I have my reservations about Sarah Palin. We still must find out about her judgment, character and capabilities. But I have been appalled over the last 24 hours at the left's attempt to assassinate her character.
The left is trying to do to her what they did to Dan Quayle in 1988. There was a media frenzy when Bush the elder picked him to be his Vice-President. The media and the Democrats defined Quayle unfairly as an airhead. The left has a long history of attacking Republicans as stupid: Reagan, Ford, Eisenhower, and I believe even Wilkie and Coolidge were attacked thus.
Quayle never recovered from that initial onslaught. He never was able to redefine himself. To this day he is radioactive in politics.
Now they're trying to paint Palin as a second Quayle. I don't think it will work because the world is different today. 1988 was in the last days of MSM dominance.
Also, Palin is NOT Quayle temperamentally; her basketball nickname, Sarah Barracuda, bespeaks a scrappy character, a fighter. She holds a gun with authority -- something urbane leftists, from Obama to Dukakis to Adlai Stevenson could not do. If you want an historical comparison for Palin, don't look at Quayle, look at Theodore Roosevelt.
William Kristol (who incidentally was Quayle's chief of staff) gets it right: the left is scared to death of Palin. So the big push is on now to destroy her character.
Let's hope she spells potato right.
I don't find the arguments about experience persuasive -- not in any case, not for McCain and Biden and not against Obama and Palin.
Taking experience alone as a qualification, then the most qualified man to be President is Jimmy Carter. He did it before, and having served only one term he is eligible to be reelected. When you talk about 3am telephone calls, he's been there. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the hostage takeover in Tehran must have been two telephone calls from hell.
Would you want Jimmy Carter to be President?
Ideology is of supreme importance. Experience is a minor factor compared to what a man believes.
Barack Obama is ideologically a lot like Jimmy Carter. Neither has a good understanding of America's enemies in this dangerous world. Obama, you could say, is Carter without the experience.
Which of the two inexperienced candidates, Obama or Palin, would you rather have answering that 3am telephone call announcing China's invasion of Taiwan? A lifelong member of the NRA or a man who holds collectivism as his ideal? A woman who once worked as a commercial fisherman or a man who once worked as a community organizer (a job that is by its nature altruist-collectivist-statist)?
Ideas get little discussion in American politics, and that is a shame. For whatever reason, American politics is occupied with nonessential concretes, from kissing babies to eating greasy food at state fairs. A candidate's experience is the facts of his resume, and today's anti-conceptual minds can parse these empirical facts all day without having to consider ideas and principles. For the most part it's a waste of time.
As I noted, I have reservations about Palin, specifically her mysticism. I want to find out more about how she thinks. But however bad she might be, I have a hard time believing she could deal with the invasion of Taiwan worse than Obama or even the supremely experienced Jimmy Carter. Remember, Obama's initial reaction to Russia's invasion of Georgia was mild and carried no moral condemnation of Russia. It took McCain's strong response to bring the Obama campaign around the next day to issuing something a little firmer than a wet tissue.