Mr. Honesty weighs in McCain/Palin; plus, Robert Kennedy Jr. on Palin's reading list...
After hearing about Sarah Palin's continued repetition of her "I told Congress 'Thanks, but no thanks' on that bridge to nowhere" lie -- something she omitted in her stop in Alaska, oddly enough -- I thought of this Bizarro strip. When Karl Rove (of all people) accused the McCain campaign of going too far with the lies, I new I had to post it.
I also wanted to point attention to this interesting little piece by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.:
Fascist writer Westbrook Pegler, an avowed racist who Sarah Palin approvingly quoted in her acceptance speech for the moral superiority of small town values, expressed his fervent hope about my father, Robert F. Kennedy, as he contemplated his own run for the presidency in 1965, that "some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies."
It might be worth asking Governor Palin for a tally of the other favorites from her reading list. [source]
Interesting, no? Not that Palin wrote the speech, mind you -- but someone in the McCain campaign did...
I've been thinking for a while about writing about the widely held assumption -- in the US, anyway -- that a politician who changes his or her mind about something should be dismissed for "flip-flopping."
I came across this brilliant Bizarro strip that makes the same point I would have, only much more effectively:
I heard an interesting interview on CBC Radio One today with Bryan Caplan, an economics professor at George Mason University, and the author of The Myth of the Rational Voter.
I haven't read the book -- and, after hearing some of Caplan's suggestions,1 I don't plan to. But I agreed with some of his arguments.
He points out that the large majority of voters isn't merely uninformed, but badly misinformed. Bad ideas and false notions are accepted uncritically by large segments of the population, and this has significant consequences at election time. And a lot of people, he said, make irrational choices for emotional reasons.
One doesn't have to look too hard to see this at work. I read the other day about the large numbers of women who have changed their mind about voting for Obama now that Sarah Palin -- a regular mom, like them -- is McCain's running mate. Only when politicians' actual political positions are considered less important than the shape of their reproductive organs could such a switch possibly take place. Utterly irrational, but still happening right in front of our eyes.
Here in Canada, the Tories are playing right into voter stupidity with their asinine TV spots. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is shown talking about how much he loves being a father, how much respect he has for veterans, blah, blah, blah. At the end we see: "Canada: We're Better Off With Harper."
Why? Because he likes to play cards with his kids? It's sad to think that anyone might actually be influenced by this.
 One of Caplan's suggestions in the interview (but not, apparently, in the book), is that there should be a test that everyone should be required to pass before they can vote. That a politically neutral test could ever be created and fairly administered strikes me as profoundly naïve. I sort of lost interest in what he has to say after he suggested that.
Is forgiveness that has to be paid for really "forgiveness"?
From John Hick's The Metaphor of God Incarnate:
The basic fault of the traditional understandings of salvation within the Western development of Christianity is that they have no room for divine forgiveness! For a forgiveness that has to be bought by the bearing of a just punishment, or the giving of an adequate satisfaction, or the offering of a sufficient sacrifice, is not forgiveness, but merely an acknowledgment that the debt has been paid in full. (127)
I've been giving a lot of thought to the controversy over Bristol Palin's pregnancy and the implications thereof.
It seems a bit silly to make any judgments about a person's ability to serve as vice president based on her and her husband's apparent failure to instill in their children what are presumably (for them) very important values.
It's been fascinating to see prominent Evangelical leaders like James Dobson openly expressing their understanding and compassion, and even citing Bristol's pregnancy as evidence of Sarah Palin's "pro-life" bona fides.
A lot of people (including Obama) have been arguing that candidates' families should be "off-limits." And so they should. I couldn't help but wonder, though, if perhaps the family members who are "off-limits" should be kept off the stages and perhaps not paraded in front of the cameras. If Sarah Palin doesn't want people talking about her kids, why are we seeing so much of them?