Sarah Palin is a cocky whacko. Period.
by Beltway Dem, Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 05:36:49 AM EDT
Sarah Palin has caught the fancy of many people, and I confess there is something very engaging about her. But there is something even more frightening about her that outstrips the measure in which she is engaging.
I have been reading opinion on the Internet about her interview on ABC News, and I would like to offer some reflections. No one seems to contest that Sarah Palin didn't know what the Bush Doctrine is. Some have countered, "Well, why should she? I don't know what the Bush Doctrine is, so there is no reason to expect her to know what the Bush doctrine is." Huh? To these people I would like to ask, are you running to be vice president of the United States, and if you are elected, will you have an inordinate chance to become the president of the United States, given that you serve an elderly man with a history of cancer? I have no doubt that these people and Sarah have knowledge that qualifies them to do certain things and characteristics that serve them well in their respective spheres, but Barack Obama knows what the Bush doctrine is; John McCain knows what the Bush doctrine is; and Joe Biden knows what the Bush doctrine is. Moreover, so does Hillary Clinton, Charlie Gibson, and frankly, so does Beltway Dem. Hillary Clinton, Charlie Gibson, and Beltway Dem are not running to be president or vice president; Sarah Palin is.
Do we have no expectations that a vice president of the United States must understand fundamentals in our national life and policy?
I mean, really.
I can see another line of defense. Some people want to confuse the storyline and suggest the problem of us Sarah-Doubters is that Sarah Palin endorses the Bush Doctrine. Oh, give me a break. The story here is not that Sarah Palin endorses the Bush Doctrine. The story here is that she does not understand the Bush Doctrine. Now that's fine for you, me, Cindy Lou Who, and all the Whos down in Whoville, but it isn't fine for a prospective vice president of the United States, particularly one who serves an aged man with a history of cancer.
Now given Sarah Plain's demonstrated lack of a grasp on a key element of our foreign policy, I wonder how it is that she imagines she is competent to assess whether or not it is in our national interest to place Georgia in NATO with all the risks that such a move would entail? I am not venturing an opinion about whether or not Georgia should be NATO; I am simply asking what in her background makes her so cocksure we should allow Georgia in NATO?
I will turn 50 in November. When I was a boy, the United States and Russia had a lot of nuclear weapons pointed toward one another. Every school boy knew that if one of those missiles was fired, we had reached game over, the end of human history, because both sides had enough firepower to destroy the world over and over and over. For decades, we were content to live in a stalemate, because war with Russia was simply unthinkable.
Ms. Sarah Palin not only thought it, she spoke the unspeakable. Whether or not her analysis of the duties of NATO members to one another is correct (and it certainly is correct), there is a contemptible foolishness in a politician who utters the words, "war with Russia." The question is to be avoided, because the answer itself is anathema. So let me ask some questions:
Really, is the national media going to sit back and watch this farce without comment?
Is it going to let this dangerous "cocky whacko," as Lincoln Chafee aptly has styled her, do a Dan Quayle-sidestep into the vice presidency?
Haven't we had enough of the Republicans' little reindeer games?
Isn't the world going to hell in a hand basket?
Can we really afford this cynical manipulation of the American people this year?
Have we all become so inured to the Republican narrative that we will not stand up for something like reason even in a moment of national crisis such as the one which we face in this moment?
Update: James Fallows makes my point much better than I make it:
What Sarah Palin revealed is that she has not been interested enough in world affairs to become minimally conversant with the issues. Many people in our great land might have difficulty defining the "Bush Doctrine" exactly. But not to recognize the name, as obviously was the case for Palin, indicates not a failure of last-minute cramming but a lack of attention to any foreign-policy discussion whatsoever in the last seven years.