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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Conservative Hypocrisy: Confessions of a Liberal Operative

I had originally believed Gov. Palin was a brilliant choice for VP: a game changer, or even a game closer as someone with experience in polling, I believe Sen. Obama due to his race is actually 5-7 points behind where he stands in the polls. Gov. Palin's win over Frank Murkowski in the primary and then Former Gov. Tony Knowles in the 2006 General were to me sure signs that she was an impressive vote getter, slaying two of the three biggest names in Alaska politics in one election cycle. (Many Democrats believed running Gov. Knowles again meant we'd walk back into the Governor's office) But now as ugly revelations about Gov. Palin's family have come to the surface more important questions have to be asked.

I have maintained for years that political conservatives actually represent the most socially decadent folks in the nation. Hiding behind religion and a moral crusade, it is conservative male politicians who consistently cheat on their wives, while pushing onerous legislation trying to keep Women in "their place." Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter having a child at 17 is a problem. Perhaps from a pure social perspective I am more conservative than most but I have a fundamental problem with children having children. Call me a prude but a family that would either turn a blind eye to such a problem or even worse encourage their child to get pregnant and then get married when it became politically convenient for the parents is not fit to be in a high public office or spotlight.

I've heard the talking heads discuss how these revelations should be off the table. I believe they should not be. I will admit my own failings in this regard: As a liberal operative knowing information about certain conservative candidates and families I choose not to politicize these issues. Once elected the candidates that defeated my clients advocated socially repressive legislation while living double lives. We've been forced as liberals to allow conservatives to promote a puritanical view of American society while themselves living lives in some ways as decadent than the rich and elite Roman society. What's worse is liberals don't get the same treatment from a media that often times is more interested in socializing with conservatives at cocktail parties and thus not losing their access to stories rather than being a fair and objective watchdog of the political class. Family problems are an issue: a legitimate issue as to how you live your life and how you will govern. When you run for public office you make the choice, and it is a choice to expose your family and your life to intense scrutiny. These issues should not be off the table and I personally regret my role in taking them off the table in some previous political campaigns. I've often said a potential President or Vice President should not be having affairs because that makes them susceptible to being duped by a foreign agent. I held this view with Bill Clinton whose affair with Monica Lewinsky was an issue for me and I hold this issue with anyone seeking the highest office in the land: They need to be held to a higher standard.

What's even more stomach turning for me is that Sarah Palin is anti-choice after giving birth to a child with downs syndrome. It a sad thing that someone blessed to have a child with a disability would advocate a point of view that takes the most important decision ever made by a family away from families and doctors and in the hands of government bureaucrats be they in Juneau or Washington. But at the same time Gov. Palin should be commended for trying to raise the child properly. But she should do this out of the public view.

John McCain's reputation as a Maverick helped him win the favor of a Washington press corp that is elitist and loves to hot nob with conservatives after hours. Now, they are giving him a pass on the most important decision he ever made. Did he properly interview Gov. Palin and did he have a formalized process for VP after sending out disinformation for the better part of two months? (including using the terminally ill Robert Nowak two months ago to claim he'd pick a VP early) Is having two westerners on a Presidential ticket for the first time ever something that represents the best interests of the American people? Is this a return to the John McCain pre circa 1996 when a knee jerk Arizona conservative advocated positions to the right of most of his Republican Senate colleagues? None of these questions have been asked, and all need to be answered.

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I am the host of the Major League Soccer Talk and EPL Talk Podcasts and am frequent guest on other (world) football shows. I am also the publisher of various other websites including this one. I work in public/government relations in addition to my soccer work and have a keen interest in history, politics, aviation, travel,and the world around us.