Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Unraveling

Not that he’s an impartial observer, as a vocal Obama supporter, but Andrew Sullivan has been on fire since the Palin pick. In a post today entitled “It Really Is The Republicans’ 1968,” he nails the basics:
I have to say that the 2008 Minneapolis Convention and the 1968 Chicago Convention have some eerie parallels. An unpopular war, a deeply divided country, and a ruling party having a mental breakdown on live television. In Minneapolis, in some kind of freak political weather system, all the centrifugal forces that have been tearing at the GOP for two decades now have merged.
He also links to many with strong conservative credentials who are using their heads. First, George Will:
Any cook can run the state, said Lenin, who was wrong about that, too. America's gentle populists and other sentimental egalitarians postulate that wisdom is easily acquired and hence broadly diffused; therefore anyone with a good heart can deliver good government, which is whatever the public desires.
Then, Byron York:
Perhaps I'm focusing on an irrelevant issue, but the presence, or non-presence, of [Levi] Johnston on the stage tonight strikes me as important. It's one thing for delegates to be understanding and compassionate about the fix these two teenagers have gotten themselves into. It's another to actually celebrate it. And, given what we've learned in the last few days, if Johnston is up on stage with his girlfriend and the Palin family, and Republicans are wildly cheering, it will certainly look like they are celebrating this situation...

I don't usually engage in these scenarios, but I'll do it here. If the Obamas had a 17-year-old daughter who was unmarried and pregnant by a tough-talking black kid, my guess is if that they all appeared onstage at a Democratic convention and the delegates were cheering wildly, a number of conservatives might be discussing the issue of dysfunctional black families.
What York doesn't say is that the reverse seems to be true of the Obamas. It's not easy to imagine anything truly dysfunctional happening to them, because they appear to be one of those strong, supportive, smart families that Republicans are always prattling on about.

Sullivan has also focused on news stories explaining that Palin’s church states a belief in “Targeting Jews for Conversion with Subterfuge and Deception” (paging the Jeremiah Wright critics...), and that she’s already confidently lied about her support for the infamous Bridge to Nowhere.

As he notes, Palin is quickly reaching that entertaining territory "beyond parody":
If Sarah Palin did not exist, Stephen Colbert would have to invent her. Tonight is going to be amazing theater. She will rock the house, and there will be a tsunami of Republicans claiming she stole the night and rescued the convention. And then she will become the entire story, eclipsing McCain, as she already has. And then ... the first actual press conference.
I'm starting to see all of this -- the Palin mess, the lifeless convention, the desperate pitch to the evangelical base -- as simply McCain's just deserts for not being truly maverick and running as an Independent or even a Democrat. Instead, he tried to take over the current Republican Party without losing the steering wheel to the mixed-nuts brigade. Eight years ago, President Bush and his Rove-led goons smeared McCain in a way that would be hard for anyone with dignity to forgive. Now, McCain embraces Bush, who can't even use the word torture when describing McCain's war experience, lest he speak the truth about himself that everyone already knows. Talking to a friend of mine (and my father's) on the phone this morning, he said, "This is the fall of the American Empire. This is the kind of stuff you see on a sitcom. They leave McCain alone for a few hours, and this is what he does." It would be funny if it didn't reveal us so sadly.

I'm just one voter, I know, but I suspect there are others who feel like I do. McCain started with a lot of credit in my account, and I think he's been a needed presence in the senate. But now, given the strengths I find in his opponent and the continued GOP craziness that I find surrounding him, he's lost me for good.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

go jw go.

11:54 AM  

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