Can The Dems Throw A Hissy Fit
I thought Gov. Palin delivered a strong speech that is bound to excite people already inclined to vote for Republicans (and I think the speech was designed more for 2012, anyway), but one line may have overreached.
“Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown,” Ms. Palin told the delegates in a speech that sought to eviscerate Mr. Obama, as delegates waved signs that said “I love hockey moms.” “And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”
Let's see if the media will react to a Democratic hissy fit. Because there's ample opportunity. Roland Martin laid this out immediately. Community organizers, which were part of George H.W. Bush's thousand points of light, provide comfort, help save jobs, create opportunity. In a nation ripped asunder by right-wing policies, they are often the last line of defense. Leaders of this nation like Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, Susan B. Anthony, even Thomas Paine and Sam Adams, were community organizers. As this fellow writes today, Jesus was a community organizer and Pilate was a governor.
In the largely white confines of the Republican National Convention, the phrase is a slur, like "ghetto hustler," but lots and lots of people today derive great benefit from community groups, including church groups, and the help they provide ordinary people. Most Americans live in metropolitan areas and actually have experienced the value of community organizing in their lives. Think bake sale.
The Obama campaign is going to try and ramp this up, they've already done so in an email to supporters:
I wasn't planning on sending you something tonight. But if you saw what I saw from the Republican convention, you know that it demands a response.
I saw John McCain's attack squad of negative, cynical politicians. They lied about Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and they attacked you for being a part of this campaign.
But worst of all -- and this deserves to be noted -- they insulted the very idea that ordinary people have a role to play in our political process.
You know that despite what John McCain and his attack squad say, everyday people have the power to build something extraordinary when we come together. Make a donation of $5 or more right now to remind them.
Both Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin specifically mocked Barack's experience as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago more than two decades ago, where he worked with people who had lost jobs and been left behind when the local steel plants closed.
Let's clarify something for them right now.
Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies.
And it's no surprise that, after eight years of George Bush, millions of people have found that by coming together in their local communities they can change the course of history. That promise is what our campaign has been about from the beginning.
Throughout our history, ordinary people have made good on America's promise by organizing for change from the bottom up. Community organizing is the foundation of the civil rights movement, the women's suffrage movement, labor rights, and the 40-hour workweek. And it's happening today in church basements and community centers and living rooms across America.
Meanwhile, we still haven't gotten a single idea during the entire Republican convention about the economy and how to lift a middle class so harmed by the Bush-McCain policies.
It's now clear that John McCain's campaign has decided that desperate lies and personal attacks -- on Barack Obama and on you -- are the only way they can earn a third term for the Bush policies that McCain has supported more than 90 percent of the time.
But you can send a crystal clear message.
Enough is enough. Make your voice heard loud and clear by making a $5 donation right now:
Thank you for joining more than 2 million ordinary Americans who refuse to be silenced.
They can go ahead and hate the people who try to make a difference in their communities. They can keep turning up their nose at regular people. Winning this election will be about making sure those people know who's on their side.
The question, of course, is whether or not this indignation can be sustained and loud enough. There are a lot of factors working against this, like the no liberals on the teevee rule.
But a speech designed for the backlash, for the Orthogonians, can be turned right around if there's a sufficient amount of political will. And by the way, the reaction among the country wasn't universally positive, so there's an opening here.