By Thomas Sowell, Creators Syndicate. Originally published in the Jacksonville-Times Union, 10/27/08.
Apparently, there is something about Sarah Palin that causes some people to think of her as either the best of candidates or the worst of candidates. She draws enthusiastic crows and provokes visceral hostility in the media.
The issue that is raised most often is her relative lack of experience and the fact that she would be “a heartbeat away from the presidency” if John McCain were elected.
But Barack Obama has even less experience—none in an executive capacity—and his would itself be the heartbeat of the presidency if he were elected. Palin has had executive experience—and the White House us the executive branch of government. We don’t have to judge her by her rhetoric because she has a record.
We don’t know what Obama will actually do because he has actually done very little for which he was personally accountable. Even as a state legislator, he voted “present” innumerable times instead of taking a stand one way or the other on tough issues.
“Clean up the mess in Washington”? He was part of the mess in Chicago and lined up with the Daley machine against reformers.
He is also part of the mess in Washington, not only with numerous earmarks, but also as the Senate’s second-largest recipient of money from Fannie Mae.
Why then the enthusiasm for Obama and the hostility to Palin in the media?
One reason is that Obama is ideologically much closer to the views of the media.
Worse yet, from the media’s perspective, Palin does not seek their Good Housekeeping seal of approval.
Much is made of Joe Biden’s “experience.” But Frederick the Great said that experience matters on when valid conclusions are drawn from it.
Biden’s “experience” has been a long history of being on the wrong side of issue after issue in foreign policy. He was one of those senators who voted to pull the plug on financial aid to South Vietnam, which was still defending itself from Communist invaders after the pullout of American troops.
Biden opposed Ronald Reagan’s military buildup that helped win the Cold War. He opposed the surge in Iraq last year.
Palin will not be ready to become president on the first day that she and McCain take office. Nobody is.
But being vice president is a job that can allow a lot of time for studying, and everything about Palin’s career says that she is a bright gal with her head on straight. The country needs that far more than it needs people with glib answers to media “gotcha” questions.
Whatever the shortcomings of McCain ad Palin, they are people whose values are the values of this nation, whose loyalty and dedication to this country’s fundamental institutions are beyond question because they have not spent decades working with people who hate America.
Nor are they people whose judgments have been proved wrong consistently during decades of Beltway “experience.”
Copyright, MCzwz, All Rights Reserved. Originally posted on www.thoughts.com/MCzwz/blog on 10/28/2008.