Monday, October 06, 2008

Truly, The Man Has No Shame

Bill Kristol spins out all the latest Republican talking points in favor of Sarah Palin, with her eager assistance.
As for the campaign, Palin made clear - without being willing to flat out say so - that she regretted allowing herself to be overly handled and constrained after the Republican convention. She described the debate on Thursday night as “liberating,” and she emphasized how much she now looked forward to being out there, “getting to speak directly to the folks.”
You mean, by ignoring the questions? By insisting on hamstringing the format to avoid direct challenge of her evasions and misrepresentations? (I don't think the Democrats should have agreed to that, but on the other hand it might have looked bad had Biden been given the opportunity to directly challenge her. Which isn't to say that appearances should trump substance, but....)

The excessive handling, of course, included a broad effort by hack pundits aligned with the Republican Party to spin the "She's gonna crash and burn" line, as part of a concerted effort to drive the expectations for her performance down to ground level. As SNL put it, she didn't throw up so at worst we should call it a tie, right?
Since she seemed to have enjoyed the debate, I asked her whether she’d like to take this opportunity to challenge Joe Biden to another one.

There was a pause, and I thought I heard some staff murmuring in the background (we were on speaker phones). She passed on the notion of a challenge. But she did say she was more than willing to accept an invitation to debate with Biden again, and even expressed a preference for a town hall meeting-type format.
So she won't challenge Biden to a debate, but she'll accept an invitation? And she prefer a format that isn't actually a debate format, but ties into one of McCain's favorite themes, the "town hall meeting"? Alright....
And, really, shouldn’t the public get the benefit of another Biden-Palin debate, or even two? If there’s difficulty finding a moderator, I’ll be glad to volunteer.
Oh, I get it now. The whole column is a joke!
Part of who Obama is, she said, has to do with his past associations, such as with the former bomber Bill Ayers. Palin had raised the topic of Ayers Saturday on the campaign trail, and she maintained to me that Obama, who’s minimized his relationship with Ayers, “hasn’t been wholly truthful” about this.
With the misrepresentation or omission being what?
I pointed out that Obama surely had a closer connection to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright than to Ayers — and so, I asked, if Ayers is a legitimate issue, what about Reverend Wright?
I can see why John McCain is tentative about making stupid "attacks by association" on Obama, given his own background, but it's perhaps even more absurd for Palin to do so. Her husband was a member of a secessionist party, and she was clearly friendly to that party and its leadership. She has been happy to obstruct and decline cooperation with the investigation of her firing Alaska public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan. She attends a church where she was happily present as a visiting minister prayed to protect her from witches and made what some interpret as an anti-semitic comment (but in language that is really hard to parse). But who am I to judge. Maybe that's typical for a Jane Six-Pack hockey mom, and I'm elitist to suggest otherwise.

1 comment:

  1. Kristol as moderator? You're right - the column must be a joke. I mean, an intentional joke.