Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pre-Palin-Biden Debate Theory


Watching Joe Biden and Sarah Palin talk about the Supreme Court, a thought struck me that might make the basis of a pretty good conspiracy theory. It's now clear that McCain's pick was not very well thought out. In fact, it seems clear that he picked his running mate as a PR stunt. McCain can't really have cared how good a vice president she would make, and certainly had not given any thought to how she might do as president. It just seemed like "the ticket" somehow. A way to win the race. At the time, a way to get through the next couple of months.

By contrast, Obama might have been a bit worried about how well Biden would "play" in the campaign. Would he stay on message? Would they look good together? How many gaffes would he make? But there is no doubt that Biden will make an excellent vice president. He can also do a good job as president.

It's interesting, actually. There may be reasons he could never get himself elected, but if he should be needed to step in, I don't think anybody really doubts his judgment. And after serving in an Obama administration for eight years, his electability could change. There's a critique of democracy implicit in that fact: being the right guy for the job may only be tangentially related to your electability. Biden proves that point in one direction. Palin may prove it in the other.

Or she may not even come close. And that brings me to my conspiracy theory. Trust in politicians, pundits like to say, is at an all time low. In fact, nobody really knows how to take politics seriously. ("Jon Stewart is a America's greatest journalist.") Obama offers hope that politics can be serious stuff, full of gravitas, real leadership, etc. But there's a part of all of us, I suspect, that doubts, sometimes, whether Obama is really any different than all the other politicians we don't, finally, trust. Just as there is a part of us that Obama, sometimes, brings to tears.

Enter Palin. When the American electorate chooses Obama and Biden over McCain and Palin they will do so conscious of what they did NOT want. They have an opportunity to have a serious politician in the White House and to reject an obvious show pony.

Watching Biden and Palin talk made me realize that I think Biden is an intelligent, serious, knowledgeable, politician. I believe him when he says he talks to conservative scholars who are friends of his. Because he's a serious person. He's interested in culture. He's not just a lazy, lying, bag of scum. An Obama-Biden administration will be trusted. It will be the Camelot that Kennedy never had a chance to prove he couldn't run.

If I were pulling the strings behind the scenes, my aim for the 2009-2017 administration would be that it restores trust in Washington. In fact, by rejecting the bailout, Congress has also won a bit trust from me (not that my trust matters). They said a lot of sensible, honest things along the way. They're showing character, seriousness. It would break my heart to discover that all this was just for show, that my favourable reaction to Biden was carefully constructed in some back room and that the Palin pick was all part of the plan.

13 comments:

Kirby Olson said...

Thomas, are you an American citizen or a Danish citizen?

Where do you vote?

Will you be able to watch the debate there this evening?

Palin was in the cards for at least a year, and conservative groups were talking about her as the obvious choice for at least that long.

She enjoys the highest favorable rating of any US governor.

She will be fine.

She's an outsider.

Obama is part of the big Chicago machine.

Biden is part of the East Coast liberal establishment.

Palin will change things.

She will put the picture of a moose on the nickel, ousting Jefferson.

And you'll get Tina Fey in the bargain!

For many people, this election will be about getting the first woman into the top office in the land.

For me, it's about getting the moose on to the nickel.

Thomas Basbøll said...

I'm planning to stay up til 3:00 AM (when the debate starts). I'm not a US citizen. I vote here. But this is all very exciting, sort of.

I'm assuming that governors are rated according to approvals in their constituencies. I imagine Alaskas governor often has a pretty high approval rating compared to other (more populous, and more complex) states.

Many women are openly embarrassed about Palin.

There's a caribou on the Canadian quarter. Maybe you should move there?

"She will be fine." We need to quantify that. Will she do as well as she with Couric? Or does "fine" demand better than that? I'd would say it does.

Anonymous said...

Palin went to 6 different colleges. Not because she was so brilliant, but because she couldn't keep up with the curriculum.

She has a very small world view. That's painfully obvious from the recent interviews (and the fact that she has avoided the press like the plague.

She can talk about Alaska and ANWAR without any problem, but anything south of the 49th parallel is a stretch for her. Not that we should be surprised... She lives in Alaska for Pete's sake.

It's gotten so bad that there's even a Sarah Palin Quote Generator that parodies her talking style. It's a crime that she has come down to the lower 48 states. She needs to go back to Alaska and continue doing the fine job of governing Alaskans.

Bill Knott said...

. . .someone in the mccain campaign can call their contact at the Heritage foundation to call their cut-out at the CIA to call their black ops agent to

kidnap a moslem student at the University of Ohio and dope him down, stick him into a truck full of explosives and remote control drive smash it into a big mall window (have your hackers fill the kid's facebook with jihad rants). . .

maccain and unable will win by 20 if that happens as your "october surprise"

you think they won't do something like that if they have to?

or they've already stole it in the computers at the ballot ...

remember Stalin: it isn't who votes that counts, it's who counts the votes . . .

mccain has already won; the fix is in . . . it's a done deal

Bill Knott said...

fucking poets read too much poetry and not enough conspiracy novels———

oh, the cia don't do stuff like that??

look at this:

FBI Prevents Agents from Telling 'Truth' About 9/11 on PBS
Jeff Stein at Congressional Quarterly, October 1, 2008:

The FBI has blocked two of its veteran counterterrorism agents from going public with accusations that the CIA deliberately withheld crucial intelligence before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Bryant Arms said...

Palin had all of the advantages going into this debate. The public has low expectations of her, so it was going to be easy to impress them. She also knew that neither the moderator or Biden could attack her. Biden would look like a bully picking on a vulnerable woman while the moderator would be accused of favoritism since she has published a relatively favorable book about Obama. The only thing Palin has needed to do was rehearse how to bring up a canned attack against Biden at every possible opportunity.

Biden can only grin and bear it like a man being slapped by a girl.

Oh, and did anyone else notice Palin's butt? I couldn't help noticing due to the frequent 'backside' views offered by the cameras. That was very considerate of the media.

Thomas Basbøll said...

Bill: If they win, your theory has a lot going for it. I've read Greg Palast and Bobby Kennedy, Jr. on election fraud, and it's pretty convincing stuff. In this case, though, it just seems like it would be too obvious. Why put together such a dubious ticket? Why not put together a reasonable ticket and then steal the election for them?

On my theory (which I'm not, of course, at all really proposing right now) the election might even be stolen (by the same shady characters) for Obama.

The aim is to have a credible White House while some nasty things (having to do with foreign debt, it would seem) go down. The next eight years need an instant injection of confidence in the office of the president or the country is going to come apart.

Thomas Basbøll said...

PS Ezra Pound's Canto's are a conspiracy novel. And a pretty good one.

Kirby Olson said...

Palin creamed Biden, I think, in spite of all the dance about how she's a moron.

She understands -- unlike poets -- the world of business.

Poetry isn't a business, or even the parody of a business.

It's just self-absorption.

Fox had a story on this morning about how the homeless can vote without any identification at all, so you're getting votes from the likes of Bullwinkle, I suppose in reference to the moose.

I suppose 2000 will now haunt all of us, and people will feel that they should just steal the election by any means necessary.

It's sad, sort of. We started off with dimpled chads and will end up like Chad, with dimples as an afterthought.

Thomas Basbøll said...

Nobody creamed anybody, Kirby. (That would have taken a pie.)

I really don't think there's anyway of defending either Palin or McCain's selection of her. She's just not competent.

It doesn't matter if she can run a business. The life of a nation is a not a business. Government is not business. Even fascists understand the difference.

Individual voter fraud is not a problem. It's systemic fraud that you should be worried about.

Kirby Olson said...

There was a group run by a man named Lund on Fox who is a Democratic pollster. He has a group of independents. They watched the debate and they all thought Palin won hands down. There were about 50 of them.

That's what I was referring to.

The media is trying to look the other way, but this was a landslide victory for Palin. She connected, and McCain's future will stop sliding as of today.

We'll see it in the bounce.

But of course this coming Tuesday there will be another contest between McCain and Obama.

McCain will get better and better.

When they get to immigration, McCain is going to cream Obama.

Not necessarily in finesse, but in terms of massive voter approval.

Only the clueless and independently wealthy don't want some kind of immigration reform. It's going to be a sea change.

Or so I think.

The problem iwth Obama and the Democrats is that they can't set any kind of limits. They want tolerance, tolerance, tolerance.

It's intolerable.

The government has to set limits.

It's what the government does, for heaven's sake.

Thomas Basbøll said...

Well, there are other ideas about what gov't is for. I like Pound's "public convenience" approach to gov't.

Gov't should patrol the borders and manage the money suply.

I think you're right that that makes immigration an issue. And I have to admit that "liberals" have a hard time making their case.

But it's important to keep in mind that the president can't change very many things. The US needs immigrants (apparently it even needs illegal ones!).

So the most important difference is the attitude that immigrants face.

That's how I look at in Denmark. It's not just about "how many foreigners we're letting into the country" but the tone we use when talking about the presence of foreigneres. And here liberal tolerance seems to me to be preferable to conservative contempt.

Kirby Olson said...

I wrote a long piece about the difference between the Democratic and Republican platforms on my blog today.

Republicans are not at all contemptuous of foreigners. They openly support Tibet, dissident Cubans, and many others who have been stomped on by the contemptuous totalitarians of communism.

Democrats are all over the place on this issue, and therefore, no place at all.

Republicans simply believe that there should be clear rules, and we should follow them, especially now that terrorists are really trying to get in here, and have been known to be here.

We have to be careful, if we don't want another 9/11.

At any rate, I think Republicans like all kinds of people, all races, all genders, so long as they support liberal democracy and are willing to work for a living and not get in trouble with the law.