It was at this point that I began to discern that I'm not going to change anyone's mind by hitting the Liberal news sites and browsing Liberal message boards. Those are people I already agree with: no new ground can be broken. I have to go into the trenches and talk to the people who disagree with me for anything new to happen.
And I'm unarmed. I'm really undereducated in this respect, I'm politically naive. If I were to leap into the fray right now I'd be julienned with cheap shots and libel that I don't know enough to defend against. And because a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, the Republicans are very dangerous with embedding a seed of fact somewhere deep in the heart of an argument--from which spawn all branches and legs of half-truths, corrupted information, insinuations, and bald illogic.
So I'll go out and delve, scrape some material samples, and bring them back to my lab for analysis. For now I won't make contact, there's no need. As with all my dozen blogs, this is just an exercise for my own betterment.
I'm paraphrasing a quote which I'm inclined to attribute to Christopher Hitchens:
"You've got to be interested in politics, because politics is interested in you."
October 16, 2008: David Letterman, CBS
Letterman asked McCain if he honestly felt that, were McCain unable to fulfill his office and the US suffered a 9/11-like attack, Palin would be sufficient to lead the country.
McCain: "Absolutely. She has inspired Americans. That's the thing we need! We need inspiration now, we need courage. We need to know that we're the greatest nation of the world and we can come through this. I agree with your assessment of the way the world and this country [are], and they need somebody to say this, this person is an inspiration to us. This is a person that has done so many things that are very unusual. So, all I can tell you is that if you were looking for somebody, someone who was in the old-boy network of Washington, part of whom, many of whom have gotten us into this ditch to start with, then that's fine. But I think America is crying out for change and she represents the kind of change that we need."
McCain absolutely avoids citing any specific qualifications Palin possesses to lead the USA through a terrorist-based crisis. Earlier he indicated some aspects of being governor of Alaska, but being "governor of a state with 24,000 employees" does not equate to leading a nation of 305 million citizens even in times of peace.
McCain says that Palin represents the kind of change we need, but he does not state what change it is she will bring. He is correct in iterating she is not a member of DC's old-boy network. That is a patently safe statement. Here are others:
- Sarah Palin has never eaten a raw puppy.
- Sarah Palin adheres to all known physical laws.
- Sarah Palin has rarely misspelled her own name in her lifetime.
- Sarah Palin is not Yakuza.
Personally, having watched her interviews and debate, I don't credit her with quick thought. She is amiable and accessible, but I have seen nothing in her performance that inspires me with any faith in her competence to lead a nation. I would totally have her over for a backyard grilling, I'd take some pride in cooking her a salmon and I would share my favorite beer with her; I don't think she is a terrible person. Yes, she lied about her position on the Bridge to Nowhere but she kinda has to, doesn't she? Let's not be naive, all politicians have to play up their careers, though I tend to respect those that honestly confront their flaws and own up to them. When someone commits an error and then attempts to cover it up or spin it in a positive light, the smallness of the issue does not mitigate the decrease in respect with which I regard them. I wish Clinton had immediately come clean with his infidelity rather than drawing it out and handing the Republicans even more material to work with.
As for Bush... there's too much. He is not nearly big enough a man to accept responsibility for his actions, not big enough by half. All he can do is deny his culpability for the rest of his life, it's too massive to own up to.