Monday, October 6, 2008

#89 Joe Biden, I Take It All Back

Let's just forget about my #58 and #59 where I probed your past plagiarism episodes as evidence "tantamount to sociopathy" or some such, and let's just wipe that off the face of a troubled earth ... which I do believe you have a chance of UN-troubling as Vice President. You proved it the other night with heart and mind, especially in stark comparison with what's-her-name.

You might say she played the "parent-card" on you, Joe--kitchen-table "hockey-mom" and regular Mrs. "Joe" Six-Pack--since she couldn't hide her vacuity on the real issues. Your forbearance was admirable, but if only you coulda, but you couldn't, point out that she's really not a very good Mom. I'll shift the sociopathic label over to her, or at least let's agree that her moral conscience is far short of unambiguous. Her first child was born 8 months after her marriage. Her teen-age daughter "has to get married"--as it was put in my day, but make no mistake: Mother Palin admits she's calling the shots. Yet she hypocritically opposes comprehensive sex-ed in public schools, adhering to the totally proven-to-be-ineffective abstinence-only approach. An abortion for Bristol? Not a chance. It would effectively neutralize the ambitious Palin's neo-con, christianist base, and dim her prospects for staying in, or competing for, higher office. But shouldn't she know that the choice between single teenage-parenthood OR forced teenage-marriage is no choice at all? Either one, in most cases, is statistically doomed to poverty and failure. No real compassionate circumspection on the mother's part here.

And a stickier issue: should Palin have chosen (we'll assume this one was planned) to have her last child at such a risky age? Or then to go ahead and "have it" anyway even though forewarned that it would be a Down's child? Most people of minimal moral comprehension might have some thoughtful reservations about bringing such a child into the world, given that his life and those around him will be fraught with its brevity and pain. But no, "didnt blink," as she often mindlessly says, even as she winks. Much worse, she uses the child as an anti-abortion, political talking-point.

And let's see about how that dubious motherhood might be extended to the public domain, in which she seeks power. Not only would she impose her dark-age religious bigotry on sex-ed classes, but would ban "un-Christian" books from the library, re-institute (always-fractious) prayer-in-school protocol, pollute science-education with creationism and young-earth beliefs (she's got dinosaurs on the Ark, forgodsake), and generally sabotage the public school system for our children. Theocracy stalks, and one of thy names is Palin.

Finally, she's obviously no Cindy Sheehan. She looks forward to her son's deployment to Iraq with unwholesome glee (reminding me of the war-crazed Mater Volumnia in Shakespeare's Coriolanus, who wants to see her son's corpse, should he die in the Roman cause, and bathe her hands in its blood)--as it provides martyrish support for Bush/McCain's "100-year war," and another political talking-point. If she would so gladly send her first-born into the jaws of death, how many other young men would she sacrifice so as not to "throw up the white flag of surrender," as she so heedlessly puts it? Talk about throwing up ....

No, I'm with you Joe. Of course your positions on the issues were just right, almost by default, because she had none. But you nailed it with that catch in your throat near the end of the debate. Some might say it wasn't genuine. Impossible. Let me tell you why I choked up along with you, as I hope did everybody else. I knew the story before I tuned in. First, Palin pipes up with HER glad/sad routine about Track (cheap-shot alert: she also needs help in the child-naming department) being deployed to Iraq. Then it was your turn a few minutes later, as the "debate" was still focused on the war. No contest. For you had gone through this before. The son who is now to serve in Iraq was many years earlier a critically-injured survivor of the automobile crash that claimed your first wife and daughter. Would he pull through then? Will he pull through now? What an incredible and heart-wrenching convergence of time and event ... overwhelming for most mortal men. So please go ahead and be Vice President of the United States, thank you.

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