Thursday, September 04, 2008

GOP Smackdown

Sarah Palin formally introduced herself to the American people last night as a pitbull with lipstick. While it's generally unseemly to take shots at a woman whose 19-year-old son is off to Iraq next week and whose youngest son has Down's Syndrome, Sarah Palin has entered the political fray with fists flying, for which she can expect Team Obama to return the favor. Watch your kids, Sarah.

Palin reiterated the Republicans' message that Obama is not ready to lead and that his superstar status on the campaign trail does not a President make. Listening to Palin, who was preceded by Rudy Giuliani, it's hard to imagine what the Dems' comeback can be to the arguments mounted against Obama: that he's inexperienced, that he's all words, that he's not taking the war on terror seriously, that he's a flip-flopper. You know, the things Hillary used to say during the primaries.

But beneath the logical points made by the Republicans last night (true, true and true that Obama has never lead a state, an army, a business), all Republican rhetoric is laced with an undercurrent of malice, xenophobia and isolationism that I just can't agree with. This is a party that would like nothing more than to see this country inhabited by Sarah Palins and nothing but; this is a party who sees every other country as an enemy and who thinks America's greatness is a birthright.

And it's on that last point that the real GOP and Democrat divide lies. Whereas the Republicans think greatness will come from looking inward, by focusing on "moral" issues and taking an adversarial stance with the world, the Democrats are at least open to the idea of dialogue and of engaging in a new international community that promotes American values. Well, for now they are...let's see what happens over the next few weeks.


David said...

Forget the next few weeks. What we just witnessed was the rebirth of the Republican party. The Sarah Palin's of the party-young, new, fresh, inexperience, but conservative and power-hungry-now have a new voice.

Lyle W said...

As a man in the public relations business, you have to be in awe how in 16 hours the Republicans have captured the the national stage. Where is Obama? She's capable of creating soundbites...a pitbull with lipstick! He needs a national stage so he can give an eloquent speech.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Republican, but after 8+ years of Republican extremism, excess, incompetence, abuse of power, record government expansion (what happen to limited government conservatism?), corruption on every level, and on and on and on, my sense from the ground is that people are just worn out from it all. Many of my family, friends, and aquaintances who have usually voted Republican have no intention of voting Republican in this election. And Palin has made no change in their choice. Folks want a good economy back, our troops back from Iraq, a sensible foreign policy back, and their government out of the hands of dangerous extremists who insist that their leaders not be questioned about anything so they can get away with everything. If Palin is the rebirth of the Republican party, then I want nothing to do with a party "laced with an undercurrent of malice, xenophobia and isolationism" as GCL states. In better times, voters can be snowed with stupid campaign tricks or gimmicks. These aren't those times.


James said...

I agree with you that the Republicans win in terms of sound bites but how much hate can there be on one stage? Do we really think that this woman who married her high school sweetheart (probably because she got knocked up just like her daughter) and just sounds like a character in Gossip Girl can run a country if McCain happens to kick the bucket before his term is up? How scary is that?

Lyle W said...

I wasn't endorsing her or am I necessarily voting for her. I was commenting on the public relations coup. If you head a network and you are tops in the ratings. I take over the competition and through a public relations coup, I have everyone watching my network not yours that's superb marketing and public relations. Almost as many people watched her speech on televsion as Obama's and she's only the nominee for Vice President.

Anonymous said...

This woman is an insult to our intelligence. Can you imagine her leading out country? I am proud to be an American but watching her speak, knowing that she got her first passport in 2007, and watching men in cowboy hats chant "USA! USA!" made me sick to my stomach. I used to vote Republican but I won't be this time. Something about this redneck makes me think of barbarianism and ignorance. I admire and respect McCain but I do not know what he was thinking when he picked Sarah Palin or when he said he was GREATFUL to have President Bush in office after 9/11. Seriously? Do people still think he did a good job?

Adam said...

Lyle, don't you think Obama's silence over the past few days has been a strategic move?

Specific politics aside, the RNC is a major national event that the media were sure to cover at every angle. From a strategy POV, it would make no sense for the Dems to try and make noise. Case in point: Did you see Biden vowed to try Bush for war crimes? That news barely got through because the media were highly focused on the convention.

Palin is a good speaker, but she's also a dangerous, close-minded and little-known state-level leader who's main qualification is that she's a "hockey mom." And it's particularly interesting that the Conservative Right is rolling out an eloquent, "rockstar" speaker - exactly the charge they levy against obama.

It seems that everyone is forgetting that Obama's campaign is armed with strong strategists and writers. I don't doubt that we'll see a smart and strategic comms offensive from the Democrats once the Klan party is over.

Gene said...

A tiny subtext of all this is the Party which is offering Gov Palin. It's the Party which will supply the 2nd and 3rd tiers of government, and those people will supply the specific policies and set rules for us to follow.

And each one of the governor's speeches will be written by Party members. She will perform them well--she's trained to do that. But those, remember, will be Party words.

Historically, the middle and lower classes have fared better, economically, under Democratic administrations. More people need to acknowledge that.

And more people need to think about Party platorms and past performance.

McCain and Palin might be very nice people, but the Republican Party, after Eisenhower, has become very thuggish. (In spite of Lee Atwater's deathbed conversion to nice.)