Experience Math IV

Well, we now have a definitive solution to my speculations on how many years of legislative experience are equivalent to a year of executive experience. It was provided by the delegates at the RNC last night, chanting “Zero! Zero! Zero!”

Thus, in my equation representing Palin’s experience vs. Obama’s:

10X > 11Y

The ratio here has to be less than 1.1, and, certainly, 0 is less than 1.1.

Thus, when you apply that across the board to the candidates of both parties, you get this:

McCain : 0
Palin (leg) : 0
Palin (exec) : 10
Total : 10
Obama : 0
Biden : 0
Total : 0

This causes a bit of a problem for the Republicans, though, as they’ve made the argument that the Democratic ticket has the less-experienced man at the top of the ticket. But given the fact of Zero! Zero! Zero! it’s pretty clear that by the Republicans’ own logic, their ticket is upside-down, too — Sarah Palin should be the nominee and John McCain should be the VP.

Or course, an argument like this has no legs at all — as one blogger put it today, the Republicans have a form of ADD that means that whatever they said 60 seconds ago, no matter how vehemently they argued it, is now inoperative. All that matters is what they are saying now, and suggesting they are inconsistent is just nitpicking.

Or so the argument that the traditional media will dutifully lap up from the Republican operatives will run.

Republicans Double Down on Rovian Strategy

Reflecting on the RNC festivities so far, it seems clear that the Republicans really don’t care about trying to attract the moderate voters and the undecided. Virtually none of what we’ve seen in their convention so far has had any appeal for those who are not already wholly committed to the Republican agenda.

The left, including me, marvelled at the Republicans’ motivate-the-base strategy back in 2004, thinking it couldn’t possibly work (since the red meat that fires up the Republican base is going to alienate many of the middleground voters, as well as angering the opposition and enhancing the opposition’s motivation), but it did work. I can’t see how it can work in 2008 given the huge shifts in party ID since 2004 — the Republicans’ base is substantially smaller than it was in 2004, and thus they need the “moderate” voters more than ever.

I have never understood the way the Republicans use 2nd-order symbols at their convention to mock the opposition — those symbols always seemed to me to be confusing to those not in on the stories behind them, and infuriating to those who knew what they represented. The chief example of this in 2004 was the purple band aids (which for the party faithful was a reference to the scurrilous Swift Boat charges that John Kerry had not actually earned his purple hearts). The new example is the chant of “Zero! Zero! Zero!” How can that do anything but alienate those who don’t live in the weird universe in which 11 years of legislative experience in a large state and the US Senate count for nothing against 8 years running a small town and 19 months running the 47th largest state in the Union?

I really thought that the Palin choice was designed not just to energize the base, but also to attract the moderates (especially women) — a gender-based choice (as this obviously was) makes no sense otherwise when the nominee is so manifestly green on the national stage. But they aren’t following through on the appeal to the middle at all — they seem completely uninterested in seriously courting anyone but the already-converted.

I can’t see how they can gain any bounce out of this convention at all. And I can’t see how it will do anything other than make for a really nasty campaign season.

Experience Math III

Turns out I wasn’t using the right numbers for Palin’s term as mayor of Wasilla, nor was I accounting for her 4 years on the Wasilla city council. This post reflects the new numbers, 10 years of executive experience and 4 years of legislative experience.

10X > 11Y

That reduces to:

X > 1.1

Let’s be generous and just round that up to 1.5. The results for both tickets would be:

McCain : 17.333
Palin (leg) : 2.67
Palin (exec) : 10
Total : 30
Obama : 7.33
Biden : 23.33
Total : 30.67

If I’ve done the math right, using the Republicans’ own screwily absurd logic about executive experience, it looks like in total the two tickets are balanced in regard to “executive experience equivalence.”

I think this exercise has demonstrated that this whole Republican talking point is about as absurd as any we’ve ever heard from them (though the “Alaska is next to Russia” one is a pretty close second).

Experience Math II

I’ve been continuing to think on the absurdity of the claim that Sarah Palin’s experience as an executive trumps Obama’s experience as a legislator. The whole argument comes down to an assertion that it doesn’t matter what that experience is — Palin has no foreign policy experience of any kind, but Obama has served on the Foreign Relations committee — all that matters is whether it’s executive experience or the vastly inferior legislative experience.

I recognize that in my original post, I failed to include Palin’s service as mayor of the metropolis of Wasilla, Alaska. So, in the interests of fairness, let’s re-run the numbers accounting for her entire executive experience. The new equation would be:

6X > 11Y

That reduces to:

X > 1.8333

Let’s be generous and just round that up to 2.5. The results for both tickets would be:

McCain : 10.4
Palin : 6
Total : 16.4
Obama : 4.4
Biden : 14
Total : 18.4

So, it really doesn’t change anything. The Democratic ticket still has more executive-equivalent years of experience, which just goes to show how absurd the whole attempt at painting Palin’s experience as comparable to Obama’s, Biden’s and McCain’s really is.

As if one needed any more evidence than the initial concept itself!

How Tall is Sarah Palin?

Surprisingly, this is one question that Google can’t answer reliably, it seems.

Why do I ask?

Well, first off, McCain himself is notoriously short at a pixie-ish 5′ 7″ tall. But the selection of Palin is so baffling that I’m looking for any plausible reason why McCain would have chosen her for VP, since she’s not only manifestly unqualified, but is also obviously completely uninterested in national issues, and laden with a whole lot of very problematic baggage in her personal and political history.

Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney are reported (neither at particularly reliable websites) to be 6′ 2″, and Joe Lieberman is reported to be 5′ 9″ tall. I can’t seem to find any information about how tall Tom Ridge is.

But Palin is said to be just over 5′ tall.

So, that must be why she was chosen — she was the only candidate who was shorter than McCain himself.

Republicans Aren’t Americans?

John McCain said yesterday in comments that were widely excerpted in news reports that I saw:

It’s time for us to take off our Republican hats and put on our American hats.

(or something to that effect)

This seems to me to imply that while Republicans are being Republicans, they don’t have the interests of the country as a whole foremost in their minds. This would be an admission on McCain’s part that would confirm what I’ve believed about the Republican party at least since the impeachment debacle.

Experience Math

Let’s see.

Republicans are claiming that Sarah Palin’s executive experience trumps Obama’s legislative experience. It should be possible, then, to figure out approximately how many years of legislative experience equal a year of executive experience.

Obama has been a legislator since 1997, so that’s 11 years.

Palin’s been a governor for 2 years.

So, 2 years of executive experience is greater than 11 years of legislative service.

That would be, where X is a year of executive experience and Y a year of leglslative experience:

2X > 11Y

That reduces to:

X > 6.5Y

So, this means that McCain, with 26 years of legislative experience, has the equivalent of 4 years of executive experience, so that means Palin has fully HALF the experience of McCain.

Joe Biden, on the other hand, has 35 years of legislative experience, which would be the equivalent of slightly less than 5.5 years of executive experience.

This would mean that the Republicans have a total of 6 years of executive experience, and the Democrats 7.5.

Hmm. Something can’t be right here.

Mathematically, the equation is not that Palin has the same experience as Obama, but that she has more experience. That means that all of the Senators’ numbers are less than the calculated values.

Say the multiplier is 8 (i.e., Palin’s experience would be equivalent to 16 years in the legislature). In that case, the numbers would be like this:

McCain : 3.25
Palin : 2
Total : 5.25
Obama : 1.625
Biden : 4.375
Total : 6

Er, um, well, that can’t possibly be right.

In fact, there is no way to say that Palin’s executive experience trumps Obama’s legislative experience without also demonstrating that the Obama/Biden team has more experience between them than the McCain/Palin team.

Unless, of course, you throw in POW years as equivalent to executive experience.

How much you wanna bet some Republican moron will suggest exactly that?