You gotta give the rightwing Republican strategists behind McCain’s campaign some props. They’re slick, and know how uninformed a lot of “American” voters are.
They actually tried tonight to sell the American public on the idea that the Republican Party—which has been in charge of the entire government for eight years—is the one that represents change. Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich and Joe Lieberman, the wannabe McCain, all made the point that if you want to clean up Washington and change the mess that’s been going on over there for the last eight years, you gotta elect some Republicans to do it!
And you know a lot of people out there in Fox News land will buy it. Number one because the idea that McCain is a “maverick” has been drilled into their heads for a thousand years, even though he has voted with Junior over ninety percent of the time, and number two the idea that because McCain was a P.O.W. his honor and courage and love of country etc. etc. cannot be questioned or doubted or anything except saluted (which all the Democratic convention speakers did, to avoid being called unpatriotic for picking on a war hero, but I for one think they should stop, since John Kerry was a war hero too and the rightwing Republicans didn’t have any trouble attacking him and his war record).
They also pitched Palin as way more experienced than Obama! Because she has “executive experience” as a mayor of a town with a population smaller than the neighborhood Obama organized in Chicago (the city hall looks like something out of one of those Walker Evans photographs of the small town South during the Great Depression) and governor of a state that has fewer people in it than Chicago.
And even though that argument also means that she has more “executive experience” than John McCain, whose never been a mayor or governor either, a lot of voters will still buy it.
Partly they’ll buy it because the rightwing Republicans are already shaping an argument that’s working about how the media is looking down their collective noses at Palin because she may not have had a passport until recently (like most of the country) and comes from a small town and under-populated not “elitist” area (like much of the country) and unmentioned is that she looks a lot more familiar to the kind of people in that convention hall tonight than Michelle Obama does, and has a much more acceptable name and Christian philosophy (though she is connected according to some documents that are circulating with some pretty far out almost cult like “Christian” beliefs, and in terms of her “social conservatism” she’s further to the right than either Junior or Cheney, which is a pretty frightening thought).
The rightwing Republicans have truly mastered the big lie, especially the one that says you mostly well off white folks who believe in a form of Christianity that’s only been in existence for a few hundred years if that, and has little to do with Jesus Christ or his followers back when they started out, or with anything that came along afterward until relatively recently, are way picked on by those rotten liberal Democrats who control the media and Hollywood and Washington and the East Coast and West Coast and elite universities and hate America because they don’t like rightwing Republican policies and tactics and how they’ve almost destroyed the country we all grew up in.
The rightwing Republicans actually convince these people that liberal Democrats are trying to take their country away from them! Or already have! Even though their fellow Republicans, mainly the rightwing ones, have been in control of the white house for most of the past half century, and have controlled all three branches of government for the past eight years and beyond (even giving Junior the presidency he didn’t win) and what has resulted from their party’s control has been an economy that has actually shrunk the wages and income of everyone except the top one or so percent, and grown the largest deficit in the history of the world, and broken several constitutional ideals that have been maintained since the “Founding Fathers” they pretend to honor but disgrace every day with condoning of torture and the invasion of sovereign nations which haven’t attacked us and the invasion of the privacy of citizens of this country and on and on.
We’ll see if it works, but it already is to some extent, because it changed the subject from how bad the past eight years have been to how honorable McCain is and how elitist it is for anyone to question Palin’s credentials.
Of course they also had the cooperation of the weather to find a way to keep Cheney and Junior from speaking last night (Monday), ending up canceling those speeches because of a hurricane that interestingly was really well prepared for, now that Louisiana has a Republican governor (who wasn’t even required to turn over the state to the control of the federal government like the Democratic governor was told she had to do after Katrina if she wanted federal assistance, but gosh, if you’re a Republican that silly rule is shelved and you get twice as many reserve troops and you get them several days before the hurricane instead of several days afterward. Hmmmmm).
And we all know the president couldn’t just get on a plane, say Air Force One, and fly to the twin cities and give a speech and then leave. No, he had to be in Washington available the day after a non event in case of whatever and give a short video speech from there before prime time coverage began. And Cheney was suddenly conveniently “out of the country” so his scheduled appearance wasn’t a problem either.
That’s how they could pretend to be about change, by keeping the agents of destruction at the top of their party under wraps, out of sight, or allowing them to appear only by satellite for a few minutes when the networks weren’t watching.
Slick. Unfortunately, that kind of stuff too often works for them. Because decades of their control of the message the media puts out, (and as I have argued many times and is proven by the studies and statistics, no matter how “liberal” some reporters might be, the media is mostly owned by Republicans, as is Hollywood, and most of “corporate America”—though some of the fat cats sometimes hedge their bets when the Republicans seem to be slipping) have conditioned many of our fellow citizens to turn any anxiety they have over the economy, the loss of jobs and homes and rising prices for food and gas and etc. into resentment toward those “elitist” liberals (who have the nerve to have a convention filled with people of all shades of skin color and religious beliefs and ages and etc. and nominated a man with a funny name and and dark skin).
The Democrats are in for a tough fight, which hopefully they are ready for.