He Wouldn't Know?
In an interview on the Today Show this week, Senator John McCain emphatically stated that he wouldn’t know whether Palin was checked out or not before he selected her. His comments were in response to pressing questions from Matt Lauer about the new book “Game Change” by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, in which the true level of Palin’s incompetence is revealed…or I should say… confirmed. As many bloggers suspected, McCain knew little about Palin before selecting her as his VP and according to his advisers (who are now talking more freely)….she was chosen before being vetted.
Worse still…. Palin apparently knew little about basic history, or international affairs. We heard bits and pieces about her level of cluelessness during the 2008 General Election campaign, but those stories are finally being told officially by those who were in the McCain/Palin camp.
Palin apparently didn’t understand the Cold War, didn’t know that there were two Koreas or why they were split (What The ....?), didn’t know what the Federal Reserve was, and generally lacked basic knowledge about the World. This is in addition to the fact that she didn't know what the "Bush doctrine" was. The McCain camp had to constantly prepare Palin on general knowledge issues….(foreign policy, general history, etc) before public appearances. And according to Senior McCain advisor Steve Schmidt and others in the McCain camp, there was a belief that Palin was not qualified (ya think?). Some in the McCain camp even believed that she may have been mentally unstable. Wow!
How in the World is She Going to Be a Pundit/Analyst on Fox?
This should never be allowed to happen. Yes, McCain put the Country in peril…. We dodged a bullet for sure. But there should be a structure in place for this very scenario… where a Presidential candidate makes a ridiculous VP choice or where the number one person on the ticket is himself/herself incompetent. When Federal judges and Attorney Generals are nominated… they are rated by the American Bar Association as qualified, well qualified, etc. When top medical professionals are nominated for key positions, they are rated. Why is there no rating system for the most important position in the World? I mean, for any BS job that I apply for, there are several hurdles that I have to leap - interviews, tests, follow-up interviews, more tests…and that’s before I get anywhere close to getting a foot in the door. But a grossly unqualified person can get the most important job on the planet, with access to nukes, national secrets, and all sorts of other levers or power? That’s insane. Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates should be tested when they declare their intent to run. They should get a test with 100 questions…of mostly general knowledge material… (multiple choice, True/False, fill in the blank, and 1 essay) that would measure their basic aptitude in current events, civics & government, history, geography, and foreign affairs. Completed exams should be graded by an impartial panel of political scholars or by an international affairs organization or magazine…and the candidate should be given a grade (A- well qualified, B - qualified, C - qualified but questionable, etc). If such a system were in place, we would not have to worry about candidates like Sarah Palin or George W. Bush…. They would never be accepted as legitimate candidates. Neither would have done well on such a test…. Even a basic test with information that a Middle School or High School student should know, or information that might be found on a citizenship exam.
What is scarier still…. Is the fact that most Americans don’t care about this stuff. Most voters are just as uninformed about the World and the issues as someone like Palin…and would therefore have no problem voting for such a candidate. This is what bothers me the most. When you have a citizenry that is largely clueless, how will they be able to tell the difference between a Sarah Palin and an Olympia Snowe? They can’t. Many won’t know when she is saying something completely idiotic. I’m afraid this is only a big deal to political junkies who have a clue about what is going on…. The general public doesn’t care…they are much more concerned with what is happening on American Idol, or with the hot celebrity couple. That’s one of the reasons why the U.S. is screwed.