In David Brooks’ op-ed column on the Vice Presidential debates, he concludes:
Still, this debate was about Sarah Palin. She held up her end of an energetic debate that gave voters a direct look at two competing philosophies. She established debating parity with Joe Biden. And in a country that is furious with Washington, she presented herself as a radical alternative.
No doubt most of us watched to see how this small time beauty pageant runner up and small suburban mayor would perform, perhaps even hoping for some laughs and counting on the moose gutting hockey mom to hammer the final nail on her ticket’s coffin. But expectations were so low to begin with that there wasn’t much for her to do other than be coherent and somewhat dignified.
Her performance reminded me of a talking G.I. Joe doll I had as a child. I imagine someone pulling the string from her back and off she goes with phrases like “John McCain maverick, me maverick” or “Me outsider, me better” or “Exceptionalism.” Has she even heard of Alexis de Tocqueville? Clearly the woman is good at cramming, memorizing, being cute, and spewing hackneyed Americanaphorisms. And clearly she has no depth.
As Brooks confirmed, Republicans can breathe a sigh of relief. For now. The rest of us can get back to really important matters such as the free-falling economy with millions of Americans in tow. We can also refocus our discernment on the real contenders, McCain and Obama. Yes, it is all about competing philosophies. One that is shared with the Bush administration, proven dangerous and costly, and the other, salvation from the precarious and isolated situation Bush is bequeathing us.
I enjoy Brooks’ columns and admire his intelligence and fairness. However, there are times when I catch him allowing conservative blinders to limit his vision. Palin establishing debating parity with Biden? Really? Let’s see. Scripted answers – Intelligent analysis. Winking caricature – Gravitas.
And as for being a radical alternative, other than coming from Alaska, how is she radical?