In a significant political opinion, NYTimes columnist David Brooks acknowledges what was manifest – Sarah Palin is not ready to become President: “But a few commentators, like George Will, Charles Krauthammer, David Frum and Ross Douthat demur, suggesting in different ways that she is unready….I would have more sympathy for this view [that Sarah’s ready] 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….”
Now David Brook’s cites a who’s who list of major contemporary, very conservative, Republican pundits and supporters. If you listen to George Will on This Week – there is almost a “what has God wrought” tone to his carefully parsed arguments raising questions about Palin. And the same can be said of David Brooks.
I have already argued that the Republicans have under Bush and Rove ruined their brand – “we know how to govern”. In this Fire Ready Aim commentary, some fairly influential commentators of the Right in the GOP appear to be trying to clawback some measure of the Republican brand for integrity- think D. Eisenhower, T.Roosevelt, A.Lincoln. The problem is their presidential candidate has been ensnared in the Rovian trap of mendacious, pugnacious and highly divisive electioneering. As the Economist notes:
‘Mr McCain has also been caught telling some straightforward fibs, for example that Mrs Palin, as governor, had €œnever€ sought federal earmark money for her state€”her request per head for Alaska was the biggest in the country. He and Mrs Palin continue to insist that she killed an infamous €œbridge to nowhere€ project in Alaska, even though every journalist in America now knows she did so only after supporting it, and only after it became a political albatross. Mr McCain has good reason to worry about his reputation for straight-talk, the strongest part of his political brand.’ In effect, integrity, the last measure of Republican worthiness has been sacrificed at the altar of win at any cost. Seems like a clear cut case of Fire Ready Aim by the Republican elites.
The question now becomes what will these elites do if a)the Republicans win or b)more tellingly, if they lose the Presidential election. May I recommend a Fifth of my own favorite elixir – Humility.