Saturday, October 04, 2008


Today's NY Times op-ed page includes most of the standard sneers at Sarah Palin's debate performance -- and personna. I did see the whole debate on TV and (surprise) both sides got away with stuff. That is apparently the way of modern American politics.

But I thought that the true whopper of the evening was Joe Biden's story about Lebanon. In his patented style he informed the audience that when the U.S. and the French kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, he and Obama lobbied to put NATO forces into Lebanon to "fill the vacuum." Huh?

Neither moderator Ifill nor Palin nor the NY Times' writers (including Steven Pinker), nor any source that I had seen or heard, picked up on this one.

I now see that Michael Totten had the same reaction that I did ("Joe Biden's Alternate Universe").

But narratives are stubborn things. The wise and seasoned foreign policy "expert" vs. the unready hick from somewhere off the mental map is just too good and too comforting to let go -- even through 100 inches of NY Times op-ed column space.