Thursday, October 2, 2008

Deference, Please

During tonight's vice presidential debate, it really started to unnerve me the fifth or sixth time that Sarah Palin referred to the Democratic presidential nominee as "Barack." Not that the woman has a shred of historical context, but the echoes of the eras of slavery and Jim Crow made me wince. Until relatively recently, American newspapers reserved the use of first names for children, dogs, and black people. During the time of slavery, dogs actually received higher billing in colloquial speech: a man's dog would be graced with his last name (Barack Compton), while his slave would be referred to in possessive terms (Compton's Barack). The man is very close to being our next president. I don't expect her to call him Mr. Obama; simply Obama will do. Oh, the nerve. And the McCain campain demands that the press show her deference? Before she will even do a simple press conference? They must know it would be at least twice as hard as tonight's debate, in which she was allowed to ignore the questions and just stick to her talking-point cue cards. At least Biden eventualy realized that this gave him an opening to take shots at McCain; if she didn't have a cue card to rebut it, she just let it go by and tried to use the word maverick twelve times in one run-on sentence.

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