Joel Achenbach has the best take so far on the Republicans:
So far the Republican National Convention has gone according to script. Unfortunately the script was written by John Waters.New York Times columnist Bob Herbert makes a good point about the Palin pick:
Palin is the latest G.O.P. distraction. She's meant to shift attention away from the real issue of this campaign -- the awful state of the nation after eight years of Republican rule.Herbert cautions us to avoid getting caught up in the distraction.
On the other hand, is anyone else besides me taken with the parallel between Sarah Palin and the main character of the British program on PBS, "The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard"? For those of you who don't watch PBS -- I only saw this show because it comes on after the British mysteries, which are much more satisfying than "CSI and Order" and their many clones -- Mrs. Pritchard is an ordinary working class British woman who gets outraged and ends up as prime minister. (I've only seen bits and pieces, so I don't know how all that happened.)
There are lots of differences between Mrs. Pritchard and Palin, of course, the most obvious being that Mrs. Pritchard is actually trying to do something about global warming instead of cheering for the oil companies. And clearly a strong network of women politicians has rallied around her, because virtually all of her ministers and assistants are women. It's hard to watch the program and not root for her.
But Mrs. Pritchard represents that desire many people have for so-called "common sense" leaders who speak their minds (and often shoot from the hip) and Palin's public image is precisely that: an ordinary woman taking care of business. Of course, Palin is actually a pretty ruthless politician -- not to mention a religious right extremist -- judging from what I've read about her and Alaska politics, but image has a tendency to overpower truth in these matters.