It’s in the cards

Posted: September 5, 2008 in john mccain, politics, republicans, sarah palin, voting

Still reeling from the pain of watching Sarah Palin’s snide, sarcastic, disrespectful, insulting and faux-populist diatribe last night…

Last night at Republi-Con 2008 the GOP really laid their cards on the table.  Leaving aside for now the question of whether their current standard bearer is playing with a full deck, one thing is clear – in choosing Sarah Palin, the McCain campaign has definitely done everything they can to stack the deck in their favor.  Until now they’ve only had one playable card to deflect criticism of Senator McCain.  And the POW card has gotten just a bit worn in recent days.

Sarah Palin’s speech last night did what it was supposed to.  It riled up the base, hit on several applause points, connected her with the “rest of America” or at least that small segment of America represented by the occupants of the Convention hall, and it allowed them to go even more deeply negative than ever before while keeping McCain carefully “above it all”.  Oh, and it gave her an opportunity to brazenly and blatantly use her visibly embarrassed daughter’s situation to score political points.  She also had the chance to show off her “funny” side while insulting community organizers everywhere:

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a “community organizer,” except that you have actual responsibilities.

Cute.  You know, if you’re going to push private and “faith based” organizations as a replacement for government programs, it’s not wise to insult the people you need to get those organizations going.

Here’s more of Sarah Palin’s ad lib humor:

What’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?

I don’t know, the pit bull is prettier?  The hockey mom won’t try and hump your leg?  The pit bull is more civilized?


Ah.  All three.  But here’s the biggest laugh line:

I told the Congress “thanks, but no thanks,” for that Bridge to Nowhere.

Really?  All kidding aside, if you’re into that sort of thing, it was the kind of thing you’d like.

But back to the original premise.  As I said, there are a lot more cards in play now, and I’d like to take a few moments to discuss them.

  • The POW Card.  The old standby hasn’t gone away.  In fact, they’ve been playing this one to the hilt all week.  It’s become disgusting for the way it trivializes his experience and that of the other 600 men imprisoned with him.  His wartime record has become the punchline for late-night talk shows, but we can surely expect it to be played ad nauseum until November.
  • The Hockey Mom Card.  The mythology of Sarah Palin is being written as we speak, and central to that mythology is the story of the “hockey mom” that lifted herself to prominence and power.  Really, this is just a variation of the “Gender Card” that Hillary Clinton’s supporters kept playing during the Democratic Primaries.  Expect this one to be played repeatedly as well.
  • The Special Needs Parent Card.  She said she’ll be an advocate for parents of special needs kids as Vice President.  But the truth is, she’s just as inexperienced in this as she is as a governor.  Her youngest is only four months old.  Wait until she finds out the child has autism as well.  Wait until the child starts failing to walk on time, or failing to potty train when expected.  Then she’ll really earn her battle scars.  Unless, that is, she has an army of specialists and servants to help get her through these difficult times.
  • The Parent of Deployed Soldier Card.  This one is potentially the most effective.  It gives her “street cred” with military families, and a small measure of credibility with veterans’ groups.  McCain has already lost most of his due to his abysmal voting record.  Expect it to be used, but sparingly.

The cards are on the table.  Please feel free to share any others you have observed in play.  The game’s afoot!


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