Friday, October 3, 2008

The Big Debate

I'm disturbed that the bar on Palin has been set so low that all the Republicans were looking for--in a potential president!--was that she didn't fall down and disgrace herself (it makes me wonder if her bungling her previous two press outings was a pointed expectation-lowering strategy). She carried herself well enough in the debate--she did not disgrace herself--but no one can seriously claim that she has any broad understanding of the topics on which she had clearly crammed over the past two weeks. To me, her answers sounded like the "talking" of a mynah bird: they resemble communication, but they are acts of muscle memory and habit formation and not indicative of any underlying understanding. The thought experiment of removing a President McCain and putting the present-day Sarah Palin at the helm is really frightening. Given his age and health, we should be evaluating her more than is typical for her suitability to the Oval Office itself; she is woefully unprepared for this (and even for a cabinet position).

Biden could easily be President. He seemed presidential in his carriage and presentation (as does John McCain), and he clearly has extensive experience and a broad knowledge of all the topics discussed.

I don't see how, when Palin's competence is in question, her refusal to answer the moderator's questions can be seen in a positive light. She said at one point (I paraphrase) "I may not answer the questions the moderator asks or in the way she'd like, but I'm just going to talk straight to the American people." Why not make a "straight to the people" answer of the question presented? I for one have had too damn much of politicians telling me what they think I would rather hear over the information requested of them. The issue of whether she is even ABLE to answer the question she was given thus remains front and center. Biden also dodged his questions (though to a lesser degree), but his grasp of the issues is not questioned by anyone, even if people disagree with the conclusions he has reached. The answers Palin provided were rehearsed and junior-high-school basic (struggling with names a bit and saying "nukyuler"), and it's my strong impression that if one asked for details the house of cards would fall.

Her highly questionable suitability reflects badly on the judgment of John McCain. We can, and should, demand better.

7 comments:

CyberKitten said...

I'm struggling to make up my mind on the whole Palin thing:

It's either *so* funny it goes off the scale or completely terrifying... like watching a train wreck in slow motion. I mean.. that woman could be the 'leader of the Free World'.

Words fail me.......

wunelle said...

Yeah, after eight years with the world watching with something between disbelief and fury, the viability of this ticket makes us look uneducated and self-destructive.

I've always heard that Europeans like Americans but hate our present government; I wonder how many of these disastrous choices we'll be allowed before we alienate ALL our friends?

Malaise Inc said...

Actually, I think she mastered a fairly complex algorithm for the debate. See here.

wunelle said...

That's awesome!

Foilwoman said...

I love the algorithm. Just love it. And malaise inc, I haven't read anything you've written, but you are now (sadly for you) my new blogging crush. Not that you can supplant wunelle or anything (he flies planes, how cool is that?), but I figure you should know.

wunelle said...

Oh, you ought to go look around Malaise, Inc. Lots of good stuff there!

Karlo said...

The Republicons have become so unabashedly lackeys of the super-wealthy class that they need image and fluff like the rest of us require oxygen. Is it any accident that Ronald Reagan, a great actor and absolute scumbag of a human being (who was a major figure in all the McCarthy nonsense) was at the head of the ascendency of the right?