Republican National Ridiculousness
I’ll admit that I’ve been bored by this election for a few months. It’s crazy, I know. But ever since Barack Obama’s presumptive nomination early in June, it’s been kind of a snooze. Barack Obama is so compelling, and John McCain is so old — and careless. He can’t remember how many houses he owns. He can’t turn on a computer. He doesn’t seem to know where he is half the time. If this were 2000, McCain would be a dynamic candidate, a loud-mouthed maverick with ideas about war, torture, special interests and energy policy (Thomas Friedman’s piece yesterday about McCain’s energy policy is right on the money) that would make the sleepy Democrats stand at attention.
He used to be a contender. Now he’s just a contender who needs a nap. This whole thing was one big “duh.” And it was boring me.
But then! The McCain campaign announced, with a gigantic bang, a running mate: a 44-year-old virtual unknown … FEMALE … from Alaska. A hot female. With like a million kids. Including one with Downs Syndrome.
It was like that moment from Trapped in the Closetwhen Twan and Sylvester find out that the police officer’s wife Bridget is three months pregnant … by a midget (Oh, SHIT!) But it was also such a thrill. What was McCain thinking? Who is this lady? Let’s watch the news for a few hours. Oh shit … she’s under investigation? Oh shit … pregnant teenage daughter? Oh shit … censorship controversy? It’s so bad. And so good.
And so I found myself watching the Republican National Convention last night, writhing through Rudy Giuliani’s awful, awkwardly constructed, stumbled-through speech (“Imagine you’re voting for president …”), reminded every few minutes that this bankrupt party is anti-brains, anti-substance, anti-action, condescending, hateful and ignorant. Seriously, is making fun of Barack’s years as an activist the best you could do? Do you really think he’s been sitting around for the past 20 years eating Funyuns? Her derisive comment about her “actual responsibilities” as Mayor of Wasilla as opposed to Barack’s apparently “imaginary” responsibilities at the Developing Communities Project and on the board of Public Allies were downright off-color. When he started at Harvard Law in 1988, Sarah Palin was still a local TV sports reporter.
The strangest part? They were cracking themselves up. Barack! What a crazy guy! Rudy actually could not handle it after he uttered the phrase “community organizer”. He started laughing!
Don’t get me wrong. I still think this is a “duh” election, and I think whatever the Republicans can pull out of their crooked sleeves between now and November 4 will be too little, too late, especially if they keep making these glittery but poorly thought-through snap decisions. Those hundreds of RNC attendees in cowboy hats shouting “DRILL BABY DRILL” would be heeeelarious if they weren’t so scary. But then again, maybe they’d be scary, if they weren’t so hilarious. And I’m happy that this news cycle is finally exciting again.
Here’s an excerpt, again, from Rudy G., that’s particularly chilling, especially in light of the frightening stuff happening outside the Excel Center gates, which our own Michelle Tucker has been covering exhaustively and with no pulled punches, if you haven’t been paying attention (please, please, please read it):
You can’t read in the transcript that Rudy almost slipped up with “signing shitty on the hill.”
It’s not that any of this is a revelation or surprise. I just think that this is so farcical, so disconnected from everything that’s going on in the world … and I hope it’s not working.
Gawker posted a great review today of Sarah Palin’s speech that really tones down the idiocy of the national coverage in its wake.