If there's one unfortunate phenomenon (beside the thought of Obama winning the presidency) unfolding in the 2008 campaign, it is the emergence of a palpable disgust and underestimation of Sarah Palin from alleged "mainstream" conservatives. From David Frum to Charles Krauthammer and Peggy Noonan to Heather MacDonald, prominent voices on the Right have joined the left-wing, Palin-smearing chorus. Granted, they are much more civil in their discourse than the unhinged minions at Daily Kos, Democratic Underground and Huffington Post, but given their supposed commitment to a strong defense, robust foreign policy, limited government and fiscal responsibility, their dismissal of Palin's accomplishments as a reformer, veto-pen wielder and energy expert is perplexing at best and country-sabotaging at worst.
If the Republican VP candidate's two-year stint as governor of an oil-producing state and real record of accomplishment in taking on and beating entrenched special interests isn't good enough for these people, how do they reconcile the Democrat presidential candidate's paper-thin resume (two of his last three years in the US Senate have consisted of campaigning for the country's highest office), close associations with America-haters like Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn and Jeremiah Wright (just to name a few) and willingness to sit down with rogue regimes that want to annihilate Israel and the rest of western civilization?
Kathleen Parker chalks it all up to Palin's interview performances with Charlie Gibson (who behaved more like a hostile cross-examiner than a balanced journalist), Katie Couric and Sean Hannity, concluding that, based on these appearances Palin is "way out of her league." Gee, I guess one's ability to answer questions of biased (Hannity excepted) talking heads is much more important than say, getting a stalled (30 years!) pipeline through Canada and into the United States to "feed hungry markets," or slashing wasteful spending for the benefit of Alaskan citizens.
I'm not exactly sure what Parker's point is here. Is it that Palin doesn't talk like a Washington policy wonk? Is it that her knowledge of the issues is deficient? What is it?Forget that Palin is no more or less qualified for high office than Barack Obama (in some important ways, more qualified). Neither of them is inherently unqualified to serve. That's because there are no qualifications except that the candidate be a native born American citizen and at least 35 years old. The Founders left the qualifications list extremely vague for a very good reason; they hoped and expected ordinary Americans to have a chance at the top job.
Granted we live in a complex world with huge problems. But presidents are not economic or foreign policy experts. Or military, trade, or education experts. At bottom, the greatest assets any president have are their innate common sense and their ability to communicate with the people. Beyond that, their judgement is informed by their life experience not what they read in some book somewhere. And anyone who has read presidential autobiographies knows how overwhelmed they all have felt when first taking over.
Yes, Virginia. There is always a learning curve for a new president and vice president. And while Palin may seem like a fish out of water at times, it is only because we are so used to seeing our politicians able to smoothly avoid all questions and give the answers to questions they prefer. It is the gift of deception that Palin hasn't quite mastered yet and it shows. (Give her time and she'll be as evasive as any politician in Washington.)Besides this, if Palin were to withdraw, McCain may as well pack it in and go back to Arizona. No sense in staying in a race you are going to lose hugely.
Given the ludicrousness of her position, I'm starting to wonder if Parker has another motive. One of the Moran's commenters noted that Ms. Parker is pro-choice. Until I do some research, I can't know for sure, but if anyone does (Doc Paul, Mark?), it would be an interesting angle to consider. In the meantime, maybe Parker should consider promoting herself as a "moderate" if she's so hell-bent on defeat. After all, if McCain were to heed her misguided advice, it would result in an Obama landslide as a demoralized base would most likely sit home on Election Day. Thankfully, this is one of a handful of times that being a Maverick suits the Senator well.