Better Angels

"...all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature." ---Abraham Lincoln, First Innaugural Address

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The Big Top of Hatred

So the Republicans are always going on about their "big tent." I don't know about you, but the image that springs to mind when I hear that is a big ol' stripey circus tent. Which, given the recent freak show of the RNC, seems to be appropos.

What is it with them? Why do they want to be the party of doom and gloom and apoplectic speakers with venomous spittle flying out of their mouths? I practically mainlined CSPAN during the DNC and I don't remember anything approaching the level of vitriol coming from the Republicans. If their whole goal was to reach out to swing voters, I think they botched it. (Well, I guess that's another manifestation of the Botch doctrine) First they had Rudy, with his nervous little hands all a-twitter, thanking God for W. while a body came hurtling toward him. Then John McCain swallowed his pride and shilled for the man who destroyed him in 2000 by making fun of Michael Moore. Liddy Dole apparently misunderstood the "big tent" and thought they said "tent revival." Then we had Arnold, you know, all misty eyed over Nixon and insulting girls, men, girly-men and people who worry how they're gonna buy the kids lunch this week. Miller and Cheney rounded it out by delivering a tag-team smackdown of John Kerry in one of the ugliest evenings of television I've ever seen.

What would an undecided voter make of all this? "Gee, they seem angry, but they sure do like flags!" "Wow, John Kerry has screwed up the economy and the war so badly, we need to make sure he doesn't get reelected!" "Look! Shiny!" I don't know. I should think "Hope is on the Way" would come off better than the use of adhesive bandages to insult our veterans, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Bush and company knew the best way to get reelected was to make sure America was poor, hungry, frightened and eager to find someone to blame. They created the perfect storm, and now they're exploiting it by pointing the big finger of scapegoating our way. Yes, Liberals are to blame for the woe that has befallen America. We are to be treated with scorn and derision for our insistence on the truth and our stubborn idealism and our sense of fairness. We went and ruined America, didn't we?

The faces I saw at the DNC were joyful. People from all walks of life looked like they were thrilled to be participating in the process, thrilled to be nominating John Kerry and celebrating their party. The GOPers just seem grim, roused to excitement only when swept up in a moment of loathing and jeering. It's a side of America I don't understand but I'll do my damndest to make sure those folks have jobs, healthcare and peace while John Kerry is prseident. They may hate us, but we'll deliver the goods to them anyway, because we're liberals and that's how we do it. We have a big tent, too. Big enough for the whole damn country.