Eating Their Young

My debate reactions follow.

  • John McCain has sacrificed one of his own party’s best hopes by pulling Palin into the VP nomination about 3-5 years before she’s actually prepared. She did a reasonably decent job in the debates. In fact, put her in the Republican primary debates and she would have won, as she was far, far better than most of the tripe that was regurgitated by the candidates in the Republican field. But she’s going to lose this election and she’s going to get the blame (though it’s actually McCain who is to blame — see Post Turtle). Now, I could never vote for someone who supports the policies she is for, but I can recognize a genuine political talent, and a truly winning personality (though some of her tics do grate a bit) — she would have been a huge star on the national scene and a formidable opponent had she been allowed to grow into national policy experience and knowledge.
  • Just as I noticed the night of Palin’s speech at the RNC, Republicans sure do like to tell lies.
  • Biden was much better than I expected. He looked relaxed, he clearly had the facts at his disposal and wasn’t delivering prepared speeches. That was clear from the relative pacing of the two’s comments — Biden was measured and varied the pace of his remarks, while Palin raced through everything, as though she wanted to make sure she’d get through all the prepared points before time ran out. While she didn’t crack, she was clearly not a seasoned debater on these issues.

It’s pretty clear to me that Biden won simply by relaxing and being himself. Palin certainly may have repaired her growing reputation for incompetence in speaking, but she still wasn’t in the same league as her opponent. In short, Palin exceeds the extremely low expectations, but Biden still wins.

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.

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!

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?