Oklahoma is one of the reddest of the red states. We haven’t voted for a Democrat for president since 1960, and I don’t expect this year to be any different. However, there is a change in the air this year. I am seeing excitment from all of the closet Democrats, and there is a great ad on TV; “Come home to the Democratic Party.” I think the following pictures are emblematic of what is going on, even if just in the metro areas of Tulsa and Oklahoma City. These pictures are courtesy of my mother, Trudy White.
I really enjoyed this op-ed by Maureen Dowd! My favorite line is
“Does McCain know the maverick’s maverick has gone all mavericky on him?”
I can just believe this really transpired.
In an evocative article on salon.com, Walter Shapiro wanders into an “alternate universe” where the McCain of 2000 wasn’t replaced by a robot manufactured from spare Bush parts by Karl Rove. Have a read; this is the McCain that Democrats like me and independants could have voted for:
I’ve never been a fan of Kathleen Parker, but I have been gaining respect for her as a thinker as she has broken with the extreme right over the McCain/Palin debacle. This op-ed is devastating in its insight and uncomfortably true in its conclusions. “Ignoring it … profits only fools.”
Living and working in one of the reddest of the red states, I’m used to having to listen to people who have what I consider narrow world views, and odd voting habits (i.e. voting against their clear economic and personal best interests to save babies or marriage from sure destruction). This insanity has reached proportions that I could only dream of with the nomination of Barak Obama. I work in a major medical facility and spend a significant portion of my week killing time between cases in the surgeon’s lounge. I usually try to ignore the TV as the only news network the hospital has on its a la carte cable package is FOX (a story for another time). Since the Democratic and Republican conventions the conversations have been leaning political in the lounge. I’m widely known around the hospital as one of the two or three docs who are left leaning, and I’ve already hit my head against the right wing wall until it is sore, so I don’t jump into political discussions anymore. Being a fly on the wall is actually more interesting. You hear the oddest things when you just sit and listen, especially if you are on the computer and act like you aren’t paying attention. I therefore would like to present the top 5 statements I have heard that make me think “WTF are the people thinking!”
- Barak Obama is a Muslim.
- Barak Obama plan for expanding government sponsored community service actually is a disguised plan to put together a Muslim army and take over the country.
- Barak Obama is the Anti-Christ.
- Barak Obama plans to eliminate all private insurance carriers and completely socialize medicine.
- Any woman who criticizes Palin is a hypocrite.
William Kristol has as usual missed the mark again with his recent op-ed in the Times (Both Sides Now – Op-Ed – NYTimes.com.) He starts off well with
I’m now a disestablishmentarian. I’ve come to believe that, to (loosely) paraphrase Jefferson, the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the wreckage of torpedoed establishments and the shards of overturned conventional wisdom. The good news is that 2008 has been a thoroughly refreshing year.
He then wanders aimlessly into the Republican talking points including
Meanwhile, the Republican Party … chose as its nominee a troublemaker who was George W. Bush’s main challenger in 2000 and his sharp critic for much of his administration. John McCain wasn’t on particularly good terms with either the G.O.P. establishment or the leaders of the conservative movement — yet he won.
and on the selection of Palin
The media establishment was horrified. Its members expressed their disapproval. Palin became more popular. They got even more frustrated.
This is the line of reasoning that the Republicans are using to push the McCain/Palin ticket. McCain has had to turn in his “maverick” credentials when he has done a 180 on all major policy issues on which he disagreed with Bush and the neoconservatives (tax policy, immigration, torture).
And what to say about Sarah Palin. The more we learn about her the more she looks like W with lipstick! Her ability to cover for her complete lack of independent knowledge about the complexity of the modern international world with cute one liners (“I won’t blink”) is eerily reminiscent of Bush. Why do you need to understand the underlying geopolitical strata, when you can intuit what is “right” (or be told by God) and threaten anyone who disagrees with the label of “un-patriotic” for domestic foes, and unilateral military action for international ones.
I agree with Mr. Kristol that we are potentially seeing “one of America’s periodic political and cultural awakenings.” But trying to cast McCain/Palin in that role is like, how can I say it …. , putting lipstick on a pig.
I have been at a bit of a loss about what to think or say about the choice of Sarah Palin as the Republican’s VP nominee. The tsunami of press coverage has covered the internet neck deep in stories, rumors, and flat craziness! She has not been made available for media interviews as of yet, and our impressions of her were distilled from news reports and the McCain and Obama spin machines burning their midnight oil. Her speech last night was clearly a success. It was a very controlled introduction of her to America. She was articulate, attractive, and delivered the attacks on Obama that the VP candidate is supposed to do fairly convincingly. I thought Hilliary Rosen put it well on cnn.com (Commentary: Sarah Palin, right and wrong – CNN.com.)
In her acceptance speech, we saw a woman who was compelling, charming and aggressively partisan. She succeeded in demonstrating that she is a regular mom who came to government to make a difference.
She is the rock star for the far right that the Republicans needed. But I am convinced that she is not the VP the country needs. in the same piece Rosen succinctly puts it:
So why then do I think that Sarah Palin would be a terrible vice president? Because I also think that John McCain would be a terrible president.
We don’t need more partisan politcs, and Sarah Palin is more like Bush than McCain in this regard. By choosing Palin, McCain has clearly stated that he has abandoned the stands that made him one of the only republicans I would consider voting for, and has lined up like a good little soldier in the partisan culture wars that enable the neo-conservative movment to establish and retain power. The irony is that despite the calls of “protecting the unborn” and “preserving marriage,” the true agenda is one of wealth concentration and endless conflicts to protect economic interests that benefit the very most fortunate.
When will middle class American’s begin to see through this nonsense.