Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Same Old Tune

So last Thursday we made history with the first-ever African-American nominee of a major party giving a really kick-bum speech laying out plans for what we need to do for the country.

On Monday a major hurricane hit the Gulf Coast and two more are looming in the Atlantic, reminding us of the problems with our emergency response systems.

And today we are talking about moose burgers, a 17-year old, and the finer points of politics in Wasilla, Alaska. Well played, Karl Rovians! Bob Herbert comments on this today:

Here’s the deal: Palin is the latest G.O.P. distraction. She’s meant to shift attention away from the real issue of this campaign — the awful state of the nation after eight years of Republican rule. The Republicans are brilliant at distractions. Willie Horton was a distraction. The chatter about gays, guns and God has been a long-running distraction. And we all remember the Swift-boat campaign.

But I'm still thinking about this...

1 comment:

gmack said...

I should say that I'm not altogether convinced by Herbert's analysis here. I think he's buying too much into the "Karl Rove, Supergenius" image. Honestly, I think the pick is going to be a net loss for the McCain campaign; for while the breathless reporting of Alaskan trivia is a distraction, it also (probably) not terribly good for the Republicans. It makes it look like they aren't "in control of their message," and that they're failing to run a "professional campaign," which for media types (and here I include many bloggers), is apparently the main qualification for president. From here on, every mistake Governor Palin makes, and every minor revelation about her will be fed into a narrative about how she's unqualified and how McCain didn't properly vet her.

But Christ I find most of this discussion intolerable. I mean, as I write this there is a poster speculating about how many children Levi Johnston (Governor Palin's soon-to-be son in law) will have with different women. There are numerous discussions about how all of this reveals the failure of "Christian values" or abstinence only education (which, to my mind, is the functional equivalent of speculating about how Black teen mothers reveal the failures of the "culture of permissiveness," or the pathologies of "the Black family"). In sum, there seems to be an obsession with turning the obscure doings of 17 year old kids in Alaska into a morality play about American values.

In any case, let me just offer a quick suggestion: when we know nothing about the parties involved, and nothing about the specifics of the situation (their relationship, their future plans, and so forth), and when the matter doesn't affect our lives in any way whatsoever, can we please just shut the fuck up about it?

Sorry I'm ranting. Next time I'll comment about dogs....