scares me about both of them is (a) it would be four more years of the same old, same old, and (b)Palin's stances on environmental issues is awful! She doesn't believe that global warming is human-caused. She doesn't believe polar bears are threatened by this. She would love to drill, drill, drill in the North Slope, where about 10% of these same polar bears actually live(what are they going to eat in case of an oil spill?). And on. And on.
And this, too, is pretty much the "same old stuff" that the present occupant of the White House, and McCain want for the next four years(sigh).
Anne G

Andrew Hunt said...

Great Blog, Michael. I kept trying to give Palin the benefit of the doubt. But the more I learn about her, the more it all spells one word. F-A-N-A-T-I-C. I mean, this person is militia-type looney. I hope Obama passes McCain in the polls again. I think McCain is just getting a temporary bounce from the Convention. I hope. Anyway, keep up the great work, Michael!

Michael Balter said...

Many thanks, Andrew. And let me remind bloggers that Andrew's blog, Andrew's Tiki Lounge, is essential reading as well: