Published September 8, 2008
This week, we saw the Republicans throw a big party in St. Paul, declare the federal government broken and in need of change, repeat the litany of debunked fear-laden fallacies of the opposing party, and declare themselves the only option to fix the system they've broken. What's wrong with this picture?
Last week in this space, I called the introduction of newcomer Sarah Palin to the race "welcome," in that McCain had "injected a wild card into the race for the home stretch." Now that we know more and know better, the GOP's ticket is as troubling and dangerous as any they've put forward in recent memory. American politics, as political observers well know, are about more than the personalities leading the ticket. The most important forces in any election are those that are mobilized by the issues represented by the candidates. While the gun-toting, Bible-thumping, chest-pumping, flag-waving masses had been put into some kind of hibernation since January by John McCain, it took mere days for Sarah Palin's big-hair, beauty-queen, hockey-mom, mega-family persona to bring them roaring back to life.
Republicans always seem to know what's at stake and have the discipline to band together at the critical moment. Democrats seem to have these pesky principles that keep them bickering at each other and forming individual mobs that pledge not to give in unless they get assurances for this or that demand. The infuriating thing is that there's apparently no accountability for made-up crap.
There's plenty more fun to be had at FactCheck.org, run by the nonpartisan Annenberg Public Policy Center. You, too, can sort through the spin and find the facts beneath the hyperbole of your target politician. Here's a clue: the one who spends more time making up stuff about their opponents rather than tweaking their own records are usually the ones to watch out for.
Have a topic you'd like to read about? Or just want to give your feedback? E-mail me at reason -at- tylersclark.com