What Fallows said.
I know I said I would back off of political blogging, but I want to say this, and I know there are at least some Palin-fans who agree with what I am going to say, although they wouldn't use my example.
I lived in Indiana when Dan Quayle was senator. I wrote to him periodically arguing against his positions. Though the letters I got back from other politicians were generally meaningless and non-commital ("thank you for your letter. It is important to me to hear from you."), his were thoughtful. I read them and thought, "Okay, I don't agree with this guy, but he is smart and he is fair."
Then he was picked to be Vice President and transformed into someone I did not know. Dan Quayle's new job assignment seemed to be: go keep the religious right happy.
He sucked at it.
He had the potential to have one day been an influencial and important person to the Republican Party. He was young, bright, capable, but was put in a role for which he was not suited.
Years later I saw an interview in which he was running for something and he told the interviewer that most of America did not know the real Dan Quayle and they were going to be surprised about who he really was. And I thought, "He's right, but he is never going to get anyone to listen."
A young, smart, thoughtful, fair guy with whom I disagreed but respected had been made the punch-line of a joke. It wasn't fair to him.
And something similar is happening to Palin. If her job is just to keep the religious right happy, then she can probably do that well. However, her job is to do more than that, and she just isn't ready. She just isn't. It isn't a personality attack. She just doesn't know the stuff she needs to know to be ready to take over for a guy who is getting up there.
And it isn't fair to her.
Or to us.
Friday, September 12, 2008
What Fallows said.