A beauty queen/sports reporter who stumbled into small-town politics, and who is now on the verge of stumbling into, or upon, world history ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A beauty queen/sports reporter who stumbled into small-town politics, and who is now on the verge of stumbling into, or upon, world history

By now, we've had a chance to learn a few things about Sarah Palin. While McCain, Obama and Biden have had years of public exposure, Palin is pretty much new to the world...unless you're from Alaska. Saturday Night Live skits aside, even ignoring her horrible performance in interviews with Charles Gibson and Katy Couric (softballs from lightweights if there ever were any...) I have been reading and searching for the most engaging and insightful essay about the Alaska Governor to share with readers.

I think I found it.

Sam Harris, author of "The End of Faith" and "Letter to a Christian Nation" (see the previous post) has hit the nail on the head with an essay in Newsweek. Calling Palin "A beauty queen/sports reporter who stumbled into small-town politics, and who is now on the verge of stumbling into, or upon, world history" Harris is concerned Palin has captured the attention of Americans who feel that she is a regular person rather than an elitist, or some such thing. Well, I for one, don't feel qualified to be mayor or governor, much less president, so these folks who feels she is one of "us", must ask themselves if they feel qualified to be president.

Harris writes:

"Palin's most conspicuous gaffe in her interview with Gibson has been widely discussed. The truth is, I didn't much care that she did not know the meaning of the phrase "Bush doctrine." And I am quite sure that her supporters didn't care, either. Most people view such an ambush as a journalistic gimmick. What I do care about are all the other things Palin is guaranteed not to know—or will be glossing only under the frenzied tutelage of John McCain's advisers. What doesn't she know about financial markets, Islam, the history of the Middle East, the cold war, modern weapons systems, medical research, environmental science or emerging technology? Her relative ignorance is guaranteed on these fronts and most others, not because she was put on the spot, or got nervous, or just happened to miss the newspaper on any given morning. Sarah Palin's ignorance is guaranteed because of how she has spent the past 44 years on earth."

Right on.

Harris is at his best when he discusses faith and religious ideology, but try this one on for size:

"Ask yourself: how has 'elitism' become a bad word in American politics? There is simply no other walk of life in which extraordinary talent and rigorous training are denigrated. We want elite pilots to fly our planes, elite troops to undertake our most critical missions, elite athletes to represent us in competition and elite scientists to devote the most productive years of their lives to curing our diseases. And yet, when it comes time to vest people with even greater responsibilities, we consider it a virtue to shun any and all standards of excellence. When it comes to choosing the people whose thoughts and actions will decide the fates of millions, then we suddenly want someone just like us, someone fit to have a beer with, someone down-to-earth—in fact, almost anyone, provided that he or she doesn't seem too intelligent or well educated."

Remember that she went to six schools to finally get a degree in journalism and McCain only got into the Naval Academy because of family connections--and then barely managed to graduate. On the other hand, Obama, the child of adversity, graduated first from Harvard Law School! Yet Palin made fun of him for having been a community organizer, snidely saying to the nation, "whatever that means."

Sarah Palin disgusts me for so many reasons, but nothing disgusts me more than the contempt the Republican leaders have for this country and the world, by choosing a vp candidate based solely on her ability to help bring votes on November 4th from one extreme end of their party--the soft underbelly of America, known as the "God, guns and Gay bashers". They should have been concerned about November 5th, and the next day, and the next day. They did a similar thing with Dan Quayle and Bush number one, but Quayle seems like a wise, veteran public servant when compared to Palin.

Thursday night will be fun. Maybe Biden will tell her, "I knew Dan Quayle. And you are no Dan Quayle."

See the Newsweek piece here Harris on Palin

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Anonymous said...

This whole elitism schtick has been bothering me for some time. I agree with the Newsweek Piece but this blog post really resonated with me.



Paul Foer said...

Thank you B, and thanks for the link to that interesting blog....something familiar about that but I can't quite put my finger on it....heh heh....hello to J...keep reading and keep writing

Anonymous said...

I think you secretly thing Palin is HOT and have posters of her hidding in your closet. Come out of the closet Paul come out!

Paul Foer said...

My Dear Friend "Anonymous"

Have you been playing in my closet again? Actually, the only thing in my closet is a pig with lipstick on it. Seriously some of my best friends are pigs with lipstick. Of course, it is supremely and egregiously (abjectly too?) ironic that you write to me anonymously, using my first name no less, and then tell me I am hiding stuff in a closet! Pot--black. Kettle? Cauldron? Projection maybe?

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