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Blog of Mass Destruction

Letting Sarah Be Sarah

By The Reverend Published: October 3, 2008

Last night's vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin came off just about the way I expected it would. Biden, as expected, was in total control of the debate material and conducted himself in a pleasant, yet non-condescending, way towards the obviously less knowledgeable Palin. Sarah Palin didn't come apart emotionally under the heavy pressure of the situation, but her newbee-ness, and her shallow grasp of national and international issues, as expected, were prominent.

The following clip from last night's debate is typical of the great divide between Sarah Palin's comprehension of American government and Joe Biden's comprehension. Palin's notion of a "flexible" vice-presidential role betrays the Constitution and only amplifies the Alaska governor's lack of depth in foundational American issues....

Sarah Palin was placed in a very tough spot by John McCain. The last few weeks, in the rare questions Palin has answered, it became obvious that the governor lacked depth and detail relating to national and international topics. Before the debate, McCain's people crammed with Palin much as slacking college students would cram right before an exam. With Palin...it showed. She looked and sounded at times like a Chatty Cathy pull-string doll.

What bothered me the most about Sarah Palin's performance was her misplaced cockiness and her lack of humility.

If Joe Biden would have spoken to the Alaska governor in a dismissive, condescending and cocky way as Sarah Palin did towards Joe Biden.....then today's headlines would have been ringing a death knell over Obama-Biden's candidacy. Frankly, I thought this aspect of Palin's performance had a stench of reverse sexism all over it. All week Biden had been warned about not being too tough on Palin, the newbee woman. Then Palin goes all balls to the wall in attacking, disrespectfully, a respectful Joe Biden. Biden, having been warned about being too cocky himself, had to endure a weirdly cocky, bordering on arrogant, Sarah Palin.

I agree with Eugene Robinson in the following video clip (starting at the 2:45 mark) when he speaks of the debate as a "very strange encounter" where Biden and Palin seemed to be in "two different worlds". Robinson speaks of the "mugging" and "eye-rolling" that Palin continued to do all evening while, at the same time, she did not flesh out what her and John McCain would do to lead America forward.

I guess we know now what "letting Sarah be Sarah" means. Based on last night's performance, letting Sarah be Sarah must mean allowing her to be her sarcastic, cocky, disrespectful, clueless and unserious self. Letting Sarah be Sarah must include her spouting factually erroneous statements, sometimes an eyelash away from lying, while acting all cocky, bubbly, smiley and disrespectful towards Biden.

I have an idea. Why don't we all agree that Sarah can be Sarah.....back home in Alaska.

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