Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sarah Palin and Harriet Miers - Separated at Vetting?

As more details about what a poor choice for VP Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is turning out to be emerge - the latest being her attempts to censor library books as Mayor of Wasilla - and the question as to how rigorously she was vetted, and by whom, start to circle, one can't help but remember another "historic" candidate put forward for a post that she just wasn't the right choice for.

That would be Harriet Miers: former White House legal counsel, current recipient of contempt of Congress for ducking a subpoena "under orders" from her former employer, and would-have-been Supreme Court Justice.

Would have been, if it hadn't been for those meddling congressmen who, in a quite bi-partisan manner, came to the conclusion that she had no business sitting on the bench. Hell, she didn't have any business bringing them lunch.

In fact, I'd go so far to venture that the only reason she was nominated in the first place was that she, much like Alberto "Squeaky" Gonzales and Michael "Brownie" Brown, were long-time friends of W, and he was in a mood to reward his favorite sycophants.

And look how well both of those gentlemen fared when called on the carpet for their official actions!

That's not to say that Sarah Palin is, like those three folks, stupid, incompetent, and/or ill-prepared for the role she's been asked to do. There's a reason why it was said, so famously, that the job wasn't worth a bucket of warm spit.

(There's even a reason why "spit" wasn't actually the word used.)

But in terms of finding a candidate who could be judged on her merits, and not her flaws, whoever dangled Sarah Palin in front of John McCain's nose and said "she's the one" was stupid, incompetent and ill-prepared to do the job of properly vetting the candidate.

Just to name one glaring example - almost lost in the storm over her daughter's pregnancy - her involvement with the secessionist Alaskan Independence Party puts her on the side of a group whose goals, barring openly supporting terrorists, is about as anti-American as you can get. And while there's some confusion over whether she was an actual member or not (AIP people say yes, McCain's people say no) she did address their 2008 convention, and have other dealings with them.

If you think Obama hanging around an unrepentant domestic terrorist like William Ayers is bad, you have to ask how Palin really feels about the country she's going to campaign to be the Vice President of. Hopefully it's better than the AIP's founder, Joe Volger, who said "I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions."

That alone should have gotten her tossed of the would-be list with extreme prejudice. That she yet remained, passing up the likes of Mitt Romney or, Gods help us all, Joe Lieberman, is a sign that someone wasn't paying attention.

But I guess that's what you get when you ask James Dobson and company for input - a massive embarrassment waiting to happen.

Just like Harriet Miers.


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