Things Are Easier When You Pay Attention

So what did we learn about Sarah Palin last night? She’s a quick study, she’s a good politician, and she remembers lines pretty well. We also learned it’s impossible to bone up on national political issues in 2 weeks, especially when you’ve been so ignorant in the area that you don’t know what the Bush doctrine is.

I mean really, how could someone who was actually watching the events of the past 6 years not know what the Bush doctrine is? Is there a college freshman in an International Relations 101 class anywhere who doesn’t know what the Bush doctrine is?

And this highlights my main problem with Palin. It’s not a lack of “foreign policy experience,” because I think that’s highly over rated. People with experience develop expertise, but they do so in a particular area. Which means that, if circumstances change, their experience can be anywhere from useless to counterproductive. Look at Condoleeza Rice as an example. Smart woman, leading expert on the Soviet Union, appointed National Security Adviser in 2001. So what happens? We focus on Russia at a time when al-Qaeda and other non-state terrorist actors are the biggest threat to us, and we’re totally unprepared for 9/11.

But the problem with Palin is deeper and more fundamentally, namely that she appears to have had no interest in national issues, particularly foreign policy. And after 40 some years of ignorant bliss, it’s rather hard to turn around and gather the relative information in order to be Vice-President.

I side with basically everyone else, this is a joke. Let me wake up, please.