I’m sorry—I’m entirely too logical. I admit it right here at the front. When I read illogical statements—regardless of whether I agree with the speaker—I have to squawk.
Palin says she can run the country because she can see Russia from Alaska. I can see a lake from my house, so I’m a submarine commander.
Now Brian is a smart guy, and he writes compelling work. I would highly recommend that you subscribe to his feed, read his blog, etc. But this is just a mess.
First, Palin’s not running for President. She’s not trying to “run the country.” Oh, but you say she’s answering ABC’s Charlie Gibson’s question about what makes her qualified to run the country. Well, not quite. From this transcript1, we actually see it was Gibson who brought up Alaska’s proximity to Russia:
GIBSON: But this is not just reforming a government. This is also running a government on the huge international stage in a very dangerous world. When I asked John McCain about your national security credentials, he cited the fact that you have commanded the Alaskan National Guard and that Alaska is close to Russia. Are those sufficient credentials?
Palin shifts the conversation to reform and doesn’t take a stab at that question.
So, Brian has bungled the whole first part of the given. He tells a partial truth at best, and then uses that to springboard into a twisted bit of logic.
First, Brian has nothing in common with a submarine commander—at least that I know of. It’s not an office that one directly applies for (i.e. no one votes you in as commander).
Being able to see a land from another land means that you’ve actually got a lot more in common with that land then say someone that lives in Chicago. You have the same climate. You have the same strategic opportunities. You share the same border.
But then, let’s assume the logic is ok. Why couldn’t Brian command a submarine? Does the commander really have to know exactly what the submarine does? How much could he learn on the job?
What would have been a better parallel would have been “I can see ProBlogger, so I’m qualified to take over for Darren Rowse.” Gov. Palin has lead people. She has dealt with internal conflict, and she’s not applying for President, but the next ladder down where she can learn.
This is the exact same logical problem that Sam Stein has.
McCain’s Words Coming Back to Haunt Him?
Mr. Stein thinks he’s got a great line to use on McCain. That during the primaries, McCain made the case that his competition was under-qualified in national security because Governors of small states aren’t like world-traveling senators:
“I have had a strong and a long relationship on national security, I’ve been involved in every national crisis that this nation has faced since Beirut, I understand the issues, I understand and appreciate the enormity of the challenge we face from radical Islamic extremism,” the Senator declared. “I am prepared. I am prepared. I need no on-the-job training. I wasn’t a mayor for a short period of time. I wasn’t a governor for a short period of time.”
Mr. Stein goes on to say that since Mayor Guiliani was a mayor of a bigger city longer than Gov. Palin, and Gov. Romney was a Governor for longer than Gov. Palin, then, by McCain’s own logic she’s unqualified.
Well, that and it’s a logical mess when you go comparing McCain’s foreign policy experience (the committees he is on, his service record, and many years in the senate) to Obama’s 180 days in the Senate.
But even if we ignore the incongruence, we find that we’re again comparing apples and oranges. Gov. Palin isn’t trying to win the Presidency. She did not enter the primaries. She’s not running for President. She’s on the ticket for Vice President.
It’s the perfect place to learn and get experience.
My question is: Is this the best the left has got?
- Twisted facts?
- Bad logic?
- A general dislike for the person?
That won’t win it for them. In all my reading on the topic I’ve only found one article that came anywhere close to presenting coherent arguments, and that’s mostly questioning ethics.
Other than it, all I’ve seen is scare tactics, phoney baloney stuff like Matt Damon and other celebrities saying things to try to sway people against her. Against the Vice President. You’d think it was Cheney running for VP or something.
What a weird election this is turning out to be.
- I did not see the interview. If you can find transcript refuting this, please provide it, and I’ll retract this statement.