Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that [George] Bush and now John McCain have constructed a mean, grumpy, exclusive, narrow-minded and altogether retrograde Republican Party. It has the sharp scent of the old Barry Goldwater GOP -- the angry one of 1964 and not the one perfumed by nostalgia -- that is home, by design or mere dumb luck, to those who think that Obama is "The Madrassian Candidate." Karl Rove, take a bow. . . .

Those of us who traveled with Bush in the 2000 campaign could tell that when he spoke of education, of the "soft bigotry of low expectations," he meant it. Education, along with racial and ethnic reconciliation, was going to be his legacy. Then came Sept. 11, Afghanistan and finally the misbegotten war in Iraq. After that, nothing else really mattered. But just as Bush could not manage the wars, he could not manage his own party. His legacy is not merely in tatters. It does not even exist.

In the end, [Colin] Powell was determined not to be one of the GOP's useful idiots. Those moderates willing to overlook the choice of [Sarah] Palin, those capable of staying in a party where, soon enough, she could be an important or dominant force, retain the intellectual nimbleness that enabled them to persist in championing a war fought for duplicitous reasons and extol cultural values they do not for a minute share. Powell walked away from that, and others will follow -- the second time that a senator from Arizona has led the GOP into the political wilderness.

John McCain's campaign manager says he is reconsidering using Barack Obama's relationship with Reverend Jeremiah Wright as a campaign issue during the election’s closing weeks.

In an appearance on conservative Hugh Hewitt's radio program, Davis said that circumstances had changed since John McCain initially and unilaterally took Obama's former pastor off the table. The Arizona Republican, Davis argued, had been jilted by the remarks of Rep. John Lewis, who compared recent GOP crowds to segregationist George Wallace's rallies. And, as such, the campaign was going to "rethink" what was in and out of political bounds.


Don't you just love how slick that is? The message Rick Smith is putting out there is that it's civil rights hero John Lewis' fault that Rev. Jeremiah Wright is back on the table. If John Lewis hadn't (legitimately) objected to the racist undertone of the Palin/McCain rallies, why, there would be no need to stoop to that level. But since Lewis opened the door . . .

These dudes are worthless. Calling them Nixonian would be a compliment, because they're not even good at running the Nixon game. Please, no BS about how McCain's heart isn't in it. Whatever. I so want them to go there. And throw in the drugs while they're at it. I want these dudes to throw the whole book at Obama, and then I want him to bury them. This isn't about a hatred of McCain, it's about my utter and complete disgust with Northern Virginia not being the "real Virginia," with small-town American snobbery, with neo-red-baiting, with Obama monkeys, and Obama bucks. End this now. Let's close this chapter--not because it will be the end of our problems, but because we have huge actual problems that we should be fighting over.

Whether it's accusing Obama of wanting to teach sex education to kindergartners or selecting Sarah Palin as a running mate who shores up his base but is not ready to fill his shoes, McCain has not just been practicing second-rate politics—he has been embracing it.

This latest descent completes the utter destruction of the Republican party as a force for good in this country. Until eight years ago, Republicans had a deserved reputation for being more socially and fiscally conservative and responsible. When the party culture became infected with the Bush/Rove/Cheney virus, it began to morph into a divisive force that possessed none of those qualities.

It's not so much that McCain’s campaign has been purposefully sleazy as they've been meanderingly, pointlessly sleazy. It’s the "fuck it, whatever" guide to Republican politics, with no particular focus except putting anything out there to win a daily news cycle. Obama was a conspirator in voter fraud for a weekend, a terrorist for about three days, until he was a socialist because some plumber in Ohio said so.

Photograph by Exfordy