A post two weeks ago about the selection of Sarah Palin asked whether McCain was serious. The pundits view the selection as a success because it invigorated the McCain campaign. “Ordinary Americans” like Palin because she is “just like us.” That’s the problem. I don’t want a President and Vice President who are just like us. I want elected leaders who are more knowledgeable, more thoughtful, better-read, and more in tune with the world’s complexities than us. We’ve had eight years of one of the worst administrations in history led by someone “ordinary Americans” can relate to. Having a New York Times editorial echo these thoughts is small comfort since the “ordinary Americans” who’ve embraced McCain and Palin don’t take their cues from the Times. Others, though–the “extraordinary Americans”–see that the emperor has no clothes. I called Palin’s selection “a cynical, craven capitulation to the far right [that} underscores the deep flaws in McCain’s judgment.” The Times said it “raises profound questions about his judgment.” I said “[t]his decision is bold only in the context of politics as a game.” The Times said “[i]f the choice was, as we suspect, a tactical move, then it was shockingly irresponsible.” Palin’s scripted, non-substantive, shallow–how can anyone take seriously someone who claims insight into Russia because it’s visible across the Bering Strait?–make her shortcomings painfully obvious. If McCain were CEO of a public company and he promoted to second in command a person so obviously lacking in knowledge about the business the shareholders would have his head, the second’s physical resemblance to Tina Fey notwithstanding. (Fey nailed Palin’s appeal in Saturday’s opening sketch on Saturday Night Live.) I’d laugh at McCain’s buffoonery if the stakes were not so high.
PS: Bob Herbert’s Op-Ed 9/12 Times Op-Ed piece