The Republican Platform: We’re the White Guys
Just read a thoroughly enjoyable, humorous article by Eliot Weinberger of the London Review of Books about the state of the Republican party. It’s long but I highly recommend it. Well worth the time: A Hologram For President.
Here’s one of my favorite parts. Man-oh-man, the Republicans are in such a fix:
Even Republicans don’t like Mitt. (John McCain thought the inimitable Sarah Palin a better choice as his running mate.) At the convention, it was astonishing how many speakers barely mentioned the presidential candidate at all. In the end, there was almost nothing for a good Republican to say. His business career – however much they try to portray him as a ‘job creator’, which is palpably untrue – is poisonous. His acts as governor of Massachusetts were the exact opposite of everything proposed in the party platform. For these railers against government spending, his management of the 2002 Winter Olympics cost $1.5 billion in taxpayer money – more than all seven previous Olympics in the US combined – and was denounced at the time by McCain as a ‘national disgrace’. (Nor does anyone want to be reminded of Mitt’s embarrassing performance at the London Olympics.) He cannot be praised as a ‘patriot’, when he avoided the Vietnam War by becoming a Mormon missionary for two years among the barbaric tribes of France (and where, typical of his social skills, he did not manage to convert a single soul, which he attributed to the natives’ addiction to wine). He is not, like Bush Jr, a guy you’d supposedly like to have a beer – or, in his case, a glass of milk – with. And, try as they might, he can’t really be extolled as a man of faith, a bishop in his church, for Catholics and evangelical Christians tend to find Mormonism as bizarre as Scientology, with its secret rituals, its unusual underwear, its afterlife where every man has his own planet, with his wives as moons around it. The best the Republicans can say about him is epitomised in a line from Mike Huckabee, the Baptist preacher and former governor of Arkansas with higher political aspirations: ‘If you’ve just been diagnosed with a brain tumour, you honestly don’t care if your neurosurgeon is a jerk.’
Republicans adore him [Ryan], and the general consensus is that, only 42 years old, Privatise Ryan is the future face of the party. I suspect that he’s a passing fad. On television, his charisma is inexplicable: he looks and sounds like Woody Woodpecker, though a Woody who has perfected two puppy dog expressions: eager for a treat and baleful eyes. My son says he’s like the most annoying kid in high school: the one who raises his hand to tell the science teacher that they’re running short on petri dishes.
Seriously. Read the whole thing. It’s great.