The Blame Game
Don’t you just hate it when an abusive offensive blowhard makes a valid point that you just can’t deny? This is what happened to me last night when I ventured into ChenZhen’s Chamber (the blog of the founder of the WordPress Political Blogger’s Alliance) and encountered a frequent commenter there, who after spewing all sorts of garbage, aimed at pretentious liberals (pardon me, pretentious limp-dicked liberals) exemplified by me, managed to cite a decent source to defend his views. Well, I use the phrase “his views” advisedly since it’s a bit hard to get to his point amid all the bile.
Bottom line, among the many things that enrage said commenter is the notion that Republicans are solely to blame for our current economic mess. Now, I’ve never actually made this claim but my call to throw out this “management team” for a new one could easily be interpreted as an indictment against all ‘Pubs, while letting Democrats off the hook. I further state, as I have before, that economics is not my specialty. So it was valuable to get a better picture of the Dem’s contribution to this mess, albeit from a difficult-to-tolerate source.
The article in the Wall Street Journal is an opinion piece that quotes several prominent Dem’s including Barney Frank, making statements over the years that make it clear they were clueless about the upcoming economic disaster. Even despite unambiguous warnings from Alan Greenspan, they seemed more obsessed with protecting the “idea” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, than actually making sure the entities were functional.
So while we’re playing the blame game, let’s all say this together: “Nobody in Washington seems to know what the heck is going on with this economy and there’s more than enough blame to go around.” Yes, even my beloved Obama is speaking in generic terms about the current crisis. Personally, I think it should make conservatives and liberals alike very nervous that there is no consensus on a sure-fire solution to what ails us economically.
The Appeal of Palin
The other point of consternation with ChenZhen’s prickly commenter was my perceived condescending attitude toward Sarah Palin and those who follow her. On this topic, he is not alone. It seems that Palin has made a visceral connection with lots of people.
A large part of this is the “identification factor.” For those who identify with Sarah Palin, a smack at her is a smack at them. Now clearly, if you identify with someone, if they remind you of yourself or friends or family, and then someone calls them stupid, it isn’t a huge leap to think that you are being called stupid. Sarah Palin despite some opinions to the contrary is definitely not stupid. She’s come too far to be a total dumb-ass.
However, from her interview performances and even her debate performance, Sarah Palin does not appear to be ready to be President. Yet even this conclusion, that she is smart but unready, enrages a certain contingent. Taking the identification factor to the next level, we must conclude that this contingent is thinking “Hey, when you say Sarah is not ready to be President, you’re saying I’m not ready to be President.” Well, ehhh, yeah! Damn right. Sarah Palin’s candidacy makes Joe and Julie Sixpack think that, “Hey maybe I could be President”. I believe the identification level is just that strong.
What could contribute to this level of self-delusion? You don’t see a huge bunch of minority folk getting enraged by Palin related criticism do you? I think that there is a contingent in this country who believe that the Presidency (or perhaps success, in general) is their birthright. These are the same people who are told from the day they exit the womb that they can be whatever they set their minds to. Believe me, very few black folk are given THAT message from day one. And now this contingent that has bought the hype, is confronted with someone like them who is being told, “No. The Presidency isn’t your birthright. You have to either have the experience or the demonstrated knowledge to get to that level.” These folks are getting the wake-up call that “being just like me” isn’t enough. (By the way, before people jump on the “Obama isn’t experienced either” bandwagon, I said experience OR demonstrated knowledge. Obama has demonstrated over the past 18 months that he has the knowledge and judgement for the job.)
Whether it’s George W. Bush or Sarah Palin, this self deluded contingent votes time and time again against their own self interest so that “someone like them” can be elected. The irony is that the “someone like them” isn’t really like them at all. Bush is rich, Palin is comfortable with an approximate six figure salary. Makes no difference. The “if they can be President, I could be President” psychology still holds sway.
Perhaps before folks get into a huge snit when confronted with Sarah Palin’s unreadiness for the job of President (and therefore Vice President), they should take a breath and say:
“I’m good at what I do. I’m not ready to be Vice President. Sarah is good at what she does and she’s not ready to be Vice President. And there is nothing wrong with that.”
P.S. There is a foreign affairs qualification that Sarah has not yet cited in her interviews and I’m surprised about this. She must know something about Russia since she graduated from a university in Moscow … Idaho.