Political Deformity

A Handshake of Carbon Monoxide

RNC Live: Rudy

I’m trying to find something insightful to say about him, but he’s pretty much being Rudy as usual: he’s now saying that Democrats are in “denial” about 9/11 and the existence of terrorism, and that they have “given up on America.”

How ’bout this: his cackle frightens me.

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September 3, 2008 Posted by | John McCain, Republicans | , , | Leave a comment

RNC Live: Defending Palin

This Hawaiian governor lady is talking a lot about Sarah Palin, and working hard to defend her experience as an executive. She’s saying mayors and governors are CEOs, while knocking Obama and Biden for having “zero” experience as executives (a statement which has caused the GOP faithful to start chanting “zero”…sigh).

Now she’s saying “you can fit more than 250 states the size of Delaware within the borders of Alaska.” Inexplicably, this exercise in geography causes people to cheer.

Hearing this sort of nonsense, you can’t help but wonder what Republicans could be talking about if they didn’t have to waste so much time defending Palin. They’re wasting a lot of breathe trying to cover their tracks.

September 3, 2008 Posted by | Republicans | Leave a comment

RNC Live: Story Time!

Mike Huckabee is rambling on about some parable where a teacher invites veterans to carry school desks in a classroom. That seems like a whole lot of time wasted for a speech that’s supposed to talk about why John McCain should be President of the United States.

And no, McCain should not be president just because he was a POW, or because he is, and I quote Huckabee here, “one of those people who helped buy the freedom–and the school desk–that we have.” Nor is it because “John McCain helped me have a school desk…” (yes, Huckabee said that).

Bizarre.

September 3, 2008 Posted by | John McCain, Republicans | , , | Leave a comment

RNC Live: Mike Huckabee…

…is starting off somewhat lukewarmly. He’s called McCain his “second choice” as president (after himself) and just said that he didn’t think Republicans would ever unify beyond McCain and Palin. He also just gave Obama props for being the first black candidate.

Whoops, never mind. Huckabee just blamed Obama for going to Germany and bringing back “European ideas that give the government the chance to grab even more of our hard-earned livelihood.” Sigh.

September 3, 2008 Posted by | John McCain, Republicans | , , | Leave a comment

RNC Live: Romney’s Health Care Hypocrisy

So Romney actually said little more than the empty, vicious platitudes I posted below. No joke, he essentially regurgitated conservative talking points from the 1980s, as though our circumstances today are exactly like they were a quarter-century ago.

One particular transgression to note. Romney blustered that liberals “would grow government and raise taxes to put more people on Medicaid.” But the health care plan he ushered in while governor of Massachusetts mandates that every citizen has health insurance, subsidizes insurance for poor people, and introduced easier ways for poor people to get acess to Medicaid. In February, the Boston Globe reported that:

The subsidized insurance program at the heart of the state’s healthcare initiative is expected to roughly double in size and expense over the next three years – an unexpected level of growth that could cost state taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars or force the state to scale back its ambitions.

So essentially, Romney is vilifying his own health care plan as sinister machinations. Nice one, Mitt.

September 3, 2008 Posted by | Health Care, John McCain, Republicans | , , , | Leave a comment

Live-Blogging the RNC

Mitt Romney just said that:

  • “Opportunity comes from homes free from pornography and promiscuity.”
  • “Dependency is death to initiative…time to stop the spread of government dependency and fight it like the poison it is”
  • “It’s time for the party of big ideas, not the party of Big Brother”
  • “This is no time for timid, liberal empty gestures”
  • “Can you believe how douchey I am?”
  • “…to stand up to the tyrannosaurus appetite of government unions.”
  • “Let’s keep Al Gore’s private jet on the ground.”

Okay, one of these isn’t true. The rest, sadly, are direct quotes. And he’s still going…

September 3, 2008 Posted by | John McCain, Republicans, Sarah Palin | , | Leave a comment

GOP Strategist: “It’s Over”

Awesome.

September 3, 2008 Posted by | John McCain, Republicans, Sarah Palin | , , | Leave a comment

Preview of Palin’s Speech Tonight–It’s Mean

Via CNN:

“I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”

“In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change,”

“I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town. I was just your average hockey mom and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids’ public education better.”

“I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.”

“But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion — I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country.”

This should be fun.

September 3, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tonight…

…I think I’m going to live-blog the RNC, or at least the chunks of it that I actually watch. Huckabee, Romney, Giuliani, and Palin should make for quite a politically-charged night.

September 3, 2008 Posted by | Republicans | Leave a comment

The Culture Wars Return

As we all know, Sarah Palin was picked in part because of her strong social conservative credentials (she’s staunchly pro-life and a lifetime member of the NRA). Now, according to Politico, the shockwaves of her entrance onto the campaign scene are being felt–the culture wars are back, in a big way:

The campaign of Democrat Barack Obama put up an ad in at least seven key states Tuesday lambasting GOP nominee-to-be John McCain as an enemy of abortion rights.

At the Republican convention here, former Tenn. Sen. Fred Thompson took a shot at Obama’s stand in favor of legal abortion…

…“The choice of Palin is going to bring some of these issues, like abortion, same sex issues, the teaching of evolution in public schools, the whole role of what religion plays in public life, back to the campaign,” said Rob Boston, a senior analyst for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. “Culture war issues reflect a real divide that is evident in society today.”

Before Palin, the match-up of Obama v. McCain didn’t throw a whole lot of red meat to conservative culture warriors. Obama has smartly focused on the performance of the Bush Administration and compromise rather than social issues like womens rights or gay rights; as Senator, McCain has been famously moderate on gun rights and immigration, and used to think that abortions should be allowable in cases of rape, incest, and danger to the life of the mother. McCain has done his best to veer to the right on all of these issues, but still, he’s made a less-than-convincing point man for the far-right culture crusade.

But Palin changes all that. The culture warriors now have their figurehead. Indeed, when Palin was first announced, Politico reported that the GOP base experienced a collective joygasm of monumental proportions:

“I woke up and my e-mail was just going crazy,” said Charmaine Yoest, head of the legislative arm of Americans United for Life and a former top official in Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign. “And then when it was announced — it was like you couldn’t breathe.”

“My wife and I watched an MSNBC special on her last night,” [said James Muffet, head of Michigan’s Citizens for Traditional Values]. “My wife knew nothing about this woman. But she was in tears listening to her articulate the views she had.”

It really saddens me that the culture wars have been re-ignited. Consider the reactions of activists above. They’re just so divorced from the practical reality of the presidency that it’s scary. 99.999 percent of being president or vice president has absolutely nothing to do with abortion. Is it really so heart-stopping to be presented with a candidate who agrees with you on an issue that comprises about .0001 percent of her job?

And yes, I do understand the rudimentary logic at work here: if a candidate agrees with you on the issues that are important to you, you feel that you can trust them. What I just can’t understand is how people can put so little stock in the actual nuts and bolts of governance–of leading, of managing, of understanding complex problems that pop up in reality, not just in tidy religious doctrines.

I don’t want that mindset influencing this campaign. With George W. Bush, we’ve seen the sort of candidate that it benefits; and we can’t afford to have another incompetent, conservative panderer in the White House again.

September 3, 2008 Posted by | Barack Obama, John McCain, Media Coverage, Republicans, Sarah Palin | , , , , , , | 1 Comment