Paul Ryan’s Musical References

While we wait for basketball season to start…

Led Zeppelin is the best reference that Paul Ryan can use to make him seem hip?  Hip to who?  Robert Plant was born a year after Mitt Romney!

I know he tried earlier to include Rage Against the Machine, only to be accused by Tom Morello as the “embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades.”  And he’s speaking to a Republican convention filled with people who know medicare well enough to have been on it for a while. But still…How about Kid Rock?  Or Three Doors Down?  (Both pro-Republican bands). Or a hip-ish country rock band?  Maybe Hootie?  Bono (since he was mentioned by Huckabee, and beloved by the old racist Jesse Helms)?

It’s cringe-worthy to watch the GOP try to play hip.  They need to do what they can do well, and that is to be one of two things.  The first is America’s dad, the guy who has no feelings, still loves the days when men were men (whatever that means, but at least ‘in the closet’) and when racial groups knew their place and didn’t complain about it. At the same time, when do we turn to our dad for re-assurance? When we want their unwavering confidence and prudish sensibility. I’m not saying that I necessarily turn to my dad for wanting to hear such words–and from the speeches of Chris Christie and Paul Ryan at the convention, it’s clear that not all Republicans do either (“I love women!”), but at least it’s within the universe of reason. The second possibility is the racist, drunken, crazy “sense-talking” populist. In the I-Pod, its from Andrew Jackson to Sarah Palin. That’s got its power attached to it, and the Republicans do it well.

But please, no attempts to be hip. Democrats from Kennedy to Clinton to Obama have got this down. Attack them for being immature and wanna-be hipsters, but don’t try and play their game.

UPDATE:  Ok, Clint Eastwood’s tough guy approach didn’t work either. But it is more defining of the Republicans these days–cranky disrespectful old guys trying to hold onto the 1950s by yelling at a portrayal of Obama that is entirely of their own imagination.

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