Thursday, October 2, 2008


There’s an old joke about a guy’s wife walking in on him in bed with another woman. When confronted, the guy denies it, saying: “who are you going to believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?” It’s with the same degree of reality-denying hubris that Sarah Palin strides into tonight’s debate, as if any snarky remarks or any degree of post-debate spin can undo all the babbling, the lies, and the childishly amateur evasion when she simply doesn’t have the knowledge or experience to answer a direct question.


They can piss and moan about gotcha journalism. Trick questions. Nobody busted her. Not Charlie Gibson. Not born-again journalist Katie Couric. Sarah the Moose Killer outed herself, not by choice, but simply because that’s who she is. A small timer who tried to inject her brand of  gooey charm and folksy nonsense into an arena where the future of the world hangs in the balance. A minor league ballplayer with dreams of the big show but none of the talent.


But still that doesn’t stop the news chatter. How will she do? How will it play? Will she trip up? Will she recapture that Klondike charm that so endeared her to the nitwit base? Will Biden get too tough and make it seem like he’s picking on her? Nothing like a little reverse sexism to start off the most important vice presidential debate in recent history.


They can and will analyze this all night long. But it doesn’t matter how she does tonight. It’s not a football game in the sense that, on any given Thursday, any candidate can outdebate any other candidate. We don’t have to wait for the results to see who she is. It’s absolutely clear who she is. A campaign gimmick. A petty bureaucrat with a voice so shrill it could shatter glass who’s been swept up in a wave of self-delusion to think she belongs where she is. Now, the McCain campaign is, I’m sure, already declaring victory so they can trot out the “she’s a maverick” line of bullshit they had at the convention and run with it again, as if it could whitewash the last few weeks and give them new legs. Or maybe they’ve just boxed themselves into a corner where dumping her would’ve proven too risky so they’re stuck, and just hope to get through this with as little bloodletting as possible so they can try to revive their faltering campaign as the Obama tidal wave rolls in against them.


Maybe she’ll get through it tonight without looking like a fool. Maybe she’ll get off a couple of over-rehearsed cutesy remarks and hold up a big foam finger, look to camera and shriek: “I’m going to Disneyland!” It doesn’t matter. It’s not the best four out of seven World Series. It’s the Super Bowl. It’s already been played. And she’s already lost. 


Anonymous said...


Constant reader who's glad there have been more posts of late. I'm curious as to your reaction post debate. I'm not sure about winning, but she didn't exactly come across as a dolt either.

By the way, and I'm not sure why I hadn't written before, but I really enjoyed LA BLUES. My only disappointment, and I'm sure you had little to do with it, was the lack of extras. For example, usually a commentary track is a big circle jerk to the movie; however, after "Hello, He Lied", as a fellow film maker, I would have loved to hear about your experiences taking a true independent feature from conception to distribution.

Take care,
Phil G

IBG said...

Phil--Thanks for writing, and for checking out L.A. Blues. Please tell 100,000 friends. As for the extras, there wasn't much on the dvd but I sold a series of articles to a magazine called Creative Screenwriting about the very subject you mentioned. It's 3 parts, the first is out now in the Oct./Nov. issue.

As for the debate last night, for Republicans to celebrate with the rallying cry: "She didn't fuck up!" is a little sad.

I thought it was the Senator from Delaware vs. the Governor from Stepford. She grinned like an idiot. Trotted out the folksy, aw shucks bullshit. It was all false and contrived.

She tried to land that same talking point about Obama voting to raise taxes on people making 42k. Every time she or McCain try it the other side beats it back. But they don't stop.

She yanked out that "negotiating with our enemies without preconditions" as if it was tantamount to treason, though no one bothers to define what that means. In terms of negotiating with enemies, I'm surprised Biden didn't mention that Condi Rice recently sat down with Khadafi, the Saddam of his day, without the precondition of having him pay reparations to the families who lost loved ones in Locherbie.

Another little snide comment didn't even draw flack when she characterized Obama's tax plan as a "redistribution of wealth." Unless I'm wrong, I seem to remember that phrase as one of the tenets of Communism. Was she giving a little shout out to the lunatic fringe, Michigan malitia types?

And talking about pulling out of Iraq as "the white flag of surrender" is just inflammatory nonsense. I wish he'd called her on a naive interpretation of a complex issue. Someone we have to get beyond the "winning and losing" mentality if we're going to understand what's going on there. It's not WWII.

In all, I didn't believe a word she said. She had no business being on the same stage with Biden, nor criticizing Obama. She's outclassed. When Biden spoke, he spoke from experience. He had facts because he knows them. She regurgitated talking points and flashed that moron grin because that's what she was trained to do in the Republican lab where she was created. She is literally Bush with lipstick and, so far, it seems the public isn't buying the bullshit. Ian