Sarah Palin made her party proud last night in a speech that delivered her to star status. It took twenty-four years to catch up, but the Republican Party finally nominated someone nationally who isn’t a white guy. Congratulations on joining the 20th century.
She just should have delivered it without the condescension, sarcasm and snide remarks. Then there was the small town vs. civic pride, which always seems to raise that divide when Republicans are involved. Palin mocking Obama’s community organizing activist roots. Does Sarah have a clue what community organizers do in cities across this country? Especially in inner city neighborhoods, whose people can’t survive without them? That was just the beginning of Sarah’s snidely smackdowns.
Then there was the, well, let’s just call it cutting hyperbole. The AP began compiling what is likely to be a long list:
PALIN: “There is much to like and admire about our opponent. 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.”
FACT: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.
But there was good news too. Republican elites can relax, while the conservative base basks in the babe who takes the senior out of the senator. McCain’s hail Mary Palin can deliver a speech. No, strike that. She can deliver two speeches. The beginning was a brisk tour of things surrounding her life, which unfolded quickly. Then came the other part of the speech, which was concocted by some Bush speechwriter for some unknown vice presidential nominee who would stand in and deliver. She sounded like Patrick J. Buchanan in a dress.. er skirt. Great for the rank and file, which needed a shot and got it. Not so good for everyone else. Especially voters who sent a message during the primary season that they’re not exactly in the mood for partisan sarcasm, even when delivered with a smile.
Now for the bad news.