Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Judging Judgment

Two of the big stories associated with the GOP convention—first, the cancellation of opening night due to concerns about Hurricane Gustav, and second, details emerging about Governor Palin’s life (her daughter’s pregnancy, her husband’s old DUI, her involvement with the Alaska Independence Party) that have given rise to concerns about the candidate vetting process—illustrate to me a characteristic of this bunch of Republicans that I hadn’t noticed before, or that I had overlooked while ascribing much more nefarious traits to President Bush and his cronies.

It’s this: it seems to me that the Republican leadership, at least as evinced by McCain et al., is well-meaning, but incompetent. They’re not actually this terrifying cabal of evil geniuses; as a matter of fact, they’re more like a pathetic gang of bumbling doofuses.

They overreacted to the threat of Gustav, closing up shop when it wasn’t really necessary. And they didn’t really do their homework with Governor Palin, ending up with egg on their collective faces and having to make an omelette of it.

This goes right to the “judgment” issue and indicates a certain lack of that quality.

Now, of course, someone could respond that it’s not fair to point fingers in this case, because no one could have predicted Gustav’s impact and that better safe than sorry, nor could anyone have known everything that might emerge about a candidate until the media started digging, but that’s just my point.

Good judgment requires us to make assessments in light of the information we have, even if it’s incomplete, and come up with predictions for how we should act. And unfortunately, it’s often only after the fact when we discover whether our judgment was indeed good or not.

I admire the Republicans for proceeding cautiously in these cases, especially regarding Gustav, but solving the problems our country faces will require more than just a measured approach; it’s going to call for much better judgment than I’ve seen from the GOP.


Blogger Deb's Lunch said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Deb's Lunch said...

Yep, I agree, Palin (despite sharing a name with beloved Pythoner Michael*) really seems like poor judgment on the McCain campaign's part. Mark thinks maybe everyone else that McCain asked turned him down.

*Just deleted the first version of this comment to get a better link for Michael Palin.

11:18 AM  

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