Well it seems Sarah Palin knows how to cram for an exam. Her debate with Senator Joe Biden lacked any “moose in the headlight” moments, mainly because there were no follow ups, but her folksy question avoidance didn’t win her or her ticket any help in the election. Tactically she did a good job but she lost the war. Her effort was a white flag of surrender for McCain-Palin.
The people have spoken:
CNN vote of debate watchers: Biden 51, Palin 36
CBS poll of undecideds: Biden 46, Palin 21
Most scary moment:
IFILL: Governor, you mentioned a moment ago the constitution might give the vice president more power than it has in the past. Do you believe as Vice President Cheney does, that the Executive Branch does not hold complete sway over the office of the vice presidency, that it it is also a member of the Legislative Branch?
PALIN: Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative with the president’s agenda in that position. Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we’ll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation. And it is my executive experience that is partly to be attributed to my pick as V.P. with McCain, not only as a governor, but earlier on as a mayor, as an oil and gas regulator, as a business owner. It is those years of experience on an executive level that will be put to good use in the White House also.
Yes, she wants more power than Lord Cheney. Did you feel that chill?
In the lead up to the debate the right punditry went nuts about the fact that the moderator, Gwen Ifill, had written a book about blacks in politics – as if this some how made her biased. The right also complained about Palin mucking up her Katie Couric interviews – blaming the bad old liberal media and its “gotcha” journalism.
It is a the usual classic conservative attack mode – attacking the media.
Glenn Greenwald in Salon magazine summed this up perfectly:
Go pick whatever right-wing journals or polemicists you want and (with some isolated exceptions) what you will find is this simultaneously self-loving and self-pitying worldview permeating virtually everything they say, think and believe. You can reduce most of their arguments, and all of their group-based drives, to a rudimentary logical proposition: “I am X, and X is both superior and treated with deep unfairness.” It doesn’t matter what “X” happens to be for any one of them — conservative, male, Republican, Christian, Jewish, religious, white, Western, American — that is the formula that expresses how they perceive the world and their role in it.
Petulance and self-pitying grievance is what fuels them. This endless need to self-victimize would be one thing if the groups to which they belonged were small minorities targeted by a hostile and more powerful majority. But the exact opposite is true. By and large, the groups to which they belong (and therefore see as oppressed and treated with unparalleled unfairness) are the most numerous and the most powerful in the country and always have been. Yet still — nothing is their fault; they face hopeless obstacles imposed by Evil and Omnipotent Forces which hate them; “I am X, and X is both superior and treated with deep unfairness.”
They have run the country for the entire decade. For the last 14 years, they’ve controlled the House for all but 20 months. They spent substantial parts of the last eight years in control of all branches of government simultaneously. They’ve won 7 out of the last 10 presidential elections. The country’s largest and richest corporations — including the ones owning the most powerful media outlets — pour money into their party and perceive, correctly, that their interests are served by the Right’s agenda. But still — they can’t get a fair shake; everything is deeply oppressive to them; it’s all so unfair.
So as we get closer to the election – including the next 2 presidential debates – look for more whining from the right as they assume their place on the victimhood mantle.