Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Painful Palin: Mocking Biden, lying, and spewing crap

By Michael J.W. Stickings

(Am I spending too much time on Palin? Maybe. But it's important for voters to keep in mind not just what a joke she is but what it says about McCain that he picked such as joke as his running mate. Plus, you know, there's the debate on Thursday.)

My "Painful Palin" series -- for the first two installments, see here and here -- looks at the Palin-Couric interview, parts of which are still being aired on CBS.

Here's the deal with the clip below: In her stump speech, Palin mocks Biden for being in Washington for so long. Needless to say, she doesn't mention his accomplishments, nor his expertise. But she does claim that she's been "hearing about his Senate speeches since [she] was in, like, second grade," which was, like, 1972.

This is ridiculously stupid on so many levels:

1) Was Palin really paying attention Biden in second grade? If so, what does that say about her? -- that she was some sort of crazed political junkie even at a young age. This seems unlikely. More likely, she's lying.

2) How can someone with next to no experience or expertise, someone who is so utterly unprepared for national politics and so applingly unqualified for the vice presidency, mock someone like Biden, who has not just expertise in areas like foreign policy and national security but an impressive legislative record and a long career of engaging with the issues that matter to Americans? Well, obviously Palin can, and does, but does so without even a hint of irony or self-awareness.

3) Biden has been in Washington a long time -- while living the whole time in Delaware, remember -- but so has, of course, McCain. Shouldn't Palin be mocking McCain? If she was listening to Biden's speeches in 1972, surely she was listening to McCain's speeches from as early as 1982, when he was elected to the House? No, because she's clearly lying.

4) Keep in mind that Biden was elected in 1972. Which means that he didn't actually enter the Senate until 1973. Was she really paying attention to Biden's candidacy for the Senate in 1972? No, because she's clearly lying.

5) Thankfully, Katie Couric asked her about this -- actually, challenged her on this. Given that she has a 72-year old running mate, is it not "a risky thing to say"? In response, Palin denies her comment was meant as a joke, that, in fact, she meant it as a compliment, referring to Biden's "lot of experience," "tremendous amount of experience." "Oh, no," she claims, "it's nothing negative at all." But of course it was. Watch the clip. Listen to the tone, the final inflection. She's obviously making, or trying to make, a joke. And Cindy McCain, right behind her, laughs, like it's funny to mock Biden's Senate career. (She's apparently as unironic and un-self-aware as Palin is.)

6) She claims that, in contrast to Biden, she's "the new energy, the new face, the new ideas" (and that "voters are going to have a choice"). She has some energy, I'll give her that, but it's hardly any more energy than Biden has. I give her her new face, too. But new ideas? What new ideas? Other than spewing empty promises of cleaning up Washington -- like she knows anything about Washington -- she just repeats Republican talking points, including, in her one and only Q&A with the press, agreeing with Bush's approach to terrorism, supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while tying the Iraq War to 9/11, and buying into, obviously without understanding, the warped agenda and worldview of the neocons. She may present herself as an outsider and reformer, but there's actually nothing new about her "ideas" at all.

Once again, though, she's clearly lying -- right to Couric's face, right to the American people, right to all of us.

And so it's just more of the same from Sarah Palin.

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