Oops -- found my original version of this post, embarrassingly in another blog -- the one that's supposed to be for my grad students -- and isn't supposed to reveal my cantankerous and highly partisan political views. So, in a lame attempt to compartmentalize my worlds, I grabbed it off of there and quickly slapped it back here where it belongs. Sort of. Ta Dah:
I didn't think there was a clear winner in the debate last night -- except maybe all the rest of us finally released from the suspense, exhausting ourselves wondering what was going to happen.
Well, I mean, I think by far Joe Biden was the smarter and more tolerable of the two. His answers were passionately on point and he managed to respond with the depth that his experience and intelligence afford him. I'm very relieved, despite her "right off the bench," presumptuous, "Hey, can I call you Joe?" that Biden referred to her as "Governor Palin." It was that kind of situation: no false intimacy, please. She was the sexist in the room.
I most admired his spirited "John McCain is no maverick" riff late in the debate. To me that was Biden at his debating best. I also thoroughly enjoyed his follow-up response to Palin's description of how she visualizes her potential role as a VP by admiringly invoking Dick Cheney -- and Biden promptly, bitingly said he thought Cheney was the most dangerous Vice President in U.S. history. Touche, Joe, yeah, say it's so!
I also cheered when he asserted, "Facts matter!" Yes! Yes! Of course, he got a number of his facts wrong. And I know most people really don't care. Still, I wished for something more -- harder questioning, more rigorous tangling, more substance. Dream on, I know.
Palin's smarmy refusal to answer the questions really got on my nerves. When she said she essentially felt no obligation to answer the questions posed, I felt echoes of the attacks on Gwen Ifill's right to moderate and a sleazy cynicism about the whole point of the debate. The Fourth Estate hasn't been stellar in its behavior, but once Palin and her handlers agreed to the debate, they should have shown more respect. Let's see, doesn't the Constitution elevate freedom of the press? Isn't there something in our history that calls for the stringent and enlivening necessity of having vigorous journalism? Oh, reporters...don't you just hate them?
One of the many questions Palin didn't bother to answer, revealingly, was the closing one about her Achilles heel. Not that Biden developed the subject much more lavishly, but he at least acknowledged the question, admitted discipline was indeed one of his bugaboos, and added one more -- what he called his "passion." Revealingly, Palin, who never blinks, except for those cloying, infantilizing winks, blew the whole question off, turning it into an opportunity to congratulate herself.
Finally, Palin's tiresome closing line -- on which I've ranted before in this space -- set me off just as much as it has all the other times: that John McCain is the only one in the race who's fought for the country. That smug faux patriotism is one of the things that I hope will get her and her arrogant side-kick, the candidate supposedly at the top of the ticket, soundly thrashed on Nov. 4.
Trying to coddle my irritations -- and a lingering cough -- with healthful panaceas, I was drinking strong green tea laced with Bushmill's. It didn't help. It took several tablespoons of Nyquil later to get me to sleep. And even then, Ted said I snored loudly and drove him into the guest room. That's marital politics -- the politics of the body, the politics of adaptation, the politics, when the day is done, of forgiveness.
The soft or shrill voice within us
7 years ago