Sarah Palin. More important than Mrs. Palin's fundamental lack of experience is her lack of gravitas and intellectual curiosity. You should be concerned when someone running for such a high office can't accurately tell a third grader what the job entails. You should be concerned when she thinks that preparation and preconditions are the same thing. You should be concerned when someone a heart-beat away from the presidency can't answer a question about the Republican platform on abortion and birth control with any specifics and instead launches into a bunch of gobbeldy gook about standing on strong planks. You should be concerned that someone that fundamentally ignorant, even though she's clever and pretty, is a heart-beat away from the presidency. You should be concerned that someone who thinks and speaks in terms of good Americans (those who agree with her) and bad Americans might take high office and might become the President of all the people. Mr. McCain is not young. He has had cancer multiple times. Mrs. Palin very well could become president.
Judgment. First, despite a claim of putting country first, he chose an ill-equipped running mate as kind of political gimmick. It's hard to tell most of the time who's the head of the ticket. In addition, Mr. McCain - with and through his surrogates - has run a campaign of slurs and slander with very little substance and a great many lies repeated over and over. The only time he has put a reign on hate speech and character assassination was when confronted with it face to face. In that instance he had little choice but to correct it the kind of confusion his campaign has encouraged. The highest paid staffer in the McCain campaign is Mrs. Palin's make-up artist (just read that this morning). In addition, Mr. McCain has shown a penchant for quick inaccurate pronouncements on subjects from international affairs to the economy. He may be able to backpeddle as a candidate, but as a president, such actions could have international ramifications.
Moral Relativism. Mr. McCain's campaign is being run by the same people who savaged him and his wife in 2000. This alone says something sad about his character. The very heart of the Palin/McCain campaign has been to focus on Senator Obama's brief working relationship with a teacher who did something terrible when Obama was 8. Although the Obama campaign has stayed above this kind of ugly and nonsensical politics, it is worth noting that Mr. McCain has over the years and very recently rubbed extremely cosy elbows with G. Gordon Liddy, one of the Watergate criminals, and a man who currently advises is listeners on how best to kill Federal Agents. Mr. McCain could praised him on air. This no more makes McCain a terrorist than knowing Mr. Ayers makes Mr. Obama a terrorist. Mr. McCain has a penchant for rationalizing his own bad behavior because things didn't go his way. Asked in the debate about the smear tactics, he explained that they were justified because Senator Obama didn't agree to town hall meetings. Huh? What else will he justify? Is this how he was able to rationalize his part in allowing Mr. Bush and Cheney to repeatedly violate the US Constittution?
Temperament. Mr. McCain is a shoot-first ask questions later kind of personality. With the weight of world peace in the balance, I question whether that's who we want in a position of great power. Repeatedly during his campaign. Mr. McCain has tended to blurt out the first thing that comes into his head and then back-peddle until he found something that was better. That will not fly well in volatile international relations.
Military views/experience. Mr. McCain seems to believe that his years as a POW make him a military expert. Clearly it takes a level of courage to survive what he survived, but it hardly makes him a military expert. In fact, I think his Vietnam experience makes Mr. McCain - already prone to voilent, military solutions - less willing to negotiate and willing to let many more young men and women die to satisfy his need to have a victory in Iraq that he didn't get in Vietnam. I don't know that we can have a victory from the unjustified invasion of another nation. In addition, Mr. McCain is very fond of saber rattling. I'm not sure how he will fight all the wars he wants to get into. Our economy is in ruins and our military is already stretched to the breaking point. I actually think there is as much or more danger of Mr. Biden's projected "test" with Mr. McCain than with Mr. Obama. I don't think Mr. McCain is up to the job. Just walking around saying "I know how to do that," doesn't make it so. I have yet to hear Mr. McCain explain what he means with that statement. I have to wonder what army Mr. McCain plans to use to wage his wars. The one we have is profoundly overextended at the moment. The nation's failing economy also impacts our failing military's ability to recover from it's misuse at the hands of the present administration. On how many fronts does Mr. McCain expect our exhausted troops to defund us?
Lies. Both Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin seem quite comfortable telling lies. We have had 8 years of that and it has proven to be disastrous for the country on many levels. Name some lies, you ask? "And I just said no to that bridge to nowhere." Although the Troopergate panel found the following: "Unlawfully Abused Her Authority," Mrs. Palin responded that she was grateful to have been cleared of all wrongdoing. I couldn't find the quote, but it was surreal, as is much of what she says. Then there's the campaign's repeated insistence that "Obama is going to raise your taxes." Patently untrue. "Acorn is a threat to the fabric of democracy." Barack Obama "pals around with terrorists." The chill that ran down Cindy McCain's spine only ran down it when Mr. Obama voted down the same bill that her husband voted down in another form.
Hate speech and divisive language. Mrs. Palin has been the mouthpiece for this, but Mr. McCain has not backed away from it. The claim that Mr. Obama "doesn't think like we do" and "pals around with terrorists." The implication that McCain supporters are Pro-American and that the rest of us are not... Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin seem to operate on the concept that those who disagree with them are less patriotic than they are. Again we have had 8 years of patriotism weighed on the basis of agreement with an inept, dishonest president. We don't need 8 more years of division.
Stupid claims. Living in Alaska gives one foreign policy experience. "She needed clothes," as an explanation of $150,000 spent spiffing Mrs. Palin up. The poor and the Democrats are to blame for the current financial crisis.
And a little humor to end a serious discussion: