States Visited

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hockey moms, pitbulls, and lipstick?

Friday, September 5, 2008

I am trying to catch up from the long weekend and the RNC getting all out of order due to hurricane Gustav, so forgive me if I'm running behind.

So, what did Sarah Palin have to say?

Well, she started off with a small twist, she put the Standard Operating Procedures in a different order…(sigh)

I will get back to this later, but she does bring something to the table that no one has brought to Washington in a very, very long time – she has actually been just a normal, everyday citizen for most of her life. I am trying to figure out who would be the last person to come to Washington that could say that. She mentioned Harry Truman, but that is misleading (she's apparently learning quickly), he was in the Senate before becoming President. I really can't think of anyone at least as far back as Roosevelt that wasn't a career politician. I could be missing someone, though.

And she brings something else that is, as far as I know, entirely new to the table –

"And as the mother of one of those troops, that is exactly the kind of man I want as commander-in-chief."

I can't help but think it will be difficult to attack her in debates on the war in Iraq when she can respond that she believes in the cause enough to continue the fight with her own son in harm's way. Agree or disagree with her politics but a woman willing to send her first born son into a war is a true believer in it being justified.

Okay, once we get through all the usual trappings, we finally get to something solid.

"Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reason and not just to mingle with the right people. Politics isn't just a game of clashing parties and competing interest. The right reason is to challenge the status quo, to serve the common good, and to leave this nation better than we found it."

She gets off to a really good start but finishes with a whimper – it's that "common ground" nonsense again. That line of thinking is so pervasive that it has crept into the vernacular of the Republican party. It comes across as a watered down version, but it is still there. We have gone from a left and a right, Conservatives and Liberals, to left and more left, Liberals and Socialists. Regardless of what may become of Iraq, Al Qaeda, etc., George Bush's legacy will be the ushering in of the complete abandonment of the principles of the modern Republican party.

"Our state budget is under control. We have a surplus."

Well, yeah. In an August 10th article in the Seattle Times (released two weeks before McCain named Palin as his running mate) they point out that, "Over the opposition of oil companies, Republican Gov. Sarah Palin and Alaska's Legislature last year approved a major increase in taxes on the oil industry – a step that has generated stunning new wealth for the state as oil prices soared… That helped push the state's total oil revenue – from new and existing taxes, as well as royalties – to more than $10 billion, double the amount received last year… Palin's administration last week gained legislative approval for a special $1,200 payment to every Alaskan to help cope with gas prices… that check will come on top of the annual dividend of about $2,000 that each resident could receive this year from an oil-wealth savings account."

Raising taxes on oil companies and giving the money to the people – a windfall tax on oil profits - that doesn't sound like a Conservative to me. That is the policy of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Alaska is flush to the gills with oil revenues…but at least she admits it:

"When oil and gas prices when up dramatically and filled up the state treasury, I sent a large share of that revenue back where it belonged: directly to the people of Alaska."

At least Obama has the decency to tell you he is going to enact a massive income redistribution scheme. He uses pretty language and makes it sound wonderful, but at least he admits it. This is the Republicans at their best. Preach a great game, say all the right things, but legislate like Democrats when they can get away with it – especially if it will buy votes. Pay special attention to the last few words of that sentence, "back where it belonged: directly to the people of Alaska." So, in her mind, the profits of the oil companies really belong to the people of Alaska – that is the exact same socialist/communist logic of Barack Obama, yet, I am certain it was met with thunderous applause at the RNC! They deliver speech after speech about smaller, less intrusive government, lower taxes, free market economics, yet, as soon as they have the power to do so, they do the exact opposite.

"Our opponents say again and again that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems, as if we didn't know that already. But the fact that drilling won't solve very problem is no excuse to do nothing at all. Staring in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to lay more pipelines, and build more nuclear plants, and create jobs with clean coal, and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources."

Here we go with adding jobs and duties to the federal government – even as they slam Obama for how his plan increases the size and scope of government. The rest is just a cheap one-off against Obama. You can disagree with his plans, but he does have some ideas as to he wants to do about energy and natural resources and they do not include doing "nothing at all."

And that was really about it. In the end she did what the vice president is really supposed to do at a convention – be a cheerleader for the presidential candidate. In total, I have to say that she really didn't say that much. She tossed out some pretty good zingers on Obama, the same kind of one-off sound bites that Biden threw at McCain. I broke them out here because they are, to me, the best one line attacks of either convention – direct punches to the face:

"But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform - not even in the state senate."

"In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change. They're the ones whose names appear on laws and landmark reforms, not just on buttons and banners, or on self-designed presidential seals."

"My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of 'personal discovery.' This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn't just need an organizer."

Along with being a cheerleader, part of the job as Vice President, regardless of the party, is to be the attack dog – a pitbull, with or without the lipstick.

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