Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Palin Exposes McCain's Hypocrisy?

So writes Michael Kinsley in yesterday's Washington Post, Experience? Never Mind:
"The whole 'experience' debate is silly. Under our system of government, there is only one job that gives you both executive and foreign policy experience, and that's the one McCain and Obama are running for. Nevertheless, it's a hardy perennial: If your opponent is a governor, you accuse him of lacking foreign policy experience. If he or she is a member of Congress, you say this person has never run anything. And if, by chance, your opponent has done both, you say that he or she is a 'professional politician.' When Republicans aren't complaining about someone's lack of experience, they are calling for term limits.

That's why the important point about Palin's lack of experience isn't about Palin. It's about McCain. And the question is not how his choice of Palin might complicate his ability to use the 'experience' issue or whether he will have to drop experience as an issue. It's not about the proper role of experience as an issue. It's not about experience at all. It's about honesty. The question should be whether McCain -- and all the other Republicans who have been going on for months about Obama's dangerous lack of foreign policy experience -- ever meant a word of it. And the answer is apparently not. Many conservative pundits woke up this morning fully prepared to harp on Obama's alleged lack of experience for months more. Now they face the choice of either executing a Communist-style U-turn ("Experience? Feh! Who needs it?") or trying to keep a straight face while touting the importance of having been mayor of a town of 9,000 if you later find yourself president of a nation of 300 million.
Maybe it also shows that what makes McCain run is pure ambition and that he will say and do anything to get into the West Wing?

I have had more than enough of Republican chicanery masquerading as competence and knowledge these past seven years. McCain has made himself not a maverick but a lapdog of the same interests that have left this country embarrassed abroad and broke at home while they line their pockets. What appears as a joke is really a joke on us.

While Maureen Dowd wickedly dissected Governor Palin in Vice in Go-Go Boots?, E.J. Dionne nails my concern much more eloquently in Northern Underexposure:
McCain, as far as anyone can tell, met Palin only once before considering her for vice president, and once more before settling on her, which is to say he barely knows her. For the purpose of courting disaffected Hillary Clinton voters and satisfying the social conservatives, McCain is willing to place someone he knows mostly from press clippings and, okay, what his staff insists was thorough vetting, in the direct line of succession to the presidency. There is a breathtaking recklessness about this choice.
Breathtaking recklessness.... what a wonderful phrase. A recklessness born of desperation.

Also check out Oh God from Masson's Blog, the New York Times' Disclosures on Palin Raise Questions on Vetting Process ("Aides to Mr. McCain said they had a team on the ground in Alaska now to look more thoroughly into Ms. Palin’s background...." (I added the emphasis)). and Eugene Robinson's The Cynicism Express:

Whatever the political impact, so much for the John McCain we thought we knew. In choosing Palin, he cynically did the kind of thing that his party is always accusing Democrats of doing: He selected a running mate based on her potential ability to appeal to targeted segments of the electorate rather than for her honestly assessed ability to lead the nation should the occasion arise.

The other thing we learned about McCain is that he is willing to take an enormous gamble based on limited information. He only met Palin once before summoning her for a final interview. He realized he needed to shake up the presidential race, and that's what he did. But we are reminded, if we did not realize it before, that the three things not to expect from a McCain presidency are caution, prudence and a willingness to always put the nation's interests above his own.

Is not eight years of incompetence not enough?

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