The pit-bull is off the leash

Sarah Palin continues to infuriate and trouble progressive bloggers in Australia. The Vice Presidential debate and her weekend attack on Barack Obama over William Ayers has brought swift responses.

Duckpond is not only concerned with the way Palin is being stage-managed but also what it says about John McCain:

Palin is the ultimate puppet. Lies do not matter to her. She seems to be without compassion. As for intelligence and knowledge – who knows? She is so bizarrely unqualified on any grounds I can think of, as to make her irrelevant.

She is not the joke. McCain is the joke. The odds of McCain-Palin winning the presidential election are less than 50%, but what a disaster it would be if they were successful. The past eight years of madness will seem like a period of comparative sanity.

Before the VP debate Kim reflected at Larvatus Prodeo on the increasingly odd nature of the presidential race:

… in this increasingly bizarre campaign which in true postmodern style seems to have as fictive a relationship to the real world as all that fictitious capital swirling around Wall Street waiting for the government to buy it, who knows what lies ahead, or even what lies lie ahead.

Welcome to the Palindrome!

As the William Ayers attack shows, lies and smears are well and truly here, with Sarah Palin’s increasing role as head-kicker. It’s ironic that she can’t be attacked for her personal or political record. The pit-bull is off the leash!

Simon Jackman,  Australian political scientist currently at Stanford University, called the debate a tie at first:

Everyone was expecting a train wreck: she wasn’t that.
Upon a little post-interview reflection, the unrelenting, content-free vacuity of her answers might have been the more useful thing to point to. My surmise is that she was coached to the point where she could get over the line in terms of filling the 90-120 seconds in response to fairly predictable questions, giving her a few proper nouns and catch phrases to go to, with abundant reservoirs of “Wasilla charm” helping to fill the void. “Goin’”, “mighta”, “shoulda”, “betcha”. But I also thought that this is probably playing very well in many segments of the electorate.
My wife Janet pointed out that if a man had been up on the stage and had performed as Palin did, (a) Biden would have slammed him; (b) the media would be in an uproar in a way that would make the treatment of Palin seem very mild. This “reverse sexism” conjecture is pretty compelling.

Biden was very good. As these things go, his last 20 mins was a nice blend of substance and emotion, particularly the attack on McCain’s “maverick” credentials. Obama could do worse than to take a cue from that part of Biden’s repertoire: a little bit of emotion & passion at moments of the next two debates might not hurt (steering clear of “anger” or “outrage”)…
Palin debate

It’s part of the dominance of personality over policies, spin over substance which aggravates many Australian bloggers. One blogger unimpressed by word-spin was John Surname at GrodsCorp:

Unlike most people here, I didn’t watch/listen to the debate. I started to, but, fatally, decided to play a drinking game. I would take a shot of Vodka everytime Palin used the word “maverick”.

Twenty minutes later I was rushed to hospital with suspected alcohol poisoning. Serious shit. I nearly died.
Nuggets of Palin

Who said satire and bad puns are dead?


  • Clement

    I am in the USA, an immigrant American Citizen. You guys are in Australia. Why would it matter to us what you think? Secondly, I take objection to your description of yourselves and your counterparts in MY country as “progressives”. A more apt label would be “Planters of IED’s”.

  • Clement

    Also, I would recommend to you to offer both Barack Obama and Joseph Biden an invitation to your country to run for equivalent offices since you LOVE them so much. You and Obama and Biden can then “progress” much better.

  • I use “progressive” because “liberal” is a confusing term in Australia as our Liberal Party is in fact a conservative party much like the U.S. Republicans or British conservatives.
    I can assure that the interest in Obama amongst the bloggers has little to do with love. It is not uncritical celebrity worship or personal. Unfortunately we do not have an equivalent of President as the country is still a constitutional monarchy. A republican in Australia is someone who is trying to change that.

  • Clement

    Dear Kevin Rennie,

    My apologies. I had forgotten that you are a “Dominion” in the British Commonwealth just like our northern neighbour, Canada. Have you all thought about becoming a Republic?

    What I took offense at was either you or one of your bloggers referring to an ordinary person as a “BIMBO”. If as you say you are a conservative, where is your civility? If reflexive response to a person who is not like you is so negative, what does it say about your “progressives”? I do not believe that Americans in general indulge in celebrity worship of politicians, we reserve that for the silly Hollywood types. I have noticed that we treat politicians, even the ones we elect as a dart board.

    Good to hear from you.

  • Suzanne

    La campagne va devenir plus agressive, c’est du moins ce qu’a annoncé la colistière de John McCain, Sarah Palin, lors de l’un de ses meetings en Floride lundi. “Désormais, on enlève les gants et on révèle vraiment ce qu’un candidat pense”, a-t-elle déclaré devant 8000 personnes.
    Said Palin in a meeting in Florida : “From now on, we put off the gloves and really show what candidates think” (approx. re-translation from a quotation) : does that mean that she thinks with her fists ?

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