Friday, October 3, 2008

She Had Me at "Duck Hunting"

I watched last night's Palin-Biden debate and have little to add to the endless terabytes of more or less predictable chatter filling the internets and tee-vees over it, but here's a stab at wise-assing it up:

  • As Sarah Palin did not collapse into a fetal position and soil herself, she exceeded expectations. She sounded her robot lines as a well-programmed robot will do. It should be remembered that we are setting expectations for and evaluating the person who might become the US president as of January 2009, so however proud we might be of Sarah Palin the person for not collapsing and self-soiling, we can and should recognize that this personal victory against the ravages of Gwen Ifill's somnolent moderating does not translate to readiness for a world stage that features, among other things, nuclear weapons, climate crises, and overstressed financials.
  • Joe Biden was Joe Biden -- knowledgeable, experienced, a little windy. I think he almost choked up at one point, but it was hard to tell, and his anecdotes were rich with Delaware place names (I assume).
  • Was Gwen Ifill awake that whole time? Should this event have been planned with her nap schedule more firmly in mind? I'm just asking. Her vaporous questions invited vaporous answers.
If the debate failed to bring out the richness of the contrast between the two vice presidential candidates, there's still the vivid moment from Katie Couric's interviews when the candidates were invited to discuss the horror of Dick Cheney. See if you can spot the contrast (via Andrew Sullivan):
Katie Couric asked the vice presidential nominees what is the "best and worst thing that Dick Cheney has done as Vice President?" Biden on Cheney's worst thing:
I think he's done more harm than any other single elected official in memory in terms of shredding the constitution. You know --condoning torture. Pushing torture as a policy. This idea of a unitary executive. Meaning the Congress and the people have no power in a time of war. And the President controls everything. I don't have any animus toward Dick Cheney but I really do think his attitude about the constitution and the prosecution of this war has been absolutely wrong.
What about Palin? Here's her answer:
Worst thing I guess that would have been the duck hunting accident--where you know, that was an accident. And I think that was made into a caricature of him. And that was kind of unfortunate. So the best thing though, he's shown support, along with George W. Bush, of our troops. And I've been there when George Bush has spoken to families of those who have suffered greatly, those who are serving in the military. I've been there when President Bush has embraced those families and expressed the concern and the sympathy speaking for all of America in those times. And for Dick Cheney to have supported that effort of George Bush's, I respect that.
One answer is frivolous on its face, and betrays the depth of understanding of the last eight years that one would get from watching late-night talk show comics; the other answer shows knowledge, experience, and an awareness of the depravity we need to repudiate and overcome.


Bpaul said...

Dude, I was about to post my favorite new Palin cartoon, then I saw it in the sidebar.

Your technological prowess humbles me,



Dale said...

Bpaul, I love it!