Is She Qualified? The Sarah Palin Question
|Most of you know I am a political junkie. But one of the things I hate about politics is a tendency of true believers to see or admit flaws in their logic or their candidates.|
The Bush Presidency provides us with a good example. On the GOP side at least.
There is little doubt that mistakes were made in the prosecution of the war in Iraq. Yet when asked about this, President Bush stated that he could think of none and in fact that he would do it all over again.
That response essentially gave the true believers the marching orders they needed. Make no concessions and admit no mistakes, no matter what. And the GOP leaning blogosphere has mostly complied.
On the Democratic side, the fact that their leadership, Barack Obama included, continues to deny the tactical success of the surge is just ridiculous. It is as if they are asking to believe them instead of our own eyes.
The problem with this type of thinking is that once you have sipped the Kool Aid, you tend to lose objectivity and the ability to see things clearly.
Perhaps the clearest most recent example of this is in regards to the GOP Vice Presidential Candidate, Sarah Palin.
Here is what we know about her political qualifications.
1. She served ten years on the City Council and as mayor of Wasilla, AK, a city of less than 10,000 people.
2. She is currently the Governor of Alaska, with all the responsibilities that come with that, including the management of the state budget and the state National Guard and State Defense Force. This includes her work on National Defense as Alaska is our closest outpost to Russia.
Now for the Straight Talk Express people, here is a little straight talk for you. Anything beyond that is life experience. It is useful in politics, but it is not a political qualification.
Full disclosure here. I lean to the democrats. I have attended Obama rallies and would be thrilled to have him as my President. But I have also supported John McCain and if I was being 100% honest, I believe he too would be a fine President.
Many of my blog friends are from the GOP side of the ledger, and as such, are big McCain supporters, and as a result Palin backers. Which is fine.
They have shared with me their arguments supporting her “experience,” which they unwittingly cite as a qualification to be President of the United States. Let me share a few.
She has a diverse background of experience as a professional journalist, city council woman, Mayor, Governor and Mother of 5.
She has gotten a lot done after being a Governor for 2 years. She has vetoed 300 spending proposals and has an 80% approval rating in Alaska.
She knows what she thinks and is very articulate, attractive, passionate, idealistic and courageous. She has shown enormous courage with her oldest son going off to serve in the military and her youngest son having downs syndrome.
She is a very competent person with a compelling story.
She should never be underestimated. She defeated the incumbent when she ran for Mayor and she defeated the incumbent Republican Governor in the primary before going on to defeat the Democrat in the general election.
All true again.
The problem here is that these are not objective [Dictionary time here… not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion.] qualifications. Barack Obama has been called unqualified by both Republican and Democratic candidates and his resume is more or less the same as Palin’s. He has been savaged by the GOP for his lack of experience even though I would take his years as a Professor of Constitutional Law out of the experience column and put it into the qualification category.
If a Democrat was running with her list of qualifications, is anyone even going to argue that the GOP would not say that person was unqualified? If you seriously doubt that, you are not being honest with yourself. And please don’t give me the “She’s running for VP” argument. We all know that the VP must also be qualified to be President on their first day in office.
All day Sunday on the news shows, I watched as Republicans refused to answer this question, instead choosing to deflect to Obama’s lack of experience.
The fact that Obama has a thin, or as some would say, non-existent resume, does not mean that Sarah Palin does not have a thin resume also.
She has experiences. As does Barack. But experiences are not qualifications for president. Potentially useful for sure, but not qualifications.
To insist otherwise is political sophistry.
technorati tags: Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, John McCain