Sunday, October 5, 2008

Conversationalism + 2008: Palin And The End of the Line

I take the injunction of the AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer and it must be. I have to say it.

Required reading for the post.

Sarah Palin and John McCain have officially embarked on a campaign of discrimination.

Now, I'm not saying it's necessarily a racist campaign; Sarah Palin's remark that Obama "doesn't see America the way we do" could be equally anti-Democrat, anti-Elitist, anti-black, anti-Liberal, etc. The point, however, is that Sarah Palin is claiming to have a monopoly on America.

I want to talk about one of the most crucial point of the Vice Presidential Debate for me. In terms of our culture, and our cultural dialogue, there was a clear choice that was presented at one point. Ifill asked the two about how to turn around the partisanship in Washington.

Here's Joe Biden:

Mike Mansfield, a former leader of the Senate, said to me one day -- he -- I made a criticism of Jesse Helms. He said, "What would you do if I told you Jesse Helms and Dot Helms had adopted a child who had braces and was in real need?" I said, "I'd feel like a jerk."

He said, "Joe, understand one thing. Everyone's sent here for a reason, because there's something in them that their folks like. Don't question their motive."

Here's Sarah Palin:

But the policies and the proposals have got to speak for themselves, also. And, again, voters on November 4th are going to have that choice to either support a ticket that supports policies that create jobs.

You do that by lowering taxes on American workers and on our businesses. And you build up infrastructure, and you rein in government spending, and you make our -- our nation energy independent.

Or you support a ticket that supports policies that will kill jobs by increasing taxes. And that's what the track record shows, is a desire to increase taxes, increase spending, a trillion-dollar spending proposal that's on the table. That's going to hurt our country, and saying no to energy independence. Clear choices on November 4th.

In other words, in terms of bipartisanship, Biden says we shouldn't slander each other's motives, and Sarah Palin says you should pick the party that isn't out to "kill jobs," "hurt the country," and "say no to energy independence."

This is ludicrous.

So, a few days later, seeing that the polls still aren't backing her ridiculous brand of folksy anti-elitism, she has decided to kick it into gear, and make the heart of their campaign an attempt to question Barack Obama's motives. Because yes, clearly, a Hawaiian born Christian who was a civil rights lawyer, a professor, and has been two years in the Senate, doesn't see America the way 'the rest of us' do. He sees it the way terrorists do. Oh, and by the way: nobody has spoken as much about the exceptionalism of America as Barack Obama--it's the heart of his Yes We Can campaign. I wish he'd truck that out.

But this is unacceptable. Whatever McCain or Palin are trying to do, this is an unacceptable move in the campaign. I cannot repeat this enough. This is unacceptable.

I wanted McCain to be the end of the Republican Party as partisan hackery. I wanted him to show that two parties could both decide to stand a little taller and live up to America a little better. Where has McCain gone?

This is unacceptable.

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