Friday, September 19, 2008

Why Governor Sarah Palin makes me nervous

UPDATE II: Maybe that Press Embargo of Sarah Palin is a Good Idea, by Prof. Daniel W. Drezner.

UPDATE: There is this from my local paper- Onetime Alaskan backer-turned-foe is 'shocked' by Palin's pick as McCain V.P.

I am going to come right out with it- Sarah Palin scares me. Apart from the tremendous commitment to life and love she showed as a mother, giving birth to her son earlier this year, I really cannot think of one reason to vote for her. She reminds me very much of one President George W. Bush, who is easily the worst president in my lifetime. I was born during the Johnson Administration. In fact, I have a Christmas card sent by Lady Bird Johnson to my father-in-law, who served as photographer, hanging in my den. I fully recognize that the results of President Carter's efforts were miserable, but you can at least give him credit for being well-intentioned and for caring. The thing that bothers me the most about the current administration, with a few exceptions, like SECDEF Robert Gates and Treasury's Henry Paulson, who are a badly needed breaths of fresh air and too little too late, is the moral smugness. I felt even more repelled after listening to Fresh Air with Terry Gross this past Tuesday about the VP Cheney, who makes me more nervous than anybody, but for reasons very different from those that give me pause about Gov. Palin.

Instead of going deeply into why Gov. Palin scares me, I offer an article and two blog posts. The article, from The New York Times is an investigative piece, not an editorial- Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes. Even more troubling than the NY Times piece is the blog post by Damian Thompson, editor of the U.K.'s The Catholic Herald, which is something like National Catholic Register in this country when contrasted with The Tablet, which is more akin to the National Catholic Reporter. He is undoubtedly a conservative on matters religious and political, but a very harsh critic of what he aptly calls counterknowledge, an example of which is creationism, which he critiques in a post called Creationism and the advance of counterknowledge. He is an astute guy and a tenacious journalist. He shows how being a conservative, especially a religious conservative, differs in Europe. His post, written on his blog Holy Smoke, which appears courtesy of the U.K.'s Times newspaper, is entitled The battle for Sarah Palin's soul.

I am pretty much at ease with Sen. McCain. However,I do think he chose Gov. Palin to shake things up and to generate excitement, especially among the paleo-conservatives who constitute the hard-core of the Republican Party and who view him with suspicion, not for any qualifications she brings. This, I believe, is yet another result of stacking his campaign with the Blossom's boys. Hence, he took a big risk that, so far, seems to be paying off, but my well prove a bust. Part of the risk was how much about Gov. Palin's record can be definitively verified before the election. To wit: most, if not all, raised concerns can be brushed off as innuendo and smear tactics prior to the election. Undoubtedly, some reports are just that, but not all. A little over 60 days isn't much time to sift the wheat from the chaff. This brings me to blog post two, from The Deacon's Bench: I quite agree with the usually correct, if blunt, Peggy Noonan. I do not think Noonan's MSNBC comments in any way undermine her credibility, as my comment on the post makes clear.


  1. I agree with your assessment of Palin.

  2. Ditto. *heavy sigh*

  3. So far Mrs. Palin has impressed me. She is a very good speaker and she is one smart cookie. One can hardly go anywhere in Eastern Ohio or Western PA without running into somebody who is excited about her. Palin Mania is strong in the Heartland because we feel that she embraces our values.


  4. I fail to see reason to fear her. Seems to me to be a successful governor, mother, and wife. Certainly solid in her advocacy of the handicapped and the unborn.


A political non-rant

In the wake of yesterday's Helsinki press conference, which, like a lot of my fellow U.S. citizens, as well as many people abroad, left ...