Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Game Changed

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to watch the HBO movie “Game Change”. To be honest, I am not a big fan of Caribou Barbie but it made you feel sorry for Sarah Palin? More to the point, watching it was absolutely smashing and, in fact, terrifying to think how close we were to utter insanity or to America's ruin.

The movie has been scalloped out of the book by the same name and focuses on Palin, rather than on the entire 2008 presidential campaign. The decision to do so was absolutely correct. With her selection as John McCain’s running mate, American politics lost its way — and maybe its mind as well.

I want to be fair and give credit to Washington Post Opinion Writer Richard Cohen. This was a very good piece to which I will quote from it because it was perfect:
“The movie portrays Palin as an ignoramus. She did not know that Queen Elizabeth II does not run the British government, and she did not know that North and South Korea are different countries. She seemed not to have heard of the Federal Reserve. She called Joe Biden “O’Biden” and she thought America went to war in Iraq because Saddam Hussein, not al-Qaeda, had attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. Not only did she know little, but she was determinately incurious and supremely smug in her ignorance.”
How can someone aspire to being a heartbeat away from the Oval Office without a firm grasp of basic history and current events? Of course John McCain defended his choice of Palin as running mate in the 2008 presidential campaign. In the movie she was portrayed as a liar. In fact, she was called exactly that by McCain’s campaign chief, Steve Schmidt, who came to realize, a bit late in the game, that one of Palin’s great talents was to deny the truth. When confronted, she simply shuts down — petulant, child-like — and then sulks off.

The thing that struck me was the movie has been endorsed by most of Palin’s top campaign aides to put its veracity in doubt. Some of them had come to revile the Alaska governor — enough to leak some awful facts but not quite enough to go public. Had the election been really close, I wonder if they would have run out into the street yelling that Palin — a heartbeat away from the possible presidency — was a monster.

It seems to be the norm in today’s political environment where we see a deluge of dysfunctional presidential candidates. For example, we saw Herman Cain for a while was a front-runner. He had a nonsensical tax plan, zero knowledge of foreign affairs and had never held elective office. Yet, for a brief but terrifying moment, many Republicans were saying he should be the next president of the United States.

Michele Bachmann told a touching fib about vaccinations and slick Rick Perry did not know squat about who governs Turkey, a NATO ally and a vitally important Middle East power. He got wrong the number of justices on the Supreme Court — he said eight — and could not remember a Cabinet department he had vowed to eliminate.

Let’s not forget Rick Santorum who pretends to know his stuff, but his stuff includes a wild denunciation of John F. Kennedy’s famous speech about the proper role of religion in public life and a characterization of President Obama as a snob for extolling the value of college. Newt Gingrich has the wattage to be president, but so does Hannibal Lecter, if you get my drift. As for Ron Paul, he appears to be running for president of some theme park.

I have excluded Mitt, you know the guy the Republicans call “Him”, from the list of fools and knaves because he has too many other issues. But there once was a time when “Him” would not have stood out as the only candidate who knew something about the issues that confront a president. Since Palin, though, ignorance has become more than bliss. It’s now an attribute, an entire platform: Vote for me, I know nothing and hate the same things you do.

I want to repeat as Mr. Cohen said:
Palin is no longer an anomaly. McCain didn’t choose her for her intellectual or experiential qualities, nor because he was geographically or ideologically balancing the ticket. She was an antiabortion woman with a pulse: Enough! She, like the out-of-nowhere Obama, had the stuff of celebrity — the snap, the dazzle, the self-assurance, the sex appeal. She didn’t need to dance with a star. God told her she already was one… The movie had it right. Sarah Palin changed the game.
And in my opinion for the worst!

Former Alaska governor, who abandoned the post, is increasingly irrelevant political figure who continues to make some interesting remarks about President Barack Obama. Like the comment made during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) where she said, she thinks President Obama is trying to take America back to the days before the Civil War. She went on to say that she believes that all of us are “created equal,” and that President Obama is seeking to divide the nation.

This was such a powerful commentary that I could not expound upon and wanted to share my sense of it. I will say this: I am so thankful that Caribou Barbie is on Fox and Fools and not in the White House, and to that I say God Bless America.

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

"Just a Season"

Legacy – A New Season is Coming!

Listen to the author's interview!

No comments: