Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Two Stooges

A horrible foreign policy mess. A worse financial crisis at home. These are times that require not just good leadership, they demand greatness. Do we have greatness on the ballot in 2008? One of the consequences of the democratic process in a republican form of government is that greatness gradually fades and mediocrity rises to the top in the name of "the common man."

Great examples of this recently were provided by both Governor Palin and Senator Biden. Palin has mis-stated (I'm being polite) her past actions in her "executive" position over and over again. Biden, of course, has a history of plagiarism in addition to a long history of stupid public utterances.

Governor Palin sat down with Katy Couric of CBS for a rare interview (the McCain campaign wisely keeps her as much as tolerable from holding an actual press conference like McCain, Obama, and Biden all routinely conduct). She exposed herself as almost unbeliveably shallow on several important issues.

Katie Couric: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

Sarah Palin: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and, on our other side, the land-boundry that we have with Canada. It's funny that a comment like that was kinda made to … I don't know, you know … reporters.

Couric: Mocked?

Palin: Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah.

Couric: Well, explain to me why that enhances your foreign-policy credentials.

Palin: Well, it certainly does, because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, there in the state that I am the executive of. And there…

Couric: Have you ever been involved in any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

Palin: We have trade missions back and forth, we do. It's very important when you consider even national-security issues with Russia. As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right next to, they are right next to our state.

What the hell does a "trade mission" have to do with showing "executive experience" in a complex world of terrorism? Has Palin ever talked to a Russian representative? Is that supposed to make me sleep better Governor?

See the YouTube of this extraordinarily shallow comment here.

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Then, about the financial crisis...

Palin: I'm ill about the position that America is in and that we have to look at a $700 billion bailout. And as Sen. McCain has said unless this nearly trillion dollar bailout is what it may end up to be, unless there are amendments in Paulson's proposal, really I don't believe that Americans are going to support this and we will not support this. The interesting thing in the last couple of days that I have seen is that Americans are waiting to see what John McCain will do on this proposal. They're not waiting to see what Barack Obama is going to do. Is he going to do this and see what way the political wind's blowing? They're waiting to see if John McCain will be able to see these amendments implemented in Paulson's proposal.

Couric: Why do you say that? Why are they waiting for John McCain and not Barack Obama?

Palin: He's got the track record of the leadership qualities and the pragmatism that's needed at a crisis time like this.

Couric: But polls have shown that Sen. Obama has actually gotten a boost as a result of this latest crisis, with more people feeling that he can handle the situation better than John McCain.

Palin: I'm not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who's more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who's actually done it?

Couric: If this doesn't pass, do you think there's a risk of another Great Depression?

Palin: Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on. Not necessarily this, as it's been proposed, has to pass or we're going to find ourselves in another Great Depression. But, there has got to be action - bipartisan effort - Congress not pointing fingers at one another but finding the solution to this, taking action, and being serious about the reforms on Wall Street that are needed.

Couric: Would you support a moratorium on foreclosures to help average Americans keep their homes?

Palin: That's something that John McCain and I have both been discussing - whether that ... is part of the solution or not. You know, it's going to be a multi-faceted solution that has to be found here.

Couric: So you haven't decided whether you'll support it or not?

Palin: I have not.

Couric: What are the pros and cons of it do you think?

Palin: Oh, well, some decisions that have been made poorly should not be rewarded, of course.

Couric: By consumers, you're saying?

Palin: Consumers - and those who were predator lenders also. That's, you know, that has to be considered also. But again, it's got to be a comprehensive, long-term solution found ... for this problem that America is facing today. As I say, we are getting into crisis mode here.

Couric: You've said, quote, "John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business." Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?

Palin: I think that the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie - that, that's paramount. That's more than a heck of a lot of other senators and representatives did for us.

Couric: But he's been in Congress for 26 years. He's been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.

Palin: He's also known as the maverick though, taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party. Trying to get people to understand what he's been talking about - the need to reform government.

Couric: But can you give me any other concrete examples? Because I know you've said Barack Obama is a lot of talk and no action. Can you give me any other examples in his 26 years of John McCain truly taking a stand on this?

Palin: I can give you examples of things that John McCain has done, that has shown his foresight, his pragmatism, and his leadership abilities. And that is what America needs today.

Couric: I'm just going to ask you one more time - not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation.

Palin: I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you.

Huh? Did she say anything at all? The worst financial crisis since the great depression and she says nothing. "I'll get back to you." She's a disingenuous stooge. She appears sincere but is, in fact, coached and cannot offer much beyond what her coaches tell her because she doesn't have any experience to draw on. It's even worse when you see the YouTube of this interview here.

However...

If the McCain campaign keeps Palin away from a "real" news conference, maybe Senator Obama should consider doing the same thing with VP-wannabe smilin' Joe Biden, who seems to be a bit confused about basic American history.

Last week with Couric he tried to rewrite history with a comment more absurd than anything Palin has botched so far. When asked about the financial crisis he answered...

"Part of what being a leader does is to instill confidence is to demonstrate what he or she knows what they are talking about and to communicating to people ... this is how we can fix this," Biden said. "When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed. He said, 'look, here's what happened.'"

Um. Two things. First of all the stock market crashed in 1929. Herbert Hoover was president, not FDR. Secondly, television was not widely available until years after the crash. Roosevelt addressed the nation on the radio Joe. I bet Obama's real proud of you.

I might add that you cannot find this gaffe by searching anywhere on the CBS News website (unlike the unfavorable Palin interview.) See the YouTube of this here.

More about Biden gaffes can be found here. It is interesting to note that I had to go to a Canadian newspaper to find a summary as complete as this. Media objectivity anyone?

Biden has a history of these types of mental botches. So, unlike Palin, he is a genuine stooge. There's nothing disingenuous about him. He's uncoachably inept. Whatever comes into Biden's head comes out of his mouth and sometimes it's just stupid.

The two stooges. I'm actually looking forward to the VP debate. It should be a gaffe-fest.

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