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Sarah Palin is a master of the Chewbacca Defense Debate and closed-captioned television could be our only hope for saving Democracy.

As you may know, the Chewbacca Debate is a mental attack designed to interfere with the human thought process of voters.  Through deft use of emotional imagery, folksy colloquialisms, regional accents, 911 references and profondly illogical arguments, a Chewbacca Debater can subvert even the most organized debate format.

Context for the pop-culture impaired:
The Chewbacca defense is the legal strategy developed by the creators of the show "South Park."  The intent of this defense is to confuse the jury.  It is patterned after Johnnie Cochran's "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit," closing argument defending O. J. Simpson in his murder trial.  In the article, "D is for Diabolical" Ellis wiener further defined it as when, "someone asserts his claim by saying something so patently nonsensical that the listener's brain shuts down completely."

Here is the original from episode 27 of South Park in which Chef is on trial for harassment against a record company that stole his song:

Johnnie Cochran: "Ladies and gentlemen of the supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider: (pulling down a diagram of Chewie) this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk, but Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now, think about that. That does not make sense! (jury looks shocked)

Why would a Wookiee -- an eight foot tall Wookiee -- want to live on Endor with a bunch of two foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense!

But more importantly, you have to ask yourself: what does that have to do with this case? (calmly) Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense!

Look at me, I'm a lawyer defending a major record company, and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca. Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense. None of this makes sense.

And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberating and conjugating the Emancipation Proclamation... does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense.

If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests."

Here is a classic example of the Chewbacca Defense in action from the hyper-insane Dinesh D'Souza:

The Pelosi Democrats sometimes appear to be just as eager as Osama bin Laden for President Bush to lose his war on terror. Why do I say this? Because if the Pelosi Democrats were seeking Bush's success, then their rhetoric and actions now and over the past three years are pretty much incomprehensible. By contrast, if you presume that they want Bush's war on terror to fail, then their words and behavior make perfect sense.

One example of Sarah Palin employing this technique can be seen here.

Now go back and try to watch that again.

It's irresistable... hypnotic... it makes you dumber bacause you WANT to understand what the hell she is saying. We try so hard to understand that it alters our perception.

It literally causes brain damage.

Unfortunately, the Chewbacca Debate is like the crane technique in the original Karate Kid - "If do right, no can defense."

But there is hope - try reading the transcript:

COURIC: Why isn’t it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries? Allow them to spend more and put more money into the economy? Instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

PALIN: That’s why I say, I like ever American I’m speaking with were ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the tax payers looking to bailout.

But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy– Helping the — Oh, it’s got to be about job creation too. Shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americas. A...

And trade we’ve got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive scary thing. But 1 in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. ALl those things under the umbrella of job creation.

This bailout is a part of that.

Now go back and try to read that again.

Painful - yes, but less damaging.  

The transcript eliminates the dissonance of her accent and disrupts the hypnotic power of Palin's illogical arguments - allowing us to focus righteous wrath on her grammar.

McCain is a Sith master of the Chewbacca Defense and I guarantee you that his apprentice Sarah Palin will deploy this strategy in her debate tonight.

So whenever Palin speaks, turn off the sound and turn on the captions.

Closed-captioning could save Democracy.

Originally posted to BoBo2020 on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:54 AM PDT.

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