In my continuing series on the things that I expect Democrats or Republicans to screw up over the next four years, the item that has just climbed to the top of the list is expressed by the phrase "President Palin."
Sarah Palin is Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain's pick for Vice President – his pick to lead the country in the case of his death or disability. (Note: For those who have focused only on death rates for men 72 years old and above, please note, death is not the only force that can render a person unfit to continue to serve as President of the United States.)
PZ Myers provided a video recently that allows us to get to know Palin a little better. (See: Palinanity .)
In this video, Palin is addressing a group of recently graduated Assembly of God missionaries. Here are a couple of quotes from that speech.
Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right also for this country; that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out for a task that is from God. That is what we have to make sure that we are praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God's plan.
This is what I want to pray over you guys, too. that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. (Ephesians 1:17) And that spirit of revelation also including that spirit of prophesy, that God is going to tell you what is going on and what is going to go on and you guys are going to have that within you and its just going to bubble up and bubble over and it is just going to pour out throughout the state of Alaska.
In short, Palin tells us that our national leaders are to send our military out to do 'God's work'. Furthermore, those leaders can know what God wants them to do through revelation and prophesy. This will tell them everything they need to know about what is happening and what will happen. We may assume that such a person has no need for evidence, and has no reason to listen to the advice of experts. After all, she will get her information directly from God. If some advisor or consultant comes up to her expressing a different opinion, then he can be easily dismissed because, if the analyst is contradicting God, then the analyst must be wrong.
Isn’t this how Bush decided that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? God told him to attack Iraq, and anybody who dared to suggest that these conclusions were mistaken must be wrong?
In addition to her claim that the U.S. Military must do God's work, and she will know God's work through revelation and prophesy, we must add the doctrine the Republicans have advanced for the past eight years that when acting as Commander in Chief the President faces no checks or balances to her use of power. Congress has the power to declare war. However, Congress has already given the President the power to fight the nation's enemies. This authorization will not expire when Palin gets sworn in. It will still be in place, allowing her to send American troops to do God’s work, whatever she thinks that work to be.
One of the things she thinks fits into God's work is building $30 billion pipelines. Another claim she made in this speech was:
I can do my part in doing things like working really, really hard to get a natural gas pipeline, about a $30 billion project that's going to create a lot of jobs for Alaskans and get a lot of energy flowing through here. Pray about that also. I think that God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that pipeline built.
So, apparently, if you are opposed to this pipeline you are opposed to God. God has informed Sarah Palin that it is part of His plan to have a pipeline, which means that anybody who argues against the pipeline must be working for whatever forces stand opposed to God.
Next, we should consider Palin's possible state of mind if she should end up being President. We should consider the unlikely chain of events that would have made her Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces – a series of unlikely events that can only be described as a miracle.
There is no better evidence that God has personally selected her to be President and, if God has selected her, this can only mean that she is the one who knows God’s will. If anybody should dispute these conclusions with her, she has an instant response. "God made me President. God has revealed his plan to me. If you are advancing some other plan, then you are working against God. If God liked your plan instead of mine, then He would have made you President instead of me."
Of course there is no God. The 'will' that Palin will be pursuing is not God's will, it will be whatever she decides to assign to God based on her prejudices, upbringing, and her emotional state at the time. 'God's work' will be whatever idea comes to her, through the words of another person or some ‘brilliant’ revelation that occurs to her late at night, flavored with whatever tinge of human emotion that she will then take to be certain proof that the idea came to her from God himself. Whatever idea this is, Palin will make it America’s policy, and the goals that the military will pursue as she sends them out to do God’s Work.
With this way of thinking, I have little doubt that we will not be far into a Palin administration before we are longing for the good old days under President George Herbert Walker Bush – days of comparative intelligence and sanity. Even though Bush probably held many of the same ideas that Palin has expressed above, Bush at least had enough sanity (or had advisors with enough sanity) not to let too much of this out into the public. Yet, Bush has certainly paved the road for a new kind of American leader – one who gets her instructions straight from God, and one whose enemies can not only be branded as anti-American, but anti-God.
While we are drawing comparisons between Palin and Bush, we should add that both are/were governors of oil-rich states and who are/were strongly connected to the executives of several oil companies. In all honesty, Palen embodies so many of Bush's worst qualities that a Palin administration would not be a third Bush term. It would be much worse.
Finally, we must note that it was McCain's decision to put Palin in line to be Commander in Chief of the military. This means that we also have reason to question McCain's judgment, or his commitment to America. This means that we have reason to question his commitment to America’s soldiers, that he is willing to put them under the leader ship of such a person.
What type of person has McCain become that he thinks that this is a good idea?
At one time, McCain was an intelligent and honorable man. I had thought for this election he was playing up to fundamentalists in order to get the Republican base to support him in this election. I had entertained thoughts that he intended to be a one-term President who would say, after his inauguration, "Screw the Republican base. Now that I am President, I am going to do what is best for America," and he might make a decent President.
This pick of Sarah Palin as Vice-President has dashed all of those hopes. With this choice, McCain has proved that he either no longer knows what is good for America, or he no longer cares. Because no person who knows what is good for America and cares about what is good for America would put American soldiers under a Commander in Chief like Palin.
If he is willing to pick this type of person to be a potential Commander in Chief, we have to ask what type of person he is willing to pick to become a justice on the Supreme Court, or the type of person he would pick to fill vacancies in the Appeals Courts. What type of person is he willing to pick for Attorney General, or to head the Joint Chief of Staffs?
Either way . . . whether McCain no longer knows what is good for America, or no longer cares . . . he is not the person he used to be. That's a very sad thing to have happen, because the person he used to be is somebody that we have good reason to admire. The person he has become – the person who would put Palin in line to be Commander in Chief of the military – is not the type of person we need to have governing America at this time.