The Formerly GOP

10/05/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sneer. The Republican Way. Never mind transparent disregard for truthfulness (contempt, actually). Two things we can now say with confidence: Republicans' choice for President-in-Waiting mouths the reactionary extremist line convincingly. And, they've selected a consummate "user". Regular folk are noticing. "Mama, would you do me that way?" my clerk quoted her daughter asking, "would you shine the spotlight on me and my shame?"

Finally! A woman candidate for one of the highest offices in the land who elicits a loathing previously reserved for male candidates. Not what I had in mind for "equal opportunity" but it's progress of a sort. And it does play well to the hate-radio mongers.

Likewise poor old "socialism". Making my rounds today, I'm hearing reports that "socialism" is -- yet again -- the Wrong WIng's whipping boy. (If that analogy makes you squirm, check out Tony Horwitz's _Confederates in the Closet_ for verification to just how alive and well this reality is.)

Let me get this straight. "Take care of each other" is "socialist". Therefore, I must conclude, Socialism's Exhibit Number One is Jesus. Remember the guy's riff on "love your neighbor."

How do Republicans get away with it all? That much maligned "elite media", which for the most part they own, that's how. There are ample explorations of their appalling performance over the past eight years and more. Will they mend their ways? Only if we refuse to buy what their selling and turn them off!

But wait! What about "our" self-inflated and self-congratulatory Public Broadcasting Service? "Burn, Baby, Burn" can morph into "Drill, Baby, Drill" and PBS's anointed give an absolute pass and no note of the high irony involved. How could this be? Well, in addition to the famously perennial "wuss factor", their lead advertiser for Convention coverage is, after all, Chevron, among Standard Oil's egregious progeny. Don't tell me there's "no sponsor" as Ray Suarez did in promoting PBS's political coverage. Pay the piper, call the tune. "Underwriting" the piper is no different. It's why I left public broadcasting for a NBC more than 30 years ago -- at least the networks were clear about being in business -- and Public Broadcasting has subsequently gotten worse. Much worse. Left NBC, too.

Equally incredible was the commentariats' treatment of Gov. Palin's speech as somehow revealing of her perspective and knowledge and grasp of the issues ... her experience and wisdom. NONSENSE. What "her" speech told us is that she will read what she's told to read and, with enough practice, gives good teleprompter. "Let's Pretend" does not qualify as news, though it is far too common in precisely that role.

I deeply and genuinely want two robust political parties in this nation. But that will require a great deal more than an sassy extremist who must be kept away from reporters for days on end before appearing in front of a 'prompter with an inflammatory speech crafted to fan the fires of extremism. Remember "The Manchurian Candidate"! Grilled, drilled and rehearsed by her handlers, she can come out a sneering pit bull -- her analogy, not mine -- and pander to a select audience of extremists.

Do not go quietly into that dark night. Resist, rebuke and rebut.

Now the campaign begins in earnest. I can hardly wait to see the Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates.

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