Monday, September 1, 2008

Kinsley On Sarah Palin

[Another illustration courtesy Bobby G. Full size image.]

Over at the Washington Post, Michael Kinsley has a column about John McCain and his running mate:

The official response to the question of experience emerged within hours and is only slightly more plausible: She may not have foreign policy experience, but -- unlike Obama, Joe Biden or even McCain -- she has executive experience. Why, before her stint as governor of Alaska, population 670,000, she was mayor of a town of 9,000. Remember when the Republicans mocked Bill Clinton for being governor of a "small state"? That would be Arkansas, population 2.8 million. As it happens, 670,000 is the population of metropolitan Little Rock.
[T]he important point about Palin's lack of experience isn't about Palin. It's about McCain. And the question is not how his choice of Palin might complicate his ability to use the "experience" issue or whether he will have to drop experience as an issue. It's not about the proper role of experience as an issue. It's not about experience at all. It's about honesty. The question should be whether McCain -- and all the other Republicans who have been going on for months about Obama's dangerous lack of foreign policy experience -- ever meant a word of it. And the answer is apparently not.

Experience? Never Mind

One of a political campaign's legitimate rhetorical approaches is to point out weaknesses in the opponent's views or resume. That's part of campaigning. What they have to do is avoid getting caught like this in such an obvious predicament created by their own talking points. The Republicans have done just that. In a country that had a truly free press, McCain would be skewered for this, but in America, he quite probably will get away with it.

Palin probably isn't any less qualified, on paper, to be President than Barack Obama. The difference as I see it, is that Palin's demonstrated lack of interest in learning about the rest of the world is what makes her disqualified. Her own family is a living testament to how wrong her views on family planning are. In that regard, she's a stark contrast to both Obama and Joe Biden.

I find it rather frightening that at a time when knowledge and the opportunities to obtain that knowledge are so plentiful that we produce and elect leaders like Sarah Palin. She makes the current President look like a Rhodes Scholar. We're in for troubling times when the people who run our country can't be bothered to understand how it, or the rest of the world, work.

And John McCain has done his country a serious disservice to have named someone so disqualified as the next in line for the Presidency.

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