Thursday, September 04, 2008


America's Other War

Last night I watched Sarah Who re-declare the culture war that won George Bush the election in 2004. It was ironic that a speech written by Matthew Scully, George Bush's famed speech writer, could extol the virtues of "reform" and promise change. As much as they'd like to convince us otherwise this is the incumbent party who's policies have failed Americans consistently for the last eight years. Last night was no different. The identity politics and the culture war that won the Bush administration a disastrous second term reared it's ugly head back into the election season with a vengeance.

It was a carefully constructed night with zero substance, mind-numbing double talk and irony laced attacks that no-doubt had Karl Rove swelling up with tears of pride. Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts and worth an estimated $200 million, critiquing east-coast elitism. Then there was Rudy Guiliani, former mayor of New York city, sneering about cosmopolitan cities. But they saved the best for last.

Alaska Governor Sarah Who (well, Matt Scully) was mainly attacking Barack Obama's biography. Whaaat? The American people don't know a single thing about her aside from she's got a dysfunctional family, a developmentally challenged child and a penchant for lying to the public. I don't see how you can attack someone's biography when people know so little about you.

In style, her attacks were sarcastic and juvenile. For example she chided Obama's experience as a community organizer and tried to contrast that with the rigors of being the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska population 9000. But the underlying theme of the entire speech was "We're small town American, Obama is San Francisco" and that's the exact same theme the Bush campaign used in 2004 to attack John Kerry. The culture war is on. No mention of policies. No mention of healthcare, the economy, national security or the Iraq war. Those things aren't important. It's not as if we all didn't see this coming:
"This election is not about issues," said Davis. "This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."

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