I'm assuming everybody watched last night's final Presidential Debate. I realize the media has to put on an unbiased face, but everytime someone pundited "McCain's got to hit a home run here..." I wanted to ask "Why?" Because he's somehow been misjudged by the public? Because his message has been throttled? Because he's been treated unfairly by the media? He's the only candidate with a whole network devoted to his victory, what else can he expect? No, McCain is down because his policies are not the right ones for America in its hour of need, and the American public deserves better than what he's thrown out there as his VP Candidate. And after his performance last night in the debate, don't doubt that Ms. Palin would be far too close to the Oval Office if McCain wins. It's not the only deciding factor you need to vote for Obama, but it's a damned good one and chilling in its ramifications, if ignored.
You've no doubt seen the photos showing how George Bush has aged during his presidency; do you honestly think McCain could handle even one term? In addition to a million other reasons, this is no time to be putting anyone even close to the office who isn't the best we can get out there. This is no country for old men, not this time. This is no country for woefully underqualifed running mates cast in the role to appeal to a cynically-targeted slice of the Republican base. (Obama was a little soft on Palin last night, but why should he say anything when everything she says herself is argument enough against her? )
But really...unless you're cool with the notion of America going back to a time when back-alley abortions were the only choice for women, when there were no legal options for an unwanted pregnancy, when you -- as a woman carrying a child -- and what you wanted to do didn't matter -- then you pretty much saw it all out there last night, as McCain and Obama finally discussed Roe v. Wade and the abortion rights issue.
It's clear what McCain will try to do: Overturn Roe v. Wade. The End. He wasn't even willing to agree with Obama that there is a common ground which could work toward lessening the need for abortions -- contraception and education. The most telling and dire moment from McCain: his dismissive air quotes around the notion of "health of the mother". Ladies, in the McCain/Palin view, you don't matter. It's not up to you, or your doctor. You have no rights -- they all belong to the unborn. We all know that Palin holds ultra-extreme views on abortion -- no abortion, even in cases of rape or incest. Don't fool yourself that McCain feels any differently about the matter. These two are in lockstep on this issue and it's a big one.
This certainly isn't a one-issue election, but the Republicans have an agenda here that's going to affect the legal status of abortion choice for decades to come. Maybe you're a young woman who's always grown up in a world where you knew that, worst come to worst, if you needed to end a pregnancy it would be possible for you to do so. That choice was there for you. Can you imagine an America where that isn't the case? Where those little pregnancy pee-on tests showing positive could send the deadliest chill through you if you knew you had no way out? Where what you wanted and needed to do, what your choice would be to deal with your own life, meant absolutely nothing?
If you're an older woman, do you want do have your choice taken away? Do you want to live in a an America where someone else -- because they clearly don't trust themselves to make their own complex moral decisions with a clear head, and on their own -- has decided that you shouldn't have a choice either? Would you want your children or grandchildren or nieces or sisters or friends to live in a world without choice? And if you're very old, and are no longer at risk for pregnancy, don't say "whew!" and be thankful that things are going to unravel when you no longer need to worry about that stuff. If you are a woman, you have to worry about all the other women who come after you and need the same options as you enjoyed. Don't be selfish with this basic right of choice.
Here is the pertinent section from the debate:
Listen to McCain sneer the phrase "health of the mother" in this debate. This is a guy who has it out for you, ladies of choice. Your health? Please...don't bother John McCain with that old ploy. He's obviously heard it all before, and he's not standing for it. Roe v. Wade is going down if it's up to him and his fanatic running-mate.
Ladies, those were fighting words. I hope you heard them as loudly as I did.
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