Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Cats, vegetables and yellow Volkswagons

This morning I woke up to my elderly cat screaming at me to get up and dish out the cat food for her and the two other less vocal ones. Uh oh! I was supposed to buy cat food yesterday. What to do? I rummaged through the pantry and found a can of dog food. Since it was from Halo, the company that Ellen DeGeneres is promoting, I figured it couldn’t be all that bad.

They seemed to love it, so I left them to it and puttered off to do something else. When I returned, they had each cleaned their plates — of everything but the vegetables. How interesting. It would have been much easier to have eaten it all, but they were obviously interested in only what they liked.

Reminded me of yellow Volkswagons. You know, how you never see them until, for some reason, they are brought to your attention, and then you see them everywhere? Not only that, but pretty soon, they are all you see?

And that reminded me of the Biden/Palin debate. Or, rather the aftermath. It was so clear to everyone who had won. To the Democrats, it was clear that Joe Biden had won. And to the Republicans, it was obvious that Sarah Palin had won. Everyone heard exactly what they wanted to hear and turned a deaf ear to the rest.

Have we always done that? If not, when did we stop listening to each other? When did “we” start watching CNN and “they” tune in only Fox? How did pundit become a career? 

If we only listen to those we expect to parrot our own thoughts and beliefs, what is the point of any dialogue?

We may as well just talk to ourselves.

Some Questions Deserve Answers

I just finished watching the Vice Presidential debate and I’m trying to remember if I ever watched one before. If I did, it certainly wasn’t memorable. Tonight’s, however, was everything an important debate of its kind should be. The differences between the two camps were laid out, clearly, passionately and with supporting facts and figures.

The only problem is that all of that came from Joe Biden.

Did Sarah Palin ever answer a question? I know she made the statement that her maverick status meant that she didn’t have to, but I can’t remember if she maybe slipped up and actually responded to the question put to her.

You have to give her credit, though. Considering how far out of her league she is, she showed a lot of courage just showing up. She appeared confident and had obviously been doing her homework. Showing her skills as a politician, she managed to sidestep answering the tough questions — like how unsupportive this Republican platform is to gay rights. But, if I didn’t already know that, I wouldn’t have learned it by listening to her tonight. In fact, there were moments when she seemed to actually appreciate diversity.

And therein lies my main issue with not just Palin, but all Republican politicians (and a fair amount of Democrats). Pandering to their base. None of them — McCain, Palin, Bush, Cheney — are really all that opposed to our having equal rights. Palin claims that one of her best friends is a lesbian. Dick Cheney is very supportive of his gay daughter. Its just a tactic for them. Something to stir up the conservative base. An issue that mobilizes the religious right and gets them to the polls in droves.

It’s a tactic. All’s fair in love, war and politics, right?

Well, no, it’s not right. Because, for us, it doesn’t end when the election is over. It lives on through the energizing of movements to pass legislation to deny our basic civil rights. It lives on through the empowering of lunatics like Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist followers as they picket military funerals, chanting that God has taken these lives because the United States condones homosexuality.  It lives on in the implied license to follow God’s will and society’s bidding by killing innocents like Matthew Shephard and 15-year-old Lawrence King. By removing threats like Harvey Milk. To vilifying and threatening until even those like Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson are forced to wear a bulletproof vest at public events.

No, all is not fair. And I, for one, am pretty tired of it. Sarah Palin is totally unqualified to be in this election. She was chosen simply to ignite the conservative base. 

I started this by talking about questions. Let me sign off with one for you. How do we put an end to being used as pawns and scapegoats?

We vote.