In an effort to be a better citizen, no scoffing Q, i have dedicated myself to watching the DNC and RNC. The first part was easy. Like minds and all. The RNC has been more difficult and yet, i did manage to sit through all of Palin's speech last night.
If you haven't seen it I would suggest reading the transcript, which i posted just below.
Now, to be fair, Gov. Palin didnt write most of this speech. Some people are saying that because large chunks were written by someone else it just shows how horrible the republicans are. But honestly, i think there are very few candidates who actually write the entire speech themselves. Some have more of a hand in it than others however. I didnt expect Palin to write this speech. She was just announced so it would have been a serious struggle for her. If i was McCain's campaign mang. i would have had someone working on it for a week in advance as well.
Also, keep in mind that this speech wasnt supposed to win over independents. At least, i hope not! It was a speech targeted at the Republican base...which is why all those folks ate it up.
The reason it wont, or at least i hope it wont, fly with independents is that it was so filled with vitriol and lacked any kind of substance.
She openly mocked Obama's community organizing work, which seems out of step with the "we are for the common people" line. She criticised Obama's stage design while standing in front of an IMAX sized screen. She made fun of his popularity while the republicans called her, "Our Obama". She criticised Obama for being soft on defense when he is the only person who actually wants to go after Bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan...where we should have been the entire time.
In Obama's acceptance speech he specifically said that he wasnt attacking a person's character, just their policies. Yet, Palin and the McCain campaign offered nothing but character attacks. She didnt spend a moment talking about what exactly the republicans were going to do for the country, which seems like a bit of a waste.
What she did do, however, was lie. Maybe we are calling it half-truths. Specifically, the Bridge to Nowhere. The bridge to nowhere would have connected the city of Ketchikan to their airport. When Palin was running for governor she went to Ketchikan and expressed her sympathy for the media's representation of it as a bridge to nowhere and actually supported it. When she was elected, and congress gave Alaska the money for the bridge she cancelled the project in a press release. However...she didnt give the money back. She kept it and used it for other projects. So it wasnt quite the "Thanks but No Thanks" response to congress. More like a "Thanks, but i have another project in mind for this."
Regarding energy she said, "America needs more energy; our opponent is against producing it." Honestly, is she insane? First, Obama supports drilling in the OCS. Second, can you really say something as blatantly wrong as Obama is against producing energy?! He may be critical of oil and our dependence on it but a huge platform for the democratic party is to develop new energy...wind, solar, natural gas, clean coal, and nuclear (or at least the investigation of nuclear...but I say come on Dems lets get those plants built baby!). He is just thinking to the future and realizing that the oil you so badly want to drill wont be available for just under a decade so lets get some other ideas going in the mean time.
Gov. Palin said that Obama had not authored "a single major law or even a reform, not even in the State Senate." This is another lie. While in the senate he co-sponsored the ethics reform legislation as well working on legislation to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. While in the state senate he was a leader on several hot button issues, racial profiling and unfair interrogation practices of death penalty cases. Has he been in the senate as long as McCain or Biden? No...but I dont think Palin's time as a mayor of 5000 people is too impressive to begin with.
So...while she did very well as an attack dog, which is what the veeps are supposed to do i suppose, it will be interesting to see how well she does when it is time to talk about the issues. To explain ideas and policies and plans and the actual guts of it all.
Now, the last bit that really drove me crazy last night is a little snarky. Did you see all the "homemade" signs that said Hocky Mom! and Palin Power! They weren't homemade. They were just made to look like that and then handed out to mostly women by the rnc staff. Why? Why go to the trouble to look like all these people made signs? It seems unnecessary and...well, smarmy.
Tonight, McCain speaks. I read that he is having the stage rebuilt so that it will look and feel more like the Town Hall meetings that he likes so much. You know what that means...expect another comment about how "Greek" like Obama's stage was a week ago. Because it is clear that we vote for a person not based on their issues, or ideas but based on the size of their setup....yep, that's the important bit.