Saturday, September 06, 2008

Republican revolution (recycled)

Tom Toles in the Washington Post:

I confess that the more I think about this year's Republican National Convention, the more bizarre it seems. Just for example ...

Speaker after speaker delivered the message that the Republicans want to run, one more time, against "Washington." In Fred Thompson's version of this line, McCain and Palin are "going to drain that swamp" in Washington. Mitt Romney, pushing himself even further than before into self-parody, boldly called for "change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington." And so on.

They apparently want everyone to forget that there has been a right-wing Republican President for almost 8 years, and right-wing Republicans have controlled Congress for almost all of the past 14 years. Who do they think they're kidding?

Possibly themselves. For most of the speakers repeating this stuff, who included a fair number of long-time Washington insiders like Thompson, this was probably just cynical sloganeering that they didn't take too seriously. (I exclude McCain himself, for whom I'm sure the story is more complicated.) But I suspect that a lot of the delegates, at some level, believed that these "liberal Washington" clich├ęs somehow made sense. And the Republicans clearly hope that they can sell this nonsense to a wider public. Well, maybe they can.

Yours for reality-based discourse,
Jeff Weintraub