The Republicans have not changed. They are still rifling the moldering locker of Nixonian campaign tactics, which itself picked George Wallace's campaign pockets. A Wallace campaign aide described it as "Promise them the moon and holler "n-word."-
The New York Times noted the overwhelming whiteness of the Republican convention:
According to polls of delegates conducted by The New York Times and CBS News, 93 percent of the Republican delegates are white (compared with 85 percent in 2004 and 89 percent in 2000), while 5 percent are Hispanic and 2 percent are black. The Democratic delegate pool in Denver, according to the survey, was 65 percent white, 23 percent black and 11 percent Hispanic, roughly the same as at other recent Democratic conventions.
The poll also found that men accounted for 68 percent of Republican delegates (compared with 57 percent in 2004) and about half the Democratic delegates.
Ditto The Washington Post:
The look in the convention hall is similar to that of a typical McCain event. This summer, for instance, 67 people showed up for one of his town hall meetings in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. One of them was black.
Sarah Palin hails from Alaska, and her Republican biography paints her as the daughter of some halcyon, trailer-trashy, all-white American yesterday, where rough, shotgun-toting babes dropped a young'un at 16, bit the cord with their teeth and shot and skinned a moose the same night. It's a rural, 19th century American vision of "rugged individualism"- in a 21st century urban nation within a global economy.
It harkens back to a time when you didn't have to rely on anyone else for anything. No government handouts (despite the fact that Alaska subsists on them). No Social Security. No one telling you whom you couldn't fail to hire or what you couldn't call them at work. It's a vulgarized vision of the Reagan's America. But instead of the Hollywood high gloss, this time's it's covered in dried moose blood. Palin is Reagan's unshielded political Id. Instead of teenaged unwed motherhood being a source of shame, it's now a point of pride--for white girls, that is.
Yes, the Republican vision remains an indelibly white one. Reagan's appeal invoked a pre-civil/women's rights America as a state of perfection to which we should return. His gift was his ability to package that vision of the past as a roadmap to the future. By allowing the sons o' Karl Rove to tap right wing ideologue Palin as his VP, McCain has now fully assembled the un-American (read: non-white) shredder through which he hopes to shove Barack Obama. He's painting an iconographic vision of a long dead past, packaging it as change for tomorrow, and hoping that working class whites will fall for it. But more than that, it symbolizes bold opposition to the alternative.
"-Look at that dark vision,' he says. "-Look at them with their Ivy League degrees and their perfect little girls, looking down on you with your high school diploma, and your kids with little hope of better. [According to Slate's Hanna Rosin, Sarah Palin's baby-daddy called himself a "f*cking redneck"- on his MySpace page before it was taken down.] What is this Obama future they represent? Where do you rednecks fit into it? Now, look at me. I hail from the day before their kind, when folks like you had a fighting chance, and my running mate, you know what she'd do with her gun if their kind came around.
McCain will do nothing to give their kind that fighting chance. He just hopes to signify a day when they still had one, and prays that they're too dumb to realize that it's his ilk who stole it from them.