Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Brooks on Palin

David Brooks doesn't exactly burst forth with wisdom and truth in his latest column - as usual, his thinking and his writing are confused. He strives to embrace the anti-intellectualism and populist spirit of the Bush/FOX/Palin crowd, but it chafes a bit - deep down inside, he knows better. Sometimes, the inner wrestling match erupts into an open admission of discomfort and doubt.

In the current Weekly Standard, Steven Hayward argues that the nation’s founders wanted uncertified citizens to hold the highest offices in the land. They did not believe in a separate class of professional executives. They wanted rough and rooted people like Palin.

I would have more sympathy for this view if I hadn’t just lived through the last eight years. For if the Bush administration was anything, it was the anti-establishment attitude put into executive practice.

And the problem with this attitude is that, especially in his first term, it made Bush inept at governance. It turns out that governance, the creation and execution of policy, is hard. It requires acquired skills. Most of all, it requires prudence.

[snip]

Sarah Palin has many virtues. If you wanted someone to destroy a corrupt establishment, she’d be your woman. But the constructive act of governance is another matter. She has not been engaged in national issues, does not have a repertoire of historic patterns and, like President Bush, she seems to compensate for her lack of experience with brashness and excessive decisiveness.
Even David Brooks can't hide his concern about Palin's qualifications. Yes, David, after the past 8 years, we really don't need another leader whose decisions are guided only by gut instinct.

posted at 9:13:00 AM by Neil

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