Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Yes, let's examine the competence of vice-presidential candidates

The NY Times today weighs in with a solemn, worried article about the problems with Sarah Palin's candidacy:

"A month after Gov. Sarah Palin joined Senator John McCain’s ticket to a burst of excitement and anticipation among Republicans, she heads into a critical debate facing challenges from conservatives about her credentials, signs that her popularity is slipping and evidence that Republicans are worried about how much help she will be for Mr. McCain in November."

Read the whole thing--there are some conservatives, such as David Frum and Kathleen Parker, joining in the bashing, too. And for doing so, I'm disappointed in conservatives such as Parker and Frum. Sarah Palin is a woman with a track record--of popularity, and of success across a whole range of issues, in Alaska. She has a track record of being a good debater there, and of defeating better known, establishment candidates both in debates and in elections (and the men she beat remind me a lot of Joe Biden). She ought to at least have been given the chance to compete in this vice-presidential debate before people began talking about throwing her under the bus, you'd think...

And when it comes to judgment, in any case, the one with the problem ought to be Joe Biden. Go here and read this article. It shows that not once, but twice (!), Biden has fibbed about coming under hostile fire--once near the Green Zone in Baghdad, and another time near Afghanistan. In neither case was he truthful--in Baghdad, there's no evidence there were shots fired, and in Afghanistan, his helicopter was forced down by bad weather, not terrorists.
How can someone be a responsible politician and tell lies like this???
Answer: you can't. You've got to know that to be dishonest like this about shots fired at politicians in a war zone is going to get found out. It's going to get you in trouble.
Thus, to make up stories like this, as Biden does, show incredibly poor judgment.
It shows incredibly poor character. Has Sarah Palin done anything like Biden?
No. Let's keep that in mind.