The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

Archive for the ‘Republican Convention’ Category

I knew this going to happen

Posted by Bill Nance on September 5, 2008

Sarah Paliin’s highschool nickname may have been “Barracuda,” but she’ll have to find a new theme song.

The Juice:

Ann and Nancy Wilson are pissed at the Republican Party and have fired off a cease and desist letter to the McCain/Palin campaign.
Specifically, the Heart women are upset that the GOP has used their classic “Barracuda” as a theme song for Sarah Palin.

So much for property rights.


Posted in Election 08, Politics, Republican Convention, Sarah Palin | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Some Irony

Posted by Bill Nance on September 4, 2008

When you’re talking up reform in Washington DC, is it wise to have in your major line-up of speakers the former CEO of Hewlitt Packard, now a McCain campaign member, and the CEO of EBay, a billionaire corporate executive?

I mean here are the Democrats, talking very effectively to Americans about their grasp of how hard the economic times are.  In contrast, the Republicans field a line-up of some of the richest people in the country, including CEOs who have publicly opposed closing loopholes which encourage off-shoring of American jobs.

We just had eight years of giant corporate interests having a virtual cabinet position in the Bush administration. McCain is going to “reform this?” With these people in charge of the show?

-Seems a reasonable question to ask.

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McCain’s acceptance speech: prediction

Posted by Bill Nance on September 4, 2008

I’ve had a full day to digest Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech and between the usual process of seeing what other people are saying, listening to voter reactions and just plain ole’ ruminating I’ve come to a few conclusions; conclusions which I think will give some clues about what John McCain will say tonight.

Palin’s speech was, as I’ve already said, primarily a red-meat attack straight out of the culture wars. As usual with such speeches, it was full of attacks, short on substance and contained plenty of outright lies, half-truths and distortions. But the base ate it up.

Outside the convention hall however, it didn’t poll too well. According the Huffpost, focus groups watching the speech reacted less than favorably to the non-stop attacks.

“Once she started mudslinging, I thought, it’s the same old crap as other politicians. McCain used her to get the women’s vote. And she’s using McCain,” said one member of the focus group, which consisted of all women.

The more I thought about it, the more I came to a couple of conclusions.

1. The campaign is betting the farm on the Karl Rove strategy of energizing the base and chipping away at the opposition’s.

2. Palin is going to fill the traditional attack-dog role, with the added benefit of her gender, making it hard for Democrats to respond in kind without seeming like bullies picking on a woman. It’s ugly, but it’s not a bad move -vintage Rovian divide-and-rule-stuff.

The Republicans have their own focus groups, and I think today they realized that Palin over-reached. Tonight’s speech will in some measure be an attempt to reasure voters that they atually have a policy beyond vague promises of reform.

Expect John McCain to play the role of the kindly uncle, who loves you and has your best interests at heart. The tone will be “Trust me, I’ve been in tough situations, I can get us through this. Whatever we face isn’t as bad as being a POW.”

I expect tonight he will focus more on econmic issues, and give some more depth to his so-far fairly empty promises. He wil also make a point to scare the living bejeebers out of voters with the bogeymen of potential terrorist threats and hammer home on the theme of “no surrender.” But even so, I expect him to go very easy on Obama personally. He will point out philosophical differences, which will be trying to appeal primarily to undecided voters in the middle. For this reason he will have to lie a lot. They won’t be blatant lies, but he’ll use the usual culture wars rhetoric of “democrats tax more, we trust you with your own money and they don’t,” etc. But again, the attacks, which will surely be there, will be muted.

What McCain needs to do tonight is appear to be the stable, experienced statesman to Palin’s red-meat culture warrior. It’s a role he’s comfortable in, and the change in the stage for tonight’s speech is designed to both make it appear more intimate, and to try to take away from the many camera shots that have appeared on TV over the last few days showing thousands of empty seats.

Look for more of the same, in other words. Unless McCain gives the speech of his life, which is possible, if unlikely, I expect it to be fairly predictable. Then again, I may be here at midnight telling you all how badly I screwed the call. 🙂

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Sarah Palin: The Speech

Posted by Bill Nance on September 4, 2008

A few highlights mostly, just my impressions of what was attempted, what worked, and what didn’t.

I still have no idea whether Sarah Palin has a brain, though I notice someone did carefully train her out of saying Nuc-Ya-Lur between Friday and tonight…I wonder if she’ll be consistent there, which will tell us all if that was drilling rather than learning.

She does though, know how to deliver a speech, and it was a good one. I’ve watched her over Youtube since Friday, so no surprise there. Her political opponents in the past have said she’s a lot more dangerous an opponent than she first appears. I’m starting to see their point. What remains to be seen of course is how well it will play on the campaign trail.

Back to the speech, which was a well-delivered red-meat attack on Obama and “the washington establishment.”

First there were the usual lies. Democrats will raise your taxes. In fact, unless you’re pulling down well over $500,000 a year, that’s totally untrue. In fact for 90% of the country, Obama’s tax plan will REDUCE taxes, by a lot more than McCain’s plan. But, considering the audience what else was she going to say? The truth? Gimme a break.

Then there was the “We’ll protect you” bit.

All I can say is to remind folks that 9/11 didn’t happen on the Democrats watch, and Bill Clinton never got a memo saying “Bin Laden determined to strike US” and failed to act on it. That’s not the Democrats, it’s the Republicans. Also on the security front, she neglected to mention the incredibly botched job done in Iraq, a screwup which has without doubt cost thousands of American lives and God only knows how many Iraqis. This is not the Democrats, this is the Republicans. And I speak as someone gung-ho to kick Saddaam out of Iraq long before the Shrub ever took office. It was a screwup of biblical proportions that has only started to change as a result of the ’06 elections and pressure from his own party forcing Shrub to make some changes.Sadly, I believe it’s too little, far too late. We’re not fighting terrorists in Iraq, we’re in the middle of someone else’s Civil War.

The thing tht actually pissed me off though, was the line “Obama is afraid we won’t read terrorists their rights.”


Purely aside from the fact that the line is a cheap-shot and untrue, yes, BY ALL MEANS let’s talk about the issue.

John McCain was tortured. No one denies this, but John McCain voted specifically to support the CIA doing exactly what was done to him at the Hanoi Hilton. That’s right, the guy who more than any other politician on earth knows about torture VOTED TO DO IT TO OTHERS. I cannot fucking wait for the debates. I really want to see McCain respond to that. So Sarah, ya, I guess if it’s perfectly ok with you and your jingoistic fan-base to commit crimes for which we prosecuted people at Nuremburg, Obama is not going to go with that. Thank God.

The real theme tonight was “I’m a real person just like you…unlike those elitist guys who don’t get it.” And it worked. The problem with America is that it’s filled with people who think someone “just like me” is a good choice to sit across the table from Ahmedinejad and Putin, or make policy decisions on the economy, or how best to manage a 3 trillion dollar annual budget. I think I’m a pretty smart guy and *I* don’t want someone “just like me” me doing that. I want the smartest guy we can find. But it plays well in Peoria.

The real irony in it all though was the constant talk of how McCain and Palin are going to go in and shake up Washington. Clean it up, etc. …Um, a reminder guys, you’ve had congress for 12 of the last 14 years, and the White House for eight.  Who’s mess are you cleaning up again? Ya, thats what I thought.

But the tone over all was sadly what I said it was going to be on Friday. Sarah Palin is a soldier on the red-meat side of the culture wars. Forget any substance, this speech let the world know that this campaign is going to be all about who can lie the best to the most people. and smear the other guy most effectively. In that kind of fight, Democrats suck. Maybe Obama will prove different, but with his skin color already hurting him (and only a fool would say otherwise, let’s face it. And I’m not talking Republicans, I’m just talking Americans, period) if he can’t pull off some mighty fancy footwork, this Rovian strategy could sink him.

So much for a campaign of substance and ideas. I knew it was too much to hope for. At the end I was left with one thought: Holy shit, they just nominated Anne Coulter.

Posted in Election 08, John McCain, Politics, Republican Convention, Sarah Palin | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Conservative bloggers to RNC: “Do the Republicans have a death wish?”

Posted by Bill Nance on September 3, 2008

Pajamas Media blogger Rick Moran is not happy with the way bloggers are being treated at the RNC.

The Juice:

The dungeon that the GOP has put bloggers in this time around would be familiar to Torqumada and his buddies who made the Spanish Inquisition such a great party. And the labyrinth one has to navigate to find the darn place would tax the abilities of a carrier pigeon.  I honestly felt like leaving a trail of breadcrumbs when I went out for a quick smoke. Not that it would do any good. The food on our level is so bad that I have no doubt some ravenously hungry media type would have preferred the breadcrumbs to the greasy, tasteless crud they were serving at the kiosks. If I wanted the same stuff they serve at a hockey game, I would go to the Libertarian convention down the way.

And I thought the Dems were the shoot-yourself-in-the-foot political party. heh

Posted in Election 08, Le Snark, Politics, Republican Convention | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

RNC Update #2

Posted by Bill Nance on September 2, 2008

7:40 EST

Ok, Tom Ashbrook is an idiot. Where are the national reporters for NPR when you need them?

Loaded questions, clearly doesn’t know what the Hell he’s talking about…guess I’m gonna watch it on CNN

Posted in Election 08, John McCain, Politics, Republican Convention, Sarah Palin | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »