Friday, September 5, 2008

The World According to the GOP

John McCain, said Sarah Palin in her acceptance speech at the RNC, is the only man in the race who has actually fought for his country, implying that the only way to ‘fight” for your country is with a gun. But, in 2004 the only man in the race to see combat was John Kerry. “W” was AWOL from the Texas National Guard and Cheney had “other priorities.” So, in 2004 the GOP smeared Kerry with outright lies about his service.

Mega-millionaire Mitt Romney, he of vast inherited wealth, railed against “elites.” McCain, of course, owns seven houses and wears $500 shoes and married into great wealth. Nevertheless, Barack Obama, son of a single mother who was once on food stamps works his way through college and Harvard Law School, thereby making him an elitist. In what other country in the world would attending Harvard be a bad thing? His story sounds like the American Dream to me.

Ask millions of ordinary folks and they will tell you that they have a “community organizer” to thank for heating oil in winter, a roof over their heads, and access to health care and job training. But to the GOP the very term “community organizer” is an epithet. Real experience is raising taxes in Wasilla, Alaska to build a new hockey rink.

Mitt Romney, again, he of the 180 flip flop on abortion, guns and about everything else you can think of since he was governor of Massachusetts (another epithet – “Governor of Massachusetts” – once used against Michael Dukakis as if Massachusetts were a Soviet republic) rails against “liberal Washington,” apparently forgetting that for the last eight years his party has controlled the White House and, for six of those years, Congress, too.

The Democrats are the party of “tax and spend.” (How many times can they repeat that?) The GOP of course is simply the party of spend and spend. Clinton left office with a massive budget surplus. In eight short years Bush turned it into a half trillion-dollar deficit. The GOP: the party of fiscal responsibility.

Now, I for one do not think Bristol Palin’s pregnancy says anything about her mother’s fitness as a parent or a politician. Bad things happen in good families. But Sarah Palin opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest. She rails against government intrusion into our lives, but would have government force on every pregnant teen the same “choice” her daughter made. Now, Bristol and her boyfriend are celebrated by the GOP as paragons of “family values” for “deciding” to marry and have the child. Imagine for a minute what would have happened if Barack Obama had a pregnant teenage daughter. OH MY GOD! It would be vicious.

George Bush praised John McCain in his convention “speech”(he’s so toxic he stayed away and Cheney’s name hasn’t even been mentioned) by saying McCain was tough enough to stand up to North Vietnamese torture, so he certainly wouldn’t cave in to the “angry left.” No, after the evangelicals threatened a convention floor fight over his first two veep choices, Joe Lieberman and Tom Ridge, McCain caved in to the extreme right. The left is angry? Though the GOP has been in control for the last eight years, that was one angry crowd of Republicans at the convention. What are they so angry about? Eight years after Bush promised to “change the tone in Washington,” the GOP unleashed a barrage of ugly attacks at “liberals.” And one night after the caustic, sarcastic blistering attacks, John McCain called for an end to partisan rancor. Did he watch the previous night's proceedings?

For nearly two years, Barack Obama was been “vetted” by the public and the press in a series of grueling primaries and countless debates. Joe Biden has a thirty-plus year record of public service that has also been vetted in numerous campaigns. Along comes Sarah Palin on a Friday, and by the following Wednesday the McCain campaign is accusing everyone in sight of sexism and trying to destroy her for trying to find out who she is, what she’s done, and, importantly, how carefully the McCain campaign vetted her, given some early surprise disclosures. Excuse us for trying to learn something about the PTA president, small town mayor and first term governor of Alaska who could soon be in command of our nuclear arsenal. Video showing her saying that the war in Iraq is essentially a mission from God wasn’t very reassuring.

And now we learn from the McCain campaign, that Sarah Palin, who most Americans had never heard of ten days ago, won't be doing any unscripted press interview (she will, I predict, show up on FOX with Hannity or O'Reilly and answer questions she's been fed in advance). The press was too mean the first go 'round, they say, so they won't get another chance. Ha! Please. If she can't face the press, is she ready to be president of the United States? They are buying time so they can stuff her head with briefing book material as if the presidency is a job you can prepare for in eight weeks.

Finally, today's Anchorage Daily News accuses Palin of "stonewalling" the Troopergate investigation. And Republicans in the Alaska legislature are trying to replace the head of the legislative panel doing the investigation. Guess what? The person they are trying to replace is a Democrat. Yup. This is the ticket for "change."