Steve Benen, at the Maddow Blog, writes:

By my count, if elected, Romney would be the third least-experienced president in American history, trailing every chief executive except Wilson and Grover Cleveland, who was mayor of Buffalo for one year and the governor of New York for two years before getting elected president 128 years ago. Every other president had served more than four years in the military and/or public office at the time of their election.

For Romney, this may be considered a selling point. Though he hasn’t really been pressed on his lack of experience thus far, it’s easy to imagine the former one-term governor arguing that his limited resume, at least in public service, makes him an “outsider.” Since voters have been conditioned to look askance at “professional politicians,” Romney’s limited governmental background may well be perceived as a plus.

That, however, raises the question of why politics is the only profession in which inexperience is something to brag about. When passengers get on airplane, do they think, “I really hope this pilot is a rookie”? When patients go the hospital, do they say to themselves, “I prefer to see physician who hasn’t practiced medicine for very long”?

via The Maddow Blog – The most inexperienced candidate in generations.

And indeed, a person of little, or worse, no government experience seems to me to be the most vulnerable to pressure from others, because they don’t know how the system works yet (maybe ever?) and must defer to other’s experience, whether they trust those counselors or not. Seems like the worst person for the job.

Benen nails the correct question: why is politics “the only profession in which inexperience is something to brag about,” and, I would add, why are Americans so vulnerable to the appeal of the hack? Are we somehow prone to picking the Good Sell? Genetically programmed to avoid looking for depth, or even, say, facts and logic when a politician makes their point? Irrestably drawn to rooting for the bumbling but engaging fool? Gomer Pyle for Mayor, because he’s a Good Guy with a Down-to-Earth View on Things?


It’s different than rooting for the underdog. Often the underdog is an under-appreciated genius of a kind – someone who really knows the People and can take it to the next level, or someone who has worked their way up through the ranks, really know how government works, and isn’t in it for the glory. They finally emerge, little butterflies of political motion, but more typically cloaked in a suit and tie than ephemeral wings.

On the other hand, this latest round of Tea-party inspired fools in the Republican House and a number of Gubernatorial mansions seem to be clueless about anything but talking their talk and stopping motion in government. They fly about on their ephemeral wings, made of fantasies where everyone stops paying taxes and lives in a completely privatized gun-protected paradise. Cutting government down to the size of something you could drown in a bathtub is just their idea of a good time. Ironic that they would attempt to get elected to do so, but as Gollum might say, very Tricksey, they is. Stealth Stagnators, perhaps. But it’s no way to run a government, and that should scare the hell out of everyone.