Capably demonstrating Richard Cohen’s thesis that John McCain’s VP pick was an elaborate ruse to force conservatives to make fools of themselves, neocon activist Frank Gaffney takes up the “Alaska is close to Russia!” argument for Gov. Sarah Palin’s foreign policy experience:
Napoleon is said to have declared that “Geography is destiny.” That certainly is true of Gov. Palin. Her state is adjacent to Russia, a nation that has in recent years demonstrated a rising aggressiveness towards its neighbors. The targets are not just the relatively weak and formerly enslaved countries on its littoral like Georgia – the scene of a bloody invasion last month aimed at toppling the elected government there. Moscow has also conducted simulated strategic bombing runs with Soviet-era long-range, nuclear-capable aircraft.[...]
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.
Gaffney is being clever here. He understands that deeply paranoid conservatives — that is, the vast bulk of his audience — will interpret the highlighted sentence as “the Soviets are back!” Whereas most people will interpret it as “those Russian planes sure are old!”
As for the “national security expertise by osmosis” argument, I confess that I am stumped at how to write anything that reveals the stupidity of this idea more effectively than simply cutting and pasting it into a blog post. Res ipsa loquitur.
Regarding Palin’s views on the “war on terror,” Gaffney admits that “at present, one can only infer Sarah Palin’s grasp of the danger posed by today’s principal enemy,” Islamic radicals. Gaffney assures us that “a tangible indicator of [Palin's] views, however, is the enlistment of her eldest son, Track, on the anniversary of 9/11 last year and his imminent deployment to Iraq”:
His mother –- like the loved ones of millions of other servicemen and women -– has had to confront directly and personally the prospect of making the ultimate sacrifice for their country in the face of such evil.
Question for Gaffney: Does this also apply to Sen. Joe Biden, whose son will also be deploying to Iraq soon?