Progressive Revival

Congratulations to Governor Sarah Palin for proving last night that she came honestly by her high school nickname “Barracuda.”. She certainly carried forward the McCain strategy of mockery, ridicule, sarcasm and disrespect. Sarah Palin showed that there is at least one aspect of the Vice President role on the campaign trail she can do well, and that is play the role of attack dog.  McCain’s campaign spokesperson Rick Davis said yesterday that this campaign isn’t going to be about issues. They intend this to be about personality, not the issues. And that’s what she did. Aimed primary at Barack Obama. Palin delivered the red meat for the audience at the RNC convention last night.

No policy however. Plenty of punches, however.

Did you catch when Palin brought up the character issue? She said that John McCain says the same thing about people whether they’re listening or whether they’re not listening, unlike Obama, she suggested, expressed when out of their earshot that some white working class people cling bitterly to guns and religion. I guess Palin was out hunting moose and doesn’t know or doesn’t care about McCain’s own character issue when it comes to what he had to say to a woman even while reporters were listening. (Retraction. McCain didn’t insult all women, just his wife.) Perhaps John McCain calling his wife Cindy McCain a “c*nt” is just fine with Palin. After all, she finds it funny when men call women b***ch and belittle them

By the way, Palin probably didn’t notice, and probably didn’t care if she did notice, the campaign pin on folks’ lapel there in the convention center that read “Hoosiers for Hot Chicks” written above the pictures of McCain/Palin. Character issues were on display right there before her eyes if she cared to notice.

With the singing of the national anthem framing the opening and closing of last night’s convention session, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that Palin would take a swipe at Michelle Obama with that “always proud of America” quip. The notion that you can’t find fault in the country and yet still fiercely love it riles me. This belief that America can never be wrong and it’s unpatriotic to admit America has faults is tied to the belief that America is God’s chosen nation. Could it be that there are those who believe that to challenge country is to challenge God? 

Finally, there’s the “community organizer” zinger by Palin, the punch that was supposed to be the knock-out. “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities,” Palin said. There are people who are actually making real change happen in communities and are more accountable to people than any elected official would hope to be. These are the people, many of whom with degrees like those of Obama, that are coming up with innovative programs and policy solutions on the local level that lawmakers are actually using to create pubic policy. Of course, many people, especially those from small towns, don’t know what a community organizer even though they think they have an idea what a mayor does or what a governor does.

While Palin’s speech played very well there before convention delegates, it remains to be seen how it will be received among the rank and file around the country. Women and men from the conservative right usually don’t like punchy, tough talking women. (Think Hillary Clinton.) No matter how pretty they are.

One last thing: there was something surreal about watching a Party made up of  plenty of folks who belong to churches that teach that a woman can’t/shouldn’t pastor a church trot out a female candidate to run as VP. Women can run the country, but they can’t pastor a church is what many conservative Christians are saying who hail Sarah Palin as the “just what was needed” addition to the McCain ticket. Which is only proof that, for the chance to win, even core values can be auctioned.

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