Chris Bowers on the Hypocrisy of Picking Sarah Palin

Open Left has never been one of my favorite liberal blogs but Chris Bowers certainly gets it right in arguing that the primary problem with the selection of Sarah Palin is hypocrisy, along with the prediction that Palin will do well tonight:

…one big danger we face with Palin’s speech tonight is that expectations for Palin have dropped so low, that it will be almost impossible for her not to surpass them. If the focus on Palin is that she is inexperienced and incapable, then as long as she doesn’t immediately deliver as many gaffes as Dan Quayle did in an entire year, she will look fine. As CJ said on the West Wing once, Palin will have to set the podium on fire in order to blow this one. Given that her speech was prepared for her, whole cloth, before she was even selected, it seems unlikely that will happen.

The focus on Palin should not be on her lack of experience, but on the hypocrisy of McCain picking her after attacking Obama’s lack of experience. This goes for a whole host of other issues surrounding Palin, too. It isn’t that she has secured a record number of earmarks for Alaska and her hometown, it is that she claims to oppose earmarks while acquiring them. It isn’t that she has a pregnant, teenage daughter, but that she slashed funded for pregnant teenagers. It isn’t that she favored the Bridge to Nowhere, but that she claimed to oppose it. It isn’t that she is decrying sexist coverage and comparing it to the media coverage of Hillary Clinton, but that she called Hillary Clinton a whiner for doing the same thing. It isn’t that the McCain team failed to vet her closely, but that McCain’s lack of preparation on Palin blows a huge hole in his claim that he is “ready to lead.” It isn’t that she claims to be a reformer, but that she does so while under ethics investigation. Etc.

Everything about Palin’s selection and candidacy is a gigantic, hypocritical, pandering lie.  It is, in that way, exactly like just about the entire Republican platform. We need to make sure that we keep focusing on the vast layers of hypocrisy and falsehoods that underlie the choice, and make sure to avoid attacking her experience directly. Generally speaking, I think that this is something that Democrats and progressives have done a decent job of so far, but there have been slip-ups. The moment that we move away from the hypocrisy and falsehoods and start focusing on inexperience is the moment when we give Palin an opening to surpass expectations.

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