VP Matters Because Cheney Changed the Game

11/26/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Robbie Gennet Writer of words and music, rider of waves, author, educator and world traveler.

Amidst charges of sexism and the media being too liberal, Sarah Palin is being questioned and vetted by an anxious public and a hopefully awakening media. This wouldn't have been so important had it not been for one person: Dick Cheney. Even when Gore was VP, the public didn't dig too deep because, well, he was "only" the VP. But Cheney, by excluding himself from the executive branch and running a secretive and mysterious office, has shown that the VP has once-unimagined powers. And it is what we don't know about the Office of VP that makes this appointment all too serious.

Could you imagine Joe Biden becoming VP and acting in any way like Cheney has? Ignoring rules and laws and exempting himself from culpability and holding secret meetings with the heads of corporations... no, not Joe Biden. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is more of a mystery herself than Cheney ever was coming into office. We know he was White House Chief of Staff under Ford, Republican House Minority Whip at one point in the House of Representatives and Secretary of Defense under the first George Bush during the first Gulf War. The kind of guy with a long resume that qualifies him to run a government.... right into the ground. Palin's rise from Pageant Queen to Mayor of Wasilla and now Governor of Alaska is now legendary amongst the rabid and bloodthirsty throngs chanting such Christian Republican American Platitudes (CRAP) as "Kill him!" and "Off with his head!" towards Obama at Palin's Rally's. For the rest of us, this sad and sometimes scary sight throws a big bucket of cold water on the initial public boner people had for her.

But Palin has also done us a service, which we may as a country only see in hindsight. By stirring up the very lowest of our society, she has shined a light on the parts of America that have held us back from true unity and forward motion. The racist, bigoted, xenophobic, prejudiced underbelly of our country is on full display from YouTube to the nightly news and it is America at our ugliest and most ignorant. And it has fully sided with the Republican party. It is an America that longs for the "good old days," when all white families look like the Cleavers, blacks were second class citizens and Communism was the big threat in the world. Judging from the way panicking Republicans are throwing around words like Communism and Socialism, you'd think Russia was on the move again... but I digress. To look into the hateful and angry faces at a Palin rally is like looking into the asshole of America -- it's dirty, it stinks and it's blowing a lot of hot air all over the place. For those of us who feel ashamed of what these people represent, who recoil at their vitriol and animosity, who shake our heads in disbelief at their false sense of American pride and nationalistic bombast, we put our feelings and emotions towards helping Barack Obama win this election and begin the healing we so desperately need.

America the Beautiful has a dark part of her history, whose rotten fruits are on display for the world to see. It is time we show the world that this hate and fear is not what America is about and is not what America will stand for.

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