The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Cousin Oliver 2008

I figured I was pretty much finished with blogging. Life was getting a little too complicated to devote as much time to it as it requires, and confronting the endless stream of horror that is the Bush era was taking its toll.

But the news of the last week has just been a little too much to take. Namely, the rather impressive performances and platform of the Democratic convention being immediately followed by the red meat and circus of the Republican convention.

After an initial feeling of joy at the GOP selection of someone whose background is pure Bushco-style history of failing upward, I quickly remembered the reality of the last two elections. After all, the upward-failing nimrod on those tickets was at the top.

And how did the media react to a complete knucklehead with a habit of openly lying about his own public record? We know the answer to that all too well.

Yes, the Republican convention has been utterly devoid of substance. Not only that-- it's been devoid of anything resembling reality. Mitt Romney's baffling "let's drive the liberals out of power" speech got plenty of applause, Giuliani's stupefying potshots at Obama's "east coast elitism" were well-received, and everyone loves the classic "big-spending, big-government liberal" routine, even though the reality has been the exact opposite for nearly thirty years now. Palin is apparently going to go with the "powerless wealthy white man" ploy. With the ol' twisteroo that she's female, naturally.

So once again, it's going to be issues and policy from progressives, and belligerent nationalism from the right. And our track record isn't too good these days.

What will we get from the media? While there was a refreshingly noteworthy MSM presence in reporting Palin's (largely misrepresented, if not outright falsified) background, the campaign has made its decision: if you ask her about policy, you're sexist. If you ask McCain about policy, you're a traitor. If you ask about the GOP platform, you're an angry extremist. Judging from, say, Peggy Noonan's now-infamous discrepancy between her published opinion of the ticket and what she apparently believes, that will probably be a relief for most lazy journalists. After all, there's nothing easier than writing sappy paeans to veterans and working mothers.

Of course, unless you happen to catch prominent conservative pundits speaking candidly, you're not going to hear that Palin's selection was a cynical gimmick aimed solely at short-term electoral gain. Except on progressive blogs. And we're all drooling radicals.

To get to the above link, I think it's almost poignant how people who blog professionally--for actual money-- can still manage a 'Eureka!' moment when GOP luminaries stand in front of a national audience and lie their socks off. They don't care. Their supporters don't care. Most journalists don't seem to care, and those who do aren't getting any serious exposure.

And one final note on the Noonan affair: something that shocked me in the exchange was (assuming I understand this right) their mutual assertion that the GOP always blows it when they adopt a personality-driven campaign instead of an issue-driven campaign. That might've been the most counter-factual statement of the whole convention.