Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Not too much to report today. Dolly and Woody, the hounds of Beaumont, have gone home, so it's just Cassidy and I again at the Hop-a-Long Lounge.
I watched some of the Republican convention last night, but by no means all of it (I recorded it and sort of fast forwarded to the major speeches). I thought that Fred Thompson gave a pretty impressive speech. He did a decent job of supporting Palin (which they kind of needed yesterday) and he launched some decent attacks on Obama (once again going after his lack of experience). If Thompson had shown that much fire and vigor back during the primaries he might be the GOP candidate right now. I thought Joe Lieberman was kind of lame and pointless. His speech itself seemed really flat, and he long ago lost his credibility with most Democrats and even left leaning independents, so I don't think he was probably very effective at drawing in votes from the other side of the aisle.
Mostly I thought it was pretty standard convention fare. I thought it was a little bit awkward that Bush was making his speech from the White House (both because it seemed a little inappropriate to be making politically charged speeches from that venue and because it felt strange that the GOP obviously wasn't making it a priority to get the sitting, incumbent Republican president to make an appearance at the convention).
Anyhoo, while the sincerity of the Democrats is undoubtedly in question with their appeal for bipartisanship and consensus building (they seemed to consistently praise McCain for his character and service during their convention, but then always quickly launched into how misguided he was), the Republicans have seemingly decided to forgo such themes altogether (minus a few comments during the hurricane yesterday about taking off their "Republican hats" and putting on their "American hats" during times of emergency). Thompson, Bush, and even Lieberman all kind of came snarling out of the gate yesterday, depicting Obama as an unpatriotic, out of touch liberal with no credible leadership experience who would put the country at risk if he ever took office. Well, I guess that consensus building isn't going to be a major theme to the Republican convention, but then again, maybe they don't need it to be.

What else? Not much. Hope you guys are doing okay out there.


Meredith said...

Well, truth be told, I think that most people are in the (to use a League metaphor) My Guy, Their Guy mode right now with the conventions. As a conservative, I didn't view the Democratic National Convention as unbiased and building concensus....I felt like they were excluding conservatives. So, maybe we're all just sensitive to that from the opposite party at this point?

Plus, I am enraged by the "Us" weekly magazine article on Palin that came out (linked on my blog)....they treated Obama as their media darling and then threw Palin to the wolves. Nice. Very concensus building from a liberal backed magazine. But this will go on from here until the election....I have to grow thicker skin I think. :)

J.S. said...

Well, the Democrats definitely stayed with supporting left leaning ideals during their convention, but they DID consistently point out that McCain was an honorable guy and that no one was questioning his patriotism or the fact that he loves his country (like I said before, they said he was a good guy, but they also said that they thought he was just plain wrong on a lot of policy issues). On the other hand, Obama's patriotism and character seem to continue to be attacked pretty relentlessly and consistently by the people at the GOP convention.
Also, Obama came out quickly and forcefully and said that he did not support attacks on Palin's personal life or her children (he went so far as to say that he would fire anyone from his campaign who attacked her daughter). You can get enraged at US Weekly, but that's pretty far outside of the sphere of control of the actual Democratic party. And it's not as if there aren't plenty of media outlets out there who don't champion conservatives at every turn and bash every move made by the Democrats (see National Review magazine, most of the stuff on Fox News, pretty much every A.M. talk radio host in the country, and so on and so forth- I mean how many times did I have to hear Rush Slimeball make sexist comments about Hillary Clinton and what a ball-breaking feminazi she was? The guy has real issues with women...)
Anyway, yeah, there are going to be various media outlets that have their various political positions to advance, but I think that the main problem with Palin has just been that she was vetted way too quickly and the McCain camp didn't get her ready to be in the national spotlight at this level, and they didn't have their PR machine ready and in place to help manage all of the different news stories that are coming out about her all at once.

Once upon a time I think the Republicans might have gotten more traction out of the "unfair media" angle, but in this era of Fox News and conservative talk radio, I don't think that's going to get them very far (I mean from my perspective, I think that the mainstream media has been swinging to the right for years). There are just too many strange angles about this woman for the media to overlook them (I just heard today that she's been attending a church where the pastor has the congregation praying for oil pipelines to be put in and where he tells his congregation that Alaska is going to be some kind of promised land when the end times come. Plus, there was some weird story about Mayor Palin trying to get books banned from the library in Wasilla, Alaska, and then threatening to fire the librarian when they refused to comply. All of this stuff should have come up during the vetting process and been dealt with ahead of time or else there should have been immediate responses in place to give to the media. The Palin choice was last minute and they didn't prepare for it very well. She's probably not a bad person, but they should have given people much more time to get used to the idea of Palin and some of her issues rather than springing her on the public right as she was named the VP candidate. People definitely could have used more time to get to know her. Maybe her speech tonight at the convention will help with that. We'll see.)

Meredith said...

Hmmmm.......we'll see.