Thursday, September 25, 2008

Palin and the press -- stupid is as stupid says

By Michael J.W. Stickings

It's amazingly insane, not to mention insanely amazing, how appallingly low the expectations are for Sarah Palin. But that's what happens when she's kept away from the press and restricted to partisan rallies, when she's only allowed to speak for herself, or rather to recite the lines that have been programmed into her, during controlled interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric, not to mention during an idiotic infomercial with Sean Hannity. And it's what happens when it's clear to all, whatever the "she's ready" spin coming from the McCain campaign and her various right-wing adorers, that, whatever her political skills, she's a complete dolt.

So when she does speak to reporters -- and today, she finally did, for the first time, though only very briefly -- we get headlines like "Palin Speaks!" (from the gawkers at the WSJ).

She spoke! It's a story! She's exceeding expectations!

But what did she say exactly? Actually, she said very little, answering only four questions (two from Le Politico, one from CNN, and one from the Jersey Journal) and refusing to answer another (from Le Politico).

The one she refused to answer had to do with fellow (corrupt) Alaskans Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young, specifically whether she was going to vote him.

As for the four she answered, here's what she said:

1) She agrees with Bush's conduct of the so-called war on terror: "I do agree with taking the fight to the terrorists and stopping them over there."

2) She thinks the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan improve America's security. She was at Ground Zero, so it was all about 9/11, but her answer to this question was pretty much the same as her answer to the previous one. In other words, she linked 9/11 to Iraq, which even Bush doesn't do anymore, suggesting that, in her own simple way, she buys into neoconservatism and its warped agenda and worldview. And, given her utter lack of knowledge when it comes to national security and foreign policy, given her utter lack of engagement with the nuanced complexities of the world, all she has in her pocket is the 9/11 card. And she's apparently willing to pull it out whenever she can't come up with an intelligent answer and needs a safety net, which is pretty much always. It's like she's Giuliani, but without the experience of 9/11 and even more shallow.

3) She's waiting to see what happens with Stevens's trial. (So she may support him yet.)

4) She doesn't support the bailout plan but will if it includes what McCain wants. It's like she doesn't have a mind of her own. You expect loyalty from a running mate, but this is unthinking, unquestioning me-tooism.

Is it any wonder the McCain campaign has been keeping her quiet?

And is it any wonder McCain himself should be held to account for picking such a dolt as his running mate?

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