Friday, September 5, 2008

On the "liberals never learn" front

Everyone is excited about the prospect of Biden chewing up Palin in a debate, but first, it's a vice presidential debate, and nobody cares (Lloyd Bentsen's classic "You're no John Kennedy" in the '88 debate destroyed Dan Quayle's political career, but it didn't help Dukakis much), and second, Biden's policy knowledge and sharp mind can be offset by Palin's Northern Belle act and a bunch of scripted soundbites. The Reps will ferociously work to lower expectations, and as long as Palin doesn't faint before the debate is over, the media will be happy to call it a draw, on the grounds that Palin "exceeded expectations," and then the spin will be since Biden didn't chew her up, it wasn't a draw, but Palin won. This is how these debates are always spun: the dumbfuck-but-salt-of-the-earth Republican just has to show up, and then he or she automatically "exceeds expectations" against the brainy elitist egghead liberal pansy, and that's that. Biden probably won't get the pansy tag, but the overall narrative is so strongly embedded in the establishment journalist mindset that these stories write themselves.