Monday, September 29, 2008
Fareed Zakaria - Sarah, Just Go!
The esteemed editor of NewsWeek International has joined the chorus of voices - left, right and in-between - urging John McCain's living, breathing, senior's moment - Sarah Palin - to pack up her moose hides and go home.
"Will someone please put Sarah Palin out of her agony? Is it too much to ask that she come to realize that she wants, in that wonderful phrase in American politics, "to spend more time with her family"? Having stayed in purdah for weeks, she finally agreed to a third interview. CBS's Katie Couric questioned her in her trademark sympathetic style. It didn't help. When asked how living in the state closest to Russia gave her foreign-policy experience, Palin responded thus:
"'It's very important when you consider even national-security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America. Where--where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to--to our state.'
"There is, of course, the sheer absurdity of the premise. Two weeks ago I flew to Tokyo, crossing over the North Pole. Does that make me an expert on Santa Claus? (Thanks, Jon Stewart.) But even beyond that, read the rest of her response. "It is from Alaska that we send out those ..." What does this mean? This is not an isolated example. Palin has been given a set of talking points by campaign advisers, simple ideological mantras that she repeats and repeats as long as she can. ("We mustn't blink.") But if forced off those rehearsed lines, what she has to say is often, quite frankly, gibberish."
Zakaria focuses on this Palin answer in response to a Couric question, "designed to see if Palin understood that the problem in this crisis is that credit and liquidity in the financial system has dried up."
PALIN: "That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, were ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health-care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy, helping the--it's got to be all about job creation, too, shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health-care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americans. And trade, we've got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, scary thing. But one in five jobs being created in the trade sector today, we've got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that."
Nothing could make it plainer that Sarah Palin has no business standing as a potential "next in line" to the presidency of the United States. She is vacuous - an empty vessel from the neck up. She is Dan Quayle minus the intellect. The McCain people have been trying to groom her for weeks and yet she still has no grasp of even the most major issues of the day.
Okay, fairness demands that I acknowledge Fareed Zakaria is an elitist. Yes, he is well educated. Yes, he is highly experienced and very knowledgeable. Yes these are the qualities that fuel the righteous indignation of you fundamentalist nutjobs. There you go. Now, bite me.