September 30, 2008

The Palin Expectations

Ya'll seen this Palin chick? She's freakin' hilarious! I don't know who her writers are, but she is a comedic genius. That Borat guy better look out, there is a new kid on the block of awkward humor, and she looks like the big leagues. This whole PR stunt she's puling with the faux-VP bid is revolutionary. Obviously, no one really believes she wants to be the Vice President, but the publicity Palin and her comedy troupe have received is priceless. /snark

Seriously, Sarah Palin is a train wreck by any standard. Her anti-science, fiscally unsound policy and debilitating lack of experience should be enough to disqualify her for the 2nd highest office in the country. The woman wants Creationism taught on par with Evolution and actually tried to ban books from the Wasilla Library. Done. The argument is over at this point, she should not be VP. Period.

But oh no, Palin is the candidate that keeps on giving. Get comfortable. Pour a second cup of coffee and settle in.

She's packing major baggage in the "personal" area, such as the influence of "first dude" Todd Palin in her administration, her 17 year old daughter Bristol's pregnancy (not a problem at all in itself, but a poignant highlight of Palin's defunding Alaskan programs to help teenage mothers and emphasis on abstinence-only sex education), and the infamous "Troopergate" scandal. So this religious wacko who (allegedly) acknowledges the existence of witchcraft has been using her government office to wage personal vendettas against the former husband of a slighted family member. Again, done. The argument against her election is over, a second time. She should not be VP.

And friends, there is more. Apparently, Sarah Palin has a little problem with coherence and sentence structure. Her (few and meager) media interviews have been physically painful to watch. I seriously had to leave the room when I saw that poor Governor sputtering on about Russia and Canada sharing boarders with Alaska and Putin "rearing his head" over her state. During her interview with Couric, Palin's answer about the bailout bill will go down in history with that Miss Teen America contestant's response.

Notice the similarities? I did.

She has exhibited less-than-perfect message discipline as well, contradicting McCain's Pakistan policy when talking to voters. Then when called on it, McCain issues this doosy:

"I don't think most Americans think that that's a definitive policy statement made by Governor Palin,"
Come on guys, just because she said it, doesn't mean she meant it.

So this debate looks like its over before it began. On both substance and style, Palin looks dead in the water. Biden, a career vet of foreign policy and the intricacies of policy and government, ought to be able to pick her apart with relative ease at the VP debate on Oct. 2nd. The man is a hell of a speaker and an amazing personal story as well.

So on paper, this thing is over. Whatever happens with the top of the tickets, the VP question has been answered. Yet if my party affiliation has taught me anything, it is to never underestimate the Democrats ability to really knuckle down, do some hard work, and completely blow a "gimme" election. Or issue. Or vote. Democrats are pretty much the leading experts in the field of professional fuck-ups and are more than capable of adding this VP debate to the long list of pathetic foot shots in our history (for further reading, see 2004 Presidential Election, or even better, the FISA debate).

So we need to shut the hell up. Palin is a joke, we all know that. Even the Republicans know she's isn't even approaching "ready," as is evident by the Great Palin Media Blackout of 2008. She has been ridiculed into the ground. Tina Fey, of SNL, doesn't even change her dialogue when she mocks Palin. She doesn't need to. Palin mocks herself. The poor woman must cry herself to sleep at night, I know I would. But then, I don't have an army of handlers insulating me from the scary media, or any outside contact at all for that matter.

At this point, if Palin spells her name correctly on the debate sign-in sheet, she's going to be a freakin' all-star. The media and the public are going to expect her to tank in epic fashion; come on stage with her head shaved or with a plug of chewing tobacco in her lip or something. So now, if she shows up fully dressed and speaks passible English, this debate will be a "win" for the McCain/Palin ticket. She is already expected to make very little sense and play defense the whole 90 minutes, so when she does just that, the talking heads are going to be crowing about her "meeting expectations" and "holding her own." She is already being held to a lower standard for success than anyone else on this campaign trail, and it is only getting worse. We used to care about a candidates qualifications in this country. We ought to still. As citizens, we should be demanding well-qualified, educated, knowledgeable statesmen and women run this country, not just some lady who manages to make it through a debate without wetting herself.

There is enough to disqualify Palin to be the VP without running her mental capacities into the ground. All we are doing is making it easier for her to exceed those expectations. So lets be honest, Sarah Palin is dumb, vicious, and incompetent, but you don't become the governor of a state by being a complete waste of oxygen. She will eventually exhibit some ability during this campaign, and we should be asking if that paltry offering is enough. I'm sure there is some kind of mental process going on behind those glasses, but the issue should be the quality of that process, not that we are all "so impressed" that this infant-woman actually does possess a functioning mind.

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