Off My Feet
Don't forget to read Eli Gunn Jones's close examination of Kobe's komix habit.
Less vexed than yesterday. So much less. Maybe that's just because McCain's acceptance speech was so tepid, and so much of it obviously modeled after Obama's, that I probably didn't need the preemptive tranquilizers.
But as the curtain falls on this most demented of events, I've got a few over-arching thoughts—like, not just vitriol—worth trotting out. For one, this Republican mockery of Obama as a prophetic figure, capable of performing miracles, sent to change the world, destined to alter the course of history. . . how exactly does a party currently remaking itself in the image of one single man, and his supposedly singular AMERICAN STORY, get away with calling out Obama's cult of personality? It's not just the maverick shtick, or the P.O.W. flashbacks. The narrative's being drilled into us ad nauseum, and all of his missteps and brushes with death—not to mention dating of strippers and hanging out on the margins of the Cuban missile crisis—turn "hero" into a positively Obama-like mosaic, and nudge "service" closer and closer toward "destiny." Face it: The Republicans are dead, long live McCain. And when you put all your stock in one man, you have to elevate him, foibles and all, to something resembling the supernatural.
What's more, it's a tad improbable to hear the party of Ralph Reed take potshots at the lofty, expansive tone of the Obama campaign. The Republicans, from Reagan until about five minutes ago, were the party of religion and quasi-religious grandeur. Policy decisions were made based on prayer, and God's voice, and Revelations. Seriously people, come on. You talked about crusades, butchered "city on the hill," saw Christian civilization challenged, believed that everything happened for a divine reason. That's the kind of material that gets voters worked up, and it's sure as hell working on the progressive side of things with Obama's constant appeals to history, humanism, and, when Biden says it, "reckoning." That's the humanist version of prophecy and yeah, it does come out of the black church, the progressive tradition, and some warmed-over sixties-isms. It's human nature to be inspired by it in politics, and it's the basic mechanism of all organized religion. So why true believers, who can't go five steps without uttering the word "faith," would see Obama's use of it as empty and callow. The least they could do is be real about it and call him seductive—the Great Pretender, or the Antichrist.
P.S. Parts of that McCain speech were totally Mark Warner. The stuff Rachel described as "coming from the future where everything is great and there aren't any parties or elections."
UPDATE: Back in my mind once again.