I attended my county's Republican Convention last evening, along with about 25 or 30 other Ron Paul supporters and about 500 mainstream Republicans, many of which looked and sounded to be of the neo-con persuasion, perhaps as many as 50%. Those who know me well know I am a political oddity, a Catholic Crunchy Con of sorts who is as staunchly pro-life as I am pro-environment, both Peak Oil -aware and anti-war, pro-Constitution and Bill of Rights and anti-nanny state/Big Brother. I've officially been registered as everything from yellow-dog Democrat which how I was raised, complete with a shrine to JFK in my parent's home, even though we were white-bread WASP's (that stands for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, for our foreign readers) to Independent to Green Party member who was a worker for Ralph Nader back in 2000. I even took a gander at the Libertarian Party when old Ross Perot was doing his pie charts way back when ~ or more accurately, his "PAH" charts as he pronounced through his Texas twang. (man, how I loved Ross doing his pah charts. What fun.)
I really don't quite know what to say about the whole thing, except this: Nebraskans are too polite to chuck us out on our ears, but let's just say that the Iraq war vets, college kids, Crunchy Cons and middle-aged long time Libertarians who have rallied to Dr. Paul's clarion call for Freedom, Peace and Sound Foreign Policy (meaning Jeffersonian no entangling alliances, commerce and friendship with all, free travel and trade with all) stood out like sore thumbs in the sea of well-fed, expensively suited, poofy-haired mainstream Repubs. To be fair, some of them were genuinely nice and seemed glad that new blood was arriving to help save the comatose elephant dying a self-inflicted death of a thousand cuts. One young lady and her husband, two twenty-somethings with a family, got Grandmama to watch the kids and both show up to be elected delegates to the State Convention. The young lady was worried about her tattoos showing. The young men who sport longer hair had, for the most part, pulled it into a tight, neat ponytail. Places on faces when silver studs and rings usually shine were bare for the occasion.
I was nicely attired in a white Indian tunic, red-white-and-blue prairie skirt, gold bangle bracelets and big gold hoops, subdued make-up (blush and a tiny bit of eyeliner)and my new sandals, very conservative flat ones. I might as well have been parading in a grass skirt and coconut shell brassiere, judging from the looks some of the shellacked-hair folks. I was asked if I was a Republican. I was asked if I was pro-life. I was condescended to and once rudely yelled at by males who looked old enough to be my father. Rudeness? I thought this was the hoi polloi.
Memo the the general public: most Ron Paul supporters are not whack jobs. They are an eclectic band of some of the sweetest people you ever met. I know RP supporters. RP supporters are honest, straight talkers who don't play politics as usual : they really want their Mr. Smith to go to Washington, via the big Casa Blanca. The few who are a bit strident do not raise an inner red flag often, for upon examination, they often have a very good reason for feeling strongly about it. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Over on the Democratic side, just listen to what Peggy Noonan has to say about Hillary:
But this I believe is the truth: America dodged a bullet. That was the other meaning of the culminating events of this week.
Mrs. Clinton would have been a disaster as president. Mr. Obama may prove a disaster, and John McCain may, but she would be. Mr. Obama may lie, and Mr. McCain may lie, but she would lie. And she would have brought the whole rattling caravan of Clintonism with her—the scandal-making that is compulsive, the drama that is unending, the sheer, daily madness that is her, and him.
We have been spared this. Those who did it deserve to be thanked. May I rise in a toast to the Democratic Party.
They had a great and roaring fight, a state-by-state struggle unprecedented in the history of presidential primaries. They created the truly national primary. They brought 36 million people to the polls, including the young, minorities and first-time voters. They brought a kind of dogged brio to the year.
All of this is impressive, but more than that, they threw off Clintonism. They threw off the idea that corruption is part of the game, an acceptable fact. They threw off the idea that dynasticism was an unstoppable dynamic in modern politics, that Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton could, would, go on forever. They said: "No, that is not the way we do it."
Be sure to read the whole thing, it's great.
People have gone on and on about Ms. Clinton's "grit" and "true grit" ad nauseum. Her campaign has tried to forge a mental link between Hillary and the heroine of the last great John Wayne western True Grit, Mattie Ross. But that spunky kid was on her own, and came asking Rooster Cogburn for help by herself, and never whined, and never cowered, and never, never never played the "girlie" card. (You know, the one I mean. Waaaaah, I'm so frail waaaah, the boys are picking on me). Mrs. C has played the girlie card often. So bah! Good riddance to her and her ilk.
Some day we shall have our first woman president. And she will be wise, honest, compassionate, brilliant and reasonable. And she will have risen to the top on her own, not on the coattails of any man.