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 Monday, October 13, 2008

Save us, Lord, from a Palin White House

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Harry Bruce

U. S. VICE-PRESIDENTIAL candidate Sarah Palin — the winking, nose-wrinkling, unblinking bombshell from downtown Wasilla, Alaska — has talked openly about the coming "Palin and McCain administration."

She also referred to John McCain as "my running mate."

That’s a term that Jake Tapper of ABC News says he doesn’t "recall ever hearing a VP nominee use when discussing the guy at the top of the ticket."

Palin is a fanatically partisan Republican, but the "small-town" vice-president she names as her hero is a Democrat, Harry S. Truman, whose supreme virtue in her eyes is that he succeeded a president who died in office.

She is so scatter-brained she claimed that because "you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska," she had plenty of foreign policy experience.

There’s nothing fuzzy about her focus on McCain’s health. At 72, he is the oldest candidate ever to seek a first term as president, and has undergone operations for a highly invasive form of skin cancer.

He has recently been showing his age. In his first debate against Barack Obama, he repeated the same joke twice, which reminded one blogger of "your gramps at Thanksgiving."

Even while saying "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" no fewer than 17 times, he spoke from notecards. He had trouble with Sunni, Shia, Somali, and other proper nouns that begin with S.

To some, he looked like a foul-tempered geezer who resented having to perform against a shallow and flashy upstart. In their second debate, Obama was loose-limbed, loose-jointed and gliding on his feet, but McCain seemed hunched and stiff. His steps were short, and often hesitant.

Against this background, Frank Rich of the New York Times describes

"a steady unnerving undertone to Palin’s utterances, a consistent message of hubristic self-confidence and hyper ambition.

She wants to be president, she thinks she can be president, she thinks she will be president. And perhaps soon.

She often sounds like someone who sees herself as half-a-heartbeat away from the presidency."

Rich calls her "preposterously unprepared to run the country."

Her only claim to fame, says Joseph A. Palermo of the Huffington Post website is that
"... she has five kids, one with Down syndrome, and one that is underage and pregnant, which would be no biggie if she didn’t so vociferously and self-righteously oppose sex education or contraceptives in favour of ‘abstinence’ only . . . .

"So there you have it. The Republican masters of the universe . . . decided that a female Christian fundamentalist, who is anti-abortion, anti-environment, anti-stem cell research, who hunts and wears furs and is a former beauty queen with no gravitas at all is just as qualified as Dick Cheney to be vice-president."
Palin says her lack of international experience is no big deal because Americans just aren’t interested in "somebody’s big fat resume maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment where, yes, they’ve had opportunities to meet heads of state."

Now that’s terrifying.

It suggests Palin believes that a U. S. president — while dealing with al-Qaida terrorists, the worst financial crisis in eight decades, the rise of China, and with poverty, fratricidal warfare and AIDS epidemics in the third world — requires NO experience, knowledge or thoughtfulness.

As president, all she will need is the ability to avoid blinking.

Asked about fighting terrorism, she said, "We must do whatever it takes and we must not blink . . . in making those tough decisions of where we go and even who we target."

Palin loves to talk about the virtues of not blinking.

Can you believe it?

The New York Times does not want to:

"This nation has suffered through eight years of an ill-prepared and unblinkingly obstinate president. One who didn’t pause to think before he started a disastrous war of choice in Iraq. One who blithely looked the other way as Taliban and al-Qaida regrouped in Afghanistan. One who obstinately cut taxes and undercut all efforts at regulation, unleashing today’s profound economic crisis."

And now, McCain has selected as a president-in waiting this hockey mom and female Joe Sixpack who appears to be an impossibility: a version of George W. Bush, who is even stupider than the real thing.

"Not since Gaius Caesar Caligula appointed his horse to the Roman Senate has there been such a bonehead choice," says blogger John de Groot.

If McCain wins, and his illness drives him from office, the horse will be not just a senator but the Empress of America, with supreme power to wreck the entire world.

Let us pray.

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