Thursday, September 04, 2008

So Much Executive Qualification

Dick Cheney has dramatically changed the office and the role of the Vice-Presidency, acting really as a shadow President, and not at all as a Vice-President. The current American president didn't need to die in order for the current vice-president to ascend to power - the vice-president enjoyed the power already.

In an exchange with my friend Henry, he mentioned that the nomination of a hockey mom from Alaska as the vice-presidential nominee was a bit of a slap in the face to Cheney and a mockery of what the office has become. What the GOP needs in the office of the vice-president is a ruthless politician with no scruples and an undying hard-on for profiteering at the expense of freedom; and though she may liken herself to a bulldog with lipstick, Governor Palin is hardly the kind of "man" I'd expect the GOP to put forth as a serious candidate.

What are her qualifications? What are the qualifications of any of the candidates? What experience makes someone qualified to be president or vice-president, to assume the power of the Executive Branch. Is it Executive Branch experience? I think it is.

Anyone who has not sat in the seat of president or vice-president lacks the necessary experience to be "qualified."

In the big picture, really, there are only three requirements to be President of the United States: (1) you must have been born an American citizen; (2) you must be at least thirty-five years old; and (3) you must have been a permanent resident in the United States for at least fourteen years. You need not have been born IN the United States, as John McCain was not born in the United States, but you must be born a natural citizen (that is, that your parents were citizens). There are a lot of natural-born Americans over the age of 35 who have been permanent resident of the United States for at least fourteen years. So there are many, many, many qualified candidates for the Presidency.

We have tended to elect Governors as Presidents, assuming that as the head executive of one of the United States, they would be "better-qualified" to be the executive in charge of ALL the United States. However, no governor has experience with our clandestine programs, our military command, or international relations. Senators are rarely elected President because their "experience" is not thought to be 'executive' enough. If Barack Obama or John McCain are elected President, it will be the first time a senator has been elected since John F. Kennedy; and never in my lifetime has there been an election where two Senators were the major party candidates. Senators just don't enjoy the reputation that Governors enjoy.

But, let's go back to the right-wing, mainstream media question of qualifications. When we look at further amendments to the Constitution we realize that nobody who has already served two terms or ten years as President is eligible to become President, so that eliminates only the current American president, George W Bush, from the race. Still a pretty wide field to choose from. Now, if we accept that there is a certain type of "experience" required to fill a vacancy in the Executive offices, that "experience" must be Executive Branch experience (a president or a vice-president), which narrows the field considerably!

Using the notion that there is a certain type of "experience" necessary to be President, then there are only six eligible Americans with Executive Branch experience: Dick Cheney, Al Gore, Dan Quayle, George H.W. Bush, Walter Mondale, and Jimmy Carter. They are the only Americans with Executive Branch experience, as presidents and/or vice-presidents, who are eligible to run for President. None of them are running.

But we do now have a Governor involved. Governor Sarah Palin, of Alaska, is going to be on the GOP ticket. Using the right-wing notion of 'experience' needed to govern at the highest level, this former beauty queen and hockey mom whose grasp of science includes the notion that the only acceptable form of birth-control is abstinence, and whose grasp of religion includes the notion that our invasion of Iraq is God's plan, is the only "qualified" person the GOP could find for their ticket.

Then comes forth the mainstream media's circle-jerk about the history-making event of a woman being on the presidential ticket.

Excuse me . . . there is nothing ground-breaking or newsworthy about Palin's nomination. Geraldine Ferraro was a woman of deep Christian faith and beliefs (albeit Roman Catholic) nominated for the office of the vice-presidency, decades before Palin.

The only thing ground-breaking about Palin is that she is a political fringe wacko with insane religious beliefs and absolutely no intellectual grasp of science, sociology, or political governance.

Now THAT'S newsworthy!

1 comment:

O'Reilly said...

An open letter to Henry and Dick Mac:

The choice of Sarah Palin is good Republican politics and bad policy, which is exactly what I’ve come to expect from the War Party.

They rolled the dice, changed the conversation and sucked all of the oxygen out of the room, to the detriment of the Democrats. The reason it is bad policy is because Palin can offer no educated opinions on public policy. Her political values are premised almost exclusively on religious moral code, which may be fine in a small community and may be fine in a state like Alaska but on the national stage I think she’ll be beyond her depth and incapable of contributing.

Palin’s belief is that god’s will rules out abortion so that is what a righteous America should do. She hails her daughters choice to get married, and seeks to deny that choice to all other women in America.

She serves some important purposes – she satisfies the religious right thereby cementing their support, she allows McCain to move back to the center, and she give Republicans a female celebrity – not that Clinton supporters would be the least bit interested but the conservative voters will be drawn out to vote. Until Palin, many Republicans with fine memories were dissatisfied with the maverick as a faux conservative. Palin is the poster child young conservative. Rove has done it again.

I’m still hoping the ploy, and it was a ploy, backfires. It was also an impulsive decision that reflects badly on McCain’s decision-making process.

Dems would like to hear Palin say some stupid things that would demonstrate her lack of experience and depth but it’s a long shot because while she has only a narrow experience, she's politically savvy, and her handlers will keep her in controlled situations... McCain too.

The Republicans are playing chess; we’ll see if the Obama campaign is playing chess too. I have confidence they are.

Palin has about five or six nagging issues following her from Alaska such as earmarks, bridge to nowhere, book banning, helicopter hunting, a thin resume, and a pregnant daughter but the republican base and religious right will dismiss those issues because they have their own celebrity, an every woman, a mom, a sporty lipstick-wearing MILF, who will attack her political opponents with condescension and contempt.

I think she endeared herself to the base and the Republican Party with her mocking shots at Barack Obama and even Michelle – not about policy but about respect – and I’m hoping a well-planned counter offensive on the ticket will turn that around.