"And children with special needs inspire a very, very special love. To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House."1. We're not friends. We may have some things in common--motherhood, kid with a chromosomal diagnosis, age give or take a coupla years, race, messy dark hair, glasses, check check check--but we've never had a coffee together, or watched each other's kids, or worked on an art project together. And I don't see any of that happening in the future, either. So cut the "you've got a friend" line. I grew up in a state where that sentiment was on every license plate, and it means nothing when used in such a wholesale, consequence-free way. Worse, it devalues the real worth and work of friendship. I like and need friends. You're just not one of them.
(BTW, I also bristle at agency literature using words like "partner"--uh, no. Unless you're willing to take a 3am shift whenever kids are sick, you're not my partner in this.)
2. I don't think "very, very special love" qualifies as a policy. My kid doesn't need your "special love." He needs to have his rights recognized and protected; he needs the appropriate school education the law says he's entitled to; he needs accessibility to make living in the community a reality instead of a goal, and not just when he's a kid, but his whole life. I expect a vision with policy specifics. Hey, there's one!
3. Unless you started being a disability advocate long before your youngest son was born in April of this year, you're not in any position to use the term "advocate" for yourself. It's presumptuous to claim otherwise. You're still learning. Keep learning. Gotta say, I'm glad there were no reporters writing down my every word when my son was four months old--I'm sure anything I might have said about disability back then would have been a bundle of contradictions and confusion, because I didn't have near enough experience to speak otherwise on the subject. (And I'm still learning every single day, after thirteen years.) Presenting yourself as the stereotypical "kn0w-it-all mom" who is (rightly) dreaded by many in the disability world is not doing the rest of us parents any favors, so please rethink that pose.
4. Truth is, I was never going to vote for your ticket anyway, no matter who the VP choice was. But you're sure making me more secure than ever about that position.
5. Belittling the important work that community organizers do? Really not cool.
6. Vice-president Cheney, by all accounts, loves his daughter Mary--but it doesn't make the administration in which he serves any friendlier to gay marriage or same-sex parents. And Sarah Palin, by all accounts, loves her little son--but that doesn't mean the administration in which she'd serve would set any priorities for the equality of people with developmental disabilities.
LINKS: More Palin critiques and commentaries from disability bloggers:
Joel at NTs are Weird
Kara at Disaboom
William Peace at Bad Cripple, and in a sequel post
Sweet Machine guest posting at Shakesville
BadMama at BadMama
Sarahlynn at Yeah, but Houdini Didn't Have These Hips
Ruth at Wheelie Catholic
Dave at Chewing the Fat
Angie at Nuvision for a Nuday (and more from Angie here)
Terri at Barriers, Bridges and Books
Cindy at Bissellblog
CityzenJane at Daily Kos
ABFH at Whose Planet is it Anyway?
Emily Elizabeth at Lovely and Amazing
Kristina Chew at Autism Vox
Nicole at All 4 My Gals
Miryam at Breeding Imperfection
Becky Blitch at Open Salon
Dad at Kintropy in Action
See also Patricia Bauer's really nice FAQ about Palin, Down syndrome, and policy (thanks to Jeff at Big Dawg Tales for the heads up on that one), and the disability-specific portions of both the RNC and DNC platforms, as laid out at JFActivist (thanks to Stephen Drake at Not Dead Yet for pointing that one out).