Meet the Palins

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15 years ago

If that was the worst one could attribute to her, I’d just think of her as another waffling question-avoiding politican (the type our current federal ALP seems to be especially well-endowed with). Her comments about claiming foreign policy experience essentially because “Alaska is close to Russia” are far more damning, and there have been more glaring examples of displaying pretty basic economic ignorance than this one.

Still, again, I do wonder if it will make any negative difference to the degree to which committed conservative voters are likely to turn out at the ballot box in November.

15 years ago

Perhaps it just me, but this reminds of the Miss North Carolina video from last year.

15 years ago

So right, Conrad. As the Couric Chronicle unfolds, and Palin incoherently mutters strings of Bushian gibberish in ways that would make even W blush, we anticipate the awful reckoning of tonight’s debate in St. Louis.

Consider this. When Couric asked Palin if there were any US Supreme Court decisions with which she could take issue other than Roe V. Wade, she came up with none.

St. Louis, Missouri, as it happens, is a city deeply troubled by its racial history. Brought into the Union by the Missouri Compromise of 1820, Missouri was founded on the principle that slavery would be permitted there, but outlawed throughout the rest of the Louisiana Purchase, the vast territory West of the Mississippi “drained by the Missouri River.” It is also the home of the Eighth US Circuit Court of Appeals, where the infamous Dred Scott case was brought in 1846, in which a Scot, an African American slave, petitioned for his freedom. In a series of cases that pitted the US Court in St Louis against the Missouri Supreme Court, the federal court granted Scott his freedom in 1850, only to see that decision overturned by the US Supreme Court in 1857. Writing for the majority in sweeping decision that declared the Missouri Compromise to be unconstitutional, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney wrote that African Americans “beings of an inferior order,so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”

Perhaps that would have been a good case for Palin to mention. Moderating the debate will be Gwen Ifill, managing editor and moderator for the long-running Public Broadcasting System political program, Washington Week, and a senior correspondant for The NewsHour (PBS). Ifell, like Couric a disarmingly friendly yet incisive correspondent, is herself an African American. Some Republicans are already making much of the fact that she is writing a book about the role of race in politics, though that was well known when they agreed in July that she would moderate this debate.

Missourians, a polite but skeptical bunch, ascribe to the state motto, “Show Me.” It is considered a bellwhether state, closely matching US demographics by most measures. If the audience picks up the sniff of arrogance in Biden, they may sympathize with Palin. If snickering breaks out, however, McCain’s candidacy is doomed.