Tag Archives: Executive

Executive Experience

30 Aug

People seriously sometimes bore me with their predictability.

Is anyone surprised that Republicans are super-duper thrilled with Palin and Democrats have serious questions about her? Of course not.

Is anyone doubting – even for a moment – that if Palin was a Democratic choice (regardless of who the nominee is), the Republicans would be all but calling her an outright traitor by now?

When I first heard that she was the pick, I instantly looked at it from a purely procedural posture. I think that Palin strips McCain of the “readiness” argument against Obama. Other than that, I couldn’t really care less whom McCain picks because a) I’m not voting for him; and b) People generally don’t vote based on who the Veep pick is.

There is something, though, to the idea of judgment and decision-making. Picking a veep is the first serious Presidential decision a candidate makes during the course of a campaign, and I think there’s no question that Barack Obama picked someone who is ready to pick up the reins from day one should anything happen to him. The same cannot, however, be said for McCain, I think. That pinko commie David Frum agrees that it’s a bad choice, and that Palin’s selection puts the lie to the whole “putting America first” line of McCain’s.

Instead, I think it is, in part, a cynical ploy to win over disgruntled female Hillary supporters. Fine, if those Democratic women are in favor of an anti-abortion candidate who supports teaching something not science in schools.

But I think the whole Hillary PUMA thing is way overblown. People were angry, their feelings were hurt, but they’ll come around. A transparent pander to them from the Republican side isn’t necessarily going to make them switch to McCain.

The other thing that people have been bringing up is Palin’s vast executive experience, first as mayor of a town of 9,000, and most recently as governor of a state that has 2/3 the population of Erie County. “Executive experience” as a must-have qualification for president is little more than a foolish cable news talking point, as far as I’m concerned.

We have separation of powers in this country, true. But in Canada and Great Britain, for instance, the head of state is simultaneously an executive and an elected member of the legislature. Based on the “Palin has executive experience” talking point, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair were each less qualified than John McCain to become head of state. So, I discount that argument completely.

I mean, I know she’s also been the singular bulwark against a Canadian and Russian invasion, but since both Alaska and Russia are more or less uninhabited for thousands of miles where they “meet” (I understand there are 170 inhabitants on American Little Diomede and zero residents on Russia’s Big Diomede Island), it’s hardly Department of State stuff.

Frankly, I think Obama proved his strength as an executive simply by defeating Clinton, who had a sheen of inevitability all the way up until January 2008.

In the wake of Palin’s selection, conservatives are simply playing Mr. Rogers make-believe with respect to their complete lack of enthusiasm for McCain. They finally have something to pretend to be enthusiastic about.

Here’s one Alaskan blogger’s take on the Palin pick.

In any event, from a fundamental standpoint I cannot fathom another 4 or 8 years of Republicans at the helm of the United States after the 7 years we’ve just gone through. There has been such a widespread dismantling of American values from day one of the Bush administration, and McCain went along with it all a vast majority of the time.

The race won’t be about Sarah Palin or Joe Biden. So, here’s the summary of the previous 100+ post thread:

REPUBLICANS: She’s Susan B. Anthony and Colin Powell wrapped up in an ultraconservative, hockey mom body. Her 2 years as executive of a state with 670,000 people is equal to 100 years as President of the World. As Alaska governor, she is the first line of defense against an imminent Russian invasion.

DEMOCRATS: She’s a lightweight who is embroiled in controversy, and has taken away several of McCain’s signature attacks against Obama. Although she satisfies the moose-hunter constitutional requirement to serve, she is a cynical ploy by McCain to try and attract female voters who still pine for a Hillary presidency. While people are concerned about Obama’s experience, he has selected someone with all the experience one would need. OTOH, McCain has experience but is quite old and has selected a veep with even less experience than Obama.

Even shorter thread:

REPUBLICANS: We love her! Obama sucks!
DEMOCRATS: Ha ha! Obama rocks!

And that’s the funny thing. The Republicans practically never talk up McCain, they always talk down Obama. So on issues Obama gets the win. And besides, Palin likes Obama’s energy plan: