In Defense of Sarah Palin.

Originally posted at PostBourgie on September 8, 2009. Note: I wrote this before we’d even begun to see the worst of Sarah Palin…but I still stand by it.


She’s a creationist, anti-science, anti-choice, mother of five who sued the federal government for listing polar bears as an endangered species and doesn’t think climate change is man-made. Her kid is having a kid and is possibly being pushed into a shotgun wedding.

And none of this would matter if she hadn’t committed an unforgivable sin: she said ‘yes’ to the opportunity of a lifetime.

Palin’s life is depressingly normal. There are millions of Americans who are smart and attractive, and who hold the same indefensible ideological positions. There are millions of Americans whose teenagers get pregnant. If you aren’t a Sarah Palin, then you know one, and you probably like her, because her nutty right-wingery doesn’t come up when you’re taking your kids to school, or when you bump into her at Starbucks, or when she brings snacks down to the basement for you and your friends.

She seems likeable and intelligent. And as much as this ‘heartbeat away from the nukes’ meme keeps getting played, it’s entirely possible that she could be a capable commander-in-chief. Not to get too corny, but enough pressure will either break someone, or turn them into a diamond. She could be a diamond. We don’t know.

But what we do know is this: she doesn’t have experience. And unlike Barack Obama, who has been attacked for having very little experience as well, she doesn’t appear to have the greatest judgment. Obama, by running a nearly flawless campaign and surrounding himself with capable people, has shown executive judgment. Palin, who giggled nervously as radio hosts called another Alaskan female legislator a “bitch,” and used her executive powers to get herself into some hot water over family issues has shown poor judgment.

Once again, this wouldn’t normally matter outside of Alaska, because she’s a fairly ordinary politician like dozens of other ordinary politicians.

I write this in defense of Sarah Palin, because the one person who’s shown exceptionally poor judgment, John McCain, isn’t getting banged on the way Palin is.

He met her once and he didn’t have her vetted.

That, right there, should be enough to disqualify John McCain and his advisers from ever being involved in presidential politics. It shows an amazing amount of disregard for the sanctity of the office which he’s attempting to fill. When John McCain appointed Sarah Palin as his running mate, he was in a tough spot. Any of his top options would have made for a stagnant ticket (Romney, Pawlenty) or an unelectable one (Lieberman). So he picked a woman — the wrong woman — for the job.

And now she’s the one paying for it.


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