Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fear Not, Politics Is Still A Gapers’ Delight

As Frank Rich points out this morning in his Sunday Morning New York Times Op/Ed piece: “Election junkies in acute withdrawal need suffer no longer.” The presidential race may be over but, ”The cockfight among the losers has only just begun. The conservative crackup may be ugly, but as entertainment, it’s two thumbs up!” The Repubs are blaming each other, the fact that Bush is an inept dolt, the clueless McCain campaign and the rampant greed of the GOP for their defeat. But Rich says the problem is more fundamental than that. “The G.O.P. ran out of steam and ideas well before George W. Bush took office and Tom DeLay ran amok, and it is now more representative of 20th-century South Africa during apartheid than 21st-century America. The proof is in the vanilla pudding. When David Letterman said that the 10 G.O.P. presidential candidates at an early debate looked like ‘guys waiting to tee off at a restricted country club,’ he was the first to correctly call the election.” The Repubs have been in denial for decades. They think they can hoodwink voters into believing they are inclusive and pro-minority by talking about it rather than being pro-minority. Rich notes that, “a conservative Wall Street Journal editorialist asked whether “the G.O.P. doesn’t in fact have a perception problem, that it is no longer viewed as a big tent.” “A perception problem? Hello — how about a reality problem? The reason why they are promoting Palin and the recently elected Indian-American governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, as the party’s ‘future’ is not just that they (Jindal and Palin) are hard-line social conservatives; they are also the only prominent Republican officeholders under 50 who are not white men.” To me, the most unsettling thing in the Frank Rich article was this Gallup poll finding: 45% of Americans want to see Sarah Palin have a national political future while only 52% do not. Almost half of the Americans who just witnessed Sarah Palin running for Vice President and saw her being stupid, ignorant, pandering, corrupt, silly, hate-spewing and a right-wing religious zealot into the bargain, say they would be pleased for her to have a future in Republican politics. And the worst of it is that although it’s nice to see the GOP in such moronic disarray, still, as the Frank Rich tagline says: “At a time of genuine national peril we actually do need an opposition party that is not brain-dead.”


Barry Schwartz said...

Wait a second, now. Lots of people who want to see Palin have a political future simply because they want to see the Republican Party decline further.

As for an opposition party, we've still got the Democrats.

Barry Schwartz said...

The sentence above got mangled but one can figure out the sentence that should have been.

demit said...

That 45% who presently think she has a national future—I think they're like American Idol watchers who loved the runnerup but by next season's show can't even remember the person's name.

Some pundit suggested she should spend the next few years boning up on national issues, but I think she has a lazy intellect and & won't want to do that. She will expect her personal magnetism to carry her the way it always has. If she does come back to the national scene and is unchanged—and the clock is ticking on her looks—I think she'll seem, even to her most enchanted fans, like some kind of old rerun.

And I don't think she will escape unscathed the economic problems Alaska faces now anyway. As she pointed out, her position has real responsibilities. I'll bet she comes to regret the spotlight she was so eager to grab these past few weeks. Me, I hope it stays relentlessly trained on her.