Saturday, August 30, 2008

My LTE on Palin, Can't say if it will get published

Maverick or Poor Impulse Control?

John McCain's choice of Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President is a shocking display of poor impulse control. As an elderly cancer survivor, just turning 72, McCain, sadly, has an extremely high probability of dying or becoming mentally incapacitated in office. He knows that his Vice Presidential pick may be forced to step in and finish the wars and policies that he plans to start. Imagine if after delivering another swaggering, bellicose, verbal attack on Russia, Iraq, or Iran President McCain were to drop dead of a heart attack. Is Sarah Palin even close to knowing what to do to follow through on his threats? He and his advisers have admitted choosing Palin primarily to shore up the religious right base and to squelch Obama's convention bounce. In other words--they have chosen deliberately to put a temporary, even week long, media and electoral advantage over the country's long term interest. In military terms this is called putting tactics over strategy. In business terms this is the equivalent of driving yourself into bankruptcy by trying to undercut your competitor in a foolish weekend sale. Perhaps this pick is to McCain's short term electoral benefit but there is no way that it is to the benefit of the American people. There is no way that this former runner up beauty queen, this "Miss Congeniality" of the anti science set, this "elk hunting" former mayor of the smallest town in the US, is ready for the second highest position in the land. With one reckless choice McCain has made a mockery of his claim to put country first, and, frankly, brought into question his judgment on everything else.

(And yes, I know that at 5000-8000 its not the smallest town, but what the hell?)