VP Debate Gets Real

The vice-presidential candidate debate was really interesting — not that anything suprising was said, but for what it revealed.  A potential weakness in such a debate is the policy differences within a party’s own ticket.  There’s a real difference between Palin and McCain on capping emmissions, civil unions, and ideology, and Palin generally skirted the question.  Most of the night she dodged questions, whereas Biden flat out denied that there was any real policy differences between Obama and Biden.

With her lack of expertise and experience, Palin continuously fell back on old Reagan-style ideology.  Biden was able to get into real details as well as pitch his message to middle-class America.  The larger story going on here is how the two parties’ ideologies connect, or fail to connect, with middle America.

By Noelle McAfee

I am professor of philosophy at Emory University and editor of the Kettering Review. My latest book, Fear of Breakdown: Politics and Psychoanalysis, explores what is behind the upsurge of virulent nationalism and intransigent politics across the world today. My other writings include Democracy and the Political Unconscious; Habermas, Kristeva, and Citizenship; Julia Kristeva; and numerous articles and book chapters. Edited volumes include Standing with the Public: the Humanities and Democratic Practice and a special issue of the philosophy journal Hypatia on feminist engagements in democratic theory. I am also the author of the entry on feminist political philosophy in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and well into my next book project on democratic public life.

1 comment

  1. after these first two debates i’m seeing how the political issue of punditry rarely gets approached critically, you know, how political spin disguises itself as “objective” statements about the debate, i.e., “who won” from the allaged standpoint of the “the American voter.” Is this not REALLY sinister?

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