With Sarah Palin's other recent appearances in mind, my instant reaction to her first response to a question at the Vice Presidential Debate was:
They've put her on SPEED!
Ritalin, that is. Adderall. Methylphenidate.
(Okay now, for those who remember the theme song from The Beverly Hillbillies, reread from "Ritalin" on like "Oil, that is. Black Gold. Texas Tea." Actually, given her drive to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, either lyrics work for Sarah Palin. But I digress...)
Come on. Think about it. Have you ever seen her zoom through her talking points like that? Without notes, without a teleprompter, and without enough pauses for wires to be effective?
And let's review: McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt is from the Bush administration (he worked closely with both Rove and Cheney),Bush has shown all the signs of a man on antidepressants, with occasional variations in his twitches appearing to indicate shifts in his medication strengths or combinations. and Mr.
Her handlers must have been desperate -- so needing to yell at her and so aware of what it would mean if she bolted and told the world -- and she just might do that if they pushed too hard...
She certainly had the will and ambition to do the lying, twisting, and sarcastic attacks they needed her to do...
But it was those gaping pauses when her mind hadn't yet found the way to bulldoze the question and move on to her talking points that was the problem.
The media can easily forgive blabbering and illogic and untruths and gibberish. Both the audience and the professionals are used to politicians not making sense.
Given the credibility gap when politicians have to say what is necessary to sell themselves to a majority of voters (to say nothing of the lies everyone knows they must tell to stay true to the deals they've made with big-money donors) . . .
And given the way that the corporate mainstream media, so in debt to the Bush administration, has facilitated the dumbing down of America by conditioning its audience to respond to the quick-and-shiny, and shift focus willingly-- on command--when faced with nuance, complications, hard truths, and deeper examining. . .
And given the hordes of political pundits, some more bought than others: some interested in discovering what may be behind the words that are said and what that will actually look like in that politician's policies, while others are clearly there to emphasize partisan talking points regardless of what was said, there to claim victory above and beyond logic. . .
THE MAJORITY OF THE AUDIENCE IS BARELY LISTENING TO THE WORDS.
But they do notice gaps. Fumbling for words. Big pauses. Uhhhhhhhhhh.
And not having an answer. Any answer, dammit! Gobbledygook, for God's sake! Something!!!