Yipes. What a hate fest. For about the first half of Sarah Palin’s speech, I really thought she was mopping up the floor with the Democrats. Then she got all down and nasty, leveling a lot of personal attacks on Obama and Biden, accusing them of being cocktail politicians. I also felt a lot of Giuliani’s speech was clever and well-delivered. But I have to take issue with one key part of each speech.
It appears that both these speakers (and maybe the Republican party?) seemed to have a problem with volunteer work.
First, Giuliani offered:
On the other hand, you have a resume from a gifted man with an Ivy League education. He worked as a community organizer. What? He worked — I said — I said, OK, OK, maybe this is the first problem on the resume.He worked as a community organizer. He immersed himself in Chicago machine politics.
OK, perhaps you could toss that away as just uppity Giuliani talk. I lived in NYC under Giuliani’s iron fist, and it was quite like him to go off half-cocked and just say anything that he wanted, damn the consequences. That’s the risk you take for having him speak at your convention.
But then Sarah Palin got on board:
I guess — I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.
Ouch. But I think illdoc1 posted the best response to this on YouTube and noted:
The difference between a community organizer and a politician is that the community organizers are the ones who take the responsibility upon themselves to help their fellow citizens without the benefit of a government budget behind them, and go out there every day doing the hard, thankless work to make this country liveable which is what allows you politicians to be able to go on TV and brag about how this is the greatest country in the world. And for you to go on that TV show and spit in those peoples’ faces for the sake of a rhetorical flourish is disgusting.
Go get ’em.
When you read the transcript of Palin’s speech, it doesn’t seem too nasty, actually. Sure it takes a few jabs at Obama, presents a few lies about his proposed policies, but it doesn’t have that “twisting the knife” feeling of Palin’s delivery. It was Palin’s delivery that made this one of the nastiest, most derisive speeches I remember hearing at a convention. And I thought Zell Miller’s speech at a previous RNC was bad.
Surely this can’t be the face of bipartisanship that John McCain talks about? I know that reaching across the aisle isn’t something that’s normally done at a political convention, but Palin seemed to take things farther than can be repaired in the future. This was personal.
And while McCain’s VP candidate seemed more than capable of fighting her own battles, the Republican talking point of the day seemed to be that she was this poor victim who didn’t deserve to be investigated by the media. The American public doesn’t have a right to know just who this woman is and what she stood for over the years — you know, all that firing and book burning and stuff.
I’m sure these are the same people that defended Hillary Clinton against right-wing smears, right?
As far as I’m concerned, Palin threw down the gauntlet last night, and I hope Biden and Obama are equally as aggressive at confronting her with real issues and holding her to task for the Bush administration’s failures. If she wants to claim she’s “on the team,” let her accept responsibilities for the last eight disasterous years.
Perhaps they can start with her witty comment last night, “I told the Congress, “Thanks, but no thanks,” on that Bridge to Nowhere,” seeing as how she was actually for it before she was against it:
In the city Ketchikan, the planned site of the so-called “Bridge to Nowhere,” political leaders of both parties said the claim was false and a betrayal of their community, because she had supported the bridge and the earmark for it secured by Alaska’s Congressional delegation during her run for governor.
When she was running for governor in 2006, Palin said she was insulted by the term “bridge to nowhere,” according to Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein, a Democrat, and Mike Elerding, a Republican who was Palin’s campaign coordinator in the southeast Alaska city.
“People are learning that she pandered to us by saying, I’m for this’ … and then when she found it was politically advantageous for her nationally, abruptly she starts using the very term that she said was insulting,” Weinstein said.
Looks like we need to start another flip-flop list to match McCain’s ever-increasing one.
But I did actually agree on one part of Giuliani’s speech. That’s the part when he said, “I learned as a trial lawyer a long time ago, if you don’t have the facts, you’ve got to change them. So our opponents want to re- frame the debate.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly what the Republicans are trying to do this year, once again. They have no record to run on, so they’re going to sell the Hero to the independents, and the neo-con to the GOP base.
Pay no attention to the lost jobs, the lost homes, the tattered economy, the raging war overseas, the veterans coming back with missing limbs, the broken families, our tarnished image abroad.
It would appear that Barack Obama and Joe Biden, no matter how much they say they are reluctant to do so, are going to have to get dirty in this battle. The Democrats simply cannot cede another election because they were afraid to fight back.