Monday, September 01, 2008

Right- And Right About Palin

Now that I've posted about Republicans who have been exposed as hypocrites for supporting identity politics as long as the individual is a right-winger, I'll concede that there are conservatives who defy hypocrisy and decry the selection. Unfortunately, they are in the minority- and reports are that Palin already has boosted donations to the McCain campaign- but David Frum, Charles Krauthammer, and Heather Mac Donald are loyal conservatives who deserve recognition. Apparently, they are conservatives disappointed that John McCain is not putting "country first."

David Frum is a former Bush 43 speechwriter, a columnist for National Review Online, is associated with the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, and author of "Dead Right." Although conceding the choice of the Alaska Governor is "probably a shrewd one," he wrote in an article for

The day that John McCain announced his selection of Sarah Palin was his birthday. His 72nd birthday. Seventy-two is not as old as it used to be, but Mr. McCain had a bout with melanoma seven years ago, and his experience in prison camp has uncertain implications for his future health.

If anything were to happen to a President McCain, the destiny of the free world would be placed in the hands of a woman who until the day before Friday was a small-town mayor.

Mr. McCain's supporters argue that he is more serious about national security than Barack Obama. But the selection of Sarah Palin invites the question: How serious can he be if he would place such a neophyte second in line to the presidency? Barack Obama at least balanced his inexperience with Mr. Biden's experience. What is Mr. McCain doing?

Frum concluded "So this is the future of the Republican party you are looking at: a future in which national security has bumped down the list of priorities behind abortion politics, gender politics, and energy politics."

Charles Krauthammer is a syndicated columnist and Fox News commentator and wrote the following in his Washington Post blog:

The Palin selection completely undercuts the argument about Obama's inexperience and readiness to lead -- on the theory that because Palin is a maverick and a corruption fighter, she bolsters McCain's claim to be the reformer in this campaign. In her rollout today, Palin spoke a lot about change. McCain is now trying to steal "change" from Obama, a contest McCain will lose in an overwhelmingly Democratic year with an overwhelmingly unpopular incumbent Republican administration. At the same time, he's weakening his strong suit -- readiness vs. unreadiness.

A fellow at the conservative think tank The Manhattan Institute and contributing editor to City Journal (for whom she wrote this), Heather Mac Donald reminds her readers of her conservative Republican bonafides by contending "Of course, Democrats have been playing the identity-politics game to the hilt this election cycle; it’s what they do." Ideologically consistent, though, she explains

Washington Republicans have hardly kept themselves free of race- and gender-based decision making: one can think of many cabinet members and judicial nominations made on these grounds. But now they’ve gone all the way and introduced irrelevant chromosome considerations into the presidential race—the most important political choice in the land. And they have lost any standing to criticize Democrats for playing the race and gender cards.

MacDonald refers to Palin's "motherly qualities" as "admirable," but scoffs, eloquently, at their significance for governing:

But her maternal feelings are irrelevant to her executive acumen and knowledge of economic and geopolitical issues. Palin may have those attributes in spades, but if so, let’s hear about them, not her domestic relations.

MacDonald concludes "it’s a sad day when Republicans decide to match the Democratic predilection for chromosomal consciousness, since there will be no turning back."

This article, entitled Sarah Palin (R-Diversity), is an especially valuable read. It informs us liberal Democrats that occasionally there is intelligent, conservative commentary- and conservative Republicans that John McCain has embraced the concept that experience is to be trumped by the value of immutable, genetic characteristics.

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