Republican National Concussion!
Yeah, I'm pretty sure the Republicans were suffering from some sort of brain injury last week. They were not very coherent.
Other than the big lie about Obama raising taxes for most Americans, the weirdest thing we were told at the convention is that the Republican Party is suddenly the "party of change." Huh? Mitt Romney said how tired he is of liberals running Washington, apparently not realizing that for most of the past decade Republicans have been in charge of the White House, both houses of congress, and the Supreme Court.
McCain actually had a legitimate claim to "experience." He's been around practically since dinosaurs roamed the earth (which was apparently a few thousand years ago, according to Creationists like Sarah Palin). But I think he's going to have a tough time running as the candidate of "change." He's been part of the Republican controlled congress for decades. What is he going to change?
Well, he's changing some of his own positions to be more in line with the Bush administration, for starters. He actually voted against the Bush tax cuts originally, saying they were bad for the middle class and just giving more money to the richest Americans. Now he wants to keep them. What an exciting change, John! In the past, he's also split with Bush on things like torture and adding an anti-gay amendment to the constitution. Actually, he used to hate George Bush.
But now he's "changed." In fact, he changes all the time! During the primary campaign he went from hating Bush to acting like he was the second coming of Christ. As soon as the primary campaign was over, he suddenly changed and is going to be completely different from Bush. Isn't change fun?
I didn't used to dislike McCain. I mean, anyone who would call a teen-age Chelsey Clinton ugly and dump his first wife for a younger woman, while claiming moral superiority, can't exactly be called a nice person, but he didn't seem as partisan as much of the Republican party and he didn't seem completely owned by Christian fundamentalists. I was actually hoping he would be Kerry's VP pick in 2004. We probably would have won. But after the last year I've realized that he's just like the other right-wing wackos. He's mean and angry and, frankly, not that bright.
Watching the Republican convention was like watching a Saturday Night Live sketch. The Republicans are tired of having a Republican president and are ready for a Republican president. The Republicans are tired of all these Republican appointees on the Supreme Court and finally want the chance to appoint some Republican judges. Sarah Palin claims to have rejected a bridge project that she actually supported. Like congress just keeps offering all this unsolicited money to Alaska and Palin has to keep telling them to please stop. One of the speakers claimed Palin got more votes running for Mayor than Joe Biden got running for president. Actually, she got about 900 votes, while he got over 76 thousand. That's Republican math. It would be funny if it weren't so horrifying.
So, Palin is anti-choice, even in the case of incest or rape. She supports abstinence-only programs that DON'T WORK. If polar bears are inconvenient to her, then she will simply decide that they are not endangered. If she doesn't like a book, she will try to have it banned. She wants to teach religion in science class. She thinks invading Iraq was god's work. She claims responsibility for the oil industry in Alaska, even though it was there long before she took office.
I honestly don't really care much about the fact that she took family members on supposed business trips at taxpayer expense. But there are rules about it and if she broke them then I think it should be pointed out. I actually think it's a good idea for a governor of a geographically-large state to have his or her own airplane. Too bad she decided to sell hers. I would like an explanation, however, for why she was charging travel expenses for days she was in her own home. I don't get that at all.
I think Palin will "energize" the religious extremists in Republican party and cause a little excitement for a few weeks. But I really think that after people learn more about her she will end up being a bad choice for the Republicans. McCain won't be able to make the "experience" argument anymore. And that's really all they had.
Anyway, the convention was just bizarre. Cindy McCain seemed to claim that Republicans were responsible for the civil rights legislation of the 1960s, Mike Huckabee invented the fact that Abraham Lincoln founded the Republican Party, and everyone there seemed to forget that Lincoln and the Republican party of the 19th century were liberals.
If you haven't seen the AP report on the fallacies in the speeches at the Republican convention, you can check them out here on my friend Aimee's blog.