Today's debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden was a sad reminder how McCain's choice of VP is a threat to national security. Palin dodged most questions to recite what her tutors taught her in the past five weeks, proving once that McCain cares more about serving as president in the remaining years of his life than putting this nation on a better track. Joe Biden, on the other hand, and after an uncharacteristically subdued performance during the first half, was for unfathomable reasons coached not to "kill" her. And he could have, very easily, pointed out how she was unfit to become a vice president, rather than leaving it to the partisan imagination.
But the tragedy is not in Biden not going after Palin. The tragedy was in Palin being unable to effectively go after Biden, for she showed no signs that she understood or digested a single word of what she was taught. Instead, we got a lot of winks, fake kitchen table tales, and "darn rights". For the same reason she butchered the name of the commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, she couldn't answer the question pertaining to recent US policy towards Israel, specifically, when Biden accused the administration of not properly supporting the Jewish state after the US and France allegedly "kicked Hizbullah out of Lebanon"! (update: the full quote is: When we kicked -- along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, "Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don't know -- if you don't, Hezbollah will control it.Now what's happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government in the country immediately to the north of Israel)
Followers of this blog know what an idiotic statement that was, and how superficial and uninformed it is. But with Palin as an opponent, could you really expect someone to call him on it?
Another danger came when Palin faithfully regurgitates what the coaches told her to say about the "Surge". Apply it everywhere, they told her. Biden nailed her on it. But although the Obama-Biden Iraq strategy is riddled with fantasy, all Palin could offer was a weak argument about "winning" and how great McCain was in pushing for the "Surge". So Biden won the argument, as did Obama during his first debate, and the nation sunk deeper into ignorance about the country that is today very far from being a project for success.
McCain's Surge. What a travesty to ascribe this tactic to the Senator, when in fact it was a result of work done by people inside this very administration that everybody loathes. And how wrong it is to say that it led to a victory, or could lead to one. What is victory anyway? And victory for whom, and against what, and how do you measure it? The walls and fault lines that separate Baghdad neighborhoods today and the irreparable damage done to the US stature in the world, speak of a different reality than the one Palind an McCain paint. Sadly, and while Obama points it out clearly, the solutions that both he and McCain prescribe are detached from reality.
Going back to the core issue here. By picking Palin, McCain robbed this nation of a safety net, should his old body fail him. I can probably live with McCain in charge of foreign policy. But I cannot trust Palin's with the nuclear codes, or "nucular" in Palin-speak. If she couldn't handle the simple task of understanding the issues, instead accepting the role of a puppet, then she and the man who chose her simply do not deserve a vote.
Lastly, and this is a note to some of my readers, at least the remaining ones, spare me your partisan politics. What has been disheartening to me over the past few months was how quickly certain people can turn against you when you disagree with them, or when you attempt to think outside the ideological box. It is no secret to anyone that my posts about Hizbullah, and Obama's statement on Lebanon, were widely popular and heavily quoted by many "conservative" bloggers. Today, I stand in amazement at some of those bloggers' inability to get over their obsession with negating the other's point of view, and in the process denying themselves the truth they claim to seek or represent. The "left" often exhibits the same fanaticism and self denial.
It is the sad truth that to many, country doesn't and will never come first, and that change will unlikely come as long as we don't understand what it is we really need.
In the meantime, we're left to choose the lesser of two evils. And sometimes, that choice is made easier when confronted by the intolerance and racism of those who won't eat a doughnut if it's not dressed in red and blue, or won't accept questions from a black journalist.
Update. Now Lebanon on Biden's gaffe. He meant Syria!?
Joe Biden, the US Democratic Party’s vice-presidential candidate, condemned Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah on Thursday night, but mixed up Hezbollah with Syria.
Speaking in a debate with his opponent, Republican candidate Sarah Palin, he referred to the US’s Middle East policy by saying, “When we kicked - along with France - we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon,” a statement assumed to confuse Hezbollah with Syria.
Biden said that both he and Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama had said, “‘Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don't know - if you don't, Hezbollah will control it.’”