Palin stand-up routine juices up Republicans
There was enormous amounts of hype and anticipation for Sarah Palin's speech to the Republican National Convention tonight, and rightly so, being as this would be only the second time anyone in the country had even heard the woman speak.
Expectations were set so incredibly low that if she managed to find the podium and didn't start speaking with her back to the audience it was going to be considered a success.
They needn't have worried. Palin did a fine job delivering her speech. A bit flat and robotic in brief moments, but otherwise delivered very well.
And as for effect, it was, to use a ridiculously overused cliche, a home run.
The speech itself was well written, and there was plenty of the patented stuff that Republicans rely on in lieu of substance.
To a large extent, Palin's speech resembled a stand-up routine rather than a serious political speech. It was chock full of mockery, smug cracks, and dripping sarcasm.
And since it came out of the mouth of a woman that looks like she was a high-school cheerleader a few years ago, the nastiness of her remarks were blunted.
Now, if I were a Republican, I'd be doing back-flips. As far as energizing and pumping up the party, Palin couldn't possible have done any better.
No one, Republican or Democrat, even knew if she could deliver a speech in a situation like this. Palin removed all doubts about that, which is a huge relief to Republicans, and a source of agita for Dems.
Republicans seemed to be elated that Palin didn't fall on her face, and with good reason.
Palin managed to sneer at both Obama and take swipes at his family for good measure. (Don't remember hearing anyone making smug slaps at Cindy McCain in Denver, do you?)
And they trotted out baby-daddy to sit near Cindy McCain, who looked radiant in a multi-thousand dollar lime green number, complete with the ubiquitous diamond encrusted USMC - NAVY broach she likes to wear.
And after Palins rousing speech, McCain made a walk-on and brought the crowd to a frenzy. Near perfect stagecraft, more rigid and orderly than the Dems.
When Palin trotted out her family, it was coplete with the doubtlessly mortified baby-daddy, Levi something or other, to her daughter's child, who was a typical teen running around some small Alaskan town only weeks ago and is now standing in front of an international audience staring out at thousands of frenzied conservatives. (Hope he has a good shrink.)
But the family was organized. They all hit their marks, the kids all looked wholesome, very cute, and only one pregnant. They imediately passed the Downs syndrome baby to Palin for that "awwwwww" moment which provided that same emotional appeal that politicians of both parties kill for.
Rudy Giuliani gave a speech packed with every sarcastic attack they could pack into it prior to Palin's appearance. Nothing specific whatsoever. Nearly absent of any substantive criticism of Obama or his policies, just snarky and sometimes juvenille cracks designed to reinforce the myths about Dems and Obama that they've worked so hard to establish.
At one point is was amazing to watch a national political figure as he stood there affecting the voice of Thurston Howell III in his attempt to paint Obama as some sort of blue-blood elitiest, saying "Sorry Barack, that Palin's small town isn't....."CosmoPOLitan" enough.... that it's not...."flashy" enough...
This from a party with a candidate with 7 homes and his own private jet. Yep. Obama's the real blue-blood. Or at least that's the bullshit they're pedling to people like you in hopes you'll direct your resentment towards Obama and not McCain.
Wow. Yep, that's Barack Obama... a real "flashy" guy. If only he'd lose those gigantic diamond rings and the gold teeth.
And of course, there were the lies flying fast and furious.
Perhaps chief among them was when Palin came out and flat out deceived the American public by saying she said, "No thanks" to Alaska's famous multi-million dollar "bridge to nowhere." That's not the truth. She was all in favor of it and supported it.... UNTIL it became politically unpopular.... THEN she flip-flopped and opposed it.
And how much nerve does it take to stand there mocking the freaking BACKDROP at the Dem convention (THIS is what the Republicans hope you think is important.) ... mocking the columns behind the Dem podium as if it's pretentious.... making this snarky childish attack....while you're standing in front of a God-damned 150 x 80 foot video screen displaying... Mount Rushmore!
THAT'S not pretentious.... not at all. No irony there.
Dragging things down to that level makes everybody dumb. And they love it.
She lied conspiculously and repeatedly in her characterization of Obama's positions and history, mocking his service as a community organizer, saying Obama wanted to "reduce the strength of America"... WHAT THE HELL?? How'd she pull that out of her ass?
She said Obama wanted to "forfeit" in Iraq. Gee, that's sure slimy from this "honorable" woman.
And she got the rubes juiced by saying that Obama was "worried" that someone wouldn't "read the terrorists their rights."
Now if you're an idiot that's completely unfamiliar with the issues involved, that sounds really macho.
But it's utter bullshit. Obama opposes a policy of official torture and holding anyone they want indefinitely with no charges and no legal process.
If you want to support totalitarian policies like some third world dictatorship, great. But don't try to smear someone who expects better as somehow worrying about terrorist's legal rights when all they expect is that SOME sort of law be followed and that two centuries of established policies in these matters be followed.
And as always, Obamas plan to REDUCE taxes on 95% of Americans while making the very wealthiest pay their fair share was utterly distorted and turned on its head, with Palin trying to scare the rubes by saying Obama would raise their taxes through the roof. She even used accounting lies to accomplish this, not surprisingly.
On energy, an area we've been told she's a great big expert in, she said NOT ONE WORD about moving to develop and produce alternative energy systems to wean us off our addiction to oil. Not a word.
Only calls to drill, drill, drill, touting the construction of a pipeline to suck more oil from Alaska, which she dishonestly said would "lead to America's energy independance".
No it won't. Dumping all our efforts into trying to desperately find ever last drop of oil without any effort to begin the massive transformation AWAY from oil is not helping us to become "energy independent." It's working to make us MORE DEPENDENT and more vulnerable once oil supplies dwindle.
It's horribly irresponsible policy, telling the rubes what they want, holding out the false and cheap promise that we have plenty of oil, and that we don't have to worry about changing our way of looking at energy, don't have to worry about moving to alternative sources of energy, and that we can all just carry on the way we have, burning record and increasing amounts of oil every year as the price continues to soar.
Great news for big oil. Utterly irresponsible as government policy.
Wow, what "mavericks". Calling for more, more, more oil drilling and exploration on national wildlands and off shore, and more digging and burning of coal, more nuclear power and..... well, that's it. Nothing else.
Putting their heads in the sand about the future.
Just policies which have NO vision for our children or grandchildren at all. Just a doubling down of the effort to suck every last drop of oil, dig every last nugget of ozone destroying coal out of the earth and expand risky nuclear plants in a big rush to the point where it all won't be viable anymore.
Typical of Republicans, they want to grab profits now with no thought to the future at all. Gimme mine now!!! should be their official slogan. It's the height of irresponsible and selfish policy, not to mention leaving our country decades behind and unable to cope when oil indeed becomes scarce.
There were so many lies and distortions in the speeches tonight that it will take some time to identify them all.
But for Republicans, it's not too important whether the digs are honest or not. Just whether it increases the resentment, suspicion, and division between Americans.
Hoping to hear what the Republican ticket has to offer, millions tuned in to hear.
And all they heard was mockery and smug condescention.
As Palin says when she lies about her stance on the bridge to nowhere, thinking her corny mockery comes across as "cute", thanks, but no thanks.
But there's one good thing for Dems about Palin's performance.
There was only one legitmate plus to McCain's inexplicable choice of Palin as VP. And that was that it effectively might muzzle Joe Biden's ability to take the gloves off and take it to her in the VP debate and on the stump.
By coming out making so much of her speech full of mockery and distortion and shrill attacks, she's ensured that giving it back to her is entirely fair. Of course this won't prevent Republicans from crying foul if Biden lands some blows. They'll use her gender as if it gives her special immunity from attack. Good luck.
They talk about how she's a tough cookie. Well, if this is the way she wants to play, she better be.
The entire night was a smashing success for the Republicans, and should be very effective at their goal of getting people to ignore what they'd do that would affect people's lives and the future of the country, and focus their energy instead on hatred and scorn for their opponents and emotional appeals to jingoism, nationalism, militarism, and giving the finger to the idea that we need to change a thing to better address the future.