Note: My coverage of the Convention, at least in this instance, is partially based on Internet sources and GMA, and partially from some notes I took while watching some of the speeches last night. I admit, I was under the influence of a Gin Rickey when taking notes, and I was chatting with some politically minded friends, so there's some good quotes here too.
(Oh, and Bristol Palin is definitely a MILF in training. I have the photographic evidence to prove it, courtesy of kanye on DXM's comment board for The Circle is Now Complete. The accompanying caption: "Anyone think this photo was taken five months ago?" Huzzah for citizen journalism. And now, back to the news desk. (Which is really just whatever desk I'm writing at.) Maybe I should get a collection going to send me to the conventions next year for live coverage.)
Wow. Just wow. The behavior of the RNC last night is a cross between a mass halucination, a Hitler Youth rally, and a High School locker room. Not the Friday Night Lights, Sorkonian feeling, but the "Shit, these jocks want BLOOD" feeling. Last night we had some major players give major speeches, in what's supposed to be the big warm up for the night tonight. Undoubtedly, the message of the night was, "This is the party for straight talk, not politically correct talk." Boy, they weren't kidding.
Before any speeches are savaged, let's talk about the mood in the room. Jesus Christ, I don't think I've seen so many people baying for blood in one public setting. At least, since the last Republican Convention. Of course, the Palin family was on display prominently for most of the evening. Did anyone else get the feeling that poor old Levi Johnston, the genetic shotgun that's dating Bristol Palin, was uncomfortable? Also, Bristol holding little Trig in her arms all night had me constantly thinking of this...judging.mp3. Word of advice: if your family is "off limits" to the media, don't parade them about with bullseyes on their backs. Just saying, is all.
All that aside, last night proved something we all knew deep in our hearts...Mike Huckabee is a nutter. He's less nutty than Rudy or "Pitbull Palin", as the New York Daily News has labeled her, but he's still a little nutty. I did like that he said, "You know, my hometown of Hope, Arkansas, the three sacred heroes were Jesus, Elvis, and FDR, not necessarily in that order." That's the only "folksy" element I can find here, folks. And the story about the school teacher, you know this story:
"On the first day of school in 2005, Martha Cothren, a teacher at the Joe T. Robinson High School in Little Rock, was determined that her students would not take their education or their privileges as American for granted. And with the principal of her school's permission, she removed all the desks from her classroom on that first day of school, 2005. Now, the students walked into an empty classroom and they said, "Ms. Cothren, where's our desk?" She said, "You get a desk in my classroom when you tell me how you earn it."
[Later, remarking upon how no child could get the "answer" and how they called parents, which lead to media coverage.]
"And with that, she went to the door of her classroom and motioned, and in walked over 20 veterans, some of them still wearing the uniforms from days gone by, every one of them carrying a school desk. And as they carefully and quietly arranged those desks in neat rows, Martha said, "You don't have to earn your desk, because these guys, they already did."
"No child left behind", eh? The educational system isn't bad enough, we now need teachers to pull stunts for the evening news? Don't get me wrong, this was indeed touching and and an interesting story, I think this woman is batshit insane. I respect veterans as much as any red blooded American. Hell, I'm the son of a proud Vietnam War veteran, who thank god never had to see the light of combat while he was in the Marine Corps in the mid 70's. But I don't think holding up a whole day of classes for a publicity stunt, disguised as a message, is a proper way to teach a lesson. Why not have the veterans march into the classroom? She could have given her speech after a couple kids couldn't come up with her "answer". Also, she "flipped out"?! She has no right to flip out, she was asking a question only she knew the answer to? OF COURSE THE KIDS WON'T GET THE ANSWER RIGHT! Then again, only a Republican would hold up important proceedings to deliver a "message", and also expect people to know the answers to questions only they know about. And we're supposed to want four more years of this? I would be understating things if I told you that this was the tamest speech of the bunch. This was vanilla compared to who was up next.
Rudy Giuliani...holy shit, what the fuck happened to Rudy Giuliani? You know, he used to be a stand up guy. I used to think he was alright in my book. I mean he did clean up New York, Disneyfied Times Square, and he even seemed to capably lead during 9/11. He was an upstanding Republican candidate, with the prerequisite flaws and second wife. Now...he's nothing more than an epic failure in credibility. He really set the tone for Sarah Palin's speech, coming out as a hateful war monger, who spewed forth propaganda as if it were his native language. "America Comes First"...yes indeed it does. Just ask any Thai hooker. Of particular interest, was how he described Obama and his record:
"On the other hand, you have a resume from a gifted man with an Ivy League education. He worked as a community organizer. [at this point, the audience laughs] What? He worked -- I said --[laughter continues] I said, OK, OK, maybe this is the first problem on the resume. [the chant of "zero, zero, zero, et. al." begins, sustained for a couple minutes.] He worked as a community organizer. He immersed himself in Chicago machine politics. Then he ran for -- then he ran for the state legislature and he got elected. And nearly 130 times, he couldn't make a decision. He couldn't figure out whether to vote "yes" or "no." It was too tough. He voted -- he voted "present." I didn't know about this vote "present" when I was mayor of New York City. Sarah Palin didn't have this vote "present" when she was mayor or governor."
Ah, so you didn't have a "present" vote as Mayor of New York...well, your position didn't require one. And as for the decisions Obama voting on being, "too tough", at least he knows when it's safe to breathe. As for Ms. Palin, we all know she can't vote "present"...if she could, maybe her daughter wouldn't be pregnant. One thing was for sure, the audience couldn't stop chanting. Their popular chants during Rudy's speech: "USA", for national pride; "Zero", as if to reference Obama's experience in policy; and "Drill, baby, drill", which sounded more like a porno title than a political chant. Hey...there's a new niche of pornography for Republicans...Oil porn! It could be footage from any drilling sight, cleverly mixed with porno music, and building up to the rush of oil spurting from the well. And of course, Rudy played the two big cards from the Republican deck of cards: Flip flopping and 9/11. I'm going to discard his rantings on Al Qaeda and Bin Laden, because I feel like moving on to something a little more important.
"We agree. We agree with Joe Biden... one time, one time, when he said that, until he flip-flopped and changed his position. And, yes, being president means being able to answer that call at 3:00 in the morning. And that's the one time we agree with Hillary. But I bet you never thought Hillary would get applause at this convention. She can be right."
Right off the bat, the whole "Hillary was right" thing...doesn't work. Stop trying to make a connection between Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton. Given a choice between the two, I'd accept Hillary any time of the day...at least she's up front with her Machiavellian schemes, and she has plenty more experience having actually been in the White House. (I feel sick now.) As for "flip flopping", I know this isn't a new term in politics, but I think it's one that needs to be demolished. In politics, no one can change their minds anymore. They have to follow through with their mistakes to whatever conclusion they lead to. Best put, when I mentioned this hypocrisy to a friend last night, he said, "That's what Dubya did, and look where that got us." If you know you're making a mistake, STOP MAKING IT! You are allowed to change your mind, because the issues are never static. Why should your opinion be?
And now, we turn to "Pitbull" Sarah Palin. The woman who took about two to three minutes to say "Thank you...thank you very much" to a whooping and hollering audience. I thought to myself, "Glad to see you could put those beauty queen lessons to work, Sarah. Now are you going to start speaking yet?"
Before I go off, let me lay this down for you: AP: Attacks, Praise Stretch Truth At GOP Convention
Here's some of the hypocrisies she's spewed and the truths that inspired them. With that said, some have labeled Sarah Palin's speech as "folksy" and a "crowd pleaser". I would say that it was merely masturbatory fodder for any Right Wing pusher, and that it was nothing more than a soccer mom gossiping with other soccer moms on a national platform. She did not point out any policies, she did not point out any rhetoric, all she did was say, "Boo hoo, the media is cruel to me and my family. Oh, and that Obama guy? Total prick. Can't be trusted, less experienced than me. I was a small town mayor, and I'm a fairly new governor." Add a whole bunch of generic gesturing, and a cup of coffee, and you're at the local PTA meetings she probably never attended, or at least won't be attending as VP.
Ms. Palin, echoing the words of Rudolph Giuliani, said:
"And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities."
...OK...are you going to explain the job? No? You're just going to set up an explaination that never happens, and copy off of someone else's speech as justification? Oh...ok. I have to admit, I was expecting something big here. I was expecting a universally scrutinized, admittedly 11th hour Vice Presidential pick to knock her first speaking engagement on a televised national platform out of the park. I was expecting some set up for the rhetorical stance the campaign was taking, not repeated slams, put downs, and character attacks. I mean, are we really still in high school? Are you back to picking on the Chess team, because you're a fucking beauty queen who doesn't know how to properly name children? "Track", "Trig", "Bristol"...hell "Piper" was the most normal name of the bunch, that should tell you something! "Trig"...really? God help us if we name a new state. She thinks being mayor is a strong enough qualification to be in an Executive position in the White House. All I can say is ask Rudy Giuliani how that worked out for him, or rather how it didn't. After all, he was named "America's Mayor" once upon a time, and the Republicans "put a boot in his ass" during the primaries. Oh, and who named him "America's Mayor"? Time Magazine. The media bestowed the moniker upon him, and he failed the audition to the audition for the real deal. So sorry.
When it came to speak about her running mate/BFF, John McCain, she had this to say:
"As for my running mate, you can be certain that wherever he goes, and whoever is listening, John McCain is the same man."
Oh...so he's going to call his wife a trollop and a cunt in the speech tonight? Oh...well I hope the FCC is watching, and I'll be eagerly awaiting his pirate face that he made in one picture a while ago. I mean how exactly are we so sure he won't call Ms. Palin such things when she steps out of line, and I guarantee you she will.
A couple more choice quotes from Rah Rah Sarah:
"I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this great country"
(Yeah, representing people who have never fucking heard of you before the McCain Dog and Pony show picked you up and started the circus.)
"...we're gonna lay more pipelines"
(TOLD YOU! OIL PORN, BABY! Also, I dare anyone to not laugh at her saying that, especially right after she says "pipe". She also mentioned alternative energy sources, which basically shouts "gang bang" in the Oil Porn industry.)
[About Obama's stance on the War on Terror] "Victory in Iraq is finally in sight ... he wants to forfeit."
(Really?! You mean the troops will come home by Christmas, Iraq will become a functioning Democracy, and we won't have to worry about Bin Laden ever again? No? Then victory really isn't in sight, is it?)
[Again, about Obama] "Al-Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America ... he's worried that someone won't read them their rights?"
(Because it's not about being the bigger man and giving even the soulless bastards that'd harm us the common courtesy we would any homegrown thug, it's about being the bigger dick and slamming them as hard as you can without due process.)
[and finally, the most telling quote of the evening...] "the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of "personal discovery."
(Tell that to the people who are FINALLY vetting you, as procedure dictated the should BEFORE you were ever nominated.)
The American public is not completely lost though. If we can learn our lesson and sink Disaster Movie like a stone, then we can learn our lesson and vote Obama. I wonder though is Ms. Palin has seen "There Will Be Blood" though? She's eager to drill (DRAIIIINNNAGGGGEE), she's abandonned her children, she believes in false prophets, song, dance, and superstition, and she's basically Daniel Plainview with a vagina.
C'mon America, let's make the White House "No Country for Old Men". (Sorry, had to further the Oscar connection. Plus, I already did the Juno thing...though I was sent that last picture by my girlfriend last night. Let it be known, we share pretty much the same sick sense of humor.)
Note: I figured I'd try something different, and put the links to the full text of the referenced speeches down at the end of the article this time. Let me know what you think.