Oct 08 2008

Time to unload gaffe-prone VP candidate?

Category: Biden,humor,Palinsardonicwhiner @ 9:31 am

Sarah Biden by Victor Davis Hanson. More at the link.

Journalists continue to ask, “What was John McCain thinking in selecting the gaffe-prone Gov. Sarah Palin?”

In what has now become a disturbing pattern, the Alaska governor seems either unable or unwilling to avoid embarrassing statements that are often as untrue as they are outrageous. Recently, for example, in an exclusive interview with news anchor Katie Couric, Palin gushed, “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.’ ” Apparently the former Alaskan beauty queen failed to realize that in 1929 there was neither widespread television nor was Franklin Roosevelt even President.

Holy moley… EVERYBODY knows FDR wasn’t president yet in 1929, and there was no broadcast TV yet. That Sarah…. she’s just a country bumpkin, definitely not ready for prime time.

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8 Responses to “Time to unload gaffe-prone VP candidate?”

  1. Chad says:

    Hey Phil!

    I feel badly about this following comment, as I haven’t commented here before and I often find your posts challenging (in a good way). Polite behavior dictates that I should at least publish a couple of nice comments first. However… I’m not very polite, and this one caught my eye.

    So… here’s the thing. I know off the top of my head that FDR wasn’t president in 1929. I also know that TV wasn’t available until the mid 1950′s. This is knowledge off the top of my head. Also off the top of my head, I can tell you that FDR was elected in 1933 and died in 1945. I can also tell you that he was succeeded by his Vice-President Harry Truman, who brought WW2 to a swift an decisive close with the dropping of the atomic bombs in Japan. I can also tell you that Truman was followed by Dwight Eisenhower, but I’d have to guess on the year he was elected. I believe it was 1952. This is un-wikied information… I’m just riffing here. If I were to just sit and think and write, or even flip on the iChat and start talking, I could give you a basic overview of what happened in America in the 20th century, with a reasonable amount of accuracy regarding dates and technological developments.

    Now… I would make an argument that when it comes to the median base of knowledge of history in this country, especially 20th Century history, that I would rank above average…. let’s say in the 80% range. Yes, granted, if we were to pick a random assortment of everyday folk from around the nation, I would do pretty well in the “Recent US History” category of Jeopardy. I get the point you’re making, that not everyone is walking around with Depression vs. Post WW2 political and technological trivia in their heads, and this alone is not a fair indicator of one’s ability to execute the responsibilities of public office.

    However, as a voter, I believe with 100% certainty that our candidates should be able to run circles around me (or a scholar, for that matter) when it comes to a lucid grasp of American history. I would like to feel dumb when I listen to our leaders speak. I mean that sincerely. I like Sarah Palin. I get why she appeals to people. What alarms me is that, at least as I listen to her talk, that I cannot help but feel that I am a lot smarted than she is. Hear me here… I desperately want to feel that someone who is responsible for the well being of 300 million of my friends and neighbors possesses a brilliant mind. I don’t feel like that’s too much to ask. This is my problem with Dubya as well, and I’ve said it before. If you don’t like playing the game with the media, tough. Welcome to the 21st century. Selling your ideas is, for better or worse, a part of our world. Leaders must rise to any occasion and triumph, or they’re unfit leaders.

    At least when I hear McCain speak, I think: this guy has a deeper grasp of the facts than I do. I don’t love everything that comes out of his mouth, nor do I think his presentation is the most savvy, but I innately recognize that he is a man of intelligence and a grasp of the facts. The bane of my existence is that I love listening to Obama speak, but I disagree with him philosophically on nearly everything he says.

    But it sure sounds purdy.

    Give me a conservative Obama. We deserve better than Palin. Guys like you, and me, and Mike, and everyone else who’s actually trying to figure things out should be raising a howl of protest against Palin, IMO. We need orators. We need Abraham Lincoln. Erica and I caught a clip of Reagan the other night, and… man… we were just so struck at the grace and poise with which he presented himself. It was shocking, really. We had grown accustomed to the inane nature of the 2008 campaign. 30 seconds of Reagan footage reminded us of a better season for the conservative intellect.

  2. Chad says:

    2 things:

    1. I saw the byline and it’s not Harmonic Miner. I didn’t realize other people contributed to your blog, or perhaps you’re having a bit of sport. Either way, if I assumed incorrectly about the origins of this post, sorry. :)

    2. The linked article is a great piece of satire, thanks for sharing it. It was such good satire, in fact, that I was reading it, thinking… this dude has his facts really confused, before it dawned on me that he was suggesting eating the children.

    Remember… I’m like, all smart and stuff.

  3. enharmonic says:

    Lovely, just lovely.

  4. harmonicminer says:

    So, Chad, did you twig that the article was pointing out all of BIDEN’s flubs? And attributing them to Sarah, all tongue in cheek like? And pointing out that people who judge Sarah for her (I think relatively small) flubs have no problem with Biden sounding like a complete idiot…. possibly because he IS one?

    And, just a motivating question: if you’d started out believing that this exact same article had been written, truthfully, about Joe Biden, would your analysis have been the same?

    C’mon…. be honest now.

  5. harmonicminer says:

    And Chad… I’m thrilled you ever visit here, at all. Leave comments anytime, nice or not.

    ;-)

  6. Chad says:

    Well, she did say the FDR thing, right? Once I realized that the article was satire, I went back and checked.

    I don’t love Biden, or Obama for that matter. I tend to be harsher in my criticism of the Republicans right now, because I’m far more aligned with them, philosophically, with a few exceptions. It’s the power of perception that concerns me with McCain and Palin. You’re totally right… Obama and Biden get away with murder because they are better at spinning it.

    But that’s the thing… I want someone from the conservative side to take a more nuanced, articulate stance. I don’t like that Palin panders to… well… not our brightest fellow citizens. That’s a pejorative statement, yes, I realize. It’s just my opinion. I’m really, REALLY ready for our side to get serious about reclaiming the intellectual high ground… so yes, I think I DO criticize them more harshly.

    Meh. I’d still vote for Huckabee.

  7. harmonicminer says:

    Uh, no, actually Biden said the FDR thing, too. It was ALL him, quite literally, just slightly changed enough to sound plausible from the viewpoint of a younger, female candidate. He said it all, at one point or another.

    And yes… it’s frustrating that we don’t have a better communicator, although honestly, I’m still not sure about Palin. I think she may be able to step up and do just fine with just a little more seasoning and experience. She really is new to some of the issues in the campaign, and is simply not in command of all the details, yet she seems to have the right instincts on most things, from my perspective.

    Personally, I think nuance is overrated. Nuance is very often a shield to avoid saying something definite, and checkable. Obama speak: “I’m for nuclear power plants if we can solve the waste disposal problem.” That sounds nuanced, compared to a simple declaration, “We need to build plants as fast as we can, and here’s my target for the next 5 years.” But in that nuance is the way out for him, i.e., he’ll never really be satisfied with any waste disposal plan, or with nuclear waste recycling, because the enviro-left won’t be, and he needs them. So he hasn’t exactly lied, in a legal sense… but he has surely misled, and deliberately so. And that’s exactly what most of what passes for “nuance” in politics is all about.

    And Chad: Obama REALLY panders to… well…. not our brightest fellow citizens. Just as one simple example: He has them thinking that a tax increase on their employers, with a small tax cut to them directly (really a give away for many, many people who pay no income tax at all), is good for them. Like I said elsewhere here, what benefits you more, an annual $1000 “tax cut” from the feds, or a secure job in a growing economy? Especially if you’re in the type of job that is likely to be cut first in a draw-down? You have to be silly to think this is a good deal for you, but there it is.

    Anyway, welcome, and comment away.

  8. Chad says:

    Well… poop.

    The FDR thing was Biden. I want someone to pander to this not-so-bright citizen.

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