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September 25, 2008

Quite frankly, I'm not that excited about watching an Obama-McCain debate. McCain will sound lame and Obama will sound informed and intelligent. And then the righwingnutmachine will start screaming about how intelligence and education are elitist* and we should all vote for the Regular Guy.

What I want to see is the Biden-Palin debate. Even though they've had to rewrite the rules and the format to accommodate Palin's ignorance on matters of national and global significance, it should be interesting to see if they've been able to anticipate every question that comes up (Or do they get the questions in advance?) and program her with a response.

I'm working (really) at the moment, so I don't have time to go see if the "rules" of the debate are available online. (Although the likelihood of it actually taking place seems to be growing very remote.)


* One of the things that drives me nuttiest about living in a "democracy" is the reaction to the fact that some people are smarter than other people.

Culturally, this country has a whole weird comparison/competition thing. No one is just themselves. They're only in relation to others. (I think we should address this national feeling of inadequacy.)

I mean, people think they're poor if they make $100,000 a year, if they hear of someone who makes $500,000 a year. They don't look at their own life and see that they have a roof over their head, food to eat, and money to clothe and educate their children while having enough left-over to plan for a comfortable retirement. They look at the guy who makes $500,000 and that makes their own $100,000 look inadequate.

Similarly, someone whose perfectly acceptable, above-average IQ of 120 is sufficient for their needs, can absolutely foam at the mouth upon hearing of someone else whose IQ is 150. You are not stupid because their IQ is higher than yours, okay?

Nor is intelligence something to fear. There are other factors that determine success. (Like being born into or marrying money, but that's a different topic.) Ambition, focus, and the determination to succeed are important. Belief in a cause or causes higher than personal gain is really helpful.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:29 AM


It's not very detailed, but here's the official press release describing the debates. McCain-Obama are expected to actually talk to each other directly, which is kind of exciting; if they don't . Biden-Palin is what I described last cycle as a "joint press conference," which would be dull if both participants weren't liable to ingest their own lower appendages at the drop of a hat.

My idea of having the Biden-Palin debate Friday doesn't seem to be getting any traction.

Posted by: Ahistoricality at September 25, 2008 06:17 PM

Is Biden that bad? I know little of him but what I've heard suggested that he was a good speaker.

Of course, that's not the same as being a good debater. (But, come on. Surely he can wipe the floor with Palin?)

Thanks for the link - I'm off to read it now.

Posted by: Anne at September 25, 2008 07:01 PM

Biden's got a reputation (which he seems to be earning all over again) for having a mouth that's faster than his brain. In the last week, for example, he's said that Hilary would have been a better VP pick, he's attacked one of Obama's own ads, and he said that FDR went on TV at the beginning of the Great Depression to calm people's nerves (there's two glaring errors there). It's nothing fatal, and his fundamental grasp of issues and his level of political skills is clearly way beyond Palin's (possibly beyond McCain's), but he's got a loose cannon quality, for sure.

Some of it, obviously, is the obsessive nature of modern reporting, in which everything said publicly is under constant scrutiny -- I don't think Biden is fundamentally more clumsy than a lot of past politicians, and to some his lack of polish is charming. I'm agnostic on that, myself.

Posted by: Ahistoricality at September 26, 2008 06:58 AM

Well, I heard the quote (the whole quote), and to my mind it's another case of the media taking a bit out of context and whipping up a mock-controversy over it. It sounded to me like a bit of self-deprecating humor that worked well in context. And, again, in the context, the line was not inappropriate.

As for the other stuff, well, now I find I'm going to have to start paying some attention to him, so I can have an informed opinion!

Posted by: Anne at September 26, 2008 04:08 PM