Friday, September 05, 2008

Danger Ahead . . .

Below, my girl L.A. Banks aka Leslie Esdaile, gave me permission to share her letter that she fired off to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

This whole Palin nomination thing triggered a writing fit to the Op-ed pages of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The day after I listened to her speech in horror (and the pundits praise of this kook), I really had to take flaming pen in hand. The only thing that made me feel better was Gloria Steinem's rebuttal that Gwen sent today (Thank you Gwen)... see Steinem's letter below... but mine is attached. So, the attachment is something different--check it out, but I wanted to copy the text of what Gwen sent me, too. Write y'all... make your voices heard, this is sooo bogus I cannot even believe it's happening -- worse yet, it is DANGEROUS.

Much Love, Leslie

Last night I watched, appalled, as Governor Palin completely distorted the facts, used smokescreens to keep the media from legitimately inquiring about her checkered political past, and then launched into one of the most vicious and unnecessary attacks by a person at her “supposed level” as a Vice Presidential candidate that I've seen in a long time. I sat mouth agape in outrage wondering if anyone else was witnessing the RNC circus in the same way.

As a woman, I am offended... as someone who has worked in grassroots organizations I am offended, and as an American I am offended. How can John McCain and the Republican Party bring out a candidate who is so small-minded that she would use her power of office to make her ex-brother-in-law lose his job? Is that someone you want to take the 3AM call about a potential war, is that the person you really want to be a heartbeat away from leading the nation--a person so vindictive and pedestrian in thinking that she’d also call for the resignation of a librarian for not supporting her desire to ban books? John McCain picked Palin, does that seem like sound judgment to you? I have hard questions for the old guard of the Republican Party, but even harder questions for women voters. Do we really want to roll the clock back to rebuff science and start teaching kids one religion's concept of the origins of mankind while we trash the periodic table, as well as trash the evidence of evolution because it suits a select, hard core, right wing group?

Or maybe we'd be more comfortable just claiming that any war we've decided to engage in was "God's will and task," and then turn a blind eye to the fact that within that very same Bible Palin beats at the prime time podium it says to love one's neighbors. So now we’ve devolved into fundamentalist politics at the highest office, the very same echo of madness we so abhor in terrorists?

From ignoring global warming as a manmade reality that can be addressed, to trying to BAN BOOKS (people are you listening?), to supporting incredibly stupid and expensive legislation--like the now infamous "bridge to nowhere," this woman is a disaster. I have to go back to her attempt at banning books, though, in this rant. I'm an author and I am shaking my head. Do people really want to put someone in the White House, give her control over the education of the largest most formidable country in the free world, when this person wants to ban books, and was so vicious that she even tried to fire a poor librarian? That theme of Palin throwing her weight around is becoming a refrain. Things that make you go, hmmm... Given that we’re all under the Bush Administration’s Patriot Act, which has taken away too many civil liberties to count here, would you want a potential Commander In Chief who is given to “snits” when you disagree with her, and like an old Mafioso, would possibly take your job if you crossed her?

Then, when Palin was challenged by the legitimate media, right off the bat she played the "woman card?" If Obama had played the "race card," the country would have been all over him. Hilary didn’t go there—maybe that was because she had a platform, had some REAL experience, and had enough substance that she didn’t have to. Hmmm. So, I guess now, if during the debates, if Senator Biden goes after Palin, as is typical debate strategy, he'd then be labeled a chauvinist pig?

Ladies, as a fellow feminist and someone who highly respected Hilary Clinton's journey, DO NOT FALL FOR IT. We as a nation have been had. This woman, Palin, is out of step with reality, has a serious vindictive streak, and is being used as McCain's shield. Right now, the Republican platform is weak. It is as old, ailing, and doddering as its Presidential nominee. They don’t respect true women of power and authority. What tells me that is the number of excellent Republican female candidates they by-passed. This isn’t a historic moment; this is a media ploy, a game. Don’t be bamboozled. As a last minute desperation attempt, they pulled a right wing extremist, married to big oil, soccer mom out of the farthest hinterlands they could find and threw her to the public, knowing that there were disgruntled Clinton supporters. But Palin is no Hilary Clinton, and we voters with a little common sense know that. We also know that, if McCain is going to continue to support the Oil Industry lobby and drill in Alaska, it helps to have Alaskan politicos on your ticket waving the flag. You’d want those folks to get the benefits of your office while you destroy pristine natural resources, I suppose.

And, since the men opposing this atrocity can't go after Palin without some whining backlash about fairness coming from the GOP, let me chime in with millions of other women who were not fooled last night by saying, "Are you insane?" Or, how about this, "We ain't buying it, lady!" There, I’ve said it, you can count my voice in, because I will be loud and vocal, and since I’m a female I can’t be anti-feminist, can I?

What outrages me so about Governor Palin even being allowed to grace the podium has nothing to do with her chaotic personal life. On that I agree with Senator Obama, who elected, as always (and has throughout the campaign) to take the high road. What disturbs me to my core is that, in this twenty-first century, I want my daughter to have a choice, ESPECIALLY if she is God forbid raped or God forbid, ever fell victim to incest. I want my daughter to get a REAL education, which means reading opposing points of view, understanding diversity, and yes, being fully versed on the way her body works. I want that smug, self-proclaimed Washington outsider, Palin, to take note of the fact that, I'd rather, at this juncture, take my chances with some folks who know their way around the Capital than with someone who is plugged into BIG OIL -- literally married to it like a lobbyist. And, for the record, getting elected as a Senator of Illinois, a huge, densely populated state, is quite different than being Governor of a place that has more wildlife and Caribou than people, let’s be real. Wishing you were something doesn’t make you that, hon. Let’s give credit to the Obama/Biden ticket where it is due. Only a couple of months ago, you (Palin) were quoted in the media as saying you didn’t know much about Vice Presidential responsibilities and didn’t know what a VP did. The sound-bite was stunningly that of an airhead, but that’s just my opinion.

Bottom line is, I want my kid to be able to look up to the Oval office and see people there who have integrity, not a bunch of liars and scam artists who threw the Constitution under a bus for the sake of gaining political office.

Lastly, Governor Palin, I wouldn't tout your "executive decisions" too loudly as a campaign platform, given they were foolish and mean-spirited decisions. The record doesn't help you, sis.

Angrily submitted by
L.A. Banks, Philadelphia

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