Thursday, October 02, 2008

On VP Debates: Nope. Don't need a Winker.

That's my two cents on the "style vs. substance" of tonight's Vice Presidential debates. Vice PRESIDENTIAL debate. (Not the hockey mom debate. Not the PT debate. Not the 4-H debate. Not the Wasilla Mayor debate. The vice PRESIDENTIAL debate.)

If we set the bar low enough, anyone may appear to do well. I'm almost beyond disgust. And when do I get disgusted?

I felt like we let ourselves be sucker-punched back into 2000, back into Dummysville. "Ah, shucks" and "golly" and "ooooh" --- (Sorry, but the comparison between George W. Bush's folksiness and Sarah Palin's down-home-style -- is incredible!) If I heard one more colloquial sounding phrase, I think I might have vomited.

Sarah: Amen for returning to your authentic style! AMEN! I much prefer you authentically as a candidate, as a human, a woman, as your REAL self. But YOU DO NOT BELONG IN THIS ARENA! AT ALL!

Shame on America. Shame on John McCain. Whew.

For me, substantively, Governor Palin's line about the "global climate situation", and not wanting to identify the ROOT CAUSES of this, exemplifies her entire approach to this campaign. It's anti-intellectualism in its finest and simplest form:
"I don't understand, and I don't agree with what I don't understand, so I'll just look ahead and diminish the complexity of these circumstances and I'll wink and smile. I'll actually criticize a closer examination of the situation as being 'stuck in the past.'"

I loved Senator Biden's response about naming the source of global warming, and our GOVERNMENTS BLIND EYE to human's energy consumption, the US' gross overuse of resources in comparison to the rest of the world, and his referencing the Republican solution to energy to "Drill, drill, drill."

How about Governor Palin even correcting him on this, to "No, Joe, that's 'drill, baby, drill.'" Like a cheerleading banner she's proud of? She's proud of this phrase?!

It's ludicrous. We are smart. Smarter. I am trusting this. And I am asking questions:
"Really? You really think Obama and Biden want to diminish the capacity of small businesses to create jobs?"
"Really? You really think it's wise to continue spending money in Iraq without any kind of time line or assessment of success?"
"Really? You really think NOT COMMUNICATING with our enemies is a way to build diplomacy and peace?"
"Really? You really think a Democrat means tax increases that HURT the economy?"
"Really? You really think setting a time line for troop withdrawal from Iraq is "throwing in a white flag?" REALLY?"
It blows my mind.

I have to listen. I have to look to the intelligence and hope and service actions all around me that are about peace and development and change. I have to trust deeply in the work that is being done right here, in my local community. I have to trust deeply in the paradigm that Obama and Biden operate from -- as being the transformational grass-roots model that will see us into this next shift in our unity and well-being as a country, as a globe.

I'll wink to that! But not a presidential being who thinks her winking will solve these problems. No thank you.



Mary Beth said...

you are right on!! My sentiments exactly. Thanks for what you do. I'm sending this to my kids.
love and PEACE

Jill said...

Or, someone, once again who cannot pronounce the word nuclear... But, let her hand be on the "red button", please?

You are dead-on Missy. She is scary, overly-colloquial and appeals to folksy people who would still say George W. Bush is a good man... Joe Six-Pack - my ass.

As a woman, I am still insulted by her being chosen as a legitimate candidate.

Newbury Park, CA

Amy said...

Excellent points!! I completely agree!!


Arlo said...


Lisa said...

My moment of disgust came when Palin commented on the lacks of rights for women in the middle east – I can’t remember if she was talking about Afghanistan or Iraq, which she can’t pronounce. As if she has any leg to stand on with womens’ rights.

And nucular? Again, let’s vote people into office who can pronounce these words.


Enid said...

I couldn’t have said it better!! Dang, she was irritating! You can tell she had really memorized all of her answers, and then didn’t answer any direct ones – like what is her Achilles heel? I absolutely cannot stand that smug, folksy, jokesy attitude, and “talkin” like some hillbilly. She almost went off on one of her rambling things at one point and I thought, OK, here we go, but she caught herself. Wonder if she was taking cues from someone in the audience? Of course Pat Buchanan thought she was GREAT and Rachel Maddow was about ready to scream at him. I’m anxious to see more feedback.

B G said...

You're right, they are doing their best to make her seem like George, but that's not a good idea right now. Every time we turn on the news we hear about what life under George was/is like and we don't like that. That's why she kept saying to Sen. Biden, "you keep looking to the past and we plan to push towards the future for real change." The problem is, we all know as Sen. Biden said, they don't have any plans to change things and in the end if elected McC and P(the winker) will take down that same awful road.

No, I don't believe she did anything to change anyone's opinions. She didn't answer the questions. She used the same old sound bytes. She winked and tried to make us "like her" and...okay, some folks will fall for that. It still won't make things better to hear that their company is closing down and gas prices are going up, and oh by the way, your child is sick and you don't have health coverage for them. Jack Welch just said the 4th quarter is going to be worse than the previous 3 quarters. Oh, this does not look good for McC (since he won't look directly at Sen. Obama, I've decided I don't have to speak his name) and "the winker who should have blinked when asked to run on the ticket." He's pulled out of Michigan, which is huge. He's not doing well in Penn., although it's still close. He's in a tight race in Indiana and Ohio is not looking good. People are going to get out and vote. People are going to be all around canvassing. Sen. Obama has a real strength in that he was a "community organizer". He believes that is how we take the country back, one community at a time. And quietly as it's been kept, this is how the Republicans took over the congress in the first place. It's what Ralph Reed (who looks like Damion from that scary movie, who's name I forget, but the kid was the anti-christ...remember?) it's what he did for the Republican party. He went all across the country and put up candidates for Sheriff and City Council, for County Commisioner and they all of a sudden took over from the Democrats. Well, this is how Obama is going to take back the White House.

This economic malaise (too soft a word for what we're going through but it's what came to mind in the moment, so just go with me on this one) is the best thing to have happened to Democrats and to Sen. Obama's campaign. This will force the American public to really look, without bias to see who is going to fix this mess. They are forced to listen and to look at past records. As Sen. Biden said, past is prologue.

Okay, I"ve taken up enough of your time. Take care. God bless!

later, me

MJ said...

Thank you Melissa!!!! MJ

Mary Frances said...

Hurray for you....I appreciated your analysis! We'll talk, mary frances

DB said...

Biden is Da Man. Palin did read from her notecards fairly well and had her memorized jabs down pat, but Joe was calm and cool and actually knows what he's talking about. I think he will be an exceptional VP!

Thanks for your post on this. I appreciate the comments & questions posed here. Have a great weekend!


Chris said...


I have to admit I'm very surprised to hear you making judgment by such superficial means. I usually think of you as being much more analytical, discerning in making your decisions - even when we don't agree. If you recall, Bill Clinton, while not as extreme, utilized his country boy, down-home style as well. I think by many accounts he was a productive President.

Describe the perfect candidate. We want somebody who is not going to play the same political games that have been going on in Washington (3 of the 4 candidates are Senators currently, and have extreme ties to lobbyists, PAC's, etc.) I think she handled herself well, spoke honestly. Yes she dodged some questions, but so did Biden. No, she didn't site as many statistics on votes, etc. as Biden did. But he's been in the Senate for roughly 30 years, and he's been a part of many of the same votes as John McCain, so he has first hand experience and knowledge of McCain's voting record on those issues. I would rather she know where our country needs to go, instead of spending the past 6-8 weeks studying up on voting record.

My point is that even though you might not be in complete agreement with her position, then say you don't want to elect her for what she believes in, or the direction she / McCain wants to take our country in. To say you don't want to elect her because her personality reminds you of George W. is shallow, trite, and I honestly expect more of you.

Maybe you were just venting frustrations in your e-mail. Maybe you REALLY don't want to vote for her because she seems too ordinary, too average, not vice-presidential enough. That I can respectfully disagree with you about. But please, don't lose the standards of objectivity that I've seen you use for making your decisions up until now. If not, how is it any different than not looking deeper than the color of Obama's skin?

Please see the rest of my comments below.


Marie said...

Great reaction, Melissa. I must say, I was a bit deflated when Sarah began to speak, and then I was angry, angry for being "played" over the last two weeks. Talk about lowering expectations--is this how we will campaign now? So much for honesty and getting to know our future leaders, it's all going to be "theater" and we will have to take a chance that our "guts" tell us who is best qualified. "Thanks, but no thanks!"

As for the outcome, I would say Sarah redeemed herself, but that would not have been difficult going from dimwit to scripted dimwit. While she didn't strike out, neither did she hit a home run. She has a way of saying one thing and surrounding it with verbosity so it appears to be broad while it is, in fact, shallow. Sarah did not show breadth of knowledge and like W, she belittles intellect as "elite" "country club" and prefers the colloquial to the intellectual which may work with the Hockey Boosters but won't convince Putin or others to take her or us seriously should ( heaven forbid) she becomes our spokesperson.

It was pointed out by one of the respected pundits (not on FOX) that the next President will have his hands full dealing with our troubled ecomony and we will need a strong VP to handle our foreign relations which have been long-neglected. Can you imagine Sarah, I can't.

How dare John McCain say he puts "Country First" when he picks such an inadequate person to be his/our second in command. The only thing John McCain puts first is his long-postponed desire to be President. Sorry, John, you waited too long. Now aren't you sorry you got down on all fours and licked W's boots for the priviledge of following in his disasterous wake!

Let's hope America is smarter than the Republican candidates. Hear us, O Lord.


Pat Black said...

I love that you include me in your thought travels and wanderings. I wandered too after and during the debate. I don't want the wink either and wonder about the bar set so low. I noticed that I knew when Palin made a firm connection with the people she is after. I said out loud at different times, her people feel affirmed and visible at this moment. I wonder about those people. I wonder what they are like and what in their experience draws them to that bottom feeder, liar, manipulator. My mind says people are just people and our universe of experiences are more similar than different. Why are they comforted, reassured, answered and completed by the likes of Palin or Bush. How can someone stand there and criticize their opponent for their big government spending ways while saying that they want to do it like the current administration, an adminsitration that has increased government spending more than any other administration in this country? Why do I know this, one who never listens to the news nor reads periodicals and others don't? What about my experience has allowed me to question and others not? What do her supporters need to feel secure and full? What do we all need to be able to question our own thinking and what it reveals about how we feel in the world? Could this all boil down to a sense of entitled to versus a gratitude for? Can it be that simple? I have only questions, answers never take form in the fog that I swim through constantly.

Todd said...

My dearest Melissa,

I applaud your ability to put your thoughts to pen...but I need to respond as I am deeply troubled by your negativity.

First and foremost.....the last 8 years have been the biggest spending we have ever seen......and the majority of it wasteful....and I voted for President Bush..this is also not a tome of who I want to be President..but he is still my COUNTRY'S President and I will minimally show him that respect of referring to him as such.....that total lack .....on all sides... to refer to persons as Bush or's right up there with text messaging......when a Nation's language breaks down....that Nation, as a whole, is not far behind......a little decorum to start, please!

IT is this simple, for me...."United we stand....divided we fall!" Forget all of the other crap for a second.....between all of the special interest groups, lobbyists and life long politicians....all espousing THEIR needs, wants and views....we have become a divided Nation....let's all try to remember what these people are supposed to be doing....REPRESENTING THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE! Instead, in my mind's eye, they have made it a CAREER....a CAREER OF SPENDING!..and reaping the benefits!

Really? You really think Osama and Biden want to diminish the capacity of small businesses to create jobs?" they want to?...through TAXING they will....STOP SPENDING!....we won't need to raise taxes! The Federal Government was set up to assist us....not run our lives and give us everything we want! I grew up with a simple but sound principle that ...YOU DON'T BUY IT IF YOU CAN'T PAY FOR IT! I believe this to our entire current financial problem......we are fed such 'garbage' about everyone having a right and being entitled to what everyone else has.....what utter BS....from the corrupt money lenders to the entitled.... Life is not 'FAIR' nor is it a level playing field..we all make choses..perfect went out the door with 'original sin.'

"Really? You really think it's wise to continue spending money in Iraq without any kind of time line or assessment of success?"
A time line would be good as it would effectively give the Government of Iraq a deadline to 'get it together.'...but you do not leave a fight until your certain your enemy is down.

"Really? You really think NOT COMMUNICATING with our enemies is a way to build diplomacy and peace?"
You certainly talk with your enemies to get their 'say' in the matter....I have an Iranian friend who grew up with a geography book that did have ISRAEL on the map...HELLO!....but when it comes to all that this great Nation stands for....Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of do EVERYTHING in your power to make sure that these things never are attacked! That's why we are still great.

"Really? You really think a Democratic president means tax increases that HURT the economy?"
Reference the NOT SPENDING part above.

"Really? You really think setting a time line for troop withdrawal from Iraq is "throwing in a white flag?" REALLY?"
Give me the 'good, old days,' when we had spies and operatives and the US had the quiet resilience of simply TAKING OUT who was upsetting the WORLD'S well as those who wish the USA harm. Imagine....what would this all look like if we would have just gone to Iraq, killed the Hussein regime and be 'done with it!'...yes, I understand the helping on the backside to make sure that you need to make sure that chaos doesn't ensue and that the right people need to be be ready to assume power....but, would we have the mess we're in today?

Personally......knowing what was transpiring 15 -20 years ago.......President Bush #1 and President Clinton failed to 'taking care of' Bin Laden'...when he was in plain sight....Al Qaeda would have been sent realing.

"Really? You really think identifying the core issues of global warming isn't helpful toward preventing future environmental disaster?"
To simply assume that the EXPERTS are correct and ALL climate change is because of the EVIL absurd and quite frankly, pompous.....what, we are now bigger than the Almighty?! We have climate records for what....100+ years....and the earth is how old?....yeah! Do we need to cut down on fossil fuels and look to alternatives...of course...but it has become an Ideology for most. What will they all say, when, it 10+ years, they realize that we are actually at the beginning of a 'cooling down' segment in the Earth's cycle? :)


Thank you for the opportunity to reply to your thoughts....THIS is also another great accomplishment of those that came before the end of the matter what the differences....they pulled together and got it done....not for selfish personal reason but for the common good of the UNITED STATES and for the world.....United we stand....divided we fall!

In hopes for a better Country and World for us and our children,