That S&G title sounds almost like a message right out of Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas?, or the usual conundrum of how the interests of the rich and powerful, as embodied by their temporal representative on Earth, the Republican Party, are sold to the working stiffs of America who, though not forming a majority of the electorate, form a sufficiently strong plurality to keep voting for a party that has the interests of the few at heart...
Of course, it might also be a reminder to those wishing well to the Obama-Biden ticket to stop wasting time with the brilliant diversion otherwise known as Sarah Palin, and continue equating John McCain with what and who he has decided to be: a principal Congressional enabler of the Bush Administration, even after spending the first part of it opposing many of its signature dishes and the last few years propping up the Bush Administration.
And it might be an excellent time to trot out this key statistic: the "misery index" of adding unemployment (6%) plus inflation (5.7%) is, at 11.7, now at the highest level since 1991. Remember who was President then? Somebody named George Bush... a celebrated naval aviator, now that I think about it. That misery index statistic would be an excellent surrogate for demonstrating that economic times ain't good, and as the same party has controlled the presidency for the last eight years, and both houses of Congress and the White House for 6 of the last 8 years... John McCain has some kind of stones to be telling us he is running to shake things up. His laundry list last night, when parsed, included basically the usual Republican talking points including offshore drilling, school vouchers and ever-more-tax-cuts-for-the-rich... sure doesn't sound like shaking Washington up to me, unless you believe doing the same thing is "change".
In the end, while there are always plenty of people who will forgive their beloved Republican Party anything, fortunately, a healthy majority of Americans actually have expectations that their political parties might do something for them, and not merely for "their betters," and actually demand results. Or so I wishfully think. Anyway, it does seem incongruous that the electorate would vote for a party to retain power in the face of a rather miserable record, as demonstrated by "the misery index." Of course... Barack Obama is still Black.
We'll see which matters, ultimately in this, the greatest. election. ever!!!
Barack Obama is still black
That is the key right there. If a black man could win the republican nomination he'd probably win the election. For a black democrat it is a problem, the
republicans have too many ways to frame the debate against him - and even middle class moderate Americans seem to distrust the patriotism of blacks-unless they are war heros like Powell. There are too many memories of the civil rights marches and the black panthers and the nation of Islam. A black democrat must have links with one of those groups, and there fore must deep down, hate America.
Posted by bill at September 5, 2008 11:36 PM
Nailed it in one, Bill. The Repub-licans are already on this: that's why they suddenly started discovering the applause line by mocking "community organizers" in both 91u1iani's and Palin's speeches; "community organizers" is a dog-whistle code for "Al Shartpon and Jesse Jackson".
And I'm not sure "facts" matter. People inclined to oppose him viscerally are hard to convince; even if you tell them that Barack's mother is white, the grandparents who did the heavy lifting of raising him were white, that he went to bourgeois prep schools in Hawaii and the Ivy League (my very own college class, Columbia '83, btw) and Harvard Law School where he was president of the law review, and later he was hardly a radical state senator or United States Senator or law professor, you'll THEN hear "but I heard..." whether it's a Muslim tie, or a "Black-power church" connection, or "he said we had 57 states," or, since rationality doesn't apply, both, or of course, the standard points that he'll take our (beloved) guns away, or raise taxes, or just about any of the internet rumors that were first floated by the Clinton campaign and are now being duly recycled by the Republicans themselves.
But hell, if it were based on rationality, no one would EVER vote for the party that ACTUALLY DOES want to take away their SOCIAL SECURITY, and health care, and minimum wage...
But as we say... Barack is still Black. Amazing.
Posted by the talking dog at September 6, 2008 12:25 PM
'Brilliant diversion' eh? Well, certainly to the British media whose coverage of the convention is around 60% SP and the possibility this woman is only a heartbeat away should scare the hell out of anyone.
Posted by euro-ron at September 7, 2008 4:05 PM
Yes and no. I think the fear factor should not be what is leveled at Sarah Palin; the GOP WANTS us to do that. I think the fear factor should be addressed to John McCain, and to Republicans writ large.
I think, as I suggested in one of my earlier forays on the subject, that Team Obama should embrace Sarah Palin, noting that we agree with her message of "change"... it's just that what we seem to need change FROM is John McCain, and his ruthless support OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, AND HIS WHOLESALE EMBRACE OF ITS MOST OUTRAGEOUS POLICIES, including taking away social security, the minimum wage and Medicare/Medicaid (and let's not mince words: that IS the Republican policy in these areas), McCain's abandoning his own earlier positions on immigration reform, environmental regulation, torture, and tax cuts for the rich.
Barack has GOT to take on the notion that WHITE Sarah-- when running with White John-- is somehow scarier than HE IS. Maybe another subtle or not so subtle reminder from Barack THAT HIS MOTHER IS WHITE, AS ARE THE GRANDPARENTS WHO BY AND LARGE RAISED HIM. Voters (at least those who can be reached beyond the "well he's still Black, isn't he?" crowd... which we must acknowledge is huge) -- must be swayed to vote not so much for the Democrat, but against the Republicans, BECAUSE OF THEIR INFINITELY SCARIER POLICY PACKAGE. A package that for a working class or middle class America should be far, far scarier than the prospect of a half-Kenyan Barack Obama (who will, after all, not GUT THE NEW DEAL AND THE GREAT SOCIETY SOCIAL PROGRAMS, ascending to the presidency.
Since this election is clearly going to be about "fear"... let's make the most of it.
Posted by the talking dog at September 8, 2008 12:06 PM