Thursday, September 04, 2008

Conventional Wisdom III: The Preciousssss

Going into last night of the Republican National Convention, I was worried they might try to make an effective case to independent and moderate swing-state voters. Thankfully, they decided to replay the party's greatest hits of Republican hatchet attacks instead.

Mitt Romney, whose brain and hair apparently just jumped through time from 1968 to the present day, went on the attack against the elitist East Coast elite liberal media elites, the liberal Supreme Court (?!), and all the liberals who run Washington today (?!?!).

When Romney was done reviving the Spiro Agnew schtick, Rudy Guiliani decided to reach back even further for a vintage 1950 Joe McCarthy, sinisterly talking about how Obama went over to Europe -- gasp! -- and brought back some suspicious European ideas with him!

While I would've expected Romney to ooze insincerity (and secrete his own hair gel) and I would've expected Guiliani to bare his fangs like a C-list Bela Lugosi, I was a little surprised to see Vice Presidential Lottery Winner Sarah Palin continue to ramp up the attacks. If she'd played up the "hockey mom" act a little more, she might have appealed to suburban mothers across the country; instead, she decided to devote her time to shrill attacks and a long, long list of easily refuted lies about her Democratic opponents. Also, is it smart to keep mocking "community organizers" when they're the people who basically run the ground game in the Democratic get-out-the-vote effort? Way to make them kick it into high gear.

The media pundits are all swept up in the mood of the arena -- even nominally liberal Mika Brzyznski on MSNBC looks like she's going to stroke out from excitement this morning -- but I think they're misreading this. These speeches will doubtlessly fire up the Republican base, but I have to think they're going to alienate the hell out of independents and moderates. (And looking at the early focus group reports, that seems to be the case.)

It'll be interesting to see what Grandpa Simpson does tonight. I'm sure his speechwriters are seriously concerned about this issue, but there's also the matter of whether or not he can live up to the base's excitement after last night. My friends, I doubt it.

7 comments:

Smitty said...

The same tired attacks, over and over from those guys.

One theme that bothered me last night is the recurring theme of the "dangerous world we live in." Fear, by another name. Be afraid of the world and suspicious of everyone in it that's not American.

The thing I love, though, is how they are running against themselves. If anything can bring the change to Washington we need after 8 years of republican rule...is 4 more years of republican rule!

Studiodave said...

My wife watched it as I tried to sleep because I knew this would infuriate me.

But we both actually gasped outloud at the "he would read Meranda rights to Ossama Bin Laden" was simply crap.

Oh, and the Drill Baby Drill chant. Jesus.

Can we retire the USA, USA, USA is 1984 chant please!!!!

So focus group of studiodave house - my wife is officially independent and Palin pushed her hard to Obama.

My mom who was a Hillary support who vowed to "stay home" has also changed her tune.

My wife turned off the TV and said. "Well, now I know she's a bitch; I still dont know what she'll actually do."

Please Lord. I cant handle 4 more years.

Otto Man said...

The one thing that scared me about McCain was his ability to reach out to independents. Last night killed that completely.

If you're sick of partisan politics and looking for actual policies, this convention had nothing to offer you. Nothing.

Otto Man said...

Great comment over at Politico:

"Mrs. Palin needs to be reminded that Jesus Christ was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor."

Mr Furious said...

It WILL fire up the base, there's no question about it. Steve Benen and others want to tell me their base has dwindled and ours is more fired up, but this strategy has worked for them more often than its failed.

I'm done losing money betting on the media to do it's fucking job and report the truth and for the electorate to wake the fuck up.

Otto Man said...

As Nate Silver notes, it's going to fire up both bases, and that's a proposition that we win:

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/09/great-speech-for-both-bases.html

That leaves independents, and as that focus group link shows, they were turned off by this speech in a huge way.

They can have the right-wing asshole vote, and we'll take the rest.

Mike said...

As to Community Organizers, I though those GOP shitbags liked faith-based, non-governmental charities.

Yet the fact that Obama, as a 23 year-old, ran one of these is somehow a bad thing?

They suck. They suck on motherfuckin' ice.

(I know that makes no sense, but the Mel Brooks-Harvey Corman exchange in HOTW, Part I was long overdue for a tribute.

Or something like that.)