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« A Colbert Report Writer's Dream (Anna) | Main | Is McCain's Gimmick About To Unravel? »

September 01, 2008


Plainly (almost an acronym!), the choice of Palin was an instance of strategy outwitting pragmatics, and of cynicism routing principle. I gotta vent, though, over the "experience" bullet point. Do we really know what we mean when we measure experience as a criterion of qualification for POTUS? I think not. The position is sui generis, and so we love to extend strained analogies to support our intuitions. I find entirely credible the notion that the governor of Alaska has more relevant "executive experience" than a fledgling senator. But I also believe that in this context "experience" is more often meant to stand for "meaningful connections around the Beltway." That's not the same as experience, though. Conversely, were Palin the governor of, say, California, I suspect the pooh-pooh-ers of her level of experience would have a harder time pooh-pooh-ing. And yet, Reagan... (The argument that, despite one's ideological leanings, Reagan was a successful POTUS, merely elevates form over substance.)

Palin is not so much "inexperienced" as "out of touch" - not just with the beltway but with the real world. It has now been revealed that she was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party (The Daily Kos is all over the story). Obama may not have the hands on experience of running a state or even a town. But for the last two years he has been advised by plenty of experts on how things run in the country and the rest of the world. An intelligent man or woman with an open mind and broad vision will have a pretty good understanding to take from there. As Obama has frequently reminded voters, more important than the "experience" one brings to a job may be a candidate's "judgement."

And yes, the governor of California may not have been pooh-poohed. But the size of the state one governs is not at issue - how one runs it, is. The reason Reagan was not a terrible POTUS (although some will disagree) in day to day governance was because he was also a pretty good governor, at least according to a majority of Californians at that time. What kind of a POTUS did we get by electing another bimbo governor from a big state with plenty of experience as we were told? Much more shock than awe as we found out. After watching, reading and listening for the last 36 hours, I am now quite convinced that Palin is a terrible choice made by a reckless man who wanted to please his party's "base" and inject excitement into his moribund campaign. Again, bad judgement trumped long experience.

This has been nagging me all day about my comment above: "plainly" is plainly not a near acronym of Palin, since acronyms are words formed from the initials of other words. USA PATRIOT Act comes to mind as a hideous example. Nor is it--get this!--a palindrome. What the heck is it? What do we call a meaningful, sometimes ironic or humorous, rearrangement of letters? Dick Cavettt was apparently masterful at them...

Dean, the word you are looking for is "anagram." But it will be fun to construct a Palin-Palindrome.

By the way, before you start feeling too kindly toward the sweet Praline, see her stance on book banning and also how she once treated the town librarian. The woman is a cronyist and a power abuser right out of Karl Rove's political play book.

Anagram, yes! Alas, there is no anagram for "bitch." How dare she toy with the town library's collection and director! What silly sort of "rhetorical effect" could she possibly hope it would have?

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