Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Debate

I'll take my crow well seasoned and grilled on high heat.

She didn't quit, as I had predicted. Moreover, she did an excellent job given the expectations and within the staged constraints of a debate. I think she may have transfused the McCain campaign, however temporarily, and I will give her credit for guts and for manuvering very well in a difficult situation.

That said, her performance confirmed what I wrote here earlier: She's W in drag. Because she has no genuine intellectual depth, she has no sense that the global stage is too big for her. By "intellectual depth," I don't mean native intelligence. I've never said she ain't smart. What I mean is that there's a world of competing ideas out there to which she has never, ever been exposed. What's far worse, however, is that she never will be exposed to that world because her ideology precludes that exposure. Palin is a study in conviction without exposure, certainty without experience. She reminds me of any late teenager: all mouth and no wisdom.

Palin is the perfect successor to George Bush because she is George Bush, in drag. The guts they share? It's bluster. The attractive, folksy persona? It's cultivated in contradiction to the privilege they devote their lives to achieving. It's fake. The tenacity her followers admire? It's not adherence to a course of action because it is wise and effective. It's adherence to a course of action because it fits nicely inside her ideological cake pan.

She let slip a couple of fearsome views. The notion that the Vice President can expand his or her role in and outside the Senate is an endorsement of the Cheney-Addington Unitary Presidency theme. We're not surprised, of course. But surely, by now we know we don't want any more of that. The notion that global warming might not all be man-made leaves open the probability that under a Palin presidency, doing anything about it would be regarded as a slap in God's face.

And of course there's the part about how her actual record in Alaska bears scant resemblance to her telling of it. The astronomical debt, the fascistic abuse of power, the sports arena built without title to the land it's built on, the road to the bridge built before there's a bridge, the nepotistic installation of friends and family into positions of power without regard to competence. All these, too, are scenes she's stealing from the same one book that George reads.

It bears noticing, surely. I hope Americans can read between well rehearsed lines, but my hope for Americans' ability to distinguish between beef and bullshit is stretched pretty thin these days.

She rarely answered the questions, and often misrepresented the facts, and spoke often enough in theo-code to leave me absolutely as revolted tonight as I've always been by this ticket. It isn't how she performed, in the theatrical sense. It's what her values are.


Wordsmyth said...

I pretty much expected what happened tonight. Palin memorized her talking points and stuck to them -- which meant, of course, that she had to NOT answer the questions a lot of the time. I especially loved the one where Ifill asked the candidates about their "Achilles' heels" and Palin did nothing but repeat her bragging speech about herself. Obviously, there's no "there" there. And how dangerous to let slip the bit about increasing the legislative power of the vice presidency! What an idiot!

Good piece, Pico. Were you as disappointed as I was that Ifill never once mentioned Roe v. Wade? Nor did she ever insist that Palin answer the damn question. Grrr.


Wordsmyth said...

One of the TV pundits said it was like watching "Gidget Goes to Washington." LOL!

Morning Angel said...

"It isn't how she performed, in the theatrical sense. It's what her values are."


PICO said...

Hi Wordsmyth--I love the "Gidget" comment! Ha!

I was astounded that Ifil never asked anything useful, and what she did ask was packed with clues to the answer. It was a crock.

Yeah, I was disappointed. I also wanted something about polar bears and wolves, for Christ's sake. That could have been an enormously clarifying moment, phrased in terms of the biblical enjoinder to be good stewards.

Where is the imagination in these moderators? They badly need to bring in someone from the real world.

Thanks for commenting!! Come back soon.


PICO said...

Hi Morning Angel --
It's great to see you back.

Yeah, and we don't do enough to uncover her values.

From what I can tell of her actual record, her values are bushian:
fraud, fakery, fuck-ups, and fascism.

Thanks for commenting! Come back!!