Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Well, if I'm the one to do it, they'll run their quill pens through it

One thing that's struck me about watching so much CNN is that the pundits seem genuinely angry about the RNC giving primetime slots to popular centrist speakers with cross-party appeal; they mutter darkly about the GOP hiding its true (implicitly racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. ad infinitum) colours. My response: so? It's a big tent. There's room for a lot of differing opinions on the minor things, but most everyone agrees on the big issues: terrorism, security, and foreign policy. Why does it irritate the punditocracy so? I'd argue that it's at least more honest than the Democratic Convention, where all disagreements on the necessity of fighting terrorism (which an arguably large segment of the Democratic core is vehemently against) were quietly downplayed in favour of "Reporting For Duty." I don't recall those same talking heads suggesting they were making the same cynical move towards the centre that Republicans are being accused of. We're also reminded every five minutes that many of the speakers and delegates are more socially moderate than Bush or Cheney, which is similarly implied to be some sort of daring betrayal of a strictly controlled party base - to which I'd ask which party kept a tighter handle on its most unpalatably bizarre members' appearance to the general public. I don't seem to recall any ultra-liberal speakers on the DNC's main stage. The media at large also don't seem to understand the nature of the American political spectrum. Republicans occupy more of the centre and less of the extremist fringe on the right than Democrats do for the left - but, somehow, to point this out is considered somewhere between gauche, and outright cheating. What Liberal Media? Oh, right...

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