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Why Sarah Palin?

Sarah PalinI have this friend. He is a musician but he lost his day job. His marriage is on the rocks. His kids could care less about him as long as he gives them money. Same with his wife. He lives in a crowded neighborhood that is falling apart. His mother has cancer and his father has alzheimers. He has been diagnosed with high cholesterol and told he must lose 30 pounds. He needs to borrow 10,000 euros so his daughter can go back to college and the banks won't lend him the money. Worst of all the woman he was madly in love with and had been having an affair with for thirty years just died and there is nobody he can share his pain with. He asked me to meet him for coffee the other day.
"Matt, I have a problem. I'm depressed."
"What do you have to be depressed about?" I asked him.
"I haven't written a song in 6 months. I think something is wrong with me. I think I am clinically depressed."

He wanted to go on Zoloft or Marzipan or one of those drugs. "You are not depressed, I told him. Your life is a disaster and you are miserable. There is a difference. If you had a loving wife, kids that adored you, a high paying job you loved, a big shaggy dog, a nice house with a pool and lots of friends and you were still unhappy then maybe you would be considered clinically depressed and you could take a drug for it. But you are the western equivalent of some poor guy in Iraq, sitting in the ruins of his bombed house, his entire family and everyone he knows either maimed, dead or in exile, no food, no money, no future. You are not depressed. You are socially and environmentally challenged."

That seemed to cheer him up and we spent the rest of the afternoon drinking ouzo and talking about the NY Mets.

But today I am depressed.

I can just see the e-mails coming from the people who read these posts. "What right do you have to be depressed? You are living in Greece!"

I am depressed about America. I am depressed about the elections. Not that I think that Obama is going to win or lose. I am depressed at what the Republicans will do to win. Now if you are a Republican and still reading this, hear me out. This is not a condemnation of all Republicans. Just the ones who run the party. I think the Sarah Palin thing is the most reckless and dangerous political move in the history of serious American politics. It is a strategy for McCain to win at any cost. Sarah Palin does not have the experience, education or really any qualifications to be a heartbeat away from the oval office. But this was precisely why she was chosen over any of a hundred qualified Republican women to be John McCain's running mate. She is a sacrificial lamb and her flaws, which the McCain camp were well aware of, are an asset to their strategy which is to have Obama and the Democrats attack her and thus give the impression that they are against women, driving the Hillary supporters to McCain. They chose her because she is an easy target. They chose her because it was the only chance they had to win. The fact that she has no qualifications or the experience to be Vice-President does not matter. They will worry about that when McCain gets elected. The fact that McCain is an old man and could drop dead tomorrow or the day after he takes the oath of office and we would have a President of the United States no more qualified than your local PTA president does not concern them. That is because for those who drive the Republican party, politics is more important than patriotism.

In America there used to be a saying: It's not whether you win or lose. Its how you play the game. Now its Winning is everything and it does not matter how you do it.

I could not imagine anything worse than the last 8 years of George Bush. Now I can. John McCain has shown us what kind of decisions he will make if he is elected President. Not what is best for our country but what is best for John McCain and the Republican party. That's depressing. Pass the Marzipan.

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