American presidential races used to be about 2 things: duels and debates. Well, we can’t have them dueling anymore, otherwise we’d never elect Democrats. Now, after watching the vice-presidential debate between Sen. Joe Biden and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin I am not so sure we should have debates. This took the Admiral James Stockdale moment of 1992 and made it seem reasonable. Maybe Stockdale had a good reason for wandering around the dais. Who knows? The point is Sarah Palin killed the presidential debate system as we know it.

How you ask? Well, a debate is supposed to be an interchange of thoughtful answers to questions posed by a moderator. Candidate A answers the first question and then Candidate B rebuts A’s answer. A then has the chance to respond. Second question goes to Candidate B and the dance continues. But Sarah wasn’t havin’ none of that. No, she was establishin’ her own rules, Wink! She declared off the bat that she wasn’t goin’ to answer questions the way they were posed, and in fact she didn’t. She read prepared statements from index cards. She brought cheat sheets to the debate. She was like one of those sub-moronic back-up quarterbacks who have the plays written on their arms because rememberin’ the playbook is too hard.

And if there’s any doubt lingering about whether or not she’s a pathological liar she quickly dispelled that. She began the night by asking Sen. Biden if she could “call him Joe?” Even though he said “yes” she called him Sen. Biden, Sen. O’Biden and, finally, just Biden. The only time she called him Joe was to pull out that golden nugget of a zinger that Vietnam Vic wrote for her to use at the least appropriate time possible. “Say it ain’t so, Joe.” Indeed, Sarah.

Her full quote was:

Say it ain’t so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again. You preferenced your whole comment with the Bush administration.

Where to begin? She starts with “Say it ain’t so, Joe”. Zero chance she knew she was referencing the 1919 Black Sox scandal. No way. Next, she says “there you go again.” A not-so great use of the Reagan line about distorting the Gipper’s record. “Pointing backwards?” Perhaps another baseball reference. Remember Mark MaGuire’s congressional testimony about his alleged steroids use? And then, as if from a metaphorical grassy knoll, comes a second “again.” Unique sentence structure, to say the least.

But could folksy old cornpone leave it at that? No, she had to make up a word just like they used to have to do at Channel 9 News Anchorage when she was the weekend sportscaster. “Preferenced?” When did she become Leon Phelps aka The Ladies Man?  “I preferenced some Courvosier but I’ll drink your Remy Martin.”

The U.S.S. Disaster known as McCain/Palin may finally have begun its final voyage to the bottom of the sea. This farce of a presidential ticket only confirms my suspicion that Republicans had no desire to ever win this race. Even the idiots who made “Gigli” wouldn’t have green lighted this bomb. It quite literally stinks.

And if you have “friends” who still believe they have to vote McCain/Palin to fight off the infidels from Iraq who attacked us on 9/11, well, most importantly you need new friends. But secondly, invite them over to watch a double feature of “Election” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” If they still don’t think Sarah Barracuda is Tracy Flick from “Election” with the voice of Edie McClurg (who played Mr. Rooney’s secretary, Grace) in “Ferris” then, seriously, get some new friends. It’s not that hard. Try Facebook.