Thursday, October 2, 2008

I'm Going Nucular

Is there some fundamental reason that the Republicans not only mangle every important policy issue but that they insist on destroying the English language? Is this the heritage passed down from one great intellect (Bush) to another (Palin)?

I don't mean to sound nasty, but is it impossible to get a concrete position out of the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate? I found the restraint of Joe Biden incredible as he listened to Palin's talking points reiterated ad infinitum irrespective of the question posed. As Biden listened and responded with clarity and precision to the question asked, on many occasions it appeared that Palin did not even feign to direct her comments to the inquiry. It felt like I was watching people talk not on different planes but on different planets.

I know that there were millions of Republican supporters holding their collective breaths, hoping that Palin would not do a repeat Couricesque performance. If she escaped calamity, she would be deemed a success. To those people, I am sure we will hear of her composure and ability to answer the tough questions. I believe there might even be a spike for the Republicans because she did not disintegrate on stage. But her performance was so lacking in depth and substance that it was frightening. Viewed against the succinct and specific comments from Biden, Palin's "answers" were often difficult to fathom. She took us on a repeated journey to nowhere, and hoped we would not notice. I noticed.

Facts were treated like some terrible disease to be avoided by Palin at all costs. Failed Republican policies of the last 8 years were not to be addressed, in Palin's view, as that was looking backward not forward (I guess voting records and policy positions of McCain would also fall in that category). Republican disasters at home and abroad were to be ignored, and we were just to accept, with a wink and a smile, that everything would change under yet another 4 years of Republican rule.

When I hear over and over, the "I know what it is like to be you" stance as the predicate for how to govern, I can't help but start to shake. It made me feel good when Joe Biden had a very human moment in talking about the difficulties he has had to face in his life, and seemed able to one up the Republicans on the humanity front. By the way, Democrats also know what it is like to be you, and they know better than the Republicans how to govern us out of the mess that has been created.

I refuse to accept this noise as a responsible, appropriate approach to deal with the magnitude of the problems that face us. Palin has made her grand entrance, now let her make her grand exit and spend the next 5 weeks sequestered, and away from public analysis. Let us not have to deal with the distraction that is Palin and let us go back to finding real answers to real problems. If this does not happen, and I am forced to listen to her talking points right up to the election, I may go nucular.


ASKotlen said...

I don't know how you were able to watch the whole thing. Would you buy a used car from that woman? I wouldn't.

Robert said...

If we were only buying a used car, it wouldn't be so bad. What we are buying is faulty logic and bad principles that have led us into a terrible mess. Terrible times demand something more than empty rhetoric and disastrous policies.


dab said...

It is amazing to me, that the GOP party by and for the richist of Americans, has re-branded itself to be the populous party. And yet many middle and lower economic people have bought into that. Her folksy speech fit right into that mold, but we know that this party and its core principles of deregualation has brought us to the brink of disaster.

Robert said...

there is a major disconnect between fact and perception. The Republicans have seemed to perfect the art of misdirection. The Democrats have many important political lessons to learn, as they strive to make the voting public recognize the basic hypocrisy in the Republican mantra.


Shelly said...

I remained discouraged by the whole political process. It was another same-old same type of debate. Palin reminded me of a child being allowed to sit at the grown-ups table for the first time. I told my wife that I wouldn’t need any sugar in my coffee this morning because of all the sweetness Palin’s words showered upon me. I can’t say that I was overly impressed with Biden either. Yes, he spoke from his experience which portrayed confidence, but he all too often overwhelmed us with facts and all too often responded to a question by first criticizing McCain’s position, and then, if there was time, he spoke about why Obama’s position was the better way to go. Thank goodness there were no major slip-ups on either side so the focus can now shift back to the two Presidential candidates. Hopefully, in the next debate, they will spend more time answering the question they were asked and highlighting what they will do rather than what their opponent won’t do.

Robert said...

I was actually not unhappy with the way the first Presidential debate was handled. I thought the questions, though generic, were not off course ( ie lipstick on a pig) and the responses, by both candidates, were a fair reflection of their position.

I believe the next debate is to be moderated by Tom Brokaw and will feature a town hall kind of setup with questions from the audience, from the internet, and from Brokaw. We will undoubtedly get to hear about immigration, abortion etc and other topics that did not find their way into the VP Debate

Let's hope there is more probing and follow up questions so that nonsensical or irrelevant responses are not left out there as though they were proper replies.


Shelly said...

We need to have full disclosure when it comes to one candidate accusing the other of voting for or against something x number of times. That doesn’t tell me anything. Before you tell me how many times the other guy voted for or against something, I want to know how you voted. Biden accused McCain of voting against funding alternative energy sources 20 times. I would feel one way about that accusation if I knew that Biden voted the other way 18 out of those 20 times, but I would feel much differently if I knew that Biden voted the other way only 2 out of those times. Also, an opponent of someone who voted against the $700 billion dollar “keep Americans in their home” bill could easily accuse that person of being against raising the FDIC limit from $100K-$250K, when in fact the person may strongly oppose the $700 billion portion of the bill but be all for the FDIC increase. So, we also need our presidential candidates to tell us how many times what their opponent voted for or against was the primary component of a bill. Without full disclosure, it’s just politics as usual with the candidates focusing more on telling us who we should be afraid of and who’s to blame for our problems

Robert said...

full disclosure is an impossibility in the format of a limited time debate where any disclosure is treated as manna from heaven.

maybe we should just find an insightful unbiased interviewer to spend 90 minutes questioning and probing each candidate on a range of topics ( there is no one that both sides would trust with this responsibility) or have an open forum where there are no questions posed and the parties get to talk directly to each other for 90 minutes (do you think that could work)


gail said...

Another right-on analysis.
Wink, wink!!!