04 September, 2008

Return of the culture wars!

I've put up Giuliani and Palin's speeches at the RNC last night below. I thought Palin's speech was pretty good, actually. She got a few good shots in at Obama, but they weren't below the belt.

Giuliani's speech, on the other hand, was incoherent, hateful, mocking, and the crowd loved it. Some comments:

  • Does anyone else find it a bit creepy that "Drill, baby, drill!" has become a popular political chant in the Republican party? As if using oil were a patriotic duty.
  • I also don't understand why "Obama was a community organizer" is a laugh line (this was in the Palin speech as well). I guess
  • Oddly, Giuliani mocked Obama's alleged cosmopolitanism. Considering that Giuliani himself was the mayor of New York City, has been married several times, is a well-known transvestite, and probably fits in much better in any major city than in Wasilla, Alaska, some enterprising MSNBC producer decided to highlight the cognitive dissonance by switching to a shot of Giuliani in front of the giant NYC-skyline backdrop just when he delivered the Wasilla line. Ama-ing!

In any case, I am saddened to see John McCain trying to turn this campaign into a culture war. On the other hand, I think Obama will profit from this because there are more people who want to get past this than there are who want to wallow in it. And it's so weird that a McCain-Palin ticket would go for this--he missed the sixties because he was in Vietnam and she missed it because she hadn't been born yet. Neither has the profile of a tried and true culture warrior. So it must have been McCain's cynical and opportunistic decision to attempt to plunge the country back into these tired disputes. This is his Hail Mary pass--the cultural politics that have divided us for the last fifty years are in their last throes. Will we let them divide us one last time?


Cassady said...

"I suppose being mayor of a small town is kinda like being a community organizer, except you have actual responsibilities..."

And then she completely fails to describe what those might be.

"Since our opponents seem to look down on that(Palin's) experience, let me tell you a little about what the job entails..."

And...nothing. Not a single bullet point describing how she has had to display leadership or executive experience in her short time as Governor.

What almost had me driving off the road in a blind fury last night is simply the language that these people use. I say these people because try as I might, I cannot seem to identify with them at all. All of the speeches have told us absolutely nothing about the platform or substance of the Republican nominees this year. Chock full of negative comparisons and little snipes at Barack, they assert constantly the character/caliber/grit/guts/determination of John McCain.

Ok, assuming that McCain does have a strong character--which I believe he does--he's still displaying the type of character that draws about it people who think and speak and act only in terms of violence and abuse. It is inconceiveable that we're not in direct opposition to EVERYTHING to these people, and they see any other position as weak, and as such it should be mocked.

The GOP this year is hell-bent on electing executives who will persecute the individual's ability to think for theirself simply because we do not share the same values. There is only one way to be for them, and that way must be asserted, nay, FOISTED upon everyone else in the country.

God forbid that we should hold our nominees to some sort of standard, and make them tell us why they're qualified. Asking for a reason or justification for her nomination is not nearly the same as belittling Sarah Palin. If Barack supposedly has no experience, then what the hell does she have?

The crazies are getting crazier up in this hizzy.

Cassady said...

I think we've honestly heard the same speech multiple times a day since Monday:

"Barack Obama sucks. A lot. John McCain might as well be infallible. Don't worry about specifics. America. Fuck Yeah. You stay classy."

The exact same phrases keep popping up. Go figure that they sound like, "John McCain was a POW, he's been tested." "John McCain has character." "John McCain always puts country first."

I hear the same hateful, fear-mongering speech over and over. Dismal.

Elliot said...

I think Palin represents, in the simplest terms, that inasmuch as there is a trade-off between effective campaigning and effective governing ("Drill, baby, drill!" comes to mind), the GOP has morphed itself into an entity that will sacrifice any amount of the latter for a perceived edge in the former.

God, I can't wait for them to get trounced. And I hope the party I support never gets this far in the shitter.

spencer said...

I wonder...if the GOP and John McCain ignored that "perceived edge" and made the decisions that they thought would lead to the best government, would they be winning the race right now?

What we are seeing is a party in the final throes of death, to borrow a phrase. I think Ron Paul alone filled an arena larger than the Xcel Center, and Barack Obama filled a football stadium. The long arc of the conservative movement is over. It's only a matter of time before the GOP makes some serious changes. They've got to dump one wing of the party and build a new base--will it be the Christians, the low-tax Norquistians, or the neo-cons? My money is on the low-tax, low-government wing. Here's to hoping this process of reformation takes as long as possible.