I am obsessed with Sarah Palin and that is probably exactly the wrong reaction to be having because it is exactly what THEY want me to be doing. What they want us all to do, obsess over this woman and forget that there is actually a real election happening.
I can’t write much tonight because I am beat and I need to write something cogent and at least logical. Now is not that time.
I cannot keep myself from listening to the radio news, reading every single thing that appears, and in between hyperventilating about it all.
I had a dream about Sarah Palin on the first night that she was announced by McCain as his running mate. We were all at SNL. Everyone was around the writer’s table: Jim Downey, Christine Zander, Al Franken, Dave Mandell, the whole group I knew so well. We were trying to crack a sketch about Sarah Palin.
The sketch was about Sarah driving a mini-van filled with her children. The child with Down’s Syndrome was in the front seat in a bassinette. The police began to follow her. Sirens roared. She was angry, she tried to elude them. She drove faster and began to curse the police in her rear view mirror. She said, “I’ll get you.” And then she put her finger on a red button right next to her seat. It was the button that started nuclear war. But then one of the police drove his motorcycle right up next to her driver’s window and yelled, “Your dress, it’s caught in your car door!” And she said, “Oh! Oh!” She pulled her finger off the red button. She laughed, how embarrassing, to have your dress caught in the door.
We knew this sketch wasn’t all that funny. It needed something. We couldn’t figure out what.
And that was over a week ago. There have been many sleepless nights and weird dreams since then.
I thought Sarah Palin was a joke at first. Then I thought it was great, McCain had thrown in the towel. He clearly didn’t care if he won or not. Now I’m angry. It’s so cynical. And condescending.
So much has been written about it. But there are some things that I particularly hate. I hated the way McCain said, “I can’t wait to introduce her to Washington” at the convention. It was so… I don’t know, fatherly. Or weirder, like a date would say about a hot chick he found and wanted to show off.
It’s strange to think that tomorrow it will be seven years since 9/11. We had the sympathy of the world. We had our dignity and morality too, pretty much. We could take the high ground. And all that reputation has been blown away. Squandered.
Here’s another thing I hate, I hate how Sarah Palin makes me feel. I hate my knee-jerk reaction to her. I hate that I have to talk myself back into appropriate responses.
For example, my first response to learning about her was that she should not be a Governor because she had five children, mostly young children, and had just had a baby with special needs. I am glad she was able to have that baby with Down’s syndrome if she wanted to and could afford to, emotionally and financially. But why isn’t she taking care of it? How could she be taking care of it?
I am embarrassed for having that reaction. Maybe it’s really about me. I have one child and I can barely work. I don’t know how mothers like her do it, I honestly don’t. Every working mom I know, I become obsessed with how they pull it off. I want to know the details. What about homework, what about school volunteering, what about lessons, what about problems with the lessons, how do you teach them about this or that.
Then it occurred to me that Sarah’s husband may be a stay-at-home husband. I was relieved, and angry at myself for thinking all those kids were just her responsibility. Clearly they had some system worked out. Clearly he was at home all the time.
No, he isn’t.
Then I was even angrier at myself. I had to talk myself down. So what?! So what!!! What if she is a great mom? What if she has a great nanny? And what if she isn’t? What difference does it make? Why don’t I think about that with guys? I admit it, I don’t. I feel terrible about this. I really think that women should work and be parents in whatever way they can manage. But I had to talk myself back into my higher, feminist self. Or… now that I’ve brought up the word feminist – what the hell does that mean anymore?
When her daughter was revealed to be pregnant, I thought – Oh, now she will drop the hockey mom part of her speech because, god, it’s so embarrassing. She’s a hockey mom and her daughter is pregnant by a high school drop out hockey player. You know what the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is? Pit bull’s daughters do not get knocked up by hockey players. But no, Sarah kept using that line – that lipstick line, that line that is apparently now branded to her so that anyone else referencing lipstick in any way must be referring to HER. A
I just hope I come down off this crazy roller coaster that McCain has sent me on. It was deliberate, diabolical, daring and it has worked, absolutely.
All day today I was thinking, “Ladies, Sarah Palin is not our friend.” I am astonished it has gotten me so deeply. I would never EVER have predicted that. I am aghast at McCain’s cynical, political and yet oblivious choice. I am holding my breath until November 4.