Thursday, October 30, 2008

More McCain Crapola

I guess I'm immune to the code words, because it took me until yesterday to realize what McCain/Palin actually mean when they say Obama is a socialist. They are speaking to white working class people (mostly men) who will interpret that as "Obama will give my money to teh blacks." Duh.

John Judis:

I mention the Bradley effect because I think, too, that McCain and Sarah Palin's attack against Obama for advocating "spreading the wealth" and for "socialism" and for pronouncing the civil rights revolution a "tragedy" because it didn't deal with the distribution of wealth is aimed ultimately at white working class undecided voters who would construe "spreading the wealth" as giving their money to blacks. It's the latest version of Reagan's "welfare queen" argument from 1980. It if it works, it won't be because most white Americans actually oppose a progressive income tax, but because they fear that Obama will inordinately favor blacks over them. I don't doubt that this argument will have some effect, but I suspect it's too late and that worries about McCain and Republican handling of the economy will overshadow these concerns.

Hopefully, its too little, too late, to too small an audience.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oh Noes!

Its all my fault.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Class Warfare

I laughed when Grampy McNasty started in on class warfare (code for "Obama is a socialist") because we've had class warfare for the last 30 years -- against the middle class!

As Kevin Drum puts it:
For three decades we've artificially kept middle class wage increases far below the growth rate of the economy, and this trend has been even more pronounced over the past eight years. This has created an enormous pool of extra money that's been — yes — strip mined and redirected to the rich, and fixing this is Barack Obama's biggest and longest-term challenge. If we restore the normal growth of middle class wages, it provides a sustainable consumer base for the entire economy; it reduces the demand for endless credit card debt; it brings down income inequality naturally; and it goes a long way toward keeping the financial sector under control and reining in Wall Street salaries without putting in place a bunch of artificial (and probably fruitless) regulations.

And Joe Klein is right (at least in this instance) when he writes:
We have had 30 years of class warfare, in which the wealthy strip-mined the middle class.

It is time for some fundamental re-structuring of the American economy.

Saint Ronnie Undone

I think we are on the verge of a huge split in the Republican party with Sarah Palin representing the pitchfork waving, faith based nuts and the George Wills of the world representing the upper crust, coastal, "intellectual" conservatives.

Saint Ronnie's unholy alliance of social and fiscal conservatives is falling apart.

It is nearly impossible to maintain over the long term pairing a populist movement (which almost always degenerates into the dumbed down madness we see at McCain-Palin rallies) with an educated elite who truly don't care about the social and economic concerns of the masses. The only thing they have in common is a belief that government is somehow bad -- which fades to complete obscurity when people need help as badly as they do now, given the economic crisis.

So Sad

Levi Stubbs died this morning. I'm heartbroken. I love Levi Stubbs and the Four Tops. I once had the good fortune of meeting Levi Stubbs and will cherish the memory. I read somewhere that his plaintive sound was created by having him sing in a higher range than was natural for his voice. However it was done, Stubbs and the Four Tops were a great, great Motown group. I'm verklempft.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Grampy McNasty

Jeez, McCain was awful. He didn't make a cogent point in the entire debate, but he sure was angry. His smirking and eye rolling was a major turn off.

His big line about not being George Bush was lame, lame, lame (not to mention majorly untrue). And I was actually laughing at his tirade against ACORN (that it is tearing at the fabric of democracy!). Apparently a focus group that some newspaper had watching the debate was also laughing at McCain throughout the debate.

Obama let him get away with a lot but as usual, I thought Obama handled it just right -- challenging the most stupid accusations, but not taking the bait on an easy target like Caribou Barbie.

The public reaction was clearly for Obama (something like 58% to 22%). Other than the pitchfork wavers, the public does not like angry McCain's red-meat attacks. He truly is like the old guy in a bathrobe coming out to get the paper and yelling at the kids to get off the lawn. His contempt for Obama (whose calm, reassuring demeanor is increasingly presidential) is disgusting.

The pundits tried to make it seem as if Grampy McNasty won but they have ulterior motives: first, they have a need to support their narrative that McCain is actually a good guy maverick (computer says no) and they have a need to support the illusion that the election is still in play in order to maintain viewership (computer says probably not).

19 days to go -- Nov. 5 can't come soon enough for me (yes, I mean the day after our long national nightmare will hopefully be over).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On the Verge of...

I hesitate to speculate, but should Obama win the presidency and the Democrats get control of Congress with a solid, solid majority -- and should Obama and the Democrats actually accomplish things like universal health care, jobs creation, energy independence, education funding reform, etc. that people want (and may not believe possible) -- could we be on the verge of what happened when FDR accomplished so much and we had 40 years of Democratic congressional dominance? In the words of Mars Blackmon, please baby please baby please baby please.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Your Liberal Media in Action

So Monday, Obama laid out his economic plan. The media, however, pretty much ignored it. (Its mostly about job creation, FYI.) The McCain camp had indicated Sunday that they were also going to unveil an economic plan on Monday, but did not. The media pretty much ignored that screw up. The McCain plan is supposed to come out today, and this is being hyped in the media like there's no tomorrow. It is nearly impossible for any Democrat to ever reach the public through this biased media. Unbelievable.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kootchie, Kootchie

The great Gary Shandling on Joe Biden's prep for his debate with Sarah Palin:

I think he watched tapes of how Johnny Carson used to deal with Charo.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Historical Turning Point


The question Chalmers Johnson poses in his latest piece is: Have the Bush years, most recently in the form of a global financial Katrina, created the conditions for a rare turning-point election in U.S. politics, as with Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Democratic Party in 1932 -- or will deep-seated racism and entrenched regional/party loyalties prove too much, even for this catastrophic moment?

With his usual acumen, Johnson, whose latest book, Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic, warned of the possibility of a profligate, militarized U.S. going bankrupt, then explores the nature of a turning-point election in recent American history. He speculates about the conditions under which "the 2008 election might set in motion a political reconfiguration -- and even a political renaissance -- in the United States, restoring a modicum of democracy to the country's political system, while ending our march toward imperialism, perpetual warfare, and bankruptcy that began with the Cold War."

Monday, October 06, 2008

This isn't your father's Democratic presidential campaign

To quote Markos:

The Obama campaign was ready with the Keating Five stuff, waiting for the moment the McCain campaign started flinging Ayers and Wright around.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Stupid is as Stupid Does

Why do Republicans celebrate idiocy? Most of their ideas and their candidates make no sense. Of course the media doesn't call them on it either (this may be because most of the media also celebrates idiocy). They should be embarrassed (and the intellectual conservatives are) about idiots like Sarah Palin, but instead they swoon. Bizarre. More on this from Joe Conason.

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Triumph for C+ Students Everywhere!

So Bible Spice made it through the debate without falling apart. But she didn't make any sense at all and even outright lied. She sounded a lot like an unprepared student trying to fluff her way through something. Biden was great -- he kept his attacks on McCain and not her. And the polls show it for Biden overwhelmingly.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The New Republican

Something I just posted on Hullabaloo:

The issue is not that she doesn't know anything about politics, although that is definitely true. The issue -- and the reason why she is the perfect representative of the new Republican -- is that she knows nothing about governing. Nor does she care.

The prototype of the new Republican is a person who just simply doesn't care about the particulars of governing. Don't like a law? Ignore it (Monica Goodling), subvert it (John Woo, Alberto Gonzales) or rewrite it without legislative review (George Bush's use of signing statements).

The Constitution? Just a piece of paper to these yahoos. (And the biggest problem with this approach is when these morons get on the Supreme Court -- oy.)

Newt Gingrich shuts down government because President Clinton made him sit at the back of th plane. No interest in how the three branches of government share power and work together. And certainly no interest in the best interests of the American people. Their only interest is in seizing power and doing whatever the hell they want.

Its reflective of a mentality that is uninformed, petty and lizard-brained. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is your modern-day Republican -- of which Sarah Palin is princess royale.

In a word, frightening

I've always thought John McCain was a nut, even when the press adored him. This is why:

"I didn't want this guy anywhere near a trigger."
Yesterday, John McCain came to my town and was interviewed by the Des Moines Register.

Let's just say the interview was not a great display of the McCain temperament being under control. From insisting he was not lying about a bill in which Obama supported education to minors in staying away from pedophiles as "sex education" to saying he has "always had 100% truth" in his public life. It's why the quote above purportedly from Republican Pete Domenici has relevance.

This short segment, first put up by a Kos diarist, is shocking. But the whole interview is like this and you can see it in its entirety at the Des Moines Register's site.

You might, in particular, check out the one on the failure on the "Economic Bill Failure" where about 36 seconds in he drops this Bushian line:

"If I were dictator, which I always aspire to be."

Ah yes, the Panamanian Strongman, John McCain.