I Need Crib Notes Myself Sometimes
I am not considering a run for the Presidency in 2012, and so it doesn’t really matter if I can think on my feet as well as more practiced orators should be able to. I am not so much in demand as a speaker, nor a leader of a revolutionary movement that anyone would pay me $100k to show up for a few hours and talk about how much I think that um, um, tax cuts would make the American people feel better about each other. I do need notes, largely because when I am in public and speaking I only have a vague idea of the details of the topic.
Still and all, I don’t think it hypocritical to say that Sarah Palin is so clearly out of her league when it comes to being a politician on the national scene. I have been watching her missteps since August of 2008, when the McCain team sensed that her know-nothing populism would sweep through the conservative moment and make her a politico-celebrity even though she so obviously has no substance nor serious grasp of the issues.
Does anybody else remember that McCain’s handlers did not want her to sit down and talk to reporters directly? Does anybody else remember that we were to be satisfied with the press releases from the McCain campaign? Does anybody else remember that she couldn’t name a newspaper that she reads on a daily basis? I must confess that I don’t get my news from a newspaper, but from a variety of sources that I can name. Why didn’t she just say she gets her news from various sites on the web instead of bluffing her way through the whole stupid affair with Katie Couric. Why didn’t she prep for an interview with Charlie Gibson so that she would at least have an understanding of the Bush Doctrine of Preemptive War, and then why did her defenders claim that Gibson and Couric had ambushed her?
If she wants to be president, fine, it’s a Republic not a monarchy and anyone who wants to throw his or her hat in the ring is welcome to do so. They just need to raise money, get the supporters, convince the base of her party that if they nominate her then she will be able to push Obama out of the White House on a wave of popular support. But then, once she is in office she will actually need to do something constructive for the country. She will need to negotiate, and she will need to know what she is doing and what she is saying and she won’t be able to prepare for the negotiation session by putting a few phrases on her palm to remember that “Cutting taxes good.”
The President will not be able to sit at a table in Geneva, or a summit in Rejkjavik with the leader of a Muslim nation with crib notes that say “Islam is Terrorism.” The President will not be able to sit with the Secretary of Education and say “We need to teach more Bible in Science Class because” (reading palm) “Genesis is the literal word of God.”
What would happen with a president like Palin? The corrupt would eagerly swoop in like Cheney into Guantanamo, but instead of torture they would rob us blind while telling us how much they love Jesus and Sarah. She would be powerless to be president and instead rely on sweet-talking foxes to tell her that the chicken house is in safe hands.
Conservatives complain that liberals don’t take their intellectuals seriously, but when they grasp at leaders who revel in their ignorance of policy and structure while complaining that the current President uses a teleprompter, they are making the case for us that they are either wilfully ignorant or naturally stupid.
People use crib notes. I just don’t want a president to rely on them.