Friday, October 03, 2008

Debate Aftermath

Dick Morris to Alan Colmes:
"Is it that you can't think, or that you only know how to read those talking points?"
I have waited, so long, for someone to say that to Alan Colmes. I try to never watch his show (Hannity, also, on air with Colmes, is better avoided). Yet, sometimes, I skim through it - as if touching something hot. Colmes on-air, rote readings of Dem Natl Committee pap do not cease to amaze. Why is he on the air? He is a reader of fiction - and boring fiction at that. Kirsten Powers, for instance, is liberal, demonstrates reason, and is beautiful. Put her in the chair. And put Megyn Kelly in Hannity's chair. Exile both Hannity and Colmes to radio. Let them be apart from each other, and therefore regain their bearings.

Or, if the show is merely about on-air readings of Dem and Repub talking points: bring in professional readers who are more beautiful and euphonious. I suggest anyone who ever played a Harrison Ford love interest:


In real life, none of those women would sleep with Harrison Ford, except:

Update: longer and better Dick Morris video. The good stuff is between 2:00 and 3:15.

If you missed it, Peggy Noonan describing Palin: "She killed."

Final 5 seconds:

Noonan: "She killed."
Brian Williams: "On the other hand...."

Brian Williams' response personifies the sickness of media. It was commonsense obvious Palin killed - especially during the first half hour, which is also when viewership was highest. Williams could've taken a moment to acknowledge and comment on that. But: no. Williams' worldview, his skewed perception, his heart all conspired in favor of a fantasy result. Williams could not see what every plumber and electrician in America saw. Instead, Williams rushed into: "On the other hand...."

Debate stuff:

I thought Biden did about as well as Biden could've done. It wasn't that Sen. Biden was bad, but rather that Gov. Palin connected with Americans in exceptional fashion. Again: "Reaganesque" best captures what she did. Noonan, in today's WSJ:
The whole debate was about Sarah Palin. She is not a person of thought but of action. Interviews are about thinking, about reflecting, marshaling data and integrating it into an answer. Debates are more active, more propelled—they are thrust and parry. They are for campaigners. She is a campaigner. Her syntax did not hold, but her magnetism did. At one point she literally winked at the nation.

As far as Mrs. Palin was concerned, Gwen Ifill was not there, and Joe Biden was not there. Sarah and the camera were there. This was classic "talk over the heads of the media straight to the people," and it is a long time since I've seen it done so well, though so transparently. There were moments when she seemed to be doing an infomercial pitch for charm in politics. But it was an effective infomercial.

Joe Biden seems to have walked in thinking that she was an idiot and that he only had to patiently wait for this fact to reveal itself. This was a miscalculation.
Exactly so. She is not Sarah the cerebral and contemplative. She is Sarahcuda.

When Sarahcuda gets in a rhythm: she's got a touch of arrogance. She's like an athlete who knows things are going well, and who unconsciously demonstrates that with an extra bit of strut in his stalk. It's a man-at-his-best kind of thing, and it's actually wonderful to see in anyone who is performing and accomplishing. Thank God for it. Without it, Governor Palin would never have accomplished what she has. She knows she has a certain special something that not everyone has. She knows it. That knowledge is what carries her through to great things.

When you have a certain special something: to deny it, to hide it, is false. Be who you truly are.

Back to Debate:

I've read opinions that Biden won on technical points. I respect those opinions, yet I disagree, and here's why: Biden blatantly lied maybe 10 times. Blatantly. Not even arguable. Most public discourse "lies" are at least arguable as truth. Biden's were not. I don't believe blatant lies should be counted as part of a "victory based on technical points".

As an example - and this was maybe the least of Biden's blatant lies: Palin pointed to Barack's public promise to vote to fund troops in Iraq; to Barack's subsequent breaking of that promise; and to Biden's own Dem Debate criticism of Barack for breaking his promise. This is undeniable historic record.

Biden then energetically stated McCain also voted against funding troops in Iraq. When Palin reemphasized Barack's breaking of his public promise, Biden restated his McCain assertion with even more energy.

McCain -- as war-funding bills containing non-war-related riders were procedurally shaped on the Senate floor -- did cast votes this way or that way. However, on the final vote of every funding bill: McCain voted yea. Barack cast - in the middle of an election cycle, with all eyes on him - a notable nay vote. Commonsense Americans, given that evidence, would certainly say Biden lied. We ought not award technical debate points for lies.

To me, Biden's most blatant lie was "the U.S. and France threw Hezbollah out of Lebanon." And this came in his supposed area of expertise: foreign policy. Hezbollah never budged from Lebanon, and is stockpiling missiles as we speak. This is an example of Washington D.C. experience not amounting to either wisdom or forthrightness. Ed Morrissey: "The Mother of All Gaffes". Michael Totten:
Biden said the strangest and most ill-informed thing I have ever heard about Lebanon in my life. [...] Nobody – nobody – has ever kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon. Not the United States. Not France. Not Israel. And not the Lebanese. Nobody.
Another point about claims of technical victory for Biden: technical victory wasn't the point. Winning votes was the point. To do so, Palin had to overcome Gwen Ifill. Ifill never asked a question in Palin's strongest area: energy policy. Palin had to take the conversation to energy policy on her own - and while there she scored good points with voters - which never would've happened if Palin had strictly adhered to Ifill's preferred topics.

Ifill never asked about gun control - a weak and touchy topic for Barack.

Ifill never asked about abortion - a weak topic for Barack, due to
1) his support for partial birth abortion and
2) his one time opposition to mandating medical care for babies who survive the abortion process.

Ifill never asked about earmarks - a weak and touchy topic for both Barack and Biden.

Ifill's second question: "How would you reduce polarization in Washington?" came straight from Barack's campaign theme: "Yes We Can ... bring this nation together!" You'd think the sheer stupidity of the trope would dissuade a professional from wasting a question on the subject. Palin rightly ignored the question. The nation
1) will not come together through the magic of Barack's mediation
2) would not be better off rallying around Barack's same old liberal policies.

neoneocon: Palin clutch under pressure due to heritage of athletic competition

Viva Title IX!

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