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November 18, 2008

Shock: Frum Slams Palin

Frum claims Palin was embraced solely because she's "one of us." And it never mattered whether she could govern -- just that she was a Christian and didn't abort babies.

Goldberg disagrees, and questions if we're really talking about Palin:

I just don't see a lot of merit to the effort to depict Palin into some grand symbol of conservative decay. If you want to argue she wasn't prepared to be President McCain's understudy, fine. That's certainly a legitimate argument (and there are legitimate responses to it). But I can't shake the feeling that Frum, Brooks, Noonan and others are using Palin as an excuse to make an argument they were preparing to make for a very long time rather than a reason to make that argument in the first place.

For what it's worth: I don't think she was prepared to be Vice President when nominated. She was a governor who hadn't run for president, and so had not had the year to prepare that Obama (and Bush, and Clinton) did. Nor was she a senator who already dealt with these issues as part of her day job. Her day job was running Alaska.

But, believing her to be a pretty smart cookie,* I think she would have been prepared by Election Day... or shortly thereafter.

I'm not getting the absolute insistence that she was incapable of governing as she already had been governing, successfully, and accomplishing a fair bit more than Barack Obama, or Joe Biden, or dozens of governors and senators currently serving.

At some point the suspicion grows: Does Frum simply assume, absent contrary compelling evidence, that Christians = Dumb? The rejoinder would be "Obviously not, William F. Buckley was smart." Ah, but that's why I stuck that "absent contrary compelling evidence" part in there. Sure, someone could disprove a starting assumption. But does Frum begin with that assumption?

How can it be that former community organizer Barack Obama learned all he needed to know about the presidency itself in two years of being a do-nothing Senator and eighteen months of gauzy, gassy campaigning, but Sarah Palin would not be qualified to be Vice President by two years of actual governance plus three months of campaigning and another two months of transition?

* Incidentally, I do think she's smart. But someone here -- "JS," who may have been a moby, for all I know -- advanced the worst possible argument in favor of her. To paraphrase, he claimed she was a good candidate precisely because she wasn't particularly smart, because she was just like the average housewife standing in a line at Wal-Mart -- of average intelligence. Maybe a little lower.

And that, he contended, was a good thing. After all, how could she represent average-intelligence-or-lower voters if she weren't average-intelligence-or-lower herself?

For reasons that are obvious, I think this is pretty much the worst possible defense of Sarah Palin I've ever heard (so much so I wonder if this isn't being offered by a clever moby to reduce support for her).

Hey, if anyone really does think like this -- do Palin and the rest of us a favor and keep a lid on your She's a Good Candidate Because She's a Dummy Just Like Me theories.

The Quote... Notropis posts the quote I wanted to, but couldn't find.

JS's bs sounds like channeling the (in)famous line from Roman Hruska, defending the choice of SC nominee G. Harrold Carswell, back in 1970:

"There are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers," said the Nebraska Republican. "They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they? We can't have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos."

Didn't work then, either.

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posted by Ace at 02:57 PM

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