My Insulted Intelligence: Palin and The Vice Presidential Debates Debrief

Seriously, my intelligence was insulted by That Thang that was Governor Sarah “The Moose” Palin last night.  I mean, if nothing else, she didn’t answer many of the questions, but rather gave GOP talking points.  I don’t care what any Palin or Sen. John McCain supporter has to say about the questions from Gwen Ifill, they were all fair questions and Palin didn’t answer many of them.

Let’s start with the first one.

Ifill asked was this the best or worst of Washington and Palin said:

You know, I think a good barometer here, as we try to figure out has this been a good time or a bad time in America’s economy, is go to a kid’s soccer game on Saturday, and turn to any parent there on the sideline and ask them, “How are you feeling about the economy?”

And I’ll bet you, you’re going to hear some fear in that parent’s voice, fear regarding the few investments that some of us have in the stock market. Did we just take a major hit with those investments?

Fear about, how are we going to afford to send our kids to college? A fear, as small-business owners, perhaps, how we’re going to borrow any money to increase inventory or hire more people.

The barometer there, I think, is going to be resounding that our economy is hurting and the federal government has not provided the sound oversight that we need and that we deserve, and we need reform to that end.

Now, John McCain thankfully has been one representing reform. Two years ago, remember, it was John McCain who pushed so hard with the Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) reform measures. He sounded that warning bell.

People in the Senate with him, his colleagues, didn’t want to listen to him and wouldn’t go towards that reform that was needed then. I think that the alarm has been heard, though, and there will be that greater oversight, again thanks to John McCain’s bipartisan efforts that he was so instrumental in bringing folks together over this past week, even suspending his own campaign to make sure he was putting excessive politics aside and putting the country first.

Again, this was not the question.   I’m not about to put ALL of her bad responses, because that would almost all of them, but here’s another few of choice.

Ifill had asked what lead to the sub-prime mortgage crisis.  Palin answered it was the predatory lenders.  Well no problem with that.  Sen. Joe “The Mullet” Biden jumped in and said it was due to deregulation as well “And while Barack Obama was talking about reinstating those regulations, John on 20 different occasions in the previous year and a half called for more deregulation. As a matter of fact, John recently wrote an article in a major magazine saying that he wants to do for the health care industry deregulate it and let the free market move like he did for the banking industry.”  So, for rebuttal, Gwen asked Palin if she wanted to respond.

Do you know what she said? 

“I would like to respond about the tax increases.”

Riiiiiight, so we’re buying this BS.

Right after Ifill stuck it to her.

And then right after that, Biden came back on the deregulation piece and Ifil, again asked her did she want to respond and Palin said her famous:

I’m still on the tax thing because I want to correct you on that again. And I want to let you know what I did as a mayor and as a governor. And I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I’m going to talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record also. As mayor, every year I was in office I did reduce taxes.

Yeah, a mayoral job of a town with the population of one city block in New York qualifies you to lower taxes. 

**rolls eyes**

And then from there Gwen got her dig in and said “OK, our time is up here. We’ve got to move to the next question. Senator Biden, we want to talk about taxes, let’s talk about taxes.”  I was dying laughing.  For anyone who missed it, that was tongue-and-cheek on Gwen’s part because clearly Palin was wanting to talk about taxes and not the deregulation piece–can she even pronounce it right?

Then there was the direct question of from Ifill of “What promises — given the events of the week, the bailout plan, all of this, what promises have you and your campaigns made to the American people that you’re not going to be able to keep?”  And Joe Biden went down a list of what would have to go, or what he and Obama wouldn’t support. 

Three guesses what Palin’s response was?

Well, the nice thing about running with John McCain is I can assure you he doesn’t tell one thing to one group and then turns around and tells something else to another group, including his plans that will make this bailout plan, this rescue plan, even better.

I want to go back to the energy plan, though, because this is — this is an important one that Barack Obama, he voted for in ’05.

Yeah, This Thang went back to GOP talking points about energy and never answered the question, which was a fair question.

Gwen knew this was a fool and she came back and asked “So, Governor, as vice president, there’s nothing that you have promised as a candidate that you would — that you wouldn’t take off the table because of this financial crisis we’re in?”  To which Palin responded “There is not. And how long have I been at this, like five weeks? So there hasn’t been a whole lot that I’ve promised, except to do what is right for the American people, put government back on the side of the American people, stop the greed and corruption on Wall Street.

And the rescue plan has got to include that massive oversight that Americans are expecting and deserving. And I don’t believe that John McCain has made any promise that he would not be able to keep, either.”

And for the last, of many questions Palin dodged (among the bankruptcy question.  She didn’t even use the word “bankruptcy” in her response.) or just gave real elementary answers to was Ifill’s question about “What should be the trigger, or should there be a trigger, when nuclear weapons use is ever put into play?”

Palin’s response was:

Nuclear weaponry, of course, would be the be all, end all of just too many people in too many parts of our planet, so those dangerous regimes, again, cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, period. [Emphasis added]

Our nuclear weaponry here in the U.S. is used as a deterrent. And that’s a safe, stable way to use nuclear weaponry.

But for those countries — North Korea, also, under Kim Jong-il — we have got to make sure that we’re putting the economic sanctions on these countries and that we have friends and allies supporting us in this to make sure that leaders like Kim Jong-il and Ahmadinejad are not allowed to acquire, to proliferate, or to use those nuclear weapons. It is that important.

Can we talk about Afghanistan real quick, also, though?

Ya don’t say–it would really be that bad.   And then the Afghanistan bit?  Baby, just answer the question!!!!

Now that that romp through the smashing the tulips is over, my friend told me was her quite dangerous response about the Constitution and the vice-presidential seat.  Gwen asked “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?”

And Palin’s answer disturbed me a lot.

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. [Emphasis added]

By all accounts, me and my friend want to ask Palin “The flexibility to do what?”  Clearly Cheney is one of the most dangerous vice-presidents.  He hasn’t filed with the National Archives since 2003 of Executive Branch papers, not to mention the whole Scooter Libby scandal, and his outright challenge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Presidential Records Act, the Freedom of Information Act and the War Powers Resolution.  To borrow the TIME magazine interviewers question, Cheney and apparently Palin are in favor of a fourth branch of government, known as the Vice Presidency that’s beholden to no one.

And also, for the record, remember Obama was a constitutional lawyer. Biden’s response was superior to that of Palin.

Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we’ve had probably in American history. The idea he doesn’t realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that’s the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.

And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there’s a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit.

The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress. The idea he’s part of the Legislative Branch is a bizarre notion invented by Cheney to aggrandize the power of a unitary executive and look where it has gotten us. It has been very dangerous.

Palin didn’t answer the Achilles’ Heel question, nor the “per changing circumstances what would change your opinion on” question either which bothered me to no end.  However, I think Biden’s response about Robert Bork was as my friend said “Washington-ese” of him.  I mean, who the hell remember’s Bork’s confirmation hearings?  No one.  My parents have a button of Bork’s name with a big red slash and circle around it.  Meh, he woulda been a fool, he was an originalist and you all know where I stand on that. (If not, just click the hyperlink.)

All and all, Palin is a certifiable member of Fool Fest 2008.  I’m quite sure McCain’s people are going to usher her back into hiding, as they almost should.  Her usefulness has run dry.  Katie “I want to be known as a real journalist” Couric has probably done her last interview with Plain and Tall, but Katie’s done more than enough to let the country know just how effed up this lady really is.

For all this talk about she held her own?!?!?  My foot.  She aint say nothing that made this a real debate.  She for the most part just got up there and stuck to her notes.  She fumbled way more than Biden fumbled, and most of her rebuttals were from the notes she took compared to Biden who was the much better extemporaneous speaker.  And when Palin got the questions posed to her first, too often she went off on her “energy” tangent and never dealt well with the question.

Also, to my fellow black Obama supporters, seriously, what did you all expect Gwen Ifill to do?  She delievered as she always has.  I heard way too much chatter from text messages and other blogs that she didn’t stick it to Palin as she should have?  WHAAAT?!?!?! She’s the moderator, that’s Biden’s job.  Ifill more than once cut Palin off and made it quite clear when she or Biden hadn’t answered the question that was posed.  She was fair and honest with her questioning. 

As my friend said, the moderators job is to give the candidate enough rope to hang themselves and I think Palin did a good job dangling last night.

Although, the adage “Perception is reality” seems to hold much weight.  Many people perceived Palin not answering the questions as a good thing; clearly I stand in diametric opposition to that fallacy.  I just can’t believe that’s she’s really one heart beat away from the presidency.  Honestly, I could see a different presidency from George Bush in the form of McCain.  I honestly can, but when Palin got up there, she said everything was hunky dory gosh darnit and that she didn’t want to change anything and had no regrets, and that, my friends, sounds like something straight out of the Karl Rove, Of Many Chin’s playbook.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

New York Times Vice Presidential Debates 2008 Transcript

What was your take on the debates?  Do you think I was being categorically unfair to Palin in this blog?  What blunders did you think Joe Biden made in the debates?  Does this debate really match up to the hype that preceeded it?  Does it make a difference now?  For the undecideds that happen across this blog–has your mind been made up?  What SPECIFICALLY was anyone listening for that they did or did not hear–let’s use both sides of our brain.  I included a link for the full transcript, so feel free to reference it if you have any questions.

Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL

One thought on “My Insulted Intelligence: Palin and The Vice Presidential Debates Debrief

  1. If you have not seen this recent speech by AFL-CIO representative Richard Trumka, please watch the seven minute clip. Racism is unflinchingly defined for a large group of union voters…watch it and send the clip to your family, friends, and co-workers who might benefit from hearing the truth that seems so difficult to speak out loud.

    The speaker directly addresses this country’s critical need to vote for Barack Obama because we must not allow the ‘color of his skin’ to affect this election’s outcome. He names racism as the sole reason that too many voters reject Obama’s leadership without saying ‘because he’s black’.

    Mr. Trumka has spoken at smaller groups and calls for workers to stop voting against their own best interests simply because of the inbred racism which only considers white candidates as ‘fit to lead.’

    For those interested, read ‘Deer Hunting with Jesus’ by Joe Bageant–interesting insight on why poor whites cling to white leadership that cares little about them.

    This is truth-telling at its finest.

    Staying uppity!

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