Saturday, September 13, 2008

The First (and hopefully last) Comment on Sarah Palin

I hadn't wanted to risk fueling the absurd palinmania by adding another palin google link to the world wide web, but it does warrant some mention considering that there's a reasonable chance that she'll be sitting in the White House some day (*shudder*). So, for my first and hopefully last comment on the 5 college, book banning, creationist, zealot, I'm going to regurgitate today's editorial from the paper of record, which says it all:


As we watched Sarah Palin on TV the last couple of days, we kept wondering what on earth John McCain was thinking.

If he seriously thought this first-term governor — with less than two years in office — was qualified to be president, if necessary, at such a dangerous time, it raises profound questions about his judgment. If the choice was, as we suspect, a tactical move, then it was shockingly irresponsible.

It was bad enough that Ms. Palin’s performance in the first televised interviews she has done since she joined the Republican ticket was so visibly scripted and lacking in awareness.

What made it so much worse is the strategy for which the Republicans have made Ms. Palin the frontwoman: win the White House not on ideas, but by denigrating experience, judgment and qualifications.

The idea that Americans want leaders who have none of those things — who are so blindly certain of what Ms. Palin calls “the mission” that they won’t even pause for reflection — shows a contempt for voters and raises frightening questions about how Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin plan to run this country.

One of the many bizarre moments in the questioning by ABC News’s Charles Gibson was when Ms. Palin, the governor of Alaska, excused her lack of international experience by sneering that Americans don’t want “somebody’s big fat résumé maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment where, yes, they’ve had opportunities to meet heads of state.”

We know we were all supposed to think of Joe Biden. But it sure sounded like a good description of Mr. McCain. Those decades of experience earned the Arizona senator the admiration of people in both parties. They are why he was our preferred candidate in the Republican primaries.

The interviews made clear why Americans should worry about Ms. Palin’s thin résumé and lack of experience. Consider her befuddlement when Mr. Gibson referred to President Bush’s “doctrine” and her remark about having insight into Russia because she can see it from her state.

But that is not what troubled us most about her remarks — and, remember, if they were scripted, that just means that they reflect Mr. McCain’s views all the more closely. Rather, it was the sense that thoughtfulness, knowledge and experience are handicaps for a president in a world populated by Al Qaeda terrorists, a rising China, epidemics of AIDS, poverty and fratricidal war in the developing world and deep economic distress at home.

Ms. Palin talked repeatedly about never blinking. When Mr. McCain asked her to run for vice president? “You have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission,” she said, that “you can’t blink.”

Fighting terrorism? “We must do whatever it takes, and we must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions of where we go and even who we target.”

Her answers about why she had told her church that President Bush’s failed policy in Iraq was “God’s plan” did nothing to dispel our concerns about her confusion between faith and policy. Her claim that she was quoting a completely unrelated comment by Lincoln was absurd.

This nation has suffered through eight years of an ill-prepared and unblinkingly obstinate president. One who didn’t pause to think before he started a disastrous war of choice in Iraq. One who blithely looked the other way as the Taliban and Al Qaeda regrouped in Afghanistan. One who obstinately cut taxes and undercut all efforts at regulation, unleashing today’s profound economic crisis.

In a dangerous world, Americans need a president who knows that real strength requires serious thought and preparation.

12 comments:

fuge said...

Please tell me you saw the Palin/Clinton skit on SNL the other night, if not watch it here: http://justjared.buzznet.com/2008/09/14/tina-fey-sarah-palin-video-clip/

Apparently my sister has become a staunch conservative without me even knowing...Me explaining to her why Sarah Palin is undeserving of the nomination was not a fun conversation.

shayne said...

i particularly liked the way she kept using his first name every few words throughout the interview, as if by calling him "charlie" he might not notice the lack of substance in what she was saying.

clearly sarah palin is an excellent party guest.

Mason said...

Dan,

I would'nt throw her out of bed and neither would you although she looks like she has a bad case of "Cankles"

Makes a great MILF
Bad VP!!


Mason

Dan said...

I did see the SNL skit. She looks just like her and she nailed the impersonation.

Her repeated use of "Charlie" was ridiculous. She came off as a popular, mean, high school girl.

Can't say I've noticed the cankles, Mason. But I agree: Bad VP.

fuge said...

Let me say for the record, that I'd definitely bang, Sarah Palin, and probably Hillary Clinton too...cankles be damned.

She's not a good vp, but you can see russia from Alaska.

Mason said...

Sorry Dan,

I know that I am new to your blog and maybe I was bit presumptous with my potty mouth remarks with regard to Sarah Palin.... for all I know you might be gay...sorry again.

Mcain might be the facist republican pig that we all know but he sure knows his way around those ladies.

Mason

Dan said...

No problem, Mason. As I've said in other comment sections on this blog, I try not to censor people's comments unless they're offensive or pointlessly flaming people. I didn't really find what you said offensive. I guess I'm just being careful not to say anything that's sexist because I don't think sexism should have any place in politics (and, more tactically, I don't want to give republicans any rallying cries). The question I'm having is where that line is. If someone said that a male politician was sexy, we probably wouldn't consider that sexist. I erred on the side of not commenting on her looks. All that said, I'm straight and I actually think Sarah Palin is pretty hot. Her despicable attitude takes away from the sexiness though. Tina Fey is sexier.

Mason said...

Dan,

We could start a thread about sexism in politics but it would be pointless, I think what I was trying to say with my remarks were to try to make light of in my opinion they only redeeming quality to Mcain's pick.

She's hot and thats it and that sucks for our country if he wins.

I cast my vote for Tina Fey.

Mason

lc said...

This thread is an excellent example of what is so frustrating about the sexism discourse and part of the problem is that there hasn't been a great articulation of where the line is - as vtk puts it. The SNL skit gets at it but basically the problem is that men can be called sexy, but it is not their main qualification for being worthy of public service or scrutiny. When a woman is in the public eye, her sexiness, or lack thereof, immediately becomes the main thing that people privilege and some people don't understand that this is a problem. "What, I said i WOULD sleep with her. That's not sexist." An analogy would be if LeBron James were consistently judged by his ability to throw a fastball. Sure, throwing a fastball is a great and worthy achievement and makes heroes out of a few people. But LeBron also has a great talent and imagine how frustrating it would be if every time his name came up there was an almost obligatory conversation about his baseball abilities. I am not by any means calling anyone out on this (I think I have, on this blog, made disparaging remarks about people's ability to "get some"). I think it's feminists' problem too that they get angry about people's lack of understanding rather than engaging in a constructive conversation.

Dearest Cupcake said...

Neither hot nor sexy. Worse than ignorant. Truly frightening.

Dan said...

Well put, lc. The discussion of whether or not she is hot seems sketchy because of the history of sexism in this country (and the world), the history of commentary on a woman's looks as a tactic to distract from qualifications or suggest that the looks are the primary characteristic to be considered (not just in politics, obviously), and the simple fact that 0 of the 86 (or so?) presidents and vp's in this country's history have been women, despite their % in the population. Furthermore, only 1 out of the hundreds of major ticket candidates has been a woman, prior to this (clearly tactical) selection. It's this history of inequality and sexism that makes commenting on a female nominee's hotness, sexiness, etc, different from similar commentary on that of a male candidate. I guess a good analogy would be if people were repeatedly talking about something to do with Obama's blackness that wasn't patently offensive, but did distract or supercede discussion about his qualifications. Of course, the major difference is that Palin has no qualifications. Hot or not, she's just plain unqualified.

LeBron's overrated.

Dan said...

Happy Birthday, DC.