For the entire campaign, the Republican Party has sounded something like this: Pay no attention to the concrete facts of the last 8 years because those things are all about to change. Using the same traditional organic GOP ingredients (truthiness, gut politics, restricting civil liberties, and ignoring a growing class of "have-nots") John McCain is gearing up to make something incredibly new and delicious.
"But wait," you say. "If John McCain is using the same ingredients, how will the product be any different?"
Well, foolish consumer, we're blending all the old solid stuff together so that you can't really see it anymore and it goes down easier. Solid to liquid. That's change that the phases of matter demand you believe in! Plus, you drink it! With a straw!
"But I still don't see--"
I'm sorry, no more questions at this time.
John McCain's change is a smoothie. If there is difference and change in his plans I'm having trouble deciphering. Sometimes I get a little piece of something crunchy, but I think it's most likely a raspberry seed. I can see the allure of a Smoothie Plan. Bush gave us two terms of Garbage Plates so we're all looking for a more sensible option. But don't blend up a Garbage Plate, offer me a free boost, and expect me to think I'm at Jamba. I'm not suddenly going to think that conservative policies are good for me because they're mixed with whey protein, or that limiting a woman's right to have a say over her own body, or pretending gay people don't exist somehow makes sense when served with a smile.
And while Jamba Juice recently discontinued the "Femme Boost" from the list of free boosts it offers because many smoothie enthusiasts didn't want vaginas (I'm not sure that's the actual reason, please don't sue me Jamba), John McCain, maverick that he is, thought to bring that femme boost into his campaign--proving the old adage, "Political Strategy is like a nine dollar smoothie."
Choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate was clever, I'll give him that. The Republicans were obviously thinking of the thousands, maybe millions of Hillary supporters who are still steamed about her loss and Obama's failure to put her on the ticket and McCain's team concluded that CLEARLY, women will vote for a woman just because she's a woman, regardless of her policies. I'm sure the brief sent to McCain about the Palin choice included a copy of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with a post-it attached that read: You see? They all stick together no matter what! It's genius!
Palin was the best choice for the McCain Campaign in that people are now actually talking about the McCain Campaign, but no one has gone so far as to mention what flavor she brings to the mix. She's new, and exciting, and made a joke about a dog wearing lipstick. That's good enough for Washington. I saw a picture of someone holding a sign at a rally that read, "Sarah, you had us at Hello." Are you serious? The person holding that sign better stay out of Wal-Mart because they're going to want to nominate every elderly person who greets them at the door. And are we really kicking it back to the Jerry Maguire references for this campaign? McCain's next speech will include a variation of the "Ask not what your country can do for you" line when he pleads, "Help me, help you! Help ME! Help YOU!" or maybe, "My friends, do you know that the human head weighs eight pounds?" And the crowd will start to cheer in unison, "8-pounds, U-S-A! 8-pounds, U-S-A!" as Palin slaughters a moose that has been brought out onstage.
In the last two weeks Palin has brought so much attention to the tired blend of old ideas that McCain has been trying to push that people have overlooked that John McCain is trying to sell us a tired blend of old ideas. My biggest fear is that we'll all realize too late that something tastes familiar.