Wow, I’m really not sure what got me this kind of love, but my post about Sarah Palin from a few days back managed to get picked for WordPress’s “Blog of the Day” feature and, somehow, has 744 views (and counting!)
Indeed, we managed to somehow get ourselves noticed by the wingnuttisphere, with some really entertaining comments. Please do go check them out!
But, to be fair, there are also lots of facts in the comments. For one thing, a correction to my original post: one “Pro” in favor of Palin is that she appears (again, I have not had the time to research this incredibly deeply, so I’m going from some meta-analyses of her tenure as Alaska governor) to have a very well-deserved reputation as a reformer and pursuer of corruption. She went strongly after former Republican governor Dan Murkowski, who nepotistically installed his daughter as U.S. Senator, and has been fairly successful in rooting out the rankest corruption that the Alaska Republicans were becoming famous for.
So, it sounds like Palin is a pretty decent politician. Certainly , she lives far outside the norm of American popular views on issues like abortion, energy issues (particularly drilling in ANWR) and plenty of others. But my argument was never that she was not a good politician. It’s that’s she’s desperately, wildly unqualified to be President. And, although the actual appropriate requirements for someone to be vice-president is one of those things that always seems up for debate, I think that everyone agrees that ‘being ready to assume the role of President’ is one requirement that ought to be on the list.
In fact, let’s quote Senator McCain himself, who said that the most important trait in a running mate would be the person who was “most prepared to take my place” in the Presidency. So, while Palin may well have the ability to be a good President, she simply has no set of positions on the most important issues facing the country for us to know one way or the other. I’m confident she’ll have well-written things to say about it, now that she’s part of a national campaign, with all the associated staffers and writers, but we have no history to know one way or the other what she thinks, or what she would do if she were granted the power to make important decisions.
Let’s quote commenter Steven Jensen:
Its simple really:
1. She’s the only one of the three that has signed into law a bill
2. She’s the only one of the three that has vetoed a bill
3. She is one of the only two that have not only gone against the opposing party, but her own party.
4. She’s the only one of the three that has approved budget (not including the family one). I count at least 7 w/ two being for the state.
5. She’s the only one that has actually put into laws taxes directed at special interests
6. She is the only Governor of Alaska to actually get the Pipeline they have been arguing about for the last 30 years passed and approved that will allow open bidding for the LNG from all companies not just the three that want to build there own.
7. She’s the only one who had the Moxie to tell her legislature that they don’t get to spend the unexpected taxes and to send them back to the real owners the people of her state.
OK she doesn’t have military experience, who cares if McCain dies I’m sure she’ll have a really, really good Secretary of Defense to discuss options with (Petreus?)
She’ll have a really, really good Secretary of Treasury (Romney?) And I would expect that Huckabee, Rove, Juliani and a whole slew of others will be there to help her learn and make the right decisions.
Okay, okay, I get it – she was a mayor and is now a governor, so she’s done all the things that mayors and governors do, like pass budgets and sign and veto bills. But having vetoed a bill means exactly nothing if you’re vetoing the wrong bills, right? So let’s ignore numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 (well, yes, Obama, never having been Governor of Alaska, did not pass any pipeline bills there). #’s 3 and 7 I will admit are actual good things she has done, although, with regards to 7, I would say that if there are things that the people of Alaska need their government to do for them, then spending the tax money appropriately would be a completely reasonable thing to do.
And, finally, with regards to the last paragraph – Really??? The best thing we can say about her as a potential Commander-in-Chief, budgeter-in-chief, etc. is that she’ll have good advisors? I thought that it was satire when Philosoraptor said that McCain was actually going to run a ham sandwich in Palin’s place, but apparently that would be totally reasonable, since the ham sandwich would have good advisors to help it “learn and make the right decisions.”