Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 4, 2008

WHEN A PARTY PLAYS MAKE-BELIEVE.... Going into their convention, the Republican Party faced a rather daunting challenge. The nation wants change, and a conservative Republican president has been in office for eight years. He's failed miserably, and the former head of the NRCC recently compared the Republican brand to dog food. It's similar to the predicament facing the party in 1992.

What to do? If the last couple of nights are any indication, the GOP has decided to simply pretend that they haven't been in power for most of the decade.

Three days into the Republican National Convention, it is clear that the G.O.P. has settled on a message: "Washington is not working." The phrase is included in virtually every speech and every statement in St Paul.

We agree completely that Washington is in desperate need of renewal and reform. We're not even going to quibble about the fact that Barack Obama said it first. The problem is that American voters have yet to hear -- from John McCain or his warm-up acts -- any serious ideas on what, exactly, is wrong with Washington, apart from the fact that a Democrat might win the White House, never mind how to truly fix it.

The difficulty for the Republican ticket in talking about change and reform and acting like insurgents is that they have been running Washington -- the White House and Congress -- for most of the last eight years.

Sarah Palin, the vice presidential nominee, was a combative and witty relief at a torpid convention. But it was bizarre hearing the running mate of a 26-year veteran of Congress, a woman who was picked to placate the right-wing elite, mocking "the permanent political establishment in Washington."

And we couldn't imagine what Mitt Romney was thinking when he denounced "liberal Washington" and then, at the convention of the party that brought you unimpeded presidential spying, declared: "It's time for the party of big ideas, not the party of Big Brother!"

Watching the speeches, and the contortions Republicans have to go through to avoid mentioning the current president (and ostensible head of their party), it's like getting stuck in a "Twilight Zone" episode. The multi-millionaire former mayor of New York railed against "cosmopolitans." The multi-millionaire, Harvard-trained, former governor of Massachusetts railed against "eastern elites." Just 48 hours after the party's nominee insisted the convention would be less partisan, we're bombarded with the most ugly and nasty partisanship of any party gathering in years.

Welcome to The Ironic Convention, 2008.

At one point last night, Romney argued, "We need change all right -- change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington!" It was a fairly common sentiment. I have this nagging urge to put a post-it note on the convention podium that reads, "Psst, Republicans, you've controlled the White House for eight years, and Congress for six of the last eight years. You've humiliated yourselves and discredited the conservative governing philosophy forever. Love, Steve."

Seriously, what's the message of the week in St. Paul? That Republican governing works? No. That Republicans have a legitimate policy agenda? No. That the next four years should be different from the last eight? No. It's simple: "Your house may be on fire, but don't trust that man standing outside with a hose, because he doesn't share your values."

In this sense, this convention is just like the one from 1992, with Republicans pretending that they haven't been in charge, and blaming Democrats for the Republican failures in the most divisive, pathological way possible.

Who's buying this nonsense?

Steve Benen 8:25 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (52)

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Comments

Such a massive disconnect between reality and the GOP-constructed reality. What I find most interesting is that they're trying to tap into people's anger at Washington but aren't going about it right. In a major way they're completely off-message because they're playing the we're-just-like-you card but they don't realize that's not quite it-- we want to know that they "get" what is going on in this country.

Instead last night I heard a whole lot of partisan sniping at democrats but nothing about people's financial troubles. They didn't even make any promises about making life better for people-- except for drilling for more oil, which doesn't quite translate. Last week I heard a whole lot of desire to make things work, regardless of party.

If you put the conventions side-by-side they had the most ironic signs-- "Country First" really means "Party First." At least the Dems played for hope and change and talked about what that meant. GOP gave the same old we-hate-government crap when they ARE the government.

Posted by: zoe kentucky from pittsburgh on September 4, 2008 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

The GOP needs to rename themselves the Co-opt party. Or maybe the Cheaters party. Yet the sad thing is most of the intellectually challenged electorate eat this up.

I was so hoping for a hot blond in running shorts to run up to the big screen Incurious George and throw a hammer at the screen.

Posted by: RememberNovember on September 4, 2008 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Watching the Palin speech on C-Span this morning, I saw a woman being frog-marched out by police. Was that a protestor of some kind?

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on September 4, 2008 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Mitt Romney's speech was, hands down, the most bizarre moment of this campaign.

Thousands of Republicans cheering him on as he reminded us that pointy-headed elite Liberals have been screwing things up for eight years, and it's time for some Conservative Government.

I honestly believe last night is the turning point. After a week of being whiplashed around by the Sarah Palin frenzy, they've decided. Sarah's not a two-fer after all - they have to choose between attracting non-Republicans, or exciting an ever-diminishing base of proudly ignorant and delusional tribalists.

Far from appealing to a broader audience, I think that, in retrospect, last night will be seen as a hard whack on the wedge splitting the Republican Party.

Posted by: JC on September 4, 2008 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

Thank-you Steve for finally shining light on this!! Now, you just need a blog saying that throughout the convention, the talk was 9-11 from Giuliani and the war, nothing about the economy or how to fix ANYTHING!

Posted by: Katie on September 4, 2008 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

Heh, who's buying this nonsense indeed? That's what I keep thinking as the weeks go by. Some new, totally off the wall thing comes out of the Republican camp and I turn to my husband and screech "Who the hell believes this crap?!" I still can't figure out why anyone would.

Posted by: bluestar on September 4, 2008 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

Whose buying this nonsense? 40% of "low information voter" Americans. My best guess is that it's closer to 20% but the other 20% are racist. Perhaps not nasty people, like say my dad and step-mom, but they won't vote for an Obama headed ticket because he's a black man, and pro choice. So the "base" has been looking for a reason to be energized and they have with the VP choice. I know I'd want my VP to be shown shooting an AK 47. Especially if those commie rat finks from Russia decided to sneak across the Bering Straight in the dead of winter.


If the MSM had as much balls as that CNN Brown did in pointing out the lack of clothes being worn by the KING in his defense of Palin's National Guard Oversight this election would be over in 10 minutes. Not that the racists would change their minds and vote for Obama, but they'd just stay home and fume.

The Party of No Ideas made it very clear last night that they are not interested in governing, but very interested in continuing to line the pockets of the rich while the poor get poorer. What fun...

Posted by: Stevio on September 4, 2008 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

What kind of "mom" drags her Down Syndrome afflicted infant into a scary, noisy arena to be used as a prop and passed around like a football?

Mentioning that fact is "off-limits" BTW.

Posted by: colonpowwow on September 4, 2008 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

The first rule of the Big Brother Party is do not admit you are part of the Big Brother Party.

The second rule of the Big Brother Party is do not admit you are part of the Big Brother Party.


The fact is -- people are this stupid and brainwashable.

Posted by: jonno on September 4, 2008 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Okay, turn-about is fair play. Obama now needs to deflate this overblown display today, not tomorrow, and unleash some devastating commercials. Don't wait until McCain's speech as it won't be as memorable as Palin's. Obama's brilliant speech was indeed overshadowed by the announcement of the choice of Palin and he needs to deflect more attention on this speech. Either that, or air commercials about how dishonest and meanspirited the speech was. And WTF was that about Huckabee and Madonna?

Posted by: Walt on September 4, 2008 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Just watching Andrea Mitchell on morning upchuck and she was telling a story about a woman from California who wasnt sure about the Palin pick and was pro-choice, but, after listening to the speech she could imagine herself up there, after all she's a mom. Didn't know this, but I guess that the only "real" moms are rethugs...cant imagine what these little people running around in my house make me...the help?

Posted by: locanicole on September 4, 2008 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

I suppose the key to understanding Sarah Palin's appeal is to think of her and her family as figures in a TV show. She appeals because she looks nice and embodies a kind of personality, values and way of life that can be marketed as attractive and fashionable, in the way that redneckism is marketed by the country music business. Combine it with the Limbaughesque rhetoric of contempt and derision, and it amounts to quite a powerful package, powerful enough to get the middle class to vote again for the interests of the billionaires and to forget their own.

Posted by: davidp on September 4, 2008 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Steve: There's another topic last night where the Repubs get caught pretending: community organizing.

By mocking the community-pause-"organizer" role, Rudy Giuliani effectively undermines what every politician must do at one time or another. That is, inspire or interest people, by hook or by crook, to come out and support a common cause: the candidate. It's crazy, when you think about it.

Every single politician in America has at some point organized communities to turn out in school gymnasiums and church basements, has made the rounds of county fairs and city festivals to speak to individuals and gathered groups about issues that matter locally. Politicians listen--or pretend to listen--to the common problems that plague working voters, and then suggest solutions. Politicians rally for change and support, and inform the assembled citizens as to exactly how they can help bring relief to their communities by voting for said politician on said date. That is, to be sure, the one example of community organizing that exists across the entire political spectrum and is essential to winning all manner of public office from school board secretary to commander-in-chief : vote getting.

Giuliani and Palin effectively belittled Obama before a partisan crowd, but the votes they need this year will come from undecided and independent voters, and that crowd may have a more dynamic and a more wide-ranging perspective on what the country needs. I believe many are ready for marked change, and many are ready especially for greater public optimism and involvement in community issues.

And as for those claims that Obama has not been "CEO," which we heard from many more surrogates last night, I would simply point out that Obama serves as CEO and president ("decider," if you will) of the largest, most energized, most money-fetching campaign in history, with a staff of 1,000--not counting volunteers--and an annual budget many, many times larger than Wasilla's $13 million (Obama by comparison has raised over $389 million and spent more than $325 million to date, without counting August toward either figure).

When you look at it that way, it's easy to understand that establishment Republicans are desperate to belittle and minimize the community organizer turned successful chief executive who, I'm now sure, represents a political will that positively scares the hell out of them.

Thus they'll be pretending about any number of things between now and Nov 4.

Posted by: matt plavnick on September 4, 2008 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

Irony? How about the "Prosperity" signs?

Posted by: Danp on September 4, 2008 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

What about Palin's appeal to mom's and dads with special needs children. And how she and the republican party will be there to help. Yea right. Talk about disconnect.

Posted by: joeis on September 4, 2008 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

Irony? Or how about the dig at "community organizer" after Tuesday was about "Service"?

Posted by: Danp on September 4, 2008 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

To play on what zoe tapped into with the lead comment, this particular species of Rebublicanosaurus Cretinous believes that "Party" is "Country"---and any part of the Republic not in line with their exacting ideologies are only useful as (a) straw-people, (b) fodder for the wars, (c) the only intended source of tax revenue, and (d) outlets upon which they may vent their brutish hyperbole.

Fortunately for that Republic, however, the first primal cracks in McCain's iron-clad media love-fest have appeared. CNN shows serious signs of jumping ship; MSNBC is wavering, and even FOX has demonstrated that they're not willing to take the McCain/Palin escapades at full face value. If McCain continues to isolate the media, he'll lose all of that free air-time he's been getting, and the millions he's spending on his "party-hearty tour" (think Rudi the Ghoul here) would have to go into advertising.

Take away the party-on atmosphere; take away the barbecue, and the alcohol---and McCain/Palin becomes an empty shell with no substance whatsoever....

Posted by: Steve on September 4, 2008 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

The only thing I missed last night while watching the Retropublicans was the black and white TV to match their world view. I almost got the old damn thing out of the garage when Mitt began his speech, but then I realized I don't wish to wax nostalgic when it comes to 1950s b-rated horror movies! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on September 4, 2008 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans know exactly what they are doing. There is no confusion about who is responsible for the mess we're. They are lying. Lies and fear are all they have now. They have no ideas, no direction, no vision; all they have is the politics of fear, division, and hate, the same they've had for years. Democrats need to call them the liars they are, every chance they get.

Posted by: Taritac on September 4, 2008 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

At the RNC you have unintelligent people saying unintelligent things. Sarah Palin's delivery proved she is a mindless ditz. Give me someone with some intelligence. Experience is vastly overrated. Obama and Biden are intelligent. McCain and Palin are unintelligent and uninformed. We don't need four more years of stupid people in charge.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 4, 2008 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Lies and fear are all they have now.

What do you mean, now?

Posted by: Gregory on September 4, 2008 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Ah yes, the 1992 Republican convention. I remember it well. I just remember this aura of hatred, of nastiness, of self-righteousness, of cynicism, of slickly concealed bigotry, of using "family values" as a weapon. I remember Pat Buchanan saluting the LA police who were deployed during the Rodney King riots as defenders of civilization. I remember Phil Gramm scoffing at Democrats who spat on the wrong side of postage stamps because they had American flags on them. I remember ...

... not much else because I just couldn't watch any more. It was too foreign, too uncomfortable, too painful. And I haven't watched a Republican convention since.

1992 was the year the Republicans left America. For complex reasons, maybe having to do with voting trends and party disunity, Democrats didn't press their advantage and become the majority governing party. We ceded too much ground to them, & let them get back up.

Let's not make the mistake again.

Posted by: Basilisc on September 4, 2008 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Who's buying this nonsense?

Everyone at The Corner and most of the people who voted for Bush twice.

Posted by: nukev on September 4, 2008 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

Who's buying this nonsense?

Judging from local talk radio, all of the right wing clowns who think W and the Repubs have betrayed conservatisim, and believe the Repubs are nonetheless the party thereof simply because the Dems are commies. It's like Lucy, Charlie Brown and the football, except we get squashed everytime Lucy pulls the ball away.
Oh Good Grief.

Posted by: martin on September 4, 2008 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

Anita Bryant 2.0!!!!!!

Posted by: lobbygow on September 4, 2008 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Every Republican convention tries to mask the real face of their party. And they always attempt to unit their factions by creating common enemies. But this year out of sheer desperation they have far surpassed their previous attempts with such glaring and naked distortions, lies, hypocrisy, and contradictions.

Posted by: lou on September 4, 2008 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

What simply amazes me is that after whining and complaining that the mean ol' Democrats are so unfairly painting him as the same as Bush, which certainly isn't the least bit true, McCain then goes on to nominate ... the female version of George Bush. Stupid, lying, and delusionally ideological.

I mean, banning books? Really? And the "not fully supportive" standard (ie, I am your king, do as I command, serf) thing. In other words, a clone of Bush (or Monica Goodling, or, you know, take your pick).

How can they not think this is this obvious? Do they really have this low an opinion of the intelligence of their base? Ok, that last one was rhetorical.

Posted by: DH Walker on September 4, 2008 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

Watching the speeches, and the contortions Republicans have to go through to avoid mentioning the current president (and ostensible head of their party), it's like getting stuck in a "Twilight Zone" episode.

Look at the lighting. Look at the crowd. Listen to the jokes and panders from the podium and the resentfully belligerent laughter and cheers that follow in overreaction. Watch the delicately solicitous media as they transform even their "difficult" questions into softballs so as not to unfairly dampen or darken the Grumps' Own Party.

Meanwhile, outside the bubble, "law enforcement" keeps the insiders secure by conducting a multilevel preemptive assault on the right to assemble outside.

It's all happening in a vacuum. It's a party that can't acknowledge its past, present, or future. Nothing is real under the dome.

Posted by: Boolaboola on September 4, 2008 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

About the only thing they didn't do was have Rudy railing against the evils of adultery--and citing that as a reason to vote for McCain.

Who's buying this nonsense, you ask? Well, about half the voters in America fell into the "fool me twice" category in 2004. There isn't even an expression with the phrase "fool me thrice." Let's hope we don't need to invent one.

Posted by: sullijan on September 4, 2008 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

Who's buying this nonsense?

The base. And that's it.

Their brand is dead and they know it. So it is triage time for the RNC: Their strategy now is to avoid a Barack landslide. The one sure way to do that is hate speech aimed at the core.

Why was this seriously dumb?

Because the temper of the times is an end to the cycle of red-blue violence. Yet Palin and her handlers used their one big moment to blow hate bubbles. They will never have as many eyeballs and ears as they did last night. More-of-the-same? Vicious one-liners tossed off with a smile? I'm a pit bull with lipstick?

These tactics may actually boil away some of the base.

Posted by: koreyel on September 4, 2008 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

I almost got the old damn thing out of the garage when Mitt began his speech, but then I realized I don't wish to wax nostalgic when it comes to 1950s b-rated horror movies! -Kevo

Maybe it's just me, but everytime Romney gives a speech I hear a Theremin.

Posted by: e henry thripshaw on September 4, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

At the RNC you have unintelligent people saying unintelligent things. Sarah Palin's delivery proved she is a mindless ditz. Give me someone with some intelligence. Experience is vastly overrated. Obama and Biden are intelligent. McCain and Palin are unintelligent and uninformed. We don't need four more years of stupid people in charge.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 4, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

I didn't bother to listen, because I have a low tolerance for b---sh--, but I do keep track of what's going in in St. Paul. I'm afraid colonpowwow is right. The polls show that a large percentage of the brain-numbed-by-the-corporate-media US electorate buy this crap.

Posted by: Fred Herman Anderson on September 4, 2008 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

Experience is vastly overrated. Obama and Biden are intelligent.

Unfortunately, American culture has a strong tradition of anti-intellectualism. What you want and how most voters make decisions are two vastly different things.

When have accusations of impulsiveness, meanness, or inexperience ever hurt the Republican brand? Did it matter for George W. Bush?

Obama and the Democrats will never win the image game in the media. The best they can hope for is a draw if they employ Clinton level tactical warfare on a day-to-day basis.

But that won't win the election. Without Perot, Clinton would not have won in 1992.

The only thing that matters is who gets the most of their committed voters excited and to the polls. They may pull some undecideds with them. It's all about GOTV and the ground game. Any energy applied to anything else is wasted.

Obama's strategy is a winning strategy, but it will only work if it is followed.

GOTV.

Posted by: lobbygow on September 4, 2008 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

i agree with steve's comment above about the media starting to jump ship. i watched charles gibson interview mccain last night, and he just couldn't believe some of john's lies. you could see him getting more and more irritated at the way mccain avoided answering and created his own reality. granted, gibson didn't totally call mccain on it (yet) but you could see he is no longer enamoured of him. the cracks are appearing.

Posted by: just bill on September 4, 2008 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

I think it's more the doublethink convention than the ironic convention. The faithful are supposed to be able to spew lies and believe them to be truth.

Posted by: short fuse on September 4, 2008 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

MSNBC Chris Mathews now said “There were no rough edges with Palin in her speech”.

Yikes what a switch from the previous day, then Chris Mathews saw and admitted to the sarcasm that reeled in Palin’s speech.

There is a personal epiphany for me here watching and recognizing elements in this broadcasting spectrum with this Mainstream Media. This all is a planed attack on the Democratic Party and these cable channels, MSNBC, FOX, CNN, are complicit with Bush and Company.

Humiliation, degradation, complete diminishment, with every angle of false social proofs, these cable channels with intent to manipulate the electorate, by video and contextual treachery, through unfair selective divisive story telling, bashing loaded with character assaination at every turn. They condemned the hell out of Hillary Clinton to steer the electorate. To convince Hillary to give up. These Mainstream Media front line Journalist are the IMUS contractors, the modern mainstream mercenaries in a free, so called market of free speech treachery America is confronting. A long time medium, an abused monopoly, driven once only the domain of the rich.

Shucks, not one comment that Palin’s speech was so bad she should give up and quit. Interesting isn’t it. Huh, Palin is a Barracuda; well maybe Hillary is the White whale that was harpooned to take this Medium of misery to Davy Jones.

The transparency in the Internet has brought a truism at a time in history that is challenging this media corruption which are key players in the power grab in America. Its so obvious that we here in the Internet blogger are making an impact and moreover one can watch as they question themselves all the while making a threat no should speak bad things about the media for it is a lost battle. Talk about terrorism, here we get dose every day from the pals of broadband.

Posted by: Megalomania on September 4, 2008 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

"Who's buying this nonsense?"

The people lapping up the Republican BS in Minneapolis are remarkably similar to their counterparts in Denver last week. Eric Hoffer's The True Believer was written a long time ago, but it has aged well. Despite the obvious differences in stated policy goals, Democratic and Republican partisans alike seem able to switch off their critical thinking facilities with ease whenever it furthers the party line.

True believers are dangerous regardless of their political orientation. Those who care about first priciples such as freedom, liberty, justice and equality would do well to keep this in mind.

Posted by: jm on September 4, 2008 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

The surrealism reminds me of a line from Miller's Crossing, uttered by the Dane:

"Straight as a corkscrew. Mr. Inside-Outsky."

Day is night. Night is day. Up is down. Right is wrong. Harken to the voice of your great, dear, Leader!

Posted by: c6Logic on September 4, 2008 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

Despite the obvious differences in stated policy goals, Democratic and Republican partisans alike seem able to switch off their critical thinking facilities with ease whenever it furthers the party line.

Care to provide an example of "Despite the obvious differences in stated policy goals, Democratic ... partisans [switching] off their critical thinking facilities with ease whenever it furthers the party line"? Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Gregory on September 4, 2008 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

When have accusations of impulsiveness, meanness, or inexperience ever hurt the Republican brand? Did it matter for George W. Bush?

Not until Katrina.

Posted by: Gregory on September 4, 2008 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

That was it.....some sacastic remarks about your opponent makes you the greatest GOP speaker since Reagan. Shoot that means Limbuagh, Hannity and Hewitt could easily have been the VP nominee.

Palin has nowhere to go but down from here. Once the lies and falsehoods catch up with her the GOP will be stuck with an underqualied and overly confident Bush clone in a dress. Instead of running from Bush this convention they have embraced him, all the while not mentioning his name once.

Posted by: lib4 on September 4, 2008 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen asked: "Who's buying this nonsense?"

We know who is "buying" -- weak-minded, ignorant, gullible suckers who can't wait to vote back into power the same gang of career white collar crooks who have been screwing them over for the last eight years.

The more important questions are "Who's paying for this nonsense?" and "Who profits from selling this nonsense?"

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 4, 2008 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Ah yes, the 1992 Republican convention. I remember it well. I just remember this aura of hatred, of nastiness, of self-righteousness, of cynicism, of slickly concealed bigotry, of using "family values" as a weapon.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I always refer to it as "Hatefest Houston '92." Never was I so ashamed to be an American.

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on September 4, 2008 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK
"Your house may be on fire, but don't trust that man standing outside with a hose, because he doesn't share your values."

Don't look at me. Those aren't my matches.

Posted by: david s on September 4, 2008 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK
"Your house may be on fire, but don't trust that man standing outside with a hose, because he doesn't share your values."

Don't look at me. Those aren't my matches.

Posted by: david s on September 4, 2008 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

She's the Milli Vanilli of the GOP; her "polished act" was 100% artificial. Now if I can only figure out how to "edit" the content of her teleprompter....

*evil laughter ensues....

Posted by: on September 4, 2008 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Even a lot of people inside the hall 'weren't buying it.' Look at the crowd shots, ignore the fanatics and look at the people sitting on their hands and scowling.

And realize as well that she didn't mention her pro-forced pregnancy position, her book-banning, or any comment on gays (all of which are losers for her, and she knew it).

And a LOT of Republican Professionals -- and people who can't see why she was picked over them -- are pissed, particularly Kay Bailey Hutch.

That alone will put Texas in play.

Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) on September 4, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent, excellent posts. "Your house may be on fire, but don't trust the man with the hose" is brilliant.

Posted by: Sasha on September 4, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

"In this sense, this convention is just like the one from 1992, with Republicans pretending that they haven't been in charge, and blaming Democrats for the Republican failures in the most divisive, pathological way possible."

At least then, they had some credibility in blaming Democrats, as Democrats had controlled
Congress for about forty years. They could portray Reagan-Bush as desperately holding back a liberal onslaught with their bare hands (somewhat laughable, but effective). But now? 2003-2007, short of Senate filibusters, there was literally NO ONE in Washington who could provide them a substantive challenge. Yet somehow they're the underdog party? Bullshit. People in America may have short attention spans when it comes to politics, but I can't believe they're stupid enough to buy this. H. L. Mencken, of course, said that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people. Here's hoping the Republicans prove him wrong.

Posted by: Jurgan on September 4, 2008 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

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