Monday, September 15, 2008

Blinking... sometimes a good thing!

During Sarah Palin's ABC interview with Charles Gibson she responded to a question about her style of response to terrorism with this gem: “We must do whatever it takes, and we must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions of where we go and even who we target.”

Then the blinking came up again when asked about how she responded to being asked to be the VP on the GOP ticket: “You have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, you can’t blink.”

So what's the deal with all this blinking, or lack thereof? Is blinking so bad? Does she want us to all get dry, irritated eyes?

Sarah Palin was talking about resolve. The resolve she believes she and John McCain have in the face of any problem. That however causes me to stop a moment and wonder.. is not blinking really the best thing for our country?

I'll first deal with her second quote about she couldn't blink because she is "wired in a way of being so committed to the mission." What mission is that Gov. Palin? If I was being asked to possibly become the next Vice President of the United States, one heart beat away from the most powerful office in the world, I'd be sweating it! Am I ready? Am I the best fit? Am I doing this for me and my political career? What about my family? What about my children? Is this the best thing for the country?

It seems that Ms. Palin didn't ask herself those questions. She just said Yes because she is committed to her "mission." Now depending on what exactly that mission is I'm not sure what to say.. but I would suggest to her that she clarify her remarks.

To reply to those critics who will wonder if I'm treating her too harshly.. I say this: If you want to take the job of VP, hey, that's your decision but remember, we are voting for a ticket because we believe that not only do they have the right answers now but they also will have the right kind of judgement to make good decisions in the future.

To address her comment about leadership in the face of terrorism being exemplified in her viewpoint in "not blink[ing]... in making those tough decisions of where we go and even who we target." That sounds great.. but is that really what you want? I hate to equate terrorism with any other action in a metaphor but I'll make an exception this time... If you are driving along and you realize you need to fill up your tank with gasoline do you: a) find the shortest route from your location to the gas station, and start driving like a maniac? b) try to get to the gas station as quickly as possible, following the posted signage and obeying speed limits?, or c) stop, idle the car,ponder the pros and cons of fossil fuels,slowly draw out a map to several gas stations, double check it, ask all your friends about it, sing with the radio, head to a fast-food joint and get some burgers, then if you remember, head to one or more of the gas stations?

If you chose A, then you are dangerously low on intelligence and will be involved in an accident or will end up in a lot of trouble before you get to your destination.

If you chose B, then you will get to your destination OK, although it may take a little longer you will still be alive, well, and safe.

If you chose C, then you overthink things, waffle, can't be trusted to be quick on your feet, and will probably fail to make any important decisions - in turn letting existing problems get out of hand while you are distracted with yourself.

To me Republicans seem to be gravitating to the bravado and feeling of real rapid response of choice A while Democrats in a move to accentuate their differences are moving towards choice C. Let's not forget that Democrats have gotten and kept the US in a lot more wars then Republicans.. Think about it, Democrats: WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam vs. Republicans: Civil War, Grenada, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iraq II. I know many of those were provoked.. but it just goes to show that the word democrat didn't always translate into 'peacenik'.

Back to McCain/Palin and their aversion to blinking... they seem a little to eager to prove themselves as great generals instead of trying to prove to us that they are a good statesman/stateswoman team. I know there aren't fireworks or a parade when you negotiate and deal to avert disaster or war but it sure beats the sorrow knowing that your failure to do so meant even one scratch on a soldier, whose job it is to protect the United States not fight for presidential legacies. I am by no means saying that I'm a pacifist, what I am saying is that sometimes words and a carrot and stick can do wonders that a sledgehammer can't.

In conclusion, taking a moment to think can be a good thing.

Links:
Gov. Palin’s Worldview - NY Times

1 comment:

Tim said...

Excellent post. Going in the wrong direction, no matter how resolutely, is still going in the wrong direction.