1. My kneejerk reaction to McCain’s acceptance speech, mere minutes after its conclusion: damn solid. McCain obviously isn’t the most charismatic public speaker, not even close, but his speech accomplished two wonderful things: it was chock-full of detailed policy plans, and respectful to the Democrats. It’s kinda nice when our politicians actually act like adults, eh?
I feel like the film of this Palin fiasco has been washed away and I can get back to mostly just being so goddamn grateful that these two Presidential candidates are respectful politicians with bright ideas and rational goals. Looking to a better day, kids, and I for one think the country will be in good hands either way. Hot damn, that’s a nice feeling.
Oh, and how great was this part, said at the beginning of his speech:
“A word to Senator Obama and his supporters: we’ll go at it the next two months, you know that’s the nature of this business. And there are big differences between us. But, you have my respect and my admiration. Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, and that’s an association that means more to me than any other.”
Some fine writing, right there. Please, sir, pass along the message of respect to your running mate (or at least her speechwriter), who seems to think that cutting remarks and childish put-downs are the key to uniting this country.
2. I’ve been trying to elucidate just why the Palin appointment has been bothering me so much. I’ll paste an email I wrote to friends earlier today:
The really sad thing is we were THIS close to having a congenial battle. Obama and McCain have been respectful of each other at every turn, refusing to play dirty politics, and for that we are lucky. But, now, this McCain/Palin ticket is extremely right-wing, and we’ve gone right back to the cultural warfare game that so polarized the country in 2000 (probably before, but that is the first instance I remember), where it matters not the policy stances or concrete plans for this country, but rather who you claim to represent (“Obama’s an elitist! I’m just a mom! Come on, moms of the world – don’t look at my track record, just vote for me because we’re both mommies!”). This strategy only works if the voters are complete morons who get suckered into it, and I’m hoping we can ignore the style in favor of the substance. We’ll see.
I read somewhere – it’s pretty obvious, I suppose – that by choosing Palin, McCain has turned his back on all the swing voters and is now just looking to mobilize the religious right (I’m also completely convinced Palin was not his choice. A guy with his experience choosing a newcomer that he has never met? No way. This was all politics). Which is as smart as it is incredibly disappointing, especially for those of us who could care less about partisan politics and just want our country to be smart and prosperous. I hope I’m wrong, but at this point, sensing two months of knockdown dragout negative campaigning, it seems we lose once again.
3. Two hilarious – no, fucking hilarious – cards, the first sent by loyal reader A.B., the second created by the incomparable Mark Lisanti:
OK, that’s it for policy talk for a while, I promise*.
*No I don’t.