Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Idea of Sarah

Danielle Crittenden, the wife of conservative writer, David Frum, is putting a lie to the belief among some conservatives that the only people against VP candidate Sarah Palin are elitist snobs who go to Ivy League Schools. But Ms. Crittenden is no such person. She never went to college, having gone straight into the family business of running a newspaper and becoming an "ink-stained wretch." She says that she like the idea of the Alaskan governor:

I love the idea of Sarah Palin. She conforms to an early American (and pre-feminist) ideal of womanhood: rifle on one hip, baby on the other. I love her modern incarnation of this ideal, complete with Sex-in-the-Tundra wardrobe and kick-ass Jimmy Choos (even if they are paid for by the RNC). I love the idea she represents "common sense" over fancy-pants theorizing. I love -- and certainly identify with -- her real world, "out there" experience over her opponents' closed-off years in Washington. Truly, there are few women I'd rather share a beer with.

On that note, I would agree. I like the idea of this folksy, gutsy woman who is tough as nails. The whole "hockey mom-field dress a moose-pistol packin' mama" thing is certainly appealing. That said, I agree with Crittenden when she says:

The problem is that the reality of Sarah Palin does not match the idea of Sarah Palin. It's as plain as day -- glaringly obvious! -- that she's unfit for the job she's running for. We wouldn't expect the best darn regional car saleswoman to be appointed the next vice president of General Motors. We wouldn't fly in a commercial plane piloted by someone with a Cessna license because we trusted her gut. We wouldn't follow a woman into battle because she's a crack shot at moose hunting. Why is it unreasonable -- or snobbish! -- to have expected a better choice from our party for the next potential leader of the free world?

And please don't reply with, "The other side doesn't have experience either!" That's an argument you can make without having graduated from elementary school.

I think part of the problem that I see is that many on the Right, especially the hard right are in love with idea of Palin and think that anyone be just one heartbeat away from the presidency. But conservatives are supposed to be realists, and the reality to me is that she is way out of her league and saying so, should not make you an elitist.

It's fine and dandy to pick someone from outside the Beltway, but they should at least have some idea who what they are doing, and so far, Ms. Palin hasn't gone beyond the act we first saw at the GOP convention.

Ideas are great and necessary. But our ideas also have to stand up to reality and the idea of Sarah just doesn't cut it.

(By the way, I went to Michigan State University, hardly an Ivy League school.)

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