Latte-sipping, Chardonnay-swilling sissy David Brooks on Sarah Palin:
It turns out that governance, the creation and execution of policy, is hard. It requires acquired skills. Most of all, it requires prudence.
What is prudence? It is the ability to grasp the unique pattern of a specific situation. It is the ability to absorb the vast flow of information and still discern the essential current of events -- the things that go together and the things that will never go together. It is the ability to engage in complex deliberations and feel which arguments have the most weight.
How is prudence acquired? Through experience. The prudent leader possesses a repertoire of events, through personal involvement or the study of history, and can apply those models to current circumstances to judge what is important and what is not, who can be persuaded and who can't, what has worked and what hasn't....Sarah Palin has many virtues. If you wanted someone to destroy a corrupt establishment, she'd be your woman. But the constructive act of governance is another matter. She has not been engaged in national issues, does not have a repertoire of historic patterns and, like President Bush, she seems to compensate for her lack of experience with brashness and excessive decisiveness.
I kind of agree with this, and then not really. Palin's problem isn't that she doesn't have experience it's, as Fallows said last week, she isn't interested. The problem with that Bush Doctrine answer, as well as this idea that we should be at war with Russia, is that she seemed incredibly ill-informed--almost like she hadn't actually followed any of the debates involving post-9/11 foreign relations. Had Palin actually come across as informed, I don't think Brooks would be writing this column, and I don't think Ross would be pulling back. The problem isn't a lack of experience--it's a lack of curiosity and interest.
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