Why Bother With Fairness When Your Boy is Gonna Lose?

This is the most shameless interview I’ve ever seen and it’s a wonder why Joe Biden sat through the whole thing.  When you ask a question, most English teachers would agree, the purpose is to gather information from the person you question.  That’s why a question is also known as in interrogative, from the Latin word rogare, meaning ask.  Interesting fact: another word from that same Latin root is arrogance, meaning a state of failing to ask. ((a being a prefix which negates meaning;  + rogare))

A question for this “journalist,” Barbara West, seems to be a way of laying charges at the feet of people she disagrees with, without having to take responsibility for the charges:



Early MSNBC Polls Calling it for Biden

Wow.  I honestly didn’t expect it.  No links, yet, but Olbermann is reporting that the debate goes to Biden in the Court of Public Opinion.


Post Debate Wrapup

This is a much more difficult debate to score than the first presidential one.  The reason is simple: there really weren’t many punches landed in the presidential, but there were tons on both sides in this one.

But I have to say, whomever ends best often wins, in the opinion race.  I got very worried for a minute because towards the end, Sarah Palin really started scoring some serious points.  But Joe’s response about his child stole the thunder of Palin, not that he was using it, but it did.  And his ending was supreme in its reach into Middle America.  I think it was probably very effective.

Very few people expected Sarah Palin to be specific about anything, and she didn’t disappoint.  But worse, she couldn’t answer questions and decided to just say whatever she wanted to whenever she wanted to.  I don’t think it came off well.  That’s especially true for the answer to the question of “what is your biggest flaw.”  No one expects an honest self-critique, but you have to couch it in some sort of humility, like Joe did.  It was out of control.

We’ll have to see what the big replays are to know who won.  But as I watch Tweety on MSNBC, it seems like the pundit class is not pleased at all with her performance.

I should probably mention the expectations game.  On this level, I’d say Sarah Palin mostly won. She didn’t come off as a drooling idiot, which is definitely an improvement.  But was it enough?  I’m not sure.  If you’re looking for competence, you have to say that she didn’t even bother most of the time to even play by the rules of the debate because she couldn’t answer the questions.

But she definitely got some serious shots in towards the end and she definitely proved herself quite a skilled debate competitor.  No one can take that away from her.

The trouble for the campaign is that the recent downturn in the polls had nothing much to do with Palin, even though her numbers have dropped along side the ticket.  The problem has been the economy and John McCain’s erratic, irrational responses.  On this level, Biden did tremendously.  Much better than I’ve ever seen him, in fact.  His ability to speak to the problems of Middle America in a real way – as opposed to Palin’s patronizing and placating way – was a force to be reckoned with.

If the American people are looking for answers – and I’m pretty sure they are – then the Biden responses, which dripped with fact and figure, must have come off well.  If they’re looking for style over substance, Palin wins.

Again, we shall see.


Debate Thread

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Debate starts in ten, finishing up Survivor.  I can’t wait to see what happens!

Oh, yeah: I think Ace’s accent is fake.  There.  I said it.

8:59 ~ OMG, someone just rickrolled MSNBC!  “Never gonna give you up” sign behind Keith Olbermann prior to the debate.  It’s gonna be a good night, I can tell.

9:06 ~ Yes, Sarah Palin.  Fear.  Fear of your party.  John McCain’s bipartisan solution?

9:08 ~ OK, new rule: Vice Presidents and vice presidential nominees are not allowed to give the camera the wink and the gun.

9:10 ~ It’s not the American people’s fault that the economy is in trouble, but we should take it on ourselves to fix it?  So sez Sarah.

9:14 ~ Go Joe!!!  Nail her to the wall.  And she’s “still on the tax thing.”  And she admits she won’t answer questions?  WTF?

9:18 ~ Clearly, Sarah Palin does not know what patritoism is.  It may or may not be patriotic to pay taxes, but it surely isn’t telling government to fuck off.  Nothing wrong with that, necessarily, but it’s not patriotic.


9:23 ~ She’s trying very hard to stick to her talking points and it’s causing her to veer off the subject wildly.

9:27 ~ TIMBER!!!  She’s comin’ down soon.  The windfall tax thing shook her, good.  Joe’s really stickin it to her.

9:27 ~  What did Sarah Palin just say she and John agree to?  I gotta rewind the tape when I get a chance.

9:31 ~ “It’s just God hugging us closer.”  If you’re not willing to talk about what’s causing the problem, how can you fix it?  Meanwhile, if you’re wanting to limit emissions, doesn’t that mean you by proxy acknowledge the cause is man made?  Yeah!  What Joe just said!

9:34 ~ Largest and most expensive infrastructure project in Alaska?  How expensive?  How does it compare to the Bridge to Nowhere.

9:37 ~ Same sex mariage question is a sticky one, its good to see that both candidates have some sensitivity to the subject.  Even if Sarah Palin merely pays it lip service, it’s good to see that Conservatives in this country are forced to do that much.

9:42 ~ “With all due respect, I didn’t hear a plan.”  Uh-oh, she’s stuttering and talking about “retreat.”  Falling back to talking points and it’s obvious she is.

9:47 ~ I do wonder if people are interested in the fact that Joe Biden is answering questions and Sarah Palin is repeating talking points?  I’ve seen people (John Kerry) win debates and lose the election (sorta), because people aren’t really listening.  Is that what’s happening now?

Sarah Palin just comitted John McCain to “diplomacy” with Iran.  More than once, now.  “Hard work by serious people.”  Goes to my point: we need serious people.

9:54 ~ Is Joe advocating changing the regiems of Lebanon and West Bank?

9:55 ~ Palin ducks another one, asserting that the Bush Administration hasn’t failed in the Middle East (it has), but not saying why.  She also just ducked out of saying when using nuclear weapons is acceptable by talking about Iran.

10:02 ~ NOoooo!  Don’t talk about authorizing the war!!

10:03 ~ Snarky biatch!

10:06 ~ Note to Joe: stop defending, start attacking.  She’s got you in her sights.

10:08 ~ Sneaking in the Bush Doctrine was a good choice.

10:09 ~ And again calling herself a maverick.  That’s incredibly sad.

10:10 ~ Wait, she was asked to say what she’d do if McCain died.  Instead, she just pitched herself for president on entirely separate grounds.  “Wasila Main Street.”  Which, by the way, is probably twenty feet long.  Joe’s gotten back to his Scranton roots, which is good.

10:15 ~ Palin is dancing around the Vice President’s role, but she insists that there is “flexibility.”  Actually, the Vice President’s role is not defined.  Strictly speaking, that means he doesn’t have one.

10:19 ~ “Shining city on the hill” is from a sermon.  That’s a religious song.  Sung in a church.  Idiot.

10:21 ~ Joe’s speech about his family is probably the most powerful thing I’ve seen in presidential politics.  Sarah Palin’s response is quite hollow in comparison.  More talking points and buzz words.  Thank goodness, she’s returning to type.

10:24 ~ Joe’s fighting back hard and looking passionate and I think he’s probably reaching a lot of people.

10:25 ~ Joe’s baiting with Roe. (v Wade, not fish eggs.)

10:30 ~ “And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. . . ” Oyie.

10:32 ~ That was an amazing wrapup from Joe Biden.


Well, it’s Biden

Just woke up to find the email from Barack Obama in my inbox, and don’t I feel special: he’s chosen Joe Biden as his running mate.

I’d say ever since Joe gave the reporters staking out his house bagels and coffee, it was pretty obvious to me that Joe was the dude.  And he’s probably the best choice, too.  If ever there was a guy who would relish the prospect of being the attack dog, it’s Joe Biden, and he’ll be good at it, too.  Yes, there is the distinct possibility that he’ll go off half-cocked as he’s done in the past, but there has to be a bad cop to Obama’s cool surface in this election.

Because the more I think about it, the more I think one of the keys to this election is straight up: piss off John McCain.  Piss him right off, preferably in a way that makes him explode in a debate.

The walls of the media stronghold McCain has built up over all these years are cracking noticeably.  Joe Klien, a long time cheerleader, calls McCain’s “Obama would lose a war to win the presidency,” attack “scurrilous,” which is more than Obama said.  The “How Many Houses” gaff – which if the Dems play it right, will be the candidacy-killer quote – was started by by a reporter asking, “how many houses do you own?”  That’s not the kind of question you ask a Senator without already knowing the answer and without some indication that he doesn’t know.

So an explosion from John McCain could begin the flood of “McHothead” naratives that would doubtless carry though to the election.  This is exactly what Obama needs, because right now, his professorial coolness strikes many as a liability.  But when McHothead erupts and we combine it with the Georgia incident and his support for Iraq literally days after 911 and calling his wife a cunt and . . .  you get the picture.

So, here’s to hoping Biden can turn the screws without looking like a dick.