How Sarah Won the Debate

I fell asleep on the sofa last night after a 13-hour day, which include prospective parents night at school. Fortunately I had set the telly to SkyNews, as I knew they would be carrying the VP debate live. I woke up not too far into it and watch the rest.

Part of me wanted to be discouraged, because Biden is clearly a more experienced debater and extemporaneous speaker. But then I remembered that the Vice Presidency is not about debate or extemporaneous speaking. In fact, these aren’t even skills that a VP needs.

I also remembered that many American voters are more impressed with plain talking than smooth debating. Palin didn’t make any significant mistakes. She stayed on message with the campaign.

If winning the debate means that she out argued her opponent, I don’t know if she won. If it means she was an asset to her ticket and improved their chances, then perhaps she did.

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Palin the Pro-Choice Candidate

Sarah Palin is pro-choice.

With all the political rhetoric and ideological shorthand being thrown around some people may have missed this. She believes that women should have the right to choose representatives close to home who can decide law and public policy, not nine judges in Washington picked by the President. She supports their right to choose, even if they choose differently than she would, since she would like women voters to exercise their right by choosing representatives who will protect all innocent human life.

That’s because she believes that women temporarily housed and fed inside someone else’s body should have the opportunity to spend their lives making all sorts of choices, even though all of them will make good choices and bad choices, and will have to live with the consequences of their choices. She holds the view that they should have those opportunities even if their father was a really bad person. Some people actually think that one man’s choice – even though that choice led to creation of their daughter’s life – should take away her right to ever make one. Fortunately Sarah Palin doesn’t hold such an extreme view. She doesn’t think a child should be punished for their parent’s crime, and especially not with the death penalty.

For those men or women who will have limited choices in life because their genes have limited some of their abilities, Sarah wants to protect their right to choose as well.

Sarah Palin also realises that everyone has their choices limited by law. Everyone that endangers innocent human life uses their body. She’s not pro-choice when it comes to gang violence. She’s not pro-choice when it comes to armed robbery. She’s not pro-choice when it comes to drunk driving (even though her husband was once charged with it 22 year ago, before they were married).

Some women are saying they want the government to keep its hands off their wombs. It seems to me that Mrs Palin is perfectly happy to keep the government’s hands (or anyone else’s for that matter) off their wombs. It’s only when someone starts putting their hands on it that anything bad happens. Sarah definitely has a hands-off policy when it comes to wombs. That’s the only way to protect the unique human life inside it.

Without a judge-imposed law, both Sarah Palin and Joe Biden know that there will be more women in the United States to make more choices. That’s why Joe Biden, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has opposed the appointment of judges who would limit their own perogative to choose for the American people. He knows that as many as half of the 4,000 people each day in America who permanently lose their right to choose are women. He knows that many women voters in many states will want to protect the right of every human to choose and he want to continue to keep them from having that right.

That’s why I’m supporting Sarah Palin – the pro-choice candidate.

Joe Biden’s Disabled Thinking

I’ve been quite busy with work, so I haven’t had a chance to write anything the last couple of days. I had ideas about which subjects to broach, but having just seen this story, I know now what I want to say.

At a campaign stop in Columbia, Missouri, Joe Biden said: “I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy … and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect. Well, guess what, folks? If you care about it, why don’t you support stem cell research?”

This was clearly aimed at Sarah Palin, because John McCain supports stem cell research. I don’t agree with him, and neither does Sarah, but he does. But it exposes Biden’s attempt to appeal to emotion without any regard for logic or reason. Biden assumes that to care about children with birth defects, it is necessary to choose doing something about them as the ultimate moral action, trumping all others.

Biden is saying that if you really care about birth defects, you cannot believe that the human life of the embryo is sacred. Only people who believe in the disposability of embryonic life can call themselves caring.

Biden also ignores the fact that stem cell research will do nothing for those parents who already have a child born with a birth defect. It will not ease their difficulty one bit. So why would someone who is going to “work in dealing with parents who have both the joy … and the difficulty of raising a child” with birth defects have to support stem cell research? Biden is only playing on the ignorance of his audience.

And Sarah Palin does not opposed stem cell research. She only opposes embryonic research. There is a lot of research that is ongoing using the stem cells of adults. After all, we all produce stem cells. Why doesn’t Biden mention that?

Is this the best attack he can make – to combine logical fallacies and factual errors? Is this what Sarah Palin is up against?

I thought Joe Biden might put some substance to Obama’s empty platitudes. I thought we might see something more than smoke and mirrors- something more than unsupportable policies built on the sandy foundation of emotional appeal and the politics of envy. Is it really any surprise that the Republican ticket is moving ahead in the polls?

The Republicans Now Have the Hottest Ticket

I’m sure I’m not the only one who wasn’t expecting Sarah Palin to get the nod for the VP spot on the GOP ticket. The Democrats may have had the first woman to run for Vice President, but the Republicans have the hottest woman to ever be a VP nominee. Yep, we just won the photogenic stakes.

I think this actually matters. Let’s face it, Joe Biden – as nice a guy as he is, and yes, I cried during his son’s introduction at the Demo Convention – does not bring anything to the ticket. None one is going to vote for Obama because of Biden’s got more experience in foreign policy. The VP is not the President’s chief foreign policy advisor. That’s why he hires a Secretary of State. Then he’s got a Deputy Secretary, Under Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, National Security Advisor, and a host of other hopefully really smart people.

No one is going to vote for Obama because he’s got an old guy on his ticket as well. No one is going to think, sure, Obama’s young, but there’s an older man who will go from being one of the most powerful men in the Senate to being the tie-breaking vote, in case there ends up being a 50-50 party split.

On the other hand, people will vote for McCain because he has a younger pretty woman on the ticket. She will attract Hillary supporters who wanted their woman on the Demo ticket. It’s the politics of gender. There are those for whom having a woman on the ticket is as important as it is for others to have a black man. And youth balances out McCain’s years in a way that age does not work for Obama. When people are looking for heroes they want Batman and Robin (or Batgirl, in this case), not Batman and Alfred. It doesn’t look good for the side-kick to appear more qualified that the principle.

But Sarah Palin doesn’t just bring women on board. The irony is that not only will she attract Hillary supporters, she will also attract some of the most virulent Hillary haters. She is rock solid conservative. She’s a member of the Assemblies of God. She is a poster-mother for the pro-life movement.  She is the answer to everything Republican voters questioned about John McCain’s conservatism.

And she is a lot better looking than Hillary. She doesn’t look strident. She doesn’t look aggressive. She’s feminine and unlike Hillary, she doesn’t have to work hard to look that way.

Oh, and she has held elective office for longer than Hillary. After all, Hillary claimed to be the candidate with experience. And she could claim this, having served in the Senate four years longer than Obama. Of course, Obama had those eight years in the Illinois Senate and Clinton had never held any other elected office. But I digress. . . Palin has held elective office since 1992 – five years before Obama – though she was out of office between 2002 and 2006. However, during 2003-04, she was Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Unique amongst all the names on the two major tickets, she is the only one to have held office in the executive branch of government.

As a brief aside, I should mention that despite the whim of a group of editors on Wikipedia, the First Lady is never “in office“. Despite her delusions of grandeur, or her ability to henpeck her husband, she is never a member of the executive branch of goverment.

Last night, I thought Tom Pawlenty was both the best and most likely choice. I’m glad I was wrong. Palin has all the advantages of Pawlenty and more. Put another way, she is Mike Huckabee without any of the baggage acquired during the primary season. Sarah Palin makes me want to come back to the States and start canvassing voters.