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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ms. Hitler Wants To Go To Washington

I have watched two speeches in their entirety so far. One was Barack Obama's at the closing of the Democratic Convention. The other was that of Sarah Palin.

Obama's was less lifting than instructive. He rebutted some points but at the same time made precise declarations of what his goals are. His economic plan obviously begs the question as to how all this is going to be paid for. It's a fair question, no doubt. But, the key to his speech was in the direction he wants to take this country.

Palin's speech last night was instructive also, but not anywhere near Obama's. If one were to methodically go through her words (or whoever's words they were) there are 3 points that stuck with me.

1: The McCain/Palin ticket is going to go to Washington and clean up "the mess." This is an 8-year-old ploy to convince people with a flash that Bill Clinton's 16 year run in the White House is coming to an end; that George W. Bush never left Crawfor and this "mess" can only be mopped up by the very people who have been in charge for 8 years now.

2: The purpose of public service is to "leave the country better off than how we found it." Ditto on the previous paragraph, except to say that if on January 19th 2009 you feel the nation is better off (not you, but the nation) then you belong in that glaringly all-white asylum in St. Paul. By the way, the cameras kept panning the audience and repeatedly zeroed in on a black man. Perhaps he was the only black in the place.

3: That John McCain's POW experience somehow places him as the spokesman for all prisoners of war; that his character and mettle are what entitles him to speak for those whose suffering and perseverence speaks to the durability of the human spirit, NOT any political party.

Sarah Palin's family, while "off limits" to questioning, were flashed and spoken of and used as props. Short of Abraham offering up Isaac to God for sacrifice, I don't know what more they could have done. The display did not paint her as an ordinary Jane, but rather a user; one whose goals are far more important than means.

But the most strking thing was her demeanor. Deliberatly repeating the big lie about "no thanks" to the Bridge to Nowhere (not mentioning that the state of Alaska got the funding anyway) she failed to note that Alaska never gave the money back. The speech was Rovian all the way but given with such relish that I think Gov. Palin could have improved it with her own fire and brimstone. It could be said that Karl Rove actually would exert a restraining influence on this candidate.

There was sarcasm, derision, with a face that invites any challenges. Yet challenges are not on the agenda. Palin will be bunkered as well as Dick Cheney has been. Other than popping out of a hole from time to time in order to guttersnipe, she will not be "available" to the miscreants in the press who have a question or two. She splendidly solidified the Republican "base." Much like the adoring members of Hitler's Reichstag, they applauded with everything except their feet. This year the Republican Party is particularly insulted that the Democrats might actually pick up a cudgel or two, unlike previous elections. One of the hallmarks of bullies is that screaming indignation when someone gives them a dose of their own medicine.

But Sarah Palin's insta-qualification based upon this speech is misleading to say the least. She painted herself as another Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. She's a "maverick," and "new star." She may be, but it's with a very old, tried and true formula. Rail against the very things you do yourself. Promise order out of chaos. Promise strength while weakening the fabric of the society you claim to love so much.

The most revealing revelation about Sarah Palin came out the other day. It's not as interesting as her daughter's pregnancy, or her husband's DUI over twenty years ago. Nor was it the emerging details of her firing of the Wasilla police chief.

Running close was her putting a political knife in the back of her own mother in law when it was her turn to run for mayor. Todd Palin's mom, you see, is pro-choice. And family, my friends, is nothing compared to ideology.

First runner up might be Palin's affiliation with the Alaska Independence Party. Actually entertaining "states rights" and secession are remarkable to say the least. Perhaps the party of Lincoln (of all people) has nominated Jane C. Calhoun. In 1861 James Petigru described his state of South Carolina as too small to be a sovereign nation but too big to be an insane asylum. Maybe Alaska is big enough to be a sovereign state. As for the insane asylum...well, Sarah speaks; you decide.

But the top one; the one revelation that should make any sane person perk up, is how as mayor of Wasille, Sarah Palin put the screws to the local librarian to have certain books banned. You can get bogged down in the details of Evangelical Christians versus everybody else.....or you can recognize a clear authoritarian streak that runs contrary to what used to be the Republican Party. Or the United States, for that matter.

Since she likes to evoke memories of Harry Truman, I thought of one during her speech. In the 1948 election, Truman told crowds that if they voted for Republicans, then they were dumber than he thought and deserved just what they were going to get.

If the American electorate wants another "decider," then so be it. To hunker in a bunker is not governing. People are funny that way; they like to question the people who work for them.

Not the other way around.

Originally posted at Duke of Madness…

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Blogger Papamoka said...

If Sarah Palin is one heartbeat away from the Presidency then people should be asking every question possible of this unknown candidate for Vice President. Great post Duke of Madness!

7:31 PM  

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