Was Palin Flirting With Every Man in the US, or Just Me?

As I watched the 2008 Vice Presidential Debate I felt personally uncomfortable. I felt like my girlfriend and I were out for dinner trying to enjoy the evening but the waitress kept coming over and overtly flirting with me. During the debate, I kept glancing over to my girlfriend, who wisely ignores these trainwrecks, checking to see if I was somehow getting in trouble here. I was just trying to watch a debate. I did not expect such… er… personal attention. She held my eyes and spoke to me familiarly like a neighbor, waiting just next door. But I was strong in the face of those smiles and winks and I thought I might have caught a blown kiss in there too. I held my ground. I would not be lured unto the Siren’s rocks. It helped immensely that the familiar neighbor talk was largely a major turn off. I guess plenty of fellas out there would respond to all the darn tootins, heck yeas and you betchas, but they made me cringe.

Then I asked myself what if a male vice presidential candidate spoke in this manner. I think we call them land sharks or lounge lizards. I usually just call them greasy or creepy. What if Joe Biden had spent the entire night flashing that million dollar platinum grin directly into the camera, cocking his head, dropping the occasional wink and head bob? I think his name would be on a sexual predator list by now.

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RNC: McCain’s Speech – 4 More Wars! 4 More Wars! 4 More Wars!

I have to admit, I was getting a little worried there for a while about the newfound excitement growing behind the McCain/Palin ticket. But then John McCains spoke. I will sleep better than I have since Grandpappy Fred delivered his speech two nights ago. I think the scene that captured it all best was when the cams were panning the audience after Cindy McCain’s speech. It settled on an attractive young blonde woman with unbelievably large black buttons on her sweater. She was full-on yawning. Mouth wide, no hand-cover, no apologies. Just flat-out yawning. Then, when she was done, she broke out into a second gaping yawn. The camera operator must have realized his shot was live and he quickly panned left. I was left wondering if that poor girl, with the oversized black buttons might have yawned herself to death.

All this was going on while they were playing Chuck Berry’s Johnny Be Good, one of many great songs that are now forever ruined in my mind by the RNC. Can Kool and the Gang and Heart get together and sue the RNC for damages. I bet Ann and Nancy Williams will never play Barracuda live again. As I saw the poor girl yawning to Johnny Be Good I was wondering why they chose this song. Was it to try to remind McCain to please try to hold his temper? It almost worked.

He smiled his way through his introduction, his approach to the podium, and the longwinded cheering. It was about the third wave of applause and cheers that his old temper looked like it was about to take over. Then the USA chants started in and I swear I heard him growl just a bit. I thought for sure he was about to reflexively let out a “SHUT UP!” But then he seemed to realize he was neither in a closed committee hearing, or standing on the floor of Congress, so he politely reeled in the rage. He should have yelled for the crowd to shut up. They say a speech should have a strong introduction and that would have certainly been a strong introduction. The intro he went for instead, was not. That set the tone for, pretty much, the rest of the speech.

But I will say now in his defense that as boring and unmoving as his speech was, it sounded like a JFK, MLK and Obama oration all wrapped into one compared to his wife’s. What can I say about Cindy McCain’s speech that a corpse couldn’t explain better? I was struck by this notion: the late great Tammy Faye would have been pleased with Cindy’s appearance. And I would have to agree. She did not look like some canary-colored Vampiress tonight like she did last night alongside Mrs. Bush. She told some heart-warming stories about her understanding of impoverished nations and their people. I hope she donated her $300,000 getup form the previous night to the people of Bangledesh. They could make a tent out of her de la Renta when those pesky monsoons come. Sadly, she didn’t confirm or deny if her husband did in fact drop the C-bomb on her. And, in her defense her make-up didn’t seem “painted on”, nor did she look like a trollop (though if she did, no one but John and his 96 year old mother would think to use that word to describe her). She spoke without saying anything. She smiled without seeming kind or nice. Basically she left me with the same feeling I get every time I hear her speak or see her walk into a room: fear. She reminds me of the Snow Queen from Narnia, ready to cast the world into an icy frozen existence while her army of snow leopards wreaks havoc on all the innocent little deer of the world. But that’s just me.

John’s speech wasn’t THAT bad. It wasn’t much better though. He was introduced by a voice over from none other than Grandpappy Fred, which made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I felt safe and wondered if summer might not last forever. Before that, I saw a video which taught me a lot about John McCain. Not that he was a POW. I have heard that countless times. I get it. I appreciate it. John is a hero. But do I have to give over my country and my civil liberties. Just because he was a prisoner, do we all have to be? No I knew John’s war record. I didn’t know his father’s (not to that degree anyway), nor did I know his grandfather. Both 4 star military men. That’s when it hit me. The White House is John’s 4 stars. He couldn’t get them with is injuries and all, so he’s going to outdo his forefathers by getting promoted even higher than they ever did. It’s an old macho ambition thing! Now I get it! That’s why he sacrificed his own will in selecting Lieberman or Ridge for Palin. That is why he wouldn’t budge on an unjust war no matter how the real intelligence changed. Ambition. Blind, dangerous Ambition. It all makes sense now. Like Bush, McCain has Daddy Issues. Great! We can all pay the price for those, too!

The speech itself was not only a snoozer in its delivery, but in content as well. And I am not talking about vocabulary, though someone needs to tell Mr. McCain, and Mrs. Palin for that matter, that the word is pundit, not ‘pundint’. But that is a trifle. I mean the real content – all the stuff that makes a simple speech into a hearty stew. This speech was a watery, salty, bitter porridge that left me feeling like little waifish Oliver wanting “more sir”. The most significant thing he said in this speech was that the Republican party has been ruined to its core by corruption. He admitted that they – I presume he meant him and Strom Thurmond – had all gone to Washington 120 years ago to change Washington, “but Washington changed them.” Now he was proposing to fix it… as a Republican. Isn’t that like a cop saying he’s going to clean up the streets by dealing crack for the gang-bangers?

Other than his accurate assessment of the Republican party, there was little meat at all in his speech. There was an attempt to liven it up about half way through. Good speeches often rely on repetition. McCain tried a variation on this method at one point. He tried to mix in a simple equation with the repetition. The equation looks a little like this: “My [insert your policy here] will [insert something good here].” Then add, “His [insert your opponent’s policy here] will [insert something bad here]. The result should be a volley of “Yays” and “Boos” respectfully allotted to you and then your opponent. McCain failed to set the equation up well and it wasn’t until he’d nearly run though his list of inserts that the crowd knew when to “Yay” or “Boo”. It all sounded confused and a little awkward. I figured by then, the girl with the big black buttons was dead asleep in a corner somewhere.

Speeches are supposed to have attention-getting intros; this one didn’t. They are also supposed to have rousing endings; this one did! It sure was rousing alright. It got me so excited; I wanted to run out and punch my neighbor in the head! McCain got the repetition trick right at the closing of his speech. He decided to repeat the word “fight” over and over. This is a great tactic as almost all of us, unless home-schooled, have a memory from childhood of a playground scuffle where the fight-fight chant stirred great emotion in us – either because we were getting pummeled, we were pummeling or we were watching one of our friends either getting pummeled or pummeling someone. Well, there weren’t too many home-schoolers in that audience, I can tell you. Everyone went wild for the fight-fight-chant. I did too. And I will tell you something else. I don’t even know who he was asking us to fight, but I was all for it. Obama and Biden? Sure, fight ‘em! Big Oil? Sure, I’ll fight them too! The Iranians? Fight ‘em! The Russians? Hell yes! That Putin thinks he’s such a big shot! Let’s fight him! Mother Nature? With all her stupid global warming! Let’s fight her too!

But wait. Haven’t we been fighting anyone and everyone for the past eight years? Where has all that fighting gotten us? Maybe McCain’s conclusion wasn’t so great either afterall.

-Peter J. Burns

RNC: Palin’s Speech4 more Smears! 4 more Smears! 4 more Smears!

Buck up, boys and girls. I have to admit I also nearly lost my cookies over this sadly disheartening evening. But, we should not be so surprised. This is the party that delivered the crime of the century in the 2000 election. Now we are reminded of the cheapshot artists we are dealing with. We have to stand up to them.

Unfortunately the conservatives and funda-mentals are as gullible as sheep. Fortunately they have short attention spans. This hysteria will die down in a week and the issues will come back into play.

Here are some talking points I think we need to focus on to counter the ever-popular Palin and the RNC attack in general.

Someone from TFO mentioned the bashing of Obama’s community service – THIS is a great one for us to focus on. It is subtly racist and overtly classist. Palin shamefully used this ploy but so did Giuliani. About three mintues later he was mocking Obama in a whiny voice – attempting to charge Obama with criticizing her small town mayoral beginnings “Oooh, I am sory it’s not cosmopolitan enough for you, and maybe they cling to religion.. etc. etc.” It was childish and countered his original point. The Reflubs can’t have it both ways – Obama can’t deign to do pitiful, worthless community service but be the elitist who would criticize mayoral experience. So… call them out on this point. It is a sure sign of desperation.

And Giuliani questioning Obama on religion or implying issues of their precious “family values”? What church does Giuliani attend? How many divorces? Or how many mistress suites does he maintain? What do they say about glass houses and throwing stones?

Giulini also lambasted Obama/Biden bc neither one has managed a multi-billion dollar budget or managed a large city or state. Hey I have never rebuilt an engine but I know when to change the oil , check the valves rely on a mechanic I trust for the big stuff. He criticized them bc they are not CEO’s. He actually used that term – CEOs: a modern day anathema in the minds of most. Well, tell the Regun-nuticans that real CHANGE is having two can-do people in there who are NOT CEOs and don’t belong to any CEOs.

Point out the obvious – that was a relatively small crowd – and it looked like it might have been a reunion concert of the Partridge Family. WHITE WHITE WHITE. Country First looks more like WHITE country first, I have seen more diversity at a skinhead convention.

The entire place chanting Drill Baby Drill is a frightening demonstration of how blasé the Republican party views environmental issues. THIS needs to be hammered upon them. If they can make light of drilling, they will not think twice of gang-raping ANWR up in Palin’s backyard. And after that doesn’t give them the oil they need, then where will they turn?

Giuliani praising McCain’s belligerent criticism of Putin. Even the average Redundican can admit Bush went too far. They don’t want another trigger happy president. McCain’s swagger AND TEMPER needs to be constantly pointed out. It reeks of Bush’s blind- cowboy foreign policy. ALSO – this Georgia Russia thing is bigger than people realize. Rick Davis, McCain’s Camp. Manager, is a long time D.C. lobbyist. He has serious loyalties to the Georgian govt. AND shady Russian businessmen. This is a conflict of interest of the highest degree – they are positioning themselves for something greasy and profitable. Google search it, it is everywhere. It is the most overlooked, yet revolting story surrounding the McC’aint Camp. Moreover, Putin is revered there. A Russian friend told me they like Putin bc he is strong like Stalin and they would rather be strong and ruled than weak and democratic. Putin is not Saddam Hussein.

How about when Palin literally offered her own son up to the frenzied crowd, like a sacrificial lamb (actually avoid this biblical reference when speaking with these people they are likely to froth at the mouth and call down the angels). She announced the boy’s forthcoming deployment. She rightfully acknowledged his sacrifice, but I don’t think she ever said anything about bringing him home. And quite frankly the boy looked overwhelmed and frightened. And she was shoving him off to die for the cause. God, I hope she doesn’t have to face that. Nearly 4200 now I think.

Then she offered her baby with Down’s Syndrome as well. Toting the little baby around like they were on their way to the K-Mart photo studio. And she promised all families with special needs that NOW they can FINALLY have an advocate in the white house. Was that meant to imply Clinton ignored special needs families. Or Bush for that matter? It was a cheap ploy. She may have perspective but to imply that she is somehow more compassionate is a cheap score.

And here are a few just quirky observations

What exactly did Mike Huckabee learn in the shower in college? And why do I want to know about it?

As I listened and watched Palin, I was struck with this – The Revolticans selected their V.P. the way Fox News selects their smarmy morning co-hostesses. Someone easy on the eyes, quick with a rhetorical blurb and witty enough to make the average Bob-slob, go, “Hu-hu-huh… She said a Hockey Mom is like a pit bull, but with lipstick! Yeah man, she’s alright! That’s one smart lady!”

What was up with that awkward rendition of the national anthem, mixed with famous speech sound bites, and an overt pledge of allegiance “under God” line. It was a trio that sounded like someone set the dial exactly between talk radio and a country twang station. Just a weird finale to a weird night.

Anytime, anyone even referred to “right-to-life” the audience cheered with maniacal vehemence. It was like a room possessed. Have your beliefs and opinions but my goodness, try to show some control over your own body. Any audio pick ups and we probably would have heard them speaking in tongue.

This may seem petty, but I have to say it. Cindy McCain frightens me. She is like a Snow Queen who lives in a crystal fairy-tale tower. I’ve noted some frighteningly evil looks she’s given off-handedly, throughout this conference. At one moment tonight, as Palin’s husband stood up with the baby, Cindy jerked away like she was worried Down’s Syndrome might be contagious. Petty and silly I know, but sad and probably true nonetheless.

Was that the pregnant daughter’s boyfriend. He was sure sporting a sly grin. Most young men in his position face a rather depressing future. This it seems is a perfect example of “falling upstairs”. This is the young man who refers to himself on his Myspace proudly as “a F***in’ redneck. Ah, at least there will finally be some class in the white house.

One of the biggest applauses came when Giuliani gave a geography lesson, saying that 250 Delawares would fit inside the borders of Alaska. Now THERE’s an argument. I have to admit, I was nearly convinced at that point. Those sheep would have bayed at anything at that point, and obviously they did. We can defeat these people. We must. They are idiots but idiots are dangerous.

Sorry for the lighthearted quirky quips at the end here. I had to get them out, to help me vent. If I didn’t laugh I would cry. And after all these things ARE all very weird and worthy of note. But we will demonstrate the dignity and high ground that Obama has maintained throughout. The serious talking points above are what we need to focus on to start hammering back.


RNC- Grampa Freddy – 4 More Beers! 4 More Beers! 4 more beers!

Wednesday, September 2, 2008

Day 2 of the Republican National Convention. Or is it Day 3? I think I fell asleep there for a while. I had a strange dream too. People in cowboy hats and not-so-old ladies wearing old style beehive hairdos. People seemed to be wearing clown smiles and oversized ties. It was weird. Maybe that wasn’t a dream. No, I think that really was the crowd at the RNC. It might have been a dream though. I can’t be sure, I mean I was dozing. I learned a few things though regardless if it was real or some strange dreamscape. First, I learned that Laura Bush is a great actress. How she could praise her husbands last 8 years in the presidency. She talked about all the changes he’s made. She started off with a real doozy! How he’s revamped education! Thanks to our president more minorities than ever before are in school. How many is that Mrs. Bush? Is that good enough? She listed a couple of other great Changes he’s made. Strange that she didn’t mention the changes that he’s brought to over 4,000 military families, or the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have experienced Mr. Bush’s brand of change. Next, I learned that Mr. Bush is a terrible actor. He looked tired and haggard. He could hardly muster up a smile for dear old Mom and Dad. They appeared to have difficulty too. But he should be tired and haggard after ushering in so much great change.

I also learned that we should have overwhelmingly supported Fred Thomson more. His grandfatherly tales provide safe-havens from reality. His soft but stern Granpappy voice with its long slow drawl helps us to forget that the world is changing. Why after listening to him long enough, I wanted nothing more than a tall, cool, glass of lemonade and to sit on the porch and hear more stories about the good old days. Too bad we won’t be enjoying four more years of the perfect summer back in Mayberry. I also learned from Grandpa Fred that we for some reason are lucky to have a prospective V.P. who can field dress a moose. My, that was a good one. Fred just has a way of telling you a hilarious story that doesn’t really make any sense, is completely irrelevant, yet undoubtedly teaches a valuable lesson. Like the one he whipped off about a bucket of water. It was so funny, you could actually see the moment, after he read it, when he actually got it himself. Now that is what we like to call a real humdinger! Another thing I learned, again from Grandpa Fred, was that John McCain for some reason betrayed the Green Bay Packers to the North Vietnamese. As a Chicago Bears fan, I appreciate learning this very much.

Something else I learned that really surprised me, was that Howdy Doody grew up, turned gray and changed his name to Joe Lieberman. He’s not nearly as funny as he used to be though. Or at least his sense of humor has really changed, anyway. I think I might have also learned why Angelina Jolie doesn’t speak to he father Jon Voight. However, in the great tradition of Ronald Reagan, Charleton Heston, and Grandpappy Fred, we mustn’t judge manly actors too harshly. They might, believing that they are actually super heroes or cowboys, come down from the silver screen to save us all and ride off into the sunset.

I learned that Republicans are a funny bunch, and I don’t mean their beehives and cowboy hats (those weren’t as funny as they were disturbing). I mean their mirth. They were just so darned happy. They were laughing and dancing and swinging each other round and round, dosie-doh style, all the while a-hoopin’ and a-hollerin’, waving their cowboy hats or holdin’ down their beehives. I appreciate their mirth, it is refreshing from the somber mood that has prevailed the RNC. But I wondered why are they so darned happy. I mean they just saw George W. Bush on the plasmatron jumboscreen. Didn’t that remind them even slightly of the past eight years? They were dancing around and singing and laughing, having a grand old time – as if not one of them was in any way directly responsible for the criminal failures of the Bush presidency. That is weird. It must have been a dream.