It's one thing to fire off the inflammatory rhetoric when it's part of the day-to-day grind of a close election. It's another to shamelessly exploit for political purposes the deaths of Americans who've sacrificed their lives to make the world a better place.
A few months ago, Sarah Palin, with her trademark sarcasm, asked Obama supporters, "How's that hopey changey stuff working out for ya?"
Radical statements by Republicans aren't just gaffes; they reflect a cold-hearted, insensitive, mean-spirited, dishonest and ignorant attitude that is reflected in the way that they govern and make laws.
Republican presidential hopefuls have been especially clueless in their efforts to co-opt rock & roll songs whose actual meanings are at odds with, er, GOP messaging.
Nowhere is Romney's clinging to the old ways that have been getting us in trouble since the first Arab oil embargo nearly 40 years ago clearer than it is on energy policy and climate change.
Can you imagine the reaction on the right if an Obama-supporting Super PAC ran an ad featuring Canadians demanding higher taxes on the rich? Cries from the Fox News cabal about filthy foreigners tampering with the sacred trust of American elections would be positively deafening.
Even before she quit, legislators of both parties complained Palin was not sufficiently engaged in the normal day-to-day work a governor does with the legislature. You might say legislators complained about her "empty chair" style of leadership.
Mitt Romney badly needed to connect with women at this convention and having Ann Romney, Condoleezza Rice and Susana Martinez speak may have been a step in the right direction. However, none of these women spoke about his policy on women's issues.
By reducing all parents to mothers, and all women to mothers, candidates diminish and dismiss us, even as they are heaping us with praise.
The Romney ticket is doomed to fail not because of Ryan's radical positions or pathological aversion to the truth but because the man at the top of the ticket lacks character, principles and vision.
For Mitt Romney, the convention provides his latest attempt to re-introduce himself to the American people. But what's that old ad tag line? "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." It's not a Don Draper line but it sounds like it ought to be.
I really can't blame the no-show trio, however, for skipping Romney's coronation. I couldn't be bothered to go either and I live for these quadrennial political love-ins. Forget Hurricane Isaac. It was Tampa in August with Romney. That's all the reason I needed to stay home.
If Eastwood is, indeed, the "mystery man" tonight, there will be no mystery in his remarks. They will be riddled with further hypocrisy and deceit. That you can count on. "A good man," declares Dirty Harry in Magnum Force, "always knows his limitations." Apparently, his creator does not.
Does that mean that the United States of America, the great country to which I immigrated 55 years ago -- a country I adopted and which I thought had adopted me -- really hasn't been "my country" all or some of these years?
Something is badly wrong with the psyche of a country in which Sarah Palin and Chris McCandless, one a product of Alaska and the other a victim of it, have become iconic figures for untold numbers of citizens.