Like many of you, I suspect, I am skeptical that Barack Obama will be able to accomplish many of his proposals before 2010, or even in his first term. Money is too tight; emotions are too raw. Yes, we can, but it ain’t gonna be easy.
However, I want voters to vote Dem on Tuesday if for no other reason than to send a loud and clear message that the days of Atwater-Rove hate, fear and smear campaigns are over. I want conservatives to understand that if they want to win elections, they’ve got to have something more to offer than the demonization of their opponents. Of course, that would put hacks like Ed Rogers out of work. And what’s not to like about that?
Last night, after the half-hour infomercial, the McCain campaign ran a standard hate ad. Ominous music, unflattering photo of Obama, whispery voice telling us we can’t trust him. How many times have we all seen that same ad? The identities of the candidates change, but it’s the same damnfool ad. I suspect that ad worked against McCain more than for him.
I think the best thing about the infomercial was that it gave voters another look at Obama, so they can see for themselves he’s not frightening or radical. McCain called it a “gauzy feel-good commercial.” Yeah, it was. So what has McCain given us except murky, feel-bad commercials?
Seems to me that every time I see McCain or Palin they’re wiggling their fingers in the air and saying boogaboogaboogabooga. Not exactly a plan for governance. Of course, that was all the plan Bush ever had, either.
Even when he stops smearing Obama and addresses issues, McCain offers little else but slogans. For example, if you go to McCain’s economy section and scroll to the bottom of the page, there’s a video called “The McCain Economic Plan.” It is comically insubstantial, consisting mostly of McCain decisively telling us how decisive he is. The only specific offered is the promise to build nuclear power plants.
McCain-Palin supporters are scarier than McCain. This is not to say there aren’t jerks on the Dem side, also, like the asshole in San Francisco who hung Sarah Palin in effigy recently. Keith Olbermann made the guy the Worst Person in the World, and he richly deserved it. I hope the Secret Service let him know that threats to candidates are taken seriously.
But seems to me that all we hear from McCain-Palin people is hate. Well, that and ignorance. This was in the New York Times today:
People at McCain and Palin rallies often accuse Democrats of just wanting handouts. â€œA lot of people on the other side just want free money,â€ said Susan Emrich, at a McCain-Palin rally in Hershey on Tuesday. A real-estate agent, she wears a T-shirt that says, â€œIâ€™m voting for Sarah Palin and that White Haired Dude.â€ Ms. Emrich would like to attend another rally later that day in nearby Shippensburg, but canâ€™t. â€œI have to work,â€ she explains. â€œIâ€™m a Republican.â€
WTF does that mean? Does Ms. Emrich assume all Democrats are welfare recipients? And then there’s this:
When you ask Republicans what they think of Mr. Obama, the word â€œsocialistâ€ comes up more often than not. They mention that he is a smooth talker, and not in a good way. A lot of them seem to have real problems with Michelle Obama, too, though they cannot pinpoint why.
Of course not.
And they do not much care for that Joe Biden, either, or whatever his name is â€” many cannot immediately summon it.
Can we say “low-information voter”? See also Sean Quinn’s account of a McCain rally in Miami.
Last night on “Hardball,” Tweety interviewed Tom DeLay. Why? I flipped the channel; there are more entertaining ways to pollute one’s mind than watching DeLay. But now I’m sorry I did. Joan Walsh wrote,
DeLay, of course, was one of the most corrupt, hypocritical and divisive pillars of the 1990s GOP revolution, and he’s hugely to blame for his party’s sad fortunes today. But he still gets around the cable shows, and to see him on “Hardball,” just a half hour before I was on, spewing hate about Obama, was kind of unsettling. Obama’s a radical and a Marxist, he insisted, more radical than Al Gore, John Kerry or Barney Frank. He threw out Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers. Ultimately I lost track of the times he called Obama a “Marxist.” But appearing right after DeLay, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schulz mopped the floor with him, to Matthews’ apparent surprise and enjoyment. Obama should send her flowers. I should send her flowers.
Walsh on the informercial:
So that experience shaped the way I watched Obama’s 30-minute infomercial, and it was a perfect tonic. Maybe it was a dull for a moment or two, but Obama can stand to be a little dull, when he has the likes of DeLay and other vicious hit men tarring him as a dark and dangerous Marxist socialist “redistributionist.” He’s fighting for the right to be one of us: normal, sometimes dull and yet presidential, and his ad did it all tonight.
Can we turn American politics into something other than a freak show? Yes we can!