Thursday, September 4, 2008

Restoring America's Image Abroad?

What a speech last night. I watched till the smoke alarm in my house went off. What had been written for Annie Oakley from Alaska to read was done justice with Ms. Palin's curled lip sneers, petty jabs, and straight-faced recitations of long discredited claims about Barak Obama and his past. There was a stunning contrast between the TV images from this convention and from the Democratic convention last week. Last week's reactions to speakers and particularly Biden and Obama were spontaneous and genuine. Lots of time was spent by the Democrats listening to Obama's detailed messages and plans for needed positive change instead of screaming hysterically non-stop. Last night the shamelessly orchestrated spectacle had the the more spry folks applauding after every God and Country bromide that the GOP audience seemed to lap up like old hound dogs at a huge feeding bowl. There clearly had been claques of carefully tutored "starters" who tried to begin "Spontaneous Chants" that mostly fizzled out, and who started applause after every other sentence. But after a while it was like watching an old badly dubbed Japanese movie where the audio and video are out of sync. There would be loud applause coming out of the speaker, but the wide shot of the crowd showed so many, many people talking, walking around or sitting stone faced. In her whole reading of the teleprompter, Governor Palin, Or Governor Putin, you choose, never mentioned any issues, but just heaped on repetitive praise for John McCain. A high point was the real long feel good visit with her large family, including her snowmobile racing champion husband of "Ute ancestry." There will be a "halo" effect from her nastiness and hollow rhetoric for a day or so, then reality will settle in, and the "Media Elite" she renounced will come a knocking asking real questions and expecting real answers. America can do better than this.

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