If you’re looking for a roundup of VP-debate reaction from the so-called mainstream media, I’ve assembled a few snippets below in the previous post. Now I’ll offer my thoughts, and I’ll start with something that I don’t think ever gets mentioned:
If the rhetoric of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is so despicable and so full of hate (and it is), and if meeting with him or another of Iran’s leaders would in some sense validate him (and his hate speech) and in turn actually give those reckless words an international platform…. Then why does Sarah Palin insist on repeating all of his worst lines about “wiping Israel off the map” and calling Judaism a “stinking corpse”?? She’s a candidate for Vice-President of the United States, and in a debate televised across every network in America and replayed all over the world, there she is delivering Ahmadinejad’s anti-Semitic talking points for him. Sure, she’s denouncing those words, but she’s also constantly repeating them on TV and amplifying them through campaign rally microphones and giving them the largest platform possible by hurling them on to the Presidential political stage. And since we all agree that talking about wiping Israel off the map and calling Judaism a stinking corpse is reprehensible and disgusting maybe Sarah Palin should stop doing it.
Never mind that Barack Obama never actually said that he himself would meet with Ahmadinejad himself; and never mind that everyone from Henry Kissinger and James Baker to Madeline Albright, Condaleeza Rice and others all agree that we should have some diplomatic relations and engage in conversations with Iran and other adversaries, as Obama has suggested. Facts matter little to Gov. Palin. She sang the praises of diplomacy and promised that she and John McCain would engage in diplomacy… but at the same time accused Barack Obama of naivety for wanting to engage in… diplomacy. Huh? I guess it’s possible that she doesn’t know what the word diplomacy means, but I think she does. She’s not as profoundly dumb as she appeared in her few TV interviews. But diplomacy doesn’t sell tickets or boost ratings. She would rather spout fear, and then of course figure out a way to pivot back to talking about oil. And along the way, if she happens to slip in a simplistic, misleading, and disrespectful soundbite like “Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq,” well then that’s okay too, and also you betcha.
Speaking of fear, when asked specifically about the economic crisis and the bailout plan she instead put on her Hockey-Mom sweatshirt and her Joe Sixpack hat and said in her very first response of the night that you can go to a kid's soccer game on Saturday and ask parents how they feel, and "I'll betcha you're going to hear some fear." Fear, fear, fear.
Palin said things like “Nuclear weaponry, of course, would be the be-all, end-all of just too many people and too many parts of our planet” and “We would never allow another Holocaust” and “Darn right it was the predator lenders… There was deception there, and there was greed and there is corruption on Wall Street” and that mortgage lenders were "rearing that head of abuse." She used the word "energy" 29 times.
She didn’t want to fully admit that global warming and climate change is man made. ("I'm not one to attribute every man -- activity of man to the changes in the climate. There is something to be said also for man's activities, but also for the cyclical temperature changes on our planet.") She dismissed the causes as unimportant ("there are real changes going on in our climate and I don't want to argue about the causes"), but then claimed to want do something about it. Memo to Governor Palin: it’s a good idea to know what’s causing a problem if you truly want to actually fix it.
She complained about “the mainstream media filter” and wished that she could just talk to the American people…. Well who was or is preventing her from going on Meet the Press or any other news show and sitting down and talking to the American people? And was it the “media filter” who couldn’t even name one other Supreme Court case beyond Roe v. Wade? Was it the “media filter” who, when asked what newspapers or magazines she reads, answered “Oh, uh, y’know, all of ‘em, or any of ‘em… a vast variety of sources….”?
Back to the debate, when they tried to delve further into economic issues and Biden started getting into some specifics about bankruptcy laws and mortgages, Palin’s response? “I want to talk about, again, my record on energy versus your ticket's energy ticket, also,” because her state has oil and, y’know, and also she’s just a Washington outsider and also a maverick. And while the real real regular Americans are worried about losing their homes, and while moderator Gwen Ifill and Sen. Joe Biden want to talk about the nitty-gritty specifics of these very real concerns, the Governor who plays a regular American on TV actually admitted that “I may not answer the questions the way the moderator wants me to” and instead seemed proud of herself for correcting Biden by explaining that the chant of her mindless followers is “Drill, baby, drill!” and not “Drill, drill, drill” as Biden alluded to earlier.
Oil. Fear. Oil. Soundbites. Oil. Folksy. Oil. Remind you of anyone currently holding the title of President?
So, just to clarify since some people didn’t seem to get it the first time: the Bush/Cheney administration is the pig; the McCain/Palin campaign is the lipstick.