[lit-ideas] Re: Another perspective on VP selections

  • From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2008 23:32:13 -0500

That was supposed to be January 21.

Mike Geary

----- Original Message ----- From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, September 13, 2008 11:25 PM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Another perspective on VP selections

Boy, Commander Coye better hope that McCain doesn't win or she'll be unemployed January 1.

Mike Geary

----- Original Message ----- From: <eternitytime1@xxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, September 13, 2008 11:02 PM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Another perspective on VP selections

Hi, to all,

This wlll be published as an op-ed next week.  I have permission from
her to post to a couple of lists that I'm on and thought this might be
one which would think about what she says in a different way.  (I'm on
a different list with her)

Marlena in Missouri

President Sarah Palin — Commander-in-Chief
by Beth F. Coye,
Commander, U.S. Navy (ret.)

Senator McCain constantly describes himself as a military man who
always places “Country First”. Unfortunately, his first big decision
as a presidential nominee puts “Risky Decision-making First” and
“Country Second.”

As a woman who served my country as a naval officer for twenty-one
years and taught American Government and International Relations at
several universities, I am astonished by John McCain’s vice
presidential choice, Governor Sarah Palin. Palin, who governs .2% of
the U.S. population, has neither foreign policy experience nor
knowledge of international leaders and countries.

Let’s put McCain’s decision in a military context: Captain John
McCain, a retired naval officer, understands our military personnel
system. Would he thrust someone who is the commanding officer of a
small shore-based unit and who has no seagoing experience into the
position of executive officer of a Navy carrier, or Vice Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs? These top military jobs directly compare with one
of the two highest
offices in our political system.

The military’s personnel system never allows a Navy lieutenant to
fill an admiral’s billet, or an Army/Air Force/Marine captain to fill
a general’s billet; our political system, however, permits
presidential nominees to select anyone they want as a running mate —
whether or not the person has the requisite skill sets or experience.

Let us remind ourselves that, in the tradition of U.S. civil-
military relations, the Constitution names the President as Commander-
in-Chief. I find it unthinkable that someone with Sarah Palin’s
minimal resume might someday be president or acting president and be
called upon to approve or disapprove recommendations by our most
senior military officers (e.g., the Unified Commanders or the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs). Sarah Palin has likely rarely read an
NIE (National Intelligence Estimate)!

I have worked hard since the late ‘60s for the rights of women in the
U.S. military and in America and I believe Sarah Palin’s nomination
insults women who have fought for equality and fairness in job
opportunities. This action also disrespects senior, qualified
Republican women who were passed over by Senator McCain in favor of
an unqualified, junior woman. The Palin choice, an act of reverse sex
discrimination, patently represents exploitation of women for
political purposes. In this regard, that Sarah Palin herself chooses
to accept the offer mystifies me and20many others. Does she not
realize that she is ill-prepared for the office and is being used by
the Republican Party?

Captain McCain demeans and diminishes the Offices of the Vice
President and President by selecting such an unqualified person. His
decision demonstrates a certain cynicism and flippancy toward the
highest offices in the United States of America. At this point in
American history, our nation requires a president who can reassure
the people in America — and the world — that he intends to return to
responsible leadership. Does any objective person feel reassured?

The personnel safety nets for precluding disasters in assignments in
both the military and corporate worlds are a finely-honed personnel
system and highly qualified individuals making thoughtful decisions
and assignments. What are the equivalent safety nets for our elected
leaders? There are four: (1) elected officials, (2) major political
parties, (3) the Fourth Estate (media), and finally, (4) the electorate.

John McCain’s vice presidential selection, Sarah Palin, has slipped
through the first two personnel safety nets for elected high
officials. It’s now up to the media and electorate to act as powerful
safety nets.

In sum, Sarah Palin’s selection literally tests the strengths and
stability of our American political system.

Commander Coye, served in three intelligence jobs and is a former
commanding officer. She is a graduate of20Wellesley College, the
American University School of International Service and the School of
Naval Warfare (Naval War College). Coye taught Political Science and
International Relations at the Naval War College and several
undergraduate colleges. She co-authored “My Navy Too”, 1998, and
resides in Ashland, Oregon.
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