Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

August 31, 2008

PROXIMITY TO RUSSIA IS IRRELEVANT.... On Friday, my friend Kevin Drum came up with a clever little way to preemptively mock Republicans' claims about Sarah Palin's foreign policy experience. "Isn't Alaska a central front in the new Cold War? That's foreign policy experience right there!" Kevin joked.

If only the Republican establishment wasn't serious about this. For example, Fox News' Steve Doocy, with a straight face, insisted, "[T]he other thing about her, she does know about international relations because she is right up there in Alaska right next door to Russia." (This led Jon Stewart to call Doocy a "moron.")

This morning, Cindy McCain made the exact same argument, telling George Stephanopoulos, in response to a question about national security experience, "[R]emember, Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia. It's not as if she doesn't understand what's at stake here."

Has Palin ever been to Russia? No. Has she ever demonstrated any expertise on U.S. policy towards Russia? No. Does she have any background in international relations at any level? No.

But for Republicans, the fact that she's lived near Russia is somehow a qualification for national office.

The mind reels.

Steve Benen 12:21 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (97)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Its a very similar tactic used by Republicans in 2000 with regards to W's foreign policy experience as governor of Texas, except with Mexico.

Posted by: Amanda in San Jose on August 31, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Might be worth investigating her relations with Canada to realise how truly insignificant her international chops are. In terms of strict bilateral relations, the only things Palin has been involved in are oil pipelines (she favours them), protection of polar bears (she opposes) and, perhaps most importantly of all, promotion and regenration of the wood buffalo population...which she supports! Are you anti-wood buffalo, Benin? Do you deny that wood buffalo will be our first line of continental defense against the Tsarists?

In defense of Cindy McCain and Steve Doocey, everyone knows you can attack Alaska from Kamchatka. http://www4.macnn.com/games/gamecenter/risk2/s_01_lrg.jpg

Posted by: dB on August 31, 2008 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

yeah, i noticed how quickly the alaska/russia talking point has been picked up, too.

think cindy lou who is feeling a little threatened by mcsame's new "soulmate"? good thing she's got more money and houses than palin does.

Posted by: mel on August 31, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

I live right next door to Camp Pendleton, so that makes me a Marine, right?

Posted by: Speed on August 31, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

What is offensive and extremely amazing is that they CLAIM, over and over again, that she is a perfectly well-prepared candidate. If they said, "Well, she was chosen for other purposes.", then they would get credit for telling the truth. But they continue to lie about it, in a most amazing amnner. They have said, over and over, that she is ready to be president.

What was REALLY amazing is that McCain actually cited her experience in the PTA as part of her credentials. Wow. He left out the business about her preparing lunches for her children.

Posted by: POed Lib on August 31, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Not a great argument. But then Obama's saying he was more qualified than either Hillary or McCain on foreign policy because he had lived in Indonesia as a kid was no better. And his failure to hold even one policy meeting of the foreign policy subcommittee on European/NATO affairs is disturbing. His excuse that he has been too busy running for president doesn't wash. If he was too busy he should have stepped aside and let someone else do the job. Clearly he wanted this on his resume.
Obama really should leave this argument alone.

Posted by: BernieO on August 31, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

You almost begin to wonder if they're not trying to explore just how stupid the American public is. I fear the worst.

Posted by: Jake on August 31, 2008 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Are you sure Kevin was making it up? I thought he was riffing on them actually bringing this up.

Bernie it's different. Obama actually LIVED in a foreign country, and he's not claiming it as foreign policy experience but that it gives him a more expansive perspective so he is more aware of how non-Americans think.

Posted by: MNPundit on August 31, 2008 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

What was Staph's reply to that bit of bullshit?
Did he follow up:

"Are you seriously suggesting that..."

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on August 31, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Look, this line works with the base. I know. I brought up this ridiculous line with my parents today. They are staunch Republicans, not socially conservative, but extremely partisan. And my Dad actually said "yeah I think it does". And then I said, "So I could be Secretary of State because I live in Paris, right?" He laughed. Hopefully he saw the absurdity but I don't think so.

Posted by: Todd on August 31, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Obama did not hold subcommittee meetings on NATO and European relations with respect to Afghanistan because some joker who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee preferred to consider these matters before the entire committee. Good talking point, though.

Posted by: dB on August 31, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

But...Alaska faces two foreign countries. Doesn't Canada count too? Or does Cindy think it is part of the United States?

Posted by: Tigershark on August 31, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

The Bering Strait is in between. It's not like there is an actual "border."

Posted by: Jay Ackroyd on August 31, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Steve! How dare you question these sober defenses of Palin's formidable global stature!

I can drive a car. I have driven many cars. I have even owned and driven a succession of sports cars. I have stood next to actual race cars. Therefore, I am capable of competing in the Indianapolis 500.

Posted by: alibubba on August 31, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Cindy must know what she's talking about. After all, she sleeps next to John McCain.

Posted by: Charles on August 31, 2008 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

As Pissed Off Liberal notes, if the Republican'ts and John "Zinger" McC*nt's campaign had simply said "She is a fast learner and we will get her up to speed in no time" then they wouldn't look like such God Damned Lying Fools.

If John "Zinger" McC*nt wanted a "Russia Expert" he had a perfectly good choice in Condi Rice (well, not good, but at least meeting that criteria).

John "Zinger" picked Sarah Palin for ONE reason, he thinks she's like him, a reformist anti-corruption maverick. What he fails to understand is that she is like him. Sarah Palin thinks she is goodness and righteousness because she stood up to the old boys network in Alaska, but when the time came, she acted exactly like them, using her position to punish her "enemies".

The term is "Self-Righteous", and boy does she fit it.

Orange

Posted by: Lance on August 31, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

In 2004, your VP candidate was John Edwards. He had only six years as a near do-nothing Senator, and was from a state that wasn't anywhere near a foreign country. Yet, somehow, he had enough "experience" and Palin doesn't. The sexism is obvious.

Posted by: Al on August 31, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Palin didn't even have a passport until last year. Not only is her awareness of the rest of the wold stunted, she's barely travelled around the US. If you live in a state other than Alaska, chances are Sarah Palin has never been there, let alone understands what issues you may be facing.

Posted by: petorado on August 31, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Palin only just got her Passport in 2007!

The issue is why McOldie would pick someone he met once ... so many actually qualified Republican women out there ...

No need to attack her .. the attacks and focus need to be on McOldie and his senior moment for his decision

Posted by: Tang on August 31, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Even if we grant that living near Russia magically confers foreign policy experience, that part of Russia has virtually no one living in it and no political power to speak of. I doubt that it's even particularly strategic if Russia were to declare war on the US. So this is doubly stupid...

Posted by: lylebot on August 31, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

The video reminds me of nothing so much as that helpful table (intended as a joke) called, "How to Speak Government". It has several rows of selections, in which you choose your verb and modifiers, such as " Since (a) taking office, we have (b) aggressively pursued (c) measures which will assist us (d) in reducing the level of corruption in our government". Cindy McCain didn't really say anything that you wouldn't tell your buddy if you were trying to set him up with your sister's friend on a blind date - she has a fine mind, a great personality, she comes from out of town. No achievements which are a matter of record, and can be verified, are cited - because there aren't any.

Cindy McCain is, if possibly, more grating and annoying in her speech than Bay Buchanan, which perhaps explains why she usually settles for that detached smile, and says nothing. That's a point in her favour - she knows her own weak points. If her husband had the same talent for self-analysis, he wouldn't have run.

We've dissected the manifest foolishness of claiming experience in foreign policy and international relations just because you live near a foreign country, as if you could absorb culture and mores by osmosis, in other threads. I'm surprised the Republicans keep it up - knowing how assiduously they read this blog, you'd think they'd realize we're on to them. As someone else mentioned here the other day, an extremely effective ad would be a black screen, no voiceover, on which the letters, "John McCain thinks you're stupid" appear. Fade out, to be replaced by, "Is he right?"

Posted by: Mark on August 31, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Charles said: Cindy must know what she's talking about. After all, she sleeps next to John McCain.

Are you sure about that?

Posted by: bruno on August 31, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Obama has lived closer to China, Iraq, and Pakistan (if I calculate correctly per Indonesia, also Hawaii) than any other candidate!

Posted by: Neil B on August 31, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Is this becoming a Jeff Foxworthy routine, or what?

You just might have a weak candidate if...

- you insist that she has foreign policy experience becuase Alaska is next to Russia

- you highlight her time on the PTA as experience in elected office

- you insist that she has more experience than Obama, implying that 2 years is somehow greater than 12 years

- you insist that Alaska is the largest state (which it is in area), even though it is 47th in population

- you imply that she is your "soul mate" as McCain did on Fox today

Doocy was moronic enough. Now Cindy is going to be the butt of even more jokes.

Posted by: BH on August 31, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

BTW BerniO, Obama *living* in Indonesia means he had direct cultural immersion which gives him perspectives merely being geographically near another nation (!) do not. Remind everyone of that, folks.

Posted by: Neil B on August 31, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Proximity only takes you so far; Bush's ass has been in the Oval Office for eight years and all we got was a smart ass, not a president.

Posted by: eightnine2718281828mu5 on August 31, 2008 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

But then Obama's saying he was more qualified than either Hillary or McCain on foreign policy because he had lived in Indonesia as a kid was no better.

If that were the extent of Obama's experience, I would agree that it's a poor argument. That said, living in a foreign culture goes a long way to teaching humility, tolerance, and an understanding of how people are different and how they are the same. In Europe there is an expression that the French think they're a special breed; Americans, a separate species. Republicans actually frame their debate in a way that confirms this view.

Posted by: Danp on August 31, 2008 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Y'know, if a Democrat lived that close to Russia, we'd be hearing a whispering campaign that he or she was some sort of sleeper agent.

I'm just sayin'...

Posted by: Roddy McColey on August 31, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK
Palin only just got her Passport in 2007!
Probably only because of the Homeland Security changes made last year in regards to entry into Canada. She wanted to make sure she could get in there without too much hassle. Posted by: on August 31, 2008 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like to see Obama make a commercial highlighting this. It would be called "John McCain choses his cabinet.

Here's how it would go.

"John McCain has chosen Sarah Palin for Vice President. We applaud his choice, because everyone can see how prepared she is to be VP.

Following the same approach,

- For Secretary of State, Judy Trudeau of Watterton, CT, currently a Secretary in a bank. She is the new Secretary of State, since she has spoken to a French person in 1997.\

- For Secretary of Defense, Staff Sgt. Jim Gilmore of Fresno, CA, since he is in the military.

- for Secretary of Housing and Human developement, Jim Peters of St. Louis, MO, since he owns a house.

Posted by: POed Lib on August 31, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, BernieO; why? Why should Obama leave this argument alone? First of all, I highly doubt he ever presented his foreign policy credential in quite the manner you've phrased it - "I'm more qualified in foreign policy because I lived in Indonesia as a kid". Some dumb cracker might have said that ABOUT him, but I'm sure he didn't say it himself, certainly not in those words. Besides, if the line of argument that he never held any meetings of the Foreign Policy Subcommittee showed evidence of gaining traction, the Republicans would be hammering on it like a gong day and night. Instead, they've gone with the fuzzy outline, "Inexperienced". Do you think they're not being specific due to class and restraint? Besides, "Foreign Policy Subcommittee" has too many syllables, and passes through the average voter's head without even warming the air. If the candidate were John Edwards, do you think the Republicans wouldn't be milking his affair for every moan and groan, every gynecological detail?

It'd be nice if the candidates didn't need to get nasty and personal in order to get noticed. Unfortunately, modern politics dictate that you go negative early, and tear down your opponent until the voters pick the least shattered of the two. Yes, it's a pity, but that's the way it is, and that's the way one party plays it every time.

Posted by: Mark on August 31, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Paris & NY. born in New Mexico. (Many Americans still think that's a foreign country.) I've lived in Fiji, San Francisco during the '60s, went to school in Chicago, (that's near Canada, San Antonio (near Mexico) & was a Flight attendant for 40 years & really traveled everywhere & have administrative experience. For sure, all that qualifies me for at least
President of the USA. (& I'm a Mom.)

Posted by: freeone on August 31, 2008 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

I live on Earth, which as we all know is the closest planet to the moon. I should be on the next mission to the moon!

Posted by: sismondo on August 31, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Barracuda actually could be McCain's soul mate, if he had a soul. Republicans just have to check in with the RNC each day to see whether up is down or not then they're on message.

So McCain picked a celebrity.

That's Just What I Said

Posted by: Dale on August 31, 2008 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

I'm hoping on McCain's showboating trip down South, he'll have a bit of time to take Darlin' Sarah to the state of Georgia, just so she'll at least know the difference between that one and the one getting screwed by Russia.

Posted by: MsMuddled on August 31, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks BH for the funny interpretation offered on Foxworthy...

That could be expanded upon, and get some traction. Would be great indeed, unless you're a Republican who would probably not find it all that funny.

Posted by: bruno on August 31, 2008 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Hell, I've at least BEEN to Russia.

Why didn't they call me?

Posted by: RSDaniel on August 31, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

The NYT has a story today that highlights that McCain wanted Lieberman but caved to pressure:

"Mr. McCain had wanted to name as his running mate his good friend Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, the Democrat turned independent. But by the end of last weekend, the outrage from Christian conservatives over the possibility that Mr. McCain would fill out the Republican ticket with Mr. Lieberman, a supporter of abortion rights, had become too intense to be ignored."

McCain says he chose Palin because she is willing to go against her party. The only reason she is on the ticket is because McCain had his arm twisted by the party and gave in. So much for his maverickness.

Posted by: petorado on August 31, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

You guys are like mules who enjoy beating your heads against a wall. The following was posted in the Corner by Jonah from a reader's e-mail:

Alaska is the first line of defense in our missile interceptor defense system. The 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaska National Guard is the unit that protects the entire nation from ballistic missile attacks. It’s on permanent active duty, unlike other Guard units.

As governor of Alaska, Palin is briefed on highly classified military issues, homeland security, and counterterrorism. Her exposure to classified material may rival even Biden's.

She's also the commander in chief of the Alaska State Defense Force (ASDF), a federally recognized militia incorporated into Homeland Security's counterterrorism plans.

Palin is privy to military and intelligence secrets that are vital to the entire country's defense. Given Alaska's proximity to Russia, she may have security clearances we don't even know about.

So not only does Palin have more chief executive experience than anybody else running, she probably has the highest security clearance of anybody running. LOL

Posted by: Chicounsel on August 31, 2008 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, Cindy McCain is actively participating in the campaign, now. Under the GOP's HRC Rule that makes her fair game.

Should anyone care.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on August 31, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

I teach International Relations in Phoenix. On Tuesday I will begin my class with the announcement that because AZ is next to Mexico, the students are already experts in IR, and therefore there is no need for me to teach anything. Oh, and I may change the location of the class - from my usual classroom to the one two doors down, which has a plaque on the wall stating "Donated by the John and Cindy McCain Foundation."

Posted by: The Sophist on August 31, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

As governor of Alaska she has also lived near polar bears. She has asked that they be removed from the endangered species list even as they are being threatened by the climate changes up north.

Apparently she kills whatever she's near to.

Barracuda! She sounds more like Mean Jean Schmidt and Katherine Harris than the other nationally-known Republican women politicians.

Posted by: MarkH on August 31, 2008 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

But for Republicans, the fact that she's lived near Russia is somehow a qualification for national office.

It's silly, but it isn't important. Every campaign has some unimportant silliness. Worse were Kennedy's "missile gap" claim, and LBJ's subsequent actual foreign policy.

And is there really a strong belief here that Biden's torrent of words constitutes an actual foreign policy? I don't think so. Most commentators here at Political Animal have excoriated Biden for his support of the Iraq war, his votes and his idea of carving up Iraq into 3 separate states (not to mention the non-foreign policy issues of Biden's support for the bankruptcy reform measure and his strong support for Delaware's Big Pharma companies.)

I have been wrong often enough to be at least a little humble, but I think Biden's only hopes in the VP debates are (a) nobody watches and (b) there be none.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on August 31, 2008 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Hmm . . . does McCain's claim that in Palin he's found a "partner and a soulmate" make anyone else want to squirm a bit? That's what one says about a spouse, not a running mate. Very strange way to put it. Creepy, even. DefCon 4 mode for Cindy, I'd say.

Posted by: Wajim on August 31, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

People, people.

It's called osmosis, a process also used in breweries. As the owner of a beer distrubution company Cindy McCain gets this. In contrast to you unwashed librul people.

Posted by: SRW1 on August 31, 2008 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, by the way, BernieO and Al: nice concern trolling today. Be sure to submit your comments for your triple Maverick points.

Posted by: Wajim on August 31, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

The qualification "executive" experience was contrived during the 2000 election to help make W look good. It sure was important for the GOP in 2008. Even before Palin they were emphasizing McCain's executive experience. Ad nauseam.

Most people would think the talking point a trifle thin. Unless the purpose of the talking point is simply to appear to be saying something. Anything. Like Eddie Izzard singing the National Anthem.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on August 31, 2008 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

"I live right next door to Camp Pendleton, so that makes me a Marine, right?"
Posted by: Speed

Only if you're a Republican.

Posted by: Richterscale on August 31, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

- For Secretary of Defense, Staff Sgt. Jim Gilmore of Fresno, CA, since he is in the military.

That's actually pretty much the same reasoning given to explain why McCain should be President.

When it comes to candidates, the Repubs are all about tokenism, to the highest possible degree.

Posted by: Bob Loblaw on August 31, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

On experience:
There is a world of difference between being a governor of a big state and a thinly populated, resource rich state like Alaska. Please. Being a governor of Alaska is more comparable to being a director of natural resources in a big state. Still an executive position, but the issues in Alaska pale in comparison to the monstrous issues pressing on states like California, Illinois, New York, etc.
Palin was easily able to dodge the looming deficit issue by raising taxes on oil. Just how many other states have that luxury? That was a no brainer.

So, considering this aspect of "experience", this calls into question McCain's judgment that much more.

Unlike Harriet Myers she just can't withdraw her name, can she, at this late date? Perhaps the Thomas Eagleton episode with McGovern might just be repeated.

Voters, please, please, spare me from hearing that grating voice for four more years!

Posted by: on August 31, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Jokers like Al and Chokecounsel are really impossible to parody, since they are so absurd to begin with.

I live less than 2 hours from Canada, and used to live 2 hours from Mexico. My father in law lives 15 minutes from ther southern border. So I've got more foereign policy experience than Ms. Lumberjack.

Posted by: bucky on August 31, 2008 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Reality or Monty Python? Can you tell the difference?

Posted by: Speed on August 31, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

I can see why satirists have a hard time: just when you think you've invented something, it turns out to be true.

Posted by: mim on August 31, 2008 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Actually there is an actual border between Alaska and Russia, as there is between Illinois and Iowa and similar Mississippi River bordering states - it's a small water border.

Little Diomede Island (US) is less than 3 miles from Big Diomede Island (Russia). When the water is frozen (much of the year) the native residents of the two islands walk or snowmobile back and forth across it. When it is melted, they take small craft boats.

And Russia has propoped building a train and/or truck tunnel underneath, with both countries then building connections to vastly increase Asian/North American trade.

This doesn't remotely make her any more of an expert, but yes, we do directly border Russia.

And give her credit - when the resurgent Russian tsarist-empire reviving bear looked to attack, they went to Georgia, not Alaska, because they feared the might of powerful Gov. Palin and her National Guard.

Posted by: hopeless pedant on August 31, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's selection of Palin as his VP nominee presents an interesting opportunity to study the Republican propaganda system. I note several things:

The scripted talking points being circulated in support of Palin are the stupidest, most inane, most dumbed-down talking points ever invented by anyone for any purpose.

Since the talking points are blatantly absurd on their face and lack any real content, there isn't really much you can do to argue for them or elaborate on them, so they tend to be repeated in their basic, bare-bones, bumper-sticker, scripted form.

This makes it very easy to identify when someone is reciting the Sarah Palin Talking Points Script verbatim.

And what I'm seeing is all the usual, weak-minded, ignorant, neo-brownshirt Bush-bootlicking dittoheads posting what look like mechanical, mimeographed copies of the same handout.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on August 31, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Russia? That's so 1980s.

China is the new Big Dog to worry about. And Obama grew up in Hawaii. And Hawaii is pretty close to China--and has a big Asian population, as well.

So, Obama must be a China expert.

Posted by: Jim on August 31, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Now that the Republican party is fast transforming itself into the Monty Python Flying Circus, Palin seems to be the right last name for the VP nominee.

Posted by: Independent on August 31, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

born in New Mexico. (Many Americans still think that's a foreign country.)

On visiting the East Coast from NM, I've been told/asked, "You speak English like a native. How long's your visa good for?" etc.

On experience: surely the most prepared for the office was Dick Nixon. Among the least prepared, at least politically, were Washington, Jackson and Eisenhower - all of whose faces adorn our money.

Posted by: cavjam on August 31, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

As Jon Stewart pointed out, "Alaska's also near the North Pole, so she must also be friends with Santa."

Posted by: croatoan on August 31, 2008 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist has a great point - it's easy to see which long time posters are just simpleminded drones willing to trot out any old piece of crap argument just because it has been promulgated by the right-wing noise machine. Chico, we always knew, Al, obvious as a sledgehammer, Marler, anyone who's paid attention to the content knew, but now he's made it obvious to even the most casual of observers that he's a hack and a moron.

Posted by: the on August 31, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Still an executive position, but the issues in Alaska pale in comparison to the monstrous issues pressing on states like California, Illinois, New York, etc.

Posted by: on August 31, 2008 at 1:50 PM

And presumably a back bench state senator was such a vital, pivotal position to effect any change in the "monstrous issues" facing his state other than just showing up and voting as instructed by the Party Leadership?

You obviously don't know how party politics work here in the land of Daley, er, Lincoln. lol

Posted by: Chicounsel on August 31, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

"The mind reels."

At least she is not running for president with community organizer experience. That is mind reeling.

Posted by: AMW on August 31, 2008 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

The distance between Juneau and Vladivostok is greater than the distance between NYC and London.

Posted by: Evan on August 31, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

And heading the Alaska NORAD Region, direct from her PTA/Wasilla undercover assignment, Sarah Palin. I am sure her NATO Cosmic/SCI clearance makes her reticent to talk about the alert status of her counter-counter missile force. Rest assured, the free world can sleep well knowing a complete novice tops the chain of command in ANR. Madam Governor, shall we unleash the Death Star?

Is Chicouncil seriously mental or what?

Posted by: Sparko on August 31, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Has Palin ever been to Russia? No. Has she ever demonstrated any expertise on U.S. policy towards Russia? No. Does she have any background in international relations at any level? No.

But has Palin ever eaten caviar? Probably, the last time she visited the McCains. There's your foreign policy experience right there.

Posted by: RSA on August 31, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Since the talking points are blatantly absurd on their face and lack any real content, there isn't really much you can do to argue for them or elaborate on them, so they tend to be repeated in their basic, bare-bones, bumper-sticker, scripted form.
. . .
And what I'm seeing is all the usual, weak-minded, ignorant, neo-brownshirt Bush-bootlicking dittoheads posting what look like mechanical, mimeographed copies of the same handout.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on August 31, 2008 at 2:05 PM |

Apparently, the one thing you can't do Secular is to refute them in a calm and reasonable manner.

Posted by: Chicounsel on August 31, 2008 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

We're assuming The Divine Sarah isn't a trial balloon who will suddenly have to stay home with her little whiter than thou Christian nuclear family when the poll numbers arrive. Remember Eagleton?

Posted by: Tirebiter in Sector R on August 31, 2008 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

As Jon Stewart pointed out, "Alaska's also near the North Pole, so she must also be friends with Santa."

Not only funny but true in the sense that the same guy (Thomas Nast) is credited with the visual creation of the GOP Elephant and Santa Claus:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:NastRepublicanElephant.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Santa_Claus_1863_Harpers.png


Off topic @ Dale
Check this out:

http://labs.mozilla.com/2008/08/introducing-ubiquity/

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on August 31, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Even if the proximity to Russia argument were relevant (it's not), Alaska is on the wrong side of Russia when it comes to policy decisions. Moscow is far, far away from Alaska. Approximately 4344 miles using this distance calculator: http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm

The distance from Washington, D.C., to Moscow is 4858 miles, give or take a few. So Palin is 500 miles closer to Moscow than all those Beltway folks. That's the basis of her foreign policy experience? If Bush had been based in Amarillo, TX, rather than Austin, his proximity to Mexico would have been further away than the difference between Anchorage/Moscow and D.C./Moscow.

Posted by: Cindy McCant on August 31, 2008 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

And yet, the McCain-Palin ticket holds a slight lead in some polls over Obama-Biden. I don't understand. It's almost as if people are looking for an excuse--any excuse--to vote Republican. Can anybody enlighten me?

Posted by: Fred Herman Anderson on August 31, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Jasper the friendly Troll: Yeah. A community organizer in Chicago's poorest urban distruct trying to help people move from poverty and learn the political process isn't experience. It's just showmanship. You guys are mental midgets or just plain evil.

Posted by: Sparko on August 31, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Fred: other than that not being true, I can't enlighten you. Obama is up by at least 6 nationally, and will be up more once Sarah the Unready's scandals make an impact.

Posted by: Sparko on August 31, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

"What was REALLY amazing is that Obama actually cited his experience as a "community organizer" as part of his credentials."

Oh yes, discussing the menu for the coming month for bunch of kids is exactly the same as helping people get on their feet again and find work. Exactly.

What a ridiculous attempt at a comparison.

Posted by: inthewoods on August 31, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Time to throw my hat in to serve the GOP and country.My qualifications are:
1.Dual citizenship US/Australia (but born in USA)
2. Three degrees incl doctorate in engineering and physics.
3. Fluent in English, French, and Russian. Can survive in German and Japanese.
4. Have lived and worked outside the US 15 of last 30 years in Russia, Japan, France and Australia. And I have friends who live in other countries like Spain and Germany.
5. Now, the big question. What do I put in for? Veep? Sec State? Ambassador to somewhere?
jh

Posted by: jh on August 31, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

What was REALLY amazing is that Obama actually cited his experience as a "community organizer" as part of his credentials.

Hello Troll, I've been a PTA president. You preside over a bunch of nervous mothers, frustrated teachers and an arrogant principal for the most part, while getting nothing done because no one wants to change a damned thing. And usually, no one wants to be PTA president because though who would be available to do so, are most often caught up raising their kids. Basically it's a non-job that one can claim when their real resume' is utterly lacking.

Point being, it is NOT a step up to main-stream politics. Community organizing has been the hatchery for many great politicians, on the other hand. Well, Democratic ones.

You folks do your organizing at the country club so why wouldn't you sneer at the term?

Posted by: MsMuddled on August 31, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry Chicounsel, but wanking off furiously as you do does not amount to an actual argument:

Alaska is the first line of defense in our missile interceptor defense system. The 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaska National Guard is the unit that protects the entire nation from ballistic missile attacks. It’s on permanent active duty, unlike other Guard units.

You are kidding right? There is no protection against a mass ICBM attack. The best that the unproven and largely junk star wars program ever aimed to do was stop a rogue missile or two... and its never been able to do that. I'm sorry, but that bull piled so high it toppled over on its own.

Alaska is part of the NORAD early warning radar system. But frankly, the more important NORAD sites are in Canada, and in the last 20 years its been mostly satellites that are doing the work.


As governor of Alaska, Palin is briefed on highly classified military issues, homeland security, and counterterrorism. Her exposure to classified material may rival even Biden's.

That's both silly and idiotic. Palin's been governor for a year. Biden's been involved in Senate in the foreign policy theatre for decades. There's not going to be a comparison.

Secondly, your argument is that Palin's briefings come because she's a governor? Well, there are fifty other governors, and hundreds of past governors who have far more experience and credibility on that front.

But let's face it, governors are simply not front and center for foreign or defense policy, and yammering like a moron in a hurry doesn't change that.

She's also the commander in chief of the Alaska State Defense Force (ASDF), a federally recognized militia incorporated into Homeland Security's counterterrorism plans.

The New York police force could kick the ASDF's ass and spend the rest of the day chewing bubble gum. Let's get serious. The ASDF is not a headliner in numbers, competence, skill ranges or even front line exposure. Their big forte is the occasional flood, fire or search and rescue.


Palin is privy to military and intelligence secrets that are vital to the entire country's defense.

ROTFL!!!!

Given Alaska's proximity to Russia, she may have security clearances we don't even know about.

She may also be descended from a long line of Merovingian kings we don't know about... but I doubt it.


So not only does Palin have more chief executive experience than anybody else running, she probably has the highest security clearance of anybody running. LOL

That was someone's brain on crack. Remember children, don't do crack.

Posted by: Skeptic on August 31, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone know when Cindy gave up opiates in favor of glue sniffing?

Posted by: Blue Girl on August 31, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

You obviously don't know how party politics work here in the land of Daley, er, Lincoln. lol
Posted by: Chicounsel

And neither do you, oh Mr. I-Got-My-Law-Degree-From-A-Gumball-Machine. Honestly, with stupidity such as yours, I would imagine you've had several ARDC beefs for malpractice by now.

Posted by: DJ on August 31, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Skeptic - I applaud your use of John Carpenter in your argument. Sure, Roddy Piper delivered the line, but the movie was pure Carpenter!

Chico, your tag team moron on another thread demonstrated just how stupid the experience game is - by the standard the Republicans are trying to push Palin is the right candidate for the top of the Republican ticket - her "experience" is greater and more recent than John "POW" McCain's.

Vote Palin/McCain - because she has the experience to help McCain grow into the job!

Posted by: the on August 31, 2008 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

The pretzel logic of Alaska's proximity to Russia qualifying as anything is a waste of breath.

Palin was not McCain's first, second, or third choice. In fact, she was the choice of the right wing base of the party who would not show up for the election if there was no Hillary to vote against.

No. McCain, for all his bluster about being a maverick, caved to the electoral blackmail of the right wing.

We've had eight years of the White House pandering to the rightwingers. Look where it has got us. An economy circling the drain, a Treasury emptied on a no-win occupation in the middle east, Al-queda still out there and growing stronger. Feel free to add to the list.

Palin's single biggest qualification for this nomination is that the religious right wants her on the ticket.

That's the entire story, right there.

Posted by: jcricket on August 31, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

If Sarah Palin had any of the essential qualities to become V.P. of the US she would have declined the invitation.

Posted by: couser on August 31, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Bruno beat me to it. I would be you dollars to donuts they have separate bedrooms, if not entirely separate condos.

---------------------

"Palin was easily able to dodge the looming deficit issue by raising taxes on oil."

ohmygod. Someone call Grover Norquist on the green phone pronto. She RAISED TAXES!!!! On OIL!!!!

ohmygod. ohmygod.

Posted by: CalGal on August 31, 2008 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Just to keep to the facts here a little bit, and not because I like her or anything, but her family is not whiter than white. Her husband is some part Native American.

Posted by: No Way No How No McCain on August 31, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Cindy McCain's comments remind me of how, back in January, some right-wing friends (yes, I have a few) explained their support of Guiliani's candidacy. After proposing that the #1 issue facing the nation was the threat of "Islamic extremists," they said that Guiliani is the one who is "most aware" of this threat. I dryly replied that his awareness hardly meant that he knows how best to respond to this threat. I asked them what they thought Guiliani would do differently from other Republicans would do, and uncharacteristically for them, they had nothing to say in response. (I'd like to think my reply gave them something to think about, but I really don't know.)

Posted by: openroadster on August 31, 2008 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

North Dakota's awfully close to Canada. Just saying.

Posted by: phil on August 31, 2008 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Palin/McCain - because his other soul-mate wasn't eligible!

or

Palin/McCain - now we're just fucking with you!

Posted by: the on August 31, 2008 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

The mind reels, but this is Republican campaigning, in which the mind is a low-priority target.

Posted by: allbetsareoff on August 31, 2008 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Has Palin ever been to Russia? No. Has she ever demonstrated any expertise on U.S. policy towards Russia? No. Does she have any background in international relations at any level? No.

What, a BA in journalism from Idaho and runner-up in the Miss Alaska competition isn't enough foreign policy experience? You're such a sexist.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on August 31, 2008 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Palin's single biggest qualification for this nomination is that the religious right wants her on the ticket.

That's the entire story, right there.

I think this is true. Her lack of meaningful qualifications and practical ideas is manifest. I see no point in spending time harping on it. I think the attacks must be directed at McCain and his rationale for making this selection and who will really be in the driver's seat if he becomes POTUS.

Posted by: TuiMel on August 31, 2008 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

What do I put in for? Veep? Sec State? Ambassador to somewhere? -- jh, @14;41

You're much too overqualified for any of those. I suggest applying to McDonald rather than McCain.

Posted by: exlibra on August 31, 2008 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin: the ketchup of foreign policy experts.

Posted by: Nat on August 31, 2008 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

And it's a part of Russia where NOTHING has ever happened.

Posted by: SteveB on September 1, 2008 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Chicounsel, your wild assertions of Palin's high security clearances and top-level involvement in national defense activities are so asinine, ridiculous, and mind-bogglingly ignorant of how the military and national intelligence apparatus works that only the most fervent, anti-knowledge Christianists would find them plausible.

For the record, from the AP:

"Maj. Gen. Craig Campbell, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard, considers Palin "extremely responsive and smart" and says she is in charge when it comes to in-state services, such as emergencies and natural disasters where the National Guard is the first responder.

But, in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, he said he and Palin play no role in national defense activities, even when they involve the Alaska National Guard. The entire operation is under federal control, and the governor is not briefed on situations."

Posted by: bluestatedon on September 1, 2008 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

You know, even saying she's "lived near" Russia is kind of ridiculous. Alaska is , and the parts of it where people live mostly aren't very close to the Bering Strait. Wasilla, where she was mayor, looks from the map to be about 800 miles from Russia, and Juneau is about 400 miles further. And, most of those miles are roadless wilderness.

Posted by: Evan on September 1, 2008 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

Oops--that was supposed to say "Alaska is BIG".

Posted by: Evan on September 1, 2008 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

The perilous proximity of Alaska to Russia is exactly what lead to the Great LaRouch Toad-frog Massacree (http://www.highwaygirl.com/archive/000007.html), so, clearly her foreign policy chops are unassailable.

Posted by: ChicagoPat on September 1, 2008 at 6:42 AM | PERMALINK

Anchorage is 4341 miles from Moscow. New York is 4781 miles from Moscow. Those 340 miles mean a lot.

Posted by: r l harrington on September 7, 2008 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly