Here is an article from Salon, that I really feel perfectly articulates the Sarah Palin issue.
I am a strong democrat, but at the same time, I'm also one of those geeky people that loves a good throw-down election. Not in the dirty politics, skirt the issues and sling mud sort of way, but in an honest debate of the issues, the problems and may the best candidate win. In my own state, I was devastated that our idiot (now former) governor won his party's primary for last year's election. Even though that meant our party's candidate was a shoo-in. Because it meant there was no contest.
Governor Dummy's opponent in the primary was a strong female candidate. She was one of the Republicans who lost her seat in the House during the 2006 purge, which actually was kinda sad, because she wasn't someone who needed to be kicked out, and many of the worst members of Congress got to stay. Anyway. So, she lost the primary, and Governor Dummy ran again with disastrous results for him (I think he got less than 25% of the vote). I was so pissed. If she had won the primary, the election would have been about the issues, about which direction our state needed to go, and would have really forced the candidates to examine policy, evaluate our state's problems and come up with solid platforms. Instead, the election was about getting rid of Governor Dummy. The democratic challenger's platform was basically "I'm not Governor Dummy." I don't even particularly like him, he's just okay. It's entirely possible I would have voted for Northup had she been the candidate. But we'll never know.
I think that's a bad thing in politics. I'm not someone who votes just to vote against the other guy. I have to believe in the candidate I cast a vote for, that the person is qualified and is a good choice for office. As much as I like Obama, am completely in love with his foreign policy positions, and I want him to win this election, I'm gravely disappointed that the election has been less about the issues and more about distraction. McCain and Obama have completely different views on many key issues, and the debate was really good and evenly matched. I wish it could be more about debate, and less stupid ads and propaganda.
And then there's Sarah Palin. We could have had Kay Hutchison, or Olympia Snowe, or even Condi Rice (now there's someone I wouldn't want to debate... she's got that understated Professorial Scariness about her, like she's going to rip you apart for having not done all of your reading and publicly humiliate you for it... I get plenty of that in law school, no thank-you). There could have been a real throw-down debate tonight. Biden's a smart guy who often says dumb things when left to his own devices. But a real formidable opponent at tonight's debate would have forced him to kick it up a notch, instead of concentrating only on being polite and not saying too much in fear of developing a case of Foot in Mouth disease. It would have meant a battle on the issues.
So, I'm just disappointed, and continue to feel betrayed. Not that I have any say in the Republican party, and wouldn't, even I were a Republican. But I think America, especially women, were owed more than Sarah Palin. A classmate of mine made a silly comment the other day, that the only reason liberals hate Palin is because we're jealous she's "stolen the spotlight" from Obama's celebrity. Uh, no. We hate Sarah Palin because she is incurious, unqualified and anti-feminist, to add insult to injury. We desperately wanted to see a formidable woman up on that stage, showing the entire world that women are just as smart and capable as men, a no holds barred, kick-ass display of feminist virtue. We wanted someone who could take what Obama and Biden threw at her and kick it right back. And even though I would have still voted for Obama/Biden based on the issues, I would have taken some satisfaction every time that strong woman candidate got up in Biden's face and shut him down. Instead, we get to watch Sarah Palin, who will be doing good if she can manage not to spit out word salad when asked about the most basic issues facing our nation. We watch that display, three highly intelligent, capable men, and then the woman, struggling to understand the issues, trying to keep up, trying to act like she belongs, when she very clearly doesn't.
And it hurts. It just hurts.