Palin’s sudden rise not built on substance

What a difference a month makes. Those were simpler, calmer, quieter days. And then she came into my life.

Needless to say, the universal question on the lips of the politically aware was, “Who is Sarah Palin?” when Sen. McCain made his decision. Some said she was the obscure governor of Alaska. Some said she was a red-state hockey mom. But I knew from the moment I first saw her she was the one for me. This queen of the frigid north had set my soul on fire with a terrible desire – to ensure she never comes near the White House.

Conservatives howl angrily at the condescension and misogyny with which those pinkos in the mainstream media have treated Palin in the weeks since her accession to McCain’s ticket. Conservatives decry bra-burning, baby-killing feminists because they aren’t worshipping her like a mythical heroine. Conservatives snort at those filthy, pot-smoking hippies on the left – commies to a man, all of them – for asking about her credentials. If liberals would understand that tiny Wasilla is comparable to the city of Chicago.

If our only priorities in this country were eviscerating a bloated government at every level, McCain’s choice would appear, if not more credible, at least less sleazy. The anomalous anti-establishment message McCain and Palin share might have made sense seven years ago when that sex devil Democrat was still partying in the White House, when entrenched interests needed to be eliminated, big government couldn’t be trusted and the United States needed to regain its moral compass. Sadly, a certain president in the past seven years has entrenched those special interests more firmly, expanded the size of government and bureaucracy and sold America’s moral compass to pay for a tremendous bailout. What have the past seven years been but a hands-on experiment in how a purely anti-establishment administration operates? Neo-cons are gleeful Palin didn’t falter at the vice presidential debate, but isn’t this supposed to be the age that the level of discourse is raised? Claiming victory by simply not crashing means the conservatives have set the bar for success three feet underground.

Good governance requires more than being able to shoot a moose square between the eyes at a range of 900 yards. Good governance demands a mixture of deft, practical knowledge and adaptability. Experience is a terrific stepping stone toward acquiring these skills, but it is not the end of one’s governance credentials; the combined experience of Bush’s first cabinet would have otherwise made for one of the most successful administrations in history. Painting not only D.C., but all coastal elites, as foreigners is passé, not avant-garde.

Turning into a wind-up toy whenever asked a difficult question is not admirable. Offering no solutions to an energy crisis in the making other than a chant of, “Drill, baby, drill!” is no indicator of adaptability. Agreeing there is no recession when the unemployment rate is rising and billions of tax cuts have to be added to a bill supposedly necessary to prevent economic implosion is darkly comical. To say this Republican ticket will offer any change from the past few years, that liberals are elitist while conservatives believe the working class should only be trickled down upon like flooring under a leaky pipe, that Americans will get straight talk instead of being talked down to all smells of mendacity and moose burgers.

This is where we part ways, Sarah, but we’ll always have Wasilla, from near Russia – if you look really hard on a clear day – with love.

Sources: nytimes.com, msnbc.com