Theodore's World: John McCain, here is your Vice President

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August 29, 2008

John McCain, here is your Vice President

John McCain, here is your Vice President

Jewish World Review

By Nat Hentoff

In 2006, Sarah Palin became Alaska's youngest and first woman governor after having earned a reputation as a determined and successful advocate of ethics reform in politics. In the primary, she defeated an incumbent Republican governor and then a former two-term Democratic governor.

During her first year in office, as reported by the Associated Press on May 10, she "distanced herself from the old guard, powerful members of the state GOP (and) stood up to the oil interests that hold great power in Alaska, and with bipartisan support in the statehouse, she won a tax increase on the oil companies' profits."

Last December, the mother of four children, Palin, four months pregnant, found she was going to have a child with Down syndrome, a condition characterized by moderate-to-severe mental retardation. A school friend of one of my sons had Down syndrome, and I have known functioning adults with the extra chromosomes of that syndrome.

However, as a longtime reporter on disability rights, I have discovered that many fetuses so diagnosed have been aborted by parents who have been advised by their doctors to end the pregnancies because of the future "imperfect quality of life" of such children.

Palin's first reaction to the diagnosis was to research the facts about the condition, since "I've never had problems with my other pregnancies." As a result, she and her husband, Todd, never had any doubt they would have the child
"We've both been very vocal about being pro-life," she told the Associated Press. "We understand that every innocent life has wonderful potential."

In an age when DNA and other genetic-selection tests increasingly determine who is "fit" to join us human beings, we are witnessing the debate between sanctity of life versus quality of life being more often decided in favor of death. This is a result welcomed by internationally influential bioethicist Peter Singer, now a celebrated Princeton University professor, who, in July 1983, wrote in "Pediatrics," the official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics:

"If we compare a severely defective human infant with a nonhuman animal, a dog or pig, for example, we will often find the nonhuman to have superior capacities, both actual and potential, for rationality, self-consciousness, communication, and anything else that can plausibly be considered morally significant."

And there are bioethicists who point to the continuing costs of rearing a "defective infant." By inspirational contrast, Palin, says of her new son, Trig: "I'm looking at him right now, and I see perfection. Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?"

Three days after she gave birth, Palin was back in her Anchorage office with her husband and Trig. "I can think of so many male candidates," she tells the AP, "who watched families grow while they were in office. There is no reason to believe a woman can't do it with a growing family. My baby will not be at all or in any sense neglected."
Says the governor of Alaska, "I will not shirk my duties." Taking her stand for life as a holder of high political office is all the more valuable in the face of not only the termination of fetal lives as not worth continuing before they can speak for themselves, but it also puts a searching light on the growing "futility" doctrine in hospitals — affecting born people of all ages.

Nancy Valko, a medical ethicist and intensive-care nurse I consult on these lives-worth-living debates, has emphasized that "with the rise of the modern bioethics movement, life is no longer assumed to have the intrinsic value it once did, and 'quality of life' has become the overriding consideration."

Because of Palin's reputation as a maverick, and her initial reduction of state spending (including pork-barrel spending), life-affirming Palin connects with voters and has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential running mate for John McCain.

She would be a decided asset — an independent Republican governor, a woman, a defender of life against the creeping culture of death and a fresh face in national politics, described in "the Almanac of National Politics" as "an avid hunter and fisher with a killer smile who wears designer glasses and heels, and hair like modern sculpture."

Still unknown is whether Palin would be as flip-flopping as McCain on the Bush torture policy that has so blighted our reputation in the world. But we'd find out, as — if chosen as his running mate — she would create more interest in this already largely scripted presidential campaign.

And her presence could highlight Obama's extremist abortion views on whether certain lives are worth living, even a child born after a botched abortion.

Wild Thing's comment........

Great article, we are so fortunate that Sarah Palin said yes to being the VP.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

Posted by Wild Thing at August 29, 2008 03:47 PM


And even someone that was as anti McCain as I am is now sitting up and paying attention...

She IS exactly what it takes to get McCain elected... Awesome choice...

Posted by: TexasFred at August 29, 2008 04:22 PM

John McCain outflanked Barack Obama by choosing a dynamic maverick reformer VP candidate from one of the two 57 states that Obama's staff wouldn't let him visit during his primary campaign. While Barack Obama and Joe Biden run a campaign of hate against Bush, Cheney, McCain and the past, the country will identify with Sarah Palin, her family, and her achievements of working together on solving mutual problems of the present and future.

John McCain and Sarah Palin are real reformers while Barack Obama and Joe Biden want to change what they think is a mean country. Sarah Palin rocks!

Posted by: Les at August 29, 2008 04:45 PM

The excitement to this campaign is going to be electrifying. This is the best thing that could happen.

I am not usually a religious person, but I think God still loves this country and Sarah Palin is his gift. I mean you can't find a more religious name that Sarah...

Michael Reagan said, 'we now have our very own Margret Thatcher'.

Posted by: Mark at August 29, 2008 06:20 PM

Texas Fred, I agree, I feel so much better then I did last night. I felt truly sick after watching the dems convention and the horrible things they want for America.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 29, 2008 07:07 PM

Les............LMAO good one.

"candidate from one of the two 57 states that Obama's staff wouldn't let him visit"

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 29, 2008 07:10 PM

Mark, I agree sooooo much.

" I think God still loves this country and Sarah Palin is his gift. "

And yes what a beautiful name and right from the Bible.

Good one for Michael Reagan too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 29, 2008 07:14 PM

Now... this is a REAL family!!!
They take care of each other--they are proud of each other. They are hardworking down to earth people. I really like that.
And shame on doctors who tell pregnant women to "have an abortion" if their child is going to be imperfect. God gives you what you can handle. He knows what he is doing. Many women had the baby and then gave it up to the state to take care of as well. Those children have no chance at any future. You can NEVER know how well the child will function until it is older. Many Downs children can and do hold down simple jobs and live in group homes as integral parts of all our communities.
My grandmother taught music to these children. I grew up with them. Some of them were the best friends I ever had.
I adore the Palin family.

Posted by: Lynn at August 29, 2008 08:22 PM

McCain was also showing tactical expertise here, because Sarah Palin was, to the Obamadroids, highly improbable, so they weren't prepared for her. Those slow-witted pinwheels still haven't figured out how to attack her except on the issue of experience. (Apparently the scumbags at Kos are claiming that her newborn is actually her 16-year old daughter's, but Kos Kids are fatigued from continuous, non-stop wanking,and not too bright to begin with.)

Priss Matthews and Queef Olberman have already raised the question of Palin's experience, but they had no similar concerns about the obsequious jellyfish Tim Kaine, who also has only two years experience. But that's MSNBC, which is a relentless crapstorm, and only watched by Kos Kids when they take a break from their favorite recreation.

I have some worries about Palin's debates with Biden, because, as someone said, Biden can pack more lies in per sentence than any other man on earth. My guess is, a Biden debate with Palin won't revolve on facts, but on how rapidly he'll make an asshole of himself, or how quickly she can rip him a couple new ones. If you prick Biden on the pinky finger, he loses control completely, and ends up sounding like a stupid John Kerry - an achievement in itself.

This should be fun. I will probably vote for this ticket.

Posted by: Rhod at August 29, 2008 08:32 PM

Oh yeah, the changeitude thing. Obama screwed up in so many ways, you can't count them, but picking Joe Biden was like picking your nose with a blowtorch. You lose your nose and the stuff you didn't want remains. Biden amplified Obama's flaws and inhibited his strenths.

ANY veep choice by McCain could leave Biden on the floor looking for his IQ, but Palin has even more going for her. She's tough and charming.

Even if she's soft on the facts, she's aggressive, and Biden is used to vilifying people before his committee, or others who can't fight back. Biden's a gassy, blowhard punk. Palin impresses me as a woman who can cut off his sloppy parts and smile at the same time.

Posted by: Rhod at August 29, 2008 08:48 PM

With Governor Palin, I can vote for the ticket...not McCain but the ticket.

I think she'll be good for the country and Conservatives. After seeing her on the shooting range with an AR-15, I knew she was my kind of woman.

Posted by: BobF at August 29, 2008 08:49 PM

The Dems have "hope and change". We have ethics, and a NRA life membership.

Posted by: TomR at August 29, 2008 09:04 PM

Do you know where the word "cretin" came from? It's actually a corruption of the French word "chretien," meaning Christian. It comes from the medieval practice of baptizing mentally "defective" infants, so that even if they did not have a good life here on earth, they would be able to inherit the Kingdom of God.

Compare that with the modern attitudes you've just quoted. If this is enlightenment, I'll take the Dark Ages, thank you.

Posted by: Trish at August 29, 2008 10:23 PM

Lynn thank you for sharing about your Grandmother teaching the downs children. I agree they and all children should be given a chance at life.

Yes Sarah Palin and her family make it a pleasure to get to know them.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 29, 2008 11:04 PM

Rhod what horrible people at KOS.

Yes Biden will lie up a storm in the debates, that makes it hard in debating. My guess is Palin being smart like she is will do well though.

" Palin impresses me as a woman who can cut off his sloppy parts and smile at the same time."

I agree so much, I too have a feeling she can slay the dragons, smile and the dragon will wonder what happened.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 29, 2008 11:11 PM

BobF, I love all the things she can do. It will help too because the more capable she is of various things the more she will pick up the new things she has to learn. She is very smart and being a conservative I am so thrilled.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 29, 2008 11:13 PM

Tom gosh I love this......good one.

"The Dems have "hope and change". We have ethics, and a NRA life membership."

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 29, 2008 11:15 PM

Regarding that garbage at Kos--
They showed a picture of Palin, claiming that no woman would be that skinny at 9 months of pregnancy. Well, I went to my block party last week and my pregnant neighbor, who is due any second now, is much thinner than that.

Typical of what's coming, though, I guess.

Posted by: Trish at August 29, 2008 11:44 PM

Trish they are horrible people, something is missing in their souls I think.
I agree to what you said about typical of what's coming. Yes they are going to do and say all they can to attack Sarah Palin. People like that for one thing cannot stand goodness in others.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 30, 2008 01:13 AM

Yeah, but you know what? I think this time we've got somebody who knows how to fight back.

Posted by: Trish at August 30, 2008 01:22 AM