Thursday, September 25, 2008



For people who think like I do, lack of Washington experience is not a demerit. Rather, such inexperience it is admirable. People who go to Washington, even with the best of intentions, tend to get too comfortable with the ways of that den of iniquity, too used to thinking like a politician. They lose touch with their constituents. They may not lose their souls, but they trade the mindset of a citizen for the mindset of a politician. They become part of the governing class that our founding fathers had no intention of creating. This is one of the reasons that term limits are so attractive, but that is another issue.

So the accusation that Sarah Palin has no Washington experience rings hollow for those of us who are inherently suspicious of government, and certainly of Washington. We seek out candidates who are not “wise in the ways of Washington.” We prefer candidates who are simply wise and see Washington as something that must adapt rather than be adapted to.

However, not being a Washington insider, while admirable on any number of fronts, does not make up for what appears, in Palin’s case, to be a woeful lack of knowledge into public issues or of other matters of great import to anyone, and especially to anyone who aspires to high office. In other words, not being wise in the ways of Washington does not exonerate one for not being, or certainly not appearing to be, knowledgeable, or even all that curious, about the way the political and economic world works. Repeating talking points and cant is not a substitute for seriously thinking about serious issues.

Rumors are swirling (and they are only rumors at this stage) that John McCain’s fatuous offer to postpone Friday night’s debate is being coupled with an offer to reschedule that debate for the slot currently occupied by the Vice-Presidential debate. Then, the McCain camp disingenuously assures us, the VP debate can be “rescheduled.” If this is true, it appears that McCain’s nonsensical proposal is nothing more than a ham-handed ruse to enable Sarah Palin to avoid debating Joe Biden.

My opinion of Ms. Palin has evolved slightly from my initial Palin post (See my 9/2/08 post): She just doesn’t appear to be very bright, or at least does not seem to have even the most remote knowledge of foreign affairs, economics, or any number of the elements of what we call “public policy.” If what we are hearing about Friday’s debate is true, apparently the opinion of the McCain camp regarding their VP candidate has evolved in a similar direction.

This particular aspiring emperor is indeed quite naked. As I said before, her selection was a Hail Mary that didn’t have to be thrown.

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