America today looks less and less like the one extolled by GOP mythmakers.
Um, very, um. ... Yeah.
Palin later backed away from these remarks, but the McCain-Palin campaign's staff and surrogates--and even the guy at the top of the ticket--keep hammering the same message: Some parts of America--and some Americans--are just more authentic and "pro-America" than others.
On Saturday, for instance, McCain advisor Nancy Pfotenhauer suggested that although northern Virginia may have "gone more Democratic," "real Virginia" (the "part of the state that's more Southern in nature") will be "very responsive" to McCain. Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) joined the chorus, telling the crowd at a McCain rally, "Liberals hate real Americans that work, and accomplish, and achieve, and believe in God."
Hayes, like Palin, later forswore his remarks, but on Tuesday in western Pennsylvania--one of the few parts of the state where Barack Obama doesn't hold a clear lead--McCain worked the same theme: Western Pennsylvania "is the most God-loving, most patriotic part of America."
The GOP code isn't hard to crack: There's the America that might vote for Obama (a suspect America populated by people with liberal notions, big-city ways and, no doubt, dark skin), and then there's the "real" America, where people live in small towns, believe in God and country, and are ... well ... white.
We're now seeing the same pathology at work in the McCain-Palin campaign. McCain and Palin look at America and see what they wish was there, rather than what's actually there: an America in which they'll be greeted as liberators and rightful heirs to the mantle of leadership. America, after all, has been led by white Anglo-Saxons for the last two-plus centuries and, for the last 40 years, mostly by Republicans. For that to change is almost unthinkable. And so Team McCain just edits out the inconvenient America that doesn't seem likely to vote GOP. That America's not real. It just can't be.
I'm not entirely without sympathy. Behind the anger and the us-versus-them rhetoric we've seen at recent McCain-Palin rallies, there's a palpable sense of dislocation and anxiety: the anxiety of those who feel that things are slipping away from them, that the world is changing too quickly and too uncomfortably. Change has come fast--and change hurts.
Really, McCain. If you're such a brave war hero, go to a black church or an Indian powwow somewhere. Tell the people that they're not as God-loving or as patriotic as the people in western Pennsylvania or rural Virginia. Tell them that because they're liberal, they hate "real Americans." Tell them they live in the anti-America part of the country with the people we're supposed to loathe: terrorists, communists, socialists, intellectuals, elitists, artists, agnostics, atheists, secularists, multiculturalists, and of course Jews, blacks, and homosexuals.
No wonder you're losing so badly, you stupid old man. Your campaign is based on hypocrisy and hate and everyone realizes it except you and your diehard supporters. I hope you go down in history as the most shameful Republican since, well, George W. Bush.
For more on the subject, see The 2008 Presidential Campaign.