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Friday, October 3, 2008

Palin's Terrifying Answer

Sarah Palin's performance last night at the Vice Presidential debate certainly did not harm the McCain campaign in anyway. She did her folksy shtick and answered every question with a well rehearsed talking point, even if it wasn't an answer to the question that was actually asked. However, coherence is not intelligence, and her lack of readiness and inability to lead the United States of America was made clear with her answer to these questions, questions that any high schooler whose taken a course in civics could answer better than she did:
Ifill: Governor, you said in July that someone would have to explain to you exactly what it is the vice president does every day. You, senator, said, you would not be vice president under any circumstances. Now maybe this was just what was going on at the time. But tell us now, looking forward, what it is you think the vice presidency is worth now.

Palin: Of course, we know what a vice president does. And that's not only to preside over the Senate and will take that position very seriously also. I'm thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president's policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are.

IFILL: Governor, you mentioned a moment ago the constitution might give the vice president more power than it has in the past. Do you believe as Vice President Cheney does, that the Executive Branch does not hold complete sway over the office of the vice presidency, that it it is also a member of the Legislative Branch?

PALIN: Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative with the president's agenda in that position. Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we'll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation. And it is my executive experience that is partly to be attributed to my pick as V.P. with McCain, not only as a governor, but earlier on as a mayor, as an oil and gas regulator, as a business owner. It is those years of experience on an executive level that will be put to good use in the White House also.
She clearly did not understand or comprehend the question, which was scary enough, but the gibberish she was spouting when it came to answering a clear cut question about the Constitution was even more terrifying. Ifill explicitly asked if she thought the Vice President was also a member of the Legislative Branch. Palin, as a toss off, says, "Oh, I agree with Cheney. We've got flexibility in there thanks to the founding fathers."

In what world do you have flexibility? Ever heard of a thing called Separation of Powers? How about the first three articles of the Constitution. Are you familiar with them? The Vice President is clearly a part of the Executive Branch. Article II. Look it up. This is basic stuff. If you think the Constitution gives you flexibility to go in there and start asserting authority over Congress then you're likely to create a Constitutional crisis. It's nice that Cheney has an office in the Senate, it's nice that Cheney thinks because he gets to break a tie in the Senate he's got some sort of power over them. However, I think Thomas Jefferson would flip over in his grave if he knew Cheney thought the VP was part of the Legislative Branch.

Give me a break. This woman is no more prepared to lead a government civics class than she is ready to lead a nation. This debate scared me more than anything else she has done.


Update

Palin attempted to clarify her remarks last night on FOX News this morning and instead ended up saying she also thought the executive branch had some authority it could assert over the judicial branch as well.



Rachel Maddow responds:

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