Thursday, October 02, 2008

on the vp debate

Sarah Agnew-Pain did a better job than I expected in tonight's debate but she did do what she has been doing in the interviews that she's had with news people: every time she did not to answer a question, she went off on the scripted comments she's been making for weeks about her "experience" as mayor of a small town and as the governor of Alaska, or cited her mantra of change (which the Republican ticket adopted when they realized how Obama was benefitting from its use of the word), or changing the subject when she had opportunities to say how McCain's policies would differ from Bush's, or going to the flag, motherhood and apple pie when cornered; or talking about how she's middle class when she's worth at least $1 million. I don't know many middle class people who are worth that much. At least some of the people interviewed afterwards realized that she didn't answer the questions. And I think people who said they were impressed by her insistence that she was one of the people are swayed not by the issues but by the flag waving and identification.

The talking heads said she didn't make any mistakes, but she did make at least two in foreign policy. At one point she seemed to equate Al Quaida with the Shiia as terrorists when Al Quaida is actually mostly Wahabi, which is a fundamentalist Sunni sect. A moment later she linked Al Malaki, the current leader of the government of Iraq, which we support with the Taliban, the ousted government of Afghanistan which has apparently joined with Al Quaida on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. She also seemed to say that Israel should have a blank check when dealing with Iran. And on another note, she created a funny point that no one seemed to catch when she talked about the Obama/Obiden ticket. People praised her for standing tall and seeming sure of what she was saying. But she also did that when she bungled news interviews so badly. And she keeps smiling when she has nothing to smile about.

But Pain refuses to answer questions. Even when she seemed to agree with Biden, as on the gay marriage iissue, she still waffled. Will she allow civil rights for same sex couples? She never answered that. She mentioned contracts which is basically dodging the issue. Will she support enabling same sex couples government support for their unions? I would suggest that her refusal to answer questions is part arrogance and part ignorance.

One other item that I almost forgot: She also repeats the same red herring about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Yes, they were doing things that perhaps they should have been more careful about, but they were also doing the job they were set up to do which is to provide a secondary market for mortgages. And blaming the laws against red lining for the mess is just ridiculous. Under the law, banks couldn't red line any part of a community, but they still could use sound banking practices in making loans.


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