Red State/ Blue State

Palin gives as good as she gets

DAVE SIMPSON & GREG BEAN

A political discussion between Red State conservative Dave Simpson, a former reporter, editor, publisher and columnist, and Greg Bean, Blue Stater and executive editor of Greater Media Newspapers.

Dear Greg: Welcome back, old friend. Our hearts have been with you for the last few weeks.

On the political front, I have to admit that I looked forward to the vice presidential debate like an impacted wisdom tooth. I was tempted not to watch, figuring Sarah Palin would fall flat on her face.

But I did watch, because I knew you would be. And, Greg, I know you’ll join me in saying she did a fabulous job. Be honest now. With just five weeks on the national scene, she went toe to toe with Joe Biden, who has been in the Senate almost four decades, and in my opinion she gave as good as she got.

Your liberal friends, who expected a spectacular crackup, were no doubt heartbroken.

Speaking of Biden, did you know that Bosnians are called “Bosniacs?” That’s what Biden said, and if Palin had said that, I can imagine what Keith Olbermann would have made of it. To be fair, Palin mispronounced a general’s name, and she didn’t seem to know that the Senate isn’t about to give the vice president any more power than he/she already has.

But, Greg, if we’re to believe what Katie Couric tells us, this is a woman who didn’t know what newspapers she reads two weeks ago, and couldn’t think of any court cases with which she disagrees. I’d say Palin did about as well in that Couric interview as Couric did her first few weeks as a network anchor. But look at Palin today, going toe to toe with Biden. She got better a lot quicker than perky Katie did.

A woman who can learn this fast would make a great vice president, and don’t you deny it, Buster. She may be the governor of a

sparsely populated state (like mine, and your home state), and she may talk more like Junior Samples than Henry Kissinger. But I can imagine these same big-city sophisticates trashing failed Missouri haberdasher Harry Truman when Roosevelt picked him. And today, everyone wants to be like Harry. (I’ll bet Harry and Bess ate raw vegetables, and not crudités, don’t you think?) And, she seems to know a lot more about the energy industry

than Joe Biden or Barack Obama.

I know the “you betchas” and the “by gollies” and the winks will drive your snooty East Coast friends crazy. But out here in the sticks, I think there will be a lot of enthusiasm for a spunky gal who talks like we do and was perfectly willing to take on Biden with millions watching.

Bottom line: I’m still smitten by Sarah, Greg, and I’m not afraid to say it.

Your turn, Greg. Don’t taze me, Bro.

And let me say once again that it’s great to have you back.

Your still-smitten friend,

Red State Dave d_simpson@bresnan.net

Dear Dave:

Thanks for the welcome home. It’s good to be back, but it’s been tough to watch your avowed sweetheart, Sarah Palin, self-destruct without my commentary.

Now, good buddy, I’ve been nice as long as I can.

But first things first. Although Joe Biden might have enough juice to monkey around with a Wikipedia entry, I don’t think he can change the Britannica online encyclopedia, and, according to that learned source, since the mid-1990s, two-fifths of the Bosnian population, the Muslims, have been known as Bosniacs. So it turns out, Joe was right, and you, my snarky friend, were wrong. Just so you know.

There was a time in my misspent youth when I spent an afternoon drinking beer at a place in Ensenada, Mexico, called Hussong’s Cantina. It was right next to La Bufadora, which means the Blow Hole, because the waves hit a cliff and shoot up through the rock like a whale’s blowhole.

At any rate, from my stool there in Hussong’s, I could watch any number of actual Mexicans outside, and little did I know that instead of consuming beer, I was getting more foreign policy experience for my résumé than Sarah Palin, who said her foreign policy experience consisted of being able to see Russia from some point in Alaska.

Does that qualify me to be vice president? More qualified than Sarah Palin, who never mentioned seeing any actual Russians?

I also saw some actual Canadians once when I went to a Janice Joplin concert in Cal- gary, some Germans when I went to Berlin and some Englanders in England. So I guess I’m quadruple qualified.

That Katie Couric interview, the same one where Sarah drew a blank when asked about the Bush Doctrine, didn’t remember reading a newspaper, agreed with every Supreme Court ruling and rambled semi-incoherently about everything else, was the real Sarah.

The Sarah in the vice presidential debate, after she’d been force-fed the answers to all the questions down on John McCain’s ranch, was nothing more than a college student regurgitating test answers after an allnight cram session. She had no more idea what she was actually saying than a monkey hitting random typewriter keys.

Did you see her smiling like a lunatic as Joe Biden answered a question? She wasn’t smiling because she disagreed with Biden’s statement, she was smiling because she was thinking, “Thank God, I memorized this one!”

It was pathetic, really, and even more pathetic was John McCain the next day giving the thumbs up and saying, “How ’bout that Sarah Palin?”

Yeah, Dave, how ’bout her?

My friend, I want to thank you for throwing me this softball across the plate for my welcome-back column. You took one for the team, my friend, and I appreciate it.

I wouldn’t want any of our readers thinking you actually believe that nonsense.

I’m back, good buddy,

Blue State Greg gbean@gmnews.com