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Elections & Voting Last Updated: Oct 6th, 2008 - 00:47:08

Palin drone
By Michael Hasty
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Oct 6, 2008, 00:11

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Although I�ve seen Youtube clips, I didn�t watch Sarah Palin�s speech at the Republican convention, so I�d never experienced the full Saracuda Hustle before Thursday night�s debate.

I was as astonished as Joe Biden, in that happy-to-be-in-the-presence-of-such-a-wild-and-attractive-woman kind of leering male way, at Palin�s antics. She�s always struck me as a weird amalgam of Shirley Temple, the Church Lady, and Raquel Welch in designer eyeglasses. I wouldn�t have been surprised to see her suddenly strip down to a cavegirl bikini and sing �On the Good Ship Lollipop,� holding a cross.

Let�s face it, she was flirting with me the whole time. I mean, Bill Clinton was a flirt, but I don�t recall him ever crinkling up his nose straight into the camera. She winked at me at least twice. I kept thinking, what if this was Biden doing this? I can�t recall a single presidential or vice presidential candidate in my lifetime, including Geraldine Ferraro, ever spending an entire television appearance doing a cutesy-poo routine.

I genuinely liked Joe Biden Thursday night, who, especially in comparison with Palin, the talking Caribou Barbie doll, came off as a fully-rounded and compassionate human being, warts and all.

I�ve never really been a fan of Biden�s, who�s let too many oleaginous right-wing judges slip through his hands as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. And one thing Palin got right was Biden�s interventionist history. But he seems a kind man; and the sad fact is, everybody in his political class, including Obama, the Lion of Afghanistan, is trapped in the military-industrial Matrix. By those standards, I thought Obama�s choice of Biden was yet another example of his brilliant mind at work.

Gwen Ifill, the moderator from PBS, did a good job keeping the conversation lively, but she left a lot of important questions unasked. She had a perfect opportunity -- the specter of Dick Cheney having been summoned in the back-and-forth about the role of VP, and with the release of the Department of Justice report this week suggesting possible criminal politicization of the DOJ by Rove & Company -- to ask about abuse of power, and asking political appointees to do questionable things. It�s curious that the media show so little interest in stonewalled subpoenas as a general matter, from Troopergate to the fired US attorneys.

Lively as the discussion was, however, I had a hard time staying awake sometimes, which really irritated me because it was interfering with my fantasies about me and Sarah off alone in the woods. I�d been up late the night before, and sometimes the train of thought was gosh-darn difficult to follow, as Fantasy Girl might say.

I mean, Ifill would ask a question, or Biden would make a point, and then the focus would shift to Palin, who would take a beat while she shuffled through her note cards (in her mind or on the podium, I don�t really know, though they both were looking down a lot). Then she would start droning on with some florid and ludicrous right-wing talking point or campaign slogan that I�d heard what, a million and a half times before, and Sarah and I would disappear somewhere off in dreamland.

In an unprecedented way, Palin�s presence in this campaign represents the final degrading step in the celebritization of presidential politics. Because I won�t give up hope, I�ll continue to hope that the Obama era will bring some return to the politics of reason favored by James Madison and his Founding Father associates (�Gee, willikers, Senator Omadison -- can I call you Jimmy? -- up in small town Alaska, we don�t go for that East Coast elitist church-state separation thingy, know what I mean?�).

Meanwhile, I choose Sarah Palin as the candidate I�d most like to go off in the woods and gut a moose with -- though I�d keep a close eye on the knife the whole time.

Michael Hasty lives on a farm in West Virginia, where he wrote a column for seven years for the Hampshire Review, the state�s oldest newspaper. In 2000, it was named best column by the West Virginia Press Association. His writing has appeared in the Charleston Gazette, Online Journal, Common Dreams, Buzzflash, Tikkun and many other websites. He publishes the blog, Radical Pantheist. He plays guitar and harmonica with the folk/gospel trio, the Time Travelers. Email:. radicalpantheist(at)gmail (dot) com.

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