Tag Archives: troopergate

Programmed Parrot: Palin propped by her talking points

Program: v. to provide with a set of operating instructions

Parrot: n. a bird with brightly colored plumage and sometimes the ability to mimic human speech or other sounds; one who mindlessly imitates words or actions of another.

Prop: v. an object used to shore something up.

Point: n. the major idea or essential part of a concept.

Damning with faint praise, the pundits and I agree that Sarah Palin neither peed in her pants or did a face-plant, and in that sense she did better than expected.  Considering how stuffed she has been with Republican talking points over the past few weeks, it’s a miracle that foie gras didn’t ooze from her mouth.

She had set the bar so low for herself coming out of the interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric that she had no place to go but up.

And why did she do so much better? Two reasons: the aforementioned force-feeding, and the fact that in this format she was not pressed by Gwen Ifill nose-to-nose to be specific, to give examples. If that had happened we’d have gotten similar incoherant weaseling in several instances, I feel certain.

She didn’t answer 75% of the questions directed to her. Instead of specifics she spouted generality after generality, Republican buzz word after buzz word: country first, energy independence, terrorists, evil, mavericks, tax cuts, Joe 6-pack & soccer moms.

She was asked about bankruptcy; she talked about energy independence. Asked about her Achilles heel (did she know what that is???) she talked about what she and McCain were going to do to clean up Washington. A couple of times she flat out said she didn’t want to answer that question, she wanted to talk about something else.

I saw her avoidance of direct answers as coming from one of two places:

1. She didn’t know WTF to say, so she talked about what she’d practiced talking about

2. She didn’t give a flying f__k about the rules of the game and planned to talk about what she’d practiced talking about.

If #2 is the case, this tells me that she is cut from the same “above-the-law” cloth from whence Dick Cheney and George Bush came. She went on to talk about her Cheney-like understanding of the constitutionally untouchable powers of the vice-president. For further evidence, look at her shady dealings in Alaska – with Troopergate being the poster child.

Please God, we do not need more of this constitution shredding.

Best (scariest) line of the evening: “I’ve only been at this for five weeks…”
And that’s supposed to reassure us?

Pygmalion: (Pig-malion?) Palin comes to life and it ain’t pretty

Pygmalion: In the Greek myth, Pygmalion was a sculptor who carved a woman from ivory then fell in love with the statue. Aphrodite takes pity on him and brings the statue to life. In George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion (and later the musical My Fair Lady) Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics, makes a bet that he can successfully pass off a Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, as a refined society lady by teaching her how to speak with an upper class accent and training her in etiquette.

The bloom is off the rose. John McCain hoped to vet and train his running mate in about five minutes, and it’s not working.

The GOP operatives that are swarming over Alaska right now are trying to squash the ugly stories of her personal and personnel vendettas – currently Troopergate.  At first she was all for an investigation but now she’s stone-walling.  Less than a week after the Alaska State Senate Judiciary Committee voted to issue subpoenas in the investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin, those state employees who were ordered to testify won’t be honoring the subpoenas, the Alaska attorney general Talis Colberg said yesterday. (Note – Talis Colberg is not only a long-time buddy of Palin’s, he also has a vested interest in Palin’s victory – if she wins, and the current Lieutenant Governor who is running for the Senate wins, he gets to be Governor! What a deal!)

The McCain campaign has learned at the feet of the masters: Bush and Cheney. Subpoenas are for the stupid people. Here in Alaska we’re above the law.

Furthermore, they don’t even want Palin talking to the press. According to the AP,

Sarah Palin is effectively turning over questions about her record as Alaska’s governor to John McCain’s political campaign, part of an ambitious Republican strategy to limit any embarrassing disclosures and carefully shape her image for voters in the rest of the country.

Then we have the “Whoopsie!” moment when campaign spokesperson and advisor, Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard answered with ill-considered candor to an interviewer’s question: ““Do you think she has the experience to run a major company like Hewlett Packard?”

Fiorina: No, I don’t. But you know what, that’s not what she’s running for. (Laughs) Running a corporation is a different set of things.

According to a McCain advisor on condition of anonymity: “Carly will now disappear. Senator McCain was furious.” Upcoming TV interviews with her were canceled.

Finally, my favorite Henry Higgins/Pygmalion moment was captured by Maureen Dowd:

The Wall Street Journal reported that McCain was thinking about taking Palin to the U.N. General Assembly next week so she can shake hands with some heads of state. You can’t contract foreign policy experience like a rhinovirus.