09 July 2009

The unimportant Vices

Arthur Sewall

Thomas Edward Watson

Adlai E. Stevenson

Henry G. Davis

John Worth Kern

Hiram Johnson

Nicholas Murray Butler

Charles W. Fairbanks

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Charles W. Bryan

Burton K. Wheeler

Joseph Taylor Robinson

Charles Curtis

Frank Knox

Charles L. McNary

John W. Bricker

Earl Warren

Fielding L. Wright

John Sparkman

Estes Kefauver

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

William E. Miller

Edmund Muskie

Curtis LeMay

Sargent Shriver

Bob Dole

Walter Mondale

Geraldine Ferraro

Lloyd Bentsen

Dan Quayle

James Stockdale

Jack Kemp

Joe Lieberman

John Edwards

Sarah Palin


That is the list of 20th to 21st century losing Vice Presidential candidates.

Of those only FDR went on to become President on his own.

One would go on to the Supreme Court, that being Earl Warren.

Which one of these had their family attacked in the media on a constant basis after LOSING their bid for office?

Outside of the two mentioned as attaining President or a position on the Supreme Court would go on to change the course of the Nation via good legislation?  None of them, actually.  And you can even include the two exceptions in that.

For anyone who says that Sarah Palin deserves extra and especial notice because she was a VP candidate: you actually need to look at the history of the LOSING VP candidates and ask yourself which one in that list received such attention as a LOSING candidate?

None of them.  Not a single one.

Losing the Presidential spare tire position is not a disgrace, not an indictment of character, not of any real note save for the rare times that someone actually achieves high office on their OWN merits or via connections, in the case of Earl Warren.

Going back to the Founding you will have a hard time finding a VP candidate who LOST in the party-based system who has gotten anything like the microscope of Sarah Palin.  Yes some do receive LATER review when they try for high office again on their OWN MERITS.  Between their loss and that time they generally drop out of the National spotlight.  Some disappear from general public view completely while still serving time as Governor or Senator or Representative.

Given that history and that it goes far back in US political history, just why is it that Sarah Palin deserves or merits any additional attention by ANYONE in the media, be it news or comedy venue, when she received the failing mark in the lower half of a ticket that is almost always a judgment on the TOP of the ticket?  Where is the scrutiny on John McCain?  Or Al Gore?  Richard Nixon gave his 'Checkers Speech' to get the media to drop the spotlight on him, but it never, ever went to his wife and daughters.

The history of US politics demonstrates that we, as a people, really don't give much of a damn about VP candidates on the losing ticket... and not much more than that to the ones on the winning ticket, come to that.

That no one in politics will come to the defense of her FAMILY shows extreme and absolute cowardice by the politicians of Incumbistan.  THEY are uncomfortable that Sarah Palin got ANY notice on a ticket that was moribund before she got to it.  What these politicians forget is that by not speaking up for simple, basic civil decency, they then allow that to erode in the public sphere and the next targets will be THEM.  Because this 'barrier was broken' in a negative sense, because no one stands to shame the media in ANY venue in the public attention, we are losing the last few shreds of civil discourse in our Republic.

And do note most of the heads of the ticket that lost also had similar disappearing from the spotlight acts... like John McCain who vows for so much decency and civility, and then does not stand up for those attacking the woman HE CHOSE to be on his ticket.  That is the act of a politician, not a Gentleman.  Apparently we have no Gentlemen or Gentlewomen in politics who can stand up for common, basic civil decency in political campaigns.  That means we are becoming a base culture in the public venue and that must translate to the private venue as the public is but a reflection of our own character as a People.  Getting elected to high office in the public venue makes YOU the reflective surface of our society, and when those surfaces go dark then it is our society and culture that is going dark to cause that.

Will no one in the public venue stand up for civility and for letting a woman who LOST her bid in the Presidential spare-tire position go about her life without continued attacks?  Going to speak at a CHARITY event her teenage daughter who was NOT the one who had a child out of wedlock is the one who has rape jokes made about her.   Rape is a crime.  Statutory rape a heinous crime.  That should not be a fit subject for ANY joke about ANY one.  And yet which politicians stood up to denounce this?  These the great reflection of our society by being our representatives, who had the moral courage and ethical will to stand up and say: 'Enough is enough, let this woman and her family BE'?

That crosses political lines as raising and protecting a family goes across our culture.  Gays and Lesbians who lobby for marriage rights should be as appalled... no MORE appalled when the very product of the institution they desire is now being ripped to shreds in the public spotlight.  If you want the decency of respect for an institution and get into the public spotlight, then you had better damned well stand UP for that institution when it is attacked by anyone.  Cherishing our children is not a matter of 'gender politics' but a duty to ALL OF US.  Anyone who sponsored any legislation 'for the children' has to stand up against this because they made it a source of their guiding light for making legislation they had better damned well stand UP when children are basely attacked in the public venue.  That no one would stand up for that IN the public spotlight is horrific.  That is not a matter of 'Left' or 'Right' but of simple decency.

Take a look at that list.

One became President on his own rights.

One was placed in the Supreme Court.

And only one had their family attacked as 'legitimate targets' in public discourse.

That is why I do support Gov. Palin.

Someone has to stand up for civil discourse in the public venue and I will if no one else DARES to.  We will not have a society, a country, a Nation if that line is not held by someone.  And all such fights starts with YOU being civil.  I can do that.  Each of us can do that.  It is barbaric not to do that: I am a civilized barbarian and know true barbarism when I see it.  I see it and call it for what it is.

Gov. Palin and her family can now do as they like.  If they don't ever want to show up on the political venue again, that is fine by me.  If they want to run hunting and fishing lodges or join in with the Bering Sea fishing fleets, that is also fine by me... and the latter would be going a bit back on their careers, which makes you think a bit when you see what the Bering Sea can do to men and ships.

They have my support in that, as paltry as one man's support can be when fallen on hard times.  I make no especial plea for myself and I am glad to see she does not do that for herself.

I do, indeed, like her as a woman.  I like her as a politician which, given my relatively low rate of agreement on topics, demonstrates just how little I like politicians.  And I especially like her because she does, indeed, 'walk the walk' and when she says her family is important to HER she ACTS on that.

Damn I wish we had more politicians who would do that for civil society.

One will do, however.

One woman, with courage, makes a majority.


Anonymous said...

Your whole premise is based on a complete lie. The afor mentioned joke had absolutely no reference whatso ever to "rape" statutory or otherwise. Rape was never mentioned. Please get your facts correct before spewing forth your foolishness

A Jacksonian said...

mrtomm - You only need direct reference to statutory rape? Really? Mr. Letterman got his chuckles out of the implication. If you are taking the 'must have said it line' with Letterman, will you do that with everyone else on Rock 3 from the star Sol? Or is it selective where some people get a pass and others don't?

When Letterman refers to the attendees at a ballgame, insinuates that one of the players will take the daughter of Sarah Palin into the dugout for reasons related to sex, and that said daughter is a minor, then just what is NOT the stated implication there? Even 'consentual' sex with a minor is statutory rape.

Your choice: either stick to just whatever anyone directly says, for all parts of the political spectrum, all jokes, all innuendo, everything... or stop trying to 'correct' what the 'facts' are when the implication from the statement is obvious to anyone listening.

Remember, you will defend anyone, on any part of the political spectrum if you go with the former: one rule to judge them all. Promise that, swear to it, stick to it, and go after Liberal and Conservatives, indeed all parts of the political spectrum and all parts of humanity like that and you will demonstrate ethics and morals, if a very, very, very rigid sort it will be fair to all people. If you seek flexibility for anyone, anywhere, of any persuasion that you 'like' then you have lost your 'facts' based analysis and have just made a relativistic view based on how you personally approached the situation. I did that within the context of the person, the individuals involved and the response. Complaint is free: holding a high moral and ethical ground is difficult. I will stick by what I saw, what I heard and how people responded to it. You may not like that analysis... yet your 'facts' only doesn't work so well in life, as humans are capable of insinuation and innuendo.