Watching the McCain wreck from a not safe enough distance

Yes, it’s the US elections again. And, just like last time, I’m getting sucked in. Why is a Brit so interested in another country’s elections? Because of the damage the current idiot has inflicted and the danger that his replacement could be as bad or even worse. It’s also a lot like that old cliche about slowing down to stare at a car crash or, as it rhymes with McCain and sounds more like an Americanism, a train wreck.

Even whilst bored of the protracted Democrat primaries I could see that this was going to be a messy and nasty election. I couldn’t have predicted that the first victim of a smear was going to be a Republican.

John McCain announced his running mate at the end of last week- Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska- and almost immediately all the factors that make her an awful choice were forgotten amid speculation about her family. Conflating some absurd- and some say dangerous and irresponsible- behaviour around the birth of her 5th child earlier this year and what turned out to be the current illegitimate pregnancy of her eldest daughter people started inventing a cover up. Palin, it was alleged, had faked her own pregnancy and claimed her bastard grandson as her own.

It certainly has the melodramatic air of the fifties hypocrisy the candidate would like to see return, but the convenient timing of her real bastard grandchild pretty much kills it. Palin, unfortunately, is an advocate of abstinence only sex education, which has worked wonders with her own family. Wonder if she’ll mention it at all in the campaign?

Ignoring Palin’s family issues it’s obvious she’s a cynical pick to try and appeal to Hilary Clinton supporters and religious fundamentalists at the same time. The Republicans are going to cry about sexism every time her ability and ideology are questioned, despite the fact that she stands against pretty much every advance for women of the last fifty years or so. She has a son who’s off to serve in Iraq, something none of the warmongers in Bush’s gang could claim last time I checked. And she’s one of those frightening “holier than thou” politicians the right wing loves, with membership of a church with links to an armageddon cult.

I’m a little scared. But, if anyone wanted to put me up for a while either side of the election, I’d be all for flying over there with a laptop and writing about it as it happened.

No links in this post, because I could lose the rest of the afternoon digging them out. I promise that next time I rant about the US elections (and I will) I’ll try to include a few links.