RNC 08-Minnesota Beats Up the Press

We all watched the RNC a few weeks ago. I felt rather well-informed watching each speaker give their automatic affirmation of Republican ideals and principals while constantly showering praise upon John McCain. What we didn’t see was the 800 protestors that were arrested just blocks away. Moreover, we never heard about the accredited members of the press that were swept up in an act that can only be accurately described as police brutality. Sadly, these events got barely a mention across the mainstream media. I find this especially sad because even if you don’t support the goals of the protestors, the right to protest is sacred in this country. Moreover, we claim to value a free press, yet even among their colleagues these men and women went unnoticed. On The Media from WNYC did an interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! her takes on the arrests (including her own) and the media blackout of the event are illuminating.

Rock ‘n Roll Say “No” to the RNC

Sarah Barracuda? Not if Heart has anything to say about it. The band and its label issued a cease and decist to McCain’s campaign after the song was played at the RNC following McCain’s speech. And this isn’t the first case of rockers coming down hard on the Republicans. Here, from The Huffington Post, is a full list and details.

McCain and the return of the Maverick

Ahead of McCain’s speech, I wondered aloud which McCain we were going to see. The independent Maverick we all loved from his senate glory days, or the right-wing neocon he showed us since winning the nomination. Last night the answer was…both, I guess. But last night signaled something of a change in McCain a pivot back to his comfort zone, and it will make the race for the White House very interesting. McCain gave his base one last rally, it seems, before heading full bore toward the change rhetoric that he so mocked just a few weeks ago. 

It is fairly standard fair for candidates to move to the center after the conventions and attempt to win over the valued independent voters. McCain walked the tight rope between playing up his conservative street cred and being the maverick reformer of his glory days. 

Even in introducing Sarah Palin (again), it wasn’t her rightward stands on issues he touted, it was her record of reform. He painted her as a new gunslinger who was going to clear the house of wasteful spenders and government frauds. 

This will be the mantra of McCain till the general election. Issues are going to fade even further into the background and we’re going to here about how McCain can out-change Obama. How Washington is broken, and only the original maverick and his mini-mav can break the cycle. 

In short McCain picked Palin to solidify the base, because he knows to win, he must run away from Bush and the GOP record.  So let’s welcome back the maverick from the GOP-base hugging wilderness and prepare for a lesson in cognitive dissonance as he tries to thread the needle between being his own Maverick, and being this country’s Republican nominee.

Which McCain will we see?

I’m on the move tonight. While happily I will be able to see McCain’s speech tonight. I’ll probably miss the early rounds of speakers.

In any event, I wanted to give my take on what I hope for tonight, but what I dread I will see.

John McCain won his party’s nomination because he is the maverick of the Republicans. The nation is trending leftward, and ultimately voters saw in McCain a man that could compromise with the other side for the betterment of the country. He earned his nomination by sounding the most sane on stage with a group trying to resurrect Reagan.

Yet since securing the party’s nod, McCain has tacked ever rightward. Flip-flopping on oil drilling was just the most vocal of his many moves to pander to base. Until of course he tapped Rush Limbaugh’s “babe” to be his VP.

What I hope to see is the John McCain of old. The man who was classically off message tell his party they are as much to blame for the issues facing America as Democrats are. I want to see the guy who used to snicker about the “message of the week” memos his office would recieve.

Of course I won’t see that man. I won’t are the McCain I grew to respect over the last decade. Instead I will see the new McCain party puppet, hoping to solidfy his base. It saddens me to see where McCain has gone just to keep the race close.

John McCain will you please return tonight?

Cindy McCain Trumps the Edwards Haircut

Remember when the pundits and politicos attacked John Edwards for an alleged $500 haircut? That’s chump change (and not just because Edwards is a chump for cheating on his wife)! Vanity Fair estimates that Cindy McCain’s RNC outfit MAY have cost upwards of $300,000. That’s right, she was wearing the equivalent of a home. Here’s the tail of the tape:

Cindy McCain
Oscar de la Renta dress: $3,000
Chanel J12 White Ceramic Watch: $4,500
Three-carat diamond earrings: $280,000
Four-strand pearl necklace: $11,000–$25,000
Shoes, designer unknown: $600
Total: Between $299,100 and $313,100

Joe Liberman? Draining the swamp? Reform? Who are these people? And what are they doing?

They cheer Bill Clinton. They talk about cleaning up Washington. They use the words “maverick,” “rebel,” “reform.” They put Joe Lieberman on stage. Who the hell are these people? They’re not any Republicans I know. And I couldn’t help but feel like something was very wrong watching Fred Thompson’s speech – and not just because I was half-expecting him to scold Jack McCoy. I can’t believe what I’m hearing. The reason? I don’t think it’s sincere.

It feels very much like the party is coming together around McCain not because they want to, but because they have to. This is a man they villainized 8 years ago. A man who was too liberal. Too rash. Too bold. And now, they applaud him for the very sins they castigated him for so mercilessly? It all smells so disingenuous and frightens me that if they get what they want – they get the rogue Jedi John McCain and his Padawan, Sarah Palin – they’ll get the real rebels they feared all along. That McCain/Palin won’t pander to the Republican agenda. That they’ll do their own thing. A thing so out of touch with today’s Americans AND the Republican party that we’ll deadlock our country for another 4 years. That’s certainly a change, but it’s “not the change we need.” Worse, it’s equally divisive. I’d almost have rathered Romney take the party nomination and at least advance an intelligent and sober platform for the American public. And he’s got the best hair of any candidate in the last 12 years, that counts for something.

PS: Fred Thompson talks about “draining the swamp” and fixing Washington – and the whole crowd cheers. This puzzles me greatly, as we’re in this mess in no small part due to their current administration and its repeated debacles. Again, I ask, who are these people?

Minneappolis Prepares for the RNC (joke ad)