Thursday, September 25, 2008

Moose Lips Sink Ships (not my line, but I liked it)

A few more bits and pieces from Gov. Palin's interview with Katie Couric.

First, this gem (transcript courtesy of Think Progress [but I did fix a few typos I saw]):

COURIC: Why isn’t it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries? Allow them to spend more and put more money into the economy? Instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

PALIN: That’s why I say, I like every American I’m speaking with were ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the tax payers looking to bailout. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy– Helping the — Oh, it’s got to be about job creation too. Shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americas. And trade we’ve got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive scary thing. But 1 in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.

I'm sorry. Did I get that right? The bailout is part of job creation which has something to do with trade and health care reform and tax reductions and reining in spending have to accompany tax reductions? Um, what? Tax reductions have to accompany tax reductions? Did she even understand the question?

Oh, and don't forget about this bit when Katie Couric asked her for examples of Sen. McCain's efforts to push for new regulation and, when Gov. Palin couldn't really give an on-point answer, Kouric pushed on her the subject and asked her to give an example three times (transcript again from Daily Kos):

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.

Yeah, I'm sure that Gov. Palin went right home and looked for some examples so that she could follow up with Katie.

This is what Gov. Palin can come up with a polite, sit-down interview. What will she come up with in an actual debate?

Here's what Salon contributor Glenn Greenwald has to say after noting that he'd been defending her and mocking the notion that the McCain campaign was afraid to let her speak to the public or press:

But Sarah Palin's performance in the tiny vignettes of unscripted dialogue in which we've been allowed to see her has been nothing short of frightening -- really, as I said, pity-inducing. And I say that as someone who has thought from the start that the criticisms of her abilities -- as opposed to her ideology -- were much too extreme. One of two things is absolutely clear at this point: she is either (a) completely ignorant about the most basic political issues -- a vacant, ill-informed, incurious know-nothing, or (b) aggressively concealing her actual beliefs about these matters because she's petrified of deviating from the simple-minded campaign talking points she's been fed and/or because her actual beliefs are so politically unpalatable, even when taking into account the right-wing extremism that is permitted, even rewarded, in our mainstream. I'm not really sure which is worse, but it doesn't really matter, because with 40 days left before the election, both options are heinous.

What seems most likely is that she's perfectly conversant in the exceedingly narrow and parochial range of issues she's concerned herself with as Wasilla Mayor and Alaska Governor -- oil drilling on the North Slope, specific local budget items, corruption issues inside the Alaskan State GOP, and evangelical and religious matters. She really doesn't seem to have any thoughts about anything outside of that -- or if she does, she is suppressing them -- and is thus capable of spouting little more than empty right-wing slogans. That's what makes all the issues raised by the excellent on-scene reporting by Salon's David Talbot more significant than it otherwise might be -- she could be a religious fanatic with an extremist agenda, or a power-crazed, vendetta-fueled, secrecy-obsessed Cheney-ite, or something else altogether. She may not even know what she is, and we're clearly not going to find out.
I wish that I could claim the phrase "Moose Lips Sink Ships" because I think that the more she talks the worse her approval ratings will be. And now we see why the McCain campaign has suggested moving the first Presidential debate to October 2 and "rescheduling" the Vice Presidential debate.


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