Thursday, September 04, 2008

Have it your way

Leave it to politicians to engage in double-speak at every opportunity. Of course, the news media can be good at it, too, as was evidenced by a recent Daily Show piece where Jon Stewart detailed changes in views by some of the correspondents at FOXNews (as part of his RNC coverage). Naturally, however, in the wake of Sarah Palin's acceptance (and odds makers still betting that she could be off the ticket by November), it's now time to think of the children.

Specifically, according to the GOP, think about the children by not thinking about the children. Unless, you know, they want you to.

That's right, folks. Because it doesn't matter at all when it comes to how able or prepared of a politician Palin is, the GOP would like everyone to back off of the Palin children. Stop running stories about them, stop wondering about the choices that the kids have made, and certainly don't bring up the "p" word (or mention the guy responsible for the "p" word). After all, it's unprofessional, and they don't have anything to do with the campaign.

The thing is, we agree with that concept completely. Our problem? When it's politically advantageous, and when there's a chance for a great photo opportunity or just when they think it might look pretty, the GOP is trotting out the Palin children at every chance. Take, for example, what happened at the RNC, after they'd already complained about the spotlight being unfairly trained on the kids. They then made a point of using them to garner further applause an acclaim, pulling them on stage.

True, Obama's family has been used as well. It's a nice moment, and allows us to see the candidates as real people, not robots. They have a family that they love and that loves them in return. And yes, families on both sides of the political spectrum have been used (or exploited) for political gain ever since the first photograph. Still, it just speaks of hypocrisy to protest about the use of the family, and then do it yourself for your own ends.

Here's an idea, and it's just a little crazy. How about, instead of panicking about how people are using their children during a campaign, why don't we just put a moratorium on families entirely. Instead of looking at a candidates genetics and bloodline, why don't we just focus on what they can bring as a politician, and as a leader?

Oh, wait. Because then we might start getting a clue about where they stand. And we just can't have that, outside of pre-approved soundbites.

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