McCain/Palin Debate: Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to you
I knew from the moment her royal folksiness walked up to Senator Biden and squawked at a volume even background microphones in the audience could pick up: "Can I call ya Joe?" that I would have to hold back the bile slowly inching its way up my esophagus.
For the eternity that was the 2008 Vice Presidential debate, I spent nearly 80% of it unable to pick my jaw up off the floor. I probably looked like Ralphie from that Christmas movie. But instead of Santa Claus telling me I wouldn't get that Red Ryder BB Gun, the television was saying, "Sorry Amity, no winner for you tonight! This televised event is rigged rigged rigged!"
It was rigged, straight up. Who rigged it? The conservative spin machine that put the fear in Gwen Ifill and the mainstream media in general who, for the mere act of pointing out the inanities and absurdity of having this sham politician rise to the ranks to become a viable VP candidate, are whined about ad nauseam by Rove-ites. The fact that this hockey mom has been propped up, brainwashed and that her recitations of mindless talking points crammed down her throat over a period of a few weeks are being considered worthy of the national and world stage is not a victory for the everyman "Joe Sixpack" (or as one pundit put it, "more like Joe Threepack--he can't really afford that much beer anymore"). It's a victory for anti-intellectualism, pessimism about the sensibilities of the general electorate, and above all else, it is a victory for that fundamental tenet of American neoconservativism: "That government is best which governs least." --and to clarify what neocons believe when they use that statement, here they are not referring to the political theories of Thomas Paine or Thomas Jefferson, they are referring to incompetence reigning supreme. A do-nothing, know-nothing government that allows young men to die for oil profits, levies to break, tens of thousands to become homeless instantaneously as a direct result of corporate greed in the housing market, and people to die within its borders with a healthcare system that is nearly as negligent as many third-world countries.
But getting back to the debates, Gwen Ifill is one joke of a journalist, and I do believe I can say that in all nonpartisan sobriety. She caved. She caved to all the buzz about her being too liberal for the moderator post and, in a lame attempt to prove what a "fair, balanced" journalist she was, went above and beyond what was necessary to accommodate Palin. Since McCain and co. flipped out and decided to make news of a book of hers that she's been promoting for months now, one about black politics in America that was characterized as a pro-Obama rallying pamphlet by those on the Right, it appears that Ifill conscientiously threw hard balls at Biden, while ever-so-gently pushing inquiries into Palin's general direction. I thought her questions for Biden were amateurish and pathetic, and meant to throw him off guard. What kind of a question is: "Which is more dangerous: a nuclear Iran or an unstable Pakistan"? Good thing I wasn't running against Palin. It would be nearly impossible to shroud my contempt for a question like that. "Well, Gwen, I'm glad you asked! I think that, if I could, I would rank Iran as a 6.7 on a terrorism richter scale of sorts, with Pakistan ranking just under at 5.9!" (Ooh ooh! I know! Maybe Biden could invent a color code system for levels of terrorism WHEN HE BECOMES VICE PRESIDENT, and these levels could be announced to the public as the Pres and VP see fit! No no, that would never work, that's stupid. Just stupid).
Beyond the crap moderation, I found myself at levels of disgust well beyond those that I had felt last time around, as I sat in DC and watched the Bush and Kerry debates with a crew of Hill interns: half of them staunch conservatives, half passionate liberals. But it was far worse watching the debates this time, because there was a politician up there shaming her own gender as a representative of women in American politics. Whether anyone likes it or not, this woman is making history and she will forever be remembered whether or not she actually becomes VP. She will serve as a representative for many women struggling to balance work and family. That this moron is making it into history books saddens me beyond words.
If this debate was not a complete joke, some dude would come out from back stage with a cane and yank Sarah Palin off the stage mid-sentence, right after announcing the following:
When she gave a (in her words) "shout out" to some third graders and named some goofy elementary school and told them they would get extra credit for watching the debates, I was all like, "THIS IS NOT A F**KING BEAUTY PAGEANT!" I believe this startled my fellow viewers, who seemed shaken by my vociferous statement of the obvious. But this, of course, came from a gargantuan build-up of sitting idly for too long and watching that silly woman blink at the camera, and repeatedly using the words "heck," "doggone it," and even bringing back the term that did not serve her well with Katie Couric: "rear that head" (in this case not Putin's head, but here referring to corrupt mortgage-lenders).
I counted her as saying "maverick" six times, and twice referring to her "diverse family." What this means I do not know. Perhaps she is referring to some in her family that are alabaster, some that are butt-a**, some that look olive-toned in special lighting, and some that used her tanning beds in the governor's mansion and tan easy.
But what's more insulting than her negative representation of women (i.e. stupid, and dependent upon their looks to get them places), is what she supposedly stands for, policy-wise. She stood there next to Joe Biden and, on giving civil union rights to homosexuals, she said that she agrees and preaches tolerance (then again if a woman is raped by her father and gets pregnant and doesn't want to have the child, this "tolerance" she speaks of is of course thrown out entirely). But if you actually suspended your disbelief for a moment, you would strangely fall under the momentary assumption that this woman is espousing a few liberal values. Which, if in fact true, honestly doesn't mean a damn thing. What anyone voting for McCain solely based upon their support of Palin should asked themself is, once that war hawk "maverick" worms his way into the White House, do you really think Palin's input is going to mean anything? Do you really think that all the boot camping and prompting is going to give her the confidence to stand up to McCain when their personal views are at odds with one another? The lady's being spoon-fed information by crazed puppet masters that want her to be their charismatic mouthpiece and nothing more.
It's true, I don't think that either candidate truly won this debate. But I think that it was rigged anyways, so the concept of "winning" the debate for either candidate is synonymous with anyone "winning" an occupation. I am mad that the little trained monkey was actually able to memorize some random factoids and read her little cards with what appeared to be a level of poise and confidence. But in the end it doesn't matter, because I firmly believe that Barack Obama is going to shame McCain into early retirement. And that's that.
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