It’s been quite a week. I didn’t get a chance to see the DNC coverage the night that Hillary Clinton spoke but the clips I saw later did make it seem like she delivered the excitement she needed to (despite Bill Kristol thinking she didn’t). I did get to see the coverage on the subsequent two nights, however, and was quite impressed at the relative substance of the speeches. John Kerry, of all people, nailed a great mostly-concise speech including lines like “talk about being for it before being against it” – brilliant move having the most notorious flip-flopper of recent history be the one to point out McCain’s own inconsistency. Bill Clinton delivered a great speech also – he was charismatic, as usual, but also had some good points to make that made me nod my head approvingly; well played, Bill. And then there was Biden who I have liked all along. What a fantastic speech by Biden and he really delivered it well. I don’t know how anyone could come away from that with a negative impression of Biden, Obama, or the whole Democratic party, for that matter. And then of course, Obama brought the house down on the final night in front of a massive crowd. Boom: election won.
Or was it? I’d long feared a Romney VP candidacy both because of the damage Romney could do to the Democrats and because I really don’t like anything he stands for any more after having morphed so significantly since being governor of Massachusetts. Well, perhaps McCain worried about the two of them being labeled a flip-flopping pair because he ended up choosing an unknown. Not only is it good casting to choose an unknown who the country can project their best hopes on, but he chose a woman for the role to try to steal more votes from the Dems who are upset that they didn’t get their chance to get a woman at the executive level this time. (Though the topic of Clinton supporters for McCain deserves its own post.) And on top of it all, they timed the announcement perfectly to take away as much of the post-DNC euphoria as they could. The ‘publicans would love a cute little stay at home Mom who just happened to get out and get elected to public office and somehow see her lack of experience as a good thing while Obama’s moderate experience is a bad thing. And America as a whole has got to embrace the self-described hockey Mom with a young mentally challenged child who manages to make it all work while adhering to the Republican ideals.
Or does she? Turns out Ms. Palin’s family isn’t the paragon of American morality and unity that the ‘publican’s would like it to be. Her daughter is a 17-year-old who is five months pregnant, her husband had a DUI years ago, and she is supposedly a former member of a Alaskan separatist movement. When McCain was asked if he knew about all this, his answer is that he did. Really? Geez, it seems like it’d be pretty easy to pick an unknown with a sparkling backstory. And yet McCain managed to pick an unknown who brings some baggage with her. This doesn’t sound like the wisest decision for McCain. Or maybe he’s relying on the voters of the country to follow their “vote for who you’d like to go to a bar with” mentality of 2000 and 2004 with a “vote for who you feel needs your pity” vote in 2008.
And now, as we go into the RNC, the ‘publicans are calling themselves the real party of reform. Is it really possible to say that with a straight face? I’m the first to admit that neither of the two major parties are likely to produce real reform. But for the party in office for the past 8 years to say they are for reform is to say that they are against the status quo which is themselves. Just how stupid do they think people are? Oh, that’s right, that’s how we got into this mess in the first place…