Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 08:56 am
Quote:
She’s Not Ready


By BOB HERBERT
Published: September 12, 2008
While watching the Sarah Palin interview with Charlie Gibson Thursday night, and the coverage of the Palin phenomenon in general, I’ve gotten the scary feeling, for the first time in my life, that dimwittedness is not just on the march in the U.S., but that it might actually prevail.

How is it that this woman could have been selected to be the vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket? How is it that so much of the mainstream media has dropped all pretense of seriousness to hop aboard the bandwagon and go along for the giddy ride?

For those who haven’t noticed, we’re electing a president and vice president, not selecting a winner on “American Idol.”

Ms. Palin may be a perfectly competent and reasonably intelligent woman (however troubling her views on evolution and global warming may be), but she is not ready to be vice president.

With most candidates for high public office, the question is whether one agrees with them on the major issues of the day. With Ms. Palin, it’s not about agreeing or disagreeing. She doesn’t appear to understand some of the most important issues.

“Do you believe in the Bush doctrine?” Mr. Gibson asked during the interview. Ms. Palin looked like an unprepared student who wanted nothing so much as to escape this encounter with the school principal.

Clueless, she asked, “In what respect, Charlie?”

“Well, what do you interpret it to be?” said Mr. Gibson.

“His worldview?” asked Ms. Palin.

Later, in the spin zones of cable TV, commentators repeatedly made the point that there are probably very few voters " some specifically mentioned “hockey moms” " who could explain the Bush doctrine. But that’s exactly the reason we have such long and intense campaigns. You want to find the individuals who best understand these issues, who will address them in sophisticated and creative ways that enhance the well-being of the nation.

The Bush doctrine, which flung open the doors to the catastrophe in Iraq, was such a fundamental aspect of the administration’s foreign policy that it staggers the imagination that we could have someone no further than a whisper away from the White House who doesn’t even know what it is.

You can’t imagine that John McCain or Barack Obama or Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton or Joe Lieberman would not know what the Bush doctrine is. But Sarah Palin? Absolutely clueless.

Ms. Palin’s problem is not that she was mayor of a small town or has only been in the Alaska governor’s office a short while. Her problem (and now ours) is that she is not well versed on the critical matters confronting the country at one of the most crucial turning points in its history.

The economy is in a tailspin. The financial sector is lurching about on rubbery legs. We’re mired in self-defeating energy policies. We’re at war. And we are still vulnerable to the very real threat of international terrorism.

With all of that and more being the case, how can it be a good idea to set in motion the possibility that Americans might wake up one morning to find that Sarah Palin is president?

I feel for Ms. Palin’s son who has been shipped off to the war in Iraq. But at his deployment ceremony, which was on the same day as the Charlie Gibson interview, Sept. 11, she told the audience of soldiers that they would be fighting “the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.”

Was she deliberately falsifying history, or does she still not know that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks?

To burnish the foreign policy credentials of a vice presidential candidate who never even had a passport until last year, the Republicans have been touting Alaska’s proximity to Russia. (Imagine the derisive laughter in conservative circles if the Democrats had tried such nonsense.) So Mr. Gibson asked Ms. Palin, “What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?”

She said, “They’re our next-door neighbors. And you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska. From an island in Alaska.”

Mr. Gibson tried again. “But what insight does that give you,” he asked, “into what they’re doing in Georgia?”

John McCain, who is shameless about promoting himself as America’s ultimate patriot, put the best interests of the nation aside in making his incredibly reckless choice of a running mate. But there is a profound double standard in this country. The likes of John McCain and George W. Bush can do the craziest, most irresponsible things imaginable, and it only seems to help them politically.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/13/opinion/13herbert.html?hp
 
MCharcoal
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 10:17 am
@hawkeye10,
Remember that Bob Herbert is very likely LOOKING for something to put down MCcain-Palin vote. He WANTS Obama.

I don't want ANY of them.
(too bad, sigh, we will get SOMETHING , whether we like it or not)
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 10:21 am
@MCharcoal,
we can't know the motivation of the speaker, and it does not matter. What matters is the truthfulness of what they say. Also, Herbert is clearly thinking of dimwittedness that transcends politics.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  4  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 02:03 pm
Anti-intellectualism is winning. Somehow in the US, being smart has become less admirable than being cool. Perhaps the generations are simply dragging their high-school behaviors into adulthood with them. "Who you want to have a beer with" has become the primary qualification for president in many people's mind.

Meanwhile India and China are producing droves of math and science students who floor into MIT and CalTech and others.

The education system in the US isn't helping matters, but it's not the core of the problem. It's a cultural shift.

H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 02:11 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

Anti-intellectualism is winning.
Somehow in the US, being smart has become less admirable than being cool.



This disturbing trend will only be enhanced if Obama is elected president.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 02:17 pm
@H2O MAN,
Quote:
This disturbing trend will only be enhanced if Obama is elected president.

I disagree. Obama is a very smart man with good strategic goals, an honorable intent, and unprecedented leadership skills. We're all going to benefit from his presidency, even you (whether you like it or not) Wink

H2O MAN
 
  3  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 02:24 pm
@rosborne979,

I strongly disagree!

We (including you) can not survive an Obamanation.

parados
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 02:27 pm
@H2O MAN,
The rest of us might have a chance of surviving if you killed yourself now H2O.

You might as well, since you're not going to survive.
0 Replies
 
Ramafuchs
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 02:28 pm
@H2O MAN,
In a a country like USA when somebody dreams of decency and democracy then he/she is enjoying AMERICAN DREAMS and not dreams of Americans.
forget about the two corporate controlled dancing dolls.
We the non-Americans are fed up with your hypocracy.
my name is Rama fuchs
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 02:41 pm
@rosborne979,
the educational system is part of the problem, as it does not teach the right things often. it seems to whipsaw between focusing on namby-pamby cultural theories of the day (multiculturalism, environmentalism, public service, abstinence....) and fundamentalist three R's. The three r's are rote skills, so never does does american education concentrate on the main task of education, that is training young minds to think.

high school is instructive to the society though. Kids from a very early age learn to tell the difference between what adults say and mean and what they say but don't mean. Kids learn what the adults consider important and what they don't. So when kids use the freedom that they first taste in High School to become anti intellectual pop culture creatures we know what these kids have learned along the way.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 03:03 pm
@H2O MAN,
Quote:
I strongly disagree!

Really? I'm shocked. I thought I would change your mind with a few sentences.

0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  4  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 03:45 pm
@H2O MAN,
H2O MAN wrote:
We (including you) can not survive an Obamanation.


Don't be ridiculous. We've survived 8 years of Bush-Cheney, we can survive anything.
0 Replies
 
Ramafuchs
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 03:56 pm
@H2O MAN,
be not a patriot with parochial outlook about the outwer world.
Come to Germany or India.
I will show you the plight of the innocent people and make you weep for your country's arrogance with borrowed money and brain.
Take care of your family and expose your honesty
Regards
Rama
0 Replies
 
Ramafuchs
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 03:58 pm
@hawkeye10,
Excuse me please.
This newfound diversion will never make USA a congenial country.
I have three sisters and happily married.
0 Replies
 
Woiyo9
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 06:18 am
@hawkeye10,
"How is it that this woman could have been selected to be the vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket? How is it that so much of the mainstream media has dropped all pretense of seriousness to hop aboard the bandwagon and go along for the giddy ride? "

A sitting Governor is not a viable VP candidate?

here is another leftie who is jealous of a successful women.
0 Replies
 
 

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