Let's start off with some assigned reading. I realize I'm a little behind the times with the content of this post, but I am still so bewildered by its subject that I feel it requires discussion.
Michelle Goldberg of the Guardian (UK) gives an outside perspective on the vice presidental debate here. My favorite bit from this article is a quote from the debate:
"Say it ain't so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again. You preferenced [sic] your whole comment with the Bush administration. Now doggone it, let's look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future. You mentioned education, and I'm glad you did. I know education you are passionate about with your wife being a teacher for 30 years, and god bless her. Her reward is in heaven, right? ... My brother, who I think is the best schoolteacher in the year, and here's a shout-out to all those third graders at Gladys Wood Elementary School, you get extra credit for watching the debate."
This came in response to Biden's assertion that middle class Americans from his state of Delaware and his hometown of Scranton, PA felt they had been dealt the short end of the stick by the Bush Administration, and that all they could count on from a McCain presidency was more of the same. It should be noted, that the question from which this blustering originated was on the issue of how the a Biden or a Palin administration, if their running mates were to die, would differ from their running mates'. It devolved into a pissing contest of who was more middle class.
Take a look at ole Tom Friedman and Maureen Dowd's perspectives as well. Friedman notes:
" [Palin] is an energy expert exactly the same way the king of Saudi Arabia is an energy expert — by accident of residence. Palin happens to be governor of the Saudi Arabia of America — Alaska — and the only energy expertise she has is the same as the king of Saudi Arabia’s. It’s about how the windfall profits from the oil in their respective kingdoms should be divided between the oil companies and the people.
At least the king of Saudi Arabia, in advocating “drill baby drill,” is serving his country’s interests — by prolonging America’s dependence on oil. My problem with Palin is that she is also serving his country’s interests — by prolonging America’s dependence on oil. That’s not patriotic. Patriotic is offering a plan to build our economy — not by tax cuts or punching more holes in the ground, but by empowering more Americans to work in productive and innovative jobs. If Palin has that kind of a plan, I haven’t heard it."
'With her pompom patois and sing-songy jingoism, Palin can bridge contradictory ideas that lead nowhere: One minute she promises to get “greater oversight” by government; the next, she lectures: “Government, you know, you’re not always a solution. In fact, too often you’re the problem.”
Talking at the debate about how she would “positively affect the impacts” of the climate change for which she’s loath to acknowledge human culpability, she did a dizzying verbal loop-de-loop: “With the impacts of climate change, what we can do about that, as governor, I was the first governor to form a climate change subcabinet to start dealing with the impacts.” That was, miraculously, richer with content than an answer she gave Katie Couric: “You know, there are man’s activities that can be contributed to the issues that we’re dealing with now, with these impacts.”'
Dowd concludes with this insight:
"Palin...uses a heck of a lot of language to praise herself as a fresh face with new ideas who has “joined this team that is a team of mavericks.” True mavericks don’t brand themselves."
After considering these articles, remembering the disasterous interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric, and painfully reliving last week's debate, how can Americans continue to support the McCain/Palin ticket?
It is hard to know where to start when it comes to commenting on this situation. It was my indignation with this situation that motivated me to start writing here in the first place.
I agree with Goldberg that Palin's 'farcical debate performance lowered the standards for both female candidates and US political discourse.' How offensive it is to me as a woman that Palin winked and smirked and flirted her way through the debate, as she has through her entire campaign. How offensive it was that she has characterized as elitist the ability to string a subject and a predicate together to form a basic sentence, or the necessity of proper information concerning foreign or domestic affairs. Preparation for the most important office in the world is elitist? I was unaware.
I used to respect John McCain, back when he didn't feel the need to call himself a maverick and let his actions speak for themselves. Now he has sacrificed his record for the popularity contest we call the American election. He's enlisted the aid of a real life 'mean girl' in an attempt to discredit his opponent, who, doggone it, is trying her damnedest to drag the campaign and the entire Republican party down. She's his Achilles heel, made worse by the fact that she has no idea what the phrase even means. I pray with ever fiber of my being America pulls its head out of its butt, opens its eyes, and realizes this before--it--is--too--late.
Maureen's latest article paints a picture of Palin perfectly:
"Asked if she thought Senator Obama was dishonest, McCain’s Mean Girl meandered: 'I’m not saying he’s dishonest, but in terms of judgment, in terms of being able to answer a question forthrightly, it has two different parts to this. The judgment and the truthfulness and just being able to answer very candidly a simple question about when did you know him, how did you know him, is there still — has there been an association continued since ’02 or ’05, I know I’ve read a couple different stories. I think it’s relevant.'
Of course she does. "