Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Right About The Right, Again

Sometime late in the morning four years ago, the day after the disastrous 2004 presidential election, a friend sent me an email which decried the gulf of difference between ourselves and the average voter.
There is a large sector of the American public (51%, I guess) that is uninterested in facts. I'm not saying they're necessarily dumb, but they simply are not interested in weighing evidence or critical thinking. They believe what they believe, and for them, it all turns on social issues... [in that context,] the only way to win would be to sacrifice the social issues... In the meantime, we have no choice but to keep fighting for reason, science, and decency, or else just move to Canada. Obama 2008.
Obama in 2008? What a dreamer. And yet here we are! He gets full credit for calling that one.

I bring up his sagacity because we exchanged some email today about some quotes in the New York Times. In an article about the election, one church-going Catholic seriously asked, "are they going to make it the Black House?" And another: "She said she’s never voted, and was a teenage mom "like Bristol." She likes Sarah [Palin] because she’s "down home" but said Obama "gives me the creeps. Nothing to do with the fact that he’s black. He just seems snotty, and he looks weaselly." This is who we might be going to the polls with in November?

My friend wrote of these shameful (shameless?) pronouncements:
...if we [Democrats] don't [win the 2008 election], it won't be because we don't have a good candidate, or that he didn't run a good campaign. It's just that there are more of *them* than there are of us. And worse, they're outbreeding us by a fairly wide margin.
Goddammit, I suspect he's right again. It sounds a lot like Idiocracy, doesn't it?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Was Wrong (Again)

Since Friday I've been saying that John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin was a desperation move that surely marked the end of any Republican aspirations to keep the White House in this year's election. How could an unknown, first-term governor from one of the least populous states in the country be a legitimate choice for VP? It seemed like the ultimate gimmick, designed to grab disgruntled Clinton voters away from Obama, and shake up a race whose outcome was all-but-determined.

Boy was I off the mark. But I've been wrong before, and I'm sure it will happen again. Here's the truth: Palin is a dynamic, funny, engaging, and charismatic speaker, possessed with self-confidence and poise. She's got toughness and pride and broad appeal, and she is certainly a far more inspired and daring choice than Joseph Biden, Obama's running mate. And still more - she has the social- and religious-conservative bona fides that McCain lacks that so energizes the Republican base. She may actually be the best choice McCain could have made in a challenging election year for Republicans.

Already the media machine has been charmed: instead of an honest exploration of her hypocritical and invasive policies, and her wrongheaded views on science and the environment, news consumers have been treated to the most simplistic of narratives about her: that she is a hockey mom who has been judged and mistreated by the democratic establishment and the liberal media.

I have watched only a bit of news since Friday, but I have heard repeated countless instances of hand-wringing that Palin's family should be off-limits, and that Palin should not be criticized for being a working mother of five and accepting the offer to be McCain's running mate. Here's my question: who criticized her for being a working mother? I would love to see the sound bites. Because I don't believe any such criticism actually happened.

Instead, reporters have asked her and everyone around her soft-headed questions like "do you think it's fair to be criticized for being a working mother of five?" Does anyone honestly think that there is more than one answer to that bullshit?

Here's a question for Palin that should not be off limits. "Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between a lack of comprehensive sex education and teen pregnancy rates. This statistic has played itself out in your own life. As an opponent of sex education, how do you respond to that?"

I'd like someone in the "liberal media" to ask that question, please.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pseudointellectual Property

After living with my mom for almost a year, I finally have my own place. But now that I'm moving in, I'm beginning to realize just how few practical possessions I have. I have many games, books, comics, CDs, DVDs, tapes, LPs, posters, and miniatures, as well as two musical instruments, two computers, and other hobbyist equipment. But I have almost nothing in the way of bookshelves, towels, flatware, bed sheets, or things to sit on.

I'd better get to work on that.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Feminists Flock to Anti-Choice Former Beauty Queen

Thanks to John McCain's maverick choice for his vice-presidential running mate, enraged Hillary Clinton supporters have found the feminist voice they had sought in Clinton, and are rallying under the McCain/Palin banner in overwhelming numbers.

Ok, sorry. I always wanted to write an Oniony headline and story. Seriously though, McCain's choice makes his campaign seem even more desperate than I thought possible. This is not going to tip the scale in his favor. It is a laughable and apparently ill-considered move.

Game over, dude.