I generally tend to shy away from political talk on my blog, partly because it’s too polarizing and divisive, and partly because it’s just plain boring. But given the historic nature of this election, and the relative electability of both candidates, it’s high time I chime in a bit. I doubt I’ll be breaking any new ground or making any new friends, but hey – it’s my forum, and I’ll talk about whatthehellever I want to.

This is the first time in my voting history that there’s not a candidate I hate outright. Usually at least one of the jerks does or says something that makes me want to reach through the television and choke a unicorn, but neither John McCain nor Barack Obama make me completely shudder at the thought of their respective presidencies. Granted, I liked McCain better before he started wanting to be the Republican candidate, when he really was a maverick, but even so, he’s a smart man with tons of experience in Washington and the world. Obama is also incredibly intelligent, and seems to have a pretty decent grasp of everyday people’s main issues and concerns. No hatred or fear for either guy, really. But the cold grip of petrifying fear closes around my neck whenever I think of the following words together: President Palin.

Sarah Palin scares the shit out of me, people. She scares me the same way clowns and stores without bacon scare me. Oh, she’s not inherently scary – in fact, she’s pretty alluring. No, my fear of her comes from the fact that this person would be one fishbone in the throat away from running this whole country, and she’s seemingly as smart as a college freshman tap-dancing his way around a Charlemagne question during his Western Civilization class. I get that she pretty new to the national and global political scene, but damn – she should NOT be answering questions in ways that even I would improve upon. If she can’t speak off the cuff about pertinent and vital election issues without a teleprompter or someone mouthing the answers to her off-camera, then how in the hell is she supposed to talk to people when there’s not a script to follow? I mean, look at these examples:

Tonight on the CBS Evening News, host Katie Couric asked Sarah Palin which sources she relies on for her news consumption. Three separate times, Couric tried to elicit a response from Palin about which specific newspapers she reads. Seemingly caught off guard, Palin could not name a single news source:

COURIC: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this — to stay informed and to understand the world?

PALIN: I’ve read most of them again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media —

COURIC: But what ones specifically? I’m curious.

PALIN: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years.

COURIC: Can you name any of them?

PALIN: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news.

OK, so she reads every newspaper. Improbable, but not completely impossible. What about this:

“As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border.” –Sarah Palin, explaining why Alaska’s proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience, interview with CBS’s Katie Couric, Sept. 24, 2008

Holy shit, man. That’s like saying I’m an expert in Mexican geopolitics just because I live in Texas. It hurts my brain. Or this:

“That’s exactly what we’re going to do in a Palin and McCain administration.” –Sarah Palin, elevating herself to the top of the ticket, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Sept. 18, 2008

See, THIS is what scares me. Homegirl is already flipping the script and putting herself as president! Sure, this is a pretty minor flub, but damn – you’ll not hear Biden mistakenly say that about himself and Obama, and Biden actually ran for president himself. There a minimum level of political common sense that I expect from anyone running for office. Hell, even Dan Quayle had some. Some. This kind of faux pas makes people wonder if McCain should check his ice tea for cyanide. Just sayin’. But if all this isn’t enough, Sarah Palin just keeps on talking! She won’t stop.

“Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending soldiers out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.” –Sarah Pailn, on the Iraq war, speaking to students at the Wasilla Assembly of God, June 2008

Didn’t the Blues Brothers say this same thing? “We’re on a mission from God”? Now, I admit that I don’t know God’s plan, but if “Allow America to invade a foreign country that didn’t really have all that much to do with the tragedy that befell its country, but has oil out the wazoo and seems defeatable” is his plan, I just wanna see what Buddha had written down. And I believe God and government need not be so intermingled, lest we start thinking that God favors America’s 300 million over the rest of the world’s 6.45 billion residents. Sometimes our hubris absolutely amazes me. Let’s continue.

“Absolutely. Yup, yup.” –Sarah Palin after being asked by People magazine if she was ready to be a heartbeat away from the presidency

Senator McCain? Seriously, if you should happen to get elected, hire an Official Taster. You’re gonna need a few on staff, ’cause homegirl is already shopping for Oval Office furniture from Rooms To Go. And also, no one should ever say “Yup, yup” in response to a question that, for all intents and purposes, means the disablement or death of the very person who got you where you are. Poor form, Governor Palin. And speaking of being governor, she’s the governor of a state with a population roughly the same as Memphis, Tennessee, the 18th largest city in the U.S. (683,478 to 674,028), and she thinks she’d be ready to take charge of an entire country? Please. More from Palin:

“When I hear a statement like that coming from a woman candidate with any kind of perceived whine about that excess criticism, or maybe a sharper microscope put on her, I think, ‘Man, that doesn’t do us any good, women in politics, or women in general, trying to progress this country.” –Sarah Palin, on complaints from Hillary Clinton’s campaign about sexist coverage, Spring 2008

OK – Sarah Palin couldn’t carry Hillary Clinton’s jock strap, and you can damn well best believe Hillary wears one, just to keep her prodigious balls from clacking while she walks. Sarah Palin is the antithesis of everything Hillary is and has worked for. I don’t agree with Hillary, but she’s done more for women in politics than just about anyone. Wanna see how they stack up? Let’s run this shit down for real.

  • Clinton graduated from Yale Law.
  • Palin attended several community colleges and universities. In 1982, she enrolled at Hawaii Pacific University but left after her first semester. She transferred to North Idaho College, where she spent two semesters as a general studies major. From there, she transferred to the University of Idaho for two semesters. During this time Palin won the Miss Wasilla Pageant beauty contest, then finished third (second runner-up) in the Miss Alaska pageant, at which she won a college scholarship and the “Miss Congeniality” award. She then left the University of Idaho and attended Matanuska-Susitna College in Alaska for one term. The next year she returned to the University of Idaho where she spent three semesters completing her Bachelor of Science degree in communications-journalism, graduating in 1987.
  • Clinton served as staff attorney for the Children’s Defense Fund in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and as a consultant to the Carnegie Council on Children. During 1974 she was a member of the impeachment inquiry staff in Washington, D.C., advising the House Committee on the Judiciary during the Watergate scandal. Under the guidance of Chief Counsel John Doar and senior member Bernard Nussbaum, Rodham helped research procedures of impeachment and the historical grounds and standards for impeachment. The committee’s work culminated in the resignation of President Richard Nixon in August 1974. She practiced law while serving as First Lady of Arkansas until her husband’s ascension to the presidency. After 8 years, she went on to become a senator for the state of New York, then ran for U.S. president.
  • Palin worked as a sports reporter for KTUU-TV and KTVA-TV in Anchorage, Alaska, and for the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman as a sports reporter. She also helped in her husband’s commercial fishing family business. She then served on the Wasilla city council, serving one term before becoming mayor, serving two terms before being appointed by the governor to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission until running for governor and then subsequently being selected to run for vice-president under John McCain.

This isn’t a comprehensive breakdown, but it’s indicative of how these two people compare. Four colleges? With a stint as Miss Congeniality and Miss Wasilla wedged in the middle? And finally coming out with a B.S. in Communications – Journalism, which is like getting a degree in Breathing and Walking on Two Feet? (No offense intended toward Communications and/or Journalism majors, but let’s be real – no one talks about “that genius journalism guy” or that “politically savvy communications major”. It’s freakin’ rare. And while I do commend her for following through and actually getting her degree, to be the VP, your diploma shouldn’t look like the passport of a kid backpacking through Europe. It speaks of indecision or inability to follow a set plan, and those are vital skill sets for anyone who MIGHT become president.

Bear one thing in mind – I’m not calling Palin dumb or stupid or unqualified because she’s female. None of those things are true. But I AM saying that anyone in that position needs to demonstrate intelligence, historical knowledge, understanding of the current socioeconomy of the entire world, good decision-making skills, and a host of other traits, and so far she’s been severely lacking. She answers questions the same damn way I would, except I’m a better bullshitter than she is, and I’d have the interviewer apologizing for even asking me some ol’ bullshit about which paper I read or what the Bush Doctrine is. She better hope that the debate boot camp she’s currently in teaches her how to learn, retain, and recall 3984092093 tons of information without having to whip out the Amercian Histoy, Politics, and Governement Cliff’s Notes.

Sarah Palin scares me. She scares me like watching an 18-wheeler trying to change lanes in front of me at 70 miles per hour. Who really thinks she has a firm grasp on the economic crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the problems with our infrastructure, our global relations with our allies, the inner workings of Congress, and about 32803343 other things a potential president needs to know? McCain’s not getting any younger. Hell, someone in Alaska has a “McCain ’08, Palin ’09” bumper sticker. If that doesn’t leave you shaking in your boots, you’re either numb or Canadian.

Hopefully, though, Barack Obama will make it a moot point.

Register to vote, folks.