Friday, August 29, 2008

Lady Quayle

McCain's VP choice supports creationism and doesn't think global warming is caused by human activity; naturally she's anti-abortion and anti-gay, but not as radically anti-gay as most of the Wide Stance party. Bravo?

Serious question: is there any remotely credible line of argument that says this person, Sarah Palin, is the most capable, most qualified, most prepared person to be the USA's next vice president? No one else matched or exceeded her promise? Her wealth of talent and experience were being tragically squandered in Juneau?

On the other hand, it's easy to see the crass political calculations behind this: she's a woman who can potentially reach those disaffected Clinton voters (assuming they're very confused); she's a doctrinaire Christianist who can shore up McCain's reputation with the far-right mouth-breathing Christianist hordes; she can endow the Republican ticket with the glow of "history in the making;" did I mention she's female and very, very Christian?

This choice is McCain putting "country first"? This choice embodies a triumph of McCain's sense of duty over his sense of personal ambition?


Maybe she'll surprise us all but I am not holding my breath.

Meanwhile, can the Biden-Palin debate possibly offer a moment as great as this one from 1988?

Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

Well, first of all, I don't think that she will claim to be a Jack Kennedy.

Second, I am sure that there were not calcuations done in Obama's choice for running mate, truly he is the second most qualified man for the job. Are McCain's choices crass while Obama's nobel? Perhaps he will get a nobel prize when all is said and done!

Third, she has opinions that are different from a liberal such as yourself. go figure. (Shhhh... don't tell anyone she is a Republican.)

Fourth, You are going to condemn her for living in Alaska as opposed to Oregon perhaps?

Fifth: She's a Christian. You attack her for being in the minority on some issues, but here she is in the majority of the stated countries beliefs. So what should she do, check with you on all decisions?

Let me know if she asks.

Dale said...

Anon., you don't seem to have understood my post very well. I wasn't complaining that McSame picked a conservative. I expected him to pick a conservative, and a conservative Christian at that. I expected to pick someone who wouldn't sway me one iota in his direction. I wasn't looking for someone I'd agree with; I was expecting someone who *made sense* in McCain's own terms. Seen in this way, Palin makes no sense.

What baffles me about the pick is how politically calculated it is -- how it is politically calculated and seems to have nothing else going for it.

McCain could have picked any number of far-right mouth-breather Christianists, but he picked this one. Of the many he could have picked, he picked one with no apparent background in federal policy, no background in making the kinds of high-stakes decisions involved in managing the federal government, zero experience in foreign affairs, zero experience that suggests she's ready to handle a multi-front war that McCain wants to continue indefinitely. Has she ever even appointed a judge?

Why not Senator Brownback? Why not Senator Larry Craig -- his calendar is wide open? Why not Newt Gingrich? Why not Trent Lott? Why not Phil Gramm? Why not Dick Lugar? Indeed why not Dan Quayle? Indeed why not Dick Cheney? Why not any number of GOP house members? Don Rumsfeld? Condi Rice? A governor from a large state might have made a little more sense -- from Texas, from Florida, whatever.

Why not any of the people who ran against McCain for the GOP nomination? All of them got some votes. All of them have already made a case for their readiness to be president. Some are almost slightly believeable in the role, although I personally wouldn't vote for any of them.

The point is, there are dozens -- no, hundreds -- of people who could have made the far-right base happy without seeming so grossly unready. But he found one who pleases the far-right base but seems grossly unready.

This is being too maverick-y by half.

As for Biden, he's been heavily involved in foreign and domestic federal policy for the last three decades. He's not the most charismatic fellow, nor always the most likeable fellow, but he is extremely knowledgeable and experienced. Obama picked him because he's ready to step into the role. And yes, he did also factor political considerations into the mix, but he went with someone who would achieve both: competent for the job AND politically fitting.

McCain used this very big decision to play politics. I see nothing to this strange choice besides the political calculation. That's putting ambition over country.