Monday, September 08, 2008

Joan Walsh is right. (And now I'll take her point to a greater extreme, as is my wont.)

John McCain wasn't strong enough to choose his own running mate over Karl Rove's objections. How can he possibly take on the world's thugs and bad guys (who he's evidently too scared to sit across a table from, in any event).

John McCain couldn't press forward with comprehensive immigration reform, which everyone from crazy liberals to savvy businessmen knows is needed. But not McCain and elements of the Republican electorate. He ended up essentially promising he would have voted against his own bill. Is that the leader America needs?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I believe it was Isaac Asimov who wrote a science fiction story in which the grand computer finds the most average American to determine all national policies by answering a one-man survey. True democracy, in essence, and a great dystopian tale.

This year, that American is Sarah Palin. Except for many of her social views, which are just slightly to the right of extreme, she is the everywoman, with all the pros and cons that implies.

That's not fair of me; it reflects my bias towards intellect and intellectual curiosity, as opposed to the skills of tenacity and capacity to shake things up, which she seemingly has in abundance.

Governor Palin is not terribly bright (five colleges in six years to get a degree. no other particular hints of hidden intellect). She's not terribly honest (Her push for the bridge to nowhere until it became politically expedient to be the Governor who said "no thanks". Her political flogging of the state jet which was mostly used to transport state prisoners not for boondoggles, and didn't sell on ebay.) She knows nothing of foreign policy (Her publicly stated disinterest in the Iraq situation, her lack of even a single trip abroad until 2007).

Based on objective analysis of who might actually be qualified to step in and serve as president of the United States-understudies have to do that from time to time-she doesn't make anyone's shortlist. I'd be shocked if she makes anyone's top hundred.

In terms of helping McCain get elected, she apparently is one of the top two or three (which boggles the mind, frankly). There are blue-collar democratic or independent voters who see themselves in her - I get that, other than the policies she stands for. That they think she should therefore be in charge shows a ferocious lack of appreciation for how difficult the president's job is. You want someone who's done some preparation.

McCain has lost any claim to be capable of handling the presidency based on the fact that he selected her. That smokescreens about being unfair to women or supposed liberal media bias are enabling her to skate through untouched would have made the old true-to-himself, patriotic-to-the-core McCain cry himself to sleep at night. The new, Karl Rove-led McCain campaign seems to be in the process of laughing all the way to the bank.

Asimov's story was a great story, but I much preferred it when it felt like an implausible fiction.

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