Monday, October 06, 2008

Damning with Faint Praise

Debra J. Saunders thinks that Sarah Palin did well in last Thursday's debate with Joe Biden. She did well, Saunders argues in her latest article, largely by not embarrassing the campaign any further.
Sure, she had moments when she seemed to be working too hard trying to remember what she was supposed to say so she awkwardly regurgitated a string of campaign buzzwords. Who cares? She didn't crash. And she showed Americans a candidate who does not speak Beltway-speak.

Democrats used to crow about that common touch with Bubba. Well, meet Bubbette.
Yeah the difference was that Bubba was articulate. He could communicate well with people but he seemed to understand what he was saying. Palin on the other hand doesn't seem to know much about what she's saying.

Joe Conason, in an article over at Salon, has a harsher view of Palin's rise.
As Biden showed quite convincingly when he spoke about his modest background and his continuing connection with Main Street, perceptive, intelligent discourse is in no way identical with elitism. Palin's phony populism is as insulting to working- and middle-class Americans as it is to American women. Why are basic diction and intellectual coherence presumed to be out of reach for "real people"?

And why don't we expect more from American conservatives? Indeed, why don't they demand more from their own movement? Aren't they disgusted that their party would again nominate a person devoid of qualifications for one of the nation's highest offices? Some, like Michael Gerson and Kathleen Parker, have expressed discomfort with this farce -- and been subjected, in Parker's case, to abuse from many of the same numbskulls whom Palin undoubtedly delights.
Yeah but the key aspect to many modern Republicans is that allegiance to ideology trumps all other concerns. Biden is unqualified to be vice president not because of anything he's done, but because he isn't a conservative. Palin is qualified to be Vice President not because of anything she's done, but, again, because she is a conservative, and the right kind of conservative.

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