Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A question of character

Noah Millman is soured on Sarah Palin:
But now I have more . . . experience with Governor Palin. And pretty much
everything she has said or done since her appearance on the national stage –
beginning with her acceptance speech – has soured me on her. It’s decreasingly
plausible to me that she’s who I thought she was when she was nominated. Based
on her performance on the campaign trail so far, she’s a shallow and demagogic
politician. And if, on the off chance, that’s not who she is, then it’s
instructive that the McCain campaign seems to be eager to have her play this
particular character.

Sometimes I get the feeling that the old DDR slogan applies to the GOP as well: between intelligence, self-honesty, and obedience to the party it is only possible to have two, not all three. It's nice that every once in a while I read a right-of-center thinker who doesn't just spout the party line. It keeps my faith in our political process strong.

I'll confess that I thought I'd like Sarah Palin initially as well. Regardless of my appreciation for her executive talents I had hoped that she'd make an okay executive. As a citizen of a nation that might yet see Palin as its vice president it is in my interest that she be up the to the job. I love my country and I want it to be helmed by competent people, whether they agree with me or not.

It's clear that Sarah Palin is not competent for the office. It's also clear that John McCain isn't either. He thought he could put a Palin-shaped band-aid on his campaign and that everything would be fine. Instead, he's committed the same exact sort of error as George W. Bush has countless times: by assuming that he had some sort of magical sense of being able to sense what a person is made of with just a small encounter. He overestimated his own intuition. Bush's examples of this were egregious: with Vladimir "I looked into his soul" Putin, Michael Brown, Al thing a president ought to be able to do is to be a good judge of character. When making appointments, when conducting diplomacy, or really any manner of things, this skill comes in handy. And McCain clearly doesn't have it.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.