Friday, September 26, 2008

In Defense of Sarah Palin.

No doubt millions of words have been written and spoken about Sarah Palin since her debut on the international stage, most of them unfair, and I say that as a person who supports the Obama-Biden ticket.

If Sarah Palin is not qualified to hold the position she is seeking that is not her fault, it is the fault of the person—John McCain—who recruited her.

But she is unsuited, not because of the extent of her experience but because of its nature. Sarah Palin is like Jesse Ventura, in the sense that her entire political career has been built on a “throw the bums out” appeal, and she hasn’t held any of her political jobs long enough to show that she is able to do anything except attack. She hasn’t shown that she can do anything constructive, such as run an administration smoothly and make progress solving problems.

The tendency she has shown in office, to govern mostly by finding people to blame and, if possible, fire for actions or conditions she doesn’t like is consistent with that “throw the bums out” approach, but at some point all the bums are gone and you have to show that you can do something positive. Jesse Ventura never managed to do that in office and Sarah Palin hasn’t either.

In Jesse’s case, he just wasn’t interested in governing. It wasn’t fun for him. He likes attention and he likes being a gadfly or, to use the favorite term this year, maverick. John McCain, in his long career, has shown that he can be constructive, but he also still has that shoot-from-the-hip quality that is good for a “throw the bums out” outsider seeking office, and maybe even for a member of a large deliberative body that needs a good shaking-up from time to time. But do we really want that in a president? My opinion is no.

What we will get with a President McCain has been on full display these last two weeks. It isn't pretty. Even thoughtful conservatives agree.

As for Sarah Palin, she might, if left alone, have matured in office and become an effective executive, but it hasn’t happened yet, so giving her this huge promotion is, at the very least, premature.

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