Monday, September 08, 2008

Playing The Refs

In sports you see this all the time; The coach or the fans cry to the referee about every perceived slight from the very start of the the action. It is seen as a way to get an advantage. Some coaches are famous for using this as a regular strategy in big games and start working the refs early and often. They know that that weak willed officials may in fact slant their calls to avoid arguments. This is especially true if the opposing coach and fans don't raise as big a fuss as the initial complainers are.

The same is true in politics.

The McCain camp has been working the media quite effectively. They cry about everything that is done that doesn't overtly favor them. Neutrality or true questioning is not acceptable. McCain's elevation of Palin to the national stage has made this very clear.

CNN asks legitimate questions about Palin's experience, and McCain's people start to cancel schedules interviews and reduce access. As more reporters start to ask questions about Palin's record, the McCain camp rushes to hide her in Alaska and cries sexism.

But, when you look at the questions it is very hard to see a sexist line.

How are questions about when she opposed the "bridge to no where" sexist? The same questions apply for why did she hire lobbyist to get earmarks for her town if she opposed them so much (both Lobbyist and earmarks). Who screwed up the only major project she headed in her town, and who is responsible for the millions in cost overruns. Why did, in her term as mayor, her town go from a balanced budget to being deeply in debt. Why did she use the power of her office to try to fire the Chief of Police, the town Liberian and later her state trooper brother in law.

These are questions that you should ask of anyone running for higher office, but McCain's people are working quite hard (apparently very effectively) at making the claim that asking about any of this is crossing a line.

The the more delicate questions of grandmotherhood are, to my thinking, legitimate.

She is anti sexed and anti choice. The end result of these decisions can be clearly seen in her daughters growing belly. I am not sure how asking about the end result of her policy decisions is wrong, but the McCain camp keeps claiming it is. If they wanted to keep the Palin family out of the discussion, especially as they relate to the policy issues, it is probably best to not parade them across the stage.

Add to this her ideas about creationism, her husband's anti-American views and other interesting tidbits and you have a wealth of questions she needs to respond to, and not one has anything to do with her gender. If it were a male with the same history, the same questions would apply, and if it were a democratic male these questions would have been answered already. For the Democrats would never have been allowed to refuse to answer the media for so long.

They just don't know how to work the referees the way the Republicans do.


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