Friday, October 03, 2008

Palin-Biden debate

This blog boycotted it. It was so obvious that the pundit stories were written before the debate: if Palin managed to string two sentences together, she would be declared the winner for having exceeded expectations. Thus the basis for choosing the deputy to the Sheriff of the Free World.

But the boycott doesn't preclude reading the as-it-happened on other sites. The funniest one, unintentionally, is National Review's The Corner. Their site crashed 15 minutes into the debate. K-Lo explains --

I'm Deeply Sorry [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

We have at least five times the traffic we had last Friday night and our server couldn’t handle it. Most of us couldn’t access the NRO because of it. I am sorry.

Note the likely explanation -- the conservatives watching the debate cared not about its substance, but needed the reassurance from true believers that Sarah Palin was doing OK. It's like some weird version of the Keynesian Beauty Contest, with the added twist that the need for affirmation of one's opinion causes the entire operation to break down.

More entertainment comes when K-Lo prints a Biden-bashing e-mail from "a foreign policy insider", unnamed, but giving a lot of identifying information away:

As for NATO going in after the 2006 [Israel-Lebanon] debacle, well, I’m the one who rounded up 8,000 French and Italians and a few thousand other Euros to go into Southern Lebanon along with an assortment of others in August 2006 and while working that issue for about 40 straight days I don’t remember a peep from Biden or Obama about NATO – which wouldn’t be budged despite our intense pressure in Mons. So, we went straight to Rome and Paris. Que sera, sera.

Through the miracle of the Google, one quickly establishes that: Mons is the operational HQ of NATO, and that meetings there would not be summits but rather be conducted by deputy or ambassador types. Such as then US Ambassador to NATO, Victoria Nuland, also known as Mrs Robert Kagan as in brother of Fred and sons of Donald, neocon gene pool extraordinaire. Leaving Ms Nuland an excellent guess at K-Lo's on-message correspondent.

If it's not Nuland, one certainly hopes that the occupant of the relevant Pentagon position then and now, Daniel Fata, is not giving away insider details of military negotiations via the Palin fan-club e-mail to K-Lo.

UPDATE: The other possibility is Daniel Fried at the State Department.

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