What interests me is that people get this stuff and circulate false information based on it. No wonder Bush did not adequately fund education and cut back education loans.
Here’s a healthy sign: Bidden denounced a Palin statement. It has for me been weird hearing her highly inflammatory statements echoing through the news with nothing but denials by Obama and Biden. Palin has been treated like a little girl who should not be treated severely. This has given her a sort of immunity to make the most outlandish statements which seems to be mobilizing a segment of the population that everyone prefers not to talk about.
Today Biden called her out for apparently identifying areas of “real America” as apparently opposed to geographical pockets of sedition. This of course is (I thought) by now a hackneyed tactic of setting Americans against each other for political gain. All you need to do is fill some people (a majority) with self-righteous contempt for others or promote righteous doubt about the legitimacy of others, including candidates. (Palin informs us that Washington D.C. is not pro-America and cities should be viewed with suspicion.) It seems so transparent but it still seems to work to some degree. At least the tactic does not appear to be effective with a majority of the people. At least not right now.
Anyway, I say call demagoguery out. This tactic needs to be aired and revealed for what it is.
Just as McCain’s comments about the “victory” in Iraq seem to confilict with Petraeus’ assessment, McCain’s earlier endorsement of the health of the economy seem to ring hollow these days. This seems to have given the offensive to the Democrats.
Now Obama is part of the establishment or so you would have thought last night. There were many very odd aspects to the Republican convention. Absent from the Republican convention were not only references to the Republican Party or the G.O.P. Compare the transcripts of the speeches in this convention with those of past conventions; proud reference to the party by name is startlingly absent.
While you are looking at those transcriptions of this past convention try to find reference to President Bush’s remarks on the first day. It is as if according to the Republican website he did not speak. In fact a foreign observer might leave the convention with the impression that Reagan was the last Republican president.
In that setting McCain attacked the establishment, which of course for 12 of the last 14 years has been a Republican Congress and for the last 8 a Republican executive. During the last 14 years the distinguishing feature of Republican rule has been the coherence of the party members in voting and even discussing issues.
Republicans have voted in a block as neither party has voted perhaps ever. This includes John McCain except for a two year period after he lost the 2000 nomination. His maverick tag is not derived from his voting record.
Consider the scope of this undertaking. A party trying to distance itself from itself and John McCain, who has been going to such extremes to solidify himself with Bush’s base, casting himself at 72 as the vehicle for a fresh change? McCain who voted with Bush on nearly everything, the 72 year old face of change?
This is not putting a spin on things; this is a tectonic shift of world view.
What utterly amazed me was McCain’s call to get special interests out of Washington. (His staff of course remains largely former lobbyists.) He skipped over his own voting record to point to Obama’s vote for big oil on the Energy Bill, as an example of the influence of money on Washington.
Obama who for months has been cast as a rabid liberal was last night cast by McCain as part of the establishment that he wants to change! Can you believe it?
McCain called for a change in our economic situation but his proposals are the same as Bush’s programs, except bigger with more spending and taxes lower than they have been. This even has The Economist troubled.
This seems to be the plan: stick with Bush’s policies in order to keep the political base, call for change, and celebrate goals. Without any policy to support the references to change, McCain will push what is called “character” (did you know that he was n the Vietnam War?) and right wing Christian values.
According to the iconic conservative magazine The Economist, which might otherwise favor McCain, his economic policies are dreadful.
‘People on middle incomes would see little benefit [from his tax cut proposals]. Independent analysts agree that Mr McCain’s plans would increase an already huge deficit.’
The Democrats trying to clear the streets of the homeless for their convention got a fair amount of ink. The Republicans are using their corporate influence to deny billboard space to photography by Suzanne Opton, whose pictures have appeared on billboards in Syracuse and this week in Denver.
While this is going on, Hurricane Gusav has been raised to category 4 and is scheduled to hit New Orleans on Monday, the first day of the Republican convention. No doubt the impact will be felt in Minnesota. Compare McCain’s readiness to delay the convention with the Bush administration’s response to identical news three years ago.
On second thought, the two responses do bear quite a bit of similarity. McCain calls the coming storm a “near tragedy,” apparently anticipating nearly the worst. He says that he is praying for himself, as this “near tragedy” could spoil his party.
We though know that he is made of stronger stuff. He did not let the New Orleans disaster spoil his birthday party three years ago, why should he let this spoil and even more important party? If Bush brings cake again for his speech on Monday it will be just like old times.
Three years ago we read that Pat Robertson and his ilk thought that Katrina was God’s vengeance on New Orleans. I wonder what he thinks God is saying this time?
Gallup polls report that, after the Democratic convention and the Republican announcement of McCain’s v.p. choice, there has been and 8% bounce in Obama’s popularity among voters. This is fun to speculate about but it is an unimportant matter, as 67% of the time the biggest “bounces” lead to defeat, according to Gallup.