McCain Is A Weaker Bush To Palin’s Cheney


Frank Rich

The above is a slight paraphrase of a quote by New York Times Op-Ed Columnist, Frank Rich, whose right-on-target article, The Palin-Whatshisname Ticket, helps paint an even darker picture than most Americans can as yet see. And, as is the plan, most won’t until it’s too late. I laid out the basis for what I’m referring to in my earlier post, Palin: The Most Priceless Political Asset The Neocon Movement Has?, but Mr. Rich goes on to add some more perspective as he breaks down portions of Ms. Palin’s acceptance speech:

There were several creepy subtexts at work here. The first was the choice of Truman. Most 20th-century vice presidents and presidents in both parties hailed from small towns, but she just happened to alight on a Democrat who ascended to the presidency when an ailing president died in office. Just as striking was the unnamed writer she quoted. He was identified by Thomas Frank in The Wall Street Journal as the now largely forgotten but once powerful right-wing Hearst columnist Westbrook Pegler.

Westbrook Pegler

Westbrook Pegler

Palin, who lies with ease about her own record, misrepresented Pegler’s too. He decreed America was “done for” after Truman won a full term in 1948. For his part, Truman regarded the columnist as a “guttersnipe,” and with good reason. Pegler was a rabid Joe McCarthyite who loathed F.D.R. and Ike and tirelessly advanced the theory that American Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe (“geese,” he called them) were all likely Communists.

Surely Palin knows no more about Pegler than she does about the Bush doctrine. But the people around her do, and they will be shaping a Palin presidency. That they would inject not just Pegler’s words but spirit into their candidate’s speech shows where they’re coming from. Rick Davis, the McCain campaign manager, said that the Palin-sparked convention created “a whole new Republican Party,” but what it actually did was exhume an old one from its crypt.

To show exactly how well the neo-conservatives have managed to damage the Obama campaign and bring the spotlight over to where they want and need it, Rich comments:

A week ago the question was: Is Sarah Palin qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? The question today: What kind of president would Sarah Palin be?

And he’s right. The only chance Obama has of winning this election is to take the focus off Palin and put it squarely onto the shoulders of John McCain, who cannot handle the weight. If voters can see the issues and see that McCain has no real solutions to lessen their burden, and to see that he is not, in fact, offering any real change at all, then we might stand a chance. But if the focus stays on Palin, then the neocon’s plan will work and John McCain will become the patsy president while these right-wing ideologues continue to groom Ms. Palin for her “rightful” place on the throne. 

Don’t fool yourself into doubting that what Palin and the people pulling her strings are creating here is a return to the past. Not only are they resurrecting the ghosts of McCarthyism, they’re preaching it all over again, only this time the finger’s not pointed at communists, but at “liberals who threaten good, small town, patriotic, real Americans”. If you stop and think for just a moment, you’ll see that this game’s been in play for quite some time. Remember the Bush/Cheney mantra? If you’re not with us, then you’re against us? 

Sarah Palin is an attractive pawn. She leans even more to the right than George W. Bush and she will be the voice of America if we don’t brush up quickly on our own history. And it’s not that we’ll have an unqualified president in office, but that we’ll have a president created with perfection by people who have a vision of America that may not be what most Republican voters actually believe they are voting for. 

Republicans already know that they can win anything by tempting our fears. The Democrats need to quickly learn this, too. Take the focus off Palin and return it to the issues at hand. McCain is nothing without his running mate. He’s standing on an empty box. Reveal what’s inside and more people will come around. Not all, mind you; some folks are already too invested in the path they’re on to admit to themselves that the emperor has no clothes. But many will start to see the truth. And they will act.

However, if we fail, then I would get used to the idea of Sarah Palin being a household name for many years to come. 

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