Governor Palin and Senator Biden faced off at an obtuse angle tonight. Clearly the art of political oratory and logic have fallen on hard times. Following the tortured sentences of Governor Palin I sometimes felt like an out-of-control vehicle skidding across the ice floes of Alaska’s north slopes. And Senator Biden’s use of facts reminds me of Samual Clemens’ (Mark Twain’s) comment that there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

What is this populist “let’s string up Wall Street crap”. Governor Palin, by touting the line of the greedy, corrupt Wall Street bankers may gain a few votes from those who don’t invest in stocks, don’t have a pension fund, or a money market account, or don’t use a credit card, but really — are both of these votes worth the wasted minutes of face time she could have used explaining that the current crises was not solely the result of the current administration’s economic policy, but the result of a long string of Congressional meddling. What could better position her for reform? Both of these contenders seems to have been infected with Bolivarian populist logic, and as such they both sounded like they were from the same party. Sure things need to change, but for awhile there I thought Governor palin was Senator Obama’s running mate. And don’t get me started on run-on sentences. Damn woman — breathe!

I could also do without the “John McCain” this and “John McCain” that. After all we all know who is who. It would have been much more effective, in my opinion, to speak of “our platform” or of “our opponent’s stated policies”. It would sound much more “presidential”. It’s good to slip in elements of past policies or proposed policies, but you really need to answer the question first. I kept wondering how did she (or he) get there from that question.

And Senator Biden — detailed mind numbing presentation of voting records and facts are not going to win you anything. Everything you say is known to be out of context, so the facts without the context are worthless. At a business group I participate in we review business plans. Presentors always want to show their spreadsheets, tables, and graphs which always somehow have exponentially increasing sales. No one bothers with these because everyone knows they are wrong anyway. Same with most of what you say about voting records.

I know that Senator Biden didn’t prep himself. Some of his actual positions are factually different from those he stated in the debate. Clearly he was offering up the drivel from the Pelosi bucket of vituperation. It would have been much more powerful to actually present an argument verses a reiteration of the approved Democratic sound bites.

The only declarative statement I heard from either side was Palin saying she did not support gay marriage — that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Biden said that he said the same thing, but didn’t, or did in a round-about way, that he actually did not support gay marriage but would support civil equality…(you get my drift).

I was hoping to see some leadership. I was hoping to hear them talk about how America is strong and great and the issues of the economy, while significant, did not affect the true strength of the country. Governor Palin started down this path with her rebuttal of Senator Biden opinion of Senator McCain’s characterization of the economy as fundamentally strong. She started to make the case, but careened off onto another topic.

A poor showing from both sides. The loser? Clearly America.

I have been waiting, watching and thinking about the current political landscape. With the annoyance of a two year campaign, I have kept my opinions pretty much to myself with a few exceptions which address issues more than candidates. As we plunge into the pre-November hysteria, I feel obligated to weigh in with a few thoughts.

As my readers might suspect, I have Republican leanings, although to be accurate, they are more Libertarian than true Republican. The whole earmark thing and growth of the bureaucracy makes me want to draw and quarter the Republicans. I have come to the conclusion that the first two years of Clinton and the first six years of Bush are two of the best arguments for never letting one party control the entire Government.

First, I am impressed by Obama. I think that he could very well be a decent president provided he was backed by a Republican Congress. ( I think that we can all agree here that a true third party is not in the cards.) He has very straight line liberal tendencies which I probably will not agree with, but I can see that he would be a catharsis to the nation — or an enema depending on your point of view.
At the very least, it would shut up the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world — an effect to be greatly desired in my book. A popular vote for Obama would dispell the myth that every white middle-class worker is a racist.

However, I will not vote for Obama because he is not going to have a Republican Congress. Pelosi, Reid and Obama is a triumvirate that gives me the shudders. Rather than the change we want and desire, we will be hamstrung by the special interests of labor, the environmentalists, and the redistributionists. While I am sure that that condition will exist only for two or at most four years, it will take an additional four to six years to undo and correct the policies that they will implement without adult supervision, just in tax policy and the economy alone. God knows what effects could occur in the state of the world that would be more persistent even permanent.

I wasn’t inclined to vote for McCain either. It strikes me that Congresscritters make poor Presidents as they are too much attuned to compromise and not enough to leadership. Certain things are not suitable for compromise — like your principles. This doesn’t leave me much choice if I want my vote to count. Voting for a third party, not voting, or writing in Mickey Mouse — same difference. McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin changed things however. Granted that she is as useful as a “bucket of warm spit” as they say in actual job responsibilities; she still brings true leadership ability to the ticket. To my way of thinking, leadership is what is important in the position. Even if McCain is a compromiser, the influence of Palin will be felt and that is a positive thing.

I believe that the media and Beltway pundits are overlooking the desire of the American people for leadership. They certainly don’t find it in Pelosi and Reid who called a recess rather than vote on off-shore drilling, which 74% of Americans support. They see the promise of leadership in Obama, but the actuality of leadership in Palin. McCain, in his selection of Sarah Palin, has won the White House in 2008 if only he has the sense to know it.