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Why I知 excited for the first time in over a year

Posted by HeroOfCanton, Aug 30 2008, 05:35 PM

Why I'm excited for the first time in over a year

I was never very excited about any of the Republicans running in the primary. Usually a party's strongest pick is a popular and talented governor, but in the Republican's case, that best describes a man named Bush, so that wasn't going to happen. I figured I'd vote for Giuliani, since I thought he would be good on national security, but by the time the primary rolled around to Ohio, I was left with McCain and Huckabee. Going with security as my most important issue, I unenthusiastically hit the swanky touch screen next to McCain's name.

This November, I will be doing the same, but this time with a smile on my face in hopes that McCain wins, rather than with a grimace praying Obama loses. Why? Sarah Palin.

Is she a perfect pick for McCain's Number 2? No, but McCain didn't have any perfect options. He could have gone with a deadly dull white man who has a good resume but produces the excitement of a ham sandwich without mayo. But let's be honest幼ould the oldest white man to ever run for President really do that against the first black Presidential nominee for a major party? So that left McCain to choose an exciting running mate with a thinner resume. Actually, the Republicans do have qualified women and minorities with experience, but they all have their own problems. For instance, Kay Bailey Hutchison is as boring as the old, white men; Christine Todd Whitman is further left than McCain who already has problems with his base; and J.C. Watts (*swoons*) doesn't seem interested in holding office again. Anyhow, that meant McCain had to pick from the list of exciting people with little experience. Frankly, I would have gone with Bobby Jindal, but McCain decided to go with Sarah Palin, and that's a darn good pick.


A Vice Presidential running mate is supposed to do a few things and Sarah Palin has already done some of these things and shows potential for doing the others.

1. Voters ought to believe the person is ready to be President should, God forbid, the worst happen. Admittedly, this is Palin's weakest spot, but is she really any less qualified than the person who will be President if the Democrats win?

2. A Vice Presidential choice has to do well in the debate. Now, I've never seen Palin debate, but I can say that if Joe Biden gets snarky and condescending with a mother of five, it's not going to play well. Also, people expect Biden to be a good debater, so anything less than stellar from him will likely be seen as a loss. Since almost no one has seen Palin, she would have to be terrible to not at least get the "exceeded expectations" prize.

3. The underside of a ticket needs to perform well on the stump. In her unveiling, she did great耀he was straightforward, plainspoken, excited, and exciting.

4. And that leads to the last thing a good running mate ought to do庸ire up the base. McCain's biggest problem before this decision was an apathetic base, which might not even vote for him. With Sarah Palin, now people want to give him money if the feedback at Nation Review Online is anything to go by. Palin is Pro-Life not just in theory but in practice. Even as a Pro-Choicer, I have to admire a woman who says, "I'm over 40, with four kids, and now I'm pregnant with a Downs Syndrome baby, but I'd never think about not having it." You might disagree with her "talk," but having a politician who walks the walk is a refreshing change. Also appealing to the right is her lifetime membership in the NRA, which is again about how she lives her life and not political expediency. She's pro-tax cuts and drilling in ANWR, while being anti-pork. (You know who killed The Bridge to Nowhere? Palin.) And that "culture of corruption" Democrats love talking about is going to lose its sting against a woman famous for fighting corruption in her own party.

So, is Sarah Palin a perfect pick? No. But for the first time I'm actually asking myself if I can squeeze in some time to volunteer for the campaign or maybe write a check. I guess that means Palin is a pretty good choice.



Comments

  squidnurse, Aug 31 2008, 02:38 PM

I think Palin is an interesting choice for many of the reasons you list. I shake my head whenever one of these politicians with little or no baggage comes along in any race--you can anticipate the first words out of their opposition's mouths are, "no experience, etc." Which is ironic, considering that the theme most often being parroted about is "change."

I don't think Palin's going to attract Hillary's supporters, but I don't think anyone ever seriously thought that she would (the conjecture of many Democrats that she amounts to a cynical attempt to grab disaffected Clintonites away from Obama is just the standard thoughtless knee-jerk silliness; it makes more logical sense to see her as someone who primarily can rally the Republican base, if we're going to limit her selection to one dimension).

Between the two major candidates, I've been leaning towards Obama (for me, domestic issues--particularly ensuring access to affordable health care--weigh pretty heavily) for a while, but still had concerns about foreign policy; I felt better after the Biden pick. Now, I've got something else to think about. That right there tells me that McCain's made a powerful choice: it shakes up my waters a little.

  HeroOfCanton, Aug 31 2008, 02:59 PM

I'll admit that experience is an issue for me. However, if people really do want change, McCain and Palin have real track records of challenging the status quo, not just talking about changing the status quo.
As far as getting Hillary voters with this move, well, I'm about to post a new blog about just that. icon_biggrin.gif
Hmm. If health care is your big issue, maybe McCain should have gone with Bobby Jindal. (Are you familiar what he did in Louisiana? I'd love to hear what you have to say about his reforms.)

  squidnurse, Aug 31 2008, 03:23 PM

Okay, I found this over at the National Review (which I understand enjoys a good reputation, at least on this blog icon_wink.gif). I don't really see anything specifically "new" in Jindal's ideas, but some general points that I think are good to consider.

A comment on how health care is viewed in politics, now: I think we are moving towards some sort of universal health insurance in America. The momentum is there. An interesting thing to me is looking at where the momentum is coming from: it's not coming from "the people" (polls show that roughly the same percentage of Americans favor universal health insurance now as they did 20 years ago); it's coming from the business community as the cost of health care has risen so dramatically. They're the ones suing for relief to diminish their fiscal responsbility for health care, and consequently we get legislation like Massachusetts'. And we also get more politicians "suddenly" realizing that the problem of uninsured Americans is a real problem.

The cynic in me thinks this is less out of concern for the average American citizen, and more because the real movers and shakers in American politics (i.e., the various business interests) are feeling the pinch and want to transfer the responsiblity to the government.

  HeroOfCanton, Aug 31 2008, 03:47 PM

Squid,
The capitalist in me sees giving relief to companies on health care as a smart economic growth move. icon_wink.gif

I wonder what you think of health care like I have. (I bet you've answered this before, but I forget. icon_wink.gif ) I buy my insurance from my hospital. So far, I've been very happy with it, and unquestionably happier with it than my coworkers are with what the library offers. Granted, I've never needed it for something truly important, thank God, but so far so good. Frankly, it seems like catastrophic care is something we ought to be focusing on anyways. It's very nice that my insurance covers half of yearly Pap smear, but I what I really want to know that it will be there when I get hit by a bus.

  squidnurse, Aug 31 2008, 03:57 PM

I think the socialist in me and the capitalist in you should have a beer or three sometime. Of course, you'll be buying.

I would absolutely be in favor of a publicly-provided catastrophic coverage, with expansions to include basic public health stuff like immunizations and preventive care as a minimum public entitlement. It only makes sense, not only in the context of (gasp!) unfunded federal mandates like EMTALA, but also in the sense of building a society which reflects our values. One of those values (at least, as I understand it) is that America is there to help when it's needed.

This is getting further afield from Sarah Palin, but it's also a lot better than RWD. Permaybehaps I should start a blog, too?

  HeroOfCanton, Aug 31 2008, 04:03 PM

You should definitely start a health care blog. Then again, I'd understand if you didn't. I bitch about being a librarian sometimes, but I don't know that I'd want to blog about it all the time.

Anyhow, I'd happily buy you a beer and explain why we don't need yet another unfunded entitlement program. icon_wink.gif

  squidnurse, Aug 31 2008, 04:14 PM

QUOTE (HeroOfCanton @ Aug 31 2008, 11:03 AM)
You should definitely start a health care blog. Then again, I'd understand if you didn't. I bitch about being a librarian sometimes, but I don't know that I'd want to blog about it all the time.

Anyhow, I'd happily buy you a beer and explain why we don't need yet another unfunded entitlement program. icon_wink.gif


Maybe not a "health care" blog, but I could probably give some insight into my side of the bedrail.

I totally agree that we don't need any unfunded entitlement programs. Especially if you're buying. icon_wink.gif

  HeroOfCanton, Aug 31 2008, 04:17 PM

QUOTE (squidnurse @ Aug 31 2008, 12:14 PM)
I totally agree that we don't need any unfunded entitlement programs. Especially if you're buying. icon_wink.gif


Exactly my problem. "If you think it's expensive now, wait until the government pays for it." icon_wink.gif

  squidnurse, Aug 31 2008, 04:42 PM

Well, I meant "if you're buying the beer." Otherwise, I wonder if you're misunderestimating me. My problem is with making a mandate (e.g. EMTALA) without accounting for or providing the necessary funding (in fact, EMTALA's "stick" enforcement is basically predicated on the threat of withdrawing already underfunded Medicare/Medicaid dollars; there's no "carrot" there to speak of). I don't have a problem with creating basic entitlements that promote the general welfare: public education, public libraries, public health, public safety, public transportation, etc. I do have a problem with the methods used in legislation like EMTALA or the Massachusetts legislation where the mandates are unfunded. The costs end up getting shifted to the public anyway; they just get shafted in the meantime.

  HeroOfCanton, Aug 31 2008, 04:51 PM

QUOTE (squidnurse @ Aug 31 2008, 12:42 PM)
Well, I meant "if you're buying the beer." Otherwise, I wonder if you're misunderestimating me. My problem is with making a mandate (e.g. EMTALA) without accounting for or providing the necessary funding


And you trust the government to fund it properly? I thought you were the cynic. icon_wink.gif

My quote about anything paid for by the government being more expensive still stands.

  squidnurse, Aug 31 2008, 05:14 PM

First, why should it be more expensive? Second, why should that be the criteria by which we judge a thing to be right or not?

Another query: is it merely a matter of who funds it? Would you prefer that laws be enforced by a more fiscally-responsible private agency? Or that the military be privately funded and operated?

I'm okay with things being more expensive if we "the people" retain the authority and control. I think some things are worth paying for. And I think that there's an awful lot of monies that are being wasted within our current health care situation (there's nothing "system"-like about it) that are paying people who really contribute nothing of value to health care provision (e.g. insurance companies, generally for-profit agencies, and their countless employees).

Yeah, I realize that changing the system would put a lot of those folks out of work, and losing their purchasing power will probably have a negative effect on our consumer-based economy, blah, blah, etc. But I actually think Hillary had a lot of good ideas in the early '90s, and most every negative thing she predicted would come to pass if we continued our current system has. That's made me think and give up on some things that I used to believe were always true.

One truth that I find true today (to bring this back to the blog topic): I think Sarah Palin's pretty hot.

  HeroOfCanton, Aug 31 2008, 05:28 PM

She's smokin' turbo hot!

And I'm not just against government funded health care because of the expense. I'm worried about health care run like the DMV. I seriously worry that turning it over to the government will just make it worse.

  ryan786i, Aug 31 2008, 06:33 PM

You know, I was just at the DMV the other day. Better/faster service/treatment than just about any time I've been to the doctor in recent memory.

[/useless quip]

  HeroOfCanton, Aug 31 2008, 06:35 PM

QUOTE (ryan786i @ Aug 31 2008, 02:33 PM)
You know, I was just at the DMV the other day. Better/faster service/treatment than just about any time I've been to the doctor in recent memory.

[/useless quip]


In fairness to the DMV, it has gotten a lot better in recent years. However, and I realize I'm lucky, I love all my doctors and my hospital. If that weren't the case, I may be singing a different tune. Who knows?

  squidnurse, Aug 31 2008, 06:35 PM

That's why I'm careful to say publicly-funded health care. There's a wide range of health care systems that are publicly-sponsored, yet not all are government-run. I've only a limited experience with actual government-run health care (home visits with the Indian Health Service on Pine Ridge), but it's far from how the DMV experience is characterised. In fact, I don't think the DMV is a fair analogy.

Because with health care, you're dealing primarily with educated professionals who have a code of ethics in how they approach their practice, and I can't see that changing just because the source of the paycheck changes. Of course, that could also be my incredible naivete at work. Another example: most teachers that I know personally are ethical and committed people who want to contribute to a greater good. Their natural talents might yield more fiscal rewards in another field, but that's not why they're doing what they're doing. Shouldn't these be the sort of people we value?

This is where my Utilitarian side actually works with my Deontological side. Or something. I need a nap.

  HeroOfCanton, Aug 31 2008, 06:39 PM

QUOTE (squidnurse @ Aug 31 2008, 02:35 PM)
That's why I'm careful to say publicly-funded health care. There's a wide range of health care systems that are publicly-sponsored, yet not all are government-run. I've only a limited experience with actual government-run health care (home visits with the Indian Health Service on Pine Ridge), but it's far from how the DMV experience is characterised. In fact, I don't think the DMV is a fair analogy.

Because with health care, you're dealing primarily with educated professionals who have a code of ethics in how they approach their practice, and I can't see that changing just because the source of the paycheck changes. Of course, that could also be my incredible naivete at work. Another example: most teachers that I know personally are ethical and committed people who want to contribute to a greater good. Their natural talents might yield more fiscal rewards in another field, but that's not why they're doing what they're doing. Shouldn't these be the sort of people we value?

This is where my Utilitarian side actually works with my Deontological side. Or something. I need a nap.


Perhaps I'm just clueless, but who would be in charge of the money of publicly-funded health care?

And your teaching analogy is probably better. And guess what? I like charter schools and vouchers, because I think the government sucks at education. Why would I give them health care on top of that?

  squidnurse, Aug 31 2008, 07:04 PM

I'm a fan of charter schools and vouchers, myself. A lot of my friends in Oregon home-school (together) because they believe their children are getting a better education than they would in a public school. Essentially, their choice to do this within a community makes it their own private school, but without some of the more traditional trappings like a dedicated building and whatnot. I imagine that financially, it's easier with vouchers (if they're allowed to use them).

But where does the money for vouchers come from, anyway?

I think where the sticking point is lies in your question, "who would be in charge of the money...?" I can't see getting away from the gummint' controlling the purse-strings much like they already do with education dollars, but, to take the analogy further, a system that allows for vouchers, perhaps? Preserving choice in providers?

Because what I think I'm arguing for is not giving the government health care (which, essentially, if you accept that health care needs to be regulated at all, they've already got it), it's for changing the payor mix, recognizing that just as it behooves us to have publicly-sponsored education that's accessible to all (and how that's determined is still at the local level. Well, before No Child Left Behind), so it behooves us to have a basic level of health services that's accessible to all (maybe, again, with an emphasis on localities determining what services are appropriate).

  HeroOfCanton, Aug 31 2008, 07:11 PM

And that, squid, sounds reasonable, although I'd probably have to give it some more thought. Then again, arguing health care with you is like having a Bible quoting contest with a nun--I'm a bit disadvantaged. icon_wink.gif

 
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