Alright – I succeeded in putting off politics for one night. Here goes.
It’s remarkable to watch the Republican talking points coalesce around the goal of defending Sarah Palin’s experience levels.
The two most risible (of many, many choices of ridiculous statements) that I’ve heard so far:
1) Her experience as an elected official includes time spent in the Parent Teacher Association! The PT-fucking-A!?! Seriously?
Yes, seriously. First, Senator McCain, speaking to Brian Williams on Sunday’s NBC Nightly News:
She’s had executive experience as governor, as mayor, as a city council member and PTA. So she was in elected office when Senator Obama was still a, quote, “community organizer.” He’s never had one day of executive experience. I think it’s almost ludicrous to compare her experience in elected office and as a leader of one of the most important states in America, certainly the largest, and compare her experience with his. It’s no contest.
Let’s agree to leave out the fact that the only metrics by which Alaska could possibly qualify as ‘one of the most important states in America’ are oil production, salmon export, and bear maulings. City council member is legislative experience, not executive, and the PTA may have policies and rules but it does not make any laws. But maybe, you said, that was just a silly slip. No one could possibly consider being in the PTA an actual qualification to be, as they say, “one heartbeat away” from the Presidency.
She’s heavily experienced. She started out, like everyone else, in the PTA. Small government at home. Then mayor. Now, the governor.
Oh the stupid, it burns!
2) Also, it turns out that being a housewife is a major qualification for high office, the sort of thing which is important enough to merit two mentions just in the stuff that I heard yesterday. Firstly, there was Cindy’s asinine “small government at home” quote above. Then, in an otherwise quite reasonable appearance on Meet the Press, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty:
Well, one of the objectives here is to be able to relate to and understand and meet and address the needs of average Americans, blue-collar Americans, people who are struggling economically, people who have had a tough time in life…It helps to actually have lived that life or walked that walk. And so in addition to her role as governor, being somebody who is dealing with the economy successfully, by the way, in Alaska, she’s also somebody who has, has a background, that’s, you know, lived the life that, that we talk about. We talk about people sitting around the kitchen table and balancing a budget with a family and having to worry about meeting–making ends meet economically. She and her family have actually done that. I would say that’s pretty good preparation for understanding and relating to the economic needs of average Americans.
Look, I’m not going to argue that it’s unimportant to understand ‘what normal folks are going through.’ This can be taken too far, as the President has to worry about questions having to do with 300 million ‘normal folks’, and often decisions that hurt one small group help the country as a whole. I absolutely refuse to respect the statement that having been a homemaker gives you any special qualifications for high office. At the least, it’s the sort of experience that should not be worth noting, certainly not in the same breath as her experience as governor of a huge, but still marginally-important-at-best state.
If only we had an actual liberal media, or even the type of media to ask questions. Just once, I’d like to hear li’l Georgie say ‘really? The PTA? So 25 million moms all over the country are just as qualified to be Vice President? Really?’ Just once…