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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Experience and judgment do count

John McCain has built a campaign around touting his experience and judgment being far superior to that of his callow young opponent. The events of the past few days should leave every clear-thinking American questioning that premise.

In addition to the Bristol Palin story, we have been greeted with the fact that Sarah Palin has now hired a private attorney to represent her in the legislative ethics probe in alleged abuse of power; that she and her husband Todd were members of the Alaska Independence Party and that Palin had a drunken driving charges 22 years ago.

Oh, and we also know learn that John McCain has hired the same man who helped George Bush lead the smear campaign against him in 2000.

No wonder that when you plug "I don't question your values, I question our judgment" into Google News, the Sarah Palin stories come up first.

Republicans say they remain firmly behind Palin despite this steady drip of negative stories. What choice do they have? George McGovern's decision to dump Thomas Eagleton after word of the Missouri Democrat's electroshock therapy treatment dealth a death blow to a wobbly campaign.

The sad fact here is that the Palin selection is the result of McCain rushing to hit a home run in the wake of the successful Democratic convention. Media value trumped national interest. And he surely succeeded in stealing the spotlight immediately with the Palin pick.

But in the rush for the media hit, McCain missed or ignored a series of individual events. None of these items on its own is disqualifying -- and none worse than a 20-year-old plagiarism rap against Joe Biden. But what does it say of the decision-making process used by McCain, a theme that is at the heart of his campaign against Barack Obama?

And what if he uses a similarly flawed process in deciding how to react to a provocation against American interests?

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