Game Change : a review

I watched the HBO docu-fictionalization of Sarah Palin’s effect on the Presidential Campaign of John McCain over the weekend.

Probably Ms. Palin was not overly happy about it because she came off as a pouty, petulant, immature snit who refused to take charge of anything until she began to attack Barack Obama’s loyalty to this country, his status as a non-Christian.  She was effective.  The movie showed the reaction of the crowds to this line.

Palin and the radical right wing talk-show hosts whipped the radical right into a frenzy that ironically resulted in the TEA party. Ironic because the original Tea Party in Boston was created by the imposition of what was seen as an immoral tax on tea done so by the King without any representation from the colonies while the current TEA Partiers began after their elected representatives gave them a very large tax decrease. Never try to apply common sense to politics is the lesson here.

McCain is slamming it.  He has to. He says it is inaccurate.  He has to.

But his campaign strategist Steve Schmidt said the film is accurate, and told USA TODAY last week: “I regret playing a part in a process that yielded someone on the ticket who was not prepared to be president.”

To me the best parts of the movie, and the saddest is McCain.

Some of the things he said show he is the type of person who probably would have made a good President—and probably would have been—had he selected almost anyone but Palin for his running mate:

When talking to Palin about why she is not going to give a speech on election night: You’re one of the leaders of the party now Sarah. Don’t get co-opted by Limbaugh and the other extremists. They’ll destroy the party if you let them.

Then, after the mob that became—with the assistance of Fox News and the Koch brothers—the TEA Party found its life, McCain is booed by it when he says Obama is a decent person decent and a family man. This is after Palin was turned loose to Parrot the media, to stir up the hatred and fear and loathing about the current President that continues unabated to this days in about a third of the Republican Party

A woman in the “crowd” said to McCain, “I don’t trust Obama…He’s an Arab.” McCain stood shaking his head as she spoke, then quickly took the microphone from her. “No, ma’am,” he said. “He’s a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with.” 

While, I do not think he meant to, many have said that his response equated being Arabic with being bad. But in the heat of the moment, I can forgive that.  What he did do was to try to turn down the heat.

It didn’t work.  The pot boiled over in 2010 with the TEA Party co-opting the religious right, about whom Barry Goldwater said.” I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?”  and “And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism.'”

And then Senator Goldwater finished up with the religious right with this: Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.

Just remember Goldwater was the genesis of the current right-wing movement.

We need this type of Republican to give a sense of sanity to the Grand Old Party.  The party now would be anathema to Lincoln and is so conservative that it is doubtful that Reagan could even get enough votes to give Ford a passing doubt.

The movie did a very good job of showing what went wrong in 2008 and how those mistakes have continued and resulted in Santorum being taken seriously as a candidate. The rest of the world is in shock that someone like him can be considered a serious candidate for the most powerful position in the world. Maybe it is fear of this that has the world markets in disarray.

One thought on “Game Change : a review

  1. I’ve recently got into the inns and outs of American politics, and though I hate ‘outsiders’ who comment on things they are not fully aware of, I’ve found some of the prospective candidates terrifying, which wouldn’t matter if America didn’t have such a huge voice in the world.

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