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Friday, October 03, 2008

Through Sarah Palin, ordinary, non-mystical Americans may reclaim their national government

To say that I was pleased with Gov. Sarah Palin's performance in the vice presidential debate would be a considerable understatement. In my latest guest-post at HughHewitt.com, I make my case for why Caribou Barbie definitely rocked.


[Copied here for archival purposes on November 5, 2008, from the post linked above at HughHewitt.com.]

(Guest Post by Bill Dyer a/k/a Beldar)

Almost without exception, every bit of the analysis and punditry you read or hear from mainstream media sources — including even new media outlets like the major cable news channels — will have missed the most important point about Thursday night's vice presidential debate. They all think it was close, and they all think that some of the things Slow Joe Biden said actually mattered.

To non-sophisticates (which isn't an insult, by the way, and most definitely isn't a synonym for "unsophisticated") — to ordinary people of every economic class, occupation, gender, religion, and even political persuasion — from outside the Beltway and the bi-coastal Blue-State media enclaves, the defining moment of the debate was when a young governor from a remote, sparsely populated state strode confidently across the national stage, stuck out her hand for a firm handshake, looked a silver-haired senator of 36 years' tenure squarely in the eye, and said: "Nice to meet you. Hey, can I call you Joe?"

At that moment, the champagne bubble of the elites popped. For millions of viewers (but almost no national pundits), the juxtaposition telegraphed a clear message: "She's not one of them, she's one of us. But she isn't awed by him. She's not afraid."

Gov. Sarah Palin greets Sen. Joe Biden before their vice presidential debate (Reuters photo)

By five minutes into the debate, the notion that this young hockey-mom turned governor is an airhead, unable to string two coherent sentences together without a teleprompter, had been completely exploded. The deception and outright malice of those who've been peddling that lie became obvious. Of course the issues were being addressed, substantively and in detail, by both the Democratic and GOP Veep nominees, but in her case, in a voice — literally in an accent — of unpretentious, ordinary Americans, and with a disdain for the kind of double-talk which lets a politician pretend that he was really against a war he voted to authorize.

Gov. Sarah Palin is electrically fresh. And she is the real deal, an authentic three-dimensional person rather than a blank screen upon which to project our hopes. And the important point confirmed by Thursday night's debate is very simply this: Sarah Palin is nothing less than the instrument through which ordinary, non-mystical Americans may reclaim their national government.

That's why McCain's announcement of her candidacy suddenly changed the entire course of this election. That's why her acceptance speech at the Republican National Commission dropped millions of jaws. That's why millions of voters — including undecideds and independents and swing voters, disappointed Hillary voters, disappointed movement conservatives, even non-voters — who watched this debate are saying to themselves: "Well! Now that was different!"

Over the course of the next month, as the impressions she made tonight are reconfirmed, the seed of affinity that Sarah Palin has planted will continue to germinate. We millions of voters who'd previously imagined ourselves with, at best, a sour taste in our mouths after voting this year suddenly realize that, actually, we can cast a vote for Sarah Palin that makes us feel good about the whole process. Through her, we can be connected again with our national government. Her voice is our voice, and in her we have a new champion who actually isn't just slumming or pretending to be one of us. She doesn't need a focus group to interpret, because she actually is one of us. She doesn't need to write a memoir of her journey of self-discovery because she's always known she's Chuck and Sally Heath's daughter, she's Todd Palin's wife, she's "Mom" to Track and Bristol and Willow and Piper and Trig — and she's the one of us who stepped forward to prove that she has the heart of a genuine servant of the public.

Anyone who's focused on scoring this debate on points is counting raindrops in a hurricane. Here's a grumpy paragraph from the New York Times that is cluelessness personified:

Short of a complete bravura performance that would have been tough for even the most experienced national politician to turn in — or a devastating error by the mistake-prone Mr. Biden, who instead turned in an impressively sharp performance — there might have been little Ms. Palin could have done to help Mr. McCain.

That's spoken by a mainstream media giant who's just had its pants yanked down to its ankles from behind, and who's then been sprayed with molasses and coated in feathers. It's standing there continuing to preach at you and me without any comprehension of what a laughing-stock it's become. Actually, it doesn't know you or me, except as vague shadows "somewhere out there in flyover country." It can't hear our laughter. It can't even remotely comprehend why you or I want to pump our fists in the air and shout "Sarah! Sarah!"

"Can I call you Joe?" Yes, she can, because he's just another old dude with a line of blah-blah-blah. He doesn't deserve her, or our, reverence because he's a fading irrelevancy from the past. And this is a brand new day, a day of new leadership in the shining city on a hill.

— Beldar

Posted by Beldar at 04:36 AM in 2008 Election, McCain, Obama, Palin, Politics (2008) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Through Sarah Palin, ordinary, non-mystical Americans may reclaim their national government and sent a trackback ping are listed here:


(1) stan made the following comment | Oct 3, 2008 5:53:09 AM | Permalink

Peggy Noonan pretty much declares herself a RINO in an article that is ostensibly about Palin. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122300786229301597.html

(2) Frank Parriott made the following comment | Oct 3, 2008 6:02:53 AM | Permalink

Why do you hate unicorns?! Mock the mystical at your peril. Do you really want them to get their chant on? Have you witnessed the power of a drum circle? You shouldn't underestimate the awesomeness of crystals and dream-catchers.

(3) The Raving Atheist made the following comment | Oct 3, 2008 9:44:55 AM | Permalink

Granted, Palin occasionally displayed a common touch, but Joe stole the hearts of all small town Americans by pointing outthat "what's past is prologue." Hockey moms, waitresses, classical drama scholars and steel mill workers throughout the country are carting their multi-volume annotated Shakespeare collections over to the kitchen table this morning to relive his simple yet elegant words.

(4) Paul Gordon made the following comment | Oct 3, 2008 9:53:55 AM | Permalink

Well, the comments section over there is already loaded with deniers who strangely resemble "Baghdad Bob" just before the U.S troops swept in ("I can tell you there are no troops near the capitol!")

(5) Howard made the following comment | Oct 3, 2008 12:14:56 PM | Permalink

Biden's gaffe on the Constitution has so far gone totally unnoticed. Perhaps it's of no consequence to anyone except me but I do cherish the Constitution. Read the transcript below from the CNN website and then read your copy of the Constitution. Biden has no idea what he's taking about. Article II of the Constitution (not Article I as Biden said) clearly defines the role of Vice President as President of the Senate. The tie breaking vote is secondary to that role. Other than this, there is virtually nothing else in the entire document that describes the duties of Vice President. I think most scholars will agree that it's implicate that the VP would serve as an important advisor of the President and serve in any capacity as the President might require.


IFILL: Vice President Cheney's interpretation of the vice presidency?

BIDEN: Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.

And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit.

The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress. The idea he's part of the Legislative Branch is a bizarre notion invented by Cheney to aggrandize the power of a unitary executive and look where it has gotten us. It has been very dangerous.

(6) Dai Alanye made the following comment | Oct 3, 2008 12:47:50 PM | Permalink

The general view of the "experts" is that Palin wins due to expectations but Biden wins on substance. They come to this conclusion by overlooking the fact that almost every Biden statement contained an error, distortion or outright lie.

He lied mainly about his own past votes, and those of Obama and McCain. (He was careful not to distort any of Palin's record, as she likely would have handed him his head.) I particularly relish his contention that McCain voted against funding the troops, because we all know how little interest John has in the welfare of the military. Even Fox News is fumbling this one, being "fair and balanced" in some of their analyses.

Americans primarily vote emotionally--especially the so-called independents--and this won't hurt the Sarah Palin we saw last night. Let us now hope that she will be given her head to carry the fight to the enemy according to her own judgment. She wants to go into Michigan. If McCain is smart, he'll let her charge ahead.

(7) Maura made the following comment | Oct 3, 2008 4:01:20 PM | Permalink

Gov. Sarah Palin is the Real Deal, she's authentic, thank God, and will do great things if McCain-Palin are victorious in November.

Beldar, I enjoyed reading this blog entry; I think it's very good. Thank you for working so assiduously for the conservative cause. Write on!

(8) jeff made the following comment | Oct 4, 2008 2:53:01 PM | Permalink

exactly...the best piece I've read about the debate.

(9) Howard made the following comment | Oct 7, 2008 4:28:34 PM | Permalink


I misspoke in an earlier post about Joe Biden having committed a faux pas in citing the duties of Vice President as contained in Article I. Article I indeed describes the role of Vice President with respect to the Senate while Article II describes the manner of election and other duties. However, the fact remains that Biden was the one who was misinformed as to how the Constitution describes the role of the Vice President. Article I Section 3 states:

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The word president is defined as “One appointed or elected to preside over an organized body of people, such as an assembly or meeting.” (American Heritage Dictionary). Putting aside tradition, the Vice President does have the legal right to preside over the Senate. The paragraph immediately following that above states:

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The role of the Vice President as presiding officer of the Senate is further described by Alexander Hamilton in the final paragraph of Federalist Paper 68 where Hamilton compares the constitutionally proposed role of Vice President to that of Lieutenant Governor, specifically describing the latter’s presiding over his own state’s Senate.

There are numerous other documents from our founding fathers, including the personal notes of James Madison, that clearly illustrate the role of the Vice President as presiding over the Senate.

It seems to me that Governor Palin, if elected to the office of Vice President, would have every right to visit the Senate at her pleasure and assume the role of President of the Senate. This is not a likely scenario as she does not have any relevant credibility with the lawmakers of that body and would not be able to affect any significant influence. Spiro Agnew discovered this when he tried to influence Senate proceedings during the First Nixon administration. The case would be far different for a Vice President who did possess influence (e.g. LBJ).

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