With the first Presidential debates and a week of Pali-blunders under our collective belts, it was time to breathe easy and have a few drinks this weekend in honor of Maureen Dowd having been kicked off the "Straight" Talk Express for talking less straight than either John McCain or Sarah Palin. But then there were polls! Rumors of a new October surprise that could keep Bush from bombing another country! And a trip to Geno's in Philly, even though everyone knows Pat's is the place to be because Geno's is biased against non-English speakers (but, presumably, Germans and Italians would get a pass). Luckily, my friend Kay Steiger, who blogs for Campus Progress, is here to help me parse all that and appreciate the occasional reference to Britney Spears.
MEGAN: Good morning! Was your Saturday night as "opulent" as McCain's? I mean, I know eating on the road sucks, but it doesn't seem like he had to come all the way back to D.C. after the debates to eat at a good hotel restaurant. KAY: I know. This sort of puts Obama's claim about a Katrina-like response. I think what Obama meant was McCain's Katrina response. You know, when he and Bush were having a birthday party. MEGAN: "Let them eat cake?" Oh, wait, that was Barbara Bush, never mind. I also love that he flew all the way back here after the debate to hang out in his Congressional office and call people, but that he couldn't be bothered to walk down to the Senate floor to vote on a spending bill that contained earmarks. I think he really has turned into a complete wuss. He didn't want to be seen voting for earmarks, nor voting against a spending bill that contained offshore drilling provisions, so he just went to dinner 5 minutes away. KAY: Seems like a good use of time. Maybe he played some craps while he was at it —with the $700 billion bailout money. MEGAN: I mean, who doesn't like a good Indian casino? Not McCain, that's for sure. Although, I'm just putting this out there, I haven't been in a casino yet, Indian or otherwise, that didn't make me grind my teeth. I don't think an alcoholic beverage should cost me $8 in the middle of nowhere in Connecticut. KAY: Yeah, casinos tend to be filled with a lot of sad old people. I guess that includes McCain. MEGAN: A lot of sad old people that aren't nearly drunk enough to be entertaining because they can't afford $6 beers and quarter slots at the same time. Sorry, I digress. I really, really hate casinos. KAY: Don't worry, me too. In any case, we should probably say something about how McCain's debate performance on Friday was a big FAIL. MEGAN: Oh, yeah, there's all kinds of evidence that he didn't play well with the crowds. I personally think it was because most Americans tuned out — figuratively or literally — once the discussion turned to foreign policy, so that most of them missed the preconditions/preparation debacle. KAY: Well, it's easy to misspeak. McCain said we were at an "existential" crisis with Iran. I'm not even sure what that means. Did he just take freshman philosophy? MEGAN: I know, I thought the same thing! But then I realized that he just meant that he thought Iran would be a threat to the existence of Israel, i.e., nuke it, and I wondered why the McCain camp is so obsessed with nuclear war and yet its Vice Presidential candidate can't correctly identify the purpose of the Bush Doctrine, which is to allow us to nuke people without provocation. KAY: Well, if we're going to put nuclear war on the table we want to make sure we have at least one person "a heartbeat away" who has no clue about foreign policy MEGAN: I mean, right? Palin's so bad even McCain's staffers are telling reporters that she's "clueless". And Jack Cafferty — no bastion of liberalism — had this to say:
"If John McCain wins this woman will be one 72-year-old's heartbeat away from being President of the United States. And if that doesn't scare the hell out of you, it should."
KAY: I know, even the right isn't so sure about her anymore. But at least we have Tina Fey to make us laugh. The thing is, those sketches are getting less funny the more true they are. I feel like this sketch was eerily similar to Palin's actual answer about the bailout. MEGAN: I really thought some of what Tina Fey said early on was a direct quote, but I'd been drinking for 11 and a half hours at that point. I did find it uproariously funny. KAY: It's always prudent to drink for 11 and a half hours. MEGAN: It was a wedding! I was less amused at the part where she agreed with Obama on Pakistan and then McCain retracted it for her, though. Well, that and that she went to Geno's instead of Pat's. Geno's is the cheesesteak place with the signs requiring that you order in English. KAY: Don't worry, I think the "October surprise" this year is going to be Bristol's wedding. MEGAN: Well, it can't be that much of a surprise if we're already talking about it. Also, the thought of Steve Schmidt and Rick Davis dreamily talking about how marrying off Bristol Palin on her 18th birthday (it is a Saturday, after all!) is sort of incredibly creepy. Especially as a way to have the first-ever pre-election wedding in history. That's just, like, ewww. KAY: So ewww. Well, we all know that you're not a real woman until you're married, right? MEGAN: Well, you become a woman when you start bleeding out your cooch but only a real woman when you lock a man down to it for life or until the inevitable, painful and public divorce. I'm so glad that I'm not a girl and not yet a woman. And yes, I did just make a Britney reference. Seemed appropriate. KAY: So appropriate.