We're Gonna Party Like It's 1985

Well, the first two debates are over, and while tomorrow’s coverage will focus on "how they did,"  the pattern I note emerging is just how much the McCain campaign, especially as sold by Gov. Sarah Palin, is trying to present Reagan-era ideas as relevant to a world that has moved on. 

For instance, that old Republican threat that a Democratic administration is going to raise taxes through the roof.  No one wants their taxes raised, clearly; and tonight Palin tried to connect the issue with the unfolding economic crisis.  But even so, her argument neither rang true nor as clearly connected to the economic issues that people are facing today. 


So, too, the argument that "We’re gonna reform Washington." Considering the array of issues to choose from, is anyone really worried about earmarks right now?  Or the size of government spending (on anything but Iraq and the bailout)?  Today? Now? 

It’s no accident that Palin ended the debate by quoting Ronald Reagan. Yet these throwbacks to supposed halcyon days do not fit the times. I suspect even the conservative base finds them out of touch.      

One wonders how it is the McCain campaign can’t see that.    

Jim McDermott, SJ


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9 years 5 months ago
I have a lingering suspicion that Fr. McDermott may not have been in favor of Ronald Reagan's policies back in 1985. Both vp candidates did a fine job. Sen. Biden came across as a nice guy who appears to know his stuff without being condescending (he certainly is not as cocky as I remember him running for President back in 1988) and Gov. Palin came across intelligent enough to explain difficult problems in a digestible way. Believe it or not, there is a significant population of people who like the way Sarah Palin talks, and they can relate to her. I think it is now up for us to decide who will be the next President. May the best man win.


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