Joe DeVito, via Tim Blair.
That's an actual poll at the Philadelphia Inquirer, attached to some story about how wonderful Obama is. (Just in case we'd all forgotten.) Please click on that image and vote for Bobby Kennedy, just to be silly geese. It's an embarrassing mistake, but in the Inquirer's defense, RFK died before most of the paper's remaining staff members' parents were born.
The real answer, of course, is None of the Above. It's starting to look like the former president who Obama resembles most is either Bill Clinton or... George W. Bush! No wonder our netroots friends are seething. But then, that's their natural state.
Update: And now that people have noticed, the Inquirer has flushed ol' Bobby down the memory hole. Keep earning your paychecks, media pros.
...he would have been yammering on about how the Pilgrims invented turkey after they landed their speedboats at Fraggle Rock back in 1776.
The United States of America , your quality supplier of ideals of liberty and democracy, would like to apologize for its 2001-2008 service outage.
The technical fault that led to this eight-year service interruption has been located, and the software responsible was replaced Tuesday night, November 4. Early tests of the newly-installed program indicate that we are now operating correctly, and we expect it to be fully functional by mid-January.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage, and we look forward to resuming full service ó and hopefully even to improve it in years to come.
Thank you for your patience and understanding,
That's right, Bush took away your liberty and Obama is going to give it back. Just don't ask any questions.
It's good. I'd forgotten.
Hello, reductive straw man I've slapped together for my own nefarious ends.
Greetings, wingnut hillbilly dimwit.
Indeed. Now that we've dispensed with the formalities, please watch this clip from a speech President-Elect Barack H. Obama gave last July and tell me what you think it means:
Whoa. What's the deal?
That? Oh, he's just talking about expanding the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps and programs like that. Factcheck.org said so.
Yeah? That's weird, because those aren't security forces. He specifically said "civilian national security force." Factcheck waves that phrase away as if he didn't actually say it, but he clearly did. It sounds pretty ominous even if you put it in context. Heck, especially if you put it in context. A "civilian national security force" that's as powerful as the U.S. military doesn't sound much like the Peace Corps to me.
Well. But he didn't really mean it.
He said it in a campaign speech.
Politicians say all kinds of things they don't mean. Duh!
Okay. Then who was he trying to impress?
He said it in a campaign speech. He was trying to get people to vote for him. Who was he trying to impress with that?
Yes, you adorable little scamp, but specifically: Who? What voters think we need a "civilian national security force" that's just as powerful and well-funded as our military? Which is, much to your chagrin, incredibly powerful and well-funded.
Um... young people?
Young people. The youth of America are itching to join Obama's private army. Okay, let's say you're right. Why do they want that?
They want that because...
Because, y'know... they... Look, just because he said it doesn't mean he actually meant it!
There's no reason he'd say it unless he actually meant it. It wasn't in his prepared speech, and we all know what happens when he goes off-teleprompter: He starts saying what he really thinks. If only Joe the Plumber had been there to ask him to expand on it.
Man, you wingers are really something. You crybabies lose an election and you just can't handle it. Now you're calling him a power-hungry thug before he's even sworn in!
Your words, not mine. And I'm pretty sure a presidential candidate's public statements are fair game for analysis. Especially considering that he's never explained exactly what he meant by this. Because nobody in the media has asked. The people who would be affected by such a development deserve to know what he's planning, don't they?
Or would this "civilian national security force" be responsible for making sure we don't ask such questions? As Winston Churchill said, "No socialist system can be established without a political police."
You still there? Did y--
And here's the picture Tina Fey would really rather you didn't see:
Ouch. She's like Bizarro Palin.
Why the heck not? As Americans living in the 21st Century, we should all do what we can to respect the rights and improve the lives of divorce lawyers.
"I'd love to hear what you think has caused such an alarming number of our fellow Americans to fall into the Sarah Swoon."
P.S. In the Hot Air comments at the above link, J.J. Sefton asks:
I am so damned tired of these people. I mean... you won the presidency, have a more or less majority in congress, control the media and cultural dialogue and have the chance to finally create "heaven on earth" by destroying the last best hope for humanity. WHAT THE HELL MORE DO YOU WANT???!!!!!
They want you to submit to their will. It's not enough to win if there are still those who oppose them. They want to indoctrinate into you the one word that Obama propagandist Shepard Fairey has made a fortune putting on merchandise: Obey.
They are fascists. And now they're in power. And we'd better pay attention.
Those who can't bomb, teach. Those who can't teach, teach Obama.
By obeying the laws and paying the taxes. So hey, what's wrong with more of both?
But even that's not enough, apparently.
It's been sick for months, of course. Years. There was little hope for recovery, but there was still hope. Until today, when CNN's Dana Bash finally put it out of its misery with the following passage:
Some Republican governors tell CNN they were not particularly happy with the way the Republican Governors Association press conference was executed Thursday, saying that they agreed to go as a show of GOP governors' unity -- but they ended up feeling like silent Palin supporters, since it was clearly a press conference called for her.
The GOP governors spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity.
Think about this last sentence for a minute. It shouldn't take you nearly that long. Think about what it says about the person who wrote it. Think about what it says about the person who allowed it to be published. Think about the entirety of the institution they belong to, which says things like this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without batting an eye. An institution that, in fact, blames us for noticing.
Think about their regard for you, the news consumer. Try to imagine something lower. A good place to start would be the Earth's molten core.
Hope you've got some money saved, Dana. It's not going to be a fun ride.
I think I'll belatedly take my own advice. Might even make it a double. If you're not here when I get back, thanks for reading.
"Obama is busy putting together his presidential cabinet," Letterman said during his monologue on Thursday's program. "Senator McCain is putting together his medicine cabinet: Maalox, Metamucil, Polident, on and on and on."
Dave Letterman: Whippersnapper.
And McCain's appearing on Leno Tuesday night. Maybe he'll finally get around to addressing his own staff's participation in the Palin smear campaign. I like the old man, but every day that goes by without a statement from him... I'm starting to realize why so many people are not McCain fans.
I'm pretty much past being bummed about the election, and I'm choosing to view this whole thing as a real-time comedy/reality show. How hard will they have to twist themselves into knots to avoid admitting Obama made a mistake? Did Palin use too many ketchup packets at lunch today? Hey, Biden's eyes are now on the sides of his head. It's an interesting look, don't you think?
Ambling through the grocery store today, looking at all the faces, black, white, and otherwise, I felt a weird sort of elation. Like a weight being lifted, but something more: Soon they'll know. I don't have to keep trying to tell them. They will look back on these days of calm and plenty, and they'll realize what they've done. And so will I.
So I got that goin' for me.
Breda is great! And armed.
The swooning frenzy over the choice of Barack Obama as President of the United States must be one of the most absurd waves of self-deception and swirling fantasy ever to sweep through an advanced civilisation.
I really donít see how the Obama devotees can ever in future mock the Moonies, the Scientologists or people who claim to have been abducted in flying saucers. This is a cult like the one which grew up around Princess Diana, bereft of reason and hostile to facts.
-- Peter Hitchens
It has been 21 months since Barack Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States.
It has been four weeks since Joe Wurzelbacher asked Barack Obama about his tax plan.
Which man do you know more about?
I'm not sayin' it's true, I'm not sayin' it's not. That's just what I heard. And no, I won't tell you who said it. Under the new standard of journalism, it's plausible until proven otherwise. And I get to decide what constitutes proof.
Better get out in front of this one, Carl!
Another new Aussie friend, Dr. Carlos d'Abrera, writes:
I am a psychiatrist and live and work in Australia. Just FYI, this whole 52 to 48 thing is easily explained by "object relations theory."
For the past 8 years or so, the left has been exhibiting classic group psychopathology: Having first cast the right as the "bad object," they have been projecting their own disavowed "badness" into this object, which has become the target of their annihilation fantasies. (Look at the hateful venom aimed at the plumber, Palin, etc.)
Now that those projections have been identified with, the phase that follows is called "reparation," which is what we are seeing now.
This is all very infantile of course.
Is it ever! I don't think we're supposed to mention reparations, though.
Yeah, when you try to talk to these guys, it soon becomes obvious that they don't regard you as a human being. You really are reduced to an object in their eyes. You are The Conservative or The Wingnut or whatever label they've put on that particular mental box. They've already decided for themselves what's in that box, so whatever you do or say will be either disregarded if it doesn't fit or twisted up until it does.
Or I could be talking a lot of crap. I'm no shrink. But I have tended to notice a pattern after 8 years or so. And I've noticed that a lot of people are becoming less and less inclined to pay the media to keep following it.
I apologize to Tim Blair for poaching his comments, but I'm sure he'll be okay with it because we're "mates." (That's one of the words they use down there.) This comment on Tim's post about the dumb "from 52 to 48" site contains many, many, many buckets of yes:
That website made me want to puke. Those head-tilts are now not of compassion but condescension. As if the left has anything to teach anyone about graciousness or moderation in attitude or behaviour.
Of course conservatives will "get along" and make nice -- it's why they knew they could get away with all the atrocious things they've said and done the past 8 years. Did anyone hear GWB whining about all the stuff that's been said and written about him? Has he blackballed a network for asking "tough" questions? Has he querulously queried a news anchor about being a shill for the opposing side?
Do you know why conservatives generally have the capacity for graciousness in victory and defeat? Because, as a rule, conservatives are happy with who they are. There's no cognitive dissonance going on, because we live what we believe -- we like free markets, so we consume; we actually care for our less fortunate neighbours, so we give generously (of our OWN money that we earn) and we buy their stuff so they can gain wealth; we donít believe the economy works by taking from one and giving to the other (as though a dollar for you means a dollar less for me), so we work hard, pay our taxes grudgingly and rejoice at the success of others while working to secure our own; we donít believe in AGW, so we don't agonise over the recycling or flying or driving anywhere. It's bliss.
If you're a lefty in a western capitalist democracy, this is impossible because you are living off the wealth created by a system you think you despise. You are inherently angry and bitter all the time, because your life can't measure up to your impossible ideals, and you are naturally self-absorbed and self-centered because of this anger and bitterness. It's all-consuming.
Of course, I'm generalising. I'm sure some of the head-tilties pictured were appalled at the treatment of the conservatives at the hands of the minority (but vocal) radicalised elements of their pseudo-religion, and in the last 8 years raised their voices again and again in protest at such unprovoked and vicious assaults on the character and person of their political opponents, all the while gently counselling their wayward brethren to focus on critiquing ideas, and having genuine debates rather than resorting to name-calling.
And I know, some conservative once called you a name so we are just as bad. Boo hoo. Go cry in your victory herbal tea, winner, and try to figure out just how to run something and lead something for once, instead of making dopey-hopey-changey noises and singing "How many times must a man blah blah" while wearing your "Abort Sarah Palin" button on your "Sarah Palin is a C***" t-shirt while waving your "GWB is not my President" banner and throwing a molotov cocktail at the McDonald's on the corner. Oh, and did I forget to mention the "No War for Oil" hat on your head?
This makes me sound unhappy, doesnít it? But the above is what the left actually DID. It's so bitter, angry, twisted, and unhinged that merely stating the fact makes me sound bitter, angry, twisted, and unhinged. So sad. (head tilt) But I weally, weally wuv you guys and want to make it work so your heads don't explode. M'kay?(/head tilt)
Thank you to JanineV of Perth for explaining to me who I am and who I am not. I have no money, but I'm useful for moving moderately heavy things from one place to another and would make a mostly acceptable husband. Please don't answer rashly.
P.S. I am not entirely opposed to this contest, although I do extend my condolences to the winner.
The big tent just means there's more room for the backstabbers to hide. I know you're not really worried about it, but rest assured that we can find them and kick them out without tearing down the whole thing.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go run over a dog in my Jukt Micronics company car while wearing somebody's skull for a hat. Honest!
Our long national nightmare is over: Joe the Plumber just paid off his tax lien.
Oh, and the government functionary who abused her power in order to investigate him has been put on paid leave. Congratulations, taxpayers of Ohio. Your inquisitors can be assured of a soft landing. On your dime.
The fabled youth vote did it again! Namely, stayed home:
AnaMaria Arumi, who directs the exit poll desk for NBC, MSNBC* and Telemundo, has done the calculations based on the exit poll data and here is what she found: On a state-by-state level, when she re-ran the numbers as if there were no voters under 30, the only states that would switch to Republican presidential candidate John McCain are Indiana and North Carolina.
Without younger voters, Obama would still have won the 270 electoral votes he needs to become the next president.
So the billboards in video games and stuff didn't do much good. But hey, it's not like he couldn't afford them. (Right, Doodad Pro?)
Perhaps the funnest Obama voting bloc to point and laugh at: aging single women. You couldn't miss them at Grant Park the other night, hyperventilating and gazing adoringly at The One's substantiveness. Here's a prime example:
I think it's great that the future of our country hinges on a bunch of barren old yentas who need somebody to think about while they're putting in the batteries. No wonder they can't stand Palin. No wonder they'll always assume the worst about her. No wonder they'll grasp at the merest scrap of evidence against her. She's everything they'll never be.
Oh wait, I mean... You're the best, 52! And you don't look a month over 51.
P.S. Although there might be one unmarried woman of a certain age who isn't so thrilled with Obama today:
You'd think, with all that money he raised, he could have paid somebody to develop a teleprompter the size of a contact lens.
*I know, I know. But they were right, weren't they?
Based on what I've seen over the last two months, this seems all too plausible.
Another silver lining in all this is that at least we, the people (who've been paying attention) have an idea what this guy is all about. I've been inching my way through Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, and I encourage you to do the same. We need to understand who we're dealing with. And after that, I figure I'll finally get around to reading The Communist Manifesto. What, I shouldn't vet his lovely wife?
Demanding forgiveness without acknowledging your wrongdoing is just another way of suppressing dissent, as far as I'm concerned.
But I did like this one:
It's labeled _funny_jackassery.jpg. I'm not sure if the submitter labeled it that way. If not, maybe "funny" is the conciliatory part.
Speaking of standards of human decency so basic that it depresses me to even need to explain them: It's great that Obama told his supporters not to boo McCain. But I'd be much more impressed if he'd told them not to investigate and defame Joe the Plumber. As a great man once said: "History is made at night. Character is what you do in the dark." When it came to standing up for one of his future constituents, even though the guy had the nerve to ask an honest question, Obama voted Present.
P.S. And my two comments at Ze Frank's blog don't seem to be going through. Which is his prerogative, of course. Maybe he's got a filter set for "plumber"?
P.P.S. And now Ze Frank has taken down the above pic. Again, his prerogative. Just seems worth noting.
Looks like a certain Indianapolis TV station isn't too fond of its broadcast license...
So, over the next four years, can we expect empty promises, inept bureaucracy, and unconvincing excuses? [Insert hollow Obama catchphrase here]
...regarding from 52 to 48 with love, which is his answer to 2004's unintentionally hilarious Sorry, Everybody. You know, the stupid site where people sent in pictures of themselves holding up signs apologizing to the world for not electing John Kerry. Except they're not sorry anymore, of course, because this time they won, and now everybody should just hold hands and do whatever Obama says. Well, here's the thing:
To: Ze Frank
Subject: It's a noble idea, but actions speak louder than words
It's going to take a lot for me to get over the way Palin and Joe the Plumber have been treated, and I know I'm not alone in being skeptical about Obama's rhetoric. There's nothing like moving us all past the race issue by constantly reminding us you're black.
But in the spirit of oneness and Kumbaya and all that, I'll give you a better name for your project at no charge:
Thanks for your graciousness in victory, I guess,
There's nothing easier than telling the guy you just beat that he should forget the depths you plumbed to do so.
And I forgot to mention the whole deal with, y'know, the last 8 years of lefty rage? It's just become such a part of the scenery, you almost forget sometimes. Plus Obama's voter fraud and credit-card fraud and constant lies about his past and false accusations of racism and the fact that he's already making far-left appointments and he wants to shut down talk radio because he can't handle criticism and all that other silly stuff we all need to get past now because we're going to need to work extra hard to pay for our own oppression. Whoops, there I go again!
P.S. I just remembered that, oh, right around this time four years ago, Matt Welch -- who was one of the guys who inspired me to blog, and who until that time seemed to enjoy my silliness -- decided he didn't like me anymore because I made fun of Sorry, Everybody. I stunk, suddenly, because I persisted in mocking lefty morons "regardless of who actually holds power in this country." The idea being that humor only works when it's directed toward authority figures, apparently.
So, great news, Matt: It's finally okay to like me again!
P.P.S. Sorry, everybody, it wouldn't have been the Sorry, Everybody stuff that Matt objected to. That came a few days later, now that I look at the datestamps on everything. (This is the Internet, and I can fact-check my ass!) No, I probably disappointed Matt with my heartless laughter at this poor fellow and this well-intentioned young man, both of whom were publicly protesting the mechanisms of democracy for failing to produce the result they desired. Well, upon further consideration... I still think that $#!+ is funny!
And on that other thing, I guess you're right.
Lemme have it. I've probably got it coming.
Palin is great. Jindal seems pretty cool. But you know who I want the Republicans to nominate in 2012? This guy. I'd like to cast my ballot for him today, as is now our custom, apparently.
P.S. Other African-Americans who would be more acceptable as President: Al Sharpton, Flavor Flav, and the Pine-Sol lady.
Dear Senator McCain,
I voted for you, I think you're an honorable man, I respect your service and sacrifice, and I'm sorry you lost.
That said: Will you please speak up in defense of Sarah Palin? I know you must be physically and emotionally exhausted right now. I know you're sick of getting beat up by the press who once loved you. But you need to stick up for this lady. She does not deserve what they're doing to her.
Thanks in advance.
You can send yours here.
No reason. She just seems like a really great lady:
You know what would really bring out her eyes? A Burger King visor.
According to the Obamico, Obama's lovely and talented communications director will serve as his administration's first White House Press Secretary. This is gonna be awesome!
Gibbs: [Points] "Yes, Helen Thomas. Hello, good to see-- um, good to have you here, Helen."
Thomas: "Thank you." [coughs up cloud of dust] "I have a question and a followup: Why is Obama so amazing? And, is 'amazing' really adequate? Is there any word in any human language that can truly describe him?" [begins convulsing in ecstacy and croaking out steady stream of glossolalia]
Gibbs: [Joins her]
The hard-hitting news is about to get even more hard-hittingly hard-hitting.
And we can call ourselves NUMBskulls!
Obama campaign workers angry over unpaid wages
Indianapolis - Lines were long and tempers flared Wednesday not to vote but to get paid for canvassing for Barack Obama. Several hundred people are still waiting to get their pay for last-minute campaigning. Police were called to the Obama campaign office on North Meridian Street downtown to control the crowd.
The line was long and the crowd was angry at times.
"I want my money today! It's my money. I want it right now!" yelled one former campaign worker.
If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible...
That's the name of Redstate.com's new project to track down the miserable [Al Swearengen's favorite word] who are sneaking around trashing Palin after she gave them their best shot at winning this thing. Bring these pathetic [inhalers of penis] to light.
P.S. Palin is great. Keep hatin', haters, because she's going to be just fine. If I may quote myself from the early days of Palinoia, two whole months ago: "This lady absorbs abuse and converts it into laser beams of awesomeness."
P.P.S. The NYT has more of this horsecrap, although I didn't read past the description of the McCain/Palin campaign as "now-imploded." Yeah, isn't that how they described Kerry/Edwards '04 too?
Dear NYT Staff:
Now that Obama has gotten what he needed out of you guys, enjoy the looming certainty of sweeping newsroom layoffs. Unfortunately for you, Starbucks isn't hiring either.
"I have absolutely no intention of engaging in any of the negativity because this has been all positive for me for what I believe in, the values that I represent and the progress that I wanna see America be able to make," Palin said when asked about post-election finger-pointing. "Just absolutely no time for the pettiness. And thatís kinda just the way Iím wired. I donít have time for that."
"This is an historic moment. Barack Obama has been elected president," Palin added. "And God bless Barack Obama and his beautiful family and the new administration coming in. It is time that we all pulled together and worked together and Americaís going to reach her destiny."
Trivia answers can be learned. Character is innate. I'd say that the people who've been piling on her, not just for the last two days but the last two months, should be ashamed of themselves, but clearly they're not capable of such.
It's not enough to win, huh? Well, enjoy your misogyny. Maybe I'm just a nutty guy, but I like Palin even though Olbermann and Couric don't.
P.S. From the comments at the above link, a dyslexic Freudian slip:
I am going to pray that the election of Obama will untie this country.
P.P.S. Allahpundit says:
Via Ace, a tasty pile of shinola straight from the stovetop of disgruntled McCain staffers. It's too cute by half, as is the detail about NAFTA; they might as well have tossed in a story about her having to guess who's buried in Grantís tomb. To believe it, you have to believe she figured out a way to become governor of Alaska while somehow lacking the mental power to piece together which three nations might be involved in the North American Free Trade Agreement. Diehard 'Cuda-haters like Sullivan will, of course, be more than happy to oblige.
P.P.P.S. Schmidt and Wallace: Account for yourselves.
"If they're an unnamed source, then that says it all. I won't comment on anybody's gossip, or allegations that are based on anonymous sources. That's kind of a small, evidently bitter type of person who would anonymously charge something foolish like that, that I perhaps didn't know an answer to a question."
"There was nothing except a mental and emotional confidence ó this is what I set out to do, and I will do this, and if I fail I fail, but no one will tell me I failed until I have. That must be kind of a glimpse of a kind of emotional toughness that got him through Vietnam. He is just way above average." -- McCain campaign aide Mark Salter
"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."
If you see anything resembling honor or good sense in the victors here, I'm willing to be convinced. But until then, I'm with the dead limey drunk.
Yes, Obama will be my president. No, he will not be my liege.
I've been too busy practicing the Obama song -- performance of which, upon command, will soon be compulsory -- to write back to everybody who's e-mailed me over the last couple of days. (Mostly female, by the way. So that's nice.) Just wanted to say that it really means a lot. Now please give me some of your money before he grabs it.
And to the misogynists who aren't content with victory, your e-mails are now routed to the spambox automatically. But hey, it's your free time and you should use it as you see fit. Enjoy your liberty while you can.
At this point I don't know whether that's how I feel or not, but you're more than welcome to use it if you like.
P.S. What Steyn said.
...I'm wrong about the content of this man's character.
This is playing out just like HillBuzz said it would. Steady, West Coast. Don't listen to them.
I don't know if it's just relief that this damn election is almost over (knock on wood), but I've been getting an unsolicited outpouring of uncharacteristically complimentary e-mails lately. So, thank you very much. Sometimes over the last few months it's felt like I've been howling in the wilderness, and maybe I have been, but it's nice to know that it's been helping a few folks. It sure has helped me.
We've still got an hour-plus left before the first states start closing polls, and who knows when the whole thing will wrap up. Just get out there and cast your vote if you haven't yet. Why not? Go ahead and be a silly goose.
Just a reminder. If you haven't, go. If you're not going to, go away.
You can help spoil the big party they're planning for a guy who hasn't gotten the job:
It's probably not surprising that a lot of Barack Obama's biggest celebrity supporters -- both from Hollywood and the music world -- were clamoring for VIP invites to tonight's big rally in Grant Park.
While the Democratic nominee and his staff are thankful for both the big checks and outspoken expressions of support from all those famous faces, I've learned from a key Obama insider that a number of big-time boosters have been told politely -- but very firmly -- to stay away tonight...
''There really only needs to be one star in Grant Park, and that's Barack,'' said the source, a high-profile elected official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, since he's not authorized to speak for the campaign on this issue.
How about no stars? I like that idea even better.
And yet I keep seeing all this stuff about how the Obama campaign doesn't want to act like he's already won. As if he hasn't been doing that since the minute he elbowed Hillary down the basement steps and was all like, "What? I was just stretching."
Enjoy it while you can, crazy man.
I hadn't heard of Sean Malstrom before today, but I like his style. He has put into words all the stuff I've been feeling for weeks now but haven't been able to express. Here's a taste:
One thing that is very different about this election is the omnipresence of polls and how polls are the axis around all political analysis is conducted. This has never been the case in previous elections. Real political analysts (meaning not hacks or unprofessional pundits), use historical trends, demographical data, and other 'truths' of past elections. Much of this cannot be translated into a chart or graph. It is a myth that analysis is done via math or graphs or computer models. The original economists, for example, used only words and essays. Political analysis is not about math. Political analysis is about people. To analyze politics, you must be able to analyze people. In other words, the poet and novelist becomes the political analyst, not the mathematician and software engineer. Politics is all about people.
It seems no one is interested in studying 'people' anymore. Look at the political analysis currently. There is very little analysis of the current 'liberal' or 'conservative', for example, or the person from Pennsylvania or person from Iowa. In fact, there are no people. There are only numbers. Stark, lifeless, numbers. The problem with leveling political analysis to nothing more than a soup of numbers is that it cannot measure intensity. What does intensity have to do with politics? Well, everything. Intense people are those who vote.
And right now I am feeling pretty freaking intense.
I've been going around and around with my friend Allahpundit about this stuff. He keeps pointing to the polls as if they're scripture, and I keep saying: "But this guy isn't acting like he's winning. His minions do not display the sort of confidence you would expect from the winning side. The harder the media tries to convince me they're presenting the full picture, the more beads of sweat I can count on their foreheads. It just doesn't feel right."
Please read Malstrom's thoughtful, sensible, incisive analysis. After you've voted, that is. I'm not kidding around here. Do not let me find out you didn't vote.
P.S. Malstrom says: "FiveThirtyEight Is a Propaganda Site Masquerading as a 'Calculation' Site"
...I read HillBuzz and feel guilty that I haven't been doing more. Their latest, which is giving me energy this morning, is Five Reasons Obama Lost This Election:
(1) The Obamediaís Attacks on Joe the Plumber
(2) Bitter, Gun-and-Religion-Clinging Small Town America
(3) Obamediaís Nonstop Love Affair With Obama
(4) Obamaís Constant Playing of the Race Card
(5) PUMAs and Sarah Palin
Gotta read 'em all! Here's just a taste:
[Tonight], all of these "journalists" will be hemming and hawing as states like Pennsylvania go red for McCain, and absolute fools like Chuck Todd and Ben Smith will claim "no one saw this coming" when, in fact, a whole lot of someones saw this coming... and we all identify with Joe the Plumber, not Chris Matthews the Blathering Idiot...
The Obamedia, of course, will be completely shocked, but enough people read what we write here to hold these reporters accountable. If a bunch of amateurs in Chicago could figure out the true impact of Joe the Plumber on the electorate, then why couldn't actual "journalists"?
November 5th, someone needs to answer that.
Call me delusional all you want, but this just feels right to me. A lot of people are bothered by Obama's tactics and record, no matter how much the media tries to cover for him. It's just a matter of getting out there and performing your civic duty.
I just voted. Have you? If not, why are you still reading this? Get going! And remember:
Ignore the exit polls. They were wrong in 2004. Do not let them keep you from voting.
Stand up for yourself. Stand up against the people who want you to quit. Vote.
P.S. Okay, three things (darn you, Ham!):
No, not because his first name is Sam. No, not because he owes some taxes he didn't know about until Obama's oppo researchers went after him. No, not because of any of the other stuff they've thrown at him to try to distract from The One's publicly avowed socialist beliefs.
I think I hate him now because he might have become close friends with this SNL cast member:
Lucky (allegedly) bastard! Well, he made Obama show his ass, so why couldn't he make Kristen Wiig show hers?
Slate's John Dickerson asks:
Not that they're doing so hot as it is, but yeah. All the more reason to get out there tomorrow and vote for McCain/Palin.
Oh, and Mr. Dickerson?
"Don't be hoodwinked," [Obama] said of McCain's claims, a standard line, to which he added a less regular filigree: "Don't be bamboozled, don't fall for the okey-doke."
Since you're Slate's "chief political correspondent," undoubtedly you know that the calm, unflappable, middle-of-the-road Obama got that "hoodwinked and bamboozled" stuff from Malcolm X. I had to Google "the okey-doke" thing, but here's how the Austin Chronicle described it last February:
Obama's references to "the okey doke" seemed to baffle some commentators, although it's an old American (especially African-American) term for a feint, a juke, a balletic sidestep that dodges the direct attacks of an opponent and instead turns his own arguments and momentum against him.
See, that's how Obama is bringing us all together and marching us toward a post-racial future: by using racially coded language to divide people, in exactly the way he falsely accuses his opponent of doing. Okey-doke, boss!
Just kidding. It's actually his way of congratulating John McCain on his campaign:
"But it's just an accident! An isolated incident!", you screech. "He's not really a sullen child who lashes out passive-aggressively when somebody stands in his way!" Well, he's certainly racked up quite a history of such "accidental isolated incidents" in a short period of time. This fits right into his established pattern of behavior. Just ask the PUMAs if they think it's an accident when Obama's middle finger comes out to punctuate his point about a rival:
If you want us to stop "distracting people from the real issues" -- even though you also complain when we bring up real issues like Obama's tax plan, his economic theories, where he gets his ideas, where he gets his money, where he gets his votes, etc. -- you might want to convince your hero to stop flipping people off in public.
Oof. Tipping your hand there, Josh, don't you think? Well, pressure makes people do strange things. Such as telling the truth in public about their socialistic views.
BTW, I screencapped the whole post so I couldn't be accused of taking Josh out of context.
Unless he's got the plans for a cold-fusion reactor hidden amongst his medical records and college records and all the other records he refuses to release, I'm not sure how he's going to bring about any sort of "change" that doesn't involve freezing to death in your own darkened house. Although I suppose balking at soaring energy costs is "selfish" too. Not to mention, as with every other substantive criticism of our pal Barry, racist.
Funny how he only says this kind of stuff in San Francisco. That's where he gave us that other nugget of gold about Pennsylvanians "clinging to guns and religion."
Speaking of San Fran (which is what I call it because I know they don't like it), has anybody there ever asked Obama why he's against gay marriage? I think Charles Karel Bouley might be interested in that one. Remember Bouley? He's the SF radio jackass who said Tony Snow deserved to get cancer, and then mewled about not being congratulated for his bravery in saying so. Now Bouley wants Joe the Plumber dead.
Once again: If Obama's such a shoo-in, why are his supporters losing the last remaining fragments of their minds?
For the last few weeks I've tried, unsuccessfully, to read the late David Foster Wallace's Up, Simba!, his account of John McCain's 2000 presidential campaign. I'll read a few pages, get exhausted by the sheer davidfosterwallaceness of it, and put it aside. But there's a passage I just read from it that I need to share.
I wouldn't normally post such a long quote, and maybe it's pushing the limits of Fair Use, but it's DFW and he never settled for saying something in 10 words when 73 would do and besides it's not like he can really complain these days and I'm sorry for the previous remark and oh god now I'm starting to write like him so here's his reason for trusting John McCain:
One of the things that makes John McCain's "causes greater than self-interest" line harder to dismiss... is that this guy also sometimes says things that are manifestly true but which no other mainstream candidate will say. Such as that special-interest money, billions of it, controls Washington and that all this "reforming politics" and "cleaning up Washington" stuff that every candidate talks about will remain impossible until certain well-known campaign-finance scams like soft money and bundles are outlawed. All Congress's talk about health-care reform and a Patients' Bill of Rights, for example, McCain has said publicly is total bullshit because the GOP is in the pocket of HMO lobbies and the Democrats are funded and controlled by trial lawyers' lobbies, and it is in these backers' self-interest to see that the current insane U.S. health-care system stays just the way it is.
But health-care reform is politics, and so's marginal tax rates, and defense procurement, and Social Security, and politics is boring -- complex, abstract, dry, the province of policy wonks and Rush Limbaugh and nerdy little guys on PBS, and basically who cares.
But there's something underneath politics here, something riveting and unSpinnable and true. It has to do with McCain's military background and Vietnam combat and the five-plus years he spent in a North Vietnamese prison, mostly in solitary, in a box-sized cell, getting tortured and starved. And with the unbelievable honor and balls he showed there. It's very easy to gloss over the POW thing, partly because we've all heard so much about it and partly because it's so off-the-charts dramatic, like something in a movie instead of a man's real life. But it's worth considering for a minute, carefully, because it's what makes McCain's "causes greater than self-interest" thing easier to hear.
Here's what happened. In October of '67 McCain was himself still a Young Voter and was flying his 26th Vietnam combat mission and his A-4 Skyhawk plane got shot down over Hanoi, and he had to eject, which basically means setting off an explosive charge that blows your seat out of the plane, which ejection broke both McCain's arms and one leg and gave him a concussion and he started falling out of the skies over Hanoi. Try to imagine for a second how much this would hurt and how scared you'd be, three limbs broken and falling toward the enemy capital you just tried to bomb. His chute opened late and he landed hard in a little lake in a park right in the middle of downtown Hanoi. (There is still an N.V. statue of McCain by this lake today, showing him on his knees with his hands up and eyes scared and on the pediment the inscription "McCan -- famous air pirate" [sic].) Imagine treading water with broken arms and trying to pull the lifevest's toggle with your teeth as a crowd of North Vietnamese men swim out toward you (there's film of this, somebody had a home-movie camera and the N.V. government released it, though it's grainy and McCain's face is hard to see). The crowd pulled him out and then just about killed him. U.S. bomber pilots were especially hated, for obvious reasons. McCain got bayoneted in the groin; a soldier broke his shoulder apart with a rifle butt. Plus by this time his right knee was bent 90ļ to the side with the bone sticking out. This is all public record. Try to imagine it. He finally got tossed on a Jeep and taken only like five blocks to the infamous Hoa Lo prison -- a.k.a. the Hanoi Hilton, of much movie fame -- where they made him beg a week for a doctor and finally set a couple of the fractures without anesthetic and let two other fractures and the groin wound (imagine: groin wound) stay like they were. Then they threw him in a cell. Try for a moment to feel this. The media profiles all talk about how McCain still can't lift his arms over his head to comb his hair, which is true. But try to imagine it at the time, yourself in his place, because it's important. Think about how diametrically opposed to your own self-interest getting knifed in the balls and having fractures set without a general would be, and then about getting thrown in a cell to just lie there and hurt, which is what happened. He was mostly delirious with pain for weeks, and his weight dropped to 100, and the other POWs were sure he would die; and then, after he'd hung on like like that for several months and his bones had mostly knitted and he could sort of stand up, they brought him to the prison commandant's office and closed the door and out of nowhere offered to let him go. They said he could just... leave. It turned out that U.S. Admiral John S. McCain II had just been made head of all naval forces in the Pacific, meaning also Vietnam, and the North Vietnamese wanted the PR coup of mercifully releasing his son, the baby-killer. And John S. McCain III, 100 lbs and barely able to stand, refused the offer. The U.S. military's Code of Conduct for Prisoners of War apparently said that POWs had to be released in the order they were captured, and there were others who'd been in Hoa Lo a way longer time, and McCain refused to violate the Code. The prison commandant, not pleased, right there in the office had guards break McCain's ribs, rebreak his arm, knock his teeth out. McCain still refused to leave without the other POWs. Forget how many movies stuff like this happens in and try to imagine it as real. Refusing release. He spent four more years in Hoa Lo like this, much of the time in solitary, in the dark, in a special closet-sized box called a "punishment cell." Maybe you've heard all this before; it's been in umpteen different profiles of McCain this year. It's overexposed, true. Still though, take a second or two to do some creative visualization and imagine the moment between McCain getting offered early release and his turning it down. Try to imagine it was you. Imagine how loudly your most basic, primal self-interest would have cried out to you in that moment, and all the ways you could rationalize accepting the offer: What difference would one less POW make? Plus maybe it'd give the other POWs hope and keep them going, and I mean 100 pounds and expected to die and surely the Code of Conduct doesn't apply to you if you need a real doctor or else you're going to die, plus if you could stay alive by getting out you could make a promise to God to do nothing but Total Good from now on and make the world better and so your accepting would be better for the world than your refusing, and maybe if Dad wasn't worried about the Vietnamese retaliating against you here in prison he could prosecute the war more aggressively and end it sooner and actually save lives so you could actually save lives if you took the offer and got out versus what real purpose gets served by you staying here in a box and getting beaten to death, and by the way oh Jesus imagine it a real doctor and real surgery and painkillers and clean sheets and a chance to heal and not be in agony and to see your kids again, your wife, to smell your wife's hair... can you hear it? What would be happening in your head? Would you have refused the offer? Could you have? You can't know for sure. None of us can. It's hard even to imagine the levels of pain and fear and want in that moment, much less to know how you'd react. None of us can know.
But, see, we do know how this man reacted. That he chose to spend four more years there, mostly in a dark box, alone, tapping code on the walls to the others, rather than violate a Code. Maybe he was nuts. But the point is that with McCain it feels like we know, for a proven fact, that he is capable of devotion to something other, more, than his own self-interest. So that when he says the line in speeches now you can feel like maybe it's not just more candidate bullshit, that with this guy it's maybe the truth. Or maybe both the truth and bullshit: McCain does want your vote, after all.
But that moment in the Hoa Lo office in '68 -- right before he refused, with all his basic normal human self-interest howling at him -- that moment is hard to blow off...
You might even call it the Audacity of Hope.
Can you imagine if Obama was ever put in such as situation? I can't picture him conducting himself quite so honorably, especially considering that most POW camps aren't outfitted with teleprompters. Considering he wouldn't have David Axelrod and Charlie Gibson there to conduct a smear campaign against his captors. Although maybe -- and keep in mind that there's no way I can prove this, I'm just speculating -- maybe that level of physical suffering would actually cause Obama to say something that was true.
If the NVA couldn't kill John McCain, neither can the NYT.
You're also a racist if you:
Barack Obama's senior advisers have drawn up plans to lower expectations for his presidency if he wins next week's election, amid concerns that many of his euphoric supporters are harbouring unrealistic hopes of what he can achieve...
One senior adviser told The Times that the first few weeks of the transition, immediately after the election, were critical, "so there's not a vast mood swing from exhilaration and euphoria to despair".
Isn't it customary to win the election before you start telling your followers not to get their hopes up? If there's one thing Americans love, it's an arrogant scold telling them to simmer down.