The Publican Convention

I love Dave Barry. A couple of random paragraphs:

  The Democrats pounced immediately on the choice of Palin, charging that she is unqualified, especially compared to the ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, who have a total of nearly 40 years of experience in the U.S. Senate, or, if you subtract Biden, nearly four years of experience.

  But the McCain camp is defending Palin’s résumé, which, aside from being a governor and a mayor, includes being a mom, playing basketball, hunting moose and being runner-up for Miss Alaska 1984. There was some grumbling among Republican insiders that McCain would have been better off choosing somebody with a thicker résumé, such as Mitt Romney, who actually won Miss Alaska 1984.

But seriously, it’s disappointing to see the GOP present itself as the War Party. The most sensible Republican I heard tonight was Ron Paul, talking to Tavis Smiley on the motel TV. The least sensible was Rudy Giuliani, whose mockery of Obama’s work as a community organizer pissed me off. I was once a community organizer. I wasn’t very good at it, but I developed enormous respect for those who were. It’s good, hard and important work.

Obama is still doing it. And he’ll need to do a lot more if he’s going to win in November.

Between now and then it’ll be high road vs. low road. Hate to say I’m betting on the latter.

9 comments

  1. Calvin Dodge’s avatar

    You’re betting on the low road? Ah, so you’re saying DailyKos and company will be successful? I certainly hope not!

  2. Mike Warot’s avatar

    We’re already on the low road… Ron Paul and the message of fiscal sanity got ignored to death my the mainstream media.

  3. Pauly’s avatar

    I tend to think the low road is what’ll decide it too unfortunately. And remember, it takes a receptive audience for the low road approach to work. So we’ll get the government we deserve.

  4. Calvin Dodge’s avatar

    So what exactly IS “the low road”?

    Is it when someone lies about the Federal response to Katrina, and ignores the far greater responsibility of city and state government (who by some coincidence were both Democratically controlled at the time)?

    Or is it when someone says “for the first time, we’ll care about the poor” (paraphrasing from my memory, so that may not be an exact quote), as if LBJ’s Great Society programs and trillions in subsequent spending never existed?

    Or is it when someone says (paraphrasing again here) “that woman has less experience than I do – I mean, she was a small-town mayor” while ignoring nearly 2 years of governorship?

    Or is it when a candidate rallies his followers to inflict a denial of service attack on a radio station, and threatens jail time for people who dare to talk publicly about his association with a former terrorist whose only regret is “we didn’t do enough?”

    Nah … it’s none of those things. The “low road” is simply “whatever the Republicans say”.

  5. Andrew’s avatar

    A War party and an increasingly taken over by pacifists party. Tis the Israelization of politics, no? One party has to be anti-Arab and militant, and pseudo fascist, even if it is quite libertarian, and the other has to be isolationist and internationalist, even if at home it is protectionist and socially liberal. This process has transformed the parties here in Britain too. Since 9-11, most of Europe is worried about Muslims along us and most of Europe has elected the right-of-centre parties. And I can’t really “credit” anyone except Mr Bin Laden.

  6. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Calvin, did I say who was taking the high or the low road? It’s a tactic. Both sides use it. I’m interested to see how well it works this time around. I’m betting that the answer will be, as usual, plenty.

    For what it’s worth, I like FactCheck.org for debunking claims by candidates and campaigns. The PolitiFact Truth-o-Meter is good too.

    Andrew, you nailed something there. Neither of the prevailing narratives right now turn me on.

  7. Calvin Dodge’s avatar

    No, Doc, you didn’t say who was using the low road. I assumed you were claiming the Republicans were going to take it based on your comments about Rudy, as well as my impression (from reading your previous posts) that you’re an Obama supporter. If I was wrong, then I apologize.

    And I won’t even pull a Don Fowler, who tried to shift the blame to the person who recorded _his_ remarks (too bad Earl Butz didn’t think of doing that).

    The fact is (at least, I believe the fact is) that while people claim in polls to be turned off by negative advertising, they still respond to such ads in the desired way. It may be that some are truly turned off by such ads, but I think they’re in the minority.

    That negative speech also works with other venues, as I saw when screaming lefties blunted, then neutralized the newly-elected, predominantly libertarian board of the Denver Regional Transportation District in the early 90s.

    So I think the desire that everyone should choose the high road is a nice-sounding one – but it’s also wishful thinking (like the people who think Islamic extremists will stop attacking us if they just really get to know us).

    People can stick to the high road when inconsequential things are at stake. But when their freedom or livelihoods are threatened, they’re not just going to sit idly by, content to utter a few light comments about their opponents. And as long as the Federal government is so big, and claims control over virtually every aspect of peoples’ lives (including the ways they earn a living), people will fight tooth and nail to control that government – either to reduce it for freedom’s sake, or to increase it for their power or financial benefit.

    I don’t care to waste time on wishful thinking, so I don’t spend my time wishing for people to be nicer. I think a better plan is to work to shrink the government, so people have to use persuasion, rather than government coercion, so achieve their goals.

    FWIW, I _do_ think the two most pressing issues facing us are the war with Islamic extremists, and the energy situation. I believe we should be looking into EVERY possible energy source, not just the traditional solar-powered ones (wind, biomass, ground-based electricity generation) which the fundamentalist environmentalists (an important part of the Democrat coalition) claim to support (except off Nantucket).

    So I won’t support the party which is blocking votes on offshore drilling, and allies itself with people who oppose every real attempt to increase the energy supply. I also won’t support the party which thinks we can just call a “time out” on that war – which deliberately ignores the effects of its previous actions (bloodbath in Southeast Asia after ending material support to South Vietnam), because its intentions were pure.

    That leaves me with the party which certainly has its flaws (Ted Stevens, for example), but at least has a _chance_ of pushing the government in the direction which I favor.

  8. Calvin Dodge’s avatar

    And re factcheck.org – don’t assume that they’re infallible. http://www.redstate.com/diaries/ben_domenech/2008/sep/05/fact-checking-factcheckorg-on-palins-speech/ takes apart factcheck’s “fact checking” on Obama’s legislative accomplishments.

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