Hate Versus Hope

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.

As I’ve said before, if you look at the two candidates’ web sites you see that Obama’s “issues” section has ten times the detail as McCain’s “issues” section. So who’s the empty suit?

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. “A lot of people on the other side just want free money,” said Susan Emrich, at a McCain-Palin rally in Hershey on Tuesday. A real-estate agent, she wears a T-shirt that says, “I’m voting for Sarah Palin and that White Haired Dude.” Ms. Emrich would like to attend another rally later that day in nearby Shippensburg, but can’t. “I have to work,” she explains. “I’m a Republican.”

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 “socialist” 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 — 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!

19 thoughts on “Hate Versus Hope

  1. Aww…C’mon now Maha….

    I grew up with Freak-Show Politics…Wouldn’t know what to do if everbody started discussin’ the Issues…

  2. McCain better realize that it’s the small donor that has pushed Obama over the top…

    I just read a great essay in the HuffPo by journalist and mother Mary Lyon. It is a response to McCain’s bitter complaints about Obama’s Informercial last nite and the funding that provided it.

    Here’s a quote:

    The piece of film that just made the biggest impression on me on this particular night, when Barack Obama aired his half-hour TV special, was not anything Obama presented. It was the sour grapes John McCain squeezed in reaction.

    He complained about all those sinister mystery contributions, the suspicious credit card funding that’s poured into the Obama campaign coffers. Not on the up-n-up. Something’s undoubtedly fishy here (probably because all that money hasn’t been raining down upon McCain).

    Okay, Senator McCain. Wanna make something out of it? I helped underwrite that film. Me, Mary, with my piddly little credit card donations that I’ve inputted on numerous Obama campaign contribution forms online. You gonna set your running mate on me now – and accuse me of “palling around with terrorists”?

    It’s a fairly long essay, but I urge you to read the whole thing right here.

    Under The LobsterScope

  3. On November 4th Obama will restore my faith in America..That’s a big, big, big accomplishment after the nightmare of the past 8 years.

  4. Off topic, but I just gotta express my joy… 🙂

    I’m glad that McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate came back to bite him in the ass. Choosing Palin was not only foolish..it was highly offensive in light of his claim to “Country First”.

    His deceptions has come to naught!

  5. I casted my vote for our Next Great President: Barack Obama. I hoe all americans understand that our nation need a change. Not only change with the economy, but also with unitying. McCain and alin rallies are full of hate, and we don’t want 4 mores uars of divisive and more of the same..It saddens me to even see a McCain supporter, because they can not give me one good reason why they will not vote for Obama. He has ran a honarable campaign and connected with the american people like any other..Come November 4th when we one go to the polls, please put race aside and vote of the issues, and not the color on one skin…GOD BLESS AMERICA and Amen!

    Obama/Biden 2008

  6. When he brought out Joe the Plumber as his spokesperson, and he said he agreed with a McCain supporter that a vote for Obama means the end of Israel, and could not give an intelligent answer to Sheppard of FOX for his comments, I knew it was over from McCain.

    Now he is crying about the amount of money Obama raised and questioning the Khalidi tape. Khalidi, an American-born Yale-educated scholar who is now a professor of Arab Study at New York’s Columbia University. He has, in the past, acted as a spokesperson for the PLO, and he is a moderate who has spoken out against suicide bombings against civilians, calling them “war crimes.” He has also been critical of Hamas and other, extreme, Palestinian leaders.

    Oh, yeah, one more thing. When the right wing goes after Obama for his association with Khalidi, it is important to note that in 1998, Khalidi’s group, the Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank, received $448,873 from a group called the International Republican Institute. In addition, guess who was chairman of that group and who agreed to the grant? John McCain.

    The relationship extends back as far as 1993, when John McCain joined IRI as chairman in January. Foreign Affairs noted in September of that year that IRI had helped fund several extensive studies in Palestine run by Khalidi’s group, including over 30 public opinion polls and a study of “sociopolitical attitudes.”
    So is it time to question some of John McCain’s questionable “radical” associations?

  7. McCain took at least $84 millions dollars of taxpayer money — yours and mine — to finance a typical GOP campaign of lies, smear, fear, and deceit.

    Palin took money from the oil companies and redistributed it to Alaskans.

    Which party is taking away taxpayer money for their own use?

    Who is redistributing wealth?

    Who is the socialist?

  8. I thought the informercial was OK, somewhat abrupt in some of the subject changes. And I truly wish he’d lost the flag in the “oval office” mockup; I expect people to react badly to that. Also, I fear for the lives of the profiled families; little LuLu probably already has their addresses posted so her hate squad can find ’em and egg their houses.

    But I was struck by the overall tone. He never mentioned Bush or McCain, or at least I didn’t spot it. I recall one reference to the “failed policies of the last eight years” and that was about it. Instead, it was forward-looking, positive “we have to and can correct these problems with good policies and hard work” stuff.

    Contrasting that positive closer to McPain/Ailin’s constant “Obama is a poopy head” crap is something that should resonate with everyone. The fact that it doesn’t just amazes me sometimes.

    The other thing that really got me was that amazing cut to live at the end. The timing of that just blew me away. If nothing else, Obama’s people can plan and execute.

  9. I will not vote Dem on Tuesday. They are an unfit group to run America – the only thing they will accomplish is running our country into the ground. McCain/Palin have my vote and my entire family. GO John GO Sarah and fight!!!!!!!

    I live in Illinois Obama has don nothing for the people of his state; as a matter of fact he has voted to RAISE taxes 32 times!!!! What do you think he will do if indeed he makes it to the White House = he will raise taxes he will have no other option and we will all have to more and more taxes!

  10. I liked the part in Obama’s video where the retired black man referred to himself as a “sales associate”, but said, in reality he was just a salesman. The associate designation is just more of the cruel humiliation inflicted upon the less fortunate working stiff. Home Depot’s former CEO Robert Nardelli walks away with a 230 million dollar severance package while his associates are lucky if they can break the $9.00 an hour pay scale barrier. Is the label associate supposed to impart some sort of equality?

  11. Myself and wife are extremely independent voters for many years, we do not agree with all policies from either party. This year we decided to go to rally’s for both canidates. We attended one in Ohio and one in Florida. At the John Mc Cain rally we had to leave after approx. 15 minutes as we did not feel safe. His crowds are aggresive, obnoxious and out of control. This was not bad enough the worst of it was that it was being encouraged by the canidate himself. I have never, ever seen or heard anything quite like this at a presidential rally. There were many racist code words being used, welfare, sharing the wealth, not one of us, etc. etc. etc. We were appaled. At the Obama rally which was approx 15 times the size of the Mc Cain rally, the crowd was enthusiastic, hopeful, and extremely considerate. Obama himself was gracious and seemed a man of character. The difference in the two canidates is stark. Obama is a statesman and extremely calm. Mc Cain is a bulldog and extremely vile. Well you can guess who earned our votes.

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  13. The conservatives (even though today’s Republicans are radicals) always run on fear. It’s all they have ever had. It’s the only way they can ram their agenda through, by divide and conquer, and that is to create an aristocracy. If the masses of ordinary people really understood what they were about, they would never vote for them.

    Along comes a bright, squeaky clean candidate on the heels of a generation of conservative mismanagement, and his totally class act completely shows up how decrepit conservativism has become. Who would’ve thought that this is “all” it would’ve taken to overcome the Rove smear machine?

    Of course Obama benefited greatly from the collossal failures of the last eight years, particularly the recent financial devastation. And he most definitely benefited from McCain’s genius choice for a VP, and all of his other missteps. But Obama’s steady clinging to the high road so starkly sets him apart from the conservatives.

    I thought it was a great infomercial. There was a diary on DailyKos last night, where the writer was watching it from the back of a bar in Philadelphia, where of course the patrons were eager for the World Series game to begin. It was a high end bar, with expensive steaks and so on, but when Obama came on, the patrons clamored to turn up the volume. They watched attentively and broke out in applause at the end. This was followed by a McCain ad, and he said you could just see them shaking their heads and turning away in disgust.

  14. I must confess that somehow I missed the infomercial last night! I’ll have to look for it on youtube today. Please have a look at the oped in today’s nytimes by Roger Cohen, it is a superb look at Obama’s story along the lines of Obama could only happen in America.

  15. An excellent post! I think a growing number of Americans are fed up with hate mongering and class/culture warfare. I am excited at the prospect of having a President who inspires me and others in the world. What you hear at McCain rallies is name calling and hatred born of ignorance. If people at an Obama rally boo at the mention of McCain, Obama immediately tells them to stop by saying, “we don’t need to boo, we just need to vote”! Pure class…

  16. McCain/Palin have my vote and my entire family.

    Elizabeth, that is shocking! I thought you Republicans would never trade anything for hostages! Though, I guess if McCain and Palin have your entire family… do what you must.

  17. joanr16…It’ll probably be another Ransom of Red Chief scenerio if Elizabeth just holds out.

  18. Elizabeth, I think Obama is saying tax cuts unless you make over $200,000. a year. McCain is the one that will increase your taxes to pad the pockets of his wealthy buddies.

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