Posts Tagged ‘conventions’

The storm in New Orleans that wasn’t (well, it was but it wasn’t so awful as to wreak utter havoc. However, it was just strong enough to show that the levees still aren’t adequately reinforced) also served to delay the GOP convention, which allowed George Bush to not show up, citing “pressing business” in DC. Now the GOPs just have to deal with Palin.

Honest to God, I don’t know what to make of this imbroglio. Yes, children of the candidates should be off-limits and so should questions about family dynamics and so should the religious beliefs and practices of the candidate unless they involve ritual sacrifice or devil worship, I suppose.  The truth is, however, they haven’t been for some time. I am kind of surprised about charges of sexism flying around, not because I don’t think it exists but because those tossing out the accusations are being hypocritical. Aren’t we allowed to ask questions? Good lord, after the long and drawn-out brouhaha over whether Obama spent twenty years in a church with an angry inflammatory pastor, aren’t we allowed to ask about Palin’s involvement in the firing of a state employee who had supposedly refused to fire the trooper who just happened to be her soon-to-be-ex brother-in-law? Aren’t we (at least if we have a certain take on where the Almighty fits into politics) allowed to look at her public statements about the Alaska pipeline and the Iraq war being “God’s will?” Why is it okay to question one candidate’s “otherness” and not another’s judgment?

Both parties are guilty of what my dad used to call “the pot calling the kettle black” but I find it exceptionally ironic that the party that has no problem questioning the patriotism and family values of members of the other party is crying foul over the raised eyebrows. Still, I want it done. War, foreign policy, the economy, universal healthcare, the environment and the type of Supreme Court Justices we might expect to be nominated: there are, underneath all the rhetoric, two distinct positions on these and other issues. Let the positions come through so that we can all make our decisions in (relative) peace.

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I was all set to write about my impressions of the Democratic Convention, then hesitated. After all, everyone and their grandmothers seem to be writing, blogging, reporting or otherwise bloviating (can you tell that’s my favorite word of late?) about the emotional, unpredictable, competitive, insecure and ardently committed spectacle that is the Democratic Party these days. 

Conventional wisdom has it that these partisan get-togethers rouse the faithful, mildly interest the curious , make no difference to the decided and may or may not affect the decisions of those who claim not to have made up their minds. I’d like to think that a speech that delineates clear differences (like the one VP nominee Joe Biden gave last night) or presents definitive approaches (as we hope Obama and McCain will do. Note I don’t necessarily expect either candidate to propose solutions; I just want to hear them identify the problems and tell us how they’d deal with them) – anyway, I’d like to think that such a speech will steer all of us towards thinking about, talking about and making our decisions based on a working understanding of the differences between the two candidates on policy, not personality. Talk about wishful thinking!

Well, I’ve got tonight and all of next week to listen and learn. Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I believe you can find out more from a speech than from an attack ad.  Meanwhile, once the two conventions are over and the requisite spikes and bounces for the candidates are duly noted, we’ve got a horserace on our hands. That’s serious business but for now, Democrats and Republicans, party on!

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