An Open Letter to McCain
I'd like to expand on a point that John made overnight. John wrote
(I'm using some license in my paraphrasing, here) that it's no longer possible to try to argue that Palin
is qualified. It's increasingly accepted, even by noted conservatives,
that her selection was a mistake on McCain's part. But John also
suggests that this is not the time for Palin-bashing. Nothing can come
it. The focus here should not be on Palin herself, her qualifications
or her lack thereof. The scrutiny should be focused on McCain: on his
decision to include Palin on his ticket, and on what that says about
his judgment; as well as on his reluctance to concede any of
Palin's weaknesses, and on what that says about his ability to admit
and account for mistakes.
In that vein I'd like to submit this letter, respectfully, for Senator McCain's consideration:
While I appreciate your
efforts to bring some excitement into the race and to promote women
with the selection of your vice presidential candidate, I think it's
time that we level. Frankly, you owe us an apology. In fact, you owe us
For starters, I'd suggest:
an apology to your
for subjecting them to this, for putting them in a position where they
must attempt to defend this nearly indefensible selection;
an apology to the critics for your constant accusations of sexism whenever anyone tries to suggest the truth about the unpreparedness of your runningmate;
an apology to women for presuming that we would flock to your ticket simply for the sake of supporting a woman, with utter disregard for that woman's policies or qualifications;
an apology to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Kathleen Sebelius, and the myriad other women more qualified but overlooked in favor of an attractive yet generally inexperienced and incoherent neophyte;
an apology to Christians for attempting to represent them and appeal to them by the selection a fundamentalist Christian so extreme that she's almost caricature of evangelical American Christianity;
an apology to the Palin family for treating them like nothing more than political capital;
Mr. McCain, I've heard that you're a good man, an honorable man, even. So I respectfully suggest that it's time to own up.
I have friends that are passionate McCain supporters. They reveled in the selection of Ms. Palin, shouting her name from the rooftops in joyous celebration of her appointment. Then, a couple of weeks later, they tried to give her the benefit of the doubt as her apparent weaknesses became known. Recently they've resigned themselves to the reality that Palin is neither qualified nor informed enough for this appointment. And now, aghast at the ongoing debacle that is this woman's national debut, they've become almost livid that the presidential candidate they have so faithfully trusted and supported has put them in a position that they must try to defend and support this woman.
So I implore you, Mr. McCain, you owe it to your supporters if to no one else. It's time to say you're sorry.