“They took my boots and my billfold, my fingerprints, and the profile of my face”
I’ve been remiss. I haven’t written a straight-up politics post since March. March. Bad politics junkie! (One might point out that, in another reckoning, i haven’t mentioned politics since i got myself a girlfriend, but i’m sure you will all give me the benefit of the doubt and allow my claim that it’s because the summer was rather a campaign-season lull.)
But Veeps, and Conventions, and scandal, oh my!
To compare the two conventions, i present you the NY Times’ awesome visual representation of the most-used words at each convention. God i love charts, it’s so exciting! Note that the Dems had a much more cohesive message (alternately, that they’re just broken records), while the Reps either have more broad-based interests or no idea what their message is. Top two words at each convention: Dems – Change and McCain, Reps – God and Taxes (in that order).
I like Biden. I like him about as well as any politician, and i think he was a smart choice.
The Dems all gave good speeches, though the only stand-out one was Kucinich, who went all slam-poetry on the DNC.
Now for the two really notable bits of politics. One: community organizing. Bashing community organizing is bashing democracy, the “average/working people,” and one of the primary founding tenets of the United States. So, tell me again, Republican Party, what is it that you stand for? It also shows a remarkable lack of understanding of how the political process works. Organizing is not partisan; it’s phenomenally successful community organizing that makes the Christian-far-right such a serious political force. And for Giuliani to say that he doesn’t even know what a community organizer is, he must either be lying, or have been the most oblivious Mayor New York has had, because it is a primary way that issues are brought to the government’s attention. But if logic won’t do, we can always be snarky right back:
JESUS WAS A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER.
PONTIUS PILATE WAS GOVERNOR.
Point the second: Gov. Palin. I was avoiding writing about her immediately so i could form an informed opinion. Politically, i think this choice shows pretty badly on McCain as his first executive decision; it seems impulsive (they clearly didn’t bother really vetting her) and impetuous (it seems like McCain lost interest when he wasn’t “allowed” to nominate Leiberman), as well as ill-conceived and insulting (either pandering to the far-right who pretty much has to vote for him anyway, or to centrist women under the assumption that being female is their only qualifier for a candidate).
The best thing i’ve read regarding Palin is Judith Warner’s column, The Mirrored Ceiling, where she delves into exactly what it is that people seem to expect from a female politician:
Thanks to the level of general esteem that greeted her ascent to the podium, it seems we’ve all got to celebrate the fact that America’s Hottest Governor (Princess of the Fur Rendezvous 1983, Miss Wasilla 1984) could speak at all.
Could there be a more thoroughgoing humiliation for America’s women?
I disagree, though, with her complaint that other commentators and politicians responses to her speech were “damning with faint praise,” because, frankly, what else was there to say? It was cute and funny and contained precisely no substance.
And now: the two things i oughtn’t bother saying regarding her, because they are politically irrelevant. I couldn’t listen to her whole speech because her voice was so grating to me. And i think that she is a bad person based strictly on the fact that she is selling out her children to the media to advance her career; using them as credentials. That is, you can be as public as you like with your own personal life, but have some goddamn respect for the personal lives of others, especially those you ought to respect the most. And, while i’m bitching, fuck the rest of the world for caring.
“The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised” – Johnny Paycheck