It was only a matter of time before we would hear that John McCain’s campaign aides find out what they got in their so-called Alaska maverick, moose hunter, mother of five (or four) children. Most Americans already knew what McCain is just now learning: Sarah Palin is a dumb ambitious woman who doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. Or, McCain already knew she is severely limited in abilities but didn’t care so long as she was a right-winged female. McCain is notoriously labeled a misogynist of the first order so it’s not likely he cared whether Palin was very competent. He must have thought she would be competent enough to conduct a press conference or to give an interview. Inasmuch as she has failed miserably on both of these fronts, McCain has a lot to cuss about. Palin didn’t pass the minimum standard of political intelligence.
According to Ed Schulz, the well-known radio commentator, “Capitol Hill sources are telling me that senior McCain people are more than concerned about Palin. The campaign has held a mock debate and a mock press conference; both are being described as “disastrous.” One senior McCain aide was quoted as saying, “What are we going to do?” The McCain people want to move this first debate to some later, undetermined date, possibly never. People on the inside are saying the Alaska Governor is ‘clueless’.”
In an article in the conservative National Review, Kathleen Parker writes that Palin is so incompetent that she should step down. Her interviews with Sean Hannity on Fox news, Charles Gibson of ABC news, and especially Katie Couric of CBS news, Palin’s performance was horrendous. Parker said she is “Clearly Out Of Her League.” The Boston Globe said Palin’s honeymoon is over. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey suggests that 49 percent of voters believe Sarah Palin lacks the leadership qualities required in a president. This bad news comes after she helped John McCain get a significant bounce in the polls following her being named to the ticket and after the Republican convention. Now, it’s all downhill Sarah.
What was especially disastrous in the three interviews she gave was Palin’s absolute lack of knowledge of what’s going on in the world, and in the lower forty-eight states. Palin reminds us of someone who suffers from:
- No knowledge of politics, economics, international affairs, governmental policies, and even John McCain’s record.
- A lack of understanding of the way government functions. She made nonsensical statements that McCain had to back away from. For example, she repeatedly talked about “not blinking” when making grave policy decisions that might determine the fate of nations in conflict. She said the war is won in Iraq, and she talked about supporting Israel without regard for what the policies included or what the United States interests were. Her understanding is downright pedestrian.
- No analytical ability and she doesn’t have enough of a knowledge base to engage in comparative analysis (for example, she can’t discuss the merits of Policy A versus Policy B).
- No curiosity about the world. When Katie Couric asked Palin why she got a passport only last year, her response was that she didn’t have the kind of parents who would give her a passport and a back pack after college graduation, and send them out to see the world. She added that she had to work. Palin was trying to shift the topic to the “elites” who have the money to send their children abroad. That is ridiculous. It has little to do with money and more with a curious mind and a desire to expand one’s personal horizons. Most young people who go abroad after college pay their own way. Why else did they publish travel guides on London or Paris on $10 a day? Palin’s excuse is a non-excuse. Her limited world view comes from her.
- Palin relies on religious orthodoxy and conservative principles to explain the world. A lot of discussion on her membership in a conservative church in which one of the ministers who preaches there believes in expelling witches from people. He prayed for Palin’s political rise. (YouTube video)
- Her religious teachings are substitues for facts, general and specialized knowledge on which her public policy positions are based. Take Palin’s views opposing abortions and contraceptives is a good example of how they infiltrate her public policy positions. Under her mayoralty of the town of Wasilla, her administration’s policy was to bill rape victims for the forensic kits used on them. Can you believe it? This would be consistent with her anti-abortion stance because the kit includes an abortion pill given to rape victims. Palin is on record for being opposed to abortion for rape and incest victims. How cruel to have a woman who has been raped pay for her own legal examination!
It is easy to see how Palin’s attendance at five or six colleges fragmented her learning. She doesn’t appear to have learned any specific area of competence in college. Nor did she learn how to engage in a deeper type of understanding–analysis–that she can use in her work. That is why her responses in all the interviews came off as rote learning in which someone had fed her information and told her to repeat it if asked a question in that general area. The consequence was she spilled out buzz words and phrases that were not relevant to the questions. She was so bad that she elicited sympathy from a lot of people who felt sorry for her even though she doesn’t feel sorry for herself. They know she’s not qualified, but she doesn’t know any such thing.
Many in the blogosphere world feel she should step down. It would have spared her Party and herself the embarrassment if she had not accepted McCain’s offer of the Vice Presidential nomination. Many women ask why did she take on this enormous task when she has a special needs infant, and a pregnant teenage daughter? It is a question worthy of being asked because it is not only a matter of figuring out how to give time to her special needs children. It has to do with how does she meet the challenges of raising a Down Syndrome baby with all the emotional, physical and psychological challenges he will have. Ditto for her teenage daughter who is pregnant by an eighteen year old boy whose MySpace page was littered with expletives, and he stated clearly that he doesn’t want any (expletive) children. Obviously, her ambition had something to do with her accepting the nomination.
Once Palin allowed her name to be put in the ring, she started trying to swim with the sharks. The national press corps is filled with pyrannas. The political high stakes in which she is operating are the most lethal in the world. Palin is not equipped to use her small town (Wasilla, pop. 6-8,000 people) and small state (pop. 800,000) in the shark pools of Washington, DC. She is being eaten alive, and she hasn’t even had her first debate with Senator Joe Biden who has been in the Senate for over thirty years.
Rumors are floating that Palin will try to find a way out of the debates. That is not possible without showing that she really is incompetent. And, if she admits she is unprepared to lead the United States, she needs to step down right now.
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