Do Republicans act too rashly?

In many ways the Bush administration has been rightly criticized for overriding policy decisions to meet political interests, which is definitely a very calculated way of governing.

In this way, a possible McCain administration may look very different.  After all he barely knew Sarah Palin when selecting her as his veep.

As the Atlantic Monthly reports, there are many things that the McCain campaign didn’t seem to know about her.

A few days before John Kerry introduced John Edwards as his running mate, a select few members of Kerry’s research staff were given five names, told to adopt the mindset of Republican opposition research, and to prepare a political dossier. What were the likeliest lines of attack that Republicans would use? What political pitfalls might the professional attorneys who conducted the vetting process have missed?

By the day of the announcement, Kerry’s research team had a comprehensive folder prepared about Edwards that included suggested responses for dozens of potential attacks against Edwards’s resume, character, and positions.

This year, the intense secrecy with which McCain advisor A.B. Culvahouse completed his vetting of Sarah Palin preserved the surprise. And ultimately, McCain aides say they’re sure that the rewards will be worth the risks. But as the Palin pick turns 72 hours old, McCain’s campaign is learning as much about her from the media and from Democrats as they are from what minimal political preparation they had.

Now when you think about McCain’s anger and his singing of bomb Iran, do you really want an Commander in Chief that seems to make decisions without the full facts or knowledge of the situation?  For me, the answer is a very definite no!  I mean look at this laundry list of things they didn’t know about Palin:

They’ve bragged that Palin opposed the famous “Bridge to Nowhere,” only to learn that Palin supported the project and even told residents of Ketchikan that they weren’t “nowhere” to her. After the national outcry, she decided to spend the funds allocated to the bridge for something else. Actually, maybe it’s more fair to say that coincident with the national outcry, she changed her mind. The story shows her political judgment, but it is not a reformer’s credential.

Likewise, though she cut taxes as mayor of Wassila, she raised the sales tax, making her hardly a tax cutter.

She denied pressuring the state’s chief of public safety to fire her sister-in-law’s husband even though there’s mounting evidence that the impetus did indeed come from her. Ostensibly to clear her name, Palin asked her attorney general to open an independent investigation—the legislature had already been investigating. (I am told that the campaign was aware of the ethics complaint filed against her but accepts Palin’s account.)

McCain’s campaign seemed unaware that she supported a windfalls profits tax on oil companies and that she is more skeptical about human contributions to global warming than McCain is.

They did not know that she took trips as the mayor of Wasilla to beg for earmarks.

They did not know that she told a television interviewer this summer that she did not fully understand what it is that a vice president does.

As we are reminded of the need for fully informed and competent government, John McCain does little to make us think his governance will be a marked improvement from the current resident of the White House.

-Josh

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