And After the Nausea, the Vomiting…The RNC and Lee Atwater’s Sins

I stayed true to my earlier statement: I didn’t watch a lick of the RNC. I did not care. I couldn’t even make it through YouTube videos of the candidate that other bloggers got excited about: Mia Love, Paul Ryan. I read the text of Romney’s speech and thought it a good one, on balance. But if I have to hear one more of these people talk about their hardscrabble upbringing and the Promise of America, I was going to hurl.

This is the downside of a Romney campaign, everything becomes I kind of Hope and Change II: Electric Bugaloo. When what I would like to hear; what would get my blood pumping would be a full-throated denunciation of all the Thousand of Myriad ways that the Government screws with our lives. Something with the intellectual heft of The Federalist Papers with the wit and sheer gob-smackedness of Parliament of Whores. I don’t just want Obama denounced, as though he were the sole problem. There’s a whole mindset of Leviathan-worship that needs to be attacked, going all the way back to Woodrow Wilson.

And sure, Republicans would be preening hypocrites to make that argument. But by the rood, you’ve got to start sometime.

And the DNC will just be sad. Obama looking grey and tired, trying to light that crowd up by painting Mitt Romney as the Mormon Devil and Paul Ryan as his baby-raping accomplice. It won’t work. In 2008 the DNC was a place of Hope and Change; Fear and Loathing will not get the same reaction. Three months is a long time in politics, but I don’t know what plays Obama has left.

Watched an infuriating documentary last night about Lee Atwater called Boogie Man. Everything about it was offensive, beginning with the premise that Atwater made politics “dirtier” than it had been. Terry McAuliffe got to intone sonorously ad nauseam about how awful everything’s been in politics since. You ended up with enough crocodile tears to fill a rain barrel.

Here’s what I’d like to know:

What about the infamous “Willie Horton” ad was contrary to fact? Was Willie Horton not a convicted murderer? Did he not receive a weekend pass under a policy that Gov. Dukakis supported? Did he not, during said pass, stab a man and rape his wife?

And more to the point, why is this information off limits? Why, when violent crime was at a peak, as it was in 1988, was Gov. Dukakis’ crime policies not fit for discussion?

Ah, but raaaaacism! Fine. Pretend Willie Horton was a honkie. Imagine a white face glowering at the screen. What changes? What about the ad becomes less effective? Do we really think that white people are only afraid of black criminals? Why?

What I remember most clearly from the 1988 campaign was the widespread convicition that George Bush was a wimp. I seem to recall Dukakis saying those very words. I also seem to recall that George Bush was a bomber pilot during World War II, shot down more than once. How exactly was he a wimp? Was it that Connecticut accent, that soft-spoken, slightly nasal voice? Who came up with that particular rhetorical attack, and when does the documentary about him come out?


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