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Friday, October 15, 2010

Defense Mechanisms

With the Angle/Reid and O'Donnell/Coons debates complete, isn't it great fun watching the entire modern conservative movement literally falling over themselves to find just one aspect of how these completely off-the-rails amateurs bested their opponents?

Allahpundit at Hot Air references the single line from Gloria Borger that virtually every conservative in the country was repeating the following day regarding Coon's apparent demeanor:

Coons can can barely contain his disdain for his opponent.


And while followers of the overly peddled "body language" metric are taking this completely at face value, I would argue that Coons showed more disinterest in O'Donnell's presentation of her "argument" rather than revealing to the audience his contempt of her as a person.

But that line just isn't going to drive up your audience share on your next program on Fox"News", is it?

Where Coons fell short - actually REALLY short - was his explanation of the "bearded-Marxist" line, which conservatives continue to fall back on like it's actually a credible piece of evidence against his candidacy.

Rather than explaining how this satirical approach to his political leanings was used in his writings, he relied on the "ah, I was only kidding" defense, which really isn't much of one.

That aside, I'm quite certain that O'Donnell - like most within the Tea Bagger movement - don't really know what a Marxist is, only that it sounds scary and creates the illusion that you have more validity to your side of any particular issue. Kind of like conservatives screaming about the "Constitutionality" of just about everything Democrats have doing and will do. Rather reminds me of a Micheal Bay film - all special effects and no plot at all.

And then there was Sharron Angle and Harry Reid.

Quite literally the only aspect of Angle's performance - or lack thereof - that conservatives are using for her defense is nothing more than childish taunting. But then again, that is their stock-in-trade.

Malkin's Monday morning quarter-backing of Angle's performance is truly something to marvel at:

In style and substance, Lady in Red Sharron Angle trounced the four-term Democrat Senate incumbent and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at tonight’s Las Vegas debate.


And in the quotable quote of the night, Angle pricked Reid’s delusions about the teetering Social Security system with two terse words:

“Man up.”


Angle smiled, channeling Reagan’s warrior optimism, and asked for Nevadans’ votes to restore prosperity and freedom and American exceptionalism. Without notes.


One could almost sense the collective "face-palm" of High School debate coaches shivering at the thought of the back and forth at competitions resorting to nothing more than "you man up!", "no, YOU man up!"

This is what the Tea Baggers have done to the intellectual process of debate - reduced it to nothing more than a "you're ugly and your momma dresses you funny" blabber-fest. Then again, conservatives are embracing the idea that you don't need higher education or experience to make your country a better place.

I will say this of Reid, he was - and is, really - too stiff and didn't really take it to Angle like he should have. Perhaps his confidence that he's going to win is showing just a little too much. But if he had been tougher on her, I'm sure the conservative narrative would have shifted from Angle being more effective in her responses to her being bullied. And I'm sure the sexist meme wouldn't have been too far behind.

Both debates were predictable and just a little more than disappointing to watch at times. I'm sure that both sides of the political aisle can agree on that aspect. But from a realistic standpoint, Coons was the clear winner on his night and Reid seemed to just be treading water. The later, to me at least, didn't have a clear winner and that fault falls directly at Reids feet.

What I will say is this - if Delaware elects O'Donnell and Nevada elects Angle, they are going to be sorely disappointed. Anyone recall the last time you heard a conservative shout from the mountaintops about the incredible, patriotic, pro-American job Scott Brown is doing?

1 comment:

rdale said...

The reich-wing crowing over how Angle "won" the debate reminds me of how Dubya proclaimed himself the "master of low expectations." Just because she didn't scream, red-faced and spittle shooting, didn't bring her Glock to enforce her "2nd Amendment solutions," didn't start speaking in tongues, she "won" the debate. This is what our political discourse has been reduced to.

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