Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Northern Exposure

Well, the red meat was flying tonight.

My sweetie and I watched the convention tonight. She was furious. She couldn’t stop talking about how angry it made her. I know how she felt. I thought my head was going to explode listening to Rudy Giuliani. His speech started slow but he got stronger as he went on. He was the comedian for the night. He got a lot of laugh lines. He was the real attack dog of the evening. But he recycled the same old republican lies about taxes and patriotism and elitism. I was furious. Of course, that's what these pigs want. If they are pissing me off they are doing their jobs.

One thing about the Democrats, and maybe it’s all the show business people whom they supposedly have on their side, but they know how to put on a show. Their speeches were perfectly timed. There was about five minutes for commentary, ten minutes for an intro, five minutes for the video, thirty minutes for the speech, leaving five minutes for interviews and five for analysis, and leading into the eleven o’clock news. Rudy’s speech ran so far over that they canceled the video, and then Sarah’s speech still lasted till well past eleven o’clock.

Sarah Palin, as I expected, was really good. Scary good. Anybody who was dumb enough to think that picking her was an appeal to Hilary voters must have been disabused of that notion watching her tonight. This had nothing to do with attracting PUMAs. This was a pure culture war pick. You could hear it in the cheers and see it in the fanatic elation and love being expressed by the rank and file republicans in the convention audience. This was an all out full frontal assault on the Obamas and the Democratic party. I thought for awhile that her speech was just going to be about introducing her and her family to the nation, which of course had to be done, but once she got rolling she pulled out the big guns (and this lady knows guns). She lauded her small town upbringing and ridiculed Obama’s history. She made the case that it is small town America that American values are preserved and American heroes are made. She worked hard to tie Obama to Chicago and Biden to Washington, never once mentioning that Obama had grown up in Kansas. I was shocked when, toward the end of the speech, she mentioned Scranton. She said again and again how people from small towns are born being proud of America, a direct shot at Michelle Obama. Both she and Giuliani ridiculed Obama’s work as community organizer in Chicago, as though to go out and help people whose factory had just been shut down was somehow just posing. She became the pitbull that the VP candidate is supposed to be. All the while they kept flashing on her beautiful family, her incredibly cute kids (especially the youngest daughter) and her very handsome husband.

Democrats be warned. If people were paying attention, they saw a rabid and energized republican party and a strong, competent, woman who made a strong case that she was the most experienced candidate in the election. And she was clearly ready for a fight. The democrats should not take this woman, her story, her abilities, or her pugnacity for granted. She is trouble. She appeals to the middle of the country in a way that Barack Obama never could.

Like I said, this is a return to the old Regan version of the culture wars: hate Washington, love America, praise the small town traditional Christian values of “real Americans.” It si a formula that works.

Oh yeah, but the convention floor. They went out of their way to show black people on camera. They cut back to them again and again. I counted three. There were three black men who were not actually working there, two Mexicans and one South East Asian man. That’s it. Other than that the convention floor was truly frightening. It was an endless parade of scary looking white people. It did not look like America—not the America I know, no the America I love. The Democratic Party, they looked like America. At the Republican convention I saw no women of color Asians, few Mexicans, three black men, and other than that just an endless sea of happy cheering scary white people. It’s not that it didn’t look like my beloved cities of New York or San Francisco—which most of these fat happy swine wouldn’t admit were in America anyway—it didn’t even look like Marysville California or Richmond Virginia or Magnolia Texas, towns where people of every color and ethnicity can be found.

No. This is clearly the American White People’s party. And it scares the shit out of me.


Post a Comment

<< Home