Friday, October 31, 2008

'Experts' vs. the Hockey Mom

One of the things I hate about the Washington elite is their knack for evading responsibility, and I take aim at a few of these slippery bastards in my latest American Spectator column:
None of her critics in the commentariat could ever draw such a crowd or generate such enthusiasm, and yet they do not hesitate to proclaim that she is "not close to being acceptable in high office" ([Ken] Adelman), that her selection as John McCain's running mate is "irresponsible" ([Francis] Fukuyama) and even that she "represents a fatal cancer to the Republican Party" ([David] Brooks).
Popularity as a pathology? What Brooks and the others are saying is that these people who spend hours in the cold October wind for a chance to see Sarah Palin are too stupid to know what's good for them. "Listen to us," say the political experts.
YES, THE EXPERTS always know best. In September 2002, [George F.] Will advocated "preemptive" war with Iraq, with a nuclear "mushroom cloud" as the alternative. Now, he denounces as "carelessness" the war he once urged, lumping Palin into the same category of Republican error.
Fukuyama militated for war with Iraq much earlier, signing onto the Project for the New American Century's 1998 letter to President Clinton calling for "a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power." In the run-up to the 2003 invasion, Brooks warned that "the fog of peace" was blinding critics to the "menace" of Saddam. Among the advocates of invasion, Adelman took the cake, so to speak, by predicting a "cakewalk" in Iraq.
Experts, you see. And at nothing are they more expert than evading responsibility, a task that requires scapegoats. So the unpopularity of the Republican Party has nothing to do with the policies the experts urged and the politicians the experts supported. Rather, it's the provincial hockey mom who is to blame.
"Cakewalk Ken" and Fukuyama have now declared their support for Obama, citing Palin prominently among their reasons. Brooks and Will have not (yet) declared themselves acolytes of Hope, but have made clear that they view Palin as an unalloyed dead weight on the GOP.
Experts in Washington think themselves infinitely more important to the Republican Party than mere voters in Pennsylvania who stand in line to see the Alaska hockey mom who sent her oldest son to fight the war the experts once urged.
Our Republican experts don't fight wars or send their sons to fight them. They don't make hand-lettered signs and drive 50 miles to wait in the October wind for the chance to wave their signs inside an arena in Cumberland County, Pa. . . .
Please read the whole thing.

1 comment:

  1. "None of her critics in the commentariat could ever draw such a crowd or generate such enthusiasm"

    And this is where Republicans and Cons have lost their bearings. In their eternal effort to hold on to power for the sake of holding on to power,the Right has forsaken good policy for ELECTABILITY.
    The idea that Palin's ability to draw crowds is in any way meaningful is a reflection of a misguided populism.This elemental confusion between popularity and policy is what got us 8 years of Bush/Cheney.
    I fail to understand why Palin has such appeal to those on the Right.Aside from her snazzy good looks she is hopelessly unprepared for high office.And now the Right is trying to push Joe the Plumber as a viable candidate for Congress.You've got a pair of un-informed yokels driving the Rightwing base absolutely bananas.Neither of these folks have any ideas for the future of America. Do you really think that 21st century America is looking for a provincial approach to politics?
    Until the Right comes to terms with its flawed approach, and until they forego electability in exchange for vision, Republicans will suffer at the hands of their own stupidity.