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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Last Refuge

Mark Twain said many years ago, that the last refuge of scoundrels is patriotism. As I watched the republican convention last night I knew Twain was laughing in attendence. The parade of a desperate old party was for all to see as the only thing the republicans could do was march old veterans across the stage and have a has-been actor retell the John McCain story of incarceration complete with Hollywood details. Country, Country, Country the converted screamed. It is all they have left isn't it? When in doubt call in the last refuge, call in patriotism and talk about dead heroes and pray for a good war for a good country to win. That's really all th republicans can offer anymore, warmed over nationalism and fear.
It worked before after all. Mightily. They are coming. The hordes are coming. It worked well in the last wars, the Huns, the Japs, Al Qaida. They are coming and if you are not with us then you are against us. Look at our stage. It is one gigantic flag. It is an ocean. It is John McCain as a young man returning from Vietnam. It is Regan. It is all the good things that make us Americans and decent and God Fearing and loyal and patriotic. Not like that angry left that wouldn't know a Congressional Medal of Honor if it hit them between the eyes. You know why? They don't have any! All the good soldiers are republicans because we are the party of this country and you are the party of gays and blacks and drug dealsers and the welfare queens and George Bush didn't stumble all his words at YOUR convention. He and Laura bulldozed their way through their teleprompters for us! Because we are the true Americans! And believe me, when the %$#@ hits the fan, then you'll be glad we are on that line.
Well, you get the point. The truth is the republicans have become dinosaurian. It looked like a Leave It To Beaver jamboree. Tight lipped conservative women in Nancy Regan dresses and marine cut young republicans and fat bloated old republicans. White White White! We are the last white party! This is our moniker. This is the last stop on the good train nostalgia and if you don't catch this one then you will probably end up with a black President and God knows what else. I mean, we have a woman on the ticket. We are progresssive. So she has five kids and a pregnant teen daughter. She wants creationism taught in our schools and she is a knockout! She looks progressive and hip and sassy. And don't they make a fine look couple?
But in the end it was pathetic. The man who was near the microphone who kept yelling, YEAAAAAH, every time Fred Thompson dished up one of his corny metaphors, lampooning the left and asserting that people who can field dress a moose deserve to be in the White House. He was embarrassing. An actor who doesn't know he is not on Law and Order anymore. But it didn't matter. Everytime someone uttered country, the crowd broke into a fraternity chant, USA USA USA. It is the only thing this tired old party has left; stir up the stale gruel of nationalism and head for the last refuge of all scoundrels who know their days are numbered.

Books by William Hazelgrove