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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Some thoughts regarding last night's RNC speeches

- "Drill Baby Drill", as a populist chant, shows just how bizarre that the Republicans can be. They might as well have chanted "Kill Our Selves!" or "Big Oil Now!" That's how absurd it was.

- Sarah Palin was perfectly effective at portraying a regular, down-to-earth, don't mess with a Mom, kinda lady. The speech, especially with the expectations game, was solid in that the Republican base loved it. Problem is: she's running to be a heartbeat away being leader of the free world. That's the scary part. The Democrats are going to have to handle her carefully.

- As a person who has a brother with special needs in his family, I was unpersuaded by her dedication to the cause. I think "small government" politicians won't do much for my brother, who relies heavily of a disastrous health care/insurance system and underfunded social programs.

- Guiliani's speech: blah, blah, blah liberals! blah, blah, blah, terrorists! blah, blah, blah rinse and repeat.

- The Republicans attacked the work of community organizers this week. I found that revolting. Community organizers do work that actively involves bringing people together and getting them united behind their own self-interest. They do so on a small, person-to-person scale, often is communities that have real challenges. It's cynical to attack the validity of that kind of work.

On second thought, I can see why they'd attack this. Republicans bring people together in order to unite them against their own self interests. See: Drill Baby Drill.

- Last night, it was a character attack. Where were the attacks on real, substantive policy? To me, that's perfectly fair game: offer an alternative. I didn't hear any honest statements about Obama's tax policy (he would lower taxes on everyone but the wealthiest Americans); no detailed criticism of his health care plan; nothing.

- Where are the McCain PROPOSALS? Still, last night, there was not a word on what the McCain/Palin duo would do positively for Americans. They promised to drill and "win the War" and "lower taxes" (even though McCain's plan directly contradicts this) and build pipelines and "keep us safe." It was general and muddy. They're running on a platform of "not Obama."

- Palin said nothing about the social ideas she'd actually promote (abstinence education, anti-abortion, reduced funding to social programs) if she was in office. Because it would scare the shit out of people.


Jigsaw said...

I woke up this morning with a weird certainty that the Republicans are so terrified of the probable events of the next four years that they are actively trying to throw the election. "Let the Dems win, so when the shit hits the fan, they'll take the blame!"

The timing of the Palin announcement was the last competent thing that seems to have happened (and that timing was quite good, successfully hijacking the news cycle). Since then, it has been gaff after gaff; I went on record as saying Palin was potentially a dangerous candidate, from the standpoint of "here is someone who has some things you can sell to undecided voters, a ton of things the right likes, and if handled correctly, could be a female GW Bush."

And then the Republicans proved that they hadn't actually thought that far ahead, and mishandled every single moment since.

-OR- they're trying to throw the match. Either they're so lost without Rove/Cheney at the wheel that they can't manage to discover a pregnant 17-year-old girl, or they just wanted to make the debate on abortion utterly impossible to ignore. (e.g.) Either they aren't paying attention and are bungling this entire cycle, or they want to ditch responsibility without worrying about consequence (and set up Obama as a fall guy in 2009).

So. Incompetence or conspiracy? I refuse to make a decision until at least after caffeine.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you recapped these. Between 90210 and a transgendered contestant on America's Next Top Model, I've had a full schedule.

Dan F