Friday, September 05, 2008

All over but the shouting

So, what a crazy couple of weeks. I’ve had about 65 moments of witnessing some Republican atrocity on TV and spluttering with rage while simultaneously realizing what a great blog post it would make, yet I’ve been way too busy to post. I’m really glad this train wreck of a convention is over now so I can finally collect my thoughts on it. I’ve been going back and forth on the significance of Sarah Palin and the overall meaning of the hard-right tack taken by the McCain campaign, but today, after the old man’s acceptance speech last night, I’m actually feeling pretty confident. What do the Republicans have to offer middle-class America? A big fat pile of nothing. With a generous side order of hypocrisy.

Good Christ on a bike (as a friend of mine used to say) it simply cannot be possible that the country will be taken in by this pile of crapola AGAIN. Right? Please tell me that’s not possible. I mean, really…Obama bases his entire campaign on the theme of “change.” The last eight years have sucked for everyone but the uber-wealthy. This is beyond dispute. So what does McCain come back with? What’s his response to Obama’s message of reform? Two messages: “Vote for us and we’ll put ultra-right-wing theocrats in charge of everything,” coupled with “We’re going to clean up this mess around here.” And there you sit in your living room, listening to this clamor for “reform” from the political equivalent of the Gambino crime family, wondering whether you’ve slipped down some wormhole in the space-time continuum where GEORGE BUSH AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTY DIDN’T CONTROL THE WHITE HOUSE, THE CONGRESS AND THE COURTS FOR THE LAST EIGHT YEARS. Does nobody see the problem with this? The Republicans’ whole bid for four more years of executive power is that they’re going to fix the mess made over the last eight years by, well, pretty much all the same Republicans, enacting pretty much the same policies they are currently promoting. OK then. No cognitive dissonance there.

Meanwhile the Republican party has suddenly discovered feminism, which is highly amusing on a number of levels. They made Hilary Clinton out to have horns and cloven hooves, and excoriated her mercilessly when she cried sexism (rightly or wrongly) during her presidential bid. Yet their new standard bearer, AK-47 Moose-Murdering Barbie, no one may dare criticize, lest the entire Republican establishment simultaneously explode with righteous rage. How dare the press try to ask her questions about her professional and political background, just because she aspires to be the second most powerful person in the world? How dare they print stories about her pregnant 17-year-old daughter, after the McCain campaign itself announced the girl was pregnant? For the record I agree the whole teen pregnancy thing should be out of bounds in the media coverage of the campaign. It has no relevance either to Palin’s experience or to her qualifications. That said—they put out a freeeeking press release about it. They didn’t expect anyone to run a story? Are these people living on Mars?

It’s also quite fun to see how the Republicans are suddenly leaping to the defense of working mothers. All these years they’ve been demonizing ordinary women who have babies and then go back to work out of economic necessity, yet when Sarah Palin launches a vice presidential bid four months after giving birth to a special needs infant, all they have is praise for her. Imagine, just imagine, if Michelle Obama was the one who had recently had the Down syndrome baby. All we’d hear 24/7 is how scandalous it is that she left the side of the newborn baby to go off campaigning. Also, needless to say, just imagine the shitstorm if it was the Obamas who had the pregnant teenage daughter, by the way. The script they would follow writes itself: “Don’t these blacks know how to raise their kids right?”

And am I the only one who thinks McCain just looks tired? He looks like he wants to go home. I don’t think his heart is in this anymore. I’m actually starting to feel sorry for him. He had his moment, eight years ago, but it’s slipping out of his grasp and I think he knows it. He looks defeated. He has had a hard life, and he deserves to sit on the porch with a drink in his hand, watching his grandkids (does he have any grandkids yet? Presumably he will soon enough) playing. He should go on a long vacation and spend some more of Cindy’s money. Maybe take a nice cruise.

Because after that ginormous clusterf*!k of a convention—they are so clueless, they couldn’t even keep the protestors out of the building! They’re so inept, they Google-searched for a photo of Walter Reed Medical Center and came up with some elementary school with Walter Reed in the name, and nobody caught the mistake!—it’s all over but the celebrations on the day we inaugurate President Barack Obama.

UPDATE: I almost forgot: how hilarious was it when, at the end of McCain's speech, they put up a video of fireworks on that giant screen behind the stage? Take that, Obama campaign. You guys had real fireworks but we had, uh, really nice pictures of fireworks!

If that doesn't sum up this whole presidential race I don't know what does.

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