Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Palin's Knowledge Comes from Osmosis? A New Low in Political Argument

Just when I thought the Republican speculate-now-and-get-facts-later-maybe technique had gone as low as it could, Here comes Frank Gaffney to set it even lower. In it he tells us, among other chestnuts, that Sarah Palin's military knowledge was acquired by osmosis. Think I'm kidding? Read the article, where Gaffney speculates over and over again about what Palin might know, while never giving us any solid evidence of what she does know. He tells us that Russian aggresiveness has increased, Alaska would be a possible target, and that we have some of our top air defense systems stationed in Alaska. Somehow he thinks this justifies a lot of speculative "should"s and "would"s with regard to Palin's knowledge of these systems:

"Governor Palin would not only be intimately familiar with that facilities’ vital role in protecting U.S. territory. She would also appreciate its importance in the projection of American power in Asia and beyond as much of the nation’s long-range transport aircraft supplying our military operations around the world transit through Elmendorf. Every Commander-in-Chief should have such insights. "

I thought the Democrats were the party of "woulda, shoulda, coulda", but apparently in the absense of any actual evidence that Palin understands anything about F-22 Raptors, people like Gaffney see no problem with speculating wildly about having what they want to have.

But wait, it's not speculation, it's the new Republican biology, where one gets knowledge by a wholly novel method:

"As that state’s governor, Sarah Palin would know more by osmosis – if nothing else – about the necessity for U.S. anti-missile systems than either Messrs. Obama or Biden."

I read that sentence five times before deciding that it wasn't a joke, and Gaffney actually means it. Osmosis. We are being asked to assume that a former beauty queen knows more about the necessity of military systems than a long time senator who chaired the Foreign Relations Committe, based on the assumption that she gained knowledge by osmosis. Saturday Night Live couldn't top this. What's next, telling us she gets knowledge by virtue of being in the presence of someone knowledgeable?

"Having managed her state’s department responsible for oil and gas exploration and exploitation, having negotiated a long-delayed natural gas pipeline through Canada to the Lower 48 and having been married for nearly two decades to a blue-collar worker in Alaska’s North Slope oil fields, she knows more about the subject than all three of the others on the two parties’ tickets put together."

I'm sorry Frank, but one does not get knowledge by osmosis, nor by shagging someone. And one does not put someone into potentially the most demanding and powerful position in the world based on wild, baseless, laughable speculation. OK Mr. Funt, its time to come out and let us all in on the joke now...

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