Lost Cause

Bloggified by Jake on Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It occurs to me after tonight that the Republicans have given up trying to win the White House. This convention is all about playing to the base and is making no effort to sway undecided, persuadable voters. Instead, the GOP is taking the opportunity to pat itself on the back for eight years of holding power, mourn the pending loss of that power, and fire up the hardcore followers for four years of screaming about "tax-and-spend Dumbocrats" to Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh.

The odds were stacked against McCain already with his abandoning his maverick roots six years ago to appeal to the right wingers then having to try to appeal to moderates who see him as a complete sellout. He's like one of those little indie punk bands that gets a record deal, but then totally changes their sound to be a pop group whose only hit makes it to #27 on the charts before they fade into nothingness. If you were a fan of that band when it was playing your local clubs, you'd wind up hating them for selling out even if it got them a brush with fame and fortune and when they returned to the clubs--regardless of whether they're playing their old stuff or their new stuff--you wouldn't go except to heckle.

Having campaigned for John McCain in 2000, when I truly believed he was what this country needed in a leader, I now can't be bothered even to heckle him.

Knowing McCain probably wouldn't win, the GOP named a VP candidate who would polarize voters. A gun-loving Jesus freak from a state McCain was certain to win in a landslide rallied the religious right and gave Republicans the opportunity to play the sexism card throughout the campaign as a counter-balance to any racism accusations the Democrats might level. On Tuesday, NPR did a story where Rick Santorum talked about how excited he was about the Sarah Palin VP choice.

Just a word of advice: whenever Rick Santorum says he likes what you're doing, change course. It's like having Isiah Thomas tell you he thinks the way you're running your basketball team is brilliant.

Every speech in the past three days has done nothing but preach doom and gloom if (when) the Democrats take the Oval Office, attempt to rewrite the failures of the Bush Administration in a "if we had things to do over again" light, or give voice to stances that clearly are not what on-the-fence voters want to hear. "Roe v. Wade must be stopped! Iraq is the central front in the war on terror! Community organizers suck!"

And the self-denial in the statements made by delegates and other GOP bigwigs in interviews is positively suffocating.

  • "So many people here are really excited about Sarah Palin. I think that's the story that's not getting out."
  • "In the months to come, I really think when we look back and say, 'The media was asking about non-stories like whether she supported earmarks or why she wanted to cut funding for shelters for unwed teenage mothers as the mother of an unwed teenage mother?' instead of talking about what an exciting pick she is for this party, we'll see it as such a low point for the media."
  • "Sarah Palin has more executive experience than the whole Democratic ticket combined."
  • "A year ago, everyone thought the war in Iraq would be the biggest issue, but instead it's the economy. Why do you think that is? Because the surge worked!"
  • "Mark it on your calendars. This is the night Barack Obama lost the election because Sarah Palin's speech just made America fall in love with her."
  • "Sarah Palin is more qualified than Joe Biden to be vice president because Alaska is 250 times bigger than Delaware."
When Mitt Romney, the multimillionaire former governor of Massachusetts, makes a speech condemning east coast elitists, you have to accept that the Republicans don't even care about being ironic any more. It's as if they're saying, "We have the microphones so you will listen to every damn word we say!"

Unfortunately, there's sixty-some days until the election and if the Republicans know they're not going to win, they will take that time to make sure the other guy don't look too pretty when he gets to take his victory lap. If you thought the mudslinging to date has been bad, you've seen nothing yet.

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