Friday, September 12, 2008


The “high mindedness” (as Chris Matthews called it) of the McCain/Obama interchanges yesterday, at “ground zero” and then at a forum on “service” at Columbia University was a bit much – especially since it was often hard to distinguish between the two at a policy level. Obama even said he’d be happy if Columbia and other universities would welcome ROTC back. ROTC got kicked off many campuses back in the days when McCain, putting “country first,” was dropping napalm on the Vietnamese. But with Obama touting “patriotism” and “supporting the troops,” the time for a principled anti-militarist, anti-imperialist position has evidently passed. It was revolting to watch. But then, in the nick of time, came the Sarah Palin interview on ABC -- to remind everyone how important lesser evilism still is.

ABC is playing it for all the ratings it’s worth, dragging it out over twenty-eight hours. Meanwhile, the big question seems to be whether Charlie Gibson hit the right, non-bullying tone. Palin had obviously been briefed. But, face it, she’s not exactly a quick study. In addition to showing that she didn’t have a clue what the “Bush doctrine” (on preemptive war) was, she had answers for everything except the questions she was asked. She trumpeted the Scheunemann-Cheney-McCain (and, oh yes, Bush) line on poor little democratic Georgia invaded by big bad Russia for no reason – except the one Schuenemann, Cheney, McCain and Bush handed them by encouraging America’s Georgian flunkies to invade South Osetia. Palin was on message, but she was a little more bellicose than a more seasoned politician would be. Maybe she harbors a special animosity towards Russia since, as McCain’s sugar mommy Cindy has several times pointed out, she can actually see it from Alaska. Palin also said that if Israel wants to start a war with Iran, she’d be all for helping out. But at least she gave no indication that she is eager to hasten Armageddon. No doubt, she was briefed on that too.

Poor Sarah, so out of her depth and so oblivious! The woman just can’t talk about anything except pipelines and oil revenues – and killing polar bears, wolves and, for the fun of it, moose. Did I leave anything out? Oh yes, “energy independence” – corporate (not conservation!) style. More of Sarah’s wisdom will dribble out today. Expect her to demonstrate that just about anybody picked at random understands world politics as well as she does. Expect her to demonstrate too that in the mindless self-confidence department, she has no rival – except perhaps George W. Bush. Then expect the “liberal” media from NPR on down (or is it up?) to give her a pass – as they did on “Morning Report” today.

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