Friday, October 03, 2008

Captain Chipmunk - The Pundit

Ok, first, law school is going great. I love my classes and the challenge; although my butt is sore from all the sitting (if I could only find a way to highlight effectively on the treadmill).

Now, I'm trying to read for my class in an hour and can't because last nights VP debate is killing me. So I write in hopes of clearing the insanity!

I try my darndest (to use Palin-speak) to not be partisan. It's easier and easier as it becomes clearer that both sides of the aisle are merely puppets of big business. But I'll save that discussion for another day.

I think issues and beliefs are important in choosing a candidate, however, I think competency should trump belief. I think the last 8 years are proof of the what happens when one allows beliefs to control choice.

In the case of Obama & McCain I think both are competent to handle the job. To decide, I can turn to my value set and decide which candidate will support my views.

Turning to the VP debate last night, I tried to set aside all prejudice and beliefs (if that's possible) and judge the candidates solely on their competency: knowledge, poise, intellect, speaking skills, etc. If you were to blindly grade both candidates on these considerations, who would win?

By the end of the debate, I found that, whether I agreed with him or not, Biden showed knowledge of every question asked, provided examples and spoke intelligently with out talking down to people. I got the sense that if you were sitting down to dinner with him and wanted to talk at length about any of the topics presented at the debate(Iraq, energy, nuclear weapons, Isreal, Iran, Wall Street) he could carry on with an engaging conversation. He seemed to know more than just talking points.

On the other hand, I got the sense that Palin was one follow up question away from disaster. While straying from topics and tapdancing around answers is commonplace in politics, she lacked coherence and depth. Both candidates had talking points, sure, but Palin did not go beyond those flash cards.

Is that being partisan? I don't think so. Am I being elitist. Sure! There is a reason it's hard to get into Yale. There's a reason why only one person can be editor-in-chier of the law review or graduate top of their class. That's the kind of person I want removing a tumor, representing me in court and talking to crazy foreign leaders with nukes.

Does that mean only those types of people are capable of such tasks? Certainly not. It's not a requirment, but the difference is if you graduate from the Du Loc Community School for Jazz Dance and want to be a doctor or a head of state, you must prove that you are at the caliber of those who did graduate from, say, an ivy league school.

Coming back to the election at hand. How can anyone say that Palin is at all competent to be second in command for one of the most powerful countries in the world? I just hope those who do think that way don't ever sit on the board examinations for my brain surgeon, God forbid I ever need one.

If you've made it this far, I'm sorry, but I feel better now.


Fortune said...

You betcha.

a work in progress said...

Captain, I know I am way more partisan that I want to claim, but beyond that I feel I am able to objectively view competence. I do not understand those who claim Palin's competency to be that of a leader in a presidential capacity. It scares me and saddens me that people don't look at the heart of the matter and don't bother to think about how important it is someone have an indepth understanding - and willingess to develop an even better one - on significant issues that directly impact the current and future of our nation and the world in which we have to learn to develop diplomatic relationships with. These are actual lives, here and abroad.

And on a slightly different, and yes partisan I guess, note, the problem grows with McCain's suggestion of bringing on the eBay lady to oversee our national finances - she hates the "less fortunate" I think she is likely to steal boot straps from anyone starting to pull themselves up.

Rant complete. Glad you blogged again!