Joe Biden totally whupped Sarah Palin’s “Joe Six-Pack” ASS last night, and I loved every freaking moment of it. She was everything I hoped she would(n’t) be, and MORE.
Biden made all of his points brilliantly.
First of all, here’s why I thought Joe Biden rocked the casbah: the main complaint against him so far is that he doesn’t show enough discipline. In last night’s debate, however, he was even-keeled, respectful, diplomatic, and he toed the party line. I also appreciate that he actually answered every question put to him, by the moderator or by Palin, in an intelligent, reasoned manner that typically included a bullet-point breakdown. He didn’t give anyone room to say he treated Palin as less than an equal due to her inexperience, her lack of a capitol hill job, or her sex – something I give him major props for. If I’d been on a stage with that buzz-word spewing, self-proclaimed bulldog, I would NOT have been able to keep a straight face. Biden came across as charming, highly informed and educated, explanatory in a way that wasn’t condescending (something Barack needs to work on), and as a real person. The last part was particularly crucial in an election that has become completely about the personal narrative and relatability of the candidates (thanks, Republicans. Issues and policy are definitely not more important, right?).
He even managed to have an extremely poignant moment where he described his experience raising children by himself after the death of his first wife and daughter, and it was honest. He got a little choked up, and so did we. Most importantly, it didn’t ring of political pandering, the way Palin’s seriously unfortunate use of her son Trig does.
She doesn't even LIKE Trig. It's pretty clear her pregnant 17-year old daughter Bristol is going to be raising this child.
Also, as a bisexual woman, I really appreciated Biden clearly stating that he would fight for gay couples to have all the same constitutional rights as straight couples, including rights of ownership, property, insurance, inheritance, and hospital visitation. Thank you!
Biden & Palin, at the 10/4/08 Vice Presidential Debate @ Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
Lastly, I enjoyed the fact that Joe Biden didn’t try and mold himself into a double of Barack Obama. He clearly has his own voice, his own opinion, and his own judgements – none of which makes him a “maverick” (God, I’m so sick of that word), it just makes him a good leader and a good politician. He pointed out that, where it matters – on the major issues, he an Obama are in agreement. He also mentioned that Barack chose him in part because he thinks healthy debate leads to more reasoned and effective leadership and legislation.
Now to Sarah Palin’s performance. The following were some of my favorite moments in last night’s debate:
- Palin clearly memorized her answers, but obviously not enough of them. The entire debate she “answered” every question by saying something short and sweet like, “Well, I take issue with that,” and then backtracking immediately to energy policy, troops in Iraq, or tax cuts – the three things her people had drilled mercilessly into that narrow little mind of hers. About 20 mintues into the debate, Biden actually called her on not answering any of the questions (I believe they were talking about health care), to which she promptly…DIDN’T ANSWER THE QUESTION. AGAIN. I was flabbergasted.
- She was the queen of buzzwords. My roommates and I tried to take a drink every time she said any of the following words, but realized after about 5 minutes that we’d soon be too sloshed to understand the rest of the debate: fear, patriotism, John McCain, John McCain, heating up the economy, tax cuts, what’s good for the American people, around the kitchen table, we must win the war, win, fear, security, war, John McCain, maverick, energy sources in my state, fear, patriotism, John McCain, security.
- When asked, “What promises are you going to have to go back on since the event of the $700 billion dollar bail-out plan?”, Palin answered, “Well, I’ve only been at this about three weeks. I haven’t made many promises to go back on. What I will promise is to do what’s right for the American people.” What garbage. Also, way to point out that you have roughly three weeks of experience.
- When asked if she would have voted along with McCain, two years ago, to make it more difficult for average Americans to declare bankruptcy and get out from under the strain of their impossible mortgages, she said, “Well, yes, but lots of things have changed in the past three weeks.” Did it occur to anyone that if they had thought about these things two years ago, we might not BE IN the current financial crisis? HELLO!
- When asked about the causes and solution of global warming, she babbled something to the effect of, “I don’t want to argue about the causes of it…I’m not someone to blame every activity of man..man’s activity…but how we’re going to positively change the impacts of change.” It was SUCH a run-around that it was unbelievable. She was toeing the party line hardcore, taking the typical Republican stance of, “It’s my GOD-GIVEN right as a HUMAN BEING to do WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANT TO, whether that involves aerosol, hummers, drilling in the Alaskan wilderness, or shooting my friends in the face.” When it was Biden’s turn to respond, he went right for the throat with one simple sentence: “If you don’t understand the cause of something, it’s virtually impossible to find the solution. MAN is the cause.” Brilliant.
No seriously. This could be our next VP.
- Palin literally said that the “chant we hear all over the country is ‘drill, baby, drill!”, because people are “so hungry to tap into those alternative energy sources.” I’m pretty sure off-shore drilling and drilling in the Alaskan wilderness are not what people are talking about when they refer to “alternative energy souces”. I’m pretty sure they mean wind power, solar power, nuclear power, and better fuel alternatives. Drill, baby, drill!? REALLY!!?
- Palin blatantly said, pandering to the fundamentalists who are the foundation of her party, that she is against gay marraige. Hilariously enough, when trying to say she’s tolerant of people making their own choices, she actually said, “I’ll be anything but tolerant of adults in America choosing who they want to be with.” Lol. Freudian slip, much?
- She harped endlessly on our need to win in Iraq. Here’s my question: WIN WHAT? Can any of you think of what the Iraqi uniform looks like? Oh right, we’re not fighting THEM, we’re fighting “terrorists”. The whole thing is such a gigantic load of stinking crap it makes me sick to my stomach. We’re just killing their people and creating a breeding ground for fundamentalism. It is, after all, what we’re good at. Look at our own country!
- While we’re on the subject, I’m really tired about hearing how Barack Obama “voted against funding for the troops”, like that’s some definitive proof he’s anti-American. John McCain ALSO voted against funding for the troops, as Joe Biden pointed out. The only difference was that one bill had a timeline for withdrawl from Iraq (the one Barack voted for), and one of them didn’t (the one McCain voted for). So SHUT UP about it already, for the love of Christ.
- She really did say NUCULER. A lot. She repeated it over and over. The bitch doesn’t know what she’s TALKING ABOUT!
- Does anyone know who AHCKmadinejad is? OH…was she talking about Mamoud Ahmadinejad, the current president of the Islamic Republic of Iran? *sigh* She also spoke to the threat that Afghanistan is currently posing, saying one way she would combat the issue is by “building our embassy in Israel”. Yeah, since that’s definitely going to make everything better. She is so uninformed! Isn’t anyone concerned about her being a hop, skip, and a heartbeat away from running our country? ANYONE?!
Mamoud Ahmadinejad, controversially speaking at Columbia University in NYC on 9/24/07.
- When asked about her foreign policy experience (other than the fact that she can “see Russia from where she lives”), Palin basically said, “well I had a great discussion with Henry Kissinger the other day.” You can’t have foreign policy experince by proxy, Sarah. It doesn’t work that way.
- When discussing the current state of economy, and responding to Biden’s (accurate) claim that much of the issue is the result of Bush – and McCain’s – consistent policy of deregulation, Palin said, “Well, for a campaign that says they’re about change, there just seems to be an awful lot of finger-pointing backwards. That’s not going to help. But change is coming! WE’RE going to do what’s right for the American people!” (the last bit is a paraphrase…I didn’t get every single word). She always speaks as if she’s addressing a 5th grade class! Admittedly, that’s probably a brilliant tactic considering the intelligence and education of most of America, but STILL. She doesn’t even try to raise the level of discourse in her country. She propogates the mediocracy. Biden wisely responded to that load of gibberish by saying, “Past is prologue,” and we need to understand what went wrong in order to be able to move forward.
- She really did a SHOUT-OUT. No seriously, in the most somber of forums, she did a mf SHOUT-OUT. I couldn’t believe it.
See? I'm winking! Don't you love me? Don't you wish I was sitting at YOUR kitchen table?
- When asked by the moderator if she agreed with Dick Cheney that the Vice President is not part of the Executive Branch and is instead powerful in its own right, she said she was “grateful that the constitution allows the vice president more power if that person wants it.” Um, NO IT DOESN’T. Biden promptly corrected her, pointing out that the constitution clearly limits the vice president’s power to voting in case of a tie, and only then. Other than that, the vp’s role is to advise the president on policy when advice is sought. I can’t BELIEVE she AGREED with Dick Cheney!
- She described the supporters of McCain/Palin as having “a diverse background of policy and partisanship.” Ha! SOMEONE GET THIS WOMAN A DICTIONARY, and PRONTO!
In any case, I sincerely hope Americans can get back on track about what presidents and vice presidents should be. Admittedly, I’m not the authority on this topic. I do, however, know that I don’t want a vice president who is, as Mrs. Palin describes herself, “a Joe six-pack Amercian”. I don’t want someone who can pronounce neither foreign leaders’ names nor the NUCLEAR weapons their countries are currently working to produce. I don’t CARE if I can relate to them! I want someone who is articulate, and a leader. Someone who is well-educated, understands diplomacy and debate, who is well-informed. Someone who understands that foreign policy experience is about more than physical proximity to a foreign country.
Basically, I want Barack Obama and Joe Biden.