Saturday, September 13, 2008

Palin's Pathetic Performance

Last January the New York Times endorsed Sen. John McCain as the best GOP presidential nominee of the field. In doing so they said:

....there is a choice to be made, and it is an easy one. Senator John McCain of Arizona is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe. With a record of working across the aisle to develop sound bipartisan legislation, he would offer a choice to a broader range of Americans than the rest of the Republican field.

We have shuddered at Mr. McCain’s occasional, tactical pander to the right because he has demonstrated that he has the character to stand on principle.....

That was then.... before McCain's cave-in to that "small, angry fringe," tactically pandering to the right with the pick of Sarah Palin.... and, this is now.

In today's NYT editorial, "Gov. Palin's Worldview," they lament.... As we watched Sarah Palin on TV the last couple of days, we kept wondering what on earth John McCain was thinking....

It was bad enough that Ms. Palin's performance in the first televised interviews she has done since she joined the Republican ticket was so visibly scripted and lacking in awareness.

What made it so much worse is the strategy for which the Republicans have made Ms. Palin the frontwoman: win the White House not on ideas, but by denigrating experience, judgment and qualifications.

The idea that Americans want leaders who have none of those things - who are blindly certain of what Ms. Palin calls "the mission" that they won't even pause for reflection - shows a contempt for voters and raises frightening questions about how Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin plan to run this country.

One of the many bizarre moments in the questioning by ABC News's Charles Gibson was when Ms. Palin, the governor of Alaska, excused her lack of international experience by sneering that Americans don't want "somebody's big fat resume' maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment where, yes, they've had opportunities to meet heads of state."

Hello, Palin!! Remember your running mate, Sen. McCain who has served decades in the Washington establishment and has a big, fat resume.

As NYT op-ed columnist Bob Herbert points out today in "She's Not Ready": With Ms. Palin, it's not about agreeing or disagreeing, she doesn't seem to understand some of the important issues.

"Do you believe in the Bush doctrine?" Mr. Gibson asked during the interview. Ms. Palin looked like an unprepared student who wanted nothing so much as to escape this encounter with the school principal.

Clueless, she asked, "In what respect, Charlie?"

"Well, what do you interpret it to be?" asked Mr. Gibson.

"His worldview?" asked Ms. Palin.

Watching this unready performance, one wanted to prompt her that the Bush doctrine calls for preemption in striking countries we only suspect of things.... like Iraq's nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. We're paying a heavy price for that doctrine and will continue to pay for decades to come.

Perhaps most disturbing of all.... with it's reminders of the misleading lies of The Decider.... were Palin's remarks at the deployment ceremony of her son whose unit is being shipped to Iraq. She told that audience of soldiers that they would be fighting "the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans."

The troubling question.... is she deliberately falsifying history, or is she still clueless that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the September 11 attacks? Even The Decider had to finally admit this....

Herbert asks: How is it this woman could have been selected to be the vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket? How is it that so much of the mainstream media has dropped all pretense of seriousness to hop aboard the bandwagon and go along for the giddy ride?

How, indeed.

And last, how can McCain, who promotes himself as the ultimate patriot, put the best interests of the nation aside to make this incredibly reckless choice? A choice he said was his most important one as a candidate, a choice that first and foremost must be someone ready and qualified to be president.

There no longer is any question that McCain would continue the irresponsible "George Bush style of governing"...


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