For an accurate idea how many of our neighbors to the north view the current Republican slate, take a look at this terrific column from Saturday's Globe and Mail newspaper from columnist Tabatha Southey:
Body check for a hockey mom - the Republicans' New Coke candidate
September 6, 2008
When I heard the Republican argument that Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin is qualified to be America's commander-in-chief not only because Alaska is Russia's next-door neighbour but because Ms. Palin is nominally responsible for the Alaskan National Guard, I checked to see how many people are in the Alaskan National Guard. There are 4,500, mainly stationed in Iraq.
Honestly, guys, I think we can take them.
Please hear me out. I grew up mostly in Guelph, Ont., and you don't grow up 550 kilometres from Ottawa without gaining some foreign-policy experience. And if you don't believe that, you're sexist.
Have I mentioned I'm a mother?
That's right, I'm a mother. I gave birth and went right back to being a mother three days later. Still, to be frank about my national-security qualifications (before you have the temerity to Google them), I've never been the mayor of a town of 6,000 - a job that I acknowledge is easily six steps up from being Brown Owl.
I can't find the quote but somewhere Graham Greene wrote approximately this: Americans have taken the noble idea that anyone could become president and contorted it into the alarming idea that anyone should become president.
There's a jar of my homemade strawberry jam for the first reader who locates this passage. Yes, I realize that's folksy-sounding, but please don't put my name on a ballot. I'm not qualified. That dog don't hunt. (Oh, hey, wait a second, maybe I am!)
Ms. Palin is Mr. Greene's joke realized, but so afraid is the media of being called "elitist" that I've not heard one pundit compare the candidates' educations.
Barack Obama's presidency of the Harvard Law Review is seemingly on par with Ms. Palin's winning Miss Congeniality, and to suggest anything else is condescending to congenial people - some of the nicest people you'll ever meet.
Ms. Palin is partly John McCain's response to Hillary Clinton, but mostly she's a response to Michelle Obama. The Republicans want a mother figure. And cold Cindy McCain, whose face is pulled so tight that I swear when she smiles her nipples point up, isn't polling well.
Cue Sarah Palin and the most cynical spectacle I've ever witnessed - and I sat through the last three Star Wars movies.
The film John McCain launched last week with his flippant pick started out as a British, Ealing Studios-type comedy - Passport to Pimlico meets The Mouse That Roared. However, within days I was watching throngs of aged, Jamie Lynn Spears-condemning Republicans creepily welcoming Ms. Palin's pregnant daughter as if that poor girl were carrying the last baby on earth.
All hands grasped for the first Republican baby in a generation. The movie had already morphed into Prudence and the Pill and then suddenly I was watching Children of Men.
Oh, I know, the media can't talk about Ms. Palin's children. Only Ms. Palin can talk about her children - endlessly. And show her children and have Mr. McCain meet her children at the airport in a photo op so staged I'd have sworn Princess Diana was still alive.
Watching Mr. McCain embrace Ms. Palin's family, I felt sure he was wondering why he'd unleashed this cheap trick of a New Coke candidate and when he would get to pick the next guy.
"Hell," he was probably thinking, shaking hands with the young father-to-be and kissing a random child. "If I'd known I was in for this kind of crap, I'd have gone with the Mormon."
"Surely," Cindy might have whispered, "those Russians could've sent a shipload of condoms over the Bering Strait and spared us all this drama?"
The media have been criticized for ruthlessly dissecting Ms. Palin's family life - a subject they have actually approached fairly gingerly. Naturally we've been distracted by the "bridge to nowhere" that Ms. Palin actively supported (at least until the cheque cleared) before denouncing it in speeches this week and last.
But let me try to say why it's valid. Given Ms. Palin's anti-sex-education stance, I'd say that if I'm reporting on a candidate who campaigns on a "we should all build our houses out of fresh meat" platform, and then I discover that one of her children has been eaten by wolves, it's relevant.
I watched Ms. Palin's vapid, sarcastic, hate-filled speech, a speech that stoked fear, division and resentment while celebrating herself and ignorance and the many places these two things meet.
Nice try, Republicans, I'd say. But not only is this woman no Hillary Clinton, I think that we in the north can say, "I know hockey moms. Hockey moms are friends of mine. And governor, you're no hockey mom."
Sarah Palin isn't qualified to govern. She's not even a suitable candidate for the carpool.
An amazing column and please go to the web version where you can email it around. I think this nails it with a nice slice of sarcasm added, to boot.
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