THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS
From the Reagan tribute film that was played at the GOP convention last night:
The media despised him. They said he was an "outsider." They called him a "California nutcase." And some dared breathe the word "maverick."
And from the Lincoln tribute film:
Attacked daily in the press, vilified by half the country, the Democrats called him "a third-rate lawyer, one who could not speak good grammar."
Now, please note that the Democratic convention had films about two of the most vilified people in American politics, Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, and neither one made reference to attacks by political enemies.
But being the victim of attacks, being hated, is central to the Republican Party's image of itself.
Note how the film tries to suggest that Reagan-as-victim was the precursor of McCain and, in that "outsider" reference (something I don't remember anyone ever saying about Reagan, by the way), possibly the precursor of Palin. And the Lincoln-as-victim bit seems to be about both McCain and Bush. I don't know the Republicans pulled off the trick of getting the public to accept the notion that they're both tough guys and victims, but they certainly see this as one of their strongest messages, and it's certainly worked for them quite often in the past.
By the way, that "grammar" sentence in the Lincoln film is itself grammatically bad -- "attacked" and "vilified" are dangling participles.