Monday, September 29, 2008

Sarah Palin begins to frighten conservatives

Prominent conservative writers are beginning to criticize Sarah Palin in such a way as to suggest they are not concerned primarily that she is a drag on the GOP ticket. Rather, these commentators appear to be genuinely worried about the fate of the country should she ever become president.

Earlier this month, George Will wondered aloud if the short-term boost in the polls McCain received from the Palin pick would be worth the challenges of having such an inexperienced running mate. Recent events suggest not.

Andrew Sullivan in no longer amused in the slightest.

Palin was a concept, a great concept, if you live for political gimmicks, tactics and drama, as Kristol and McCain do. But if you're actually hoping for a president capable of making decisions in a crisp, yet reasoned and fair way, why would anyone pick a total newbie with a history of pathological lying, small town vindictiveness and religious extremism?
D-list opinionator Kathleen Parker made news last week when she called for Palin to withdraw from the race (Parker's concern was primarily about the election, rather than the country).

On Sunday, Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek and the Washington Post joined Parker in explicitly urging Palin to go home and spend more with her family.

Can we now admit the obvious? Sarah Palin is utterly unqualified to be vice president. She is a feisty, charismatic politician who has done some good things in Alaska. But she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start.
And in a story posted tonight on the New York Times website, NYT columnist and former Bush speechwriter David Frum absolutely unloads on Palin and compares her - unfavorably - to Dan Quayle.

“I think she has pretty thoroughly — and probably irretrievably — proven that she is not up to the job of being president of the United States,” David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Bush who is now a conservative columnist, said in an interview. “If she doesn’t perform well, then people see it.

“And this is a moment of real high anxiety, a little bit like 9/11, when people look to Washington for comfort and leadership and want to know that people in charge know what they are doing.”


Mr. Frum noted the difficulty that Dan Quayle, who was elected vice president in 1988, had in recovering from an early set of mistakes that led him to be ridiculed as an intellectual lightweight. “The story of Dan Quayle is he did probably 1,000 smart things as vice president, but his image was locked in and it was very difficult to turn around,” he said. “And Dan Quayle never in his life has performed as badly as Sarah Palin in the last month.”
It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Palin will never lose the love and support of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity because they still think she's an asset to McCain, and that the pain will be borne by Obama and the Democrats. They're stupid that way.

But other conservatives, the ones who use their brains rather than just their mouths, are starting to realize that a Palin presidency is a dangerous possibility, and that there would be enough suffering for everybody to get their share.

Watch for more of them to jump off the Palin express, especially if her debate performance on Thursday lives up to expectations.

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