Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What's Missing From the GOP

A few comments on the GOP convention:

1. This interesting perspective from Harold Meyerson in the Washington Post echoes one of my original concerns about McCain's campaign: there is no talk about the economy, or creating jobs, or balancing the budget, or what to do about the 37.3 million Americans that are living in poverty. (That's 12.5 percent of Americans overall, and 18 percent of our children.)

2. Meyerson also observes that "this year's GOP convention is almost shockingly--un-Americanly--white." He doesn't cite his source for this opinion--is it based on what he sees at the convention on TV? Or is there something more substantial backing it up? I don't know, and he doesn't say.

But even if his point is merely based upon his own observation of a sea of white faces on the convention floor, dotted with an occasional brown one--why would the GOP convention look that way? It's true that white Americans comprise about 2/3 of the population--but the Census Bureau projects that that is changing quickly. By 2042, minorities are expected to become the majority of the population. (Will non-whites still be referred to as minorities at that point?)

Is the Republican Party ignoring minorities? Are they unable to craft a platform that appeals to people who are not white? If I were a Republican in this presidential election season, I would be embarrassed about it. I'd be embarrassed because diversity is not just a liberal agenda item--it's a cultural reality. Not reflecting reality is a form of denial, and denial is not a sustainable position.

3. I would be remiss if I did not mention McCain's choice for veep, Sarah Palin. When I first heard the news, I thought it was a brilliant move. Choosing a woman gives him, at least superficially, a broader appeal. Palin rounds out the ticket just by virtue of the fact that she's a woman, and I think it's likely that that will be enough for some voters.
Add to that the fact that she's more conservative than McCain, and is vocal opponent of abortion, and she definitely bumps him up in the polls.

This recent article in the Financial Times posits that the choice of Palin was shrewd because McCain's team had calculated that they were "on track to lose the election." They are taking a chance on Sarah Palin because she is the social conservative they need to shepherd the John Birchers back into the fold.

But, as Mr. Peevie noted, it does not appear that she will add much depth to policy discussions, as Joe Biden will. In spite of what Mr. Crook says in the FT article, I think the Dems will now be triple-dog-daring McCain to bring up the experience issue again during the campaign. Not to mention the foreign policy issue, national defense, and the war in Iraq.

Check out the poll to the right, and please take a moment to vote.


Anonymous said...

Let's face it - McCain locked in Obama's nomination with his VP selection. Sarah "ain't no" Hillary Clinton and I can't imagine they thought they could apease us and replace her with a procreator from the North. (You heard me!) Lest we forget the Roe V. Wade plans in the supreme court if our Republicans get seated.

This will all make for a fabulous movie you can review one day.

Anonymous said...

JRO: I agree regarding the sea of white at the GOP conv -- how terribly pathetic and embarassing. Also, I'd like to hear more about the Palin's Trooper Gate scandal. The Dems need to come out fighting. For a good laugh, visit the Jon Stewart website and look at the video segment of "John McCain chooses a VP" on August 29th (mature audiences only).

E. Peevie said...

Saw the Jon Stewart piece. HAHAHAHA! Excellent. I wonder how many testicles he started out with.

JK said...

One of the commentators on PBS this week mentioned that the number of minority delegates in the GOP this year is the lowest since 1960. That's probably what is being cited in the article. That is simply shocking given the realities that you mention.

Anonymous said...

Fair enought, he didn't say anything specific about how he'll help the millions of Americans living in poverty, and, right McCain and Palin are two peas in a pod...quite the "procreator" pair. They certainly made one priority of their policy clear.

48,589,993 children have been eliminated from existence since 1973. Refresh my memory....did Obama mention anything about this?

Those evil Republicans.

E. Peevie said...

Anon, Welcome, and thank you for joining the conversation.

You seem to be making the point that abortion is the only litmus test for a presidential candidate.

Even though I am an opponent of most legal abortion, I am not willing to make that the sole criterion for choosing a party or a candidate. There is more than one issue that concerns Life.

Also, let me be clear that I have not said that the Republicans are "evil." I think political discourse is way more constructive when we avoid demonizing the people and positions that we disagree with.