The more I learn about Sara Palin, the more she scares the shit out of me. (And by the way, before I go on can I just say that, speaking of learning more about Palin, has anyone else noticed how freaking awesome The Bellman's ongoing dissection of the VP nominee has been? Damn, ya'll. That's some good blogging.) John McCain may represent a continuation of many of the Bush administration's policies (wait, wasn't that the point Obama was making with the "lipstick on a pig" comment?) But it seems more and more clear that Palin represents a frightening continuation of Bush's (really fucking scary) leadership style.
Palin has surrounded herself with friends who are selected for their personal ties and loyalty rather than their competence (to wit, the high school chum who was appointed to direct the State Division of Agriculture based on her "lifetime love of cows."); fired, intimidated, and pursued vendettas against those who cross her (Troopergate being just one example. And by the way, look out, DR: you've probably already been identified and labeled a "hater" and should be getting the "You should be ashamed! Stop blogging. Stop blogging right now!” call any day...); has demonstrated a stunning lack of knowledge of crucial issues; is a remote, isolated, and often MIA leader (prompting leaders in Juneau to wear "Where's Sarah?" pins); and operates under an unprecedented veil of secrecy (right on down to insisting that everyone in her administration use private e-mail accounts to conduct significant state business because, as an assistant told her, e-mail messages sent to a private address on a personal device like a BlackBerry “would be confidential and not subject to subpoena.”).
Seriously, we can't live through another 4-8 years of this. Or at least I can't. Please, o please could there not be more attention and scrutiny to the completely batshit crazy narrative the McCain campaign (and the governor herself) has constructed about Palin being an experienced, anti-corruption reformer?
I'm not holding my breath. Because as unpopular as George Bush is, he's already primed the electorate to believe that it's no big deal to try to ban a book you haven't even bothered to read because "you don't need to read that stuff." Or that it's perfectly normal to mine your high school yearbook or church directory to replace knowledgeable professionals in key government appointments, arguing that they'll "learn on the job." Or even that being ignorant yourself is not only not a flaw that precludes you from aspiring to the highest office in the land, but actually kinda cute and charming. Someone will always be there to strategically place a color-coded stack of index cards telling you what to say behind your nameplate. And cover up for your mistakes. And guard the evidence of your incompetence (and even wrongdoing) with their lives. And brand anyone who tries to question this as "bad people who are anti-Alaska." And sexist. That's the exciting new twist, I guess.
We can't let this happen again.
UPDATE: Frank Rich characterizes McCain as an even weaker Bush to Palin's Cheney in his column today. Maybe that's what makes her so frightening to me: the melding of the worst elements of the current White House occupants.