With the incredibly incompetent performance of Sarah Palin when she’s asked basic policy question, criticism is now returning squarely back where it belongs — on John McCain’s judgment for selecting her in the first place. With a convention theme of “Country First” and a health history that means selecting a VP is critical, John McCain decision to put a wholly unqualified individual on the ticket shows he’s not fit to govern. The debacle of Palin was his decision, his deal with the devil on the far right.

That’s the case Fareed Zakaria makes in this week’s Newsweek, “Palin Is Ready? Please.”

[T]he more Palin talks, the more we see that it may not be sexism but common sense that’s causing the McCain campaign to treat her like a time bomb.

Can we now admit the obvious? Sarah Palin is utterly unqualified to be vice president. She is a feisty, charismatic politician who has done some good things in Alaska. But she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start. The next administration is going to face a set of challenges unlike any in recent memory. There is an ongoing military operation in Iraq that still costs $10 billion a month, a war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan that is not going well and is not easily fixed. Iran, Russia and Venezuela present tough strategic challenges.

…In these times, for John McCain to have chosen this person to be his running mate is fundamentally irresponsible. McCain says that he always puts country first. In this important case, it is simply not true.

Of course the right will bleat that this is just the echo chamber of the “liberal media,” but how can they ignore those in their own ranks who are horrified at the 2008 edition of John McCain.

Take former Congressman John Buchanan (R-AL). He voted for McCain in the primary, but is so unnerved by McCain’s move of selecting Sarah Palin that he sent Howie Klein of Down With Tyranny a letter that ends with “for our country’s sake, I hope… Barack Obama, becomes our next president.”  A snippet:

The Republican candidate this year for the Presidency of the United States is proving himself to be a very unfunny caricature of the John McCain we knew and loved and now have lost, and we have reason to grieve. He is using the same oft repeated big lie strategy of bearing  false witness against Obama that was used against him in 2000. The real John McCain was above such nefarious tactics. He would instead be running an honest and honorable campaign on the real and important issues our country faces in this election.

Even worse, the pseudo John McCain has put within a heartbeat of the Presidency, should he win, someone totally unprepared to lead our country, much less the free world, in these perilous times. There are people of both genders in both parties with the knowledge, experience, judgment and character to assume the helm if necessary. His nominee is not one of them. He recklessly chose someone with no such knowledge or experience, who is on the far right extreme of the political spectrum, and who is joining him in setting truth on its head in this campaign.  

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding