What does it say when a sizable number of people who would vote for a particular Presidential candidate don't think that candidate is qualified for the job? In a world where we face an intractable war in Afghanistan, widespread unemployment that looks every day to be more structural than cyclical, a declining dollar, global climate change, a nuclear Pakistan, and that's just what I can think of before my morning coffee, are fantasies about a miniskairted president that you can fantasize about fucking really all that important? Is an egomaniacal prom queen who probably would have snubbed you at every turn in high school really a representative of Every American Woman?
Last night I saw parts of Sarah Palin's Oprah appearance and thought "This woman is just babbling. She has no idea what she's talking about." We all babble sometimes; I had a Best Practices teleconference yesterday morning for which I hadn't had time to prepare because I was meeting a deadline and when asked my opinion I bullshitted my way through it, thinking every step of the way, "I'm just babbling here." But I at least know when I'm babbling to fill up time. I don't have ideas that I could be president, I'm not on a book tour, and I don't have millions of people thinking they'll vote for me because I look good in a miniskirt (which I don't).
I understand that Americans are angry. But they should have started getting angry long before Barack Obama became president. The seeds of today's economy, and indeed of Al-Qaeda, were sown during the Reagan years, when the idea that if you shovel enough money into the gaping holes in the souls of rich people, eventually they would shower some largesse upon you, and that arming the Afghan mujahadeen was a great policy took hold. Oh they let some of it out during the Clinton years, but they saved most of it for the black guy, while the dry-drunk with daddy issues strutted across his prop ranch in Texas for eight years.
But Sarah Palin? Why? The world is full of pretty women, and many of them don't have that maniacal look in the eyes that makes them seem that they're just this side of going completely bonkers on national television.
From the day Adlai Stevenson lost the presidency to Dwight D. Eisenhower (who seems like a rocket scientist by the standards that have brought us Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman, Louie Gomert, John Boehner, and any number of other Republican House members) we had this unfortunate mindset in this country that the president should be someone just like us, or like our neighbor. I don't know about you, but I want a president who has the capability to put two coherent thoughts together. I mean, Barney Gumble is a funny character on The Simpsons
, but I wouldn't want him as president. Meryl Streep is funny and smart AND a great actress, but I don't think she's qualified to be president either. The idea of voting for a candidate that you don't feel is qualified? You might as well put a bumper sticker on your car for one of the look-alike blondes of Gossip Girl
And yet, Jon Meacham points out in Newsweek this week
(which features what in a more innocent time was called a cheesecake photo of a miniskirted Palin on the cover), According to Gallup, Republicans are more likely to say they would seriously consider voting for Palin for president (65 percent) than to say she is qualified for the job (58 percent).
Even if you think Palin is hot (and her MILF shelf life is growing short; as a woman of 54 who's been there I can tell you that the age of 45 starts a dramatic acceleration in the sagging and aging process), even if you think she's exciting, even if you agree with her viewpoints (though how you can find them amidst the babbling, I have no idea), does that really trump knowledge? Does that trump diplomacy? Does ideology, or some delusion that this woman knows what your life is about, or some fantasy that you'll get to have sex with her really trump EVERYTHING?
Labels: rant, Sarah Palin