Wednesday, October 22, 2008

demosthenes on palin

Sarah Palin on April 30, 2004, after her resignation in protest as Ethics Commissioner for the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
Sarah Palin on April 30, 2004, after her resignation in protest as Ethics Commissioner for the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (photo credit Evan R. Steinhauser/Anchorage Daily News).

Glenn Reynolds' post here started me thinking about the struggle - from many different quarters - to define Governor Sarah Palin. Often, when I've heard people talking about Palin, they leave out (or perhaps are unaware of) some fundamental facts.

Palin has the same foreign policy experience now that Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton each had when they became President - i.e., not just Vice President.

Anyway, the whole "foreign policy experience" argument (if you can call it that) is a red-herring from the Left which, sadly, too many people fall for.

What, exactly is the "foreign policy experience" of Obama? Sitting in a room with a bunch of blowhards in the Senate - listening to speeches? Most of us have listened to foreign policy speeches over the years. Does that mean we have foreign policy experience to be President? To me, Obama's foreign policy experience (listening to Senate speech-making) is largely negative foreign policy experience. He's never had to make any foreign policy decision - or any decision as an executive - under pressure.

And Joe Biden's been wrong on every important foreign policy issue for the past 30 years. If Joe had had his we way: (1) we'd still be working on good relations with the USSR, (2) we'd have done none of our space technology research (i.e., "star wars") and China and other countries would be ahead of us in that field, (3) we would have broken up Iraq into 3 countries, (4) we would never have kicked Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, and (5) Saddam Hussein would still be murdering Kurds by the tens of thousands, torturing families, and running rape rooms.

Biden has a ton of foreign policy experience. All bad.

And Joe dropped out of the 1988 presidential race due to plagiarism. And he admitted he committed plagiarism during law school. Funny how we never hear about this from the press these days. (Suppose Governor Palin had ever committed plagiarism. Do you think the press would say something about it?)

The experience that matters is actual executive experience in an actual executive position - to have been tested, and excelled, under pressure as a leader.

Neither Obama nor Biden have any executive experience. Most of us would probably be reluctant to apply for a supervisory job if we had no prior supervisory experience on our resumes. Yet, Obama and Biden are applying to lead the 1.8 million-strong federal workforce ... and lead the world's sole superpower ... and neither has any executive experience. Isn't that ... crazy? Neither has ever run a business. Neither has ever met a payroll. Neither has been a governor. Neither has been a mayor. Neither has ever had a real job. (Working as a Constitutional law professor - i.e., like Obama - doesn't provide, shall we say, lots of "real world" employment experiences). In short, both of these guys are professional politicians. That's exactly the kind of candidate we shouldn't want running anything. They have pretty much zero gut-level experience with the day-to-day issues us working stiffs have to deal with.

Although ... Obama does have some executive experience - if you want to call it that - running the Chicago Annenberg Challenge fund into the ground (with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers). They dumped $110 million in grant money into that black hole to "improve education" in Chicago. Results? Zilch. (Neither test scores nor any other metric improved). So Obama's sole executive experience, if you can call it that, was a big negative. (He poured lots of others peoples' money down a black hole. Get ready for a lot more of that if he's elected.)

That may be why both Obama and the Annenberg Foundation are blocking access to the records of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

Tellingly, Obama seems to have misplaced his Illinois State Senate papers too.

There seems to be a pattern here. Obama seems to be saying: just listen to what "The One" says he will do in the future - don't look at the records of what he's done in the past. Anyway - he won't let you look at his records. This is a problem that pervades his career and his life.

Besides, would you associate with, or run any kind of organization, with Bill Ayers? Would you launch your political career in the home of Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn - after you knew who they were and what they'd done? I wouldn't. That shows poor judgment on Obama's part - and the placing of political opportunism over principle.

At least McCain has military command experience which should count as executive and/or leadership experience.

Governor Palin is the only one in the race with actual executive experience. She's been both a governor AND a mayor. And when she had an executive position she (unlike Obama) produced positive results - cutting taxes in Alaska, fighting corruption, and increasing competition among the energy companies for the gas pipeline. Her job approval rating in Alaska has stayed at or above 80%! She's a true leader - with true executive experience.

And she's actually run - and worked in - a fishing business with her husband. She's had to help meet payroll. She's worked a blue-collar job and has had to worry about meeting the household's bills on a couple of blue-collar salaries. She's pulled herself up "by her bootstraps" - her parents worked at an elementary school.

As Governor of Alaska, and as Mayor of Wasilla, she's had to make actual decisions with actual consequences. (She could never vote "present" - as Obama frequently did in the Illinois state legislature). She actually fought corruption on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ("AOGCC") and as Governor. She's made tough calls - she didn't just "coast" as Governor - and still she has an 80%+ approval rating. That's remarkable. She's been the most popular governor in the whole country for some time - while fighting corruption and oil monopolies in Alaska. This is amazing stuff.

To become Governor of Alaska, Palin defeated the sitting Republican (!) Governor of Alaska in the primary. She then defeated a former Democratic Governor of Alaska in the general election. This is an amazing story. She did all this as the mother of 4 (now 5) kids, who'd been a small-town mayor and city councilwoman, who'd worked-in and helped run her family's fishing business. This is a true Horatio Alger story.

But taking on corruption in her own party was nothing new. She resigned as the Ethics Commissioner on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ("AOGCC") in protest over the "lack of ethics" of the other Republican members. After resigning, she filed a formal complaint against Republican AOGCC Commissioner Randy Ruedrich - who was also at that time the Chairman of the State Republican Party! She protested his use of his public office for party business - and his working too closely with a company he was supposed to be regulating.

(If only someone like Sarah had been in D.C. when Barack Obama, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank were taking campaign contributions from Fannie Mae - while endorsing its disastrous guarantees of high-risk mortgages. Palin would probably have exposed these corrupt politicians - like she did in Alaska - and saved our nation from having to undertake a $700 million bailout of the American financial system!)

Palin also joined with Democratic legislator Eric Croft to file a complaint against Gregg Renkes, a former Republican Alaska Attorney General, accusing him of having a conflict of interest while he was negotiating a state coal export agreement.

Due to Palin's efforts in the above two cases - against members of her own Party - both Ruedrich and Renkes resigned. Ruedrich had to pay a record $12,000 fine.

For more on these remarkable stories, see here and here.

Going back to foreign policy: who has been the best foreign policy President of the past generation? Ronald Reagan, I'd say. And Palin has exactly the same amount of foreign policy experience now that Ronald Reagan had when he became President - not Vice President - which is the office that Palin is seeking.

So, explain to me (and the mainstream press) again - why is Palin is a negative?

Explain to me (and the mainstream press) why does McCain's pick of Palin shows "poor judgment"?

The ability of the Left to "prepare the battlefield" is truly amazing. (Obsequious regurgitation of the Left's talking points by the mainstream press, of course, helps).

The Left says Palin is a negative because of "lack of foreign policy experience" and "inexperience" generally. Then the Left says McCain's pick of Palin shows "poor judgment." And people just parrot this silly stuff - despite all of the above. (When Bill Clinton was running for President, do you remember the Left - or the mainstream press - bemoaning his "lack of foreign policy experience"?)

Once you think about it, the double-standard in the mainstream press for Republican candidates (e.g., Sarah Palin - a Governor with no "foreign policy experience" per the mainstream press) and Democratic candidates (e.g., Bill Clinton, who had the same amount of "foreign policy experience" as Palin when he became President - not Vice President) is pretty stark isn't it?

The Left's spin tends to be pretty obvious and sophomoric - so I'm amazed that so many people fall for it.

From my point of view, Palin is a tested executive (and principled conservative) like Reagan. She's the only one in the race with actual executive experience.

Having been both a Governor AND a Mayor is a positive - not a negative! Don't fall for the spin!

There's a reason why so many of our Presidents have been former governors. That's the perfect executive experience to prepare someone for the Presidency. (Indeed, that's what Reagan said). (And, very importantly, having been a governor gives a candidate a true, gut-level sense of the primary, sovereign role of the States in our federal constitution; so they know one-size-fits-all solutions out of D.C. are often a very bad thing).

Based on the above, Palin has more positives than McCain, Obama and Biden combined.

Thank goodness Mccain had the good judgment to pick Palin. (Consider the first major decision these two Presidential candidates made: McCain picked Palin - with all the good attributes listed above - and Obama picked Biden: a two-time admitted plagiarist, with zero executive experience, who's been wrong on every major foreign policy matter for the past 30 years).

Obama showed extremely poor judgment in picking Biden - just like he showed extremely poor judgment in running the Chicago Annenberg Challenge into the ground, and just like he showed extremely poor judgment in associating with people like Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn and Jeremiah Wright. Obama has spent much of his adult life choosing political opportunism over principle.

Governor Palin's record, accomplishments, and history of good judgment in difficult situations, are far superior to Obama's and Biden's. And Palin is our Vice Presidential candidate. McCain-Palin is the superior ticket by far.

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