Q&A Friday #94: Sarah Palin, Experience & Identity Politics

Question: “Just a couple of weeks ago, everyone — including you, John — was writing off Bobby Jindal as too young and inexperienced to be McCain’s VP. Yet the selection of Sarah Palin has turned even those who mistrusted McCain for years into his fervent supporters — including, you, John. But the thing is, Palin isn’t running for President. McCain is. My question, therefore, is: have you all just gotten caught up in Liberal style identity politics (“let’s get a woman elected!”) or has the idea of “your side” winning the election crowded out your memory of who McCain is and what he stands for?” — CavalierX

Answer: First off, I would say that neither Bobby Jindal nor Sarah Palin has the experience to be Vice-President. It’s what I said before McCain selected her and it’s what I say now. Of course, I’d also tell you that Barack Obama doesn’t have enough experience to be President and is less qualified than Palin or Jindal. So since that’s the case, I don’t see why Palin’s lack of experience should be more of a disqualifier than Obama’s.

Additionally, yes, Palin was an identity politics pick. If she weren’t a woman, there’s no way she would have ended up on the ticket. Of course, if Barack Obama wasn’t black, there’s no way he would have beaten Hillary Clinton. Moreover, if Hillary Clinton weren’t a woman who married Bill Clinton, there’s no way she would have been in the hunt either. So again, the choice of Palin is no worse than what the Democrats did in the same department.

So, long story short; McCain decided to play the same game that the Democrats’ did and so far at least, he appears to be beating them at it. Should conservatives be huffy at him for doing that, especially when the alternative could have easily been Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge?

I’d also say that I know exactly what John McCain is: a moderate who agrees with me on about 60% of the issues. Of course, Barack is a liberal, who pretty much disagrees with me on almost 100% of the issues. He’s also toweringly arrogant despite the fact that he’s completely incompetent. That’s extremely dangerous for the country given that liberal Democrats will have firm control of the Congress and the press will do everything humanly possible to help Obama because he would be the first black President.

With that in mind, does his choice of Palin make me believe McCain has changed his stripes? No, but McCain, for all his flaws, is considerably better for the country and the Republican Party than Barack Obama. Even setting that aside, I don’t think it would be chivalrous to stand aside out of anger at John McCain, when the Left is trying to destroy Sarah Palin because she’s a successful, conservative woman. If people like us don’t make the liberals pay a price for what they’ve tried to do to Sarah Palin, then there aren’t going to be any more Sarah Palin’s — because they won’t have the courage to stand alone against an army of liberals determined to destroy their lives and their families.

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