Thursday, October 02, 2008

Vice Presidential Debate

I watched most of this debate last night, which I think was far more engaging, informative and entertaining then the presidential debate of last week. I missed a few segments here and there because I was working with a high school class to build a robot, so when they needed some instruction I was somewhat distracted.
Nevertheless, I managed to take 4 sheets of notes and transcribe my thoughts. But as I'm lazy and my stream of consciousness may not interest you, I'm posting my condensed version.

Before the debate started, one of the talking heads on CNN said he's noticing a sentiment from Americans, which is best summed up as "Damn those idiots in Washington!". I concur.

Glen Iffle will be moderating, and she did well. It still amuses me they decide the order of debate with a coin toss, but if its good enough for the Superbowl, why not a presidential debate?
And I think there was a Freudian slip here on the House vote on the Emergency Socialist act.

Ok, an issue I'd like to address that comes up every election cycle, 'polarization'. Those who are ignorant of history and naive in all aspects of ideology can almost be excused for wilting away from politics because of its Parisian nature. But the rest of the world, people who hold informed opinions and perhaps even a grasp of history, realize this is one of the least polarized points of time in our history. So can we stop talking about our political reality as if its in bad shape?

Friend's comment when Biden begins to speak: "We went to hell in a handbasket when the democrats took over. So shut up!"

On the economic issue, both fail miserably. At least Biden kept to the same track, and consistently called for one thing: More government oversight, and more taxes on corporations.
Palin wandered far and wide from answering these questions, calling for both more government and less at the same time, while bragging about raising taxes and calling for less taxes, even going so far as to state "Darn right we need tax breaks!".
Baffling and inept on this topic, not because of the call for a tax cut, but for the pride she takes in the tax on success in Alaska.

I'm also tired of hearing the Median American income is $42k. It is $50k.

So here's something that doesn't need clarifying, but I will anyways. You raise taxes on corporations, you raise taxes on me. I pay corporate taxes, as a customer.

Biden did a smack down on Palin and Mac's health care plan. Brilliantly set up and executed.

They repeated the question, what needs to be sacrificed from your administration in light of the new deficit spending, and Biden nukes his tax cuts. Decent, if wrong answer. Palin wonders over to energy policy and nicely dodges the question.

On Iraq, its the same. Republicans will win. Democrats will leave and loose.
Palin did a tidy job of scorching Biden for his floppy record and scathing remarks towards Obama earlier in this election.

On the subject of Israel, Palin was weak and largely noncommittal.
Biden on the other hand, was as forceful, emphatic, and decisive as one can be. Both rebuking the heinous "Abject Faliure" of the W administration, and laying his own plan on the table, it was clear who of the two VPs knew this area of foreign policy.
Palin retorts with much fire but little substance, and then promptly returns to mocking Obama. Thats the kind of change we need... Which is what Biden fires back with.

Bosnia? Really??

Then we enter the morass of political records on the War on Terror, where Biden says he didn't vote for the war when he did. Palin tries ineffectively to label Biden as John F Kerry, says she watched the democrat primary debates, and then starts on energy policy again.

Biden says when a country commits genocide, it looses its sovereignty. Not a bad thought.

Biden brings up the Office. Er, Scranton, his home town. A lot as the night winds down.

After some lame joke chatter, the debate ends. Solid closing remarks by Palin, and decent by Biden.
Then Palin keeps talking! "Thank You" shouted like 8 times! There is no real reason for that.

On the whole, Biden took the night on topics, debate points, substance and experience.
But watching it, I got the feeling Palin just didn't care about what she did or didn't know, and was just there to smile and toss out references to elementary schools. Judging from the polls, that's all Americans want anyways. A pretty face who likes kids and can talk with a back country accent and bravado, despite a crater of inexperience and phenomenal devotion to two topics, Joe Six-Pack and energy policy.


Michelle said...

Sorry you don't like the approach of a common person running for office. She is a quick study who acts on her beliefs instead pontificating on her knowledge.
Americans are sick and tired of the our elected officials acting as though they are better then us because they are educated and in office. They seem to forget why they are there and who put them there.
Yes, Biden does have a grasp of the issues, after 35 years he ought to. I found it interesting that he was so proud of the one area where he has changed his belief system, in the confirmation of judges. He was proud of the battle that he led againt Robert Bork. It is nice that he reminded us that he is founder of this movement of partison politics in the confirmation of justices in which the Dems have provided for themselves the opportunity to legislate from the bench.

Solameanie said...

I actually thought Sarah did better than most expected her to do. I'd call the "debate" pretty even.

The reason I put "debate" in quotes is that these are not debates. They are glorified press conferences. If you really want to see candidates' noses put to the grindstone, let them do a real debate i.e. Lincoln/Douglas, where they are are actually engaging one another without a news commentator to guide things. They have time to deal with issues in substance instead of sound bites.

I realize our current generation has the attention span of a fly on the windshield, but maybe we'd better learn to focus and pay attention. It's important.

jacob.thrasher said...

I'd have to say I agree with your analysis... I would add that Sarah Palin tends to come across as shrill, presumably to make up for her lack of experience. Upon watching the debate, I would be afraid of what would happen should she end up as president (God forbid).

But then, the way things stand, I expect Obama to win in November. Not saying I want that, just that it's what I expect.

Daweed said...

Biden is now from dunder mifllen scranton branch. lol

BCBC Friend said...

It seems like your a priori bias against Sarah Palin shows through loud and clear in this ramble of a post. It is hard to conceive why someone with the gravitas and objective track record of Governor Palin would be conceived in the manner you did in this post. Senator Biden has a long track record of mischief in our nation's Senate, and deserves the ire of those who are freedom lovers, not to mention those who are concerned about the encroaching krytocracy form of government that Biden has promoted during his tenure. If pushing back ignorance is what is intended by the blog, this post seems to do exactly the opposite, falling in line with the status quo hubris while passing over the present day opportunity to clarify our convictions and return to the ideas that inspired this nation's greatness.

Palm boy said...

Michelle, I agree. Washington has become arrogant and pretends to be above the reach of the electorate. I just don't believe in Palin or the hyperbole surrounding her, and doubt she'll have any effect in Washington if elected on Mac's ticket.

As for Biden's actions in the Bork hearings, here's a different take on his actions.

Joel: Glorified press conferences indeed. But ones with enormous publicity and viewership.
Don't give up on us yet, there are still politically involved youngin's. :D

Jacob, her voice is not the best part of her presentation by any means, but I figure that can be improved. Hilary was shrill for a while too.
I don't think Obama will win, but thats an analysis I'll make closer to election.

David, he sells paper. :D

BCBC, thanks for commenting.
I have yet to actually wittness any gravitas from Palin. Her speech at the convention was little but a series of push button applause lines repeating the campaign platform. Her interviews since then have been underwhelming, and her stalwart refusal to answer the questions posed to her at the debate does little to endear her to me as a vice presidential contender.

Biden is indeed part of the establishment, and a functional part of some of the worst senates in memory. Nevertheless, he is far more qualified as a candidate for vice president then Sarah Palin, and I believe that debate demonstrated his grasp of foreign policy to be superior to that of Palin, and at least a predictable economic policy.

This blog is a presentation of the news and historical context, with my opinion and analysis to make things interesting, and with some anecdotal stories about myself from time to time.

I firmly believe in the content and my opinion of this post, if it were not so, I would not have posted it. I believe the hubris of the current news cycle has taken a vicious turn towards celebrity news reporting. In light of that, Palin is the current darling, if not in cheeriness of coverage, then in the undue quantity of reporting given.
Her failure to answer straight, non-biased and simple questions on a national forum has been glossed over because she's a woman who can say 'doggone it, Joe'.
That is not a good place to be, nor is it an accurate representation of what occurred. So I'm posting what I saw happen, and how I think the night went down.
Thanks for reading, and more importantly, commenting! :D

Anonymous said...

The future of this nation is ultimately in the hands of our God. Will He choose this as the time to judge America or will He stay His hand a little longer. I know that I am safe in the shadow of His wings? It may be that He will stay His hand just a little longer. Would that come in the answer of McCain/Palin? In your eyes, I think not. It certainly will not happen through Obama/Biden. Palin may not be the smartest cookie out there. I do however remember many occasions in the Word when God took the foolish things of this world to confound the "wise". What education/training did Peter have? Moses very possibly had a speech impediment. The angels first appeared the lowly shepherds and Christ Himself was born among the dumb animals. The who purported to be "wise" were the very one who could NOT see, yet the humble fishermen, tax collectors and harlots were the ones who often saw first. I am not in any way comparing Palin to Christ as many of the Obama fans have been so quick to do of him. I am simply saying that sometimes the most effective strategies are those that come from the unexpected, the ones who see life differently than the status quo politico. She is ordinary. We are ordinary. We relate because there is a kindredness there. She is willing to be used by the Lord in this position and to sacrifice much more than we can comprehend for this relatively unimportant position (which could potentially become important).

I'm not a debater and I am writing this in a hurry, but remember God has His plan in all this. Don't be so cynical that He is left out of the picture. I was once a young cynic, too. A pastor lovingly, but piercingly reminded me that my cynicism stemmed from an arrogant and rebellious attitude. He encouraged me to stop and think more carefully before my cynicism infected others unnecessarily.

From a friend who cares for and believes in you a great deal.

Anonymous said...

There was not supposed to be a question mark after "shadow of His wings". So much for proof reading!

Palm boy said...

Anon, thanks for dropping in.
I don't consider myself a cynic, I'm generally an optimist. If you've only been around the past 2 weeks, then there is not much positive reading.
It is true that God has used the weak in the past, but that is hardly any reason to us to search out the weak and put them in positions of power and then pray God uses them.

No, I still think our best option is having the most qualified and capable leader in the office.
Ordinary is fine and dandy, but as I've been saying, ordinary without any knowledge or experience is not what we need.