Friday, September 19, 2008

Palin's speechwriters should at least finish the scene

This has been bugging me for a while.

This now familiar right-wing mantra. We'll put more money back in the hands of the taxpayer because they know how to spend it better than government does.

Palin, in two of her latest outings (Nevada and Colorado), has used the same speech. Aside from the painful introduction of her husband as "First Dude" and dripping family goo, she uttered this familiar line:
I'm returning a chunk of our surplus straight back to the people because they can spend it better than government can.
Same old mantra. I sloughed it off until I saw it on a video.

It struck me that this is a shallow and incomplete line of reasoning. It may work in the pub at 5:30 pm on a Friday, but by Monday there's a lot missing. It was hearing the audio that put that mantra in the field of mindless jingles. In that format, I knew that I had heard the line followed by an immediate take down. Then I found it. (I've removed the names for your continued enjoyment.)
Moderator: Governor [name removed], many economists have stated that the tax cut, which is the centerpiece of your economic agenda, could actually harm the economy. Is now really the time to cut taxes?
Gov. [name removed]: You bet it is. We need to cut taxes for one reason - the American people know how to spend their money better than the federal government does.
Moderator: [name removed], your rebuttal.
[name removed]: There it is. That's the ten word answer my staff's been looking for for two weeks. There it is. Ten-word answers can kill you in political campaigns. They're the tip of the sword. Here's my question: What are the next ten words of your answer? Your taxes are too high? So are mine. Give me the next ten words. How are we going to do it? Give me ten after that, I'll drop out of the race right now. Every once in a while... every once in a while, there's a day with an absolute right and an absolute wrong, but those days almost always include body counts. Other than that, there aren't very many unnuanced moments in leading a country that's way too big for ten words. I'm the President of the United States, not the President of the people who agree with me. And by the way, if the left has a problem with that, they should vote for somebody else.
There it is. The take down. Your mantra, Governor, is overly simplistic crap.

Worse, however, is that Palin's speechwriters apparently lack sufficient imagination to go any further than a fictional television drama for their text. Too bad they didn't copy the whole script because the reminder is there: "Complexity isn't a vice."

In Sarah Palin's world it's all about winning votes by telling you how much money she's going to give back to you. She doesn't tell anyone what the actual cost of that might be. In Sarah Palin's world you pay for your own rape kit.

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