Friday, October 17, 2008

Presley, Palin and the Heartland

This is the single best article I've read that captures how the Republican Party has run amok.  Frankly, if I were a Republican (of the sensible variety), I'd HOPE for a huge Democratic landslide in 18 days, for two reasons: A) It might shock the party into needed reforms, like moving away from its extremist elements that have come to dominate; and B) If the Dems get absolute power, they'll for sure get totally corrupted by it. 
Here's Cohen on the Republican mayor of Branson, MO, and how she, not Palin ("an imposter"), represents what the Republican Party is really all about:
Presley reminded me of my ex-mother-in-law, another brisk, pragmatic, funny, no-nonsense Republican Midwesterner with little tolerance for debt, delinquency, dumbness or dereliction of duty. She also reminded me of a great American virtue: getting on with it.

And it dawned on me that Palin, with her vile near-accusations of treason against Barack Obama, her cloying doggone hymns to small-town U.S.A., her with-us-or-against-us refrain, is really an impostor.

She’s the representative of a kind of last-gasp Republicanism, of an exhausted party, whose proud fiscal conservatism and patriotism have given away to scurrilous fear-mongering and ideological confusion.

It’s a party in need of a break from power after the Bush years in order to re-learn what Presley represents: the can-do, down-to-earth, honest, industrious, spend-what-you-earn civility of the heartland. That civility has been usurped into Palin’s trash talk...

...A speech four years ago brought Obama to the national stage: “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America. There’s the United States of America.”

I found that spirit in Branson, the last place I expected. And it gave me hope, in these sobering days, for a nation aching to unite behind a new start and uplifting endeavor.

October 16, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist

Presley, Palin and the Heartland


I never imagined that a Republican mayor from Bible-belt Missouri would revive my faith in American democracy, but Raeanne Presley did just that.

As a high-energy brunette running a small town, she’s been ribbed since Sarah Palin became her party’s nominee for vice president. “Guess you’ll be moving on to governor soon,” she gets told. “And up from there.”

But Presley’s not interested. She’s Midwestern practical to Palin’s rabble-rousing frontierswoman. Common sense interests her more than aw-shucks nonsense. She prefers balanced budgets to unbalanced attacks.

Presley — no relation to Elvis — runs the capital of the American heartland. Branson, population 7,500, is to country-western, country-first, evangelical culture what Haight-Ashbury once was to the hippie movement: its mother lode.


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