Thursday, October 2, 2008
Chauncey DeVega says: Some Do's and Dont's for the Epic Joe Biden Versus Sarah Palin Debate
I am of two minds on tomorrow's Sarah Palin-Joe Biden Vice Presidential Debate. The conspiratorial part of my psyche keeps telling me that something is afoot, that this is an amazing example of playing down to low expectations just to sucker your opponent in so that you can give them the knockout punch.
Now, I am a firm believer in the truths that often lie behind alternative narratives for explaining the world's realities. For example, I don't believe in the Willie Lynch Letter. But, I do believe that the U.S. either did not go to the moon or only went a few times before being told by aliens not to return. I don't believe that Snapple is funded by the KKK. But, I do believe that Church's Fried Chicken was a conspiracy against Black people. By the way, Popeye's is just a blessing.
I don't believe that 9-11 was an "inside job," but I do believe that some folks chose to look the other way, and yes, the fourth plane was shot down. AIDS was not a biological weapon designed to kill black folks, but the Tuskegee experiment and tainted small pox vaccines in Africa have to make one think about the possibility. You see, my conspiratorial credentials are quite sound.
I have to be honest folks, my spidey sense is tingling on this one because either Palin and the Republicans are playing us all and she is a genius who will emerge to greatly surprise and embarrass Joe Biden in a manner akin to the movie the Ringer, where an "able bodied" and not mentally "handicapped" person participates in the Special Olympics to rig the games for the Mafia.
Or is she going to be outplayed and outmaneuvered by Joe Biden? Could she perhaps be brought to tears? If there is a God of debates and political blogs she will indeed be brought to tears...but I won't hold my breath. Assuming that truth is stranger than fiction, and that Palin is as vapid as she appears to be, Biden can still lose this debate. Why? the law of low expectations and the amazing capacity for the public at large to feel pity for a loser, especially if they are Walmart moms who are "scrappy" and are the political equivalent of the football player Rudy--Red State types love those stories. Random thought: do they love the movie Radio just as much?
In the spirit of Paul Begala's post on 10 rules to win a debate, here are some quick tips for Obama's VP.
1. You can't hit a girl. I know that sounds sexist, but it is true. I know she could be alot bigger and stronger than you, but we, and by we I mean women and men, don't really want true gender equality in this country. This is one example of that fact. Joe, you have to be nice. Joe you have to be civil. And yes, you can't pull a McCain and just ignore her as he did Obama. If during the debate she proverbially gets in your face, calls your mother out of her name, and spits on you, you can't hit her. But as Chris Rock said, you sure as hell can shake her (you can start sending those angry emails now).
2. Visualize yourself as an adult who is fighting a child. Alternatively, visualize yourself as a tall person fighting a "little person." You have the advantage of reach, strength, and in this case, experience and power. Your foe is slippery and fast. Sarah is also able to get in under your guard--in MMA this is called "passing the guard"--therefore, you need to be very careful. The little person/child also has a low center of gravity. As a consequence, you can't really knock them down without leaning forward and putting yourself off balance. The larger competitor also has an advantage in weight and the ability to absorb a blow. Remember, that in a debate you don't necessarily want to go for the knockout punch early. Instead, you want to set them up and punish them until you are ready to put your foe to sleep. Biden must remember this fact because an early knockout will work against his cause rather than in favor of it. My suggestion, move around, dodge and weave, and at some point simply put your hand on their forehead, hold them back, and let them swing at the air. Remember Joe, Palin doesn't have the reach to hit you. The solution: don't get overconfident and get up close where she can hurt you:
3. To point 2, the child or little person you are fighting has your groin at eye level. As a result, they can't help but to hit you low. Biden, you need to wear a cup. Sarah is going to be hitting you low all night long and you are going to be bruised. It is the same rule that governs being in a knife fight, you have to accept that you are going to get cut. It is unavoidable. All you can do is get cut at a moment when it is too your advantage as the attacker (counter-intuitive but true). Again Joe, Sarah is looking at your crotch. Not because she likes you, but because she can't look or swing any higher.
4. Similarly, the smaller opponent can literally trip you up or take out a knee. If this happens you are on the ground and they have the advantage. Solution: avoid getting close enough to be tripped up.
5. Joe Biden is a bit of a hothead with a sharp tongue. He must remember Bruce Lee's advice, "be water my friend."
6. On points 4, 5, and 3, Joe Biden must be judicious in his application of force. In all likelihood he has forgotten more about government and foreign affairs than Palin has every known. He cannot betray his superiority over her. If Biden does this he will look like a lecturing bully. And this would almost certainly push some female independents, Hillary supporters, and Joe Six Packs (or is it 3 packs because of the economic downturn?) to McCain. Random thought: can't you imagine the complaints from Fox News and Joe Q. Public/Bush supporters if Biden were to expose Palin? "There go those know it all liberals again! We need a regular person who respects "real" Americans!"--Insert hand into mouth in order to induce vomiting.
7. On point 6, Joe Biden cannot be Joey Buttafuoco . Do you remember that piece of human debris? In his effort at petty stardom he boxed Chyna, the former WWE "women's" wrestler. Guess what? He lost by winning because he humiliated and embarrassed her--and he looked boorish while doing it. Joe, I beg you, even when you smell blood in the water don't go for the kill shot. You can punish your prey a bit, expose its weaknesses, but don't go for the kill shot unless you have to:
8. Finally, don't underestimate Sarah Palin. I repeat, do not underestimate Sarah Palin. Always hold close and true to your heart the wisdom of Return of the Jedi and how the Ewoks, those fuzzy little teddy bears, were able to defeat the Imperial war machine:
If you were in Joe Biden's corner what would you tell him to do? What does he have to be careful about? Who is going to win? Am I being too paranoid in my worry that this is a set up and Palin is suckering everyone in for the kill shot?
Here is the tale of the tape and pre-fight video: