Remember that show Family Feud wherein women would be kissed by Richard Dawson while attempting to guess how what the "survey says" are the top ten favorite colors of Americans? Do you also remember those times when an unfortunate family member would give a ludicrously, clearly-not-on-the-board answer and the rest of the family would start to clap and say faux-cheerily, "Good answer! Good answer!"? If you saw the "good answer" reaction, you knew the family was going to get the big X buzzer. Every time.
So here's the thing on Sarah Palin. I just read the WSJ editorial saying what a great pick she is.
Now before I get to that, let me say that Chez Haggis has been going back and forth on renewing our WSJ subscription over the past few months because of the former solid newspaper's move into Fox News territory (and you thought Murdoch buying the paper wouldn't change it!). Just compare their Op-Ed page from last year to the one from the past few months. More faux opinion, more GOP talking points. Love it or hate it, the WSJ always offered its own perspective on things, a perspective I found important to read. Obviously it has been of a conservative bent, from an individualistic angle. Now it seems to have veered off into full GOP-cheerleading/Dem bashing mode and I'm just not sure I want to send them my money anymore. Karl Rove now writes for them while advising Mccain on the side.
So back to the editorial. I mean, really. Imagine that any Democratic candidate had selected Sarah Palin for VP. Now imagine the WSJ saying this:
"Sarah Palin's reform resume would be remarkable in any political career. She entered politics at 28, winning a seat on the Wasilla city council as an opponent of tax increases. After she defeated Wasilla's three-term incumbent mayor four years later, she swept the mayor's cronies out of the bureaucracy." This is the WSJ highlighting a small town mayor's accomplishments in its editorial on her selection to be the US VP. But ask yourself--would the word "remarkable" have been used if the shoe was on the other party? I'd bet the cost of a 10 year WSJ subscription that it would not.
The best--and most laughable--part of the editorial said this: "Don't expect this remarkable personal Palin narrative to get an Obama-like break from the national media." Hellooo? I believe I'm currently reading a piece in the "national media" that does just that!
Even Fred Barnes said that Palin brings "desperately needed diversity" to the Republican ticket. But hasn't the mantra of Republicans been to avoid identity politics? To eschew "diversity" in favor of the market rewarding all who are qualified? When have you ever read of Freddy Beetle Barnes extolling the virtues of diversity?! It's just kind of equal parts funny and sad to see the GOP twist themselves --and their principles-- in knots to make the Palin pick look like a home run simply because they can't bring themselves to say that the very first key decision of a putative McCain presidency has been a complete disaster, from all staffing, procedural and substantive perspectives.
All I'm saying is that you can decide you're going to vote for McCain anyway. But don't pretend that Sarah Palin was the best, most qualified, most ready-on-day-one selection by a man who has made that very issue the primary focus of his campaign to date. You can say McCain's your choice, but you can't say that out of all possible VP choices Sarah Palin would have been yours. Because that is an instant loss of credibility--especially for the Wall Street Journal.
You know what? That editorial helped me decide on the subscription re-up issue. I think I'll keep my hard-earned money and maybe use it to buy my 7th house...