Experience Where it Counts

Sep 2nd, 2008 | By | Category: 2008

What is more important: Having an experienced and capable President? Or Vice President?

FiveThirtyEight makes an excellent point:

In a perfect world, we would all like a President who is Ready on Day One (TM); it is not uncommon for a newly-elected president to face a major crisis almost immediately upon taking office. But more commonly, a President takes the Oath of Office under relatively calm waters, allowing them something of a learning curve.

On the other hand, when a Vice President takes over for a president, the nation is necessarily undergoing a crisis, because the death (or resignation) of a president is perhaps as traumatic an event as can reasonably be imagined (in the “best” case resulting from a slowly-developing illness, and the worst, an attack by terrorists or foreign adversaries).

In that light, the GOP’s recent political theater bullshit isn’t just silly. It’s dangerous. I’m totally and completely fed up with Sarah Palin and her personal, professional and political problems. Enough of the notion that deciding to carry a child with trisomy-21 to term makes one capable of leading the nation in a crisis. Enough.

Every single one of these family planning problems have long been solved. I’m willing to bet that Sarah Palin couldn’t make a coherent ethical argument against medically accurate sexual education and contraception, even if you gave her unlimited access to a Jesuit priest and every peer-reviewed medical article ever written. It’s bullshit–pure, unmitigated, willful ignorance parading as a sound ethical position.

I can tell you any couple should have access to the dozens of safe and effective forms of birth control. I can even tell you the precise failure rates of the different methods.

Back when I was in high school–going to school with assholes like this guy–and before the world wide web was really active, I was the source of medically accurate information for a terrifying number of my classmates. Everyone knew my mother was a public health nurse; there was nowhere else to go.

No child in the United States should be so ignorant that they wait until three periods have been missed, all the way to the twilight of the first trimester, before wondering what their choices are. No one should be confused about when and how a couple can get pregnant. No couple should be denied access to–or information about–contraception.

These problems are solved. Long ago solved. Solved in a way that so many of the other problems facing our nation are not solved, are being left now ignored as we debate something that is, in any reasonable sense, undebatable.

Enough of Sarah Palin and the idiotic family planning policies she represents. Enough.

We no longer have the luxury of this debate–with our economy, environment and petroleum-fueled lifestyle all teetering. Her case for herself is centered around her family planning choices. We need our next Vice President–who will only become president during of crescendoing crisis–to be better, more thoughtful and more focused on the actual problems we face.

I’m watching this again, just to bring my brain back up to the serious state needed to start addressing our nation’s and world’s real problems: