Sunday, August 31, 2008

Academics agree

Yesterday, I wrote about John McSame’s choice of a runningmate who’s unqualified to be president, and so, she’s not qualified to be vice president. Presidential scholars agree.

Politico reports that scholars are “stunned” at the choice. Matthew Dallek, a presidential historian, said, “I think she is the most inexperienced person on a major party ticket in modern history… It would be one thing if she had only been governor for a year and a half, but prior to that she had not had major experience in public life. The fact that (McCain) would have to go to somebody who is clearly unqualified to be president makes Obama look like an elder statesman.”

Predictably, the McCain campaign’s still trying to spin this awful decision. One Republican strategist said, “Here’s a governor who may have served two years, but her accomplishments are worth eight… She’s got as much experience for being vice president as Barack does to be president.”

But Politico points out that “If elected vice president, Palin would appear to have the least amount of experience in federal office or as a governor since John W. Kern, Democrat William Jennings Bryan’s 1908 running mate, who had served for four years in the Indiana state Senate and then four more as city solicitor of Indianapolis.”

After the article was posted, the McCain campaign responded with a typically dismissive attempt to shift focus. They noted that the scholars quoted all had donated to Democrats, some specifically to Obama. The Republicans end by sniffing that, “This is not a story about scholars questioning Governor Palin's credentials so much as partisan Democrats who would find a reason to disqualify or discount any nominee put forward by Senator McCain."

McCain and his campaign attack dogs just don’t get it. The fact that the scholars quoted may or may not have contributed to Democrats is beside the point because it doesn’t change one essential fact: Palin is NOT qualified and, in fact, she’s spectacularly unqualified.

I have no idea what McCain was thinking when he made this awful choice. Many say it was a ploy to win over Hillary Clinton’s supporters. If so, what made him think that simply putting any woman on the ticket would do that? Palin’s positions on nearly every issue are the opposite of Hillary Clinton’s. Did McCain think that Clinton’s supporters would care about nothing other than the gender of the running mate? Does he really have that much contempt for the intelligence of Clinton’s supporters? Actually, I think he does.

Or maybe McCain thought this was somehow daring, rather than foolhardy. Palin is a typical Republican in pretty much every way and, with McCain, would offer Americans four more years of Bush-Cheney’s failures. What’s so “daring” about that? How does offering up more of the same make McCain a “maverick”? The answers are, nothing and it doesn’t.

John “More of the Same” McCain has broken his promise to run a campaign based on issues. He’s changed his position on many, many issues in order to get the support of the far right of his own party. And now, in his first truly important decision, he picked a truly awful vice presidential candidate. With such a bad track record in this campaign, and now a demonstrated inability to make sound decisions, could McCain be trusted to be president? No, McCain can’t.

I think there’s never been a time in my life when I’ve been more adamantly committed to and election outcome than I am to electing as President Barack Obama, and as Vice President Joe Biden. This time, we really can change America.

And you don’t need a scholar of any sort to tell you that.


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Arthur Schenck said...

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