This piece was also posted on The Huffington Post.
The Grand Old Party has been fervently defending Senator John McCain’s choice for Vice President, first-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin. The spokespeople have been synchronized. And the tactic is instead of answering questions — ask them. And when you ask them — throw in an ‘implication bomb.’
Example inquiry: What experience does she have to be the vice president? Example answer: What experience does Barack Obama have with not raising taxes or saying the national anthem?
I’ll translate: Our candidate is just as under qualified as we have said your candidate is.
Cindy McCain offered George Stephanopoulos on The Week that Palin’s international experience is that she lives close to Russia. “So she knows what’s at stake.” She said. A mighty sound argument that I will use next time someone asks me if I’m a surgeon. “I live close to a hospital. I know what’s at stake.”
Conservative pundits, columnist Peggy Noonan and Adviser Mike Murphy have been touting McCain’s choice. “I’m bumping into a lot of critics who do not buy the legitimacy of small town mayorship (Palin had two terms in Wasilla, Alaska, population 9,000 or so).” Wrote Noonan in the Wall Street Journal. “And executive as opposed to legislative experience. But executives, even of small towns, run something.” She offered.
Cheerful. Optimistic. So what if people younger than McCain can die of old age. His proposed replacement ran something. You have to admire someone that will so gleefully defend Sarah Palin. Mike Murphy called her fresh – an ‘anti-politician’. She’s running for something that she…isn’t. Great point.
Then on MSNBC with Chuck Todd it broke. Off camera with mikes still hot Todd asked,”Is she really the most qualified woman?” Without missing a beat Noonan said, “Most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives.”
“Yeah, they went to narratives.” Said Todd.
Then you can hear Murphy say,”I totally agree.”
My question has always been: do these flacks actually believe all the stuff they say? The answer: Why do you hate democracy and American values?
Then it was clear: these are the same people and tactics that sold the Iraq War. It’s was a combo of brow and drum beating that got us into this trillion dollar ‘vanity project’. “We have to invade them because they have weapons of mass destruction.” Was the basis.
I’m no military genius but you think that if they had weapons of mass destruction they would have used them on us when we invaded them. Not that I’m an expert. The Soviet Union actually had WMDs. They were close to Alaska, so they knew what was at stake (which may be another reason why our war with them was ‘cold’). You don’t invade countries that are heavily armed. That’s why countries get heavily armed – so they won’t get invaded.
This was the most ridiculous, scary, Machiavellian, Orwellian, Barry Levinsonian march to war in recent history. It was sold to the American public by talking heads and columnists that were put on the government payroll. Thousands of young people have died, many more injured and there’s no end in sight. The propaganda posing as talking points, platitudes and patriotic pandering was overwhelming. Through intimidation and repetition we went into a war that makes this nation hemorrhage resources.
And now that same strategy is being used by Steve Schmidt to sell us Sarah Palin, 20-month long governor of a state so small it has more senators than congressmen. He’s gone on the defensive to blame the ‘liberal media’. The same liberal media that McCain used to call his base. The same ‘liberal media’ that went along with anything President Bush wanted to do after 9/11. The same liberal media that is now sexist when it asks questions about Palin’s qualifications.
The question is: will it work? The answer: Do you hate working mothers and apple pie?