Sarah Palin’s Real Qualifications

September 4th, 2008at 11:38am Posted by Eli

Orange Clouds is correct, but doesn’t go far enough:

When WE think of someone as being qualified for president or VP, we imagine that they must be capable of governing. They need to have relevant experience. They should have proven over time that they understand the issues and the Constitution. They must be capable of diplomacy. But you need to think like a Republican for a moment.

Republicans don’t need to be able to think. They just need to be capable parrots. Can Palin follow in lockstep with the Republican line? Sure. It’s easy. I could even do it if I wanted to, although I’m not old enough to legally be VP so Sarah’s more qualified than me for that reason. Abortion is bad, death penalty is good, war is good, taxes are bad… it’s easy to figure out where you stand on the issues if you’re a Republican.

If Palin ever wonders what her opinion should be on an issue, she can ask Big Business. As a Democrat, you might assume that she would need to research it and think for herself about it, but that’s just a silly liberal idea. Big Business and lobbyists will tell Sarah everything she needs to know. And if they can’t answer a question, she can ask James Dobson or Pat Robertson or something and they’ll tell her.

What about her ability to do the job? Think about Brownie and FEMA. Think about Thomas Frank’s new book The Wrecking Crew. The idea isn’t to do a good job governing. The idea is to destroy government. Again, even I could do that if it were my goal. It can’t be too hard. Start wars, appoint your friends, outsource and privatize everything, take a lot of vacations, and make speeches about loving god and country. And if, as VP, Palin ever accidentally shoots someone in the face on a hunting trip, it’s OK.

Of course Palin isn’t qualified if you imagine that she should be able to govern well – especially if, for some reason, a 72-year-old John McCain doesn’t last 4 more years. Governing well is for Democrats. It’s a crazy, liberal idea. Republican qualifications are totally different, and Sarah Palin is perfectly qualified as a Republican.

Yes, this is all true, but it does Palin a disservice by overlooking her ability to abuse executive power, or to stonewall legislative investigations of said abuse by invoking dubious claims of executive privilege, or by simply saying, “Don’t wanna.  Make me!”  It also overlooks Palin’s much-valued ability to spew ridicule and hate at her political opponents; it would be simply unthinkable to have a Republican president or vice president who doesn’t know how to sneer.

In other words, it’s not enough simply to hold right-wing views; you must be committed enough to repeatedly break the law in service of those views, and brazen enough to accuse your opponents of hating America when they call you on it.

So yes, Sarah Palin is eminently qualified to be a Republican president or vice president, but that’s pretty much the opposite of being qualified to be a good one.

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Bush,Cheney,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Elections,Palin,Republicans,Weirdness


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