Lurky McLurklurk (ionlylurkhere) wrote,
Lurky McLurklurk

The only post I will make about the US election, promise

So, apparently, Sarah Palin and Joe Biden both apparently have no problem with gay couples having rights, as long as they don't use that icky m-word to describe their arrangements (separate but equal: good track record there, I don't think).

The gay marriage bit did make her go up in my estimation ever so slightly, given that it would have been easy for her to just repeat the "definition of marriage" talking point rather than giving what I'm going to assume must be her honest opinion, given the hackles it would make rise in the base she's supposed to appeal to. (And likewise, Biden's exactly identical answer made him go down in my estimation. Because, really, guys, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is not a civil aquatic avian.)

But overall, I think "she's stupid" is not the right argument to make for a number of reasons. On one level, I really, really wanted Biden to crucify her for all the questions she failed to answer -- that flowchart everyone's linking to is completely true -- and all the dumb stuff (particularly on climate change), but of course it was good tactics not to. But more generally, I don't think she is stupid, she strikes me as a cunning politician who clearly enjoys the process side of things, she's just deeply, deeply ignorant in the dictionary definition sense; though of course it's a bit scary that you can be that clueless and get to be the governor of a US state, let alone a vice presidential candidate).

The overall sense I got from Palin in the debate is that she's much more into her "fiscal conservatism" than her "social conservatism". Extremely radical laissez faire capitalism (which is what "fiscal conservatism" apparently means now; I weep for the dictionary) is scary enough, of course, and got us into the Current Mess, but I can just about respect people's right to believe in it even if they're obviously wrong{*}. Of course, it may just be that not having "do the Supreme Court meme" or "How old is the Earth?"{*} as questions has skewed my opinions, and if they had been there I'd probably be spitting blood. But I can't help but think that for all she appeals to the base, she's actually more about the "let us allow our glorious businesspeople to do their glorious work of realising the American dream" side of it (this now comes with a side order of "except the corrupt ones on Wall Street", the overall tenor of which makes it seem like there's something about the place that needs to be exorcised or something, rather than that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely).

Which sort of vaguely brings me on to the argument that I think does need to be made: that she's just like Bush -- a front person for the exact same machine that's been fucking everything up for the last eight years. The McCain campaign is clearly aware of this, given the "Say that John is a maverick" bit of the flowchart (as a voter in a parliamentary system, I find the thing where they're running quite so hard against their own party's record deeply weird), and the attempt to tie McCain to his voting record isn't nearly as compelling as that bit of branding. They need to make the case that the people behind the scenes are exactly the same as before.

But anyway, I'm a Brit and we're not allowed to have opinions about who should be in charge of the world, so I'll shut up again now.

{*} I long ago discovered that my ability to respect people's right to be wrong about stuff declines rapidly with the amount I know about the detail of their wrongness.
Tags: politics

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