The hallelujah chorus of the Democrat National Committee and the mainstream media could hardly hide their glee at immediately condemning Gov. Sarah Palin as “lacking experience.” They noted that “less than two years ago Palin was the mayor of town of 9,000.”
The attitude of the DNC reflects the attitude of its candidate Sen. Barak Obama when he condemned people in small towns, clinging to their guns and religion. It is the recurrent perspective of liberal elites that those of us born, raised or living in small towns and rural areas are too dumb to know what is best for them, or their nation.
But, while experience can be a significant marker in determining the capabilities of a person, the real test is the quality of their judgment. In this instance, Gov. Palin rises head and shoulders over Sen. Obama.
The irony of the DNC’s condemnation of Palin as “lacking experience” is that Sarah Palin has more experience than the Democrat’s Sen. Obama does. Whereas Palin has been a mayor, an ethics commissioner and a governor — all demanding executive experience — Obama has been a “community organizer”, a state legislator and a freshman United States Senator. There is not one instance of executive experience that Obama or his supporters can point to as evidence of how Obama will govern, particularly govern under pressure.
Let’s understand the difference between judgment and experience. Experience is simply exposure over time to a set of problems. You can have experience without a single instance of problem solving. You can have experience without a single instance of accomplishment.
For instance, public employee unions (including the teachers’ unions) resist every attempt at evaluating the performance of their members. Instead, they demand that union pay be based on experience — longevity. Most public employee union contracts have annual salary increases PLUS a “step” increase which is an additional increase based solely on being employed for another year. The net result is that you routinely have underperforming public employees who are not only shielded from discipline and termination but who are rewarded annually for simply lasting another year. The top performance of other employees is ignored and, in fact, often times they are paid less than are those who have “experience” but no accomplishments.
While neither Gov. Palin nor Sen. Obama has extensive “experience” each has had opportunity to demonstrate their respective judgments. So let’s see how they stack up.
Gov. Palin twice ran against and beat incumbents — first as mayor and then as governor. In both instances she ran on a clean government, reform promise. Sen. Obama ran for the state legislature out of a safe Democrat district in Chicago and won his first contest by managing the disqualification of all of his primary opponents. Obama won his United States Senate seat in a fluke election in which his odds-on-favorite Republican opponent, Jack Ryan, got caught in a sordid sex scandal including allegation that his actress wife, Jeri Ryan, refused to participate with him at sex clubs. Ryan was forced to withdraw leaving the Illinois GOP in shambles and Obama coasted to his only win on the national stage.
When confronted by corruption in the oil and gas industry in Alaska, Palin, then a state oil and gas commissioner and ethics commissioner, resigned in protest over then-Gov. Frank Murkowski’s failure to address what she perceived as institutional corruption by fellow Republican members. She followed through by filing complaints against Commissioner Randy Ruedrich (then Chairman of the Alaska Republican Party) and the Alaska Republican Attorney General Greg Renkes. Both were forced to resign and Ruedrich was forced to pay the largest ethics fine in Alaska history.
When confronted with corruption in the public housing industry in Chicago by developer Tony Retzko, Sen. Obama turned to him as one of his primary fundraisers. Obama’s state legislative district contained at least eleven of the “housing projects” that were involved in a complicated scheme that left hundreds of Obama’s constituents living in squalid conditions and netted Retzko millions of dollars. Later, after Retzko was under indictment, Obama utilized Retzko’s wife to aid in the purchase of his multi-million dollar home in Chicago.
When confronted with the questionable actions by the leaders of Alaska’s Republican Party who sought to groom her for higher office, Gov. Palin publicly rebuked Sen. Ted Stevens, demanding that he clean up the corruption in his office for which he was subsequently indicted. She then ran against and defeated then-Gov. Murkowski.
When confronted by a controversial, race-baiting, hate mongering Chicago minister, Sen. Obama sought him out, joined his congregation and remained a member of his fold for over twenty years. When the controversial sermons and speeches of Rev. Jeremiah Wright threatened to derail Obama’s presidential bid, and only then, Obama first attempted to defend Wright, then denied he ever heard Wright spew the filth and hate that became national news. That left Obama as only one of two people in the congregation — the other being his wife, Michelle – to have professed ignorance of Wright’s routine condemnation of white America. Obama finally threw Wright under the campaign bus, declaring that “this Wright” was not the Wright he knew in his twenty years as a member of his congregation.
When confronted with a nationally known and recognized terrorist and former leader of the radical Weather Underground, William Ayers, Sen. Obama sought him out, joined various boards of directors with him, funneled charitable monies to his projects, and imposed upon him to host his announcement of candidacy in his home. Ayers remains unapologetic about his role in the bombings of the Pentagon and police stations and asserts that his only regret is that they did not bomb more. When his connection to Ayers was made public, Obama sought to minimize their relationship by declaring him simply to be “a person who lived in his neighborhood” and whose children went to school with Obama’s two daughters. Subsequent disclosures about the extend of Obama’s friendship and association with Ayers and the fact that Obama’s daughters did not attend school with Ayer’s children have resulted in a stony silence from the Obama campaign and a reluctance by the mainstream media to inquire further of their preferred candidate.
When confronted about the issue of abortion, Gov. Palin, knowing that her most recent child suffered from Down’s Syndrome, chose to remain true to her belief in the sanctity of life and bring the child into the world. Her son, Trig, joined her in her introduction as Sen. John McCain’s running mate and while introducing her children she chose to ignore his disability, celebrating instead his addition to their family.
When confronted about the issue of abortion, Sen. Obama became the only member of the Illinois legislature to vote against a measure that prohibited the medical community from withholding care for a child born alive during an abortion. When confronted with his radical position and the cruelty of his stance, Obama chose to lie about his justification for his vote. When subsequently confronted with his lies, Obama chose again to invoke a stony silence, trusting that his allies in the mainstream media would inquire no further.
Yes, experience can be an asset, but there is no substitute for judgment. Gov. Palin has demonstrated a remarkable and consistent ability to make the right judgment. Sen. Obama has demonstrated a remarkable and consistent lack of judgment and a willingness to run from responsibility for his own actions.