Sunday, July 12, 2009

What Bothers Me about Sarah Palin...

Has very little to do with the ex-governor of Alaska.
But it has a lot to do with the current senior Senator from Arizona as well as the mounted posse with whom he rides around.

Not long ago, in the company of two bloggers whose respect I dearly covet, I swore up and down with my hand on my copy of Barack Obama's Audacity of Hope, that I would never, ever post on Sarah Palin.

So, this column is really about the superannuated warmonger who headed last year's Republican ticket. I'm really only going to post a couple of excerpts from writers who really hit their nails into the pustule of what's been bothering me, going forward, through 2009 and beyond. They both make the same point, but their spot-on eloquence demands my sharing.

First, Joe Conason, in Salon, answers the question that's been roiling around in my head for these last several months:

Who cares about Palin now that it's half a year after she lost her bid to become the 1st woman Vice-President?

..... Plainly there is no reason why anyone should care, except for one small nagging concern. It is worth remembering that these are the same people who chose Palin, a manifestly unqualified and incompetent politician unable to string together a series of coherent sentences, as the potential presidential successor to a 72-year-old cancer survivor. So it would be refreshing and salubrious to see the perpetrators of that contemptuous and cynical tactic held accountable for endangering the country.

..... McCain, Schmidt, Davis and Salter chose to listen to Kristol, almost always a political mistake with consequences ranging from the merely absurd to the utterly dire. (The latter category includes the invasion of Iraq, with an astronomical cost in lives and treasure that should be charged to him and his magazine, as he used to boast.)

Enormous as Kristol's errors in judgment surely were, at least he can plausibly claim to be loyal. If anything he is too steadfast, still insisting that Palin deserves to be considered a serious candidate for the presidency and that her qualifications for that position are comparable to those of Barack Obama.

..... Rarely is anyone in Washington, from politicians to operatives to journalists, held accountable for the damage they inflict on the body politic. Those who banged the drum for disastrous war flit from one editorial page to the next; those who insisted on ruinous deregulation return as economic advisors to the president. The men who told us that Sarah Palin should be next in line of succession to the presidency may quarrel among themselves now, but they will all be back with yet more stupid advice -- and we can only blame ourselves if we listen.

Secondly, the inimical Andrew Sullivan on his Daily Dish:

..... McCain knew full well that Palin was unqualified to be commander-in-chief at this period of time; and he knew there was no way she could ever learn enough to do the job. So his decision to pick her was pure cynicism and irresponsibility. The MSM knew full well that there were very serious questions about this unknown person’s background, lies, mental stability, and secrecy - but they were so terrified of being called biased they refused to do the proper vetting.

The Republican establishment has long condescended to the pro-life, anti-gay, de facto soclialist, de iure capitalist heartland voters - and they cynically believed they had found a formula to get them to vote for McCain on ground of pure class resentment and sex appeal to older white males ..... I agree with Richard Cohen this morning:
Naming Palin to the GOP ticket — a top-down choice by McCain — was the most reckless decision any national politician has made in the longest time, and while it certainly says something about McCain, it says even more about his party. It has lost its mind.
The reason we need to get to the truth of what happened is that these people nearly took this country off a cliff. They need to be held accountable. They need to be removed from their positions of power. We cannot move on until they are. And John McCain should retire from public life. After that decision, nothing he says can be taken seriously on the national or international stage.

That's the point I have been trying to isolate and frame: it's not about Palin.