Posts Tagged ‘arrogance’

Arrogant Ignorance

September 18, 2008

One of the disturbing things about George Bush is that, for a man lacking knowledge and experience in so many areas, he displayed more than just confidence but outright arrogance. It seems that we are seeing that odd combination yet again in Sarah Palin. For example, consider the following exchange with a very GOP-friendly townhall meeting:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor Palin, there has been quite a bit of discussion about your perceived lack of foreign policy experience. And I want to give you your chance. If you could please respond to that criticism and give us specific skills that you think you have to bring to the White House to rebut that or mitigate that concern.

PALIN: Well, I think because I’m a Washington outsider that opponents are going to be looking for a whole lot of things that they can criticize and they can kind of try to beat the candidates here, who chose me as his partner, to kind of tear down the ticket. But as for foreign policy, you know, I think that I am prepared and I know that on January 20th, if we are so blessed as to be sworn into office as your president and vice president, certainly we’ll be ready. I’ll be ready. I have that confidence. I have that readiness.

Nowhere does she describe the specific skills that the questionner asked for. Instead, she just gives us this Stewart Smiley belief in herself, as if that is all that is needed. Yet, her interviews continue to reveal someone who really has no idea about anything and displays, like Bush, a penchant for obtuse and incoherent statements.

Through reform, absolutely.  Look at the oversight that has been lack, I believe, here at the 1930s type of regulatory regime overseeing some of these corporations.

It seems that Tina Fey’s portrayal wasn’t an insult: the impersonation may have actually been more intelligible and smarter than the real thing.

It’s important to be confident and to believe that you can do something, but generally that’s what we expect of underachievers, the inexperienced, and the young. But we’re not talking a job learning program: candidates must display some real qualifications, real knowledge about national issues, when running for national office. For example, consider the contrast the Jerusalem Post drew between McCain and Obama:

In March, on his whirlwind visit to Israel, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, one of whose primary strengths is said to be his intimate grasp of foreign affairs, chose to bring along Sen. Joe Lieberman to the interview our diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon and I conducted with him, looked to Lieberman several times for reassurance on his answers and seemed a little flummoxed by a question relating to the nuances of settlement construction.

Several of Obama’s Middle East advisers – including former Clinton special envoy Dennis Ross and ex-ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer – were hovering in the vicinity. But Obama, who was making only his second visit to Israel, knew precisely what he wanted to say about the most intricate issues confronting and concerning Israel, and expressed himself clearly, even stridently on key subjects.

The fact is that with the Republican ticket, voters have no idea what they are getting: Palin doesn’t demonstrate any qualifying knowledge or mental prowess, and John McCain just flips and flops so much that we don’t know what he stands for.

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