Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Palin: Counterintuitive Analysis

Found over at Obsidian Wings:

Many observers, not least on ObWi, have remarked that McCain is a gambler, a “hunch player,” and that the naming of the unvetted Palin is just the latest and most conspicuous example of this flaw. It bespeaks (we say) a lack of judgment, the very quality McCain is supposed to exhibit supremely over the untested Obama.

But in the context of American politics, I fear, this analysis is wrong.

Around half of the American populace, based on the elections of both 2000 and 2004, actually likes hunch players, prefers them to smartass “experts” and intellectuals who have demonstrated competence in the classroom or in life. It is hardly a coincidence that the Republican nomination falls yet again to someone who drifted through the lower depths of his college/academy class.

This is not a bug, but a feature. Many Americans, perhaps a majority, have come to distrust open displays of intelligence, and prefer to rely on “character,” by which they apparently mean “capable of making decisions without stopping to consider the consequences.” Hence Iraq, hence Palin. And pointing this out – pointing out, for example, that Palin is completely unproven in both national and international policy – is irrelevant. So what? She's a “soulmate” of McCain (as Putin once was of Bush?). We can trust her. She has character.

Lots of 'murikans voted for GWB in 2000. Not enough to win, mind you, but a lot.


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