Sarah Palin, Special Olympics and reality check

March 20, 2009 § 2 Comments

Ok, so apparently our President said something surprisingly stupid and impolitic on  Jay Leno describing his bowling as Special Olympic worthy.   I really can’t get that worked up about it.  I know I should – Rachel has competed in several SO track events (and she likes to bowl), my cousin Brian won a silver medal in track at the Special Olympics world meet (a big deal, his family traveled out to Toronto and everything) but I guess I just don’t have the energy to really get upset about this.   It was dumb to say  — but coming from the same lips as “punished with a baby”,  I am just not surprised enough to get upset.   In the end  I think this (Special Olympics Champ to Barack: Bring it On!)  is the best response possible.

In one way I am sort of grateful for the gaffe (if you want to call it that) in that it unearthed this video.  Apparently in the rush to defend the president some of the die hard faithful Obama supports (or maybe those who just really hate Sarah Palin) brought this video to light.

What is the difference between a Hockey-mom and a Special Olympics Hockey-mom?  Nothing.   Perfect.  I also like how she talks about the absolute terror of knowing that your child is disabled and how love melts those fears away.  Say whatever you like about her, but this I absolutely respect: she lives this, and is open about it.  Plus it gives me my little excuse to say Special Olympics is wonderful.

Back when I was working downtown I would occasionally take the evening bus home.  One my route was a gentlemen who (I think) was autistic.  We got on the 72 at the same stop and I started talking to him.  I noticed he had a medal and asked him about it.  He had won it in the Special Olympic because he had ran “really, really fast”.  I told him that was really cool and that my little girl ran in the Special Olympics.  “Is she fast too?” he asked.  Yeah, she is fast.  I couldn’t even guess how many years that medal hung around that gentleman’s neck.  But he wore it everyday that I saw him.  It obviously meant a great deal to him.

Our world can be very hard for people who aren’t “perfect” but the Special Olympics gives everyone a chance to be a winner and a chance to be their best.  It celebrates the fact that we are all worth everything, that we all count and deserve a chance to try to be our best.   It is simultaneously what makes the president’s comment insensitive and stupid and what keeps me from getting too worked up about it.  None of us are perfect,  Barak Obama no exception, and no one is well served by the destructive politics that has reared its ugly head in our Nation this fall.  Picking up this one moment of stupidity isn’t useful unless it  is used intelligently to say something worth saying.

People with disabilities have much to offer our society and the Special Olympics has much to offer them.  So if you are so inclined, or if you have your dander up on this point please take a moment and donate to the Special Olympics while there you might want to read what they have say on the Obama/Leno thing.

H/T to Hotair for the Sarah Palin video and the challenge.

It would have been cool….

January 29, 2009 § 2 Comments

I just saw this article at the National Catholic Register  Apparently NBC will not air Catholic Vote’s beautiful and subtle pro-life video durring the super bowl.  I can understand their point of not wanting to air ads of a political nature.  Hopefully that is genuinely the case and we won’t be seeing one of NARAL’s ads next year.

Here is the ad they won’t show:

Rosaries for the President

January 20, 2009 § 1 Comment

prayfortheprez

With a big enough lever I could move the world.  Now who am I to argue with Archimedes?   With enough prayer who know what walls will come down, what seas will part, or what hearts could change.

Right now, at this very moment a new president is taking the oath of office of president of the United States.  We have elected a man who apparently has never seen a pro-abortion bill he didn’t like and has promised to support the vile practice of murdering unborn children.  What can we do now? Nothing but pray.  But God can do everything.  

I know there are several groups that are actively praying.  I will list them here as I find them. 

Rosaries for Obama – a facebook group connected to Christian and American
First 100 Rosaries – if you are in or near Washington D.C. consider joining the first 100 rosaries.

If you know of a group, or if you are praying for our new president please leave a comment so I can add your name or group to the list.

CatholicVote’s Video

November 4, 2008 § Leave a comment

Just one more time.  Vote.

I got this in email, you may have already seen it.  I think it was well done.  (maybe just a tiny bit over the top, but really great depending on my mood.)

Kill Claudio

September 12, 2008 § 1 Comment

or “Why ‘Troopergate’ won’t matter much.”


Marcus Stone – Claudio, deceived

BENEDICK
Come, bid me do any thing for thee.

BEATRICE
Kill Claudio.

Hands down “Much Ado”  is my favorite of Shakespeare’s comedies, I know that marks me lacking in taste, but what can I say?  Beatrice and Benedick in their quick witted, sharp tongued, reluctant love affair get me laughing every time.   And the scene where Claudio, deceived by Don John, spurns Hero and Beatrice claims Benedick’s love and his hand in avenging her cousin’s honor might be instructive for the current political season.

At my parent’s house a couple nights ago the “troopergate” thing was floated for about 30 seconds before totally dismissed.  “Man who cares if she tried to get the dude fired, he tasered a ten year old and threatened their father’s life?  Anyone who wouldn’t fire a trooper pulling that sort of crap should get the boot.”  Hand me another piece of fried chicken and let’s talk about Georgia joining NATO, the obligations of NATO allies to smaller nations, and the parallels of Russia’s current aggressions towards Georgia over South Ossetia and the German attack against Poland over the Sudentland.  

Troopergate?  Who cares?  Even under the worst possible spin (Monegan was fired because he refused to fire Trooper Wooten) the “red-neck”, “unwashed masses” of small town America and the big city transplanted trailer dwellers and other low life, don’t care.  Why?  Because enough of us would ask our Benedicks to “Kill Claudio” too if it came right down to it.   It is one of those elusive “family values” things.  We value family.

When I was going through my own divorce years ago my older brother said something sort of tongue in cheek about there being a lot of places out in Eastern Oregon where no one would ever think to look.   My younger brother concurred and they spent a few minutes talking about way out places miles and miles from anywhere and what a pleasure it would be to take my soon to be ex out there and “drop him off naked with nothing but the buzzards for friends”.  We all laughed, with a touch of guilt,  but the sentiment was that they, in their hearts, wanted to defend their sister’s honor.  Not in the sick and twisted way that we see in the Muslim, tribal, honor killings, but more in the “you wrong my sister and there will be hell to pay” way.   Which might seem sick and twisted to some, but I guess it might be a cultural thing.   I have no doubt if I was actually in danger, the kids were being hurt, or the ex was threatening the family with violence my brothers would do just about everything in their power to help me.   Or at least they would want to.

I look at the “Troopergate” thing and can’t really work myself up to much more than a shrug.  It is family dirty laundry, probably not handled in the absolute best way possible, but if someone tasered my nephew, was terrorising my sister, threatened my dad, by all reports wasn’t shining so hot as a state trooper anyhow and the person in charge of the situation wasn’t doing anything about I might just do the same thing.  If Palin had gone on the line like this for random woman, victim of spousal abuse, against psycho husband with a state issued gun I think a lot of typical “feminist” would applaud, heck if she had a ‘D’ by her name I suspect they would be pinning a medal on her for her brave stance in support of victims of domestic violence. 

Does this, can this, will this sink Palin?  Nope, the core constituency will see it for what it is, one sister going to the mat for the other.   That in no way will diminish Palin’s appeal.  No one is going to worry about her abusing power in the Vice-presidential office, this isn’t about some personal slight against herself, this was about defending family.  Compare that to the Clinton’s slash and burn tactics with their enemies and there isn’t much left to say.  Troopergate won’t amount to much even in the worst possible form it could take.  If you want to keep reading about politics I highly urge you to look at my favorite Catholic Politics Blog: The Anchoress she is doing a most excellent job of posting all the great Palin stories.

Next post, I promise, is back to my Holiday Grand Planning and my normal “quiet Catholic Homemaking blogging about nothing really exciting”.

Political drive-by posting

September 10, 2008 § 1 Comment

After reading a bit this morning about how the Dems are comparing Sarah Palin’s experience to Obama’s I just hope somewhere in the Vicepresidential  debate Biden waxes long and eloquent about his experience and gives Sarah the opening to say something like “You know Senator, you are right, between you and I you are more qualified, but the fact is that you and I are both the understudies in this election.  I am stepping into this position with time to learn and be mentored.  The people should be looking carefully at the relative experience of the two leads, and when they compare Obama and McCain there is no contest.”

Ok, just call me “fan girl”

September 3, 2008 § 3 Comments

I have taken a slight interest in Alaskan Governor and now Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin for a while.  Now, I am a full blown fan.   Everything I read about her makes me like her more.  Like so many others online I am shocked and appalled at the vitriol being thrown in her face since her nomination was mentioned.  Nothing is more flabbergasting than seeing “liberal” women start to wander down the “shouldn’t she be home taking care of that baby?” track.   I spent a good deal of time wondering yesterday just what is driving this frenzy about Palin.  I came up with my answer last night.

Palin had committed the unpardonable crime of betraying the old dames of feminism.  Somewhere along the line old school feminist, the ones who are the elder politicians and university department heads today decided that in order for woman to truly be equal to men they had to more or less unsex themselves.  They had to be able to have sex on demand – like men (pro-birth control, free-sex) and be able to walk away from parenthood – like men (pro-abortion on demand).  That would get them so far, but to be fully equal they also had to emasculate the men around them – lord forbid a man comment on a woman’s appearance or open a door for her.   They also had to “gender normalize” the physical requirements for military, police or firefighters… and even neuter what was left of gender specific usage in the English language.  Some of this has been good, but it also has created a set of beliefs, a creed if you will, that defines “feminist”.  Which is one reason why so many woman don’t just reject the term, but vilify it. Some older feminist woman are surprised  that younger woman aren’t more grateful to them for the barriers they broke down which allow younger woman more opportunity, but to quote Michelle Bernard, “…feminists fought for them to enjoy a certain amount of rights, and they [younger women] do that, and then they hear from another generation, ‘well how dare you opt out and stay home to raise your kids? You’re a traitor to the feminist movement.’ Well if somebody’s going to tell you that, why would you want to take that badge on?”    This theme has been discussed for the past few years and more pointedly this election cycle where young woman supporting Obama were seen as not exactly showing sisterly solidarity to Hillary.

The overt sexism from other women just saddens me.  I remember well twenty years ago where being a young woman on campus and pro-life meant you were persona non grata at the woman’s’ student union (that hurt btw “sisters”).  If you didn’t walk lock step with the pro-abortion dogma you were a trader to your gender no ifs, ands or buts.  I also remember the snide words of a former manager while I was walking out the door of my corporate career to stay home and take care of my new born while my husband, who had been doing the stay at home dad thing, went back to work.  She told me I was “shooting my career in the foot to stay home and take care of a baby” (that hurt too, but it sure made it easier to say goodbye).  Woman who have opted to take the feminist path have no problem vilifying those ungrateful girls who become apostate.

There are woman who actually and honestly believe that woman can’t be equal if they can’t destroy the products of their own fertility, woman can not be successful if they are burdened with children, especially not unexpected babies, not ones conceived when over 40 and certainly not any child ever with a disability.  Young woman must be able to have sex on demand, and use birth control, and if that “fails” then they need to have mommy quietly whisk them down to Planned Parenthood (a misnamed institution if there ever was one) and “take care of the problem” so the young woman’s life isn’t “ruined” by that horrific punishment called a baby.   

To the liberal feminist of my mother’s generation conservatives were viewed as vile kill-joys.  Conservatives are the people who brand woman harlots, who don’t want you to have fun.  They are the ones who want to starve the poor, abandon the sick, kill the criminals and start wars for the sole purpose of having young men die on far away shores.  One reason liberals so strongly object to parental consent laws.  In theory a conservative parent wants to keep their children away from birth control and then beat them senseless and kick them out of the house if they end up pregnant — but they don’t want them to get an abortion. 

Men were the enemy. “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” If you got married it had better be an equal partnership where all chores where spilt evenly and he can’t hold you back from your education or career.  Best if he isn’t too “manly”, certainly not into the military, guns, sports… maybe a nice poet.

Palin takes all this thinking by the ears and shakes it loose.  She, by her life, shows that a woman can be powerful, beautiful and fertile.  A baby, even unexpected with special needs can be welcomed and loved and perfect.  That  conservative parents would stand by their daughter when she become yet another statistic of teenage pregnancy just pulls the rug out from the ugly stereotype of the ruthless self-righteous parent motif.  What about her husband?  He is a man’s man who helps raise the kids.  She needs him there and he supports her.  They are a partnership of aid to one another, not a couple of folks living together with a “no compete” clause in affect.  This frightens and appalls the old ladies of the bra burning brigade.  If they are not  correct in the idea that a successful woman can only exist within the bounds of their dogma, their dogma just might be wrong all together.  How will they convince young woman to follow in their shriveled, barren footsteps when lovely, fertile Sarah Palin is out there?  Palin is dangerous to that mindset.

But the women I know look at Palin and say “rock on sister.”  She becomes almost archetype the more the media and liberal idiots online attack.  Sure, throw mud at her kid: She is Boudicca.   Criticize her mothering: She is Devorah.  Question her relationship with her husband: She is Gorgo.  Question her experience or the fact she was a beauty queen: She is Ester.  Women have long been proud and noble creatures.  We are Victoria and Hannah, Zenobia and Cleopatra, Isabella, Antigone, Catherine and a nameless host of mothers, wives, sisters and friends who have carried babies, carried burdens and made history sometimes by leading armies or nations, sometimes in learning and rhetoric and often by rocking the cradle. We don’t want to have to become shells void of femininity in order to be considered valuable in society.  

So, I adore Palin.  I love the idea of a pioneer mother as Maggie Gallagher puts it.   This is an older and more noble (at least to me) feminism, one that doesn’t have to unsex woman or chew them up and spit them out for the benefit of the corporate world.  It looks past the women of the 60s and 70s who seemed to not really like being feminine and see women who are simultaneously strong and powerfully and authentically and naturally feminine.   Anyone woman with five kids, who nurses a baby in the governor’s office, hunts, fishes and looks great in heals and a skirted suit has my respect and when she is pro-life my vote as well.  Up until now I was feeling nothing so much ennui over the upcoming election, now I am thrilled.  Palin has engaged me, lured me in and charmed me.  Just call me “fan girl” and pass the McCain/Palin yard signs and bumper stickers my way.

 

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