Saturday, October 4, 2008

Palin’s Alternate Universe

Here's an article that examines the real issues underlying the VP debate. We have had 8 years of "charm" instead of leadership (though I still don't get what makes Bush charming). A few quotations:

For Ms. Palin, such things as context, syntax and the proximity of answers to questions have no meaning.

As an English teacher, this is one of the aspects of her candidacy (and Bush's presidency) that bothers me most. The emphasis on charm somehow manages to negate totally any focus on substance, and the most inane answers or non-answers or deliberate dodges are forgiven because she is "folksy," which in another context, with another politician, would just come across as plain ignorant.

But the real issue here is this one.

John McCain has spent most of his adult life speaking of his love for his country. Maybe he sees something in Sarah Palin that most Americans do not. Maybe he is aware of qualities that lead him to believe she’d be as steady as Franklin Roosevelt in guiding the U.S. through a prolonged economic downturn. Maybe she’d be as wise and prudent in a national emergency as John Kennedy was during the Cuban missile crisis.

The hardest part of this for me personally is that I used to admire John McCain. I bought his storyline of being independently driven by morals and common sense. But that McCain has utterly disappeared. This total annihilation of the John McCain I once admired was complete long before he found Dick-Cheney-in-Annie-Oakley's-clothing, but choosing her is the most mind boggling and irresponsible insult to Americans I have seen in a long time.

Here's another article. In particular, this quotation strikes me as important:

The people boosting Palin’s triumph were not celebrating because she demonstrated that she is qualified to be president if something ever happened to John McCain. They were cheering her success in covering up her lack of knowledge about the things she would have to deal with if she wound up running the country.

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