Thursday, September 4, 2008

I try not to be political here...

But my head is about to explode. So: What is with the repeated GOP attacks on Obama's experience as a community organizer? Where do they get off sneering at community organizers -- especially while touting Palin's "Oh-I'm-just-a-hockey-mom-who-joined-the-PTA" background? And who applauds at that kind of mean-spirited, out-of-touch garbage?

...Okay, that was the thing that got me fired up enough to post. But now that I'm here, I can't resist offering a few more thoughts on last night's display. I won't bother with the distortions and lies about Obama's and the Dems' actual plans and policies -- other people can cover that better, and anyway that's politics as usual. But some of this stuff in Palin's speech just made my jaw drop:
To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters.
Where I'm from we call that kind of effort "community organizing."
I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House.
Unless you're poor! And/or uninsured!

Okay, this is from later, when she'd transitioned fully into snide attack mode:
This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word "victory" except when he's talking about his own campaign.
Obama hates America because he won't glory in our might! Americans don't go to war regretfully, out of duty -- we go to win! Am I right, folks?
But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed ... when the roar of the crowd fades away ... when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot...
Oh, you're just jealous because you have to speak in front of a fugly green screen showing a waving flag -- and they couldn't even show your little intro movie! Seriously, that screen behind the speakers looks absolutely awful, especially on TV but also (I'm guessing) in person, whereas I thought the DNC stadium set actually looked quite good on TV. Guess all the good set designers are liberals. But there's no reason to be jealous, Governor Palin, because you too have a roaring crowd in front of you! Well, to be accurate it's more of a rabid, chanting crowd. But still. She goes on:
...what exactly is our opponent's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet?
Yeah! Stupid liberals, always trying to heal and fix and improve and inspire! They think they're so great! Screw them! USA! USA!
Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America ... he's worried that someone won't read them their rights?
Oh my God, do you think she actually believes that? I don't know which is the scarier prospect: that she truly doesn't understand the difference between "detainees" and "Al Quaeda terrorists actively plotting against the U.S.," or that she gets it and is already cynical enough to act like she doesn't.

Okay, now it's my turn to be snide. I'm taking these quotes from the transcript of Palin's speech at This is not a transcript put together as she spoke, but rather one that was provided to them before she spoke, at least according to what it says at the top: "The remarks, as prepared for delivery, of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in her address to the 2008 Republican National Convention accepting the party’s vice presidential nomination." So I simply must call your attention to a few interesting things I found in these prepared remarks:
Long ago, a young farmer and habber-dasher from Missouri followed an unlikely path to the vice presidency.
Terrorist states are seeking new-clear weapons without delay...
So maybe I'm just a mean old elitist, but I am nevertheless going to snicker at the fact that whoever prepared these remarks spelled out the "hard" words phonetically for Palin, so she wouldn't pronounce them wrong on national TV. (Of course, the speech was written by a Bush speechwriter, so maybe it's just force of habit... Oh, and the helpful spellings are in the transcript at the GOP Convention's official site, too, so don't go blaming the liberal media.)

And how about the bizarre spectacle of Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York, sneering at the idea that Wasilla, AK, isn't "cosmopolitan" enough? (I'd give you a direct quote, but that was one of the many places he strayed from his "prepared remarks.") Besides which, and more important: in no way is "Being mayor of a town with fewer than 6000 people in it is perhaps not the most impressive preparation for being vice president of the entire U.S." the equivalent of "Small towns are worthless and risible!" Giuliani knows it. Palin knows it (one would hope). Hell, everybody knows it -- right? I mean, everyone can smell that BS, right? Please tell me I'm right.

Some things that have helped me keep my sanity this week: First of all, Rachel Sklar's Eat the Press post on the ridiculous "the media is out to get Palin" accusations. Right on, sister. Then, enjoy this Peggy Noonan screw-up, which is a refreshing chaser after you've watched something like, for example, Laura Bush's incredible gall in praising the McCains for adopting a daughter from India, as though her own husband's campaign had never tried to spread the smear that McCain had an illegitimate black child. (Not just an illegitimate child, you understand. A black one!) There's also this wonderful clip of Campbell Brown interviewing Tucker Bounds and pressing him for one example of Palin's executive authority in connection with the Alaskan National Guard -- the media doing its job! Which, by the way, McCain thought was so unfair he backed out of Larry King Live in retribution. (Please. No. Don't.) Oh, and I've been checking out Wonkette lately, especially this liveblog of Palin's speech. And finally, let's not forget the most hilarious (and honest) moment of that speech:

Ah, it feels good to get all that off my chest. I promise I won't do that again. At least not after November.


Susan Rose Francois, CSJP said...

Thanks for saying it so that I don't have to.

Read your review in Commonweal ... I was very proud to know you! :)

floretbroccoli said...

The best I can parse Jerkliani's speech is: "How dare someone not from New York consider himself cosmopolitan."

I'm surprised he didn't set out to prove that the Palins have a better family than the Obamas. I mean, who would know more about a good marriage than our former mayor? He's had three tries, once with his own cousin.

Anonymous said...

Love both the politics posts, keep it up!