Friday, October 03, 2008

Yeah! She talks good!

Without a doubt, Gov. Sarah Palin blew the doors off every expectation I had of her going into the debate last night.  For 90 minutes she spoke in complete sentences and actually made a few coherent arguments with valid points, references to legislation and even tried to come up with the name of the top US general in Afghanistan.  She got the name wrong (she said McClellan --from the Civil War?-- and not McKiernan), but she tried, and apparetnly neither Biden nor Ifill knew his name either since she was not corrected.  My gut tells me they were just being polite.

This debate was a forum for Palin to show that she was not an abject moron, and she succeeded.  I hold the firm belief that nobody could be as stupid as Sarah Palin appeared in the Katie Couric interviews, not even able to remember one newspaper or magazine that she reads regularly.  Palin appeared nervous and even intimidated with Couric, but last night she looked more self-assured and engaging.

Sen. Biden, on the other hand, was as informed and articulate as always.   Reciting votes on individual bills, outlining a grand plan for foreign policy, explaining his vote on the Iraq Force Resolution, expounding on his committment to the middle class.  Biden was vintage Biden, only absent the missteps and run-on diatribes.

To me, this was like watching the Chairman of Surgery debate proper intraoperative management with a nursing student.  Sure, the student will have some talking points and may know basic anatomy, but Surgeon Biden was coasting in second gear and one got the impression that he had several more layers of nuance that would never be reached in 90 minutes, or ten hours for that matter.  

More importantly, Palin's stance on nearly every issue was opposite to mine.  She is in favor of prolonging the mission in Iraq, applying strategies in Afghanistan that would fail, giving Israel free reign with our blessing, closing down the scant negotiations we have with Iran, cutting taxes to the highest income groups, not really mentioning nuclear proliferation, ignoring health care, among others.  She did not recognize the tatters that our diplomatic relationships are in with our allies.  

This type of performance is all Palin needed to do in order to assuage the hemorrhage of dissent from the Republican base:  Just get dressed up and speak in complete sentences.  Furthermore, she took a swipe at Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric when she stated that she wanted to only speak directly to "the American people, you all", and not have her views "filtered through the mainstream media", as if TV interviewers made her look like a dolt.  This plays into the intense hatred the right wing voters have for the so-called liberal media (SCLM), which will surely win her some points from the nutjobs.

So this is where we are now in the United States.  We can pull a beauty queen out of the woods, prep her for 5 weeks, cramming her brain with facts and names, and throw her potentially into the White House.  Hockey mom becomes president, as Matt Damon had said, sounds more like a title for a Disney movie.  Life imitating art.  Because the anti-intellectual candidates have sometimes been operable presidents-- Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan-- now some look for anti-intellectualism as a prerequisite for the office, and while it's fun having that folksy charm and "aw-shucks" demeanor around, the problem is that ocassionally you get an anti-intellectual like George W. Bush and I know we can't afford to take that chance right now.



antipundit said...

Ya, you betcha! Although more to style than substance, what was the winking all about? I felt like I was sitting at the cheap hotel bar, at last-call, being hit upon by the resident bar fly.

Good comments on your part - this will not impact the electoral trends (cf: McCain pulling out of MI), and therefore did not serve the McCain efforts. Not certain that it did much for Palin's future national politcal options, but there will always be a Fox News chair available for her.

Delilah said...

I missed the winking -- I thought she had a twitch in her eye. My husband -- far more attuned to such matters -- said "That viper is winking at me! She's trying to flirt her way out of the fact that she is supremely unqualified for the job."


Once again, as a woman, I must say that we've worked too hard on civil rights to reach a day when men don't wink at us in the office... So it is an insult to me, as a woman, to see one of my own gender reversing all the gains we've made all these years in a cheap stunt. And I include all that "you betcha" and "gosh, golly darn" garbage that she also felt it necessary to add. Folkesy charm it was NOT unless you are brain dead and cannot decipher craven and contrived shenanigans.

Sarah Palin is a blight on every hard working woman who had had to fight to be accepted in the male-dominated working world.

delilah said...

Tony -- I must add that while Caribou Barbie did indeed speak somewhat more coherently, she still managed to get certain facts wrong.

For example, she referenced the claim that we were down to pre-surge levels in Iraq, which is patently not true. She also was unable to actually explain McCain health plan, even though she promised details.

There was also the problem of her not answering any questions posed that she did like, and then blithely moving on to discuss her pet issues, where she felt more comfortable, like energy.

You're a sports fan... If you go to a basketball game and a player starts trying to kick the ball down the field, he'd/she's be disqualified. When you go to a debate and you try to change the rules to suit yourself, you prove that you should not be at the podium in the first place.

Perhaps most damning, though, was her claim that there was "flexibility" in the Constitution for determining the role of the vice president, and indicated an interest in exerting more authority than is actually imbued by the fulcrum of jurisprudence in our country.

I found that particular response highly disturbing. Either she is woefully ignorant about the role of the VP and the Constitution or she is a combination of arrogant ambition and abject stupidity. The latter is what we find in the current inhabitant of the White House. I thusly deem Palin to be Bush in high heels and lipstick.

That should be enough to plague every American with nightmares for a lifetime.

Tony said...

I agree with every one of your points regarding the inaccuracies of Ms. Palin's discourse.