You’re Not Helping: Dip…. Lefty Boomer Version

[Self-disclosure: I’m in a feisty mood this morning…]

In horse race stuff, the big news out today is this NyTimes piece on Obama and Ayers.  It’s another in a long line in this election for the Times of big talk/no substance.  Like the McCain hit job piece they ran about how he might have had an affair–but then they had no proof.  I guess this piece is to keep it “fair”.

It’ll be fodder for both sides to find what they want (Obama expresses support for a book on education reform written by a post-Weathermen Ayers) but you might want to keep this in mind:

A review of records of the schools project and interviews with a dozen people who know both men, suggest that Mr. Obama, 47, has played down his contacts with Mr. Ayers, 63. But the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called “somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.”

In fact exactly what a rational person would have figured out to be the case.  But it’s not about rationality at this point.  As Drew Westen points out in the Political Brain, party messaging is the number one predictor of electoral success.  And the #2 is a feeling of identification with the poliitcian him/herself.  Since the Republican brand is completely smashed this year (#1 out window) and the country by large majorities favors generic Democratic positions on a whole host of issues, then the only hope for McCain has always been to hit Obama at point #2.  Which is exactly what McCain is planning to do for the next month (it’s going to be ugly, brace yourself).  The Times–which is not liberal but opportunist–wants to get ahead of that curve with this piece.

i.e. It’s not rational because it’s emotional.  It’s an attempt to work on subconscious patterning and association (via guilt by association or if you like fairly weak connection).

In that light, the final quotation from resident lefty Boomer idiot (those last three words are probably redundant, i.e. synonymous) Tom Hayden (yes that Tom Hayden) does not help.

Here’s Hayden:

“If Barack Obama says he’s willing to talk to foreign leaders without preconditions,” Mr. Hayden said, “I can imagine he’d be willing to talk to Bill Ayers about schools. But I think that’s about as far as their relationship goes.”

To which I respond:  You’re Not Helping Dips–t.  You have just managed to play exactly into the associative dark murky pool that the Republicans want.  Ayers, Ahmadinejad, Ayermindejad?  And SCHOOLS. How Nucking Futs do you have to be to associate terrorism with children?  Remember a certain 3 Am Ad moron?

In other words, Hayden’s logic is something like: “hey he’s already going to meet with some foreigner terrorists [so goes the Republican line], why shouldn’t he meet with some domestic ones?”

Like the Psalmist, I say, one day….one day we will be rid of these self-defeating, self-obsessed pseudo-intellectual lefty Boomer lightweights (I’m being nice here) like Hayden.  Does this jagoff not have a single F’in Clue about how to win an election?  Has he not watched say I don’t know the last 40 years of elections.

If and when yours truly becomes Dictator of the World, individuals like Hayden will not fare well.

John Cole needs to come up with an award/takedown based on this and dole one out quickly.  Warning graphic statue imagery via this link to John’s site.  The award I have in mind would be for the left wing inverse version of the award linked to.

Published in: on October 4, 2008 at 11:23 am  Comments (1)  
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Bill and Barack

h/t Balloon-juice (nice new site design).

In this video, Bill campaigns for Obama.  As usual, Bill shows that no one is able to explain complicated events in a simple, clear manner as Clinton.  I’ve never seen a politician do that as well as Bill.  [Obama is light years away from having that skill].

The reason I posted this was to comment on the “What Does This Say About How Bill feels Obama” front.  Also some of my favorite commenters and I (e.g. davidmarshall and joeperez), with whom I agree on most things, have had a friendly debate on this point.  They think I’ve been a little too hard on the Clintons.  So I’d like to defend some of my thinking on this point for a sec.

On the one hand I would say are those who think a speech like this disqualifies any of the opinion that the Clintons, but Bill particularly, are not full on board with Obama.  On the other side are Andrew Sullivan rantings about how the Clintons will do anything than can (still in the face of this evidence) to blow up Obama.

Since I’ve set it up that way, you can tell I’m going to argue for a mediate position. As an obvious caveat, but worth saying, there is no way to know the inner mind of someone, so this is a hypothetical guess based on his public statements in the political arena.  So that is all it should be taken for.

Regardless, here’s my argument. Listen to Bill.  He says the reasons you should vote for Obama are:  1)he’s got a better political philosophy  2)he’s got better policy proposals (esp. on economy) 3)he has better advisors.

What you don’t hear in that is that he has the mettle.  He knows your pain (a la Bill ’92).  He’s one of you, will fight for you, that he has the experience to master the Executive-Legislative interplay (his argument for Hillary).

Here is what I wrote about Hillary’s convention speech back in August:

Per Crowley’s comment that Clinton did not specifically point to any aspects of Obama’s character/readiness for the office, I think the reason for that is simple: she doesn’t believe he is ready. Never has, never will I assume.  She believes in the Democratic Party and its ideals as she said last night and she is voting for Obama based his adherence to those same values (not his personal attributes) and given what occurred in the primaries, that is all (and more) that could have reasonably been asked for from her.

Same with the speech from Bill.  I think the reasons Bill cited are legitimate ones to vote for someone for President.  Moreover, as I said with Hillary and also think with Bill, it’s good for them to make this case for Obama.  Because It both is A)a strong case and B)sincerely how I think they feel.

It’s telling truth without as it were telling all the truths.  In other words, I’m glad he didn’t try to make an argument beyond those points because it would have come across as lying, which would do more harm than good.  [And then would definitely fairly or unfairly leave Bill open to sabotage charges].  Less on this one, is definitely much more.

One of those other truths being…I think it is fair to say that given McCain is from the same boomer political generation, comes from the same Washington circles, the Clintons know him personally (and like him), they do feel more comfortable on that kind of level with McCain than Obama.

So on the level of policy/governance they are not secretly for McCain (contra Sullivanian conspiracy thinking).  But on this other harder to define, more subjective level, they are more comfortable I think with McCain.  Which doesn’t mean they are awful human beings or bad Democrats.  I think that is letting their personal friendship override their political judgment on occasion but that’s not a big deal really (if that’s the case).  And even if it is, given how Barack has basically taken away Hillary’s chance of being president, had to run against (in part) the Clinton years, and took over the entire appartus of the Democratic Party from them in a couple of months, I can appreciate how they might have some sore feelings.

It’s just that sometimes those two sides, in certain situations, seep out in public/come into conflict and someone calls Bill out on it.  Like say Chris Rock here.  That’s all.  It probably goads President Clinton to be a better surrogate when he the chance, so it’s all to the good in my estimation.

Published in: on October 2, 2008 at 12:03 pm  Comments (1)  
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Callin’ Colin

Ta-Nehisi Coates has this to say about Michael Crowley’s assertion that Colin Powell could help swing the election to Obama:

I tend to think that Powell’s gravitas isn’t what it was in the 90s. An endorsement would certainly help the recipient, but I wonder how much it would tip the polls. Maybe Barack has this was stashed away somewhere. One can hope.

On the first point of the gravitas, correct.  On hoping that he still does it/Obama has him stashed away for an endorsement, I also agree.

And I don’t think it would per se tip the polls as in people would all of sudden vote for Obama because Colin Powell gave him Barack the Powell mark of approval.

What it could do I think is something akin to what happened in the Dem Primary when Bill Richardson endorsed Obama.  I don’t think a whole mess of people suddenly backed Obama because Gov. Richardson said so, but it stopped the bleeding in the media.  It gave a moment of hope and energy to the campaign that was at that point near its nadir.  [Until now that is I suppose].  A Powell endorsement (or a Hagel endorsement or a joint endorsement even better) would all of a sudden have the media back on Obama and have the McCain camp crying they are never paid attention to and only further their descent into juvenalia.

Obama’s sweet spot is when he has some wind at his back and is also running as the insurgent.  When the wind is against/chips are down, his campaign can teeter and see defensive.  When he’s too far out ahead it can get lackadaisical.  Right now it’s more the momentum against him.

He needs a shot in the arm, and during his primary he always managed to have these roll outs of endorsements–esp. Richardson and then later Edwards–to staunch the wounds received.  So in that sense, I think Crowley might actually be right.

Published in: on September 10, 2008 at 1:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Lipstick Wearing Pigs and Paper-bagged Fishies (aka English Comprehension 101)

This is beyond self-parody. There is no word for this.

So Obama said that McCain trying to wrap himself in the mantle of change was like putting lipstick on a pig. A phrase anybody with an English-comprehending brain knows means you are trying to dress something up as new/more appealing when in actuality you haven’t change the essence of the thing (it’s still a pig, with or without lipstick). Pig obviously bearing the connotation of dirty, muddy, filthy, etc.

So the McCain camp said that (I kid not) Obama was being sexist and calling Gov. Palin a pig. [Normally men are called pigs in sexist language–memo the McCain camp. I don’t think Obama was saying McCain is a cross-dresser?!!].

Except that Obama then said right after the big comment the following:

“You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called ‘change,'” Obama continued, “it’s still gonna stink after eight years. We’ve had enough of the same old thing! It’s time to bring about real change to Washington. And that’s the choice you’ve got in this election.”

Obviously the rotten fish in the bag amplifies the lipsticked pig. Both are trying to cover what are negative things (pigs as dirty, fish as rotten/smelly). Those analogies, according to Obama, refer to John McCain being a creature of the Republican Party and trying to give the appearance of change/reform, when in Obama’s mind, nothing essentially is different (still pig, still rotten fish).

Jake Tapper points out that McCain himself used the lipstick on a pig line before criticizing Hillary’s health care plan and no one (rightly) accused him of sexism to Clinton. Because of course there is none. [Tapper also shows another time Obama used the lipstick/pig line in reference to President Bush…how sexist was that statement?]

But that level of basic non-stupidity (not even anywhere near intelligence just not being a blinkered dumbass) is apparently beyond the juvenile morons who run the McCain camp (either that or they are absolutely craven bastards–I’ll let the reader decide which is more likely and which is more offensive) and then this.

Former Mass Gov. Jane Swift er, swiftboated (??) (sex-boated?) Obama in a conference call. Then some non-moron quoted her the line about the fish, which evoked this response (which is FOR THE AGES):

It was pointed out to Swift that, after the line about the pig, Obama had said, “You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called ‘change,’ it’s still gonna stink after eight years.”

Swift then suggested that Obama was calling McCain a fish.

Are you kidding me? WTTF? (The Extra T stands for Triple).

So looking at urbandictionary.com, calling someone a fish means they are either:

A)A Canadian or American online poker player
B)A new guy in jail or a new student at school (i.e. fresh bait)

We know McCain loves craps, so perhaps Obama was referencing his gambling vice? I mean he talked about lipstick and Sarah Palin wears lipstick so he must have been calling her a pig right (so argued, I s–t you not Fmr. Gov. Swift). Except since McCain doesn’t send out his emails and is still learning The Google, I’m assuming that online poker is beyond him.

I guess that leaves Obama calling McCain a new inmate in jail? That must be a new low and is a very under handed and unethical way of referring to John McCain’s POW past, right? I mean the only jail McCain was ever in was in Hanoi. How dare Obama–he must apologize at once!!!

To quote girl on the street:  Oh no you didn’t Barack Obama, no you didn’t.

Actually, wait a minute, no you actually didn’t.

Published in: on September 9, 2008 at 10:11 pm  Comments (7)  
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Pakistani Goings On

News out today of another missile attack from a drone into Pakistani (Frontier Provinces). As always sadly civilians were killed. This comes on the heels of an actual ground force into Pakistan. The Asian Times is reporting that the new president of Pakistan, elected this weekend, Ali Zardari (widower of Benazir Bhutto) is on board with the US/NATO attacks in Pakistan, however much for public consumption he has to decry the intrusion on Pakistani sovereignty. The Atimes article also argues that Zardari has the Intelligence Services in Pakistan under control. Or rather that with the size of his victory, the Army (and ISI) won’t challenge such a putsch. That’s a shocking claim given the recent history, and I’m not sure I’d by that one without more evidence.

But it certainly represents the achievement of the US plan to back Bhutto and basically install her in Pakistan after it was clear that our SOB in Pakistan, Musharraf, was in an untenable position (well Cheney apparently held out on Musharraf to the bitter end).

The Obama Presidency re: Afghanistan and Pakistan is now under way, in a less intense version than he has called for–particularly in terms of nuumbers of troops into Afghanistan. And as Bob Woodward’s new book makes clear, David Petraeus was made CentCom Commander in an attempt to preempt Obama (or any Democratic President) from drawing down more quickly on Iraq. I can see a coming clash between a President Obama and CentCom Petraeus. And right smack dab between those two fronts is of course Iran. What an absolute disaster.

But whatever else may be going on with Pakistan, they fight in the Long War a war of existential survival whereas the US fights a war of discipline.  Obviously the stakes are high given Afghanistan, Kashmir, and the history of militancy arising from Pakistan.  Olivier Roy points out that so much trans-national militancy has arisen from Pakistan because it was never really a full state rather a piece together amalgamation and a notion of an “Islamic state”. A failure in this policy (and hell even a “success” however that is defined) could lead to a renewed jihadi movement emanating from Pakistan (and Afghanistan).  And we know the last time that happened, how that story ended.

Obama-Palin And Generational Shifts

One thing that is interesting to watch in this election (AP–After Palin) is the confluence in both parties of the old guard giving way to the new guard (either in the McCain camp of blessing a possible heir apparent or with Biden giving up his own Prez dreams to be Obama’s wingman).

Neither are Boomers though both have been used to try to re-ignite Boomer culture wars (e.g. Obama’s Ayers [non]connection, Palin with abortion) and are not tempermentally Boomerish.  Both have to pay their respects to the old guard–Obama with the Civil Rights pioneers (e.g. John Lewis) and Palin with McCain but both clearly think their days are passed.  Palin recall wasn’t a vocal McCain supporter in the primaries.  And Obama talks about the Joshua Generation taking over from the Moses crew (MLK, Lewis, etc.).

In religious terms we also see the coming of what Olivier Roy calls globalized religion.  Religion that is no longer passed through traditional cultural affiliation–dependent upon and almost entirely predicted by one’s place of birth, ethnicity, and that’s ethnicity’s traditional religious connection.  Roy calls this process “deculturation and “de-territorialization”.

Obama has elements of it left with his classic Black American Christian background as well as his Niebuhrian 50s/60s liberal theology, but he is an adult convert.  Palin was baptized Roman Catholic but really grew up as an Assembly of God Pentecostal (classic denomination of this description) and now is in an independent (so-called non-denominational) church in Alaska.

Diana Butler Bass describes this as the shift from a culture of introversion to extroversion.  From traditional religious affiliation to personal conversion/commitment, from top-down authority to personalist and communal forms of legitimation.  Or in Roy’s terms, from religion to religiosity. If you want a term for this shift, you might call it American postmodernism.

The shift according to Bass is primed, such that the future oriented/extraverted individual who speaks the language of authenticity would inevitably triumph over the alternative.  Think Obama’s speech and the stagecraft and the brilliance of that versus introverted, uncomfortable McCain in front of a green screen.  So the election was–minus some black swan–Obama’s.  McCain in choosing Palin has injected his side with this same cultural shift.

But a conservative version thereof versus Obama’s liberal.  This has shaken up the race quite fundamentally and could neutralize Obama’s inherent advantage.  Might not however.  But if McCain had clearly picked someone of the older guard mentality trying to act like a guy from the newer cultural shift (i.e. MITT ROMNEY) then McCain would have been headed for a substantial even possibly landslide electoral defeat.

Now I”m not so sure. But in an era of 6 hours news cycles, how long will Palin be the focus?

Nixonland Comes Haunting

Since tonight’s Republican convention looked straight outta Perlstein’s book, I found this quotation from Nixon’s ’68 Convention Address quite timely: (substitute Eisenhower for Clinton and you might have something)

Look at our problems abroad. Do you realize that we face the stark truth that we are worse off in every area of the world tonight than we were when President Eisenhower left office eight years ago. That’s the record. And there is only one answer to such a record of failure and that is a complete housecleaning of those responsible for the failures of that record. The answer is a complete re-appraisal of America’s policies in every section of the world.

Then again Nixon was an appeaser–hell even he quoted Barack Obama:

Because this will be a period of negotiation, we shall restore the strength of America so that we shall always negotiate from strength and never from weakness.

In other words, Obama looks like the pragmatist proclaiming he will bring an honorable end to a misguided foolish idealistic gung-ho war. The Republicans of the Bushite years looks as reckless as LBJ. We may be headed to (and need) a new era of detente.

(Sam) Cooke-ing

Now that Sam Cooke (via a James Taylor-esque interpretation) has entered the Prez Race, I thought it would be good to hear the man himself.

Video 1:  Sam in the early days with the Gospel Group The Stirrers:

Video 2:  Sam with Lou Rawls singing one my favorites–Bring it On Home to Me (maybe an Obama send out to yet as unconverted Clintonites?–“I know I laughed when you left, but now I know I only hurt myself”):

Published in: on August 25, 2008 at 9:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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GUT on Campaign

Another superb diavlog between Glenn Loury and John McWhorter. I’ve also posted the diavlog to my vodpod account as WordPress isn’t letting us embed Bloggingheads just yet (note to the crack staff at WordPress)–you’ll find it at the bottom of the right hand column.

They discuss as they often do, Obama. Loury makes some interesting points relative to Obama’s possible race card deployment. The overall tenor involves the recent inability of the Obama Camp to respond to McCain attacks (which is hurting him in the polls).

But I think there is another possible rationale for Camp Obama’s discussion of race (for the moment I want to leave it open whether they are playing the so-called card, hence the more neutral language).

Much much more after the jump…. (more…)

The One

I was all set to vote for Barack Obama until I watched this unbelievably intelligent, captivating, and totally 100% factually accurate ad for John McCain where I was told I shouldn’t vote for Obama because he has declared himself the messiah. FOR THE RECORD: THIS IS SNARK….

[The ad which is so pathetic I will not post it only link to it is here].

I mean Obama did say the following right???:

“This is the moment . . . that the world is waiting for,” adding: “I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.”

That’s totally messianic. [It might be worth pointing out at this point that in Judaism proclaiming oneself the messiah actually isn’t a big deal!!!. But I digress.]

I mean he did say that right? A bunch of (quote unquote) serious journalists on Cable TV talked about it all day, so he said it. I mean for God’s sake it was in the WashingtonPost so it must be true right?

Except of course that he actually didn’t say that–even if he were that full of himself he’s clearly smart enough TO NOT SAY SOMETHING THAT MAKES IT SO BLINDINGLY CLEAR HE’S THAT INSANELY ARROGANT.

Here’s what Obama actually said (my emphasis):

It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign, that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It’s about America. I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.

Holy Cognitive Dissonance Batman. This is like the complete opposite of what the other quote has him saying. But now I’m confused because Pat Buchanan and Joe Scarborough told me Obama is arrogant.

So he sees these big crowds as actually about people wanting to love America and he just happens to be the one the focus is on. Wow. Utterly messianic, no other takeaway possible from that one. He even made the same basic comment on the domestic front that he was just the backdrop/excuse to big black dudes, old white ladies, and Latinos arm in arm at a political rally. And he thought that kinda coming together was kinda cool. He clearly is setting himself in opposition to the Lord Jesus Christ. M–tha f–ka I know my Book of Revelation, so don’t question.

Now of course somebody might argue that America has not gone anywhere or left its best traditions. Obama’s is clearly a liberal (not totally in the tank/nutjob for Bush) read on the Bush years but (WOWY ZOWY) the guy is a liberal. But that would be an actual intelligent good faith criticism (or at least could be). This trash however is obviously not.

But wait ok so maybe that first quotation in the ad MIGHT BE A COMPLETE LIE, there’s still the latter piece of evidence in this wonderful waste of my time.

As the ad irrefutably shows, (they’ve got him on video!!!!), telling a guy that light will shine on him, he will have an epiphany and that will lead him to vote for Barack Obama. Because….Obama is the messiah, that much is clear. All fits, I’m sold.

Except of course Obama’s mocking himself as is clear by watching the video these morons put in their own ad. This s–t is truly Derridian in its amazing self-deconstruction.

But of course the creators of the ad know all this–they just don’t care. Why should they, the media isn’t going to call them on it. They think Americans are dumb and will fall for it. I assume they are (at least partially) right. But if they are such nihilists then don’t give me this crap about how they are fighting for the real American (who they are busy calling complete imbeciles simultaneously).

Published in: on August 1, 2008 at 2:41 pm  Comments (2)  
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