Saturday, September 20, 2008

Jeopardy Answer: Lipstick

Ever since McCain plucked Sarah Palin out of an episode of Northern Exposure (actually she sort of looks like Janine Whateverhernamewas), people have been trying to recall any similar instance of picking someone so spectacularly unqualified for Heartbeat-Away-from-Leader-of-the-Formerly-Free-World. Dan Quayle (remember him?) probably comes closest since he was apparently picked because of his golf score. But he was such a cipher twink that he really doesn't compare.

Actually, from what we can tell, Palin is much more like Bush in drag. They both come from states with false, but fervently held, belief in their specialness based on a largely ficticious myth of rugged self-reliance. (Alaska is essentially a welfare state living off of subsidies from the federal government and oil companies.) They both cultivate the image of frontier ruggedness--Palin poses in camo and (allegedly) can field dress a moose; Bush wears cowboy boots and likes to clear brush on the ranch. They share evangelical faith that they know and are implementing God's will and don't really believe in science. They share disdain for protecting the environment and reject global warming and evolution as just a "theory". They pick people for important posts because they like them, not because they're qualified. (Harriet Myers? Alberto Gonzales? Brownie?) They both came to the national stage with an abysmal ignorance of foreign affairs. Remember how Bush was all buddy-buddy with Putin because he "saw into his soul"? Palin thinks she's ready because "you can see Russia from Alaska". Most frighteningly, they both show contempt for actual knowledge as opposed to right-wing political theology.

The analogy isn't perfect, of course. Palin's background really is marginal middle class, and she bounced around several community colleges before getting runner-up as Miss Alaska and finally graduating from the University of Idaho. W's redneck cred is totally bogus, having come from old New England money and schooling at Phillips Academy, Yale, and Harvard Biz. Of course, he got into Yale as a "legacy" (affirmative action for rich white kids), and it's pretty clear that he didn't get into Harvard Biz based on his academic record or business acumen. But he obviously didn't learn anything, and his dimwittedness has been reliable fodder for Leno pretty much nightly. Then there's Palin's interviews with Charles Gibson and a couple of subsequent unscripted brushes with the press which were so excruciatingly embarrassing that I almost felt sorry for her.

Maybe the infatuation with Palin stems partially from relief that we didn't have the loathsome Joe Lieberman thrust upon us. But God help us if the Palin-McCain ticket wins, and the Certified War Hero croaks! That shrill screechy voice alone would be enough to put the TV on mute for the next four years.

By the way, apparently not everyone in Alaska thinks the Divine Sarah hung the Northern Lights. Check out this report.

Addendum: OMG, it keeps getting better. Check out the video in this post. This woman could become president, people!



At 9/21/2008 6:13 PM, Anonymous Charles Walker said...

It just gets worse. I remember when Reagan was president, and I just couldn't imagine anything worse. Bush II made Ronnie look not so bad by comparison. If this lunatic becomes president we might find ourselves missing Dubya.

What is it with this country where in order to run for high public office you have to talk about how religious you are? In other advanced countries, such as Canada and in western Europe, it's no big deal for a politician who aspires to lead a country to not even be religious. In British general elections you never have party leaders talking about religion, certainly not their personal religious views, and if they did, the voters would not stand for it. In this country it's like a new dark age.

I'll come out and say it - I'm an atheist and I do not believe in any deity. I think there are quite a few of us but we keep our mouths shut because it's just not done to say such things in this country. But the current atmosphere in this country demands that we come out of the closet. I'm not really bothered about other people's views on such matters as long as they accept science and evidence.

It's a sad state of affairs when I find myself hoping for the day when we have a president who accepts that Earth has been around for billions, not thousands, of years.

At 9/22/2008 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh man... i have been scouring the internet looking for some other example of someone so spectacularly unqualified to be leader for the free world. I found it! Obama. Give me a break......

At 9/23/2008 10:03 AM, Blogger DaddyFiveOh said...

To Anonymous: My rule (which I sometimes let slide) on this blog is that anonymous comments are not welcome and may be deleted at my discretion. So in the future, please identify yourself with a name (at a minimum, first + last initial, or first initial + last name) or blogger i.d..

Regarding the substance of your comment, not sure from your remarks if you're a McCain or Hillary supporter or something else. But consider the career of Abraham Lincoln who, before being elected President in 1860, had served only one rather undistinguished 2-year term as congressman from Illinois in the 1840s and a few terms prior to that in the Illinois state legislature. John Kennedy had a pretty thin resume in elective office before being nominated as President. Hillary has basically one term in the Senate under her pantsuit belt and (somebody's got to say it) would never have been elected to the Senate if she hadn't been married to Bill Clinton. Her claim to experience is based mainly on being First Lady--so why not Laura Bush or Nancy Reagan?

The point is that we can make judgments based on something in addition to a resume. The truth is that there are times when candidates with less "experience" are able to define problems and articulate ideas to address them far better than others who have a much longer resume. Nixon had a far more impressive c.v. than JFK in 1960, but I think few people nowadays would seriously say that the wrong man won. In my view, Barack Obama belongs in the same select company. On almost any issue you can name, Obama has shown better judgment than John McCain, who by now is clearly willing to say absolutely anything, no matter how demonstrably false, to get elected. (By the way, Gen. Wesley Clark was right: Being a prisoner of war in Vietnam is not really a qualification to be president.) McCain cannot offer any substantive reason for anyone to vote for him, so he has adopted the Rove play book--the even dirtier version.

The mere fact that McCain would select Palin either shows a cynicism of the basest sort or further evidence of a frightening lack of good judgment. The problem with Palin is not just her meager resume, but the fact that she has nothing to say about any significant issue except to repeat the most retrograde right-wing bumper sticker slogans. And she doesn't even do that very well. Have you actually listened to her speak when she's not reading from a script? She couldn't put two coherent sentences together if her life depended on it. She makes W sound almost eloquent by comparison! The reason her words are a senseless jumble is that there is no thought behind them. We have seen the results for the last eight years when our national policies depend on someone who can't distinguish between belief and reality.

At 9/24/2008 8:08 AM, Anonymous jimbo said...

Palin is the least experienced vp candidate in history. Listen to this:

We're at war, in an economic crisis, and people want to support this wild card? I am in no mood to vote for a wild card (who thinks she can "pray the gay away"), no matter how much she is "just like us."

At 2/10/2009 4:55 AM, Blogger rogger said...

Good attempt.Actually I was looking for Jeopardy TV Show but there is nothing about this show in your blog.


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