However, after an hour and half of the candidates, and about that much time with the commentators (not to be confused with the high class taters or the sweetpea taters) I find, to appropriate the ruling cliché of these times, “no one hit one out of the ballpark, so I guess we’ll call it a tie.
Of course in Biden-Palin, you had the under-card upstart swinging as wildly as she felt she could get away with. Palin, for example, at that point felt all she could get away with were simple distortions of the Dems record. However emboldened by MSM’s giving her a pass plus WAY too many points credit on the grounds “she doesn’t fail quite as miserably as we expected, so that means she did great,” by Saturday Palin was a wild woman wielding the T-word, “Terrorist,” as if she were the latest version of a wannabe McCarthy-ite testing out the latest red-baiting jingoism.
And as Democracy Now watchers know, by the end of the weekend she was comfortable enough to let her audience members call out for Obama’s death.
I call it “truth hurts, don’t it?”
Displaying his typical bitter and dismissive sense of humor, McCain undercut his vague talking points by prefacing most of his expositions with derogatory remarks aimed chiefly to insult Obama, but also having enough bile to insult mediator Tom Brokaw at least once. It was a supposedly refined version of the Palin wail, but it was still the grotesque sound of McCain flailing dirt with both fists. Of course, when he’s playing the game that way, you can’t help but enjoy the gotchas.
Another good gotcha was the way McCain again attempted to fashion himself as Mr. Anti-Earmark. Quite the image, however, while he was busy trying to grab credit for his non-role in crafting and selling the repub Senate bill which amounted to the House bill from earlier in the week, one had to reflect that the substantive difference between the two is the Senate version was draped in a representative’s favorite fabric: pork. Mr. Anti-earmark is trying to take credit for 150 billion of taxbreaks and porkbarrel spending. He tries to embarrass Obama as a contributor to the 16 billion invested in hometown projects and then tries to take credit for ten times that amount. Gotcha again.
Other good gotchas include McCain’s faint smearing of Obama for not “talking softly and carrying a big stick” to which Obama replied by singing the McCain hit, “Bomb-bomb-bomb Bomb-bomb Iran” right back at him. Or there’s McCain crowing “we can never allow a second holocaust” besides the one he cheerleads for that we’re conducting in Iraq. And how about Obama nipping McCain’s Pinocchi-nose down to a nub, regarding their competing tax cut plans by twice slapping down McCain prevarications about his $700,000 tax cut for CEOs.
There’s the Cheney-to-Bush-to-McCain weapons of mass deception triple play gotcha of McCain’s near foaming at the mouth accusation that if the US were to follow the Obama Iraq Peace Plan, “Al Qaeda would reestablish their base in Iraq.” If only he could have had Lieberman as a lifeline.
Perhaps the most expensive gotcha was when McCain tried to dance around discussing potential revisions in Social Security and Medicare. Even when prodded to address Medicare he feinted away, hoping the rest of us didn’t know that that same day it was reported his economic plan includes cutting one point three trillion out of Medicare. Now that’s some big league gotcha.
Almost as good a gotcha came when the bitter McCain attempted the bait and switch as Obama came up for the after the match handshake. McCain offered his wife, Cindy’s, hand first and then slipped off leaving Obama hanging. The gotcha supposedly goes to McCain, except that the whole exchange was caught centerstage on film, already available on a You Tube near you and so the whole world gets to watch McCain be an ass. Gotcha right back.
It came as we watched when the pundits pilloried McCain for getting hoisted on his own petard of mudslinging and shallow promises as the after-debate polls slid ever farther the Obama way.
Lordy, Lordy how it takes me back to about four + years ago just before the ’04 RNC convention. McCain sells off in his renegade-among-republicans status for a slow-dance with the decider in chief. The maverick let himself be branded. And now, like all the other rats going down with the Bush-ship, McCain is finally wising up to the old adage, “you got to dance with the one that brung ya.” Oh that last look on McCain’s face as you could see him watching his hopes sink slowly in the west.