The Palin Backlash

It is fascinating how Sarah Palin’s nomination has turned conservative columnists and commentators against John McCain.  They echo what many others (like me) were saying immediately after McCain announced her selection: she is too inexperienced, she knows nothing of substance about the most important domestic and foreign policy issues, and her selection was a cynical move that calls McCain’s judgment into question.  This avalanche of apostasy includes Peggy Noonan’s recent Wall Street Journal Op-Ed piece.  (Subscription required)  Noonan’s conservative credentials are impeccable.  Among other things she served as advisor to President Reagan and speechwriter for Bush senior.  Here is some of what she has to say about Palin:

[W]e have seen Mrs. Palin on the national stage for seven weeks now, and there is little sign that she has the tools, the equipment, the knowledge or the philosophical grounding one hopes for, and expects, in a holder of high office. She is a person of great ambition, but the question remains: What is the purpose of the ambition? She wants to rise, but what for? For seven weeks I’ve listened to her, trying to understand if she is Bushian or Reaganite . . . But it’s unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite. She doesn’t think aloud. She just . . . says things.

. . .

This is not a leader, this is a follower, and she follows what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine. She could reinspire and reinspirit; she chooses merely to excite. She doesn’t seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts.

Sarah Palin represents all that is mean-spirited, coarse, and reactionary about our political process.  That she could be one breath away from the presidency should keep everone awake at night from worry.

8 thoughts on “The Palin Backlash”

  1. I actually feel kind of sorry for Palin as she is getting all of this heat after being selected as McCain’s running mate. I frequent a lot of the social news sites such as Digg, Reddit, etc. and they have just been filled with Palin bashing since the announcement. Let alone all the fire that she has to endure from the general media, to me, it seems like a lot to bear.

    But then again, it was her decision to run in such a high stakes election and with the eyes of not only the citizens of the United States, but also the world at large, on her. It isn’t surprising that so much dirt has been piled up on her reputation. What is she going to do after this?

  2. Personally, I was pushing for McCain after Romney was out of the race. Then he went and pulled this stunt by picking Palin, well, let’s just say I was less than thrilled. First of all I had never even heard the name and it took hours just to figure out the small history and experience she does have. Then, it feels like each day there is a new story bashing her and her family. Like Alex, as much as I feel bad for her – it was her own choice to run. She had to know people would find out every detail of her life (like using the state’s money for family trips). I think McCain lost many votes, most likely enough to lose the election by choosing Palin.

    Like the blog post states, she could easily be our President. McCain is not a young man, and hopefully he lives a much longer life.. Even if he does, she has expressed interest in running for President herself. :-0 AH! I stared at the absentee ballot for several days because I could not rationalize voting for a democrat (due to their tax and international policies), but voting for Palin was just not an option. Frankly, I think there needs to be a third party in this country, and I feel within time one will emerge. Or at least I hope it does! Either a very liberal conservative… or a very conservative liberal. At this point, I would take either!

  3. This could have been a very close race and even a victory for McCain, but Palin clearly has not stepped up to the plate, well maybe she has, but she struck out on three pitches. What could have been a great sleeper pick turned out to be a huge bust. Wow I need to stop playing fantasy sports.

    I do not understand how some polls were reporting the race closer after the third debate. Obama clearly demonstrated that he was the more capable candidate in all three debates. McCain has had more blunders and missteps than we should expect from a Presidential candidate, though maybe not from a 70 something year old. I think the only way Obama can lose this election is if our country really is racist. That would be disgusting though so I won’t consider it unless it happens.

    I agree with Tariley, I’d also like to see a third party form. Neither party holds a majority of the same views that I do. It’s about half and half for each side and that makes my life difficult, regardless of who gets into office.

  4. After reading an article in the NYTimes about Palin’s path from a little-noticed college student to a politician on the national stage, I can’t help but admire her ambition. Of course, her “vaulting ambition” doesn’t compensate for her lack of experience, and it’s disturbing that she’s polarizing Americans. It’s ironic how she labels Americans as either hockey moms/Joe six-packs or East Coast elitists, and yet continues to say that she and McCain are “mavericks”. And it’s scary that the “maverick” thing still works on many Americans.

    Here’s the link for the article, in case you’re curious: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/24/us/politics/24palin.html?hp

    And speaking of “maverick”, here’s an article on the etymology of the word that I also found to be interesting and somewhat funny: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/05/weekinreview/05schwartz.html?scp=6&sq=maverick&st=cse

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