An Accurate Summary

I am, as you have noticed, somewhat averse to writing the political rants you find on a number of the science-oriented blogs you might frequent. As I’ve said before, I try to maintain a place you can visit to get away from the shouty nonsense (or the naive I-drunk-the-KoolAid hero-varnishing for that matter)… but this is hard to resist. Basically, I find myself a bit depressed that things have fallen so far in terms of presidential level politics in this country that a candidate for vice-president, in maybe the most watched debate of the season, can (a) avoid answering questions, (b) explicitly tell the moderator that they are not going to answer the questions, (c) dissolve into obviously prepared talking points when faced with difficult questions, (d) wink repulsively at the TV camera in an obvious attempt to appear likeable, and (e) make up random stuff so as to get their opponent to waste time denying it, and be declared by everyone as having done well in the debate. I did not think that we could sink lower than Bush the Younger in terms of appallingly bad candidates (who nevertheless do well in this climate), but I think I was wrong. Ok. That’s all I’m saying. I was pleased to see* a precise summary of my thoughts on Sarah Palin’s performance and so I’ll leave you with it, for your amusement (see a post accompanying it here):


sarah palin debate flowchart

-cvj

*Thanks Nick W!

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10 Responses to An Accurate Summary

  1. Aimee says:

    All SO true! And yes– unbelievable how she explicitly told the moderator she wasn’t going to answer the question. I love this flow chart.

  2. Elliot says:

    Unfortunately the fact that Ifill is engaged in writing a book about Obama probably put her in an awkward spot. I would have preferred if she had step aside and let another “untainted” moderator substitute. Had she gone after Palin for non-responsiveness, it would have been easy to point to her Obama favoritism.

    But I was thoroughly amazed at how the media thought she did a reasonably good job.

    After all the folksy “hockey mom I’m just a regular gal” stuff she strategically did not release her tax returns for the last two years until after the debate. The returns show she and Todd have six figure incomes and a net worth estimated at north of 2 million.

    Not exactly working class heroes.

    ….but I suspect in McCain’s frame of referenc they are middle class.

    e.

  3. Jude says:

    We’ll be even more astonished when McCain/Palin wins, but maybe that’s my negativity seeping through caused by living in a heavily Republican county. I’m sharing this flowchart with all 6 liberals at work (and that one guy who’s on the fence). Thanks for sharing it.

  4. I really do wish the US presidential and VP debates were chaired by someone like Jeremy Paxman, who wouldn’t let anyone get away with a wink instead of an answer.

    –IP

  5. Austin says:

    According to O’Biden, Bush let Hezbollah move into Lebanon, I did not know that. That’s actually pretty funny. Another appalling comment was the one about being against gay marriage. I still don’t understand that one.

    The fact that Biden could don a wig and lurch down any street in America ranting what he spewed forth last Tuesday and be ignored (or put into the drunk tank) is proof that the entire political process is broken.

    We all have logical vulnerabilities, but when we are blind to them, and give into them, the result is chaos. That hate becomes a flail of knives and rather than dissent, the act becomes a religous march in which we compete to flail ourselves into disfigurement. How long before those knives are then used on someone else?

  6. spyder says:

    There is a video that goes along with the chart, if i can find it again. The two together make for a very scary devolution of our national political theater. When more people turn to SNL (and the Daily Show) to get a clearer picture of what is happening, we can only further collapse into a former shell of a model nation. I’ll post the video link when i find it.

  7. spyder says:

    Found it:
    Palin reviewing prepared notes during the debate.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZ7Fp6QH150

  8. Slim Potato says:

    Let’s hope the results of this presidential election will prove the United States is much more than the idiocracy some appear to deem it is.

  9. bsmith says:

    Hey, aren’t you supposed to be an academic – like a mathematician and/or physicist? I find it amazing how so many individuals who think they’re so smart in actuality aren’t.

    I listen to people speak and I analyze their writing to gauge their smarts. You have failed concerning one of the basic criteria I use.

    Notice the following quote of your words:
    “Basically, I find myself a bit depressed that things have fallen so far in terms of presidential level politics in this country that a candidate for vice-president, in maybe the most watched debate of the season, can (a) avoid answering questions, (b) explicitly tell the moderator that they are not going to answer the questions, (c) dissolve into obviously prepared talking points when faced with difficult questions, (d) wink repulsively at the TV camera in an obvious attempt to appear likeable, and (e) make up random stuff so as to get their opponent to waste time denying it, and be declared by everyone as having done well in the debate.”

    How can “a candidate” “explicitly tell the moderator that THEY are not going to answer the questions”? (“they” written in caps by me for emphasis)

    Obviously, “they” should be “he” (or, in this case, “she”).

    That mistake is not a typo; it is indicative of a flaw in intelligence.

    If you can pick on Palin, then you throw yourself into the ring and open yourself up to critique and analysis, and you’re more accountable than she is because you’re supposedly an intellectual, and she’s ahm…… not.

    bsjams@hotmail.com

  10. Aaron Bergman says:

    Maybe you should do a google on “singular they” before making such sweeping pronouncements.