Palin: presumptuous, not prudent

Presumptuous: adj. excessively forward or confident, arrogant

Prudent: adj. wise in handling practical matters, exercising good judgment

More about the ABC interview by Charlie Gibson.  He asked Ms. Palin if she didn’t hesitate and question whether she was experienced enough to do this job:

PALIN: I didn’t hesitate, no.

GIBSON: Didn’t that take some hubris?

PALIN: I — I answered him [McCain] yes because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can’t blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we’re on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can’t blink.  So I didn’t blink then even when asked to run as his running mate.

Trepidations about the magnitude of the job go all the way back to George Washington:

So much is expected, so many untoward circumstances may intervene, in such a new and critical situation, that I feel an insuperable diffidence in my own abilities. I feel, in the execution of the duties of my arduous Office, how much I shall stand in need of the countenance and aid of every friend to myself, of every friend to the Revolution, and of every lover of good Government.

Why even Ronald Reagan was uncertain that he was up to it! “The thought of being president frightens me. I do not think I want the job,” he said.

Former Republican John Cole responds to this question, “Is it possible [for the GOP] to support a candidate who campaigns on the notion that expertise is simply irrelevant?”

The depressing thing is that this has been the GOP platform for years now. Expertise is overrated. Gut instincts, being “tough,” and being “decisive,” and not “blinking” are all far more important than actually knowing things.

Look at the thorough disdain for science the GOP has displayed for the past few years. Amorphous morals trump reason and science, and then those morals are conveniently discarded or altered when it becomes inconvenient for the GOP (see: family values, David Vitter).

The funny thing about all this is that the new savior of the GOP, Sarah Palin, is the one who is finally waking everyone up to what the Republican party really is all about. They are not serious about foreign policy (Fallows is just brutal). They are not serious (or honest) about scientific policy. They are not serious about economic policy (other than cutting taxes). They are not serious about an energy policy (just drill, baby, drill).

They just are not serious about, well, anything.

And Sarah Palin is the distilled essence of wingnut. She has it all. She is dishonest. She is a religious nut. She is incurious. She is anti-science. She is inexperienced. She abuses her authority. She hides behind executive privilege. She is a big spender. She works from the gut and places a greater value on instinct than knowledge.

And most dangerous of all, she is supremely self-confident to the point of not recognizing how ill-equipped she is to lead the country. …

George Bush in a dress. The Palin interview should be a gut-check for Republicans and conservatives who think the last eight years has been a perversion of conservative principles. I am betting most of them will not even put down their pom-poms, though.

The New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley describes the interview thus:

ABC News delivered the first glimpse of Ms. Palin without a script or a cheering audience, and it was a strained and illuminating conversation. Ms. Palin, who kept inserting Mr. Gibson’s nickname, Charlie, into her answers, as if to convey an old hand’s conviviality, tried to project self-confidence, poise and even expertise: She let Mr. Gibson know that she had personally reassured the Georgian president and correctly pronounced his last name, Saakashvili. At times, her eyes looked uncertain and her voice hesitated, and she looked like a student trying to bend prepared answers to fit unexpected questions.

Mr. Gibson, who sat back in his chair, impatiently wriggling his foot, had the skeptical, annoyed tone of a university president who agrees to interview the daughter of a trustee but doesn’t believe she merits admission. [LOVE this!]

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