Friday, September 26, 2008

Something About Rats and Ships Comes to Mind

TwinSwords, who has more patience (morbid fascination?) for certain bloggers than I do, emailed me a couple of nuggets.

Rod Dreher, aka "The Crunchy Con[servative]:"

Couric's questions are straightforward and responsible. Palin is mediocre, again, regurgitating talking points mechanically, not thinking. Palin's just babbling. She makes George W. Bush sound like Cicero. This is one of the more coherent passages: …

[...]

UPDATE: New Palin excerpt up, in which she discusses why having Russia next to Alaska gives her relevant foreign policy experience. I am well and truly embarrassed for her. I think she's a good woman who might well be a great governor of Alaska. But good grief, just watch this train wreck: …

Ann Althouse:

Sarah Palin will be answering questions later.

Here she is, on the spot, not responding to Katie Couric: …

[...]

Painful. Terrible.

ADDED: Some people think my comment is too terse or too vague. Sorry, but I thought Palin's response Couric was painfully awkward. … Palin had a substantial knowledge gap, and she didn't know how to hide it. It felt too much like the possibly forgivable "In what respect, Charlie?" And when combined with the news that the campaign seemed to be finagling to move the VP debate to a later time, it made her look they way her opponents have been trying to paint her: unprepared and weak. It's really not good enough.

It occurs to me that we now have a useful new tool: we can measure the intellectual honesty of a conservative blogger/pundit by how long it takes him or her to admit the truth about Sarah Palin. Andrew Sullivan, Daniel Larison, and James Poulos long ago made the right call on this; in fact, if memory serves, they've been safely on dry land from the get-go. David Frum and Charles Krauthammer, too, I think. I know I gave shoutouts earlier to Dan Kagan and Daniel Drezner.

From a random hop around, looks like we can add Ross Douthat to the feet-dry category:

And now, an excerpt from my inner monologue, as transcribed while watching various clips from Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric (I can't link to them; they're too painful):

And that, Douthat, is why nobody's ever going to hire you to help pick their running mate.

Actually, I usually think Ross is pretty honest for a conservative. Bonus points to him, here, for linking to his own earlier and now embarrassing posts.

Let's see, who else? Well, hello, Kathleen Parker! Welcome (not) aboard!

Palin didn't make a mess cracking the glass ceiling. She simply glided through it.

It was fun while it lasted.

Palin's recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

[...]

If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.

If Palin were a man, we'd all be guffawing …

Finally, just for a little balance, let's admit that it took liberal blogger Glenn Greenwald too long to give up the ship. It's a good mea culpa, though. Here's an excerpt:

... Sarah Palin's performance in the tiny vignettes of unscripted dialogue in which we've been allowed to see her has been nothing short of frightening -- really, as I said, pity-inducing. And I say that as someone who has thought from the start that the criticisms of her abilities -- as opposed to her ideology -- were much too extreme. One of two things is absolutely clear at this point: she is either (a) completely ignorant about the most basic political issues -- a vacant, ill-informed, incurious know-nothing, or (b) aggressively concealing her actual beliefs about these matters because she's petrified of deviating from the simple-minded campaign talking points she's been fed and/or because her actual beliefs are so politically unpalatable, even when taking into account the right-wing extremism that is permitted, even rewarded, in our mainstream. I'm not really sure which is worse, but it doesn't really matter, because with 40 days left before the election, both options are heinous.

Sully chortles and gets to use his own blog's tagline in response:

To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.

3 comments:

John Evo said...

Impressive. I like your new wingnut test.

Ocean said...

"...or (b) aggressively concealing her actual beliefs about these matters because she's petrified of deviating from the simple-minded campaign talking points she's been fed..."

I had to read this twice to understand, or perhaps convince myself that anyone would possibly imply that Palin has been hiding her extreme genius during the interviews...
Is this guy delusional?

Brendan said...

I don't think he meant that she had hidden genius, just that she might have some actual thoughts and views that don't match the talking points she's been given. I also think Greenwald was talking about a narrow range of possible topics for which this might be true.

Admittedly, the way she presents in those two interviews makes the whole idea seem pretty dubious. But, you know -- stage fright, getting out of one's comfort zone, test-taking anxiety, and like that.

I've known half-smart people who look like absolute fools when they have to talk about something about which they know nothing, and are too stubborn ("confident," to use Palin's word) to admit it, even to themselves.

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