The first and only Vice Presidential Debate between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Sarah Palin, unsurprisingly garnered a lot more "hype", if you will, than the first Presidential Debate one week prior. I'll be taking on the task of getting behind that hype.
When I said 'bat-shit crazy' I was referring to Governor Sarah Palin's unflinching belief in creationism, and when I called her 'mind-numbingly inexperienced,' well, her own claim that her Foreign Policy experience comes from Alaska's close proximity to Russia, is testament to that. She doesn't know Iraq from, well, from her rack.
And when I called Senator Joe Biden 'highly qualified' I was referring to his nearly 40 years of public service, as well as his sponsorship of countless Senate Bills.
I think the following video succinctly summarizes how the Debate went, again, for you Palin supporters, Joe Biden's behind the wheel:
If only it had gone that well for Palin. To use that old bon mot: it was a battle of wits and she came unarmed.
Full disclosure time: I am a registered Independent who will be voting for Obama/Biden on November 4th. And I was also originally going to title this post: "V.P. Debate, i.e. How Chiefly Incompetent Sarah Palin is as a Leader and as a Human Being in General".
Sarah Palin has no business being the Vice President of a Girl Scout Troop, let alone the Vice President of the United States of America. Tina Fey, the former Saturday Night Live head writer and perennial Sarah Palin impersonator would make for a better running mate.
Anyone who watched the Debate saw in Sarah Palin a nervous candidate supremely out of her element, like a third grader mistakenly placed in a sixth grade math class. I would say she looked like a deer caught in headlights, save for the fact that she didn't possess half the poise or composure of the deer in the video above. And now I'm just being plain inflammatory. Tough Shit.
Joe Biden's answers were thoughtful, articulate, and detailed. Conversely Sarah Palin's answers were muddled, disjointed, confounding, incompetent, full of party rhetoric, buzz words and talking points, and generally off-topic. Here is just one of countless examples. This one, on the topic of whether a troop surge like the one used in Iraq would work in Afghanistan, in response to Biden's statement that the Commanding General in Afghanistan himself said it would not work:
Well, first, McClellan did not say definitively the surge principles would not work in Afghanistan. Certainly, accounting for different conditions in that different country and conditions are certainly different.
I'm not touching the implication that she thinks recently former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan is now the Commanding General in Afghanistan. I will give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she merely misspoke, despite repeating it a second time. However, WHAT IN THE EVER LOVING FUCK is she talking about?! Did her needle skip? I will say this though, I'm glad she kept mentioning Alaska being an energy producing state, because it didn't really sink in for me until about the seventeenth time I heard it.
Sarah Palin is a Maverick you betcha, she's a Washington Outsider gosh golly. And oh gee, if she isn't just your regular average everyday hockey mom. With all those "you betcha's, oh gee's, and gosh golly's" I felt like I was watching an audition tape for the movie Fargo. Why was she channeling Frances McDormand? Can anybody help me out here? Does she think it's endearing? It's not.
Why, and since when, is being the everywoman a qualification for political office? Sarah Palin brags about being the everywoman. She wears it as a badge of honor. Well let's think back a little...George Bush, Dubya, is the everyman, the guy you want to have a beer with, and look where that's gotten us.
Why are people in this country so afraid of intellectuals? Why is not only the idea of an intellectual, but even the very word a taboo? When it comes to President, I want the smartest person available to run this country, not the most likable. Which isn't to say that Obama and Biden aren't likable, it's to say that they needn't be. I want someone who understands and grasps the intricacies of the Office. I want a World Leader that's better than all the other World Leaders. I want someone that can govern this country both diplomatically and militarily. I don't want the global equivalent of a schoolyard bully. We've had eight years of that, and I've had my fill.
So why did John McCain select Sarah Palin as his Vice President? That's easy: he wanted women voters. But here's the rub Johnny boy, women voters want candidates concerned with women's issues. While logic would dictate that with Sarah Palin being a women and all, she would be one such candidate. Her track record however, speaks to the contrary.
As reported in USA Today, while Sarah Palin was Mayor of Wasilla, rape victims were charged for the cost of evidence gathering rape kits. Let me be clear, unlike the right-wing media (I'm looking at you O'Reilly, not at you O'Biden), I'm not spinning the facts to suit my argument. I don't mean that rape victims were charged for these rape kits through taxes or some such, right along with non-rape victims. I mean that after a woman was raped and had the tenacity to get herself to a hospital, let the doctors use a rape kit on her, for the purpose of gathering evidence for the police and district attorney to identify and convict the perpetrator, this woman was then handed a bill. Or in the cases where her insurance company was billed, she had to pay the deductible. How's that for supporting women's issues?
And let's say that one of these rapes resulted in a pregnancy, gosh gee, isn't that just too bad since Sarah Palin is adamantly opposed to abortion. John McCain would have been better off selecting Joe Biden if he truly wanted a running mate that supported women's issues. Biden authored and passed the Violence Against Women Act, a strong piece of anti-domestic violence legislation. And this, from that same USA Today article I previously mentioned:
Nationally, victims' advocates have for years reported scattered instances of rape victims being required to pay for their forensic tests, says Ilse Knecht of the National Center for Victims of Crime in Washington. Those complaints have subsided somewhat after Congress in 2005 passed a law requiring states to provide rape exams free of charge or reimburse victims for the costs, says Knecht, whose group supported the provision.
"The reason we passed the legislation was that we saw it was prevalent enough to be a pretty considerable problem," Knecht says. "There are no other victims of crime that end up being billed for evidence collection."
The Senate version of the legislation that included the rape-exam provision was sponsored by Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, the Democratic vice presidential nominee. Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama was one of 58 co-sponsors; Republican presidential nominee John McCain was not.
In conclusion, a large reason why we vote for who we vote for whether it be Democrat or Republican, is a belief in their decision making capabilities. By selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain has shown the world that his decision making capabilities are at worst non-existent, and at best highly questionable. John McCain is no spring chicken, and quite frankly, there is a very real possibility that he might not survive his first term if elected. Thus we must ask ourselves, would we want Sarah "Hockey Mom" Palin running the country? I sure wouldn't. On the other hand, Barack Obama's selection of Joe Biden has to be lauded. Joe Biden is without question as suited to the task of the Presidency as Barack Obama. Take another look at the Debate. Biden even looked Presidential, whereas Sarah Palin looked like she accidentally wandered onstage while looking for the ladies room. Biden is a person I want having the ear of the President, unlike Palin, who's greatest accomplishment will be advising McCain on which is the best snow "machine" to buy.