With each leak from Katie Couric's Sarah Palin interview, the damning evidence that the governor is supremely unfit for the VP job -- or any public office -- approaches flood level. If you're looking for consistency in this topsy-turvy world, look no further. She says she's well-situated "as Putin rears his head," as if foreign affairs were a turkey shoot, she's clueless about the current economic crisis, she supports censorship, and opposes choice even in cases of rape and incest. And even when you may agree with her -- she supports drilling in ANWR and going after Al Qaeda directly in Pakistan -- she doesn't know that these policies are diametrically opposed to her running mate's. As someone who thinks that my 13 year-old daughter would make a stronger candidate, it's been satisfying to hear Palin receive the predictable opprobrium her unfailing lack of knowledge inspires.
That is, until now. In the latest release from this telling head to head, Couric asks whether the candidate believes that people can pray away their homosexuality. To this, Ms. Palin responds with a touching tale of personal friendship, and her refusal to be judgmental. "I have, one of my absolute best friends for the last 30 years who happens to be gay, and I love her dearly," she says. "And she is not my 'gay friend.' She is one of my best friends."
Wow, I think as I hear this. For the first time, I feel like we've actually had the same experience and feelings about it as two human beings. I look outside to make sure that pigs aren't flying past my window. But then she continues, and reassures me that this isn't some parallel universe after all. "[My friend] happens to have made a choice that isn't a choice that I would have made," she adds. "But I'm not going to judge people." How kind she is. And how full of crap.
Her friend of 30 years made a choice to be gay? Exactly how old was this girl when she made her decision, and did she tell Palin about it at the time? Maybe she said something along the lines of "You know, this straight thing is okay, but I think I'm going to go with being gay, because gay people have it so great in this country, and everyone's so nice to them, and no one would ever make a wedge issue out of this most personal aspect of my life." The nice thing, I guess, is that if you realize you made the wrong decision, you could switch back again -- just like Palin herself could, if one day she concluded that things weren't working out with Todd, and she wanted to play for the other team after all.
The fact is, no one who has been close to a gay person would ever believe that his or her sexuality is the result of a conscious choice. In fact, one of the benefits of gay Americans coming out to their straight friends and family is that the loved ones see how homosexuality isn't a choice, it just is. If you're a religious person as Palin purports to be, you might even think that gay people are as God made them, like the rest of us, no more and no less. And that God didn't create humans in His own image just so they could be reviled by their fellow creatures.
As I've said, we expect this woman to make boneheaded statements. What is surprising to me is that no one on MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning commented on it other than to pay lip service to the tightrope Palin walks for her base. So here's my real point: We cannot be so inured to Palin's babbling that we give her a pass on an issue that affects millions of Americans and their families. If you're a member of the media, I ask that you call her out on it. Or if you're just someone who cares about human dignity and civil rights, you could speak out, too.
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