On Sarah Palin as McCain’s choice for VP, I came out immediately and said that it was a mistake. I wrote in part:
Count me among those stunned by McCain’s pick for his VP candidate. It neutralizes the strongest argument he had against Obama: Not enough experience. Never again can he utter these words. Further, I can’t comprehend her as president (and with McCain’s age, I think we would have a fair chance of seeing that happen). I think the job is over her head, and I have witnessed the carnage several times when people step into a job over their heads. Imagine letting a first year medical school student do your heart transplant, and you start to get the picture.
After watching a couple of interviews with her, I think she has validated my claims that the job is over her head, and in my opinion the pick has turned into the disaster I anticipated. The spectacle has become a national joke, and I know people who turned away from McCain as a result. (I also know people who initially embraced the move as brilliant). There are even conservative commentators suggesting Palin step down for the good of the party. I certainly questioned his judgement after the pick, and I questioned it again after his bizarre campaign suspension to deal with a crisis that he had downplayed just a couple of weeks earlier.
Our political process makes me nearly ill. I want a candidate who doesn’t pander (like Obama does with his energy policy) or make decisions that are purely political, but not in the best interest of the country (Palin as VP). Both major parties represent parts of who I am, but they also represent parts that are 180 degrees from who I am. That’s why I often find myself ripping into both parties. That’s also why the Democrats often accuse me of being a Republican and the Republicans often accuse me of being a Democrat. Each side tries to define me on the basis of what I oppose. If I am against Obama’s energy pandering, I am a right-wing conservative. If I criticize McCain’s bizarre behavior of late, I am to the left of Ted Kennedy. (I am in fact very centrist in my politics, but I have areas in which I swing right and areas in which I swing left).
The truth is, I think our current political system is broken. It rewards lobbyists and special interests. The candidate who can most convincingly tell the biggest majority what they want to hear is the one who wins. It shouldn’t be like that.
So, do the Republicans here stand by Palin? Do the Democrats think Obama has given sufficient details on how we would accomplish his objectives? (As regular readers here know, I have some big problems with the energy policies of both candidates, but I think McCain’s takes a more realistic view of our energy situation).