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Ret. Gen. Colin Powell endorses Senator Obama
October 19, 2008 12:08 PM   Subscribe

Former US Secretary of State and retired General Colin Powell, a controversial, if reluctant supporter of the war on Iraq, offers his endorsement (Flash video) of Senator Barack Obama for the office of President of the United States.

Excerpts from the transcript:

``And I was also concerned at the selection of Governor Palin. She's a very distinguished woman, and she's to be admired; but at the same time, now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president. And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Senator McCain made...

``I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America...

``I have no truck for William Ayers. I think what he did was despicable, and to continue to talk about it in 2001 is also despicable. But to suggest that because Mr. Barack Obama had some contacts of a very casual nature — they sat on a educational board — over time is somehow connected to his thinking or his actions, I think, is a, a terrible stretch. It's demagoguery...

``It isn't easy for me to disappoint Senator McCain in the way that I have this morning, and I regret that. But I strongly believe that at this point in America's history, we need a president that will not just continue, even with a new face and with some changes and with some maverick aspects, who will not just continue, basically, the policies that we have been following in recent years. I think we need a transformational figure. I need — think we need a president who is a generational change. And that's why I'm supporting Barack Obama. Not out of any lack of respect or admiration for Senator John McCain.
posted by Blazecock Pileon (717 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite

 
His repudiation of the Muslim slander -- not merely by pointing out that it was false, but also that it shouldn't matter -- was, for me, one of the most important things said during this election. He injected morality into a discourse that has been based in hatred, and I was amazed the here it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:15 PM on October 19, 2008 [138 favorites]


Be sure to watch his more informal comments to the press after the interview, in which he lets loose on Michele Bachmann.
posted by jokeefe at 12:19 PM on October 19, 2008 [7 favorites]


(Pardon me as I move a comment I made in another thread over here.)

First of all, awesome. Despite the paroxysms from the LGF idiots who think this is about race, the fact remains that Powell has always been a widely-respected military leader and statesman. In many ways, he's the kind of man McCain pretends to be - a moderate uniter who's commanded the respect from people of both parties. Let's not forget he's served under both Republican and Democratic presidents (Reagan's National Security Advisor, GHW Bush's and Clinton's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and of course George W Bush's Secretary of State until 2005).

His initial, public position on the war in Iraq is troubling, but to understand it, you have to understand Powell's military philosophy. Powell believed the US military could be a force for global justice, as opposed to simply serving national interest. Writing in Foreign Affairs in 1992, Powell said in part:
"The summons to leadership that we face at present is our fourth rendezvous with destiny. Answering this summons does not mean peace, prosperity, justice for all and no more wars in the world—any more than the American Revolution meant all people were free, the Civil War meant an end to racial inequality, or World War II and our great victory in the Cold War meant the triumph of democracy and free markets. What our leadership in the world does mean is that these things have a chance. We can have peace. We can continue moving toward greater prosperity for all. We can strive for justice in the world. We can seek to limit the destruction and the casualties of war. We can help enslaved people find their freedom."
So Powell has always been an interventionist, has always believed in the military as a tool for humanitarianism. Ironically, in this same article he says that Gulf War 1 had a "limited objective" because for the US to take over Iraq would cost an "unpardonable expense in terms of money, lives lost and ruined regional relationships", saying of those who criticized Bush Sr. for not capturing Saddam, "Even if Hussein had waited for us to enter Baghdad, and even if we had been able to capture him, what purpose would it have served? And would serving that purpose have been worth the many more casualties that would have occurred? Would it have been worth the inevitable follow-up: major occupation forces in Iraq for years to come and a very expensive and complex American proconsulship in Baghdad? Fortunately for America, reasonable people at the time thought not. They still do."

Yeah. So what happened between then and 2003? Not much, really. In fact, Powell has said he tried to talk Bush out of invading Iraq: "I tried to avoid this war. I took him [Bush] through the consequences of going into an Arab country and becoming the occupiers." Powell was no extremist. In 2004, again writing in Foreign Affairs, he makes a strained attempt at painting Bush as a unifier, reaching out to other countries in combatting terror. Here, Powell says more about himself than Bush, though - Powell still believes in multilateral humanitarian military action and endured a great deal of cognitive dissonance in order to try and shape Bush in this image - this same year, he refered to neo-cons as "fucking crazies".

Colin Powell remains a moderate Republican - he's pro-choice and supports "reasonable" gun control. His support of Barack Obama is a reflection of his respect for the quality of a leader remaining calm in a storm - a quality somewhat lacking in the current president, to Powell's dismay, and a quality sorely lacking in McCain as well, as Powell fully recognizes. Given Powell's carreer and personal philosophy, his support of Barack Obama comes as no surprise.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:19 PM on October 19, 2008 [51 favorites]


Thank you, Mr. Powell, not only for endorsing Senator Obama, but for the way in which you did it.
posted by orange swan at 12:20 PM on October 19, 2008 [10 favorites]


This marks the point where this race has official moved into "live boy or dead girl" territory.
posted by azpenguin at 12:23 PM on October 19, 2008


His repudiation of the Muslim slander......

I feet the same way. I think it is really important that those slinging this crap hear it from one of their own respected leaders. This is something that needed to be addressed by someone of his stature and hopefully it will lead a few to rethink their preconceived notions about what this race is about and how they are being misled.
posted by chillmost at 12:23 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why did he wait until now- when it's already been a foregone conclusion that Obama is going to win (and by a hell of a lot).
posted by Zambrano at 12:23 PM on October 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


I really liked his endorsement comments... the anecdote about the Muslim soldier will really resonate with moderate, secular conservatives who have been watching with dismay as McCain attempts to divide the country even while Obama is attempting to frame the election in more conciliatory terms.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 12:25 PM on October 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Reluctant huh? Is that before or after he lied to the UN?
posted by IvoShandor at 12:28 PM on October 19, 2008 [10 favorites]


I really liked his endorsement comments... the anecdote about the Muslim soldier will really resonate with moderate, secular conservatives who have been watching with dismay as McCain attempts to divide the country even while Obama is attempting to frame the election in more conciliatory terms.

A million times, yes. I don't know how to feel about Powell saying that "even if Obama were a Muslim, it shouldn't matter" - do I applaud the great clanging brass ones it takes to say something like this, or do I weep for a country where it takes great clanging brass ones to say something like this?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:29 PM on October 19, 2008 [30 favorites]


Someone in a previous thread had the perfect turn of phrase for this: flag endorses wind direction.

All the same, I'm glad of Powell's Obama endorsement.
posted by killdevil at 12:29 PM on October 19, 2008 [8 favorites]


He is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?

QFT. I am so glad that he made this point in particular.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:32 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know if it's lazy to just paste a quote from Duncan Black but he summed up my feelings perfectly..

I think what little credibility Colin Powell had is in a little vial of white powder somewhere, and have no desire to help rehabilitate his image. Still such things are not aimed at me, but at that segment of the population for whom the recommendation of their first black friend might encourage them to get a second one.

-Atrios


The remaining rats will continue to trickle out of the ship in the next week or so and I imagine that they'll be insinuating themselves into every nook and cranny of the new order that they can find.
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:33 PM on October 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


The cognitive dissonance over at places like Red State has been truly something to behold-- even before this.
posted by jokeefe at 12:33 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why did he wait until now- when it's already been a foregone conclusion that Obama is going to win (and by a hell of a lot).

This is the Obama campaign's October surprise, or at least one of them. The timing intentionally coincided with the first signs that Obama's momentum had run out. McCain has made minor gains in the polls the last couple of days (which was expected, as there is historically almost always a tightening in the polls in the last couple of weeks before the election), and this is timed to throw a wrench into any sort of enthusiasm the McCain camp might have been starting to generate.

From fivethirtyeight.com:

With that said, Powell has approval ratings as high as just about any public figure in America. His endorsement was eloquent, unequivocal, and because of his role in the Bush Administration, genuinely newsworthy. Powell's endorsement might play especially well among the defense and military communities in Northern Virginia, which just so happens to be perhaps the most important swing region in the election.

And it comes at an opportune time in the news cycle, with the McCain campaign having just started to feel as though it had refound its center of gravity. Between this and Obama's $150 million fundraising haul, however, the sense of inevitability may creep in again. Contrary to some observers, I think that there is far more downside to the Republicans in resignation, fatalism and low morale than there is to the Democrats in complacency.

posted by Caduceus at 12:33 PM on October 19, 2008 [10 favorites]


Like I said earlier, woooooooooooohoooooooooo!
posted by inconsequentialist at 12:34 PM on October 19, 2008


The anecdote about the Muslim soldier will really resonate with moderate, secular conservatives who have been watching with dismay as McCain attempts to divide the country even while Obama is attempting to frame the election in more conciliatory terms.

Man, I'm with you but I just hope you're right about the others. Not "The Others" which would be what seems to be the last remnant of the McCain/Palin strategery, but rather... ah, screw it.

Well said, sir/ma'am. And well put, Mr. Powell. I'm far from his biggest booster (UN bullshit anyone?), but to paraphrase someone else, if the neocons have lost Powell, they've lost America. And a healthy Sunday afternoon dose of "Fuck you" to anyone with the lack of brain and balls to suggest this is about race. That alone makes this pacifist ready to stab a dude were he to suggest so.

Anyways: no complacency, this thing's not done yet. But good goddamn, it feels good to be on the right side of history. Get out the way, wingnuts. The zeitgeist wants a word with ya'll.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:34 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I agree with Astro Zombie. That's been the biggest problem with this awful whisper campaign. Whenever someone from the GOP or a conservative background dennies it, they always say Obama has been a Christian, but they don't say that being a Muslim isn't something that should disqualify you from being a leader.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:34 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thanks to fourcheesemac and horsewithnoname, here's the image of the soldier's grave, and then the image of the soldier's mother that Powell referred to, in the New Yorker. More information about soldier Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan here at Time Magazine and here.
posted by cashman at 12:35 PM on October 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


Why did he wait until now- when it's already been a foregone conclusion that Obama is going to win (and by a hell of a lot).

Great attitude, bub! Hell, don't even vote! I mean, if Obama's already got it in the bag, he should just move in to the White House tomorrow...

The polls are tightening again. Undecided Republicans are starting to move back to McCain's camp. IF Obama wins (and that's still a big IF), it'll be by a couple of points only, not by 10 or 12.

Powell's endorsement helps, I think, but it would really be beneficial if it provided cover for other moderate, serious-minded Republicans like Hagel and Lugar to also come out for Obama. Here's to hoping that's how it plays out.
posted by billysumday at 12:35 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is all such a fucking blast.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:36 PM on October 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


I think he spoke out now and at such length rather than just issuing a two-sentence endorsement (or remaining silent) because he's profoundly sickened and troubled by what has become of his party, which is what also seems to be motivating all these traditionally-Republican major newspapers. The common tone of all these endorsements is "This is a good man and a good leader, we're not going to let you get away with trashing him, and we don't want any part of your lunatic fringe hate machine."
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:36 PM on October 19, 2008


On MSNBC, the anchor is asking whether Powell's endorsement of Obama is balanced out by Lieberman's endorsement of McCain.

And, unbelievably, her question doesn't appear to be rhetorical.
posted by Poolio at 12:37 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Like I asked in that other thread just now, did Powell negotiate to get 7 minutes of completely uninterrupted network time -- no cutaways, no reaction shots, no brokawian hair shots, no stupidass interrupting questions. It was a tour de force of an endorsement, even if Powell has no real moral standing in my eyes.
posted by Rumple at 12:39 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


billysumday - The polls are tightening again.

Today's Gallup tracking poll:

Registered Voters:
Obama 52 (+2)
McCain 42 (nc)

Likely Voters (Expanded):
Obama 51 (+1)
McCain 44 (-2)

Likely Voters (Traditional):
Obama 49 (nc)
McCain 46 (-1)

I do not think that word, tightening, means what you think it means.
posted by Poolio at 12:41 PM on October 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


No matter how tarnished his brand has become, Powell's Why Should It Matter on the Muslim thing is going to bouce around in the backcourt of the Republican machine because not a single person there has the balls to step up and take a swing.
posted by Cyrano at 12:43 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America...

I have been waiting for someone to say this in public for so. fucking. long.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:46 PM on October 19, 2008 [33 favorites]


Poolio:

You're just as bad as Drudge. You can't take one poll and go, "See! My guy is totally going to win!"

The election is 16 days away. If you think Obama's going to win by 15 points, good on ya. I've no doubt that the polls will tighten, more shit will hit the fan, McCain and Palin will get nastier and nastier. The whole reason why Republicans go negative is to suppress turnout. That, combined with complacency, is a recipe for an election day upset.
posted by billysumday at 12:47 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


On MSNBC, the anchor is asking whether Powell's endorsement of Obama is balanced out by Lieberman's endorsement of McCain.

Why would a Republican endorsing McCain matter?
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:47 PM on October 19, 2008 [36 favorites]


I do not think that word, tightening, means what you think it means.

There's more than one tracking poll, you know. And the phrase "are tightening" indicates something that is still happening, and just because it doesn't happen every day doesn't mean it's not happening. Try checking out yesterday's Gallup poll. Or the day-before's.
posted by Caduceus at 12:47 PM on October 19, 2008


I think it's perhaps opportunistic but I do think that it does provide a significant amount of value to the Obama campaign.

As former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs it shows that Obama is ready for prime-time when it comes to national security. This undermines one of McCain's criticisms.

Further as a well known moderate conservative, the endorsement of Obama is a repudiation of the current wingnutosphere that dominates the modern Republican party. If Obama can peel away moderate conservatives from the Republican base that can become the basis of a dominant electoral coalition for the next couple of decades until the Republican party manages to reinvent itself again.

Finally with so little time left on the clock this endorsement is going to make it hard for McCain to regain any sort of momentum. With Obama's massive fundraising enabling him to blast the airwaves and Powell endorsement filling the news cycle McCain will likely be frozen out for the next week or so which will make any attempt to recover a major undertaking.
posted by vuron at 12:53 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


There's more than one tracking poll, you know.

I know... but Rasmussen also shows Obama moving up the past 2 days.

Yesterday's Gallup also showed Obama gaining.

And Hotline/Diageo was unchanged the past 2 days.

The fact is, the race has been pretty stable all week... all of the supposed movement toward McCain was just as likely noise, as it was within the MOE.
posted by Poolio at 12:55 PM on October 19, 2008


Why did he wait until now- when it's already been a foregone conclusion that Obama is going to win (and by a hell of a lot).

Are you kidding me??? After all the we went though in 2000 and 2004, you think that Obama's win is a foregone conclusion? As we sit around the house on a fall afternoon, McCain's troops are actively seeking to disenfranchise perfectly valid and registered voters, and continuing to employ fear tactics to cast doubt of the legitimacy of the election's likely outcome.

Beyond this, I wonder, how many Timothy McVeigh's are being conceived, every time a devotee of McCain or Palin calls Obama a "traitor" or "terrorist"? Is this what we have to look forward to during the Obama Adminstration? A self anointed "patriot", egged on by agents in the GOP, acting out against a new president that might have an electoral mandate for the first time in a quarter century?

I was glad that someone from the ranks of the GOP finally had the BALLS to say the right thing. Too often, we keep hearing these party line creeps parrot obvious lies ("Palin is more qualified than Obama", "Obama's campaign has been even more negative then McCain's") even though everyone audience and speaker alike know the truth. I had hoped the Chuck Hegel would have stepped up, but his refusal to endorse either McCain or Obama is probably as good as we're going to get.

I don't hold Powell's tenure as SoS against him. His first mistake was agreeing to serve President Bush in the first place, everything the did thereafter came with the territory. If anything, I'd rather that he resigned before going to the UN, but I think that's just not in his nature, and he probably thought that he could be more effective in minimizing damage if he remained in office than from the periphery.
posted by psmealey at 12:56 PM on October 19, 2008 [12 favorites]


Well, color me impressed. I'm not Colin Powell's biggest fan, but it's refreshing to hear sincere, thoughtful, nuanced views - from someone who obviously has deep-rooted, personal beliefs (right or wrong) about what's good for the country, and tries to make his decisions based on them. I feel like, too, he's put his finger on what a lot of moderate conservatives must be feeling - that the party's gotten away from them, that it no longer represents a core group of philosophies but rather an exclusionary, sort of scary culture that divides and alienates. His remarks on the whole Bachman thing were especially interesting - that's frustration and disgust and "Really, it's come to this?" right there.
posted by peachfuzz at 12:56 PM on October 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


You're just as bad as Drudge.

And so are you, with your claims of a tightening race.

You'd have to cherry-pick polls to support that conclusion.
posted by Poolio at 12:56 PM on October 19, 2008


Obama's reaction to the endorsement:
I have been honored to have the benefit of his wisdom and counsel from time to time over the last few years, but today, I am beyond honored and deeply humbled to have the support of General Colin Powell.

General Powell has defended this nation bravely, and he has embodied our highest ideals through his long and distinguished public service. He and his wife Alma have inspired millions of young people to serve their communities and their country through their tireless commitment and trailblazing American story. And he knows, as we do, that this is a moment where we all need to come together as one nation – young and old, rich and poor, black and white, Republican and Democrat.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:57 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


All that being said, I'm taking nothing for granted, and acting as though Obama is 10 points behind.
posted by Poolio at 12:57 PM on October 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


Polls for Presidential races tighten historically , and I think it is best to accept that. Then when these goofy reporters try to sucker you into thinking something is wrong in the coming weeks when the polls tighten, you can dismiss it as nonsense, and tell your friends and family the same thing. I saw Gallup's polls too, and I do hope that it rises even more for Obama, but it's not likely to happen.
posted by cashman at 12:58 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


You'd have to cherry-pick polls to support that conclusion.

Here, why not pick all the cherries at once?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:59 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Real Clear Politics does a bit of cherry-picking too.

I think 538 and pollster.com are the best aggregators.
posted by Poolio at 1:01 PM on October 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


Whether or not the polls are actually tightening (which 538 and pollster seem to think true), there has been without a doubt a perception of some flagging momentum in the Obama camp in the past week, and I promise y'all that this was a very carefully planned moment from Obama.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:03 PM on October 19, 2008


Real Clear Politics does a bit of cherry-picking too.

By averaging multiple national and regional polls? OK ...

I think 538 and pollster.com are the best aggregators.

Yeah, 538 is also saying the race is tightening.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:03 PM on October 19, 2008


And so are you, with your claims of a tightening race.

You'd have to cherry-pick polls to support that conclusion.


From FiveThirtyEight, yesterday: "John McCain has once again improved his position in the national tracking polls, having gained ground in 4 of the 6 trackers that published today (Rasmussen and IBD/TIPP were the exceptions). Our model now perceives that Obama has come somewhat off his peak numbers, which were realized perhaps 5-7 days ago."
posted by scody at 1:03 PM on October 19, 2008


jokeefe: "The cognitive dissonance over at places like Red State has been truly something to behold-- even before this."

I can't wait to read RedState and their like on November 5th if Obama wins this. I predict that they're going to be like those malfunctioning Star Trek robots who just keep reciting, "Does not compute", while smoke pours out of their ears.
posted by octothorpe at 1:04 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


(heh! jinx, Marisa)
posted by scody at 1:04 PM on October 19, 2008


McCain Defends His Robo-Slime Campaign, Lies About It

Race to the Bottom
posted by homunculus at 1:05 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Would everyone please stop talking about Colin Powell's balls? I'm eating here.
posted by ColdChef at 1:05 PM on October 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


I can't wait to read RedState and their like on November 5th if Obama wins this. I predict that they're going to be like those malfunctioning Star Trek robots who just keep reciting, "Does not compute", while smoke pours out of their ears.
Eh, I wish. They'll be spinning up their outrage and plans for civil unrest; after all, when thugs like ACORN steal an election, it's the responsibility of true Americans to take up arms and reclaim democracy.
posted by verb at 1:06 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think 538 and pollster.com are the best aggregators.

So do I, and the aggregate shows a tightening race. Here's the thing. Obama won't win Pennsylvania by 14 points. He's not going to win Indiana. He's probably not going to win Ohio. He's not going to win in Virginia by 10 points. All of that would be GREAT, but it's just not likely to happen. Those life-long Republicans who flirted with voting for Obama will go back to McCain. That's just how it's going to be.

What we can hope for is incredible enthusiasm on the Democratic side, enormous early voting in NC and VA and NV and CO and those places, and a relentless push of endorsements, advertising, campaigning, and canvassing in the final two weeks.
posted by billysumday at 1:06 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fine... the polls are tightening.

I give up!
posted by Poolio at 1:07 PM on October 19, 2008


Would everyone please stop talking about Colin Powell's balls? I'm eating babies here.

Why, ColdChef!
posted by shakespeherian at 1:08 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Those life-long Republicans who flirted with voting for Obama will go back to McCain.

Anecdotal, but I know more than one life-long Republican who's voting for Obama.
posted by octothorpe at 1:10 PM on October 19, 2008


I give up!

Huzzah! We win! No, wait, shit, that's exactly the sort of overconfident declaration of victory we've been warning YOU against!

Anyway, I see your point, but the fact is, Obama's momentum has stalled and we're all hoping that he gets it back. The Powell endorsement hopefully dominates the press for the next day or two, and helps give cover for more moderate Republicans to come out and publicly endorse Obama.
posted by billysumday at 1:12 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does anyone else think there are a [possibly substantial] number of Republicans who tell their friends and/or pollsters that they'll be voting for McCain, but secretly plan on voting for Obama?
posted by Poolio at 1:12 PM on October 19, 2008


As an outsider, getting invested in the last two elections got me burned. I've tried to avoid caring about America for the last year. At least up until now. Damn you all if you don't elect Obama. Prove, not just to me, but the rest of the world that America can do better and wants to be better.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:13 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's already started octothorpe: Redstate founder can't bring himself to vote for McCain, writes in Bobby Jindal instead.*
posted by Rumple at 1:13 PM on October 19, 2008


The New Stabbed In the Back Myth

Previously: Stabbed In The Back: The Birth of a Legend
posted by homunculus at 1:14 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I can't wait to read RedState and their like on November 5th if Obama wins this

I predict they'll blame it on Acorn. No matter that there's no possible way any of Acorn's illegitimate activities could at all effect the outcome of the election. Go ahead and add this to the list of pervasive Right Wing myths (in reverse chronological order):posted by psmealey at 1:15 PM on October 19, 2008 [23 favorites]


Anecdotal, but I know more than one life-long Republican who's voting for Obama.

Is it one of my parents? Because they are life-long Republican Hoosiers who are considering voting for Obama. My point is just that I believe there is a block of Republican voters who are fascinated by Obama and like him, but have been looking for reasons not to vote for him. I think his "spread the wealth around" comment hurt him with those Republicans, and personally I think that's why he stalled in the polls the last few days. The importance of the Powell endorsement is that I think it grabs those moderate, waffling Republicans again and asks them to reconsider. If you at state polls, the greatest number of undecided voters are always Republican. This is bad news for Obama, ultimately, because it means that the undecided voters are more likely to break for McCain on election day. My hope is that Powell and possibly Hagel and Lugar can provide enough reassurance for these undecided Republican voters.
posted by billysumday at 1:16 PM on October 19, 2008


Given my distaste for Powell (formed after his absurd performance before the UN), when I heard that he had endorsed Obama, my reaction was limited to something along the lines of "Good, this will probably bring some more votes to Obama."

But after watching the interview, and the subsequence Q&A with reporters, my reaction has now become significantly more positive towards Powell himself.

Not for endorsing Obama. As before, I still view that as a positive merely in a utilitarian sense.

But for the rest of the things that he said. Americans who are Muslim are Americans, and love their country as much as the rest of us do. Representative Bachmann's recent suggestion of conducting a witch hunt for anti-American members of Congress is reprehensible. The Ayers controversy is contrived, ridiculous, fomenting, and offensive.

These things are all so obvious, but it seemed that no one of Powell's stature had been willing to stand up and say them, especially not as categorically and straightforwardly as Powell did.

To me, it seems like Colin Powell has become to the modern Republican and conservative movements as Joseph Welch was to Joe McCarthy.

Thank you, Colin Powell.
posted by Flunkie at 1:16 PM on October 19, 2008 [12 favorites]


Wait, is this an election year?
posted by swift at 1:18 PM on October 19, 2008


In case anyone doesn't know, Hagel's wife endorsed Obama this week and attended the last debate as a guest of Michelle Obama.
posted by Poolio at 1:19 PM on October 19, 2008


I now present to you a 67-page PDF of pure, unadulterated whackadoo: Obama's Use of Hidden Hypnosis Techniques in His Speeches.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:20 PM on October 19, 2008 [14 favorites]


I can't wait to read RedState and their like on November 5th if Obama wins this. I predict that they're going to be like those malfunctioning Star Trek robots who just keep reciting, "Does not compute", while smoke pours out of their ears.
I sometimes read such sites after various major events or breaking stories, just to see their reaction. I remember reading one such site -- I think maybe freerepublic -- on the day after the 2006 midterm election.

They said that now that Democrats won Congress, we could expect more frequent terrorist attacks on the scale of 9/11 on American soil. Much more frequent. Think monthly or perhaps even weekly.

I suspect that, should Obama win this election, their reaction will be much the same.
posted by Flunkie at 1:23 PM on October 19, 2008


Poolio: I saw that, but imagine the impact of an actual Hagel endorsement. If he appeared on MTP next week and endorsed Obama in similar language to Powell, it would be magnificent. My feeling is that if Hagel IS willing to endorse Obama, the Obama camp might be waiting to roll him out strategically (with strategery) so as to maximize the effect. Pipe dream, perhaps, but still, I was surprised to hear Powell so demonstrably and effectively endorse Obama today. Hagel doesn't have anything to lose and everything to gain. Same with Dick Lugar, who won his last Senate race with 87% of the vote. Lugar endorsing Obama is not going to hurt Lugar, but it would kill John McCain.
posted by billysumday at 1:23 PM on October 19, 2008


for those of you saying Powell's jumping on the bandwagon, I remember reading in the run-up to this (and Powell hints at it in his own remarks about when he made the decision) that Obama had this endorsement in the bank a month or two ago and was simply waiting to pull out this card when the time was right.

How many textbooks do you think will be written about this campaign? These guys are smooth
posted by slapshot57 at 1:24 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anecdotal, but I know more than one life-long Republican who's voting for Obama.

Just the other day I was talking with my dad (undecided independent moderate until Sarah Palin's selection put him firmly in the Obama category) about an acquaintance from West Virginia. This fellow is a staunch conservative and big time Bush supporter (lifelong Republican), but has recently begun to rethink his support of the Republicans. He probably wasn't going to vote for Obama, but neither did he want to vote for McCain.

Anyway, Dad mentioned that this man really respected Colin Powell and his departure from the Bush administration was one of the first things to cause the acquaintance to move away from the Republican party. I'd be interested to know if he will now reconsider voting for Obama, and I wouldn't be surprised if other people share a similar story.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:26 PM on October 19, 2008


Another great strategic move by Obama's campaign was to wait until this morning to announce that they'd raised more than $150 million in September.

The best McCain could do in the face of the headlines this and the Powell endorsement generated was to give another shout out to "Joe the [unlicensed] Plumber" and call Obama a "Socialist".
posted by Poolio at 1:29 PM on October 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Colin Powell endorsed Obama because he's black.
posted by gman at 1:38 PM on October 19, 2008


The best McCain could do in the face of the headlines this and the Powell endorsement generated was to give another shout out to "Joe the [unlicensed] Plumber" and call Obama a "Socialist".

Which is a testament to how contrasting their campaigns are. Obama keeps coming forward with the positive - record donation numbers, endorsements - while McCain is on the defensive: simultaneously engaging in genuinely mean-spirited negative campaigning, and having to defend these practices. He can't build on anything, he can only chip away at what Obama has built.

This works on voters, of course, but you have to keep it under the radar. When it goes above ground for sustained periods of time, it has a tendency to sicken people, or at least make the very uncomfortable about voting for the candidate engaged in the practice. Which is why it's great in many ways that the MSM is shining a spotlight on it, as in, "Senator McCain, how do you justify the robo-calls?" That says to the American public: McCain is doing something underhanded that we are exposing, something he is forced to defend. Right or wrong, that soils his credibility.

So when Obama wins, yes, you can bet there will be legal challenges. It will probably go to the Supreme Court. ACORN will be blamed. Too bad McCain-Palin doesn't rhyme with something as catchy as "Sore-Loserman".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:39 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Before the Democratic ticket was decided, I thought that McCain wasn't that bad--considering everything. (Please note that the prior statement is certainly no endorsement--I just thought "Well, at least he'd be better than Bush.)

I think that a lot of people had that idea about him when the news was all about Hillary and Obama, with McCain pretty much keeping his mouth shut as he meandered his was around on his StraightTalk Express. Now that he's started actually campaigning, however, I realize what a disgusting little toad he actually is.

I think that a lot of Americans would have liked him a whole lot more if he just would have kept his fucking mouth shut during the campaign.
posted by leftcoastbob at 1:40 PM on October 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


Colin Powell endorsed Obama because he's black.

I actually heard someone this morning (deep South Louisiana here) make the comment, "Well, that's not a surprise. Those niggers always stick together." And I thought, "I wonder how long it's been since someone called Colin Powell that."

FWIW, the woman to whom the comment was being addressed quickly stopped the man by saying, "I love Colin Powell. He's the one who should be president." To which the earlier racist said, "Oh yeah. I'd vote for that one." Without acknowledging the comment he'd previously made.
posted by ColdChef at 1:50 PM on October 19, 2008 [8 favorites]


ColdChef, I think your anecdote perfectly illustrates why the Colin Powell endorsement actually, you know, matters. With real people. Racist or no.
posted by billysumday at 1:54 PM on October 19, 2008


ColdChef, I think your anecdote perfectly illustrates why the Colin Powell endorsement actually, you know, matters. With real people. Racist or no.

I agree. This endorsement will probably win over at least four people I personally know. Not that it will make a difference in Louisiana.

Also: "We're voting for the nigger."
posted by ColdChef at 1:59 PM on October 19, 2008


So is this the new election thread? Cause the other one is still going.
posted by like_neon at 1:59 PM on October 19, 2008


Given the impact of Powell, I have to wonder what else they have planned if they rolled him out this early. They may have a couple of other significant endorsements in the hole.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 2:00 PM on October 19, 2008


Colin Powell endorsed Obama because he's black the best candidate.
posted by gman at 4:38 PM on October 19 [+] [!]


Fixed that for you.
posted by orange swan at 2:01 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


To which the earlier racist said, "Oh yeah. I'd vote for that one."

Barack is actually Swahili for "That One"
posted by Poolio at 2:05 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm deeply enjoying Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama, both for the things he said that needed to be said for months now (with regard to the Muslim [non]issue, especially), and for the sly digs he took at Bush:

"On the Obama side, I watched Mr. Obama and I watched him during this seven-week period. And he displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge and an approach to looking at problems like this and picking a vice president that, I think, is ready to be president on day one. And also, in not just jumping in and changing every day, but showing intellectual vigor. I think that he has a, a definitive way of doing business that would serve us well."

...

"So, when I look at all of this and I think back to my Army career, we've got two individuals, either one of them could be a good president. But which is the president that we need now? Which is the individual that serves the needs of the nation for the next period of time? And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities--and we have to take that into account--as well as his substance--he has both style and substance--he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president."

It's not McCain who he's calling dumb and incurious, uninspirational, non-inclusive, a poor speaker, a possible disaster-president -- it's his former boss.
posted by brain cloud at 2:12 PM on October 19, 2008 [9 favorites]


I'm eating here.

chocolate balls... [in the voice of tay zonday]

powell's endorsement is kinda tainted by the stevens thing tho
posted by kliuless at 2:22 PM on October 19, 2008


Looks like we have a new candidate for the leadership of the Republican party.

POWELL 2016?
posted by blue_beetle at 2:26 PM on October 19, 2008


I'm very dubious Powell is ever going to run for president. I think that if he wanted to, he would have run this year. It would have been the prime year for him to run; he's a far stronger pick than McCain, and a far, far stronger pick than any of the rest of the yokels who ran in the Republican primary.
posted by Caduceus at 2:31 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Shit, I need to apologize. Calling the Republican primary candidates yokels is really unfair to real yokels.
posted by Caduceus at 2:31 PM on October 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Now that he's started actually campaigning, however, I realize what a disgusting little toad he actually is.

Likewise, I'm no fan, but at least McCain has the good grace to look embarassed when he hears the hatred he's stirred up at his events. I've never seen anything resembling a conscience in Palin. Granted we haven't seen much of her, but I'm not holding my breath.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:32 PM on October 19, 2008


OK, I now have to rethink some of the distaste I've harbored towards General Powell. Thank fucking god someone finally said the obvious about how being Muslim isn't a crime.
posted by maxwelton at 2:33 PM on October 19, 2008


I watched the endorsement this morning on Meet The Press. I was impressed with the nuance and reasoned explanation, and I believe that Colin Powell voiced what has been on the minds of many,many people for a long time now.

The Republican Party, as has been run by the neoconservatives, is dying. It has been dying for quite a while; heading more and more right, leaving more thoughtful and freedom-loving conservatives behind. Unfortunately, loyalty is the bedrock of the Republican Party and many of the disenchanted haven't felt "safe" in voicing their opposition. (Today's GOP shows that daily- witness their instant distancing from Christopher Buckley. Eating their own is S.O.P.)

It's exactly what Christopher Buckley said - "I haven't left the party, they have left me."

I certainly won't mourn the loss; indeed, I find the unwinding of hubris fascinating. But if this leads to the more wingnut factions of the right ceding power to more thoughtful conservatives, our country may have a brighter future than I thought just a little while ago.

Fingers crossed. Olive branch raised halfway.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:52 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Holy shit, Coldchef, that brought tears to my eyes. They call him MISTER General Powell!!

You know, the segment I wonder about in the republicans is the 46-50 year olds like my mother, whose first votes were cast for the charismatic, optimistic Reagan and have at last come around to Obama. Will they be falling away from the GOP for good, now that their contrast with Obama's casually progressive common sense clearly shown how deeply xenophobic and reactionary they have become?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:02 PM on October 19, 2008


Metafilter: pure, unadulterated whackadoo


Colin Powell endorsed Obama because he's black."

Whose the "he" in this statement?
posted by Mitheral at 3:16 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


A few days a go. discussing Powell's imminent endorsement with a friend, I had the same "why now? Might as well wait until after the election, buddy." thought. But upon hearing the actual endorsement, it makes more sense to me.

It's important to remember that nobody has to endorse anyone. If he wanted to play it safe, he could have just watched from the sidelines and made all sorts of "I respect both men" type comments.

I think this hurts McCain as much as it helps Obama . As a very public repudiation of his own Party and it's candidate, there's gotta be an extra level of teeth-gnashing and garment-rending going on behind closed doors. Endorsements are about more than just votes. They're also about influence and networking and power-brokering. Say what you will about Powell's public face after the Iraq war run-up, the man still has clout.

I think the most important aspect is what this says to to those who Obama would have to deal with as "leader of the free world" (I hate that phrase, but it does neatly symbolize heights at which the US president must perform). Let's not forget that Powell was National Security advisor, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs before becoming Seceratary of State. For good or bad, he has had as much a part as anyone at creating the world situation that the next President will have to deal with. He knows how the sausage is made, and who made it, and why.

I think this endorsement goes a long way towards saying "When Obama answers that call at 3am, he's got the right people on speed-dial for 3:05" Both to American voters and to the world at large.

As to Obama's momentum, I'm guessing we're going to see a lot of this over the next two weeks. The mainstream story of Obama's campaign so far has been about all the gotcha stuff, and missed the brilliance of his overall campaign, the impeccable timing, and the discipline shown in setting up everything for the endgame. He's got the polls on his side, the money,the ground forces, and the endorsements. I'm just tossing out my prediction that we haven't seen anything yet. If the campaign so far has been any indication, Win or lose they're gonna close this thing out with a bang. My guess is that this weekend's double rally of 100k and 75k in the same day was just a dry-run. I'd be really surprised if the week leading up to the election doesn't see him going bigger.

The other thing I think we'll see on election day is the death of "redstate vs. bluestate" politics. I remember reading an article right after the 2004 election that i wish I could find now, as it made a good case that just because Bush won a state, didn't make it Red. I'm hoping this election proves that theory.
posted by billyfleetwood at 3:20 PM on October 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


It occurred to me while watching Oliver Stone's W. (don't bother) that if the weekend box office returns were good, Sarah Palin might be back in Alaska by Monday night.

So, yeah, thank goodness for this endorsement.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:33 PM on October 19, 2008


What with all these republicans edorsing Obama, and the tales of the once honourable McCain of integrity and backbone, I just had an image of him making amends for his awful campaign and terrible VP pick by going in on November 4 and voting for Obama.
posted by twirlypen at 3:33 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Colin Powell endorsed Obama because he's black."

Whose the "he" in this statement?
posted by Mitheral at 6:16 PM


Joey Simmons.
posted by gman at 3:34 PM on October 19, 2008


Powell just got himself a job in Obama's cabinet?
posted by normy at 3:39 PM on October 19, 2008


An Obama canvasser just stopped by. Offered us a bumper sticker and to tell us about early voting hours at our BOE. Which is funny since I'm the Election Coordinator for the IT department at the County and my honey [and son] are in the Early Voting Commercial that the County made.
posted by sciurus at 3:40 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


What with all these republicans edorsing Obama, and the tales of the once honourable McCain of integrity and backbone, I just had an image of him making amends for his awful campaign and terrible VP pick by going in on November 4 and voting for Obama.

Considering that in reality he's always been a greedy, self-serving, ambitious bastard, that seems unlikely.
posted by Caduceus at 3:40 PM on October 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


It's not McCain who he's calling dumb and incurious, uninspirational, non-inclusive, a poor speaker, a possible disaster-president -- it's his former boss.

Yeah he just very eloquently called the Republican party on its bullshit and spanked the administration that used him for its own ends. All while showing the kind of grace and integrity the GOP is completely lacking right now. He should not have been the first person to call McCain's campaign out on using Muslim as an insult. It should not have taken this long. They will use any prejudice to win, and that's why they're going to lose the executive and more seats in Congress next month.
posted by Tehanu at 3:52 PM on October 19, 2008


The Republican Party, as has been run by the neoconservatives, is dying. It has been dying for quite a while; heading more and more right, leaving more thoughtful and freedom-loving conservatives behind.

As we've seen from the populist, xenophobic, anti immigrant, anti "other" pandering now underway at a McCain/Palin event near you, the base of the Republican Party seems irretrievably degraded, its leadership morally and intellectually bankrupt, and seems destined to become a Far Right party, not unlike Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front in France. I'd be okay with that, except while the Front National comprises less than 10% of the electorate in France, I suspect its ugly American cousin would comprise closer to 30%. That's much too large a segment for anyone to be comfortable.

Beware the neocons, however. They are right/left agnostic. The ideas that they espouse (conquest of exploitation of foreign assets under the cover of exporting our "ideals" and justified by American exceptionalism), can just as easily be adapted to co-opt Democratic Party interests as they had been to take over the GOP.
posted by psmealey at 4:00 PM on October 19, 2008 [14 favorites]


Too bad McCain-Palin doesn't rhyme with something as catchy as "Sore-Loserman".

McPain-Failin'
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:09 PM on October 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


... the once honourable McCain of integrity and backbone, I just had an image of him making amends

That was just McCain's branding. It was never actually true about him. He's always been an attention/power whore. It was bullshit in 2000 when he ran as a "centrist" or "moderate" republican (despite having a significantly higher conservative rating than W), and it's bullshit this year that he's running as a "Maverick" (or a herd of them, apparently).

The fact that he was a fly in the ointment to the Bush Administration these past 8 years (despite eventually siding with them nearly every time), had nothing to do with integrity. It was a personal vendetta. To McCain, everything is personal. Which, makes him an unspeakably dangerous person to put in the Oval office.
posted by psmealey at 4:09 PM on October 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


Beware the neocons, however. They are right/left agnostic. The ideas that they espouse (conquest of exploitation of foreign assets under the cover of exporting our "ideals" and justified by American exceptionalism), can just as easily be adapted to co-opt Democratic Party interests as they had been to take over the GOP.

Repeated for emphasis.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:09 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Surprise, surprise. The overfed white male punditocracy contingent attributes Powell's endorsement to race.
posted by psmealey at 4:25 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Surprise, surprise. The overfed white male punditocracy contingent attributes Powell's endorsement to race.

Not shocking at all, but if Luger or Hagel follow it up, ol' Limbaugh will be eating his words.

Man I hope he has to eat his words.
posted by Caduceus at 4:32 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Of course they're going to claim it was because of race. If Colin Powell were not black, they would be claiming he was supporting Obama because of some other tangential connection, such as because they are both me, or because they both like eggs and ham, or because they both went to Disneyland in the last year, or whatever. Because they must immediately strip away Powell's actual stated reason for his support for Obama -- which demonstrate that he has thought very hard about this and has simply come to the conclusion that Obama is the better candidate. Were it Hillary rather than Obama at this moment, these bozos would be trying to make the case that Powell has secretly been a woman all these years.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:44 PM on October 19, 2008


I think Powell is a fundamentally good person, who sometimes confuses duty for honor. His little dog and pony show in front of the UN was disappointing, but perhaps not surprising for someone who once whitewashed the My Lai massacre. In both cases, I think he failed to realize that his ultimate responsibility was not to his unit or to the Commander-in-Chief, but to the American people.

I'm glad to see that he has done the honorable thing with regard to this campaign. Unfortunately, it won't rehabilitate my opinion of him, which is of a good man who is too easily led astray.
posted by malocchio at 4:49 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't think Obama is a Christian. I don't think he's a Muslim either. I think he's an atheist who knows it's political suicide to say so. And it'll be a good goddam long time before being an admitted atheist doesn't matter in this ridiculous country.
posted by Camofrog at 4:51 PM on October 19, 2008 [11 favorites]


If Colin Powell were not black, they would be claiming he was supporting Obama because of some other tangential connection, such as because they are both me

omg u guys obama + powell = ASTRO ZOMBIE!!!!!!

posted by Sys Rq at 4:54 PM on October 19, 2008 [7 favorites]


I don't think Obama is a Christian. I don't think he's a Muslim either. I think he's an atheist who knows it's political suicide to say so.
As a general statement, I think there are probably a good number of politicians who, as you describe, are atheists but claim otherwise for political reasons.

However, with regards to any specific person - including politicians - I'm willing to take them at their word as to what they claim their faith is. I haven't seen anything that indicates to me that Obama in particular is not, as he claims, a Christian. Have you? If so, what?
posted by Flunkie at 4:57 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't think Obama is a Christian. I don't think he's a Muslim either. I think he's an atheist who knows it's political suicide to say so.

I think Obama's really _________, but he can't tell us, because no one's gonna elect one of them amirite?
posted by Sys Rq at 4:58 PM on October 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


I remember reading one such site -- I think maybe freerepublic -- on the day after the 2006 midterm election. They said that now that Democrats won Congress, we could expect more frequent terrorist attacks on the scale of 9/11 on American soil. Much more frequent. Think monthly or perhaps even weekly.

Heh. In retrospect, they should have just said that nothing would change and that the Democrats would be ineffective "in power", but now the Democrats would be in control and get the blame, so it's a good thing.
posted by smackfu at 4:59 PM on October 19, 2008


There is, incidentally, an openly atheist member of Congress.

He only came out after his most recent election, so we'll see what happens in a couple weeks. But CQ rates his seat as "safe".
posted by Flunkie at 5:10 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Looks like we have a new candidate for the leadership of the Republican party.

POWELL 2016?


Powell is (a youthful) 71 years old, so 2012 and 2016 seem out of reach. How about Palin/Bachmann on the "Conservative Republican and Patriot Party"* ticket

*CRAPP: a soon to be formed splinter party, factionalizing the rightists for the next 15 years
posted by Rumple at 5:19 PM on October 19, 2008 [7 favorites]


His repudiation of the Muslim slander -- not merely by pointing out that it was false, but also that it shouldn't matter -- was, for me, one of the most important things said during this election. He injected morality into a discourse that has been based in hatred, and I was amazed the here it.

Important because we're all going to have to get over this damned stupidity about race and sex and religion and all the things that don't matter if we're gonna save ourselves. Save our selves from annihilating war, from a collapsing ecosystem, from financial misadventure, from disease epidemics, from our very fucking greedy selves.

It's a small planet, crowded and hungry and the weather sucks, the odds are against us and we need to take care of shit that really matters.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:24 PM on October 19, 2008 [23 favorites]


Unretouched freeper comment from very soon after Powell's endorsement:
Dr. King’s dream is dead. It’s totally about the color of skin for these people. The content of ones character has ZERO bearing on their decision.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 5:27 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Another supporter of the war in Iraq who seems to like Obama.
posted by mattholomew at 5:28 PM on October 19, 2008


I'm surprised at the reaction this is getting from some comments here. Powell is hugely more visible/memorable for most people than Lugar or Hagel or any one of dozens of serving repubs. This guy is respected for his long service, and to my mind at least, sympathised with, for the UN fiasco.
And the comments complaining it is too late, well come on. He is a republican, he isn't some Dem fan boy to jump when told. I'm rating it as statesman-like, and the world should be so lucky if he would accept a cabinet position.
posted by bystander at 5:36 PM on October 19, 2008


The content of ones character has ZERO bearing on their decision.

It's funny how those blinders work. Even from a purely objective standpoint, not knowing anything about either candidate... just observing the spin, and the messages of the past several months, it would be extremely difficult to conclude that McCain was the candidate who has the advantage in the character department.
posted by psmealey at 5:37 PM on October 19, 2008


I don't think Obama is a Christian. I don't think he's a Muslim either. I think he's an atheist who knows it's political suicide to say so. And it'll be a good goddam long time before being an admitted atheist doesn't matter in this ridiculous country.

If I were a betting man, I would lay significantly more money down on McCain being an atheist than I would on Obama being one. Luckily, I don't vote based on who I suspect secretly shares my views on the non-existence of God, but rather on their stated policies and political philosophies. Whether or not either one is a genuine believer, Obama's beliefs and intentions are much more in line with mine, and I don't feel any particular need for him to share that one particular belief as long as he doesn't turn hypocrite on everything else he's said he believes in or will do. And I doubt he will.
posted by Caduceus at 5:39 PM on October 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


Rumple writes "CRAPP: a soon to be formed splinter party, factionalizing the rightists for the next 15 years"

In another "truth stranger than fiction" moment I give you CCRA(P). Really.
posted by Mitheral at 5:39 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


It is going to be interesting when Obama wins and we find that the Democrats support the war in Iraq every bit as much as the Republicans did.
posted by b1tr0t at 5:40 PM on October 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


I've no doubt that the polls will tighten, more shit will hit the fan, McCain and Palin will get nastier and nastier.

And with any luck, the vast majority of sane America will turn their backs on the lunatic fringe that supports those two.

I'm very dubious Powell is ever going to run for president. I think that if he wanted to, he would have run this year. It would have been the prime year for him to run; he's a far stronger pick than McCain, and a far, far stronger pick than any of the rest of the yokels who ran in the Republican primary.

I bet if he ran in the Republican party, he'd be a leading candidate. I think the GOP is forced the change: they will no longer be able to win elections using their old tactics of fear and repression. If Colin Powell is an old-school Republican, he'd plausibly gain my support. It's not that there is anything fundamentally wrong with Republicanism. It's that insane people have taken its name.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:40 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


To hell with Colin Powell, even if any help his endorsement gives in getting Obama elected is welcome.

Like John McCain, who has very publicly sacrificed anything he ever believed for his lust for power -- if all of that wasn't actually a cynical charade to begin with -- Powell burned through any goodwill and respect he deserved with that craven UN performance of his, from me at least, and this hollow gesture doesn't come close to rehabilitation.

Just because people mouth the right words when it is clear that they have no choice but to do so does not mean they are ethical paragons. For my part, I am no longer as inclined to settle for those in power doing the right thing on the rare occasions that they do for reasons of expediency or politics rather than because they are the right thing to do.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:43 PM on October 19, 2008


He should not have been the first person to call McCain's campaign out on using Muslim as an insult.

It was awesome that he did it, but he wasn't the first.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 5:46 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's refreshing to see statesmanship in our leaders again, regardless of political affiliation.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:47 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Powell's a Republican but he endorsed a Democrat. Now that's mavericky.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:49 PM on October 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


CRAPP: a soon to be formed splinter party, factionalizing the rightists for the next 15 years

No joke there were a bunch of budding neocons at my high school and the neocon club they started was called Students for Truth and Democracy. That's right, STD.
posted by notswedish at 5:51 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm very dubious Powell is ever going to run for president. I think that if he wanted to, he would have run this year.

That would have been awesome! I am fantasizing about the number of heads exploding when they have a choice between two black guys, Cynthia McKinney, and Ralph Nader.

(Yeah, yeah--I know that there's Bob Barr and other right wing types, but it's my fantasy and I'll build it the way I want.)
posted by leftcoastbob at 5:53 PM on October 19, 2008


It is going to be interesting when Obama wins and we find that the Democrats support the war in Iraq every bit as much as the Republicans did.

That's not really possible or relevant, is it? It's not like we can pretend that the invasion, occupation and all the attendant fuckups never happened, regardless of the lunacy, idiocy and bad judgment that preceded it all.
posted by psmealey at 5:54 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain has no plan for this. He has to respond fast to this, and there's nothing in his bag. No tricks up his sleeve. Nada.

This entire week will be about this endorsement. If necessary, there will be another humongous endorsement. McCain is going to be pushed into the corner.

And then McCain will lash out. And being one of the lunatic fringe, he's going to do something so excreable, so outrageously offensive, so blindingly stupid, that he will have killed his own chances. The only supporters he will have left will be the lunatic fringe parade, and they will be social outcasts. Racism is done with. Hate is done for. They are rejected. Hoisted by their own petard.

The Republican party will reform without the racists, theocrats, and other social retards. People of quality will begin to populate its ranks. The next election, a Republican candidate worth consideration will be run. We won't suffer the mindnumbing stupidity of what we've been subjected to these past three elections.

Or at least that's what I really do hope.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:58 PM on October 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


I haven't seen anything that indicates to me that Obama in particular is not, as he claims, a Christian. Have you?

Not really. But I see these obviously very smart people--both Clintons, Gore, Obama, and hell yes, McCain, among mant others--none of whom talk about religion unless they have to, and devoutly religious people in my experience love to talk about it. I bet they sit through service just dying to check the Blackberry and get to the coffee and doughnuts.
posted by Camofrog at 5:58 PM on October 19, 2008


The next election, a Republican candidate worth consideration will be run. We won't suffer the mindnumbing stupidity of what we've been subjected to these past three elections.

You know what all the Republican candidates worth consideration are called these days?

Democrats.
posted by Caduceus at 6:04 PM on October 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


ColdChef: "... Also: "We're voting for the nigger.""

It's worth pointing out that that quote is not from the deep south but from the blue state of Pennsylvania.
posted by octothorpe at 6:07 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


psmealey: "Beware the neocons, however. They are right/left agnostic. The ideas that they espouse (conquest of exploitation of foreign assets under the cover of exporting our "ideals" and justified by American exceptionalism), can just as easily be adapted to co-opt Democratic Party interests as they had been to take over the GOP."

Indeed. However, I think the danger of this happening will be much less under an Obama administration than it could have been under, say, Clinton. Obama's triumph in the primaries was also in many ways a triumph of the more progressive grassroots over the cynical surrender-any-principle-to-win centrism of the DLC.

The real thing to beware of, I think, is the residue left after eight years of Bush. He's thoroughly seeded even the most non-political organizations with unqualified partisan hacks. Obama will need a federal-government-sized Roto Rooter to clear that lot out.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:07 PM on October 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


Not really. But I see these obviously very smart people--both Clintons, Gore, Obama, and hell yes, McCain, among mant others--none of whom talk about religion unless they have to, and devoutly religious people in my experience love to talk about it.

Well, maybe.
posted by Caduceus at 6:09 PM on October 19, 2008


McCain has no plan for this. He has to respond fast to this, and there's nothing in his bag. No tricks up his sleeve. Nada.
Yeah, maybe McCain, but surely Sarah Palin will realize that Colin Powell is a secret Muslim reverse vampire who pals around with terrorists.
posted by Flunkie at 6:14 PM on October 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


This entire week will be about this endorsement.

Don't bet on it. Joe the Plumber got tons of traction -- I think he's by far the main drive behind the race tightening up, though it was bound to tighten anyway. He will be back, but this serves to bury him long enough that he hopefully starts to feel played out.
posted by Camofrog at 6:15 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama, and hell yes, McCain, among mant others--none of whom talk about religion unless they have to, and devoutly religious people in my experience love to talk about it.

Probably just as well. At this point if McCain were to get his prayers answered, there'd be a whole lotta smitin' goin' on.
posted by leftcoastbob at 6:18 PM on October 19, 2008


whole lotta smitin' goin' on

Goodness gracious, great balls of ire!
posted by scody at 6:23 PM on October 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


it's not exactly on topic, but i saw this joke on snopes.com

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President. The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle." Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was. The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle. You know she didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up there, she doesn't know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put her up there to begin with."
posted by pyramid termite at 6:23 PM on October 19, 2008 [64 favorites]


I think McCain et al have been trying to bait Obama into saying "So what would be wrong with being a Muslim?" for weeks now, and he's been very wise to not go down that road. I think he has very deliberately been biting his tongue.

It's exactly the response they have wanted all along, so that they could run ten thousand loops of "See, Obama doesn't deny being a Muslim. Says there's nothing wrong with that!"

Powell doing it is perfect because it's so hard to spin.
posted by rokusan at 6:26 PM on October 19, 2008 [12 favorites]


...none of whom talk about religion unless they have to, and devoutly religious people in my experience love to talk about it.

Really? Among those I know who are devoutly religious, the topic almost never comes up. They seem to know innately that excessive talk about god or their beliefs goes a long way to cheapening what they hold dear. They also don't have Jesus-fish on the bumpers of their cars, or display "Christian flags," or watch religious TV or listen to religious talk radio. The only people who do these things, in my personal experience, are people who are insecure in their faiths and seem to have something to prove -- they have all the outward trappings of 'religious cred' but none of the inner conviction.
posted by brain cloud at 6:31 PM on October 19, 2008 [19 favorites]


Worth noting: Where was Obama when Powell made his announcement? Fayetteville, where soldiers and their families make up one half of the population.

Damn, these people know what they're doing.
posted by neroli at 6:39 PM on October 19, 2008 [7 favorites]


Not really. But I see these obviously very smart people--both Clintons, Gore, Obama, and hell yes, McCain, among mant others--none of whom talk about religion unless they have to, and devoutly religious people in my experience love to talk about it.

You haven't been paying attention to Obama, have you?
posted by dw at 6:42 PM on October 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


I bet they sit through service just dying to check the Blackberry and get to the coffee and doughnuts.

I always assumed that's what most people did anyway.
posted by JaredSeth at 6:48 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've enjoyed the way that Obama weaves scripture into his speeches and addresses. He does it with such grace, subtlety, and relevance that he doesn't come across, at least to me, as either preachy or religiously, or perhaps more specifically, scripturally, ignorant. He strikes such a nice balance, I think, between rhetoric and content in so many ways, including this one.
posted by inconsequentialist at 6:55 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain has no plan for this. He has to respond fast to this, and there's nothing in his bag. No tricks up his sleeve. Nada.

In a surprising new development in the American presidential race, President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney have issued a joint statement with the American Bankers Association, endorsing Senator Barack Obama for president. "We like Senator Obama." The statement reads, "A lot. He's like our best pal." The statement goes on to criticise Senator John McCain for "being a bit of a maverick".
posted by Ira_ at 6:57 PM on October 19, 2008 [8 favorites]


You haven't been paying attention to Obama, have you?

Not to his religion, no. His positions say all I need to know about that. After 8 years of Jesusland the bar is pretty low. If you don't hear voices or speak in tongues you look moderate right about now.
posted by Camofrog at 7:04 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am hoping that Obama, should he win (oh, please, please, please, please, please), will appoint Powell Sec o' Defense. It would be a nice "mavericky" move.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:11 PM on October 19, 2008


I think McCain et al have been trying to bait Obama into saying "So what would be wrong with being a Muslim?" for weeks now, and he's been very wise to not go down that road. I think he has very deliberately been biting his tongue.

Yes! The Obamachine seems to have been several steps ahead of everybody else almost all the way through this campaign. Only rare missteps like "spread the wealth" get much traction, and so far he's been able to find a way out from under everything.

Dudes know what they are doing.
posted by Camofrog at 7:15 PM on October 19, 2008


I think McCain et al have been trying to bait Obama into saying "So what would be wrong with being a Muslim?" for weeks now, and he's been very wise to not go down that road.

I hadn't thought about this, and I just played the scenario in my head like a little film, and now I think you're absolutely right.
posted by Miko at 7:19 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


psmealey: To McCain, everything is personal.

NPR's Terry Gross did an interview last week with Anchorage Daily News reporter Michael Carey. IIRC, Carey observes at one point, in response to a comment about Palin's questionable use of government vs personal email accounts, that Palin makes no distinction whatsoever between private/personal and professional/public matters. None. Hence, vengeful behaviour like pressuring subordinates to get Wooten fired.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 7:24 PM on October 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


Re the Powell for President comments: Colin Powell has made it clear that he will not ever run for U.S. president. Here's a clip from a transcript of an interview that he and his wife Alma did with Larry King in 2007:
KING: You think he should have run for president?

A. POWELL: No.

KING: Were you the one who told him not to?

A. POWELL: No.

KING: Or asked him not to?

A. POWELL: No.

KING: That's the general story.

A. POWELL: I know it's the general story.

KING: Clear it up for history.

A. POWELL: Nobody can could understand how you would not want to take on that illustrious job, but it -- this is certainly a decision that would have affected our entire family. And as a family we discussed it and what it would mean in our lives and decided this was really not for us.

I'm happy to take the blame for it, but as I have told other people, if I were a person who had that much influence on my husband, you would not have wanted him to run for president.

C. POWELL: But it was my decision, really. Obviously, I listened to my family, but it is not something that I wanted to do or the family wanted to do. And after receiving a lot of advice about it we essentially closed our doors, sat in the kitchen and talked it through as to how we had served out country so far, how we could serve in the future. But we didn't have -- if I can put it this way -- we didn't have the DNA for political life. And no apologies, it was a decision that was right for us. And we have found other ways to serve, either through America's Promise or serving as secretary of state.
They made a decision as a family a long time ago, and even if he changed his mind, he's too old now as has been pointed out. So, there you go.

slimepuppy said: As an outsider, getting invested in the last two elections got me burned. I've tried to avoid caring about America for the last year. At least up until now. Damn you all if you don't elect Obama. Prove, not just to me, but the rest of the world that America can do better and wants to be better.

Oh, really. The last two elections "got you burned"? Do tell.

I appreciate how helpless it feels to be at the mercy of a political majority that isn't your own -- you can't even imagine how much I appreciate it. I've worked in Democratic politics off and on over the last decade, so this isn't just a spectator sport for me; it hits me in the pocketbook.

And as an American who has travelled bi-monthly to Ireland and the UK in the last two years, you can't even imagine how weary I am of having to answer to the rants and railings against those who put Bush in office... as if I personally was the swing voter who pulled the last lever.

Surely, even there in your non-American safe haven, you've still got regular math. It takes a majority to win an election here: even if Kerry was close, even if Gore was closer, even if you believe that votes were stolen and rigged.... they weren't stolen to the tune of millions of people. Bush still won 50,456,002 (47.9%) votes in 2000, and 62,040,610 (50.7%) in 2004. That's half the country voting for Bush, no matter how finely you want to split the hairs.

So damning an audience that is clearly Obama-leaning now, and was clearly Kerry-leaning in 2004, and was certainly Gore-leaning in 2000... and implying that we are miscreants who let you personally down, and don't have enough moral fortitude to do the right thing on your behalf -- because we personally couldn't affect the political perspectives of some 62 million people -- is just as blindered and self-serving as those who vote Republican because they don't care about poor people or brown people or non-Christians.

Don't want to be disappointed by America? You could always stop giving a shit completely; no gun to your head that I'm aware of. Or you could get off your comfy laurels and come over here during election years and work to educate people and register voters, if the stakes are all that high for you; you could do something, rather than playing armchair-quarterback from afar.

No matter how much the conscientious, thinking Americans might crave the respect and support of the global community (and I for one do), we're not actually required to "prove" anything to you. It's our trillions in tax money funding a fake war, not yours. It's our retirement funds that have disappeared. It's our children that aren't getting enough education or insurance. We're the ones getting price gouged by our own "fellow American" oil companies.

We're already paying dearly for the poor choices of 62 million of our fellow countrymen. I'm done with the rest of the world needing to get its pound of flesh too -- especially at MeFi, where it can't fairly be called anything but preaching to the choir. You want to bash some Bush-supporting Americans? Go to Free Republic or LGF or one of the neocon forums and tell them all about how they let you down; take your ire to those who actually deserve to hear it.
posted by pineapple at 7:25 PM on October 19, 2008 [92 favorites]


Boom goes the dynamite.
posted by Camofrog at 7:38 PM on October 19, 2008


*kisses pineapple*
posted by scody at 7:41 PM on October 19, 2008


OK, those of you who can vote early, go do it. I voted Saturday.

Do it.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:44 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


*votes (early) for pineapple*
posted by inconsequentialist at 7:49 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


After 8 years of Jesusland the bar is pretty low. If you don't hear voices or speak in tongues you look moderate right about now.

A friend of my wife's outright refuses to vote for Obama because she believes he's a closet evangelical who has some secret agenda to force-convert and take away women's rights.

So, I read what you're saying and have to chuckle. Obama, even if he is on the liberal side of the mainline, would still be one of our most Christian presidents ever.

For as much as you can jump on Bush for his religion, he doesn't attend church most Sundays. I think his visit to that state-controlled Beijing church was the first services he's been to this year. Obama, OTOH, was in the pews of TUCC more often than not up until when he finally left this last spring.
posted by dw at 8:16 PM on October 19, 2008


Thank you, pineapple. I had given up trying to respond to comments like that because I can never phase my frustration with them correctly. I'm glad someone took the time to explain it.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:18 PM on October 19, 2008


Obama gets a frosty reception at a Fayetteville diner:

The after-church lunch crowd at Cape Fear BBQ and Chicken was less hospitable to the Democrat. According to the pool reporter at the lunch stop, the barbecue joint was filled with dozens of older and mostly white diners. As Obama walked in, a woman at the other end of the restaurant, a woman began shouting at him. "Socialist, socialist, socialist!" said Diane Fanning, 54, a Sam's Club employee. "Get out of here." There was a lot of noise and excitement and positive reception as well and it was unclear whether Obama heard her, writes pool reporter Margaret Talev, of McClatchy Newspapers. But there was no disputing the animosity later, when Obama tried to shake Fanning's hand. She refused the gesture.

Hmmmm, what elderly white churchy woman lives in Fayetteville?
posted by Rumple at 8:23 PM on October 19, 2008 [10 favorites]


It is going to be interesting when Obama wins and we find that the Democrats support the war in Iraq every bit as much as the Republicans did.

Amen. I know Obama had to run to the center for the general election, but I hope he remembers on November 5 that he got the nomination because he opposed the war in Iraq. I don't know if he really has a plan for the expanded war in Afghanistan either.
posted by lukemeister at 8:34 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hmmmm, what elderly white churchy woman lives in Fayetteville?

The elderly white churchy woman I believe you are referring to was totally a single-issue anti-choice voter. If it had been her she would have been yelling baby killer, not socialist.
posted by Caduceus at 8:41 PM on October 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Obama Campaign Worker Allegedly Attacked: CALEDONIA, Wis. -- . . . 58 year-old Nancy Takehara of Chicago says she was going door-to-door when she came across a disgruntled homeowner.

“The next thing I know he’s telling us we’re not his people, we’re probably with ACORN, and he started screaming and raving,” Takehara said. “He grabbed me by the back of the neck. I thought he was going to rip my hair out of my head. He was pounding on my head and screaming. The man terrified me.”


Look out for yourselves out there, please, y'all.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 8:41 PM on October 19, 2008


Also I think she's classier than that, even if I wasn't impressed by all of her comments.
posted by Caduceus at 8:44 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


The "socialist" label really bugs me. It is entirely inaccurate if you go by the true definition of the word. It only works if you are using it as a slur to mean "un-American," which I think is exactly how its being used.

"Un-American" of course being a code word for "not Republican."
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:44 PM on October 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


And then McCain will lash out. And being one of the lunatic fringe, he's going to do something so excreable, so outrageously offensive, so blindingly stupid, that he will have killed his own chances.

In as US political context, isn't calling Obama a socialist just that? Pretty harsh words.
posted by rodgerd at 8:50 PM on October 19, 2008


Look out for yourselves out there, please, y'all.

I'm glad the woman is okay and didn't need medical attention. I haven't had any confrontations at the houses and apartments I've gone to, and I'm thankful for that. What surprised me is the groups of folks who thank you for canvassing. Without prompting, they'll thank you, shake your hand and wish you well.

So you do have the fools out there, but the folks who are voting repub that I've run into either say it through the door or (i'm guessing) don't open it. I thank those folks and keep it moving. Whoever this dude is needs to be arrested.

Go out there and talk to your neighbors and people who live nearby. It's not unlike being on metafilter, in that a lot of people are seeking good information. You show up at their door and tell them how they can vote, where they can vote, when they can vote, and you can answer any policy questions they have (they typically don't ask a thing, but a lot of folks need voting directions or information).

You've got 2 weeks. Don't watch this happen, make it happen.
posted by cashman at 8:56 PM on October 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


In as US political context, isn't calling Obama a socialist just that? Pretty harsh words.

It's the same problem with people calling Obama an Arab, or some such. Trying to refute it directly gets into a conversation that the candidate can't win. His surrogates have to refute this stuff, like Powell did with the implication that being Muslim is wrong. Calling someone a socialist isn't really harsh, except in our current political climate. But I also don't think that term has any sort of poisonous overtones with independents like it does with more conservative Republicans. I think it does more to provoke the conservative base than anyone, and those aren't the people McCain needs to win.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:00 PM on October 19, 2008


Thanks, Powell.

But don't think for a minute that this makes up for your UN testimony, you lying sonofabitch.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:02 PM on October 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


Oh yeah - when I hear Republicans lob "Socialist" out there, I think they're basically saying "European, in a bad way." You know, soft like the French, ineffectual like the British, louche and morally loose like Scandinavians....but definitely Not-American.
posted by Miko at 9:04 PM on October 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


MIko - exactly. "Un-American."
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:07 PM on October 19, 2008


You could always stop giving a shit completely; no gun to your head that I'm aware of.

except, Wall Street goes in the toilet, the rest of the world's market follow. you don't understand how globalization is set up -- America is everywhere, especially in the West. not to mention, President McCain starts World War III because he mistakes the Ay-raynians for the gooks, we all burn, not just you guys. President Palin runs the US economy into a 1929 Depression, the rest of us end up in the bread lines as well. believe me, so many people around the world would love to be able not to give a shit about who Joe Cracker and Jane Inbred vote for on the basis of what they heard Rush say. it just is not possible. at least until the America Empire eventually folds the way all other empires before it did. then we can all start worrying about our future masters, the Chinese.

You want to bash some Bush-supporting Americans? Go to Free Republic or LGF or one of the neocon forums

unable to physically drag you to Gitmo, they'll IP ban you in 3 minutes.

We're the ones getting price gouged by our own "fellow American" oil companies.


you pay at the pump less than half what the average Eurocommie pays. cry me a river. get a car with better mileage or move to a city and use public transport.

Or you could get off your comfy laurels and come over here during election years and work to educate people and register voters, if the stakes are all that high for you; you could do something, rather than playing armchair-quarterback from afar.

yeah, I'm sure Joe Swingvoter in Ohio and Mary Undecided in Virginia are fucking dying to see Canadians or Brits or, God forbid, some Ayfreekuns knock on their door to explain them who to vote for. that's a great idea you have there, mister.

I don't give a shit who you vote for; and I find the various non-Americans here rooting for Obama quite endearing in their cluelessness. not my country, thankfully, but I'd love to be able to say "not my problem", too. unfortunately your actions have consequences that will touch me as well. those laurels aren't that comfy, in the provinces of the empire. so lose the victim act because it's just not working.
posted by matteo at 9:21 PM on October 19, 2008 [15 favorites]


My pro-union Democrat grandfather used to be called "socialist" for organizing unions. He took great exception to being called a socialist or a commie, because he'd witnessed the complete dismantlement of organized labor in the eastern bloc countries. "The first thing the commies do when they get to power is kill the unions" he used to tell me. My grandfather likes his whiskey, and he was a boxer during the Second World War, so he didn't always respond to the socialist charge in the most gracious of manners.

I've always interpretted the "socialist" meme, as Republicans use it, to mean godless. As if not believing in God just pulls the rug out from under everything - from there, it's a short trip towards lesbian abortionists marrying each other under a canopy of ripening marijuana plants while "The Internationale" plays. OK, I know that doesn't sound all that bad, really, but it's the sort of nightmare dystopia I think they envision in "socialist" countries.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:29 PM on October 19, 2008 [7 favorites]


Somebody upthread about the Right losing: I predict they'll blame it on Acorn.

Yeah, that's already started. "eyewitness" accounts of election judges/poll workers filling in the ballots of the fraudulently registered voters in past elections. The Republican's couldn't stop it because they didn't have enough lawyers or observers to catch them. (A mistake they apparently don't intend to repeat)

Election-stealing is as old as elections. Give to blackboxvoting.org

On preview, "Socialist" pretty much equals "Dirty Atheist Commie" in most of Texas.
posted by lysdexic at 9:41 PM on October 19, 2008


The real thing to beware of, I think, is the residue left after eight years of Bush. He's thoroughly seeded even the most non-political organizations with unqualified partisan hacks.

See, this is one of Obama's greatest opportunities. He'll be able to vastly improve our government simply by the radical act of hiring qualified people.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:02 PM on October 19, 2008 [8 favorites]


I think McCain et al have been trying to bait Obama into saying "So what would be wrong with being a Muslim?" for weeks now, and he's been very wise to not go down that road. I think he has very deliberately been biting his tongue.

Muslims have been aching to hear this from him, but know there is no way for him to say it without committing political suicide. It's like, just a word, Barry, just a little sign, something to confirm what we all fervently hope to be true about you. Personally, I think American muslims need to choose him on his merits for the country without waiting to be pandered to, to get over a special interest lobby mentality, but the fact is a lot of muslims are thinking, what will he really be willing and able to do for us.

Marisa -The ideas that [neocons] espouse (conquest of exploitation of foreign assets under the cover of exporting our "ideals" and justified by American exceptionalism), can just as easily be adapted to co-opt Democratic Party interests as they had been to take over the GOP.

True, and Obama may be unable to resist, because he can't come off too soft on muslims, or as presented by Nir Rosen:
Obama, of course, one of his major platforms is to withdraw from Iraq. That’s the bad war; he needs the good war. So Afghanistan now is the good war. He needs to prove, as a Democrat, that he too can kill brown people. I think that’s what it comes down to, that we’re not weak; we can kill foreigners, too.
posted by BinGregory at 10:15 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh God, I'm sorry. My internet connection stinks.
posted by BinGregory at 10:20 PM on October 19, 2008


Regarding matteo's and pineapple's comments, I must say that as an American overseas, I do have the feeling that people in the U.S. probably don't quite realize how profoundly fed up and angry the rest of the world is with finding themselves subject to the whims of U.S. economic, military, environmental and foreign policy. No matter who wins, I don't imagine that "our way or the highway" is going to work any more, and it will take a deft hand to try to restore any degree of global trust in U.S. led initiatives in any area.

Obviously, an Obama presidency will further that goal, and I've been worrying a lot about what a McCain presidency will mean. See the CSM's "A Financial New World Order?". As a nation, the United States really cannot afford to lose any more trust capital, and even the best efforts of the best people (obviously not McCain, or I-can-see-Russia-from-Alaska Palin) won't restore pre 9-11 confidence, since the world doesn't feel like it can trust the U.S. not to vote any old idiot into office in the future. Every country has it's misguided and/or nationalistic, corrupt, etc. politicians, but few of them have such an impact on quality of life in the rest of the world. So, yeah, no. The time is over when Americans can view their political process as their own business, alone. The political climate in the U.S. now, that sense of rising from a long slumber beset by nightmare is also being reflected globally, or at least in Europe, with regard to the U.S., and I don't think our next president, or those who follow him, are going to find such tractable allies in the future. The U.S. needs Obama even more than the U.S. has begun to realize, I think.
posted by taz at 10:42 PM on October 19, 2008 [14 favorites]


"Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle."

Flagged for being over-used and aimed at just about every incompetent in sight. Nonetheless, terribly appropos of Ms Palin.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:51 PM on October 19, 2008


Regarding matteo's and pineapple's comments, I must say that as an American overseas, I do have the feeling that people in the U.S. probably don't quite realize how profoundly fed up and angry the rest of the world is with finding themselves subject to the whims of U.S. economic, military, environmental and foreign policy.

I think the issue is less that we don't understand (not saying we do or don't, I can't judge that) but rather that it's incredibly frustrating for many of us here to be lumped together with neo-Cons and lectured that we'd better do right by the rest of the world, this time!

As if we haven't been suffering Bush's whims, too, we also get to be treated as if we supported and voted for the man. As an Ohioan, I get the same feeling sometimes when confronted by friends from more liberal states with snide comments about how shitty and boring flyover American (and the people who live here) are.

I think more understanding could be useful on all sides. Being stereotyped and condescended to based on that stereotype = not a good way to be treated by people who are on your side and agree with you.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:04 PM on October 19, 2008 [13 favorites]


Well yes, this was a good thing that Powell did. Yes, it needed to be said -- and not by Obama.

However, those people who think of your country as a "Christian nation" will have no problem answering the question "why not a Muslim". This statement won't change a thing for them.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:37 PM on October 19, 2008


All I can say wrt the socialist question is this: I am, in my heart, a socialist.

I've known socialists. Socialists are my friends. And Senator Obama is no socialist.

I don't hold it against him; I'm voting for him anyway.
posted by scody at 11:46 PM on October 19, 2008 [8 favorites]


Michelle Bachmann defends her "Obama is anti-American" statements on local Minnesota TV.

Even more interesting than her platitudes is how the anchor moves on to Bachmann's letter asking for a pardon for convicted cocaine and gun trafficker and money launderer Frank Vennes.
posted by Rumple at 12:39 AM on October 20, 2008


I think McCain et al have been trying to bait Obama into saying "So what would be wrong with being a Muslim?" for weeks now, and he's been very wise to not go down that road.
I hadn't thought about this, and I just played the scenario in my head like a little film, and now I think you're absolutely right.

This. But honestly, yes the avoidance is smart, but it's also one of the rare shitty forced-hand things that the Obama campain hasn't really been able to do anything about. I think we all understand why Obama himself can't explicitly defend Muslims from this ridiculousness, but it's a pretty crappy tradeoff. It's volunteers making choices like this one from primary season, it's him needing to keep quiet as "Muslim" and "Arab" become the new demonized other (it's scary and insidious, the casual way "Arab" and "decent man" have become mutually exclusive in the last couple weeks), and it sucks to watch. What an ugly thing to discover about ourselves: If the black guy gets elected, it'll be at least in part because the electorate found another group to scapegoat.

None of this is Barack Obama's fault - but it's a tough situation. Me, I'm waiting for the inaugural address - when he can finally stop holding off the ploys on people's fears, the shadowy coded racism, finally deliver on that promise of inclusiveness. That's a big part of the change I'm believing in.
posted by peachfuzz at 1:04 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


True, and Obama may be unable to resist, because he can't come off too soft on muslims,

Well, just as long as it doesn't become LBJ all over again...
posted by rodgerd at 1:05 AM on October 20, 2008


Whoops, that second line is also a quote, from Miko's reply to the quoted statement.
posted by peachfuzz at 1:07 AM on October 20, 2008


"This is my one day off," she muttered.

"Socialist, socialist, socialist!" said Diane Fanning, 54, a Sam's Club employee. "Get out of here."


Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
H. L. Mencken
posted by atrazine at 1:41 AM on October 20, 2008 [25 favorites]


Joe the Plumber got tons of traction -- I think he's by far the main drive behind the race tightening up, though it was bound to tighten anyway

What did I miss here? I thought Joe the Plumber was debunked as a talk radio plant, a borderline fraud who is nowhere near capable of buying his boss's business, and would largely benefit from Obama's proposed tax plan. Where is the story getting traction? I mean, other than in McCain's demented imagination, where McCain tried to feature him in the last debate, and now accuses Obama of inviting the media to invade his privacy?
posted by psmealey at 5:31 AM on October 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


What did I miss here? I thought Joe the Plumber was debunked as a talk radio plant, a borderline fraud who is nowhere near capable of buying his boss's business, and would largely benefit from Obama's proposed tax plan.

And this has what, exactly, to do with the RightWing Noise Machine? These are the same people who still think that he's a "Muslin" who listens to an anti-American Christian preacher and wants to kill newborns. These are the people who think he's a socialist. These are the people who think that he was actually born in Africa and is an illegal immigrant.

What is this "debunked" of which you speak?
posted by leftcoastbob at 5:41 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tires slashed during Obama rally. Nice gesture assholes.
posted by marxchivist at 5:41 AM on October 20, 2008


It's a good point. It's all debunked. Just more evidence of McCain taking a flyer on something, proven to be wrong beyond a shadow of doubt, and nevertheless making the lie bigger by being willing to stump his own customized version of reality.

I think the one thing that depresses me about this elections season the most is just how easily people in power, in the media and on the street are so willing to lie and lie egregiously if only to serve their own ideology. Oddly enough, it started not with McCain, but with Hillary Clinton and her campaign. Clinton's people became notorious for pursuing divisive attack lines, and when they were called on it, their pat reply was "who us?" Obama is the one who's playing the race/gender/class warfare card" and over and over again. Despicable.

McCain has taken a similar approach and turned the intensity up to 11. And beyond smears based on spin, most of McCain's attack lines don't even have a shred of truth in them.

I grew up in an Eisenhower Republican house-hold, and while I rarely agreed with my parents in matters of politics, I respected the view that a smaller government can allow for greater personal freedom and socioeconomic mobility, and that the ambitious and far-reaching Great Society programs of the 60s caused some grave unintended consequences.

But this unabashed lying from these rubes and stooges affiliated with the GOP? People who I once respected intellectually, looking straight into the camera and saying "Sarah Palin is more qualified than Barack Obama". And the calling Bill Ayers, a prominent citizen and educator for the past 20 years, and Jeremiah Wright, a combat veteran and tireless advocate for the poor in his congregation, as part of a shadowy group lying in wait to overthrow the government?

I can't stomach it. The people that further these view are the enemies of decency. I'm not sure where we go from here, but it's going to be a long way out of this ditch.
posted by psmealey at 6:02 AM on October 20, 2008 [11 favorites]


McCain/Palin supporters heckle early voters, call them cheaters (because the polling place agreed to open on a Sunday). Definitely read the article - I have no words.

"They also were complaining that Sundays are for church, not voting."
posted by cashman at 6:57 AM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Cokey Roberts this morning on NPR: "It's the most disciplined campaign I have ever seen" (emphasis hers), regarding the Obama campaign. Bodes well for an Obama presidency, I would say. (Damn, I wasted a placeholder.)
posted by nax at 7:01 AM on October 20, 2008


unable to physically drag you to Gitmo, they'll IP ban you in 3 minutes.

Wait, let me understand: those who actually do support Bush, actually do support McCain, actually would vote for him... those people wouldn't like you very much, therefore you can't be bothered and would rather froth off here? There's an American saying that if "you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen." But going for the path of least resistance is weak.

I already offered up my world-aware credentials. I'm no provincial, clueless Palin; I have my Economist subscription, I have had to add additional pages to my passport for visas. The matteo and slimepuppy rants upthread, I have had to hear in person -- usually while travelling alone, and sometimes from scary angry large men in pubs or driving my taxis, leading a tiny voice in the back of my head to sound an alarm that surely hate crimes can happen to Americans.

In fact, I'm usually the one on the opposite side of this argument -- trying to make other Americans understand exactly why we very much should care what citizens of other countries think of us, why the Irish liked Clinton and why the French want Obama and why everyone hates Bush. How the world markets are flailing now based on Wall Street. "When America sneezes, the world catches a cold," and so on. I am out there absolutely doing my part, on both sides.

I'm just tired of seeing and hearing here what a shitty person I am, for all the reasons that Solon and Thanks pointed out much more nicely.
posted by pineapple at 7:18 AM on October 20, 2008 [8 favorites]


McCain/Palin supporters heckle early voters, call them cheaters (because the polling place agreed to open on a Sunday). Definitely read the article - I have no words.

Those videos are beautiful. The Republicans have been reduced to standing helplessly on the sidewalk, shouting incoherently at the giant line of people filing into the polling place to vote for Obama. Meanwhile, the Obama supporters who have already voted are out, knocking on doors and reminding people to get to the polls.

Cokey Roberts this morning on NPR: "It's the most disciplined campaign I have ever seen" (emphasis hers), regarding the Obama campaign. Bodes well for an Obama presidency, I would say. (Damn, I wasted a placeholder.)

Yes. I can't tell you how excited I am about the prospect of a White House run by people like Axelrod and Plouffe; people who have demonstrated the ability to think ahead and plan for every contingency. It's going to be quite a change from the last eight years.
posted by EarBucket at 7:19 AM on October 20, 2008


"They also were complaining that Sundays are for church, not voting."

Also, heckling and intimidation.
posted by psmealey at 7:20 AM on October 20, 2008 [10 favorites]


From cashman's link

I also spoke to a McCain supporter who was voting early even though he also had been protesting across the street.

The idiocracy knows no bounds.

Also, last time I voted in San Diego, the voting station would not allow you to wear any candidate supporting item, ie shirts, buttons, signs, etc. Was this a unique policy? Freedom of speech and all that ok, but how are people allowed to harrass those that are just trying to practice the right to vote?
posted by like_neon at 7:21 AM on October 20, 2008


Also, last time I voted in San Diego, the voting station would not allow you to wear any candidate supporting item, ie shirts, buttons, signs, etc. Was this a unique policy? Freedom of speech and all that ok, but how are people allowed to harrass those that are just trying to practice the right to vote?

Most states have laws banning campaigning within a certain radius of the polls. If you stand on the sidewalk on the other side of the street, you can do pretty much whatever you want to as long as you're not physically preventing people from going into the polling place. As far as wearing t-shirts or buttons into the polls, it varies from state to state. Some allow it, some don't.
posted by EarBucket at 7:25 AM on October 20, 2008


Tires slashed during Obama rally. Nice gesture assholes.

Just got done reading the comments on that story, which (as usual) were depressing to read. Here's a quick summery:
1. The slashing must have been done by anarchists.
2. It was Obama supporters trying to fire up the base.
3. It was gangs because they don't have anything better to do.
4. It was 2 black youths.
5. It was Karma for all those bad things that happened to McCain supporters.
6. It doesn't matter who did it, Obama is a socialist who pals around with terrorists.

Sometimes I really hate living in North Carolina.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:26 AM on October 20, 2008


Ok that makes sense. As long as their heckling is as futile as, well, not actually doing anything for their party, I suppose it just comes with the territory of being a free country. ;)

I'm beyond rolling my eyes at loons like these, I now actually go cross-eyed from the stupidity.
posted by like_neon at 7:29 AM on October 20, 2008


Sometimes I really hate living in North Carolina.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:26 AM


Me too, sometimes. I was happy to see Obama's big turnout in a military town here, but I had a bad feeling yesterday, I'm glad the tire slashing was the worst thing to happen.
posted by marxchivist at 7:34 AM on October 20, 2008


Also, when you volunteer to work for a campaign at a polling place, you're told to be polite, respectful, and not hassle people. Because the last thing you want to do is give a voter the impression your candidate's supporters are rude and ignorant assholes moments before he casts his ballot. These people aren't working for the McCain campaign, and I'm willing to bet Steve Schmidt will have a coronary if he sees that video.
posted by EarBucket at 7:35 AM on October 20, 2008


I also spoke to a McCain supporter who was voting early even though he also had been protesting across the street.

Reminds me of those anti-choice protesters who then go get an abortion, because their circumstances are special and the rest of us can go rot.
posted by sugarfish at 7:40 AM on October 20, 2008 [7 favorites]


The protester they spoke with said that this Sunday voting was cheating because the polling places were open on a Sunday just due to the Obama rally--he said that it was a last minute "emergency" opening because of that. He pointed out that Obama voters would feel cheated if they opened polls because of a NASCAR rally (which would be true).

Is there any validity to these complaints or are they twisting facts again? (The Republican base gets all worked up over absolutely nothing or over things that are provably false so often that I'd be in a state of upheaval constantly if I were them.)
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:40 AM on October 20, 2008


Sepia Mutiny are happy with Powel's acknowledgment of the stupidness of these "He's a Muslim" attacks. Meanwhile, the same writer their laments the fact that being a brown dude in the US, he basically can't go canvasing door to door in any battleground states without doing more harm than good.
posted by chunking express at 7:43 AM on October 20, 2008


As far as wearing t-shirts or buttons into the polls, it varies from state to state. Some allow it, some don't.

Here in NC you are allowed to wear buttons and T-shirts supporting your candidate while you are voting, but if you start yelling stuff, you will be asked to leave.

Watching those videos make me think the best revenge would be large crowds of silent, calm, respectful Obama supporters standing on the sidewalks in mute testimony to their gratitude for having such a great candidate to vote for.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:44 AM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ok so I watched the second video and the guy that was interviewed clarifies that it's not cheating to have early voting (he actually voted the day earlier!) but it's voting on a Sunday that's cheating. o_O

It's also quite a contrast between the actual line for voting (peaceful, orderly, some laughter and chatting) versus the protesters across the street (mindless drone chanting). I'm very glad to see that (so far) it doesn't look like the heckling crosses to the voting site itself. In that case, let them heckle all they want, we're made of stronger mettle than that.
posted by like_neon at 7:46 AM on October 20, 2008


This is good news. I'm waiting for the poll climb again.
posted by lunit at 7:49 AM on October 20, 2008


Ah ok, leftcoastbob has it more correct what the guy was getting at.

I don't think it's cheating, I think it's jealousy that they couldn't think of that themselves. Why doesn't he suggest that to the McCain campaign instead of standing there useless? I think I would have begrudgingly said that would be a brilliant tactical move, maybe a first for them.
posted by like_neon at 7:51 AM on October 20, 2008


As Al Giordano says, we all know that there are racists and mendicants in this country, so don't act shocked when you meet them. Be cool.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:03 AM on October 20, 2008


The protester they spoke with said that this Sunday voting was cheating because the polling places were open on a Sunday just due to the Obama rally

In fact, early voting sites all over North Carolina have been expanding their days and hours of operation because the turnout has been so much higher than the board of elections anticipated. It's only a bad thing if you think fewer people participating in democracy is a good thing.
posted by EarBucket at 8:05 AM on October 20, 2008


Thanks, EarBucket. Somehow I couldn't imagine NC opening the polling places just for the expected crowd after an Obama rally. I could, however, imagine the right wing getting people all worked up thinking that that was the reason.

I imagine that people who were actually under that impression felt ripped off. I would like to imagine that people who got them worked up under false pretenses feel guilty about it.

But even I don't have that kind of imagination.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:17 AM on October 20, 2008


RealClearPolitics shows the race tightening today. I am afraid that the under-the-radar robocalling and emails that are spreading lies and inuendoes directly into the ears of the less informed voters is having an impact. This is a Rovian/Atwater tactic from way back, and it works. The Repugs are working this hard and for as long as they can afford to continue it will be a very tight race.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:59 AM on October 20, 2008


"...are having an impact..."
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:59 AM on October 20, 2008


Arrest made in voter registration fraud... but I daresay it's not exactly what the Republicans had planned. (LA Times)
posted by scody at 9:11 AM on October 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


matteo said: ...and I find the various non-Americans here rooting for Obama quite endearing in their cluelessness.

What does this mean? I can't come up with an interpretation that makes much sense.
posted by mullacc at 9:12 AM on October 20, 2008


Regarding matteo's and pineapple's comments, I must say that as an American overseas, I do have the feeling that people in the U.S. probably don't quite realize how profoundly fed up and angry the rest of the world is with finding themselves subject to the whims of U.S. economic, military, environmental and foreign policy.

no, we get it, and what you're doing is just lumping all americans together into one uniform electorate. the americans living in america you're talking to on this web site get it. you can tell we get it because of how often we talk about it. the americans that don't get it and/or don't care aren't here because they go to other websites with a friendlier attitude toward ignorance and isolationism. we're not all the same, and we don't all have the same opinions on things. some of us get it, some of us don't. that's precisely the distinction pineapple was saying that europeans he's spoken to don't seem to be making, and it's an important distinction.
posted by shmegegge at 9:14 AM on October 20, 2008 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile, people are praying for the correct outcome of the election (Warning: Do not have any throwable objects handy while watching this).
posted by SteveInMaine at 9:30 AM on October 20, 2008


I must say that as an American overseas, I do have the feeling that people in the U.S. probably don't quite realize how profoundly fed up and angry the rest of the world is

All people in the U.S. don't realize this? Really?

Again: please stop with the lazy thinking (driven by a hint of self-righteousness) that lumps all 300 million of us into one category of complacent, insulated idiots.
posted by scody at 9:43 AM on October 20, 2008


taz, sorry for flying off the handle -- I regretted that the minute I did it. I'm pissed off about something else entirely right now, and I shouldn't fume and post. My sincere apology.
posted by scody at 9:45 AM on October 20, 2008


"They also were complaining that Sundays are for church, not voting."

Also, heckling and intimidation.


Not so much praying as preying.

Glad it's not working. I wonder if we should vote early then volunteer to walk people through the gauntlet like they do at Women's clinics.
posted by lysdexic at 9:53 AM on October 20, 2008


Mental Wimp: "RealClearPolitics shows the race tightening today."

But look at their electoral map. Obama appears to be in no (real) danger of losing any 2004 Kerry states (252 electoral votes), and is solidly ahead in Iowa (7 EV). His lead is comfortable in New Mexico (5 EV), so that's 264 (pretty) solid EV before we even start looking at swing states. Either Virginia (13 EV) or Colorado (9 EV) would put him over.

Put the other way: McCain has to win ALL of OH, FL, MO, NC, NV, CO, and VA (he will win ND, IN, and WV). I know he's a gambling man, but can he really flip that coin and have it come up seven heads in a row?
posted by hangashore at 9:58 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I must say that as an American overseas, I do have the feeling that people in the U.S. probably don't quite realize how profoundly fed up and angry the rest of the world is

All people in the U.S. don't realize this? Really?

Again: please stop with the lazy thinking (driven by a hint of self-righteousness) that lumps all 300 million of us into one category of complacent, insulated idiots.


Also, let's please not forget the large number of Americans that know very well how angry the rest of the world is and either don't care or are quite pleased.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:04 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know he's a gambling man, but can he really flip that coin and have it come up seven heads in a row?

Winning the electoral college and thereby the race is good enough for me, although a decisive popular vote would be nice as well. Still, I'm very worried, especially about the trend. Clearly Obama is still ahead in the popular vote and even farther ahead in the electoral college, but there is a large base of ignorance out there, and the Roves of the world know how to tap it. They also know how to suppress votes and voter turnout. I believe they are in the process of pulling out all the stops, and the lead seems fragile (remember it reversed during the RNC). Still giving time and treasure and will continue until the votes are counted (correctly).
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:07 AM on October 20, 2008


Rasmussen's showing a double digit lead for Obama in Virginia.
posted by EarBucket at 10:08 AM on October 20, 2008


Yes, I agree with those Americans who say we - the people you converse with here, for the most part - do get it, and are in the group of people who has been working hard to change things for the last 2 election cycles as well as this one.

Our country is mired in a cultural struggle. Strains of rugged individualism and resistance to authority are clashing with strains of community association and collective responsibility. It's our national curse and embedded in the national character. I'm not sure how to solve it, or whether it ever will be solved completely.

The US has for the last century teetered back and forth between these two extremes. The pendulum is over at our extreme right end at this point, and once again the people who make it swing seem to be looking leftward.

We don't need lectures, we just need support in the form of perspective and information from beyond our borders. We agree with the rest of the world that America needs to change.

And I am very clear on the ways in which the US is an 800-pound gorilla, and how tightly tied the credit and trade markets of the world are, and how the stance of the US profoundly effects international relations and policy. But as we discuss a different sort of role for the US - discuss going back to Bretton Woods, discuss a different form of international diplomacy - I would like to see comparable world-shaping leadership coming from the European nations as well. For security alone, nations should perhaps be seeking greater financial diversification and independence from the UNited States. Nations like China and India who are economically dependent on our markets will need to continue building their own markets. ANd so on. I'm no expert on international relations, but it seems like blaming the world's ills on America alone is not reasonable. Every country has a leadership, and the EU nations and other Western democracies have representative leadership and free speech, too. If we have world problems to solve, we need leadership in every nation willing to envision different strategies for sharing the globe. What leaders are you getting behind? What form would they like to see a new American role take?
posted by Miko at 10:16 AM on October 20, 2008 [7 favorites]


Also, let's please not forget the large number of Americans that know very well how angry the rest of the world is and either don't care or are quite pleased.

Has someone here demonstrated a history of forgetting those people? Because, again, I remember pretty much every single morning -- when I wake up and Bush is still the president.

The point is not that there are a large number of ignorant and/or jingoistic and/or imperialist Americans out there. Nobody is denying that.

Some of us are just tired of being aggregated with them, and hit by the same stones. It often feels as if the Rest of the World isn't smart enough to discern that there really are vast disparities in political belief, here in the U.S. of A. We call out that sort of broad-brush stereotyping around here, when Americans are the perpetrators. I'm just asking for equal treatment now when Americans are the targets -- and maybe a modicum of consideration before commenting about how all Americans have let down the whole universe.
posted by pineapple at 10:20 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


cashman: "I'm glad the woman is okay and didn't need medical attention. I haven't had any confrontations at the houses and apartments I've gone to, and I'm thankful for that. What surprised me is the groups of folks who thank you for canvassing. Without prompting, they'll thank you, shake your hand and wish you well. "

Same here. I've hit a couple of nuts who have lectured me on how Obama's going to sell us out to Hamas or some such but I've also talked to many people who are just thrilled that Obama's running. The best one recently was a young skin-head looking white guy with tatoos on his neck and arms who'd probably be the last person you'd ID as an Obama supporter. We weren't even canvassing his house but he was doing yard work when we walked by and he started up a conversation with us about how great he thought Obama was and how we can't stand another four years of Republican BS. We gave him a sign to put in his window and he started saying that he wanted to paint a big OBAMA on the front of his house. Made my day.
posted by octothorpe at 10:29 AM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


RealClearPolitics shows the race tightening today.

As Pollster noted earlier today, the tightening is happening despite multiple state polls going to Obama but not McCain. The current theory seems to be that tracking polls, which bundle together multiple individual polls, are causing a slight bias towards a lower number.

My guess is along the lines of what I've heard others say -- post-debate the GOP rank-and-file are starting to fall in line behind McCain, and their presence has bolstered McCain's numbers. I think Obama's holding steady, overall. West Virginia came off the board and Ohio seems to be a tossup again, but it looks like Missouri's shading blue now.
posted by dw at 10:33 AM on October 20, 2008


I think there are two things Europeans fear about Americans -- that we actually put effort into playing footie, and that we may actually start caring about their politics and domestic issues.

Because, honestly, the last thing any Englishman wants is to be sitting in Wembley watching BJ Upton hit Dwayne Wade on a magnificent cross to make it 5-0 USA over England while the Americans sitting next to them are continuing to buttonhole him over the sorry state of English race relations and how the Stephen Lawrence case is still unsolved because of England's denial of its own racism.
posted by dw at 10:44 AM on October 20, 2008 [9 favorites]


Has someone here demonstrated a history of forgetting those people?

Yes, that's why I had these quotes before my entry:

I must say that as an American overseas, I do have the feeling that people in the U.S. probably don't quite realize how profoundly fed up and angry the rest of the world is

All people in the U.S. don't realize this? Really?

Again: please stop with the lazy thinking (driven by a hint of self-righteousness) that lumps all 300 million of us into one category of complacent, insulated idiots.


They demonstrated a history of forgetting those people and so I ask for them not to. I know very well what you are saying, I agree with it. But there is a category of Americans, a large category, that was left out in those statements, Americans that either don't care what world opinion is or actually take delight in angering non-Americans. That is a seperate and distinct category from both Americans who are ignorant of world opinion and Americans who are knowledgeable of world opinion and embarrased. I would go so far as to say there are further unmentioned categories:

>Americans that are aware of world opinions, but somehow interpret those opinions as favorable because of a personal or media filter.

>New Americans that discounted a majority unfavorable opinion in their home country and came to America anyway because of their own favorable opinion.

>Americans who would care about world opinion if it made much of a difference in their lives.

>Americans that actually care more about world opinion than the opinion of their fellow Americans. (On the other extreme)
posted by Pollomacho at 10:47 AM on October 20, 2008


And on the heels of that rally in Fayetteville, NC yesterday:

Public Policy: Obama 51, McCain 44 in North Carolina
posted by EarBucket at 11:21 AM on October 20, 2008


Heh - this poll taken in the last two days has Obama up by 7 in North Carolina, 51 to 44. Meanwhile Montana and North Dakota have both gone to tossup status on their map.

I know the bubble could burst, but I really don't see any signs that it will.

One thing about the foreign perspective is many other countries with multiparty systems are able to contain the Republican base wingnuts into fringe parties, meaning the centre parties may be less extreme or appear less schizoid. For example, in the UK the BNP siphons off a non-trivial few percent meaning the Tories don't have to grovel quite so much to the racists, and in France the National Front does the same: let's not forget that Le Pen got 17% of the vote in France in 2002, good enough to finish second in a run-off with Chirac.
posted by Rumple at 11:22 AM on October 20, 2008


going back to Bretton Woods

Even better, Brenton Wood.

posted by scody at 11:28 AM on October 20, 2008


I just voted and it was everything I thought it would be!
posted by inconsequentialist at 12:09 PM on October 20, 2008


the lead seems fragile (remember it reversed during the RNC)

It reversed during the RNC because of the RNC. Obama has led the entire election except for during the Republican convention and the Palin rollout. I suspect the latest poll movement is more of a regression from Obama's all-time high and McCain's all-time low to their more normal numbers (Obama ~46-48%, McCain ~42-45%) than it is a surge in McCain's popularity.

McCain has to win ALL of OH, FL, MO, NC, NV, CO, and VA (he will win ND, IN, and WV).

Obama only needs to win one of these, and right now he's leading in all of them: Colorado (+6.7%), Florida (+4.2%), Missouri (+0.9%), Nevada (+3.3%), North Carolina (+3.3%), Ohio (+2.7%), and Virginia (+6.4%).
posted by kirkaracha at 12:14 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Voted early today in Florida. I waited in a line outside for two hours to get into the elections office. I think on any other day I would have said, oh, forget it, I'll come back some other time - but I'm glad I stuck it out. It was a beautiful morning, we were in the shade, and the line of people moved slowly but everybody was friendly and neighborly and in a great mood. One of the businesses that had to deal with people lined in front of their storefront all morning, a computer repair place, really impressed me with their co-operative spirit. They put out a big iced down cooler of bottled water by their door for people in line to take, and they set up a card table next to it with information about the amendments on our ballot (totally non-partisan information), plus sample copies of the ballots to look over while we waited.

Once inside, it was very efficient, even though it took a long time to fill in the ballot. The only gunk in the works was that for all the people casting votes today, there was only ONE scanner to accept the ballots. (Our new system - 3rd new system in 3 elections! - is to fill out a paper ballot by coloring in the bubbles next to our choices and then it goes through a special scanner). So, not only was there a slow-moving line going IN, there was another slow-moving line to get OUT. It was OK though, people were in high spirits the entire time and I met a lot of nice people.

One of the poll workers mentioned in passing that more people had shown up at that location for early voting that morning than had cast ballots there in total in the August general election.

People, yes we can.
posted by contessa at 12:24 PM on October 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


But there is a category of Americans, a large category, that was left out in those statements, Americans that either don't care what world opinion is or actually take delight in angering non-Americans.

no, they weren't really left out. the comment you quoted was a direct response to a statement that had left out the americans who do care about world opinion. the comment you quoted was therefore simply saying "we're not all like that." there's no need, in that statment, to also say "although some of us are." that some of us are is a given.
posted by shmegegge at 12:24 PM on October 20, 2008


Contessa: I voted in Florida today too, though I didn't have to stand in very much of a line. One of the poll workers I talked to also said that they had had more people come in to vote today than in a regular week of early voting during the primary season.
posted by inconsequentialist at 12:27 PM on October 20, 2008


But there is a category of Americans, a large category, that was left out in those statements, Americans that either don't care what world opinion is or actually take delight in angering non-Americans. That is a seperate and distinct category from both Americans who are ignorant of world opinion and Americans who are knowledgeable of world opinion and embarrased.

Is that right? I didn't know this! No, I haven't had to argue with some of these Americans at work, in school, within my own family. I haven't been reminded of these Americans every time I have a conversation with a non-American who, at least one time out of three, will ask me a few minutes into the conversation why oh why we re-relected W. I haven't had to repeatedly point to what the popular vote actually was in 2004, or what happened in Ohio. I haven't had to make it emphatically clear that no, I don't think we should be in Iraq, that I think Gitmo should be closed, that I don't think the Earth is 6,000 years old. I haven't had to listen to non-Americans make crass redneck jokes about "Americans", all 300 million of us, displaying the same sort of ignorance and intolerance that we, as a nation, all get accused of.

So thanks, oh so very much, for bringing this segment of the American population to our attention! I would have had no idea they existed without it being repeatedly pointed out to me, over and over and over again.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:30 PM on October 20, 2008


So thanks, oh so very much, for bringing this segment of the American population to our attention! I would have had no idea they existed without it being repeatedly pointed out to me, over and over and over again.

Did you write any of the quotes above? Any of them? Why get offended as if I was referring to you then? I don't understand why my comments are so offensive to your sentiments. Clearly some people, including yourself, do lump Americans into the category of informed or not, I'm simply pointing out that there are other sub-groupings as well, such as those that are informed and uncaring.

It may be shocking, but there are some people who voted for W on purpose that actually read and who are neither mentally retarded nor fundamentalist christians. Some are even college graduates (granted it may be from business school, but they're sadly still accredited universities)! Marisa, even your littany of American doucebaggery discounts the fact that there is a segment of Americans who are informed and yet couldn't give two shits. Hopefully, and polling numbers may show this, by this point they have been so burned by their poor decisions that even they may give a shit.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:48 PM on October 20, 2008


McCain Supporters Heckle Early Voters, Call Them 'Cheaters'

Hmm, given attitudes like this, you'd think these people would be happy that Acorn is supposedly destroying the very fabric of democracy, given that they clearly hold democracy in such contempt.
posted by scody at 12:51 PM on October 20, 2008


Did you write any of the quotes above? Any of them? Why get offended as if I was referring to you then? I don't understand why my comments are so offensive to your sentiments. ... Marisa, even your littany of American doucebaggery discounts the fact that there is a segment of Americans who are informed and yet couldn't give two shits.

Your point of "Hey, you guys should remember that there's a segment of America who are ignorant of world opinion or know about it but just don't care" is moot. We know this. My point is, it's a tad condescending to "remind" Americans of this, as if we're not already made painfully aware of it on a daily basis. And nothing in what I said conveys my own ignorance of those who are informed and just don't care.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:58 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Shots fired at Straight Talk Express - If there's any veracity to this story, I'm wondering why I haven't seen coverage anywhere else. The primary account seems to be from Mark Williams on the "Stop Obama Tour" – doesn't sound like a pillar of unbiased reporting, but if I were the SS I'd be at least doing some interviews.
posted by lostburner at 1:02 PM on October 20, 2008


Pollomacho: Also, let's please not forget the large number of Americans that know very well how angry the rest of the world is and either don't care or are quite pleased.

Well, count me into the "don't care" category, but perhaps for a different reason than you intended. I have found that my ability to give a shit is quite limited, and I give priority to the people who are actually involved and informed in the politics of a community, rather than know-nothing idiots having a modern jackass moment because they saw poll numbers or voting returns fly by on some cesspool of the MSM. Unfortunately, many of those idiots come from within the United States.

Now having said that, there are certainly a few people who are not American citizens, whose opinion I respect because they were willing to engage in a dialog about the complexities of American politics on the ground. But those people are unlikely to make sweeping statements about entire geographic regions in the first place.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:05 PM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Can we stop talking about the unpleasant Americans that surely make up some portion of our population? THIS TOPIC IS TEARING US APART!!!!

Let's go back to talking about what you can buy with $150 million and what the Straw Grasp Express is going to come up with next. And is it time to place bets on the content of Obama's Oct. 29th after school special?
posted by snofoam at 1:16 PM on October 20, 2008


lostburner- They are suggesting that shots were fired in the more redneck parts of the state. Doesn't seem that plausable to me. Of course if it was supposed to happen around Santa Fe I would be saying the same but for different reasons- we are all hippy pacifists.
posted by pointilist at 1:22 PM on October 20, 2008


Sorry to anyone who thought I meant *all* Americans... I definitely didn't, and I face exactly the same sort of thing pineapple talks about, being asked to account for U.S. policy that I hate and disagree with. But I was responding to this part:

Don't want to be disappointed by America? You could always stop giving a shit completely; no gun to your head that I'm aware of. Or you could get off your comfy laurels and come over here during election years and work to educate people and register voters, if the stakes are all that high for you; you could do something, rather than playing armchair-quarterback from afar.

No matter how much the conscientious, thinking Americans might crave the respect and support of the global community (and I for one do), we're not actually required to "prove" anything to you. It's our trillions in tax money funding a fake war, not yours. It's our retirement funds that have disappeared. It's our children that aren't getting enough education or insurance. We're the ones getting price gouged by our own "fellow American" oil companies.


The stakes are high for other countries, their kids also die in U.S. wars, their economy and quality of life is affected by U.S. events, their investments and retirement money goes kaflooey also when U.S. cowboy hijinx come to a bad end, so it's not surprising that other countries view this crisis period as a time to start pushing back... which is why I linked the CS Monitor article. I imagine that happens next with global market reform is likely to be a different thing with an Obama presidency than with a McCain presidency, perhaps the sort of difference that will determine whether the U.S. remains a major player or gets sidelined. And that's the kind of thing I'm talking about when I say that "people" in the U.S. meaning many, a lot, or even most, probably don't realize what's at stake... not just a question of whether other countries like or approve of them or not, but how much they are going to pull together against the U.S., or decide to pull together with the U.S.
posted by taz at 1:27 PM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Just got back from voting. I have to say, it felt kind of momentous filling in the little bubble next to Barack Obama's name.
posted by EarBucket at 1:34 PM on October 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


The time is over when Americans can view their political process as their own business, alone.

This.

If you don't want to hear from certain voices, just be honest and ban them, OK?
posted by stinkycheese at 1:37 PM on October 20, 2008


I voted today in Ohio. Go Obama!
posted by sciurus at 1:44 PM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


I just learned, to my dismay, that Maryland does not permit early voting. That may, however, change.

Vote YES on Question 1!
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:47 PM on October 20, 2008


taz: The stakes are high for other countries, their kids also die in U.S. wars, their economy and quality of life is affected by U.S. events, their investments and retirement money goes kaflooey also when U.S. cowboy hijinx come to a bad end, so it's not surprising that other countries view this crisis period as a time to start pushing back... which is why I linked the CS Monitor article. I imagine that happens next with global market reform is likely to be a different thing with an Obama presidency than with a McCain presidency, perhaps the sort of difference that will determine whether the U.S. remains a major player or gets sidelined. And that's the kind of thing I'm talking about when I say that "people" in the U.S. meaning many, a lot, or even most, probably don't realize what's at stake... not just a question of whether other countries like or approve of them or not, but how much they are going to pull together against the U.S., or decide to pull together with the U.S.

And yet, so far in just about 10 years of criticism of American elections by expats and citizens of other countries, I can count the number of times that whats at stake has been seriously discussed on one hand.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:59 PM on October 20, 2008


Wow, I'm surprised it took you this long to show up in the thread, stinky. I should have flashed the "foreigners are getting pissed off on Aisle 4" maple-leaf-signal earlier.

If you don't want to hear from certain voices, just be honest and ban them, OK?

This is, not surprisingly, a wholly ridiculous suggestion. Non-Americans have just as much right to weigh in on this -- or any other MeFi topic -- as anyone who pays their $5.
posted by pineapple at 2:07 PM on October 20, 2008


I voted too. Yay for Obama!
posted by every_one_needs_a_hug_sometimes at 2:16 PM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is, not surprisingly, a wholly ridiculous suggestion. Non-Americans have just as much right to weigh in on this -- or any other MeFi topic -- as anyone who pays their $5.

That's funny, cuz your hissy fit upthread sounded a lot like SHUTUP!SHUTUP!SHUTUP! to me.
posted by stinkycheese at 2:20 PM on October 20, 2008


stinkycheese: If you don't want to hear from certain voices, just be honest and ban them, OK?

I don't see why not. If you are not willing to engage in a good-faith effort to engage in or support grass-roots efforts to change American politics from the ground, then I don't think you should have a voice at the table. I don't care whether your particular knee-jerk position is "fuck the South" or "stupid Americans."

pineapple: This is, not surprisingly, a wholly ridiculous suggestion. Non-Americans have just as much right to weigh in on this -- or any other MeFi topic -- as anyone who pays their $5.

Well, as my grandmothers used to point out, having the right to say something doesn't mean you should. If someone is unable or unwilling to engage in a nuanced political dialog, then they bring nothing to the discussion but noise.

stinkycheese: That's funny, cuz your hissy fit upthread sounded a lot like SHUTUP!SHUTUP!SHUTUP! to me.

My goodness, talk about a hissy fit! If the rather modest request that one engage in an informed and honest dialog rather than a one-sided rant sounds like SHUTUP!SHUTUP!SHUTUP!, then perhaps you are part of the population that should shut up and listen, at least until you have a better understanding of what activism efforts people are engaged in.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:27 PM on October 20, 2008


If your state doesn't have early voting, then go get you an absentee ballot; as long as you check a plausible reason on the application (I recommend the "I will be away from my home community on election day" option), they have to let you vote absentee. So bank your vote now and then spend a couple of hours GingOTV on election day instead of pissing it away waiting in line at the polling place. I voted absentee last week, and it felt reeeeeeeeal gooooooooooooooood to become the pal of a pal of a terrorist at long last.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:30 PM on October 20, 2008


Only a week or so ago, I sent my ballot from our ship on deployment with an Obama fill. Sure, it's Minnesota, but the state is becoming more and more swingish. Absentee ballots and early voting are vital to people like me who just aren't where they're from when November 5 comes around. I hope those like me who had to use absentee ballots found them as easy to apply for and send off.

On the other hand, I appreciate the concern with American politics by other members, but one should always understand one's audience. Though you can voice you criticisms and fight to show how each nation is interdependent on other nations, there's a point where you have to realize that these aren't the ones that need convincing. I mean, other than express you dissapproval, what would you have US citizens do? There's a lot of resentment from across the world, but what is the right solution to cool your anger? I'm seriously listening.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 2:32 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


“Thanks, Powell.
But don't think for a minute that this makes up for your UN testimony, you lying sonofabitch.”

He’s called it ‘painful’ and something that will always be part of his record. Bit of a cop out for me, since he didn’t really straighten out what he did. On the other hand he did own it unlike just about everyone else in the administration.

I don’t think there’s any question he lied (ample evidence about the tubes for example). But there are two questions that stem from that - first, was he aware - fully aware - of the magnitude and implications of what he was saying, not in terms of going to war, but in terms of gross distortion?

Well, we don’t know. He told Sam Husseini that when he cited Hussein Kamal when he (Powell) was talking to the U.N. that he didn’t know there were no WMDs in Iraq and “I only knew what the intelligence community told me.”

In the first place, he’s wrong that no one in the community spoke up against what was being put out by the administration in the press. There were people who did. The question then is - did he hear them? Was he allowed to hear them? And, importantly, whether he did or didn’t where did his mindset (as established above he likes using the big stick for humanitiarian purposes) lead his attention?

But let’s walk down the ‘misled’ street for a bit - looking at the actions of the Bush administration there’s been plenty of questions about such things as the Downing Street memo, etc et.c - a lot of fabricated evidence. We know it’s there. Let’s take that point as uncontested.

The gemini to that point (from a number of facets pro-war and anti-war) is - if the Bush administration lied about the WMDs and about the war (and perhaps about 9/11 - tangentially) then why did they stop lying?
Why didn’t they simply set up some fake WMDs or something?

That line of reasoning is predicated on the idea that their interest was in fooling the American public. At least primarially.
I think they’ve amply proven they can more or less piss on the public’s head and tell them it’s raining, or not, as long as they maintain a political advantage and there is no strong opposition that will prosecute them (if you’ll take a second to re-think the moves the Bush administration has made, the changes in judges, laws, prosecutors, etc etc., it’s obvious this is the case - and even if it’s not perfectly clear, they’ve clearly gotten away with it long enough to not make much of a difference).

So then the question - who was it they were primarially interested in lying to?

Obviously then, decision makers. Perhaps someone like Colin Powell.

Now, if he was actively engaged in distortion rather than merely complicit, that’s a slightly different story.
I say slightly because it’s obvious his designs in going to war in Iraq were not in parity with the Bush administrations designs. I won’t speculate on their designs here.

But his motives and philosophy are fairly transparent.
So - he had a choice very similar to the one given to, say, Edmund Exley in L.A. Confidential: “Would you be willing to plant corroborative evidence on a suspect you knew to be guilty, in order to ensure an indictment?”

Sometimes, although I don’t agree with it (because what’s “know?”), the answer to that question is yes.
While I can understand this decision, and can even empathize especially in light of the goal and philosophy he has, it completely eliminates in my mind his ability to serve in any capacity in a government founded for and by the people.

You cannot lie to people and then pretend to be doing their will. And as (former) officer he should have known better. (Although once you hit general the job gets strange and some people seem to lose touch with reality. You almost never hear the word ‘no’ ever again).

I’m inclined to cut Powell a break, insofar as I’m inclined to not rub anyone’s face in it when they see their mistakes and seek to make amends.

I’d still like to see him come clean. Meh. Baby steps.

All that aside, this does obviate the “military” high ground McCain has been championing.


“People, yes we can.”

People, yes we WILL.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:34 PM on October 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


Shots fired at Straight Talk Express

Heh, heh, someone just exercising their 2nd amendment rights, no doubt. Not a well regulated militia, but apparently that part doesn't matter.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:35 PM on October 20, 2008


Er, November 4th. Must be thinking of Guy Fawks Day or something.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 2:37 PM on October 20, 2008


I'll quote this since it's so important: Don't want to be disappointed by America? You could always stop giving a shit completely; no gun to your head that I'm aware of. Or you could get off your comfy laurels and come over here during election years and work to educate people and register voters, if the stakes are all that high for you; you could do something, rather than playing armchair-quarterback from afar.

No on Prop. 102

No on Prop. 8

No on 2

There are three critical state-level campaigns that are starving for funds.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:38 PM on October 20, 2008


That's funny, cuz your hissy fit upthread sounded a lot like SHUTUP!SHUTUP!SHUTUP! to me.

This is hilarious, stinkycheese, but I would be willing to bet cash money you have no idea why.


Anyway, I don't think this has been posted already: Glenn Greenwald on the Powell endorsement.
posted by scody at 2:41 PM on October 20, 2008


So I imagine all the early voting states will have slightly skewed exit polling on election day since it looks like Obama is winning the early turnout. I'm sure the major media will account for this but it still might make for some potentially depressing sound bites the night of the election when they report the unadjusted numbers first.

And as good as the numbers look for Obama now, I'm expecting they'll tighten everywhere as election day draws closer (just so I can keep a pessimistic outlook). I'm really hoping the enthusiasm for Obama will completely negate any voter suppression on the ground. I'm not too optimistic about how undecideds will break. McCain can win Ohio if he gets a large portion of them. Ohio is going to be either really close or extremely close. Nevada and Florida also have lots of potential for ugly recounts, too. But if Obama clearly wins Virginia and nothing crazy happens like Minnesota going for McCain then I won't feel compelled to stay up so late. And I will sleep well.
posted by effwerd at 2:42 PM on October 20, 2008


Heh, heh, someone just exercising their 2nd amendment rights

Just the kind of response I was hoping not to get on Metafilter. Oh well, hopefully I'll have better luck next time.
posted by lostburner at 2:43 PM on October 20, 2008


“Shots fired at Straight Talk Express”

Yeah, next he’ll be attacked in the bathroom by black muslim supremacists who don’t know how to draw their own symbol.
Jesus, this, the meth heads ‘planning’ to go after Obama, is no one aware of the gravity of this type of thing?
posted by Smedleyman at 2:44 PM on October 20, 2008


If someone is unable or unwilling to engage in a nuanced political dialog, then they bring nothing to the discussion but noise.

KirkJobSluder, I agree with you 100%. And I think that posts like stinkycheese's are actually mere noise.

But in response to his silly extremist assertion that I wanted to silence people, I just wanted to point out that I respect anyone's right to participate at MetaFilter.

There are three critical state-level campaigns that are starving for funds.

Someone else ought weigh in with more knowledge, but I know at least at federal level, one must be a U.S. resident (maybe even citizen) to donate to candidate campaigns.

It would be very helpful to have a compilation of ways that people outside America can get involved. GOTV certainly comes to mind, as do PACs.
posted by pineapple at 2:57 PM on October 20, 2008


Someone else ought weigh in with more knowledge, but I know at least at federal level, one must be a U.S. resident (maybe even citizen) to donate to candidate campaigns.

Yeah, you can't give money to any candidate or PAC type group like MoveOn.org unless you're a citizen or a resident with a green card. What I've suggested to people in the past is that you go over to somewhere like Daily Kos and post a diary offering to make a donation to a group like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Red Cross, or something similar if someone makes a matching donation to Obama (or whoever). Perfectly legal, and it means two worthy causes get help, instead of just one.
posted by EarBucket at 3:09 PM on October 20, 2008


The problem with this whole animosity overseas is you end up with overwrought and under-comprehending articles in the foreign press like this one.
posted by dw at 3:23 PM on October 20, 2008


psmealey : But this unabashed lying from these rubes and stooges affiliated with the GOP?... I can't stomach it. The people that further these view are the enemies of decency. I'm not sure where we go from here, but it's going to be a long way out of this ditch.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately; I am honestly concerned at how fractured our society has become these past few years. We have always had vocal disagreements, but rarely have they been so omnipresent. I can turn on the TV at any time of the day or night, and find some pundit spouting off easily refutable nonsense, and no one calls them on it.

Or even worse, if they are called out on it, it doesn't change anything! They go onto the next news cycle and just continue to sell their rhetoric completely ignoring the fact that someone just proved it to all be lies.

I think these people really need to be called to the carpet to answer for their words. I'd love to see someone run off some bullshit talking points, get called out for it, and when they try it the next day, someone points out "Well, you know that what you are saying isn't true. Just last night this was explained to you in detail, why are you continuing to spread these demonstrably false allegations?"

If that shit happened with any regularity, 1.) the nightly news would be 1000 times better, and 2.) it might actually improve the level of discourse between the two sides in this country.
posted by quin at 3:40 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I appreciate how helpless it feels to be at the mercy of a political majority that isn't your own -- you can't even imagine how much I appreciate it. I've worked in Democratic politics off and on over the last decade, so this isn't just a spectator sport for me; it hits me in the pocketbook.

And as an American who has travelled bi-monthly to Ireland and the UK in the last two years, you can't even imagine how weary I am of having to answer to the rants and railings against those who put Bush in office... as if I personally was the swing voter who pulled the last lever.

Surely, even there in your non-American safe haven, you've still got regular math. It takes a majority to win an election here: even if Kerry was close, even if Gore was closer, even if you believe that votes were stolen and rigged.... they weren't stolen to the tune of millions of people. Bush still won 50,456,002 (47.9%) votes in 2000, and 62,040,610 (50.7%) in 2004. That's half the country voting for Bush, no matter how finely you want to split the hairs.

So damning an audience that is clearly Obama-leaning now, and was clearly Kerry-leaning in 2004, and was certainly Gore-leaning in 2000... and implying that we are miscreants who let you personally down, and don't have enough moral fortitude to do the right thing on your behalf -- because we personally couldn't affect the political perspectives of some 62 million people -- is just as blindered and self-serving as those who vote Republican because they don't care about poor people or brown people or non-Christians.

Don't want to be disappointed by America? You could always stop giving a shit completely; no gun to your head that I'm aware of. Or you could get off your comfy laurels and come over here during election years and work to educate people and register voters, if the stakes are all that high for you; you could do something, rather than playing armchair-quarterback from afar.

No matter how much the conscientious, thinking Americans might crave the respect and support of the global community (and I for one do), we're not actually required to "prove" anything to you. It's our trillions in tax money funding a fake war, not yours. It's our retirement funds that have disappeared. It's our children that aren't getting enough education or insurance. We're the ones getting price gouged by our own "fellow American" oil companies.

We're already paying dearly for the poor choices of 62 million of our fellow countrymen. I'm done with the rest of the world needing to get its pound of flesh too -- especially at MeFi, where it can't fairly be called anything but preaching to the choir. You want to bash some Bush-supporting Americans? Go to Free Republic or LGF or one of the neocon forums and tell them all about how they let you down; take your ire to those who actually deserve to hear it
.

***

In re-reading this, I am struck by how much of it is basically: butt out, foreigners. If the person saying the things you take issue with had a U.S. passport, how much of the above would apply to them?

Almost none. And that's very telling.

Again:

I'm done with the rest of the world needing to get its pound of flesh too -- especially at MeFi, where it can't fairly be called anything but preaching to the choir. You want to bash some Bush-supporting Americans? Go to [another website]/.

And, when called on it:

Non-Americans have just as much right to weigh in on this -- or any other MeFi topic -- as anyone who pays their $5.

Hmmm. These points of views do not mesh easily.

You deny being censorious and then go on to call my posts "mere noise". Again, sounds a lot like "non-posts" to me.

posted by stinkycheese at 3:51 PM on October 20, 2008


You might try just linking the thing, in the future, stinky.

I've never done or said anything that a thinking person can consider "censorious," here or elsewhere.

Suggesting that someone who wants to rant and rail about the GOP might have more effect by directing their rant at actual GOP supporters is hardly censorship. See also.

Sorry that we don't agree on this, and that you've willfully read some stuff into my words that fits your agenda instead of mine. Little else to say to you, really.
posted by pineapple at 4:02 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


The time is over when Americans can view their political process as their own business, alone.

That time has been over now since the opening decade of the 20th century. Still doesn't mean the self-righteous, conceited anti-American sentiments we've seen around here is right or even aimed at the right people. It's like yelling at a Yankees fan for a Red Sox fan's boorish behavior.

I don't know if any of you have even noticed, but this whole damn site's been ObamaFilter this whole year. And yet, it's the same European conceit about how "we," the Americans of MetaFilter, are somehow responsible for EVERYTHING LESS THAN GOOD about our damn country.

Well, from now on, I'm holding every European here personally responsible for anything that comes of out Le Pen's mouth, or any stall in the Cyprus peace effort, or any anti-Turk incident in Germany, or any Russian saber-rattling, or any and all Eastern European human trafficking rings, or any and all football rioting.

Only fair, right?
posted by dw at 4:09 PM on October 20, 2008 [12 favorites]


I am struck by how much of it is basically: butt out, foreigners.

It's not "butt out, foreigners" -- it's "WE GET IT, FOREIGNERS." I mean, you're arguing with people in this thread who have contributed hundreds (or thousands) of dollars to Obama's campaign. People who have knocked on hundreds (or thousands) of doors, made hundreds (or thousands) of phone calls, logged hundreds (or thousands) of miles journeying across their towns, states, and even time zones -- all told, hundreds (or thousands) of hours moving heaven and earth to get Obama elected precisely because we agree with you on the issues.

In other words, if your purpose is to convince that it's important for international reasons to vote for Obama, you are preaching to the proverbial choir. You are welcome to keep it up, but pointing out that you're trying to convince the already convinced (and insulting them in the process) isn't censorship -- it's a statement of fact. Sorry you take umbrage. As Obama said to McCain the other night, that says more about you than about us.

Well, from now on, I'm holding every European here personally responsible for anything that comes of out Le Pen's mouth, or any stall in the Cyprus peace effort, or any anti-Turk incident in Germany, or any Russian saber-rattling, or any and all Eastern European human trafficking rings, or any and all football rioting.

Why limit it to Europe? I personally have about 17 million bones to pick with every man, woman, and child in Chile, given that -- by stinkycheese's logic -- they are all personally and equally responsible for allowing Pinochet die somewhere other than a prison cell.

posted by scody at 4:18 PM on October 20, 2008 [10 favorites]


That's funny, cuz your hissy fit upthread sounded a lot like SHUTUP!SHUTUP!SHUTUP! to me.

You call THAT a hissy fit? I've seen hissy fits - hell, I've HAD hissy fits - and that was no hissy fit.

The only people around here who can actually be censorious are the mods.

So: If you want to bitch about how American politics sucks, and how our foreign policy blows, and how Republicans have completely frakked everything up...you CAN do it here, but it's mostly preaching to the choir. If you really want to have a debate about your insights, go to LGF or one of the other Republican-type sites mentioned above.

Otherwise, yeah, a lot of us are tired of being told how much we suck when WE DID NOT VOTE THESE GUYS INTO OFFICE and we ARE in fact in the process of cleaning house.
posted by rtha at 4:24 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why limit it to Europe? I personally have about 17 million bones to pick with every man, woman, and child in Chile, given that -- by stinkycheese's logic -- they are all personally and equally responsible for allowing Pinochet die somewhere other than a prison cell.

WTF.
posted by stinkycheese at 4:40 PM on October 20, 2008


EarBucket: I felt the same thing. After I plodded my way through the amendments on the back side of the ballot, I turned it back over and just kind of gazed for a moment at the bubble I had filled in next to Barack Obama's name. I took a deep breath, smiled, and then giddily slid went to send my ballot through the scanner.
posted by inconsequentialist at 4:45 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


WTF.
posted by stinkycheese at 4:40 PM


Yes, stinkycheese, blanket condemnations of a country's entire population are illogical and factually incorrect, aren't they? Funny, that.

And what do you think that realization might mean as it relates to this thread? Take your time.
posted by scody at 4:52 PM on October 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


Reality check here: I did not say or imply that anyone is responsible for anything in this thread. I'm just asking for clarification with regards to who can post regarding what. For a while in this thread, it looked like we were getting close to wanting a change there.
posted by stinkycheese at 5:00 PM on October 20, 2008


stinkycheese: In re-reading this, I am struck by how much of it is basically: butt out, foreigners. If the person saying the things you take issue with had a U.S. passport, how much of the above would apply to them?

Actually, yes, when some ignorant yahoo of a U.S. citizen makes an ignorant claim about the state of politics in my neck of the woods that completely ignores how much hard work progressives put in on the ground in order to change things, I do tell them to butt out.

Reality check here: I did not say or imply that anyone is responsible for anything in this thread. I'm just asking for clarification with regards to who can post regarding what. For a while in this thread, it looked like we were getting close to wanting a change there.

You can post whatever you like. If you offer nothing more than generalizations and whining about the state of the American electorate and are not supportive of our work to change things, I'll write you off as an ignorant keyboard pundit. But that's your choice.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:09 PM on October 20, 2008


I'm just asking for clarification with regards to who can post regarding what.

This is disingenuous. Your comments in this thread were not made in good faith in the service of seeking clarification regarding of "who can post what." Members of Metafilter may comment in any thread, regardless of any member's nationality and regardless of the national focus of a particular thread. If a comment actually breaks the guidelines, it will be removed by a mod. Comments that are not removed by a mod -- and that would be the vast, vast majority of them -- may or may not generate disagreement from other members of Metafilter, who themselves are equally free to argue with the comment posted by the other member. But you already know that, right?
posted by scody at 5:10 PM on October 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


Maybe you guys want to go to Meta?
posted by Bookhouse at 5:32 PM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Comrades, Comrades!

We do the purges AFTER the revolution is complete.
(of course, the revolution is never complete).

(btw, I'm volunteering for the first time this weekend. I can't wait).
posted by empath at 5:32 PM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think we need a new election thread.
posted by nax at 5:34 PM on October 20, 2008


We do the purges AFTER the revolution is complete.
(of course, the revolution is never complete).

(btw, I'm volunteering for the first time this weekend. I can't wait).


Your enthusiasm is to be commended, but really, purges aren't nearly as fun as they sound.

kidding. enjoy!
posted by scody at 5:48 PM on October 20, 2008


Why Americans are So Touchy
posted by Rumple at 5:58 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Muslims at a McCain/Palin rally. It's not as bad as you might think.
posted by inconsequentialist at 6:05 PM on October 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


if the Bush administration lied about the WMDs and about the war (and perhaps about 9/11 - tangentially) then why did they stop lying? Why didn’t they simply set up some fake WMDs or something?

Because the damage was already done. You can't unring the invasion bell. They had no need to lie once things got rolling. And that would have been a hard lie. That kind of lying requires a level of competence unavailable to the present administration.
posted by me & my monkey at 6:08 PM on October 20, 2008


Christ, children.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:13 PM on October 20, 2008


CNN's John King reports that McCain's "strategy" is to concede Colorado, Iowa, and New Mexico and go for Pennsylvania, where Obama's got a 15-point lead.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:30 PM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


*starts backfire on Chuck Baldwin's candidacy*
posted by lukemeister at 6:40 PM on October 20, 2008


It looks to me like it works like this:

No, it works a little more like this:

That's funny, cuz your hissy fit upthread sounded a lot like SHUTUP!SHUTUP!SHUTUP! to me = not being taken seriously as a legitimate voice raising important issues about either the U.S. election and its impact on the international community or conversational give-and-take on Metafilter regarding the same.
posted by scody at 6:54 PM on October 20, 2008


Obama cancels campaign events to fly to Hawaii and visit his very ill Grandmother
posted by anastasiav at 7:18 PM on October 20, 2008


CNN's John King reports that McCain's "strategy" is to concede Colorado, Iowa, and New Mexico and go for Pennsylvania, where Obama's got a 15-point lead.

What? That's insane. They'd be far better off fighting to hold Colorado and Virginia. They'd still almost certainly lose, but if something crazy happened and changed the course of the race, they'd be in a much better position to take advantage of it. Even if McCain loses Colorado, Iowa, and New Mexico but picks up Pennsylvania, Obama only needs to flip Florida or Ohio or Virginia plus Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, or North Carolina. That report can't possibly be accurate. If it is, McCain should fire his campaign staff and hire someone who knows what the hell they're doing.
posted by EarBucket at 7:24 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


stinkycheese: Republicans are... = cool, no problem, bring on the slights, the slander, the slime
Americans/USians are... = shut up! I voted for the Democratic candidate, I don't wanna hear it anymore, shut up! you are mere noise, you are unthinking, don't stereotype


Ok, you know something. I've been here on metafilter for way too long, going on seven years. And I feel that we could be having some great conversations here that could cross the line from a bunch of opinionated yahoos arguing about things beyond their depth, to some actual good done in the world.

Instead, I see the same venting of the same spleens. The same old blaming some particular demographic group, Americans, Red States, The South, Christians, en masse for some particular social ailment. And I see very few discussion about what to actually do, about trying to build coalitions, about a whole mess of issues.

So yes, if it was my online community, I'd discourage the noise, and the broad unthinking stereotypes you are defending here, in favor of the kinds of respectful dialogs I've had at international conferences that were focused on learning and action.

Because I'm really sick of engaging in activism on one front, while trying to justify my activism on another front.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:31 PM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


fff, can you keep those anti-American fires burning?

I regret to inform you that I am not anti-American. I am anti-stupid. Unfortunately, the past eight years have been pretty much solid stupidity, which may have deceived you into thinking that I'm anti-American.

Also, I have no desire whatsoever to sleep in the shit you've spread across your bed. You're on your own.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:41 PM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


CNN's John King reports that McCain's "strategy" is to concede Colorado, Iowa, and New Mexico and go for Pennsylvania, where Obama's got a 15-point lead.

You know, Obama isn't my favorite candidate, but damn if I don't respect his commitment to the 50-state strategy, which has paid off in terms of fundraising and shaping the strategic battlefield. It's almost like Rove's strategy for 2000 and 2004, only more honest and bigger.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:43 PM on October 20, 2008


It's almost like Rove's strategy for 2000 and 2004, only more honest and bigger.

Don't forget fewer pacts with Satan.
posted by scody at 7:47 PM on October 20, 2008 [6 favorites]


CNN's John King reports that McCain's "strategy" is to concede Colorado, Iowa, and New Mexico and go for Pennsylvania, where Obama's got a 15-point lead.

Well shit, conceding every state worked out so well for Rudy Guiliani in the primaries, I can see why McCain would want to follow that example.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:48 PM on October 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


I will give $10 for this thread not to be about stinkycheese
posted by thewittyname at 8:08 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama cancels campaign events to fly to Hawaii and visit his very ill Grandmother.

On the Free Republic message board: He's going there to kill her himself. Interspersed with other equally fascinating theories.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 8:16 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, I have to give it to the Freepers. You have to have a pretty intense imagination to believe that one of the nominees for the Presidency of the United States is flying to Hawaii to personally murder his grandmother sixteen days before the fucking election.
posted by 235w103 at 8:31 PM on October 20, 2008 [12 favorites]


He's not canceling his appearance here in Richmond scheduled for Wednesday. RCP has Obama up by 8 points in Virginia.
posted by emelenjr at 8:34 PM on October 20, 2008


CNN's John King reports that McCain's "strategy" is to concede Colorado, Iowa, and New Mexico and go for Pennsylvania, where Obama's got a 15-point lead.

Well, he's not going to get Philly and he's not going to get Pittsburgh and that's were the biggest chunk of the state lives. He might carry Elk and Potter Counties but who cares, no one fricking lives there. PA voted for Gore and Kerry and it's really unlikely that we'll vote for McCain.
posted by octothorpe at 8:42 PM on October 20, 2008


235w103: "Man, I have to give it to the Freepers. You have to have a pretty intense imagination to believe that one of the nominees for the Presidency of the United States is flying to Hawaii to personally murder his grandmother sixteen days before the fucking election."

I know most of that is just half-jokey hyperbole, but this, from the OP, really got to me:

I call Bull$hit. Nobody leaves the campaign trail for a couple of days to visit someone who is "sick".

Either the poster is woefully ignorant about who Madelyn Dunham is, or they don't afford Obama enough humanity to consider that he might want to visit the woman who raised him when she is terminally ill. That things have gotten ugly enough that the latter is a possibility to some people really sickens me.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:52 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nobody leaves the campaign trail for a couple of days to visit someone who is "sick".

But McCain can cancel his whole campaign and try to reschedule the first debate in order to sit in DC outside closed doors and pretend to try to effect House Minority caucus meetings. Of course.
posted by pineapple at 9:03 PM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


I call Bull$hit

I call €visions of grandeur.
posted by lukemeister at 9:05 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Actually, reading the Freeper thread, I was sort of interested to see how there were a lot of predictable comments (HE'S GOING TO KILL! THAT! POOOOOOOR! WOMAN!), a lot of crazy, misspelled conspiracy theories- and then, sprinkled throughout, there are individuals being like, "Actually, he did visit his grandmother last month" and "You know, I think we probably would have heard if he wasn't really an American citizen" and "I mean, she's been pretty sick."
Who are these people? They seem....reasonable. BRING THEM HERE.
posted by 235w103 at 9:34 PM on October 20, 2008 [5 favorites]


Why did I even go there?

In fact, this overt concern about granny may be a devilish effort to plant subliminal doubts about the fitness of the similarly elderly John McCain to hold the office of president. There has already been a noticeable uptick in references to McCain’s age by left-wing hacks. If those subtle suggestions continue, then I’m more sure of my theory. Am I crazy?

Yes. Yes, you are.
posted by jokeefe at 9:47 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


i don't know if anyone's linked it yet, but scoreboard.dailykos.com is pretty freakin sweet.
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:58 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


235w103: I was thinking the same thing. I'm even more intrigued by the guy who buys into the theory that there's some kind of birth certificate fraud going on, but doesn't believe that's what's at work here and won't cross the line into OMG HES GONNA KILL GRAMMA territory. I'm glad there are people out there with strange ideas that don't assume everyone on the other side is a horrible human being.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 10:03 PM on October 20, 2008


CNN's John King reports that McCain's "strategy" is to concede Colorado, Iowa, and New Mexico and go for Pennsylvania

I blew a snot bubble when I read this. Let's re-cap:

1. October 2: McCain announces he's giving up on Michigan, to focus on Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Maine.

2. October 15: McCain announce's he giving up on Wisconsin and Maine.

3. Today: McCain giving up on Colorado, Iowa and New Mexico to focus on "Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and a comeback in Pennsylvania."

Buh, what? Pennsyl-friggin-vania? He might be within striking distance of Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio, and even the long-shot of Virginia is still a possibility. But Obama has a double-digit lead in PA. A double-digit lead is the reason McCain cited for leaving Michigan.

What on earth is wrong with this man? Why doesn't he just go after Illinois, or Hawaii? Or better yet, why doesn't he announce he's taking a break from campaigning to build a replica baseball diamond in the middle of a cornfield?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:53 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


cashman: Go out there and talk to your neighbors and people who live nearby. . . . Don't watch this happen, make it happen.

I'm a Canadian living in the US who normally just watches your elections bemusedly from the sidelines, but I signed up last week to make phone calls for Obama. It's thanks to you people in these threads, talking about your various experiences volunteering for the campaign, and how it's a great way to channel anxiety about the results. Also thanks to that point about "the margin is the mandate," which really hit home in the wake of reading about right-wingers convinced that an Obama win could only result from massive voter fraud (ie ACORN).

Face to face canvassing isn't going to work for me considering how much time it took to work up the nerve to cold-call people, but I'm certainly talking politics with neighbours. The last one was a great-grandmother who still hunts big game, showed off her living room decorated with taxidermied animals, and announced her admiration for Palin. Our brief exchange resulted in a friendly standoff.


WaPo, Fighting for Joe the Plumber: Factchecking McPalin's latest twisted characterization of Obama's tax plan

The Department of Homeland Decency is holding a What Would Sarah Do? contest
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:02 PM on October 20, 2008 [5 favorites]


CNN's John King reports that McCain's "strategy" is to concede Colorado, Iowa, and New Mexico and go for Pennsylvania, where Obama's got a 15-point lead.

This might be the most insane strategy in the history of politics, maybe even more than Giuliani's Florida gambit.

If you start with the Kerry map (286-252) and grant Obama CO/IA/NM, Obama would now stand at 273. Flip PA to red and you're back where you started -- 286-252 McCain.

But now there's a problem. Obama wins with:

1. Either OH or FL, or
2. (VA or NC) + (NV or MO), or
3. VA + NC, or
4. MO + NV + (ND or MT), or
5. ND + MT + (VA or NC), or
6. Any other combination of the above states where EV = 18

And while you're pounding PA senseless to try and close a point a day on Obama over the next 14 days, you're in the meantime NOT in FL, OH, NC, VA, MO, NV, MT, ND, or whatever other state Obama wants to be in. To close a point a day for 10 straight days requires the sort of political campaign that's as intense and relentless it will eat every dime of McCain's $50M war chest that's left. And meanwhile, Obama's taking a Florida bus tour hitting every senior center he can find while Cleveland and Columbus TV stations become Obama TV affiliates until election day.

OTOH, I think it might be their only move left. Taking PA off the board drops Obama to one of the six listed formulas for winning. Even if you took OH and FL off the board but conceded IA/CO/NM, Obama has 273. Even if you manage to hang onto Colorado, Obama still only needs six to win -- and either VA or NC could give that to him, as would MT + ND or NV + one other state.

McCain's path to victory is through PA. But all his stars must align correctly and the campaign must be relentless for that to happen, and just winning PA doesn't guarantee him of anything.

A week or two ago I felt like McCain should have shut everything down save NC/VA/OH/FL/CO/NH. Focus on those six, make sure to hold them, and hope that the inroads into IN the Obama people have made don't pan out. But they didn't listen to me, which is fine since I didn't vote for him anyway.
posted by dw at 11:05 PM on October 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


Who are these people? They seem....reasonable. BRING THEM HERE.

Indeed. They don't have to hang out with lunatics. Unless, of course, they've decided the best action is to get out there and attempt to engage or ameliorate the freeper enclaves. It occurs to me that a mass MeFi outreach program, in which members go to these lunatic-fringe, but strangely popular, boards and try to talk some sense into the batshitinsane.

Personally, I think that'd be a tough call. I abhor that the lunatic fringe. They literally are the social force that is preventing us from having a decent society. I suspect marginalizing them is the right thing to do: they are such a tiny part of the population that their ravings shouldn't be granted any more legitimacy as those of the loon who's preaching at city square.

On the other hand, letting those forums of poisonous thinking continue unchallenged surely can't be good: crazy attracts crazy, and soon they become a bigger problem.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:13 PM on October 20, 2008


The last one was a great-grandmother who still hunts big game, showed off her living room decorated with taxidermied animals, and announced her admiration for Palin. Our brief exchange resulted in a friendly standoff.

Don't be afraid, in the end, to ask these people to vote for Obama out of respect for a new generation of thinking. There are a lot more young people at risk from the fallout of a bad decision, than there are old people at risk.

Obama can hardly fuck things up worse than Bush. McCain can easily fuck things up as bad a Bush. Just on odds of survival alone, you gotta go with Obama, if only until you get a worthy candidate from the GOP.

Republicans have been served a shit sundae.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:22 PM on October 20, 2008


And to babble a bit more:
"I'm gonna vote for that sumb*tch," he expressed, colourfully. "Looks like McCain's gonna be another term for George Bush, and I'd rather vote for a damn Muslim nigger than that."
Obama should run a few of these "endorsements" on Fox. The racists need to know that it's okay to vote Obama. They don't have to eat the shit sundae.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:01 AM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ha. If the world could vote.

What's up with Macedonia?
posted by susanbeeswax at 12:17 AM on October 21, 2008


And it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America...

It took long enough for somebody of public stature to say this. I find myself cringing every time this whole issue is mentioned, because even pro-Obama people often simply say that he's a Christian without seeming to consider that there shouldn't be any issue in the first place.
posted by Target Practice at 12:26 AM on October 21, 2008


That's a great little map, susan. And Macedonia threw me as well- even with 400 voters, it's still ~90% McCain.

On the other hand, if the US is still ~80% for Obama (out of 100,000+ votes), then presumeably the data is skewed a bit. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that most internet users are, on the whole, more liberal than the general population.

Still, even if you 'normalise' the graph so that the US's 80% is actually ~50%, to reflect something closer to what's on the ground in the US, the rest of the world is still predominantly pro-Obama.

And Australia's 91%! I'm so proud! Now if only that mattered...
posted by twirlypen at 12:53 AM on October 21, 2008


Ha. If the world could vote.

The Economist's take on the same thing -- the Global Electoral College.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:00 AM on October 21, 2008


Can someone explain to me why Obama is still stopping by in Virginia on the way to see his grandmother? Given the amount of flak we gave the McCain campaign for "stopping but not really stopping the campaign", this just doesn't sit right with me. Particularly if his grandmother is gravely ill, his visit has got to be time sensitive as it is without a campaign stop on the way.
posted by like_neon at 1:03 AM on October 21, 2008


Re, Macedonia: in the name dispute between Macedonia and Greece, McCain supports Macedonia. McCain's foreign policy aide, Randy Scheunemann, is (or has been, depending on whom you ask) a paid lobbyist for Georgia and Macedonia, among other countries.

Interesting, I just found this from Pat Buchanan: And None Dare Call It Treason. Huh.
posted by taz at 1:22 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


On the Free Republic message board: He's going there to kill her himself. Interspersed with other equally fascinating theories.

I got so upset when I read that, I registered on Free Republic and replied to that poster by saying "I pray for your soul that you have so much hate that you could think such a thing." No doubt it won't pass their submission process, but I feel better. I had just had to say it.
posted by vac2003 at 1:23 AM on October 21, 2008


...on another note entirely, I first saw pyramid termite's joke months ago... but with Obama's name, not Palin's.
posted by Target Practice at 1:27 AM on October 21, 2008


Can someone explain to me why Obama is still stopping by in Virginia on the way to see his grandmother? Given the amount of flak we gave the McCain campaign for "stopping but not really stopping the campaign", this just doesn't sit right with me.

Well, Obama didn't make the announcement to suspend his campaign as some big dramatic event where the fate of the world was seemingly hanging in the balance. And they noted that Mrs Dunham was in serious condition not on the verge of death, and not about to take the global credit markets down with her. And there isn't any open-ended ultimatum on when Obama will be back to campaigning. So there are enough slight differences to make this understandable.
posted by effwerd at 4:54 AM on October 21, 2008


like_neon, he probably wants to visit Monument Avenue in downtown Richmond, where a monument to his opponent would be right at home among the other second-place trophies. (Not counting the one of Arthur Ashe beating the torso children).
posted by emelenjr at 4:57 AM on October 21, 2008


So how long until McCain plays the "Call Me, Harold" card and releases an ad implying Obama has sex with white women? I'm guessing two or three days before the election.
posted by EarBucket at 5:09 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


My head hurts. It looks like I agree with, wait for it, Pat Buchanan? Gotta go back and read that again.
posted by nax at 5:24 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


The McCain strategy of abandoning everything, basically, for Pennsylvania is stupid but I don't see why that should surprise anyone anymore. Nevertheless, some recent dips for Obama in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania do correlate with the zombie red scare the McCain camp has been peddling recently. I just can't see all that support for Obama in Pennsylvania eroding by screaming "socialist" for two weeks, though it might help them pull the non-communist parts of Virginia along. Still, if they abandon Colorado and New Mexico, and they can't win Pennsylvania, they've lost.
posted by effwerd at 5:27 AM on October 21, 2008


My head hurts. It looks like I agree with, wait for it, Pat Buchanan? Gotta go back and read that again.

Seconded. Ow.
posted by elfgirl at 5:44 AM on October 21, 2008


Well time for McCain to throw in the towel: Boris Johnson endorses Obama.
Johnson said Obama "seems highly intelligent" and "has an air of courtesy and sincerity", adding that "unlike the current occupant of the White House, he has no difficulty in orally extemporising a series of grammatical English sentences".

Contrasting Obama with Republican opponent John McCain, Johnson said: "He visibly incarnates change and hope, at a time when America desperately needs both."
posted by PenDevil at 5:45 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain camp pushes back on report they're losing hope in CO

Obama Appeal Rises in Poll; No Gains for McCain Ticket
posted by effwerd at 5:49 AM on October 21, 2008


FWIW fff, that was a joke.

I don't consider myself anti-American either, seriously. I think a whole lot of people in the U.S. are acting very stupid lately, but yeah, just because you live within those borders it says absolutely zero about what you think or believe.
posted by stinkycheese at 5:59 AM on October 21, 2008


Jesus. That DailyKos scoreboard thingy that BillyFleetwood linked up there says '08 but is pre-populated with the '04 numbers. Made me just about shit my pants.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:18 AM on October 21, 2008


Can someone explain to me why Obama is still stopping by in Virginia on the way to see his grandmother?

It's simple, really, her doctor (an old pal of Obama) was speaking at a conference on the mainland and his flight was delayed. This delay permitted Obama to make one more appearance before heading to Hawaii.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:30 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Interesting, I just found this from Pat Buchanan: And None Dare Call It Treason. Huh.

Considering that, I find it curious that McCain's "Country First" slogan doesn't indicate which country he'll put first.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:36 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


PenDevil: Contrasting Obama with Republican opponent John McCain, Johnson said: "He visibly incarnates change and hope, at a time when America desperately needs both."

"Incarnates"? Now my head hurts.
posted by hangashore at 7:29 AM on October 21, 2008


And "incarnate" as a verb is in the OED. Never mind.
posted by hangashore at 7:32 AM on October 21, 2008


Military families tilt to Obama
When retired Gen. Colin Powell endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, you could almost hear a collective gasp in Hampton Roads, a sprawling southeast Virginia region that's home to much of the state's large and traditionally Republican military establishment.

But there were only cheers among the members of Blue Star Families for Obama, a group launched by military wives who were tired of the stereotyped image of quiet obedience to the rules – the assumption Republicans have a hold on the country's armed forces – and determined to lobby for change.
This story has particular resonance to me because North Carolina has 3 of the 4 largest military bases in the United States which many people here (in my state) have assumed all but guarantees NC stays red.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:35 AM on October 21, 2008


Thanks, effwerd for that perspective.

I heard the announcement this morning on BBC radio and they did say that he would be "back on the stump" by Saturday. They also stated he was cancelling two events in states he is leading in, but noted he was still stopping by Virginia on the way. They reported that his grandmother was "gravely ill".

So as reported, there was little information for me to go by and I have no idea how it's being reported in the American media. Just wanted a quick check on that. Of course, metafilter is probably not the best place right now to get an objective viewpoint, but I do worry about what the worst way this can be spun and wanted to know if this was a valid worry.

If the best they can come up with is raving lunatic theories that have to do with Obama harming his grandmother then I can breathe easier.
posted by like_neon at 7:52 AM on October 21, 2008


effwerd - are you being sarcastic about that Boris Johnson endorsement? I'm not sure if his endorsement is as significant as you make it. As my boyfriend puts it: Boris Johnson is a balloon.
posted by like_neon at 8:29 AM on October 21, 2008


Oops sorry I meant PenDevil
posted by like_neon at 8:33 AM on October 21, 2008


Oh, really. The last two elections "got you burned"? Do tell.

Since you asked...

I was planning on moving to the US to pursue my education and was hoping to eventually settle down over there. Between 2001 and 2004 and during my visits to America it became apparent that I was no longer welcome there. Since then I've had a friend turned back from a legitimate business trips because he's only first generation British and his parents emigrated from Iraq only 20 years ago. I've seen friends and family of friends (both American and British) go off to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq and some of them not come back. I've defended my American friends against get the same abuse you blame me of hurling towards you. I've also had to defend myself and my adopted American accent. So, yeah, I can say I've gotten burned.

I'm sorry you read my comment as an attack against you personally. It was intended as more of a general statement. As you yourself pointed out, the majority of America decides on the outcome of these elections so this was actually supposed to be preaching to the choir. But if that's not allowed, we might as well shut down every single political thread from now on.

It's an unfortunate fact of life that when you're the minority in a democracy you have to justify yourself to outsiders. Just goes to show that the rest of the world isn't too impressed with what your majority has been up to in the last 8 years if it has become such an annoyance and regular occurence that you're up in arms about it immediately.

For what it's worth, I'm sorry if I ruffled any feathers.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:45 AM on October 21, 2008


“They had no need to lie once things got rolling. And that would have been a hard lie. That kind of lying requires a level of competence unavailable to the present administration.”

me & my monkey - what are you on about? That’s an implicit part of my point. Of course, my point is larger in that they had no real need to lie, to the populace, in the first place. Hell, 48% of the country would be on board for invading Switzerland on GP.


“Can someone explain to me why Obama is still stopping by in Virginia on the way to see his grandmother?”

Because he’s running for one of the most important, powerful and influential political positions in the world and his personal life, no matter how critical, must sometimes take a back seat to what he must do for the country.
It’s what leaders do.
I understand it might be hard to recognize since we haven’t seen actual leadership for a while.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:00 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin dubs Obama: "Barack the Wealth Spender"

OOOH BURN.

Did she seriously give him a name that sounds like a World of Warcraft character? Behold! I am Barack the Wealth Spender! With my +50hp Mithril Maille of Socialism, and my Ayers Sword of Godly Attack (+15HP) I will smite your riches!

I think I just gave myself a headache from rolling my eyes that far back in my head.
posted by shiu mai baby at 9:03 AM on October 21, 2008 [8 favorites]


I'm sorry you read my comment as an attack against you personally.
I did not do that, so no need to apologize. I read it -- as many did -- as an attack on those who put Bush in office... which you unfortunately chose to lump as "all Americans", not bothering to note that at MeFi, the support of Bush/McCain is not, in fact, the political majority.
It was intended as more of a general statement.
Right. This was the problem, as I saw it. If you want to use language implying that all Americans have let you down and should be damned, and can't take the time to demonstrate that you realize that there is very little overlap in the Venn diagrams representing "MeFi Political Leaning" and "American Voter Majority 2000 and 2004", you deserve what you got in return, which was vehement and angry clarifications from many fronts that not all Americans are provincial jingoistic rubes, and many of us agree with you, and many of us are ashamed at the situation.
I was planning on moving to the US... So, yeah, I can say I've gotten burned.
Yeah, you can say that. Only, your audience here is not only not responsible for that, but many of us are actively empathetic and working hard for change.
As you yourself pointed out, the majority of America decides on the outcome of these elections so this was actually supposed to be preaching to the choir.
I'm afraid I don't understand. Since the majority of America decided on the Bush presidencies... but since the Bush/McCain-support faction at MetaFilter is the minority... why were you damning us all here? I'm not being flip -- I truly don't get this comment and am hoping you can clarify. Does "preaching to the choir" mean different things to different people?

To me this about being considerate. The stakes are high, tempers are high, and we've still got two weeks left. Taking the time to qualify that "I don't hate all Americans, just those who elected Bush again" or "While I realize MeFites aren't responsible, the rest of your countrymen have really screwed with my life thanks to their ignorance" -- rather than attacking us all in one broad brush because it's faster -- would really go a long way toward not ruffling feathers in the future.
posted by pineapple at 9:10 AM on October 21, 2008


From shiu mai baby's article - “So tell me,” Palin asked. “Do we have any Joe the Plumbers in the house? So all these Joe the plumbers in the house, it doesn’t sound like you are supporting Barack the Wealth Spender in this elections.

You make Grammar cry.
posted by cashman at 9:12 AM on October 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


“Phil the bricklayer” “Rose the teacher” "Joe the Plumber" "Tito the builder"

Gotta catch em all!

And who ever said Obama was roughing up anyone? As it has been blatantly pointed out, "Joe" (as would the rest of them) would BENEFIT under Obama's tax plans.
posted by like_neon at 9:15 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hope has increased +5. To begin "Fetch Quest: Absentee Ballot Special Writing Implement" press Enter.
posted by yeti at 9:31 AM on October 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


Damn you all if you don't elect Obama.

Yeah, in retrospect this does read a lot harsher and broader that it did in my brain. A more accurate statement would have been 'Damn you, the majority of the registered voters who voted for McCain.' It was meant as more as a Charlton Heston at the end of Planet of the Apes kind of condemnation of 'them' all.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:38 AM on October 21, 2008


about trying to build coalitions, about a whole mess of issues.

You know, I've tried to listen to both sides to figure out where most people really want, and I think that approaching the electorate with the idea that there are hungry to be fed, homeless to be housed, and sick to be healed and that we, as a wealthy nation, need to take care of these problems through every means including government support, while at the same time we need to respect that fact that the money comes from hard-earned tax dollars and treat the expenditure of them as sacrosanct. We need to agree that abortion and war are not desirable outcomes and that we need to work exhaustively to prevent both, while recognizing that they are both necessary at times. We need to agree that for a healthy economy we need to encourage commerce and job growth by allowing free and flexible access to the marketplaces, but that the fruits of that economy need to be equitably spread around by ensuring living wages that keep pace with or outstrip the growth in costs and that we need to protect those who are willing to work from economic devastation due to illness or accident. I could go on, but I think there is so much richness in those synthetic positions and am surprised no one has explicitly taken them and run with them.

I am excited about Obama, because he strikes me as someone who is groping his way toward answers and has the intelligence to do it. I was listening to XM radio's POTUS '08 channel this morning and he was discussing solutions to the foreclosure crisis with several governors and I wanted to weep at the sound of an extremely intelligent man who may be president soon working through issues in public thoughtfully and graciously with other politicians, not as a pre-fabricated set of talking points but as a real discussion pointed toward finding solutions to a problem that is hurting real people. The breadth of issues that were being considered and the breadth of the context in which they were being discussed was something I haven't heard anywhere outside of academic settings and public broadcasting. I cannot wait to see that man in the White House.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:39 AM on October 21, 2008 [6 favorites]


Muslims at a McCain/Palin rally.

Do you think the were emboldened by Colin Powell's words?
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:43 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


And who ever said Obama was roughing up anyone?

In the current Republican universe, questions are a form of personal attack. For example, "How's your day going?" implies that there's a chance your day isn't going well, and therefore is considered a brutal, partisan hatchet-job.
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:43 AM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow, those comments are insane. If Barack wanted his grandmother dead, he would surely send Bill Ayers to do it.
posted by snofoam at 9:54 AM on October 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


[some upthread nonsense remove - there's a metatalk thread if you need to fight with each other instead of responding to the thread. Or there's, you know, email.]
posted by jessamyn at 10:45 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


North Carolina has 3 of the 4 largest military bases in the United States which many people here (in my state) have assumed all but guarantees NC stays red

Yeahbut, surely a whole bunch of the people stationed in NC have "permanent residences" in FL or TX where there's no state income tax.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:48 AM on October 21, 2008


You know, I've tried to listen to both sides to figure out where most people really want, and I think that approaching the electorate with the idea that there are hungry to be fed, homeless to be housed, and sick to be healed and that we, as a wealthy nation, need to take care of these problems through every means including government support, while at the same time we need to respect that fact that the money comes from hard-earned tax dollars and treat the expenditure of them as sacrosanct. We need to agree that abortion and war are not desirable outcomes and that we need to work exhaustively to prevent both, while recognizing that they are both necessary at times. We need to agree that for a healthy economy we need to encourage commerce and job growth by allowing free and flexible access to the marketplaces, but that the fruits of that economy need to be equitably spread around by ensuring living wages that keep pace with or outstrip the growth in costs and that we need to protect those who are willing to work from economic devastation due to illness or accident... surprised no one has explicitly taken them and run with them.

You just described the democratic party platform. we take those values and run with them every day. Literally, not one word you described would ever be disagreed with by any democrat in washington. Though you have every reason to believe that you've struck upon some simple middle ground, the position you've just described has been demonized as leftist by the conservative propaganda machine. literally, the republican political establishment has engineered it so that their supporters believe that the greatest good for the greatest number of people is a bad thing. if what you had said was a compromise, you'd find democrats at the table ready to sign and republicans boycotting from outside.
posted by shmegegge at 10:50 AM on October 21, 2008 [7 favorites]


“... your audience here is not only not responsible for that, but many of us are actively empathetic and working hard for change.”

Foreigner: Bush sucks, you know that?
U.S. Citizen: Yeah. Totally.
Foreigner: No, but he really sucks. We all think so.
U.S. Citizen: I agree. He sucks. I didn’t vote for him.
Foreigner: He’s made you U.S.ians look bad.
U.S. Citizen: Yep, he sure has. In fact I’ve worked against him. I don’t like the term ‘U.S.ian’ though.
Foreigner: Why are you assholes being so defensive? Bush was wrong, you know that.
U.S. Citizen: Asshole? Look, I’m not being defensive. I just don’t like the term. But I agree Bush is a bad president. I even give money to his political opponents.
Foreigner: So he’s a bad president, but it’s wrong for someone outside the U.S. to say so?
U.S. Citizen: No, I’m saying I don’t like being called...
Foreigner: Why is it always about what you want with you U.S.ians? Doesn’t anyone else get a say?
U.S. Citizen: In our internal politics? Look, I just don’t like being called...
Foreigner: Oh, so no one can have an opinion. It’s the great U.S.ian’s who get to say whatever they want and Bush makes sure we have to toe the line?
U.S. Citizen: This is pointless.
Foreigner: Yeah, go back to Bush you fascist.


On the one hand, you can group all Americans together as countrymen, and so to a degree, responsible for what happens in the country.
On the other hand sometimes certain things come off as an excuse for anti-Americanism. Hell there’s even a ‘U.S.ian’ tag on this.

Is it ok then if we call the French ‘frogs’ then? I mean either we’re breaking balls here or we actually want to talk and this crap is getting in the way.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:56 AM on October 21, 2008 [8 favorites]


slimepuppy, I can totally relate to your recent experiences State-side, and I'm sorry that your comments here were not received in the spirit in which they were obviously intended and that you were so rudely repudiated.

As you yourself pointed out, the majority of America decides on the outcome of these elections so this was actually supposed to be preaching to the choir. But if that's not allowed, we might as well shut down every single political thread from now on.

It's quite clear here that what you're saying is that your initial "damn you all" was directed at the majority of U.S. voters, the same people who elected Bush in 2004, the same American majority in fact that most everyone in these threads is freely disparaging to no ill effect.

Your follow-up comment seems in the same spirit as my own suggestion that anyone deemed to be speaking out of line be banned. Somewhat facetious, but trying to convey how serious an issue speaking freely here is.

Just as the U.S. membership here "gets it" that BushCo. is bad for the U.S., I think everyone here (foreigners included) "gets it" that that is the case. With that in mind, we should all of us be able to add whatever we choose to a conversation here, provided it doesn't break with policy and guidelines of course.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:01 AM on October 21, 2008


I don't think this has been mentioned yet, but it seems that part of what is ailing Obama's grandmother is a broken hip. These kinds of injuries can be very detrimental to the health of elderly individuals. I remember when my grandmother found out that her older sister had broken her hip. She sat on my bed with me and cried and cried for fear that she would not make it and I did my bet to comfort her. I wish the very best for Senator Obama and his family.

Oh, and Mrs. Dunham's 86th birthday is this Sunday. Happy Birthday, Madelyn! You are in our thoughts.
posted by inconsequentialist at 11:05 AM on October 21, 2008


Is it ok then if we call the French ‘frogs’ then?

go ahead. but then the problem is that "frogs" comes from what the French are supposed to eat, "USian" comes from the fact that no matter how sad this makes you, America is a continent, not a country. it's not like the French insist that only they are the "Europeans" and anybody else on the continent can't say they're European, too.

it's very much like certain American fundys arguing that they're "Christians" and anybody else -- Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, etc -- isn't. Just because they say so. Even if their denomination was created in 1988, they're the only "Christians" out there. it's childish and provincial, but go ahead.
posted by matteo at 11:05 AM on October 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


“Barack the wealth spender”

I was hearing McCain talk about how Obama was spending a lot of money and he raised a lot and how a lot of it ($200 million?) was unaccounted for and how that is going to be some sort of scandal.

And I’m getting enraged thinking the man thinks that I’m that fucking stupid.
I mean, we know Obama’s raised more money in under $100 amounts than anyone else in history. It’s been big news. I knew it from a radio story that was on just the other day. Oooh. ‘Scandal.’

And beyond that - if there’s one hallmark of achievement in politics it’s getting people to give you not just their vote, but their money. Most people you couldn’t drag a penny out of their pocket with a tractor for a political cause.
And he’s railing about how he’s going to spend people’s money? Seriously?
It reminds me of Wilt Chamberlin’s 100 point game. “Uh, guys? Who’s covering Wilt?”
People are hurling their hard earned cash at Obama freely and in record breaking numbers and the McCain campaign’s line of attack is that ‘Obama’s going to spend your money.’

He must be using the ‘V’ between his toes as a sight - there’s no better explaination how a man can shoot himself in the foot so many times.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:08 AM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


"USian" comes from the fact that no matter how sad this makes you, America is a continent, not a country.

this is a common misconception. actually there is nothing in the world which is formally called "America." North and South America are, in fact, seperate continents, and the name for what they are when considered together with Central America is "The Americas." The word for someone who lives in one of the countries located within these continents varies from country to country. the word for someone from Chile, for instance, is Chilean. The word for someone from Canada is Canadian. The word for someone from The United States of America is American. Colloquially, but by no means formally, The United States of America is often shortened to America as a matter of convenience.
posted by shmegegge at 11:14 AM on October 21, 2008 [15 favorites]


This is the Obama campaign's October surprise, or at least one of them.

He doesn't need an October surprise. He's even taken a break to go to Hawaii.

This has been over since July.

And I'm voting for McKinney, by the way. I'm no Obama fanboy.

Again, Palin being picked as VP was the tipoff that even the GOP knew it was over.
posted by Zambrano at 11:15 AM on October 21, 2008


Interesting, I just found this from Pat Buchanan: And None Dare Call It Treason. Huh.

I couldn't get through the article. I saw the RNC sponsored ad for "Obama's Plan: Driver's Licences for Illegals", with a picture of a shouting Obama next to an inset of Mohammed Atta's license, and I had to throw up.
posted by psmealey at 11:18 AM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


American:

1 : an American Indian of North America or South America
2 : a native or inhabitant of North America or South America
3 : a citizen of the United States
4 : American English


Most of us are able to deal with the fact that words sometimes have more than one possible meaning and the meaning in any particular instance has to be determined by context. The fact that "American" is correctly used for (1) or (2) above does not mean it is incorrect when used for (3).

But perhaps you're one of those pedants who believes "decimated" should be used only to mean "reduced by one-tenth" and not "significantly damaged or destroyed."

it's very much like certain American fundys arguing that they're "Christians" and anybody else -- Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, etc -- isn't

No, it's more like grizzly bears complaining about the Chicago Bears because the latter are not members of the family Ursidae. I assume you refer to them as the "Chicago Humans," since you're so very careful about accuracy in terminology.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:22 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


America, America, America! Sole superpower of the world! Global hegemon! Unchallenged military strength! GDP larger than the next three countries combined! Issuer of the world's primary reserve currency!

(Sorry, just wanted to say that stuff one last time while it's still true.)
posted by snofoam at 11:23 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I guess somehow I missed this last week, but these ridiculous RNC mailers are sickening. John McCain says he's totally proud of them. You just fell off the deep end, buddy. And guess what, now I'm going to canvass even more now.
posted by cashman at 11:27 AM on October 21, 2008


Pollster's Pennsylvania chart.

Sorry if it's already been posted. I think it may deserve reiteration.
posted by inconsequentialist at 11:28 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I do worry about what the worst way this can be spun

I'll bite. How in the world do you put a negative spin on someone taking family time for the critical illness of your elderly grandmother?
posted by nax at 11:39 AM on October 21, 2008


“"USian" comes from the fact that no matter how sad this makes you, America is a continent, not a country.”

Yeah. But the common usage is ‘American.’ This conversation has been had. Some folks don’t like it. It doesn’t make me sad. It irritates me. You want to communicate? Don’t purposefully irritate people to make this 1/2 ass point about ‘America’ being a continent.

It’s arbitrary in the first place, ‘America’ is named after ‘Amerigo Vespucci.’


Brazil is the Federative Republic of Brazil, so they’re F.R.B.ians?
Mexico is the United Mexican States - do we call them U.M.Sians?

Guess what the U.S. is the United States of?

Ergo:

Brazilans.
Mexicans.
Americans.

No one stuck a gun to the Canadians head and said they couldn’t be called the Canadian United States of America. Then there might be some dispute over ‘American.’

But the North and South American continents have their own differentiation (now that we’ve apparently done away with Central America - which is further debatable - since ‘continents’ aren’t based on geological realities but on further arbitrary geopolitical boundries).

So what exactly is the confusion in calling someone from the U.S. an American by the commonly used term in the obvious context of an election within the United States - other than to be a dick in attempting to make some point about the supposed presumptousness of citizens of the United States?

It’s anti-Americanism, period. Makes me sad? Fuck you. It’s purposely offensive. But I wouldn’t give a shit if it wasn’t being pushed the way it was.
Call me a ‘blergnerf’ enough times and in the right tone of voice and I’m going to get pissed off even though the word itself is meaningless.


Why don’t you call people of Black African ancestry ‘Negro’? It’s the proper neutral name for their ethnic background isn’t it?
Negro is an ethnicity. It’s not like caucasian anthropologists insist they’re the only ethnicity, just that there’s differentiation. It’s childish and provincial to deny this useful ethnic classification so why do they do it?

Oh, wait, I know, because it pisses them off even when it’s not meant as an ethnic slur. Well who gets to decide that? Oh, yeah, the people being called what they want to be called.
Some guy want’s to be called ‘black’ I’ll call him that regardless of the fact that human skin is not, in fact, jet black as the name implies. It’s basic respect.
Some guy wants to be ‘African-American’ I’m happy to call him that.

Although by your terms he’s ‘African-U.S.ian.’

By all means, come to Chicago and feel free to try that out downtown and we’ll see how childish and provincial those silly Negros are.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:43 AM on October 21, 2008 [10 favorites]


nax: I speculated earlier today that the McCain camp might accuse Obama of *suspending* his campain(ing) for personal reasons at the drop of a hat now when he *refused* to travel to Washington to help the citizens of this country when they were in dire economic trouble. Essentially, I can see them leveling a charge of selfishness and not really caring about the country in times of turmoil. It's not a likely argument, but I wouldn't put it past them.
posted by inconsequentialist at 11:45 AM on October 21, 2008


Interesting, I just found this from Pat Buchanan: And None Dare Call It Treason. Huh.

*reads article*

*finds Pat Buchanan talking smack against McCain*

*blinks*

*blinks again*

...Okay. The fact that I'm not also simultaneously having a naughty romp with John Cusack and David Tennat would indicate that I'm not in heaven. The fact that blinking didn't wake me up indicates that I'm not asleep and dreaming. That means that the fact that I'm reading this anti-McCain article from Pat Buchanan either means that we are in an alternate universe or that he had a road-to-Damascus conversion.

Someone wanna fill me in?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:45 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


And the fact that I mis-spelled "Tennant" as "Tennat" would indicate that I need caffine. D'oh.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:46 AM on October 21, 2008


AGGHH

CNN: Muslim-American voices heard in presidential race

They come from where now, Muslia?

It is not cool to conflate faith with national origin this way. Muslim Americans can be White southerners or Navaho by birth, for fuck's sake. Hyphenation is totally fraught, outright passe to many, and in any case weighed down with baggage of its concrete differentiation from non-hyphenated descriptors. This is just another peek at xenophobia at work for the sake of sensationalism in the ol' MSM.

If anybody knows the trick to get google to seach for hyphenated phrases and not toss out the hyphen, I would love to see a comparison of Muslim-American and, say, Catholic-American.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:46 AM on October 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


In English, the adjective for a citizen of the United States of America is "American." In English, the adjective for a citizen of the República de Nicaragua is Nicaraguan, and the adjective for a person from the República de Chile is Chilean. In English, the adjective for someone from Deutschland is "German."

In Spanish, the adjective for a citizen of the US in formal contexts is "estadounidense." That for citizens of the República de Nicaragua is nicaragüense, and that for citizen of the República de Chile is chileno. In Spanish, the adjective for someone from Deutschland is "alemán."

You are, here, apparently writing in English. When communicating in English, the relevant adjectival form is "American." There is no realistic confusion on this front. It is indisputable that "American" could conceivably be used to refer to inhabitants of the entire landmass. When speaking English, however, even though it could be so used, it is not, in the same way that while one could refer to a two-wheeled pedal-powered vehicle as a blowjob, one does not do so in English.

When one desires to speak of either of the relevant continents in English, one uses the adjectival formations "North American" or "South American." When one wishes to speak of both continents together, one uses a form such as "of the Americas," or "New World" or "western hemisphere." Doing so eliminates confusion and has the beneficial side effect of not making you appear like a huge tool bravely fighting against being insensitive to, well, nobody that actually exists.

That speakers of other languages use a form reminiscent of "USian" is not relevant to a discussion of communication in English. Hispanohablantes do use "estadounidense," in part from the motives matteo describes. Nonetheless, Spanish is not English, and the word they use in place of "American" is of no more relevance than the words they use in place of "Chilean" or "German."

About the only exception to this is if one is speaking particularly of the federal government of the United States of America. In this context, using "U.S." as an adjectival formation is acceptable. As in "U.K. policy is this, but U.S. policy is that."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:05 PM on October 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


My brother recently moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He tells me that there are a lot of people there that ride around on fixed gear blowjobs.
posted by shmegegge at 12:09 PM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


"American" vs. "USian" debate: do not want.
posted by tss at 12:11 PM on October 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


No no (although both are plausible responses) but what I was wondering is about how Obama said he is suspending his campaign, cancelled a few appearances, but still going to Virginia. I have seen some responses in here that make ME feel better, but I was wondering if there had actually been any criticisms being thrown out publicly by the McCain campaign.
posted by like_neon at 12:13 PM on October 21, 2008


I agree tss. Bring back the chicken talk!
posted by like_neon at 12:15 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


North and South America are, in fact, seperate continents

this is interesting. so how many continents are there in the world, nine? ten? The Ten Continents? Or was it the Ten Commandments?

Call me a ‘blergnerf’ enough times and in the right tone of voice and I’m going to get pissed off even though the word itself is meaningless.

then you need therapy, MetaFilter can't help you.
posted by matteo at 12:17 PM on October 21, 2008


From the article about McCain's team pushing back that they're abandoning hope in CO:
"We didn't send Gov. Palin there for no reason," said one, a reference to the vice presidential nominee's three rallies across the state today.

Another aide pointed out that the campaign and RNC's independent expenditure committee were both still on the airwaves there.

"The combined reported spending of the RNC IE and the campaign is very similar, we trail by very small margins (around $500,000) ."

But McCain aides avoided making firm commitments about Colorado, careful to avoid portraying any state as a must-win.
"We sent Palin there" is about as weak a refutation as you could manufacture. They'd also sent Palin to New Hampshire and Maine recently. If anything, she's the towel they throw into a state to indicate they've given up there. But this part was pretty funny, too:
The campaign believes that there are different formulas to get to 270, not all of which include Colorado. But without it, as King writes, McCain must not only hold onto a number of precarious red states such as Virginia, Nevada and Florida, but also bring a major blue state such as Pennsylvania and its 21 electoral votes over. McCain aides have also held out hope that they could lose Pennsylvania but still win with the combination of Minnesota and Wisconsin, 20 total electoral votes, but public polls in both states show McCain down by double-digits.
In which state (among many) is McCain also down by double-digits? His campaign is right, though, there are indeed different formulas to get to 270. My personal favorite is, you know, campaigning in every state in the country. Call me old fashioned.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:18 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


You are, here, apparently writing in English. When communicating in English, the relevant adjectival form is "American." There is no realistic confusion on this front. It is indisputable that "American" could conceivably be used to refer to inhabitants of the entire landmass.

See, there's the difference. The rest of us on the continent would take that as an insult.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:19 PM on October 21, 2008


And I'm voting for McKinney, by the way.

Good luck with that!
posted by octobersurprise at 12:22 PM on October 21, 2008


so how many continents are there in the world, nine? ten? The Ten Continents? Or was it the Ten Commandments?

I'll answer your questions in the order asked.

They are commonly counted as seven: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe Antarctica and Australia.

No.

Again, no.

Yes there is a document called the Ten Commandments, but that's not what we're talking about.

I hope this helps you to better understand the discussion at hand, as well as to understand that ignorance is neither something to be proud of nor a useful contribution to a discussion.
posted by shmegegge at 12:29 PM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


tss: ""American" vs. "USian" debate: do not want."

Seconding; take it outside or to Meta or some other forum.
posted by octothorpe at 12:29 PM on October 21, 2008 [7 favorites]


"We sent Palin there" is about as weak a refutation as you could manufacture.

I'm trying to figure out which chess piece Palin represents. It ain't the Queen.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:29 PM on October 21, 2008


America is a continent, not a country

North America is a continent. South America is a continent. "America" is not a continent, it is shorthand for a country, whose official name is "The United States of America." It is perfectly reasonable to refer to that country's citizens as "Americans" rather than "United Statesians."

Would you also suggest that we start referring to the citizens of the Repubblica Italiana or the République française as "Republican" rather than "Italian" or "French"?
posted by dersins at 12:30 PM on October 21, 2008


God, I can't stop thinking about these beans.
posted by mullingitover at 12:34 PM on October 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


Well, the ethnic Macedonians like to call themselves Macedonians, which the Greeks have a problem with. Because, it appears, that the Greeks were closer to the Macedonians of antiquity. Appropriating another's name tends to piss people off.

Smedleyman: Well who gets to decide that? Oh, yeah, the people being called what they want to be called.

I wish. Have we started calling countries -- and especially cities -- what their inhabitants call them, now? Cause that always seemed to be a pissy bit of colonialism.

on preview:
God, I can't stop thinking about these beans.
posted by mullingitover


How ep---- no. I won't.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:37 PM on October 21, 2008


Anyway, I'm just trying to claim my $10.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:42 PM on October 21, 2008


I never really thought about USian being a pejorative term. Now that I think on it, I realize that it is and that while I could care less, it would be difficult. I think there is a little wit buried in here too.

USians for us! We are getting a good dose of this from the GOP.

I haven't had Smedleyman's experience but it sounds just like people. From this remove it was amusing.
posted by pointilist at 12:42 PM on October 21, 2008


As you yourself pointed out, the majority of America decides on the outcome of these elections so this was actually supposed to be preaching to the choir.

Since the majority of America decided on the Bush presidencies...


Whoa, hold on there folks, let's get this seeminingly minor semantic point that actually makes a huge difference in this whole argument clear here: A majority of Americans did not elect Bush. I'm not beating the whole "Gore won" mantra either. Obama will not win by being elected by a majority of Americans either (unless he does and that would be sweet!). The fact is a majority of Electors representing a plurality of voters who bothered to vote in their home states, elected Bush and every other modern President. The number of voters in a given state is not even a majority of Americans! In many elections the entire turnout is not even a majority of voters. Average turnout is around 54% in the US. Registered voters make up a little over one third of the US population. So here's the maths part: 54% of 33% is 18%. All it takes to win the presidency is the ability to turn out more than 9% of the population.

All the screaming, blaming, and accusing of Americans as a whole is due to the terrible judgement of 9% of us. I'm sure if you took a room with 10 Canadians or 10 Germans or 10 Brits, surely one of those people would be a complete jackass. at least one of those people would be a pretty decent, rational, intelligent sort of person.

Now you know why this is such a point of ire for Americans. We, the room full of 10 Americans are not all that guy. Please stop equating us with him. We're busy trying to get the other 8 of us to tell him to shut up.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:43 PM on October 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


Appropriating another's name tends to piss people off.

If the ghost of Amerigo Vespucci comes to me and tells me to stop referring to myself with his name, I will.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:44 PM on October 21, 2008


Okay: I have a number of Canadian people who follow my blog on Livejournal. I follow theirs. They frequently use the term "USian" to refer to citizens of the United States, so as to differentiate between "Americans" (a term that would encompass the whole of the continent, and would therefore include them) and "citizens of the United States" (which is who they're specifically talking about).

And yet, even though they say this, I somehow manage to not take offense or overthink it, because whether or not they call me a "USian" or an "American", I got bigger fish to fry.

And that's all I have to say about that. [/end Gump mode]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:47 PM on October 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


I don't know any Canadians who think the term American refers to them. If someone called my Canadian ass American i'd have to get my wife and have her beat them up. For real.

USian is a stupid term. I mean, US is short for the United States. Do people call North Koreans DPRKians? If they do, you should just laugh at their stupid asses.
posted by chunking express at 1:00 PM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Bob the Banker speaks out: In an exclusive interview, Joe the Plumber's big brother reveals why Obama's plan to "spread the wealth" will turn America into a socialist hell.
posted by homunculus at 1:01 PM on October 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


However, I've heard several Quebecois refer to themselves as "French" and I understand the Parisians think that's just adorable.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:01 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


[seriously, this thread is also being discussed in METATALK, if all you want to do is bitch go there.]
posted by jessamyn at 1:08 PM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


then why are you here?

ha! it's cool how you replied to me here AND sent me a nasty memail. well, i suppose i'll answer each individually in their own area. to answer another of your questions here... i'm here because i had hoped to bring some clarity to the discussion by pointing out the misconceptions you were laboring under.

look, it's easy: blah blah blah typical matteo nonsense.

sure thing sparky. well said.

by the way, I'm happy you figured out how to look things up in Wikipedia, but geographers usually consider the continents to be six anyway.

oh, i didn't realize you're a geographer, or that we were discussing geography this whole time! Oh, and for your information, there are two 6 continent models of the world: the one preferred by geographers lumps europe in with asia and leaves north/south america distinct. really, no need to thank me. it's my pleasure to help you in your ignorance.
posted by shmegegge at 1:09 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


The campaign of Sen. John McCain, his Republican rival, expressed sympathy for Obama.

"It's easy to forget that these are families running for president," McCain spokeswoman Nicole Wallace told "GMA." "Everyone's thoughts and prayers are with them. Certainly, Sen. McCain has Sen. Obama and his grandmother in his thoughts."

...

Obama will attend a newly scheduled event Thursday morning in Indianapolis, Ind., after which Obama will fly to Honolulu. He will remain in Hawaii Thursday and most of Friday with his grandmother in her apartment in Oahu, the same building where he lived while attending high school nearby.

Obama's wife and daughters will not be joining him on this trip. Instead, his wife will be taking his place on the campaign trail, holding events solo in Akron and Columbus, Ohio, Friday.

Gibbs said that the campaign would continue in Obama's absence. Obama will resume his campaign in a Western swing state Saturday.
posted by cashman at 1:13 PM on October 21, 2008


Just down the road from my house in New Zealand someone regularly parks a car with a bumper sticker reading "Proud to be an American - Ashamed of my government."

Assuming all goes well in a couple of weeks, I've been contemplating slipping a congratulatory note under the windscreen wiper.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:13 PM on October 21, 2008


All it takes to win the presidency is the ability to turn out more than 9% of the population.

And 1% of the population has donated to Obama's campaign.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:17 PM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I do worry about what the worst way this can be spun

I'll bite. How in the world do you put a negative spin on someone taking family time for the critical illness of your elderly grandmother?


Read some of the comments over at FOX News.

Example:
"People break their hips ALL of the time and unless their are other ailments, a broken hip is not a 'life threatening' issue. Granted, I don't wish the woman harm and I hope she is recovering nicely, but a broken hip is certainly not something that would require a three-day break from a campaign when there are only 14 days left. Unless there is a hidden agenda, or Obama has decided it's a shoe-in (which is a big mistake). I tend to agree with some of the others... the only reason Obama would need to spend three days in Hawaii is to iron out the glitches with his alleged birth certificate. Or perhaps he's meeting with Odinga in a hidden retreat to discuss his $600 million in campaign funds. Obama didn't visit his grandmother for YEARS, but now that he's pandering to the elderly in Florida he's suddendly the prodigal grandson? Give me a break. There's another reason for this trip and it has nothing to do with Grandma."
There are plenty more "doozies" to read in that thread.
posted by ericb at 1:31 PM on October 21, 2008


Not that someone hasn't pointed it out already, but if he didn't go, he'd be the ungrateful grandson who wouldn't see the woman who raised him even when she was on her deathbed, so he could win an election. People would be screaming from the rooftops "OMG, she's got osteoporosis, she broke her hip, she's going blind, and he credits who he is to her, but he wouldn't even fly there, just for a DAY OR TWO, to be by her side? What kind of person does that? He has all the money in the world - I bet you if she was black he'd have blah blah blah"

Kill that noise. I'm tired of giving equal time to morons. The woman is turning 86 on Sunday, is suffering and going blind, yet says it's so important for her to see him win. Imagine how much of a boost it's going to give her to see him. Imagine how much better she feels already just anticipating it. We all know how our grandparents faces light up when they see us.

You'd hate to get that gross kiss from some woman who was like 15 times your age it seemed like, and was born before socks were invented, but she lit up at the sight of you like you were bringing over a new car.
posted by cashman at 1:45 PM on October 21, 2008 [9 favorites]


I use USians all the time -- its harmless, its inclusive, and it makes a point, its not a slur, and I want to use it so I do. Big fucking deal.
posted by Rumple at 1:58 PM on October 21, 2008


Literally, not one word you described would ever be disagreed with by any democrat in washington.

I agree, most progressives wouldn't disagree with a word I said, but it's a matter of emphasis. We need to emphasize the fiscal conservatism side more, because we don't usually emphasize where we agree with the "tax-haters' league" and some people miss that and think that only the tax haters will be careful with their money. They've successfully painted progressives as profligate with tax money and to be fair we haven't really emphasized our respect for the public's money enough.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:02 PM on October 21, 2008


“American" vs. "USian" debate: do not want.”
Agreed.

I like the fact he’s going to see her. In fact, I think it’s genuine (which is scary that he can pierce the cynicism like that).

I mean - contrast “Put the campaign on hold, I’ve got to go ‘fix’ the country” (then, y’know, not) versus “Put the campaign on hold, I’m going to visit my grandmother in the hospital.”
posted by Smedleyman at 2:04 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Apparently incapable of drawing the obvious lesson from Michele Bachmann's comments last week, Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC) asserts that "liberals hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God."

Hayes won his seat by only 369 votes last time around. His opponent is Larry Kissell.
posted by scody at 2:09 PM on October 21, 2008


I agree, most progressives wouldn't disagree with a word I said, but it's a matter of emphasis.

there's certainly truth in that. on the other hand, there are concerns that engaging in a debate that's been framed that way by the conservative pundits lends too much credibility to that very framing. i don't know what the happy medium is there, to be honest.
posted by shmegegge at 2:10 PM on October 21, 2008


Sarah Palin: Who wrote that one?
posted by inconsequentialist at 2:29 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Apparently incapable of drawing the obvious lesson from Michele Bachmann's comments last week, Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC) asserts that "liberals hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God."

You know that he and others like him are just parrotting what McCain and Palin have been saying. i.e., that the "real" America is confined to a narrow definition of beliefs. Those two legitimize this divisiveness, and encourage it through its repetition - whether it's McCain saying only southern Virginia is part of the real America, or his libelous robo-calls about Obama being pals with a murderer, which Palin has been unapologetically trumpeting herself. And then these two have the unmitigated gall to clutch their pearls in surprise when there are shouts of "Kill him!" at their rallies.

When Obama wins this election, I hope there's going to be some legal action against the both of them, for the Ayres charge most of all.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:44 PM on October 21, 2008


That speakers of other languages use a form reminiscent of "USian" is not relevant to a discussion of communication in English.

Is that British English, Canadian English, or USian English?
posted by five fresh fish at 2:51 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Stop covering Palin until she gives a press conference.

Bit torn on this one. On the one hand I agree with the sentiments, on the other I say there's only good in exposing her for the fraud she is.

But I totally love this quote:
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., an honorable man with a high place in the McCain campaign, when asked about Palin's failure to do so much as a Meet the Press appearance, told the Washington Post: "We're asking the American people to pick the next president and vice president, and we do not expect the American people to do so—'Trust me'—blindly. She will have to do what's expected of people in this business. … In countries where that does not happen, I do not want to live."

posted by like_neon at 3:12 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


PBS talks to a Christian Couple -- unbelievable clip, watch the woman's facial expression as she barely controls her racism.
posted by Rumple at 3:33 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Grade A, first-class batshitinsanity:

IF YOU KNOW HOW TO DO SPIRITUAL WARFARE, PLEASE PRAY TODAY AND CONTINUALLY THAT ALL SUCH CURSES BE BROKEN AND SATAN'S PLAN FOR AMERICA BE DEFEATED, IN JESUS' NAME. PRAY AND COVER MCCAIN AND PALIN WITH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DO SPIRITUAL WARFARE, IT IS TIME YOU LEARN!!!

Bree K. also said when Obama visited his tribe in '06 and as late as Jan. '08 he went to every elder's home which has a "shrine" inside to worship the genie and asked for their blessing. She was told Obama and Odinga were both "destined" before they were born to be president/leader of their nation. They say "he is the chosen one". She said Obama's grandmother sacrificed a black and a white chicken to the "goddess of the river" so both whites and blacks will vote for Obama. All Islam loves and worships Obama. The world is mesmerized by him. Oprah's 200 million followers are out to elect Obama. Also, Dick Morris of Fox News was sent to Kenya to help Odinga run his campaign! I find that unbelievable.
posted by EarBucket at 3:39 PM on October 21, 2008


scody: And apparently he also lied about making those comments which the article you link to suggests. It's nice to have the soundbyte around though.
posted by inconsequentialist at 3:40 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


blergnerf!
posted by tkchrist at 3:50 PM on October 21, 2008


If it's OK to use "USian," then can I call Canadians "Dominionists?"
posted by dw at 3:54 PM on October 21, 2008


I call them "Lesserusians."
posted by tkchrist at 4:05 PM on October 21, 2008


I thought "Poutineian" was the preferred nomenclature, dude.
posted by scody at 4:11 PM on October 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


I thought "Poutineian" was the preferred nomenclature, dude.

Isn't that only Quebec residents?
posted by dw at 4:19 PM on October 21, 2008


Since the majority of America decided on the Bush presidencies...
The result of the 2000 election was contrary to the majority vote.
posted by Flunkie at 4:39 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought "Poutineian" was the preferred nomenclature, dude.

Isn't that only Quebec residents?
posted by dw at 7:19 PM on October 21 [+] [!]


We're all Poutineians now.

My Canada includes Poutine.
posted by jb at 4:51 PM on October 21, 2008


PBS talks to a Christian Couple -- unbelievable clip, watch the woman's facial expression as she barely controls her racism.

Her facial expression?? After every statement she makes, she retracts her lips into a resolute sort of half smile of confidence, half frown of concern and closes her eyes, while raising her brows upward.

She resembles an old-fashioned cash register, the kind that pops up different numbered cards into the little window at the top when you hit "TOTAL."

"That should be make or break for everybody."
:TOTAL:
*ching*
$|0|0|.0|0|


"The lord will take care of us."
:TOTAL:
*ching*
$|0|0|.0|0|


"A father that was Muslim... that should get to everyone!"
:TOTAL:
*ching*
$|0|0|.0|0|


It's exactly the same face people make when they tell you they're just not gonna listen.

I hereby dub it Hitting the Interfacial Ignorance Reset Button.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:05 PM on October 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


“IN JESUS' NAME. PRAY AND COVER MCCAIN AND PALIN WITH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DO SPIRITUAL WARFARE, IT IS TIME YOU LEARN!!!”

So what, do they have like a “Carrie” thing going on there?

“blergnerf!”

You call me a blergnerf in a dream you better wake up and apologize...
I’ve got the ghost of Amerigo Vespucci coming in one ear and Palin’s “Barack the Big Wealth Spender” I don’t know what in the other.

Seriously, he sucks because he’s offering tax credits to lower and middle-income wage earners?

I mean look at what Palin did there. Any facks (facts) aside. The premise is
raise taxes on workers making over $250,000 a year. So Obama is then going after plumbers, builders, bricklayers and schoolteachers?
My dad was a bricklayer. He was an artist. He built his own outfit up from nothing and charged people silly amounts of money for work. I don’t remember him taking home a quarter of a million. Especially not in the winter. Not too many school teachers do either.

“So tell me,” Palin asked. “Do we have any Joe the Plumbers in the house? So all these Joe the plumbers in the house, it doesn’t sound like you are supporting Barack the Wealth Spender in this elections.”

Amirite? And say, who else is really well hung out there? Do we have anyone else with a big penis in the house? Hey, who’s good at finding directions? Are there men here who are good drivers tonight? Who is good to women? Is that guy here? The guys who treat women good? There are some men who are good fathers here aren’t there? Do we have any people who love their kids more than anyone else here? Are there strong men here? Who’s can pick up heavy things, any men here? Who’s a bad-ass when they’re angry? Any guys here who are nice, but when they get mad, watch it? Who is a hard working man here tonight? Anyone? Ok, who are the men who are nice to their mothers, are they here?

C’mon, we’re all going to be rich?

Buddy of mine was making good money. Over $250K a year easy, before he died. After medical bills (he had hid his condition to look ‘strong’ for his business), funeral, settling business debts, all that, his wife and kids are lucky they’re not in the poorhouse.
I’d be happy to make less money if I knew I didn’t have to depend on my friends and family to make sure my own wife and kids don’t have to go beg in the street in case something catastrophic happens to me.

Yet here these guys are buying this “We’re all gonna win! Yay!” crap.
Jesus, there’s only two speeds there irrational fear and irrational exuberance.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:19 PM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Do we have any Joe the Plumbers in the house?

Joes the Plumber, surely.
posted by cortex at 6:01 PM on October 21, 2008 [6 favorites]


It's a shame Tracey is going to go to hell for all that racism and hatred in her.

On second thought, no, it isn't.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:08 PM on October 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Racism is a sin? In what religion?
posted by tkchrist at 6:41 PM on October 21, 2008


The One True Religion: mine. Tracey is going to burn in my hell for a long, long time.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:53 PM on October 21, 2008


there are concerns that engaging in a debate that's been framed that way by the conservative pundits lends too much credibility to that very framing

Well, I was trying to frame it in a very different way, viz., "Be very careful and frugal with the way you spend tax money," rather than "TAXES IS BAD STOP DIRTY TAXES," but I may have failed.
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:56 PM on October 21, 2008


Joes the Plumber, surely.

Joes the Plumbers, maybe.
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:57 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


The One True Religion: mine. Tracey is going to burn in my hell for a long, long time.

Oh. So you're in charge of that hell thing. So. Uh. Tell me.

Um.

Will there be orgies?

Wait. Now that I think about it I'm not so keen if there ARE orgies AND chicks like Tracey down there.
posted by tkchrist at 7:26 PM on October 21, 2008


Joe the Plumber's welfare past.
posted by inconsequentialist at 7:34 PM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Barack the Wealth Spender

The Campaign gets ugly- D&D Edition!
posted by lysdexic at 8:31 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Campaign gets ugly- D&D Edition!

It says adult content. Politics + adult livejournal + D&D sounds like something that might emotionally scar me forever.
posted by Tehanu at 8:37 PM on October 21, 2008


And now, coming to you from a future we must never see...
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:42 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


It says adult content. Politics + adult livejournal + D&D sounds like something that might emotionally scar me forever.

The "adult content" there on Livejournal is just a general heads-up for the "metafilter" section itself, not that specific quote. "Metafilter" is a community devoted to "witty things people elsewhere have said," and since some of these witty things can be PG-13 rated at times, the whole community has been generally slapped with an "adult content" label.

The post itself is actually pretty funny; if you've seen the video "Summoner Geeks", imagine that only with McCain, Obama, Hilary Clinton and Kucinich playing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:48 PM on October 21, 2008


Thanks for the clarification. That's a pretty funny post.
posted by Tehanu at 8:57 PM on October 21, 2008


Oh. So you're in charge of that hell thing. So. Uh. Tell me. Um. Will there be orgies?

Yeah, that's the chore I drew for this month. Which sucks, because I got stuck with it last month, too.

Anyhoo, orgies, yeah. I'll get right on it.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:59 PM on October 21, 2008


If it's OK to use "USian," then can I call Canadians "Dominionists?"

The preferred term is "Canuckistani".
posted by bonehead at 10:17 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dead Bear Found Wrapped In Obama Signs

On the lighter side:

Joe the Plumber's big brother Bob the Banker reveals why Obama's plan to "spread the wealth" will turn America into a socialist hell.

David Sedaris on undecided voters
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:44 PM on October 21, 2008


Meanwhile, WSJ: Group's Study Finds Income Gap Widening.

The U.S. has the highest inequality and poverty rates in the OECD after Mexico and Turkey, and the gap has increased rapidly since 2000, the report said.

and,

In the U.S., the richest 10% earn an average of $93,000 -- the highest level in the OECD. The poorest 10% earn an average of $5,800 -- about 20% lower than the OECD average.
posted by taz at 11:24 PM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Racism is a sin? In what religion?
I'm not a Christian by any stretch of the imagination, but this one is easy.


You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.'

The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."


That comes straight from The J-man's mouth. Nowhere in there does it say the second one is optional.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:40 PM on October 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


(I'm so proud, my Christian, conservative mama is putting that verse on a homemade yard sign because she's come out as anti-Prop 8, the Californian anti-gay marriage initiative, in Jesus' name. Also she told me she thinks the far-right has become like the Pharisees. Awww!!!)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:48 PM on October 21, 2008 [9 favorites]


Tales from "Real America," part 92: Palin's fashion budget for several weeks was more than four times the median salary of an American plumber ($37,514).

Maverick!
posted by scody at 12:59 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

Some potential responses:posted by pracowity at 1:01 AM on October 22, 2008


I find it curious that McCain's "Country First" slogan doesn't indicate which country he'll put first.

I always thought he meant instead of that rock and roll devil music.
posted by rokusan at 2:11 AM on October 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


"Metafilter" is a community devoted to "witty things people elsewhere have said,"...

Maybe for you.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:59 AM on October 22, 2008


We don't have any of those people in our neighborhood. And if one moved in, well, for heaven's sake, we'd move out.

A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.

A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.

He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?

posted by EarBucket at 4:46 AM on October 22, 2008


Barack Is Sipping





Fine Champagne





While U.S. Jobs





Go Down The Drain





McCain '08
posted by Rhaomi at 5:40 AM on October 22, 2008


PBS talks to a Christian Couple.

I think the husband has made up his mind and will vote for Obama but is too scared shitless to admit it to his wife. I don't blame him.
posted by yeti at 5:43 AM on October 22, 2008


As Poutine rears its head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where does it go?
posted by yeti at 5:46 AM on October 22, 2008


You know, that Burma Shave thing would be a big improvement.
posted by dirtdirt at 5:49 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, WSJ: Group's Study Finds Income Gap Widening.

Maybe we should move to the UK, then.
posted by elfgirl at 5:55 AM on October 22, 2008


.... emulating an advertising medium first popularized by the Burma-Vita Company in 1926 to sell brushless shaving cream. As a follow-up to the scathing roadside polemic, McCain announced plans to lampoon Obama's foreign policy inexperience in a short skit alongside comedian Bert Wheeler and the vivacious Dorothy Lee, to be seen on the late-night variety program Cavalcade Of Stars on the DuMont Television Network.

I forgot how funny the Onion can be sometimes.
posted by like_neon at 5:56 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


From scody's link :

"With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it's remarkable that we're spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses," said spokesperson Tracey Schmitt. "It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign."

Wow. She just made that last part up on the spot, didn't she.

Unless "helping the pretty white lady who surely doesn't have a Nieman Marcus to shop at in Alaska" is a charitable purpose now.
posted by contessa at 6:26 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ewwww who would want Palin's pants?*

*Funnier using British use of the word "pants"
posted by like_neon at 6:28 AM on October 22, 2008


Also, Palin is pants.

I love British insults.
posted by like_neon at 6:29 AM on October 22, 2008


Al-Qaida-affiliated jihadists endorse John McCain.
posted by EarBucket at 6:31 AM on October 22, 2008


Not only endorse him but recommend an attack to strengthen the chances of his election.
posted by like_neon at 6:59 AM on October 22, 2008


Well, he is pretty good at crashing planes. The endorsement doesn't surprise me.
posted by emelenjr at 7:01 AM on October 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


At least one poll now shows Obama ahead in Indiana. Go, Indiana!
posted by taz at 7:22 AM on October 22, 2008


Heh. Al Bundy's voting for Obama.
posted by EarBucket at 7:31 AM on October 22, 2008


and... problems with early voting in Gary, Indiana:

"ANGRY CROWDS AT LAKE VOTE CENTER: Large numbers of people lining the hallways of the Gary courthouse wishing to vote early in the general election protested Tuesday when election workers attempted to close office doors at 4 p.m. (Times of Northwest Indiana) Lauren Smith, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Democratic Party, said Republican officials were unfairly turning back voters. Nicholas Gasparovic, assistant county elections board director and the board’s ranking Republican, said he was preparing to call police to quell the angry crowd who, he said, was violating the normal rules of closing the polls. The dispute was the latest controversy over early in-person voting, which brought out scores of people to the Gary office Tuesday, Gasparovic said. The GOP has been trying to curtail satellite voting centers outside of Crown Point, claiming they violate state election laws that require bipartisan support. They claim multiple centers risk voter fraud. Democrats claim state law allows early voting in county clerk’s branch offices in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago, and they provide equal access to early voting to minorities, many of whom have neither the time nor transportation to reach the Crown Point voting center. A spokeswoman for the Indiana Supreme Court said Lake Superior Court Judge Diane Kavadias-Schneider hadn’t issued a ruling late Tuesday afternoon but is expected to do so today."
posted by taz at 7:39 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tales from "Real America," part 92: Palin's fashion budget for several weeks was more than four times the median salary of an American plumber ($37,514).

Regarding Palin spening $150,000 on clothes and makeup (roughly $5,000 per day) since September:
"Following up on that Politico story about the RNC apparently spending more than $150,000 on clothes for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin...

I wonder if the governor knows that she's going to have to pay taxes on those clothes, even if she ultimately gives them away?

Tax experts say that even if she only wears them for professional reasons -- locked away in a special 'candidate' cabinet, say -- Palin will be on the hook for those fancy new duds just as if someone had written her a check for $150,000.

Wonder if she knows that."
posted by ericb at 7:39 AM on October 22, 2008


$150,000 is about 300 30-second TV ads in Colorado. Just sayin'.
posted by EarBucket at 7:44 AM on October 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Tax experts say that even if she only wears them for professional reasons -- locked away in a special 'candidate' cabinet, say -- Palin will be on the hook for those fancy new duds just as if someone had written her a check for $150,000.

That doesn't make any sense to me, assuming they were bought by the RNC and are the RNC's property.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:48 AM on October 22, 2008


And in other related news, it seems Palin isn't the ethical mavericky reformer she cliams to be.

AP INVESTIGATION: Palin Charged State for Children's Travel, Later Amended Expense Reports
“Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.”
posted by ericb at 7:52 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


IANATL. I suspect that the $150,000 wardrobe bought for Palin. Todd and Trig would be considered a "gift" subject to taxation. Others ponder that, too.
"A few questions here from NBC's Andrea Mitchell: Did the campaign announce that she was donating to clothes to charity because there's a potential tax problem here? And is Palin permitted to accept these kinds of gifts under Alaska ethics laws?"
posted by ericb at 7:56 AM on October 22, 2008


Snipped most of that quote from the AP report, ericb. Maybe keep the quotes on the shorter side -- two pages of scrolling kind of blows out the thread (and people's Recent Activity) when the link and a sting would do just as well in most cases.
posted by cortex at 8:02 AM on October 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


ericb writes "Tax experts say that even if she only wears them for professional reasons -- locked away in a special 'candidate' cabinet, say -- Palin will be on the hook for those fancy new duds just as if someone had written her a check for $150,000."

That doesn't really make sense to me either. Unless Palin had intended to donate them to charity and then claim the tax benift for herself?
posted by Mitheral at 8:13 AM on October 22, 2008


Texas early voting began Monday. The story below was relayed by the Travis County Clerk at Commissioner's Court Tuesday afternoon.
But yesterday we had an incident happen where a person showed up at the -- at a polling place, at the randall's, and thank you, randall's for helping you go with voting, showed up at 9:30, very well dressed in a suit, white shirt, tie, carrying a clipboard, began working the people seeming to target what was described as the ladies. A couple or three little old ladies outside that were preparing to go in to vote. Targeting the ones that said that they were voting a particular way and then if they were supporting that particular candidate, he would tell them this misinformation, which would in fact cause them to deselect their candidate and then you would have to notice it when you vote. He did some work in the parking lot and then he came into the polling place and he was standing at the entrance of the polling place first pretending to be a voter chatting in the ones next to him. As people came in the entrance, he let them by them, now acting as if he's an election official and he was telling as they were coming in about this weird voting thing about do this and do that. The election judge caught him right away. He overheard an inappropriate conversation, pointed at the guy and said sir, that conversation is inappropriate. Whereupon the guy fled. He turned around and ran and he was season in by the voters that were there getting into an old boxy-style, dark red impala with mccain and other bumper stickers all over the car. We don't have a license plate. We have a description of the guy, we made an incident report. About out the main thing I did was try to tell people if you have a pole cat in a polling place, bust them right away.
Travis County, by the way, is where Austin is, and is by far the bluest point in Texas.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:35 AM on October 22, 2008


I was drafting a comment regarding that two-point lead in Indiana, and how wonderful it was that this is happening in a state which has not elected a Democrat to the White House in 44 years. And how FiverThirtyEight still has McCain winning with a 62% probability, but the trend towards Obama looks strong.

I just went to Pollster to get a link to the trend, and I see that there's a more recent poll which puts McCain ahead by 11. So much for that strong trend.

However, Obama is coming here to Indianapolis tomorrow morning to hold his last rally before suspending his campaign to visit his grandmother. I'll be there with tens of thousands of my closest friends, rain or shine.
posted by ocha-no-mizu at 9:00 AM on October 22, 2008


That doesn't make any sense to me, assuming they were bought by the RNC and are the RNC's property.

Well, clothes are personal items and in this case are not a uniform, so they need to be treated as income by the person who consumes them (even partially). Since the resale value of these clothes is hugely smaller than the retail value, Palin needs to treat the difference as income and pay taxes on it.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:29 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ooooh! Point of local pride -- the photo at the top of this NYT piece was taken at my early voting polling place on Monday morning when I was there. I was about 10 people behind the black guy in shorts who is talking on his cell phone. I was there! I was there!

However I take issue with the alleged 30-minute wait time that they are reporting. I timed it and it was about 2 hours. The line was a lot longer than you can tell from the photo.
posted by contessa at 9:32 AM on October 22, 2008


NYT's feature article about disarray within the McCain campaign, The Making (and remaking) of McCain, is out online today. It will be printed in this Sunday's Times Magazine.
posted by jamaro at 9:35 AM on October 22, 2008


I see that there's a more recent poll which puts McCain ahead by 11. So much for that strong trend.

That's quite a discrepancy, ocha-no-mizu. I wonder why?

The Zogby Indiana poll showing an 11 point lead for McCain is from 10/17-20, and says the samples of likely voters was "473 respondents in Indiana, where the margin of error is +/- 4.6 percentage points". This is apparently an online poll?

The Indiana poll showing Obama ahead by two points is from Public Policy Polling, which "surveyed 1,411 likely voters on October 18th and 19th. The survey’s margin of error is +/-2.6%". Here's a PDF of their complete results.

I don't know anything about either polling service, so can't comment on who is more likely to be accurate, but PPP has a larger sample, anyway.
posted by taz at 9:40 AM on October 22, 2008


Moose: Hey, McRocky - watch me pull a maverick out of a hat!

Squirrel: Again?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:41 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Travis County, by the way, is where Austin is, and is by far the bluest point in Texas.

Thye have to suppress votes in Texas now? Oh, my god, they are in deep kimchee.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:43 AM on October 22, 2008


ocha-no-mizu: "I was drafting a comment regarding that two-point lead in Indiana, and how wonderful it was that this is happening in a state which has not elected a Democrat to the White House in 44 years. And how FiverThirtyEight still has McCain winning with a 62% probability, but the trend towards Obama looks strong.

I just went to Pollster to get a link to the trend, and I see that there's a more recent poll which puts McCain ahead by 11. So much for that strong trend.
"

taz: "That's quite a discrepancy, ocha-no-mizu. I wonder why?

The Zogby Indiana poll showing an 11 point lead for McCain is from 10/17-20, and says the samples of likely voters was "473 respondents in Indiana, where the margin of error is +/- 4.6 percentage points". This is apparently an online poll?.
"

Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight considers Zogby the least reliable poster in the field, and even went so far as to call it "obviously dubious" in a rundown of the various polling firms the other day.

The main problem with Zogby, according to that post:

There is one very, very significant concern with Zogby, which is that he has a longstanding rule to set his party weightings based on the exit polls from the most recent election. In this case, that means 2004, when a roughly equal number of Democrats and Republicans turned out. However, according to essentially every available poll, Democrats now have somewhere between a 5-point and a 10-point advantage in party ID.

This particular procedure has bitten Zogby in the ass before. Between 2000 and 2004, there was a shift in party ID toward the Republicans; as a result, Zogby's numbers were 2-3 points high for Kerry across battleground states.

To the extent that Obama is leading in a Zogby poll, that means essentially that he'd have won the election given 2004 turnout dynamics. 2008 turnout dynamics are liable to be sigificantly more favorable to him.


So Indiana is probably a lot closer than that +11 McCain poll implies. And you have to consider, as always, the effect of a strong ground game. And according to FiveThirtyEight's on-the-road reports on campaign activities, Obama's GOTV team is vastly more active and enthusiastic than McCain's.

full disclosure: i love fivethirtyeight
posted by Rhaomi at 9:55 AM on October 22, 2008


"Tax experts say that even if she only wears them for professional reasons -- locked away in a special 'candidate' cabinet, say -- Palin will be on the hook for those fancy new duds just as if someone had written her a check for $150,000."

Well, yes and no. If for instance, they're locked away in an RNC cabinet for any candidate to wear, then they aren't specifically hers. Look for Rudy to show up at some Republican event in a pantsuit and spiffy new glasses that he got out of the CCC. (Candidate Clothes Closet)

And they can say that they are doing their part for recycling--win/win!
posted by leftcoastbob at 10:12 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain couldn't agree more.
posted by inconsequentialist at 10:34 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Okay, here is blog commentary from PPP on the Indiana numbers that explains some of that info from Rhaomi, plus expands on all the groups showing inroads by Obama - very interesting, and very promising if correct. So why is Obama doing so well in Indiana? Because he's doing comparatively well with every kind of voter in every part of the state. It's an across the board movement.
posted by taz at 10:40 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain couldn't agree more.

You know you done fucked up, right? You know that, right?
posted by Bobby Bittman at 10:59 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


NYT's feature article about disarray within the McCain campaign, The Making (and remaking) of McCain, is out online today.

"Mitt Romney, it is said, lost because he could not get his story straight. Hillary Clinton found her I'm-a-fighter leitmotif too late to save her candidacy...Sometimes with McCain's initial resistance but always with his eventual approval, Schmidt has proffered a candidate who is variously a fighter, a conciliator, an experienced leader and a shake-'em-up rebel." Heckuva job, Schmidtty!

"In speeches, debates and advertising, the McCain campaign made liberal use of his war-hero metanarrative."

I have to say I'm really, really tired of McCain's POW story. He's used it as an excuse for everything from bailing on Letterman to not following the rules of the Saddleback appearance to not remembering how many houses he has. If he doesn't take it seriously, I don't see what I should have to.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:23 AM on October 22, 2008


Thanks for the info, taz and Rhaomi. That's good to know about Zogby.

The results of my own statistically rigorous observational study of yard signs in Indy are more aligned with the two-point lead in the PPP poll.
posted by ocha-no-mizu at 11:29 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


RNC apparently spending more than $150,000 on clothes for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin

Meanwhile the Dems are so cash-strapped that Obama's been forced to recycle Adlai Stevenson's shoes.
posted by hangashore at 11:35 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Behind the scenes of the Palin pick:
One tape in particular struck Davis as arresting: an interview with Palin and Gov. Janet Napolitano, the Arizona Democrat, on "The Charlie Rose Show" that was shown in October 2007. Reviewing the tape, it didn't concern Davis that Palin seemed out of her depth on health-care issues or that, when asked to name her favorite candidate among the Republican field, she said, "I'm undecided."
...
Schmidt, to whom Davis quietly supplied the Palin footage, agreed. Neither man apparently saw her lack of familiarity with major national or international issues as a serious liability.
...
McCain's close friend, Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina senator, continued to argue passionately for Lieberman -- "a McCain-Plus ticket," he would say. McCain, referring to Romney, at one point said that "Mitt's been awfully helpful with fund-raising," according to a senior aide who was present during the discussion. "And he'd bring us Michigan." Pawlenty's name frequently came up in internal discussions, says that aide. But as for Palin, says another: "She just wasn't one of the names. I mean, we heard more about Bloomberg."
posted by kirkaracha at 11:46 AM on October 22, 2008


Fun timewaster from the McCain campaign: Get your personalized "Joe the Plumber" rally sign.

I AM LaughingMyAssOffAt
THE Batshitinsanity
posted by hangashore at 11:53 AM on October 22, 2008


I AM ScroogeMcDuck
THE Duckthatswimsingold

Don't tax me for working hard!
posted by like_neon at 12:19 PM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


The potential for abuse is phenomenal, what are they thinking?
posted by like_neon at 12:20 PM on October 22, 2008


EmpressCallipygos writes "*finds Pat Buchanan talking smack against McCain*"

Buchanan, for all his faults, is a pretty independent conservative. He founded The American Conservative magazine, which is a bit of a maverick publication (in the truest sense), at least in terms of the GOP. He's always been an outlier and is not afraid to call out his party when he feels they're going astray. He's mostly non-interventionist, small government. Unfortunately, he often retreats into reactionary mode when dealing with immigration, race issues or a few other hot button cultural conservative issues. He has a pretty good grasp of history, though, much better than Palin, although he's definitely an admirer of hers (I think mostly for her physical attributes and her moralist positions).
posted by krinklyfig at 12:22 PM on October 22, 2008


I AM NotVotingFor
THE Mavericks
posted by like_neon at 12:23 PM on October 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


like_neon writes "what are they thinking?"

They might be screening the signs rather than automagically sending them out. I haven't got my creative sign yet and email is usually pretty quick.
posted by Mitheral at 12:26 PM on October 22, 2008


Obama Campaign Worker Allegedly Attacked - Look out for yourselves out there, please, y'all.

Wow, that was kind of a spooky story. For the record, even when the Neocons canvas in my neighborhood, I still offer them a coke or bottle of water and a chance to sit out back by the lake for a few minutes before slogging off through the concrete suburban hell. I do that with the Mormons and the Watchtower folks too. (Well, I change the drink options to lemonade or tea.) I mean, I'm all for people getting so excited about something they believe that they'll get up off of their bottoms and try to change the world...even when I think they are completely and utterly insane.

Sepia Mutiny are happy with Powel's acknowledgment of the stupidness of these "He's a Muslim" attacks. Meanwhile, the same writer their laments the fact that being a brown dude in the US, he basically can't go canvasing door to door in any battleground states without doing more harm than good.


Yep. It's why I don't canvas either. I'm not going to help the cause.
posted by dejah420 at 12:28 PM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


That doesn't make any sense to me, assuming they were bought by the RNC and are the RNC's property.

Well, clothes are personal items and in this case are not a uniform, so they need to be treated as income by the person who consumes them (even partially). Since the resale value of these clothes is hugely smaller than the retail value, Palin needs to treat the difference as income and pay taxes on it.


Don't worry. They'll get to Washington and do away with that pesky capitol-gains tax and it will be all better!
posted by lysdexic at 12:29 PM on October 22, 2008


I AM NotDeceivedBy
THE LiesThatYouTellUs
posted by Pantengliopoli at 12:30 PM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I AM Ruining
THE Economy

Don't tax me for working hard!
posted by DaRiLo at 12:32 PM on October 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


"what are they thinking?"

I presume they're thinking that

1. This internet stuff seems to be working for Obama, and
2. They have your email address now.
posted by cortex at 12:32 PM on October 22, 2008


2. They have your email address now.

suckitmccain@suckingit.com

Clearly they haven't been on the Internet long enough to know just how awesome these make your own picture widgets can be.
posted by chunking express at 12:37 PM on October 22, 2008


I AM SittingIntheMorningAt
THE DinerOntheCorner
posted by cashman at 12:41 PM on October 22, 2008 [9 favorites]


Those with the wherewithal to avoid spam and still get their autogenerated sign by using a functionaing throwaway address? More power to 'em. I don't think that's a significant portion of the McCain demo, though.
posted by cortex at 12:43 PM on October 22, 2008


I AM Henery
THE EighthIAm
posted by ocha-no-mizu at 12:50 PM on October 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


All the spammers have my email anyway, what's one more lowlife added to the pile?
posted by yeti at 1:04 PM on October 22, 2008


I AM looting
THE treasury.

Don't tax me for working hard!
posted by shmegegge at 1:08 PM on October 22, 2008


I AM looking at
THE Russia
posted by dirtdirt at 1:18 PM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I AM TheEggman
THE yAreThe Eggmen

I AM
THE WalrusGooGooGaChoob
posted by hangashore at 1:19 PM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I AM THUNDAR
THE BOY GIANT
posted by EarBucket at 1:23 PM on October 22, 2008


This is no longer a thread, but a carpet; however I'll try to grab one of the strands.

I think that the repubs had a lot of liberals, especially far-left liberals really cowed for years with this idea that it's unAmerican to disagree with government (except I though gov't was the problem so how can disageeing with it be bad?) But after Kerry, whose legitimate compelling journey from soldier to protester to national leader was so horribly rewritten by them, that those of us from center to far left who'd been tarred with this brush just finally got mad enough to start standing up for ourselves. To start reclaiming "my country right or wrong" not as a slogan of blind allegiance to authority, but as a statement of patriotism avowing our right to demand our county respect and respond to the needs and hopes and demands of ALL the citizens.

What makes me angriest about the refusal of these apparatchiks to let go of this divisive and dangerous game is that the angriest citizens on the right have been led to mistrust the goodwill of the people on the left who disagree, which could lead to just more paralysis and obstructionism in congress, not to mention actual danger of attack to those with the courage to stand and speak.

I am gripped by equal doses of hope and despair that Obama's incredible control and discipline can win him not only the presidency, but also the eventual attention and respect of those on the right who are currently being taught to fear him, and by extension, us.
posted by nax at 1:23 PM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think they have some bot proofing these. I have yet to get my emailed sticker(s).

I AM in ur elecshun stealin
THE votes

I AM voting for Obama
THE better choice

don't tax me, bro!
posted by lysdexic at 1:56 PM on October 22, 2008


I AM Marie Antoinette
THE Maverick
posted by scody at 2:14 PM on October 22, 2008


Five days after Rep. Michele Bachmann went on a McCarthy-esque rant suggesting Barack Obama was unpatriotic and urging the major newspapers of the country to investigate anti-American sentiment in Congress, the national Republican political parties are running for cover.

Two sources aware of ad buys in Minnesota say that the National Republican Congressional Committee is pulling its media purchases from Bachmann's race.

posted by EarBucket at 2:18 PM on October 22, 2008


I agree nax. I think Powell went to the heart of what it means to be an American.
It irritates me that Barack is called ‘black.’ In part, because technically he’s half caucasion. But mostly because ‘white’ too is a construct. I mean, you have people who are Irish, Mexican, French, Italian, Korean, Chinese, etc. etc. etc. who are Americans - but too often we hyphenate them.
I think Obama - because he is a ‘mutt’ (meant in the good Bill Murray from “Stripes” way) epitomizes this.
It’s one of many ways he unites us. And the folks that are putting the “muslim” monicker hyphenated American are dividers.
Because what makes one person more ‘American’ than another?
And I think that’s the thing. Adding ‘Muslim’ is an attempt to force a division. Whereas it can be implicit in context that a person is from around here. So Powell (although others have said it) points out the obvious - what the hell’s wrong with being a Muslim?

That’s why I don’t really use ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ so much in the social sense. Someone wants to self-identify that way, great. But I can’t say “I disagree with liberals” or “Liberals are wrong about ‘x’” without implying they are less patriotic and so forth. So one must attack the issue. “’X’ is wrong” “I disagree with ‘x’ because -”

So what the hells wrong with being a liberal? Nothing. I’m a conservative. I disagree with some liberals on some things. I disagree with some conservatives on some things.

But I think either one talks about those things, the issues themselves - or one focuses on the divisions and labels.
One method is clearly more useful and the other is clearly just combative.

And for the life of me I don’t know why the hell anyone would want the latter.

(Personally - I’ll say I’ve had as much problem with people co-opting the term ‘conservative’ as ‘liberals’ have had with people demonising that term. Indeed - these things start leading to matters of identity rather than anything of practical value. Why is there an instant assumption that people on the ‘left’ and ‘right’ disagree - even before ANY issue is discussed? I myself have come to several conclusions, albeit by a different route, as ‘liberals’ and I’ve convinced folks on the ‘left’ of the reasonableness of a given issue even though I’m a ‘conservative.’ We all eat, shit, sleep and work. It’s not complex. How hard does life have to be? How deep the divisions?)
posted by Smedleyman at 2:19 PM on October 22, 2008


Why is the letter 'e' lower case in "DON'T TAX Me"? Is that some weird typographical rule about putting two straight-edged letters next to each other?
posted by nushustu at 2:24 PM on October 22, 2008


Why is the letter 'e' lower case in "DON'T TAX Me"? Is that some weird typographical rule about putting two straight-edged letters next to each other?

No,it's some designer trying to make the sign look hip and edgy. I'm guessing the McCain campaign thinks the whole "Joe the Plumber" thing is cutting edge and viral. Like they're getting "street cred" by being down with the plumbers.

At this point I want McCain to lose not for ideological reasons, but because nobody who runs a campaign this shoddy deserves to win anything. Ever. I've seen Student Council elections with more message discipline and strategic focus than these yahoos.
posted by billyfleetwood at 2:42 PM on October 22, 2008 [6 favorites]


At this point I want McCain to lose not for ideological reasons, but because nobody who runs a campaign this shoddy deserves to win anything. Ever.

Yes. I'm actually becoming offended every time I find out about the McCain campaign's newest gambit. It's astounding that the jokers running the show over there have risen to the level they have in politics. It's like hiring Michael Scott to run your campaign.
posted by EarBucket at 2:47 PM on October 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


EarBucket: I'm sure you'll appreciate Palin's interview with Brian Williams tonight then. Part of what he revealed to Chris Matthews just a few minutes ago was that when he asked her whether she would turn over her medical records and she said that she would, the campaign staffers backstage with Chuck Todd were noticeably shocked.
posted by inconsequentialist at 2:52 PM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


To accompany the recent clothing discussion, check out this article and video on the Obama family's apparel choices.
posted by inconsequentialist at 3:05 PM on October 22, 2008


cortex writes "They have your email address now."

Bonus: Now I get to mark their email address as spam in GMail.
posted by Mitheral at 3:07 PM on October 22, 2008


Sarah Palin, err 'Sarah Plain' + $150,000 Makeover = Eliza ("The Rain In Spain Stays Mainly in the Plain") Doolittle.
posted by ericb at 3:13 PM on October 22, 2008


Obama When No One Is Watching: Malia Obama probably wasn’t sure if her Dad would make it home from work to watch her soccer game this past Friday night. . . .
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 3:47 PM on October 22, 2008 [6 favorites]


I thought the $150000 in clothes was pretty much a 'meh.'

But today it suddenly struck me just how much freakin' clothing that would buy me. I doubt my lifetime purchases of clothing will total that amount, let alone the purchases I'd require for a few weeks of publicity.

FFS, a few years ago you could buy an entire house around here for that money.

Insane.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:53 PM on October 22, 2008


Ah, here's the Matthews interview about the Palin interview with Williams and Todd. There is a clip from the Palin interview within the longer clip if you missed it earlier.
posted by inconsequentialist at 4:02 PM on October 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


FFS, a few years ago you could buy an entire house around here for that money.

$150K US would finish paying off my mortgage. If that happened, I could go work a 3 - 4 day week and still enjoy a comfortable standard of living while enjoying more time being a daddy and working on my Judo.
posted by rodgerd at 4:15 PM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


$150k US would pay off my mortgage, repay my investment losses for the year, buy a car, and still have enough money left over for a lifetime of bondage gear.
posted by jepler at 4:27 PM on October 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


This New Republic article about Palin, the Mayor of Wasilla, is fascinating-- this is the stuff I have been waiting for. She has always come across as petty, arrogant, and ill-informed and this article makes it clear how she rose to such great political heights in Alaska, even while remaining clueless.
The city had traditionally put up part of the purse for the Iron Dog competition--the grueling, 2,000-mile snow machine race that usually starts in Wasilla--and one year the council considered upping its ante. (First prize could be tens of thousands of dollars.) When a colleague pointed out that Palin should recuse herself because her husband was a perennial Iron Dog contender, she protested, "I don't think I have a conflict of interest here because Todd won it last year. There's no guarantee that he's going to win it this year." As others chimed in to explain the problem, Palin dug in her heels. "Well, it could be perceived that way, but it isn't," she harrumphed.
There is lots, lots more.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:48 PM on October 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


McCain drops the C-bomb.
posted by inconsequentialist at 7:11 PM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin declares herself an intellectual:
Do you think you're intellectual?
SP: Yessss. And you have to be up on not only current events, but you have to understand the foundation of the issues that you're working on as a governor. I had to do the same thing as a mayor. So it is not just current events but it's much more in-depth than that to understand how, in the case of me being governor, how did our state get to the position that we are in order for a decision to have to be made. You can't just go on what is presented you. You have to know the background, you have to know the players involved before you make a policy call. So, um, it's uh, it's a good job, it's a tough job and it's a very, very serious job. And no. You don't get to be a governor by being –
TP: – going with the wind.
SP: Yeah definitely. You don't just go with the flow and take a political pulse on policy. You have to go with what the foundational knowledge is that you have on issues in front of you and you have to put the people you are serving, put them first. You put them before partisanship you put them before special interests. That's how you make decisions as governor.
I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Gosh Darn It, People Like Me!
posted by five fresh fish at 8:28 PM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


inconsequentialist writes "McCain drops the C-bomb"

Pretty whack that the U-tuber won't spell the word out but feels free to play video of someone saying it.
posted by Mitheral at 8:59 PM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


$150k would buy me a sweet watch.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:27 PM on October 22, 2008


"USian" comes from the fact that no matter how sad this makes you, America is a continent, not a country.

Amerigo Vespucci can suck my Canadian dick.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:53 PM on October 22, 2008


So, I was thinking about those stupid I AM... THE... posters and I'm a bit confused at its usage. If supporters print them out and use them at McCain rallies, won't they look like they're protesting McCain? Unless they're implying that McCain supporters crash Obama rallies?
posted by like_neon at 12:53 AM on October 23, 2008


Sarah Palin declares herself an intellectual:

Don't worry, she's one of those non-elitist intellectuals we've been hearing so much about.
posted by minifigs at 1:00 AM on October 23, 2008


FFS, a few years ago you could buy an entire house around here for [$150,000].

I'd invest in my friend Sue The Child Care Business Owner's business, and my friend Colin The Lighting Designer's theater company, and invest in my own education so Empress The Office Temp can get closer to becoming Empress The Writer. And then I'd start a college fund for my new niece Olivia The Baby can become Olivia The Whatever-She-Wants.

And it is precisely because she thinks it makes sense to accept $150,000 worth of clothes while still saying that she's just like Joe The Plumber that Sue, Colin, Olivia's Parents, and I are all voting for Barack The Community Organizer.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:33 AM on October 23, 2008 [7 favorites]


Sarah Palin declares herself an intellectual...

Oh, I had to respond this way:

Governor, I work with intellectuals. I am an intellectual. I know intellectuals; intellectuals are friends of mine. Governor, you're no intellectual.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:36 AM on October 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos writes "Sue The Child Care Business Owner"

Boy Lawyers really specialize now a days.
posted by Mitheral at 7:36 AM on October 23, 2008


Geez, Palin is such a master of the non-answer answer. Whatever happened to the FOLLOWUP??? From the People magazine link:
Q: Some national issues are different than what you've focused on in Alaska. Now that you've been at this national campaign for a while, are there areas you've discovered you'd like to study up on more?
SP: The overall mission here in a national campaign is the same mission that I was on in a state campaign and in my job serving the state and before that, in a local city campaign and in my job serving a community and that is making sure that the people who hire you are going to be put first in all the decisions that you make. Overall, it's the same mission that I'm on and in this case also it's supporting I think the perfect running mate, someone who is ready to lead our country through the economic crisis that we're in right now, lead us into victory in these wars that we're fighting. So same mission, that being serving the people who will hire us.
....so, did your interview stutter? What are the issues you'd like to study up on more?
posted by Miko at 8:26 AM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


I AM OpposedToTaxing
THE HealthcareCosts
DON'T TAX Me FOR WORKING HARD
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:37 AM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Gosh Darn It, People Like Me!

Hey, now. He is good enough and smart enough to be a senator, in my opinion.
posted by Tehanu at 8:38 AM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Barry Goldwater's grandchildren are voting for Obama:
Our generation of Goldwaters expects government to provide for constitutional protections. We reject the constant intrusion into our personal lives, along with other crucial policy issues of the McCain/Palin ticket.

My grandfather (Paka) would never suggest denying a woman's right to choose. My grandmother co-founded Planned Parenthood in Arizona in the 1930's, a cause my grandfather supported. I'm not sure about how he would feel about marriage rights based on same-sex orientation. I think he would feel that love and respect for ones privacy is what matters most and not the intolerance and poor judgment displayed by McCain over the years. Paka respected our civil liberties and passed on the message that that we should conduct our lives standing up for the basic freedoms we hold so dear.
posted by scody at 9:02 AM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Of course they are. We all know how those Barrys stick together.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:31 AM on October 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


I have been thinking that $150,000 might not be too much to spend on clothing and accessories if you have to pay for a big honking engagement ring for a pregnant teen.
posted by pointilist at 9:44 AM on October 23, 2008


EmpressCallipygos writes "Sue The Child Care Business Owner"

Boy Lawyers really specialize now a days.


heh

A Boy Lawyer Named Sue The Child Care Business Owner
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:03 AM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Joe the Plumber makes $44,000 per year. Sarah Palin's spent more on clothes in three months than three years of Joe's salary.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:10 AM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


I AM usingthiscommentas
THE threadplaceholder
posted by kimdog at 10:48 AM on October 23, 2008


So I heard that the real Joe the PLumber is now appearing at McCain rallies. How on earth are they glossing over the fact that would not do as well under a McCain economic plan as under the Obama plan?
posted by Miko at 10:49 AM on October 23, 2008


How on earth are they glossing over the fact that would not do as well under a McCain economic plan as under the Obama plan?

There ya go, with yer "gotcha arithmetic"! I thank the good lord that not everyone is as anti-American as you, Miko.

In the meantime, another moderate Republican has endorsed Obama and rejected the wingnuttery.
posted by scody at 10:59 AM on October 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


Conservatives speak out about why they're voting for Obama.
posted by ericb at 11:00 AM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Along the same lines, there's this:
One of the surprising insights of the research is the significant inroads Sen. Obama has made among the Christian community, particularly compared to 2004. In fact, among born again voters there is a statistical dead-heat: 45% plan to vote for Sen. McCain, while 43% expect to cast a ballot for Sen. Obama. Even if Sen. McCain were to sweep the 10% who are undecided born again voters, he would fail to reach the 62% who rallied for President Bush in 2004.
Emphasis mine. Man. That is just freaking amazing. I really, really want to interpret those numbers as one more sign that the wretched super-right-wing evangelical fuckwads are finally losing their deathgrip on our nation.
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:23 AM on October 23, 2008


How on earth are they glossing over the fact that would not do as well under a McCain economic plan as under the Obama plan?

Lying and/or not talking about it. It's almost too simple.
posted by chunking express at 11:30 AM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Of course they are. We all know how those Barrys stick together.

If only we knew where he stands on the issues.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:34 AM on October 23, 2008


shiu mai baby: I don't know many evangelicals, but of the ones I do know -- one of my best friends since grade school, plus her family -- all of them but one (her husband) are voting for Obama. Her dad, especially, has really come out crusading in the past couple of years against the extremism of the GOP -- he's been motivated by the attacks on privacy and on the environment, plus the sheer insanity and waste of the war.

The last time I saw him a couple of years ago, he said that most of his friends (conservatives, lifelong hunters, devout Christians, all living in the supposed red states of Wyoming and Colorado) were feeling the exact same way -- alienated and appalled by what had happened to the party. In some ways it's not surprising; as the article by Goldwater's granddaughter illustrates, old-school conservatism of the mountain West has always been very different from both Southern conservatism and neo-conservatism. But the Republicans have always been exceedingly good about enforcing party loyalty and unity. Talking to my friend's dad a couple of years ago definitely gave me the sense that there was a split coming. I just didn't think it was going to happen quite this dramatically!
posted by scody at 11:37 AM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Barry Bonds backs Barack. Manilow does, too.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:02 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here's the spin on Obama's trip to visit his ailing grandmother. The charge is that he shouldn't be taking his campaign plane to "visit his grandma" in response to charges of Palin's extravagant shopping spree.
posted by inconsequentialist at 12:13 PM on October 23, 2008


Thanks for that perspective, scody, because stuff like that and that poll I linked to give me much-needed hope.

My mom is one of the "other" kind of evangelicals, unfortunately. She's someone who tells me I should get my information from "unbiased" news sources like the American Family Association (she thinks Fox News is mostly ok, but they do lean a little left for her tastes). She also thinks that James Dobson is a godly man who's upholding the Christian Traditions of the Founding Fathers by insinuating himself into any and every aspect of the government, and forwarded me his latest newsletter screed, wherein he starts by saying he's not endorsing a candidate, but then spends the next twelve paragraphs talking about why Obama is a godless babykiller and McCain and most especially Palin (it's clear that Dobson has an epic hard-on for Palin) are Jesus' pick for office.

Anyway, having been told by her just the other day that voting for Obama is just one more sign of my spiritual corruption, it's really nice to be reminded that a good number of Christians (both evangelical and not) are breaking free of the judgmental feedback loop of the religious right.
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:16 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, another data point - my born-again, very religious first cousin's family are all rampant Obama supporters. It's even better because, last election when they were still voting with Repubs, the two teens weren't of voting age. This time, they are...and they're sharing their pics on FaceBook of them as a gang at Obama rallies.
posted by Miko at 12:19 PM on October 23, 2008


GOP Strategist Brad Blakeman, quoted in inconsequentialist's link (above): "Forget about the energy that is wasted, what about the hundreds of thousands of dollars to take a private trip when this guy should be humping his bags on a commercial plane or taking a smaller plane."

Dude, all other crazy talk aside - are you not aware that your candidate is flying all over the country in a plane he essentially borrowed from his wife's business? Or that after Palin sold the Governor's jet, she flew all over Alaska in a search and rescue plane that was owned by the Alaska Department of Public Safely (remember Walt Monegan, the commissioner of that department, that Palin fired?), accounting for 19% of the plane's use over the past year? Or that Todd Palin actually complained that the aircraft wasn't always available for his wife's use, despite the fact that the actual, priority use of this aircraft was "search and rescue or police related missions"?

Olbermann last night was talking about how the Republicans seem to only be able to "accuse" Obama of things they are doing more of, and worse, and this seems to be another sterling example.
posted by anastasiav at 12:35 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


When I saw the Obama took a 767 to visit his grandmother spin clip I started to believe that the GOP really was trying to throw the election.
posted by rdr at 12:37 PM on October 23, 2008


That Barna.org article is also fascinating because they take the time to break down the numbers within the spectrum of protestant Christianity, differentiating evangelical Christians from "born-again" Christians from "notional" Christians. Furthermore, the subjects of their surveys were not asked to self-identify with any of those particular labels, but were categorized according to their response to a set of questions about their core beliefs, e.g. "believing they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians; believing that Satan exists; believing that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not works" and so forth.

For me, anyway, it was interesting to see that even among the hard-core evangelical group, Obama's fairing remarkably well:
An equally surprising insight from the research is the fact that Obama has cut into the advantage Republicans enjoyed among the smaller, more conservative segment of evangelicals. Although evangelicals will represent about 9% of likely voters this November, they have been a critical base of solidly Republican voting for several decades. In 2004, for instance, 85% of these voters selected George Bush.

However, with two weeks to go before the election just 63% said they are supporting the Arizona Senator, compared with 23% who opted for the candidate from Illinois. With 12% of the evangelical vote undecided, there is still a chance for McCain to expand his advantage with this group. Nevertheless, support for Obama has steadily increased over the summer months, moving from 9% of evangelicals who supported Obama in May to 17% in late July to the current level of 23%.
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:38 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


rdr: I've suspected that for a while.
posted by inconsequentialist at 12:43 PM on October 23, 2008


I have too. Actually, I wouldn't say that I suspect the GOP is actually "Throwing it." What I suspect instead is that the minds behind the successful GOP of the last 10 years, the Rove/Cheney/Bush/New American Century gang, have taken their toys and gone home. They've lost interest and think there are probably no further gains to be made at this point. They never had faith in government as a way of benefiting citizens to begin with, and never wanted to govern well; instead, they sought a marriage of foreign policy and business policy that would result in profit and control of markets, enjoyed it for a while, and now that the inevitable results of their philosophy of government are in such painful evidence that most people if intelligence would refuse to vote for them, it's time to cut their losses and pull out.

So it's not so much that there's an intentional conspiracy to throw the election as that, basically, the GOP's de facto steering committee of the last decade has bugged out, leaving a disorganized party in its wake, going "Wha' happen'?" They are drifting about rudderless, and nobody has a strategy. They're relying on tropes that worked for Rove, but without his level of organization and without his fine-tuning for the cultural climate.

This is the only way McCain would have made it in (they hate McCain), the only reason they mounted such a pathetic set in the primaries. So I don't think there's a plan to lose, just a lack of desire to win from the real power and money brokers who used the GOP as their meal ticket for ten years. The people left to spin and writing talking points and plan strategy are simply not the best minds. The best minds are sitting this one out.

What I'm unsure of is whether there's a return strategy at all. The shunting of profit out of the American marketplace depends on a healthy domestic economy, and they've destroyed that. Is the idea that Democrats will put on all the band-aids and nurture the patient back to health during two or three terms of struggle, public invenstment, and gradually increasing confidence in the government and market -- just in time for another right-wing swipe of the table? Or have they actually shit the bed so badly that they'll never want to, or be able to, lie in it again? I don't know. The major corporations will mostly survive and will mostly want their interests served by sympathetic pols again eventually, and there will probably be another rise of the right in the long run when the nation recovers from this one and it disappears into memory.

My cheerful thought for the day.
posted by Miko at 1:19 PM on October 23, 2008 [7 favorites]


Miko: Last night Colbert interviewed David Frum about his new book Comeback: Conservatism that Can Win Again. I don't know how many are backing the sort of strategy he suggests for the resurgence of the GOP, but the book represents at least one take on the possibility.
posted by inconsequentialist at 1:28 PM on October 23, 2008


Olbermann last night was talking about how the Republicans seem to only be able to "accuse" Obama of things they are doing more of, and worse, and this seems to be another sterling example.

I noticed that they do that every single time they attack Obama. cashman explained the logic behind it really well in another thread.
posted by Tehanu at 2:06 PM on October 23, 2008


That was interesting, inconsequentialist. He strikes me as a true Nixon/Reagan conservative who got caught up in a confused and overreaching Republican Party. I really wish there were more sincere and straightforward Republicans like this guy leading the GOP, because those would be more worthy opponents than the culture warrior profiteers who have been the leaders in recent times. I agree with him that his party has really wandered from the path of making America better for most Americans.

I especially liked when he said emphatically

"We have to have an economic policy that focuses on the needs of middle-class people who have really been squeezed since 2001. Their incomes have been flat."

Well, I agree that we have to have that kind of economic policy. That's why I'm a Democratic voter - because that kind of policy is in the Democratic platform. We've already got it - just not in your party, David Frum.

And then he says "If my party says "We are going to be the party of Sarah Palin, we're going to be...a rural, white rump, we are going to write off the cities, we are going to write off the middle class - [then] we don't have much of a future."

Well, that's quite true, the GOP is self-marginalizing. But the thing is that his strategy for overcoming it so quickly means profound changes to the Party. There would be no more Rovean playing to the base; the social conservatives in the base would have to be set aside again (thanks for the good times, tools! See ya later).

And to win back a majority of people in cities and in the middle class, the party's fundamental economic policy - based on the conservative economic philosophy of the last 50 years - has to change. Because it doesn't work for the middle class, and no amount of spin will make it look like it's working. Cutting and deregulating has not produced prosperity for enough people to keep them in power. And the hill will be harder to climb if Obama succeeds in investing in clean-energy jobs and training and employing people in America's infrastructure - a government that provides jobs directly will be a really good thing again, not something the middle class will want to give up.

I agree that the Republicans could come back if they were "creative and flexible" in the way Frum is asking them to be. But to create and flex in the directions he's suggesting may be beyond their cultural capacity as a group, given their history and what brought them together during the last three election cycles at least. I bet he sounds pretty liberal to Party stalwarts. I'm not sure they can create and flex that much without some long quiet time to think about things, and when they come back, their party will probably be materially different. I would think of the change in the Democratic Party between the Carter years and the Clinton years as an example - and Frum mentions that - there really was a shift in fiscal philosophy and a modernization, though the basic values remained. He doesn't want to wait that long, but tough patooties. I hope he has to.
posted by Miko at 2:08 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jesus, this is weird:

John McCain's election night watch party might be missing John McCain. Instead of appearing before a throng of supporters at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix on the evening of Nov. 4, the Republican presidential nominee plans to deliver postelection remarks to a small group of reporters and guests on the hotel's lawn.

That's just a deeply strange thing to announce a week and a half before the election. It sounds like he's already conceding.
posted by EarBucket at 2:14 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


five fresh fish writes "Do you think you're intellectual?
"SP: Yessss."


I don't get it. I thought their whole line of attack was that Obama's the brainiac, the effete intellectual in an ivory tower, which is also how Bush ran against Gore and Kerry. Bush never called himself an intellectual. Since Palin clearly is not an intellectual, why not just go with the reality, since it fits with their narrative? Or are they trying to have it both ways? Who's buying it? Seems like it would backfire in every group she's trying to appeal to.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:21 PM on October 23, 2008


EarBucket writes "That's just a deeply strange thing to announce a week and a half before the election. It sounds like he's already conceding."

He knows it's almost a lost cause, I'm sure of that. I think they're just trying to ride it out without damaging Palin too much, so she can come back in 4-8 years and make a big splash.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:22 PM on October 23, 2008


EarBucket: That's really interesting because it doesn't exactly jive with the report from the New York Times about the candidates' election night festivities from earlier today.
posted by inconsequentialist at 2:26 PM on October 23, 2008


MCCAIN: I-- I know where a lot of 'em live. (LAUGH)

WILLIAMS: Where's that?

MCCAIN: Well, in our nation's capital and New York City. I've seen it. I've lived there. I know the town. I know-- I know what a lot of these elitists are. The ones that she never went to a cocktail party with in Georgetown. I'll be very frank with you. Who think that they can dictate what they believe to America rather than let Americans decide for themselves.

(From tonights NBC Nightly News. A bit more at Politico)
OK, we are really all the way into crazy-evil world now. Hold me.
posted by dirtdirt at 2:28 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think they're just trying to ride it out without damaging Palin too much, so she can come back in 4-8 years and make a big splash.

I think we may see him start trying to rally the faithful in some of the Senate races, particularly in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Georgia. If he makes a swing through any of those states in the next few days, it's a pretty big tell.
posted by EarBucket at 2:30 PM on October 23, 2008


Miko writes "And to win back a majority of people in cities and in the middle class, the party's fundamental economic policy - based on the conservative economic philosophy of the last 50 years - has to change. Because it doesn't work for the middle class, and no amount of spin will make it look like it's working. Cutting and deregulating has not produced prosperity for enough people to keep them in power."

To do this, the Republican Party has to abandon their big-money backers of the last half century, too. That will be far more difficult to adopt than changing philosophies. It means their fundraising model will have to be rebuilt, and they'll be broke for a while. I'm not sure if there is the political will to do so, at least not yet. Ask me again in a few years ...
posted by krinklyfig at 2:34 PM on October 23, 2008


In a bit of Obama related news, check out this piece on Why Barack Obama is Winning by Joe Klein.
posted by inconsequentialist at 2:47 PM on October 23, 2008


I agree that the Republicans could come back if they were "creative and flexible" in the way Frum is asking them to be. But to create and flex in the directions he's suggesting may be beyond their cultural capacity as a group, given their history and what brought them together during the last three election cycles at least. I bet he sounds pretty liberal to Party stalwarts.

He's a flippin' Commie to the stalwarts.

What we're seeing is the rending of the Reagan coalition once and for all. The Palin veep move was the last straw for the intellectual conservative, i.e. the classical Buckleyites, Gingrich, and Will, who saw the move as a pure pander and a sign that their brand of conservatism was no longer welcome. The Barna numbers show the unwinding of the evangelical-Republican hookup; if you look deeper you'll find Obama is running nearly even among evangelicals between 18-30. And the Reagan Democrats are now Obama Republicans. And the libertarians have almost all left, save the Ron Paul folks who are biding their time hoping to take over the party.

What's left are the party fundamentalists, people still held in by fear, people who are governed by a hate for The Enemy. That's not a party. That's a highly polarized and polarizing group that will find itself pulling Alan Keyes-in-Illinois numbers.

This is why more than a few people think we're about to see a 1980 sort of change election -- the obliteration of the ruling party, followed by years in the desert. It did take 12 years before Clinton emerged, and along the way the Dems had to play opposition party, gaining power only when the electorate was dissatisfied with their local guys or dealing with a recession. Even with Clinton he had to deal with Gingrich for 4 of those years.

Right now the GOP is very ill-equipped to handle what's to come. They've spent way too much time the last eight years producing Dubya clones and Christian conservatives that toe the party line. They've done a lot to make the fundamental structure of government follow their line of thinking, e.g. the partisan appointments at DOJ and packing the SCOTUS with conservatives, but it's hard to say if that will be lasting, or if those changes in structure will just be usurped by the Dems to impose changes to entrench themselves in power. Meanwhile the GOP, having run off its brightest minds, finds itself devoid of the idea people who helped get them from Goldwater to Reagan. It also lacks the strategic thinking it needs to win elections. After all, Obama's campaign is playing by their rules; surely they can figure out by now how to beat themselves at their own game.

My thinking is that what we're about to see is what happened to the Progressive Conservatives post Kim Campbell -- a total implosion, followed by a regional faction within the GOP rising up and creating either a separate party or a party-within-a-party that eventually pulls the pieces back together and creates a new GOP. It took the PCs 13 years to get to Stephen Harper via Reform then Alliance. I expect it will take the GOP 12 years, if they're lucky.

But I also think we're about to enter a longer trend when the American pendulum swings more to the left. And that pendulum tends to move over 30-40 year cycles. That bodes well, I think, for the dream of a national health insurance scheme. It probably also means a longer-term return to internationalism. And in that climate it will be difficult for the GOP to be more than the opposition party who briefly holds power (4-8 years), just as the Dems have been post-Kennedy.

But the GOP is imploding. And their lack of willingness to listen to Gen X and Gen Y, I think, will just keep them in the wilderness that much longer. Once they start bringing in the thirtysomethings now to start running the party, all will change. Until then, it'll be crusty John Birchers and Southern good ol' boys longing for the days of Jim Crow that are never coming back.
posted by dw at 2:59 PM on October 23, 2008 [9 favorites]


you guys remember McCain 2000? That guy was awesome. That guy stood up in front of thousands of people and told them that the religious right in this country were a cancer destroying American politics. I loved that guy. He was only 64 years old (the whippersnapper!) then, and he fucking lived that straight talk express shit, inviting people to come on board the bus and ask him about his campaign finance scandals. Then he apologized for them. again and again. straight up admitted he made a mistake. that guy was awesome.

then the religious right flexed their considerable political weight and jumped down his throat and let their feet hang out. He got absolutely shit on.

The McCain that came out of that was docile as a puppy. He had a career to rebuild, I suppose. He stopped calling for campaign reform, stopped being so open with the press, stopped making fiery speeches entirely. He went along with every damn thing the Bush administration did after that, even going so far as to go on The Daily Show and with a straight face tell Jon Stewart that he was down with torture, despite being a former torture victim himself. I mean, you want to talk about cowed.

Now that all that work, all the servility and abasement seems to have been for naught, I start to hope that McCain 2000 makes a comeback. I'd fucking love it if, in the final days of his campaign, with everything looking grim as hell, McCain held some kind of press conference or something and just let loose.

McCain: "You know what? Fuck this shit. I'm 72 fucking years old, my career is as done as thanksgiving turkey, I got nothing to lose. Let me tell you people something. Fuck the religious right. I spent years kissing your fucking asses, and this is what it got me. See this bitch, here? Yeah, the one with the crazy eyes next to me. She is fucking nuts. You know that, right, Sarah? You're a fucking lunatic. I cannot believe I ever associated with you. You know I once fought to reform this country. To make it a better place. And who have I been palling around with, lately? Karl fucking Rove and the most corrupt politician in Bumfuck, Alaska? Fuck. That. Sarah, you're fired. Do you fire VP candidates? I don't know. But you're out of here. My new VP is this fucking guy, right here. What's your name, son? Stanley? You're it, Stanley. Put down the pencil and join me up here on stage. You gotta be better than this crazy fucker. And who the hell are the rest of you people? How on earth are you still supporting this campaign? Do you understand that I have stood up on national television and supported spying on you? Do you even realize how insane that is? I have told reporters and Jon Stewart and thousands of people to their faces that they should be tortured and wiretapped. How on EARTH are you still here cheering me on? You. People. Are. Crazy. And you know what? Fuck your pro-life shit, too. I don't like abortions, I'll tell you that, but they're not fucking going anywhere. And you know why? Because that's how the country works. You don't just get your favorite guy in the oval office and suddenly your least favorite law disappears. There's a whole system for this shit, and that system has said you get to have abortions. Fucking. Deal. You know what Jesus said? He said to take care of the plank in your own eye before you worry about the mote in your neighbor's. You know what that means? It means MIND YOUR OWN FUCKING BUSINESS. You don't like abortions, don't have 'em. That's the law, and it's what Jesus would do. I know I won't. But this shit with you people screaming baby killer and whatever has got to stop. You're maniacs. If you kill a doctor for performing abortions, then you're going to hell. Believe it. God, I can't believe I tried to appeal to you people. George W Bush is a madman and a war criminal. The republican party is a shambles and you people put them in power. Get some perspective and pay attention to the world around you, folks, because people like me have been sending it straight to hell in a handbasket.

I'm John McCain, and for once I finally support this message."

At least, that's the dream.
posted by shmegegge at 3:34 PM on October 23, 2008 [33 favorites]


Williams interview with Palin and McCain on NBC right now.
posted by inconsequentialist at 3:39 PM on October 23, 2008


Check out the pollster.com chart for Montana (!!) - the very definition of a free fall.....
posted by Rumple at 4:06 PM on October 23, 2008


Wow.
posted by inconsequentialist at 4:15 PM on October 23, 2008


North Dakota heads south.
posted by inconsequentialist at 4:16 PM on October 23, 2008


I believe the technical chartmaking term for that kind of precipitous decline is "Sarah-dippity."
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:20 PM on October 23, 2008 [6 favorites]


Scott McClellan endorses Obama.
posted by scody at 4:35 PM on October 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


I really wish there were more sincere and straightforward Republicans like this guy leading the GOP.

This is David Frum you are talking about, the man who (as Bush's speechwriter) invented the "Axis of Evil", one of the most dangerous moments of rhetoric in terms of world security which has happened in my lifetime. I believe he was also born in Canada, but we don't really want him back.
posted by jb at 4:37 PM on October 23, 2008


John McCain's brother calls 911 to complain about traffic.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 4:49 PM on October 23, 2008


I AM Stuck in traffic!
THE Horror! The horror!
posted by scody at 5:06 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is one of those time that I wish I could favorite a comment over and over again. That was excellent shmegegge.

*fingers crossed for the ultimate October surprise*
posted by quin at 5:11 PM on October 23, 2008


John McCain's brother calls 911 to complain about traffic.

Uh-oh. McCain's got the wacky sibling AND the friendly capital C in his surname. Those two things are what got Carter and Clinton elected!
posted by Sys Rq at 5:18 PM on October 23, 2008


Yes, but Obama has Lydell Obama.
posted by inconsequentialist at 5:27 PM on October 23, 2008


Video of McClellan breaking the news to D.L. Hughley

Article
posted by inconsequentialist at 5:34 PM on October 23, 2008


I can't wait to hear Pat Buchanan sneer that it's just because Scott McClellan's black.
posted by scody at 5:37 PM on October 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


I have been thinking that $150,000 might not be too much to spend on clothing and accessories if you have to pay for a big honking engagement ring for a pregnant teen.

Oh yeah, what about that wedding? The one that is supposed to be the game-changer that holds the nation in thrall of the attractive young lovers, a la Prince Charles and Lady Diana? Haven't heard much about that lately.

I've been thinking about the wardrobe thing -- $150,000? Not that it matters to me; in fact they ought to try and spend twice that amount. Every Republican dollar diverted to the styling of Ms. Palin is a dollar not spent on the usual GOP bullshit - push polling, sending out tawdry mailers to the faithful, running negative ads up the flagpole.

But really, how do you spend that much? Doing some quick mental arithmetic -

Let's say they bought her a couple dozen suits of clothes. Yes, that would be an excessive amount of fashion for a woman who's only going to be campaigning for two months, but perhaps they're thinking long-term. Assume the average cost of an outfit, not including shoes and accessories, is $2000. I'm guessing high -- WAY high -- apparently the suit she wore at the debate retails for a few hundred. I know the Valentino jacket she wore at the convention was around $2500, but I doubt most of her suits break the $1000 mark. Plus I've seen her wear the same four or five outfits repeatedly, it's not like she's got more costume changes than Madonna. But we'll give them the benefit of doubt. Lots of suits at a high price point. We'll go with $48,000 for campaign clothing alone. A hugely high figure; it may be more like half that.

Next come shoes. She seems like a real shoe-horse to me. Suppose she's got about a dozen pairs of shoes. Let's go ahead and round that up to a nice 15. Double that because maybe they keep an extra identical pair on hand in case she breaks a heel or some such. So, 30 pairs of shoes. Figure they average around $350 per pair. That's $10,500 on shoes.

Next, accessories. She wears glasses and earrings and usually a decorative pin. Suppose the campaign bought her some back-up glasses. I'm thinking those frames she wears are not much more than $400. Let's say five pairs -- $2000. The rest of her jewellry, maybe $3000 combined and that's an inflated figure; she doesn't have Cindy-McCain-level needs (yet).

That's $63,500 so far. What could be left -- fancy Wolford hosiery? 36 pairs at $100/pop is still only $3600. Maybe she's wearing some five-star underwear and foundation garments. Say $5000 worth - we're getting up into shameless clotheshorse territory and still not up to half of what they say was spent.

Let's say hair and makeup everyday, plus two touch-ups on rally days, averages about $750 per day. $37,500 so far, and there's still $40,000 that can't logically be accounted for.

The mind boggles.
posted by brain cloud at 6:07 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain on (electoral) life support

Money quotes:

"Indiana has turned blue on our map."

"Obama even leads in Montana, a state which his campaign has never disengaged from."

"North Dakota may in fact be in play, as well as two of Nebraska's three congressional districts."

"To find good news for McCain, you have to go South -- to the deep South -- where new polling in Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana suggests that those states have yet to become competitive."

"John McCain's chances of winning the election have dwindled to 3.7%, down from 6.5% yesterday."
posted by Rhaomi at 6:21 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think I've seen reports now that the $150,000 figure actually isn't substantiated. An investigation into the figure could only trace half of it to someone named either Lisa Kine or Lisa Kline, who may or may not have worked on Sarah Palin's image.

But honestly, that's now small potatoes compared to this:

MCCAIN: I-- I know where a lot of 'em live. (LAUGH)

WILLIAMS: Where's that?

MCCAIN: Well, in our nation's capital and New York City. I've seen it. I've lived there. I know the town. I know-- I know what a lot of these elitists are. The ones that she never went to a cocktail party with in Georgetown. I'll be very frank with you. Who think that they can dictate what they believe to America rather than let Americans decide for themselves.


Oh, Senator, Fuck YOU. I'm not trying to "dictate what I believe to America," I'm trying to use the fucking right to vote that this Constitution guarantees -- that same Constitution you spent five years in a Viet Cong Prison for -- and nothing more.

And if you think that people in New York are all of the same mind, then you so do not know this town. A city of people that can't even agree on which is actually the Original Famous Ray's Pizza is not organized enough to make this country the new Sodom. A city which speaks over 300 languages is too busy debating things amongst itself to care what the rest of you do with yourselves. You know why we don't want to dictate what the rest of the country does? Because we don't give a crap. Do whatever you want, we don't care. We got enough to deal with.

And if you really had been here, instead of cowering in your hotel because your information about Times Square is 20 years old and you're afraid of seeing hookers or porn and then leaving five minutes later, you would have seen that.

So -- in the words of a t-shirt sold in this city, and which I have quoted elsewhere on the blue: "Fuck you, you fucking fuck."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:24 PM on October 23, 2008 [5 favorites]


brain cloud: I'm starting to think that her outfits do break the $1000 and even $2000 mark and that the price may not be that high considering where that one guy (I learned his name earlier but can't remember) shopped for her. I just checked out the Neiman Marcus website to look for the prices of tops that are similar to the ones we've seen her wear. They are anywhere from $200-over $1000. And the shoes! Well, just take a look at this selection, particularly ones like these.

I don't mean to sound like I'm saying that you're wrong to suggest that it is hard to imagine how all of that money could be spent on clothing for her. I just suspect that you may have underestimated how much certain items she has acquired may have cost. But what do I know about it? Not much. I don't really know how much nice clothing like that usually costs so your estimates could be better than mine. It makes me cringe to even consider spending that much money on clothing, let alone clothing I would never want to wear and find uncomfortable.

One last thing to consider is that I believe the campaign bought clothing and accessories for the rest of her family as well. I ran across a picture of Piper, the youngest girl, yesterday toting a Louis Vuitton handbag. She's quite the little fashionista.
posted by inconsequentialist at 6:30 PM on October 23, 2008


I would swear the shoes that I linked to above are the same as we see her wearing here.
posted by inconsequentialist at 6:35 PM on October 23, 2008


Scott McClellan endorses Obama.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry..."
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:42 PM on October 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


inconsequentialist: I could well be underestimating the cost of her clothing - it has been a long time since I worked higher-end retail - plus, I didn't figure in the cost of a stylist, which I have no idea how to compute. There was a piece in the NYT picking apart her wardrobe recently, basically about how she traded up for pricier versions of her typical clothing. Interesting read.

I ran across a picture of Piper, the youngest girl, yesterday toting a Louis Vuitton handbag. She's quite the little fashionista.

Word on the street is the bag's a fake.
posted by brain cloud at 6:46 PM on October 23, 2008


That's actually some rather good news!
posted by inconsequentialist at 6:52 PM on October 23, 2008


That NYT piece is interesting. Here's another from New York Magazine. Man, I just can't imagine. I would probably spend all of that money on downloads from iTunes. It looks like my Palin Halloween outfit will have to be a knock-off.
posted by inconsequentialist at 7:00 PM on October 23, 2008


Let's say hair and makeup everyday, plus two touch-ups on rally days, averages about $750 per day. $37,500 so far, and there's still $40,000 that can't logically be accounted for.

It would be really interesting to see the receipts.

It's time to demand that a candidate's (and a politician's) life be a completely open book. This is the internet age, man. People post everything and anything about themselves online. It wouldn't be a stretch at all that a public record of the politician's life be recorded.

It's a public office and it's clearly far too important a responsibility to let just any corrupt silver-spooned douchebag have control of it. Full accountability would result in excellent governance, IMO.

And about the missing money: hey, is there anyone left in America who would be surprised to learn that a good chunk of it was being laundered? That it's graft? That it was used inappropriately to benefit "Palin's People" — her kids, her husband. Maybe a friend or high-ranking supporter. Maybe she really did buy an insanely expensive wardrobe for solely her use. Or maybe not. We can't know, because they don't have to tell.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:12 PM on October 23, 2008


That NYMag article was very interesting. But this was my favorite line:

"Plus Palin's not getting any freebies from design houses, which typically support more liberal candidates."

LOVE it.
posted by brain cloud at 7:17 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


A great endorsement. A conservative voter realizes at the last moment that there is a historical event about to take place.

He wants to be able to tell his grandchildren that he took part in history.

Vote Foghorn Leghorn and the Ice Queen!
posted by five fresh fish at 7:22 PM on October 23, 2008 [4 favorites]


It might be the wine, but that story made me cry FFF. Thank you for sharing.
posted by inconsequentialist at 7:25 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe she really did buy an insanely expensive wardrobe for solely her use.

The original article on the subject did say it was spent on the whole Palin clan including Sarah's future son-in-law.

This whole Palin thing doesn't surprise me (the amount does since the role she was cast for wasn't so upmarket). I couldn't help but think of the movie Pretty Woman where they took the hooker with a heart of gold shopping in the Rodeo Drive shops so she'd fit into the rich people's world.

Since it was paid for with RNC money -- from republican donors -- this just means the RNC has fewer dollars available for robo-calls or attack ads. I do think it is funny though that if she keeps the clothes, she may need to pay taxes on it. So she has to give her clothes back.

I'm also sort of surprised the RNC disclosed this information. They could have gotten a rich donor's Amex Black card and just bought the stuff and we'd never know (even so, I'd imagine the bill wouldn't be as high)
posted by birdherder at 7:29 PM on October 23, 2008


The point of the $150,000 wardrobe isn't that she spent $150,000. The point is that despite all of their "Joe The Plumber', Hockey Mom, Small town folk talk, it didn't even occur to them NOT to buy the most expensive shit in the store. They either have no clue, or they don't care. What pisses me off is that if they lose, they're gonna blame it on ACORN, and not on their inability to run an even halfway decent campaign.
posted by billyfleetwood at 7:31 PM on October 23, 2008 [6 favorites]


I enjoyed this Annotated rant courtesy of adamvasco over on the Chicken-or-Maverick thread.
posted by pointilist at 7:39 PM on October 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


Oooh. This story may suddenly be gaining legs.
Pesti-Esti
6:13 PM
Here's my conspiracy theory:
Palin hired Larson to do robocalls or some other sort of dirty trick without the approval of the campaign. They tried to hide it by saying the expenses were for clothing.
or
They're laundering money to a 527 to carry out attacks that the campaign doesn't want to be directly associated with.
Or something like that. Kinda odd how Jeff Larson gets paid the same amount the store "got paid"... and yet the store owner claims neither Larson nor Palin had shopped there. And no store receipt.

Looks like there are receipts for some stores, though, which indicates that there really is full disclosure. Pretty bizarre, then, that they'd be so sloppy about the scam.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:43 PM on October 23, 2008


Jeff Larson, that's the name I was wracking my brain for earlier.
posted by inconsequentialist at 7:46 PM on October 23, 2008


More from the Atlantic.
posted by inconsequentialist at 7:47 PM on October 23, 2008


Obama's Rise is Eradicating Racial Bias in Iran
posted by homunculus at 7:53 PM on October 23, 2008


Violation of 2 USC Sec. 439a.(b)(B)
2 USC Sec. 439a.(b)
(b) Prohibited use.
(1) In general. A contribution or donation described in subsection (a) shall not be converted by any person to personal use.
(2) Conversion. For the purposes of paragraph (1), a contribution or donation shall be considered to be converted to personal use if the contribution or amount is used to fulfill any commitment, obligation, or expense of a person that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s election campaign or individual’s duties as a holder of Federal office, including—
(A) a home mortgage, rent, or utility payment;
(B) a clothing purchase;
Oh, how surprising.

otoh, I think I probably also saw this posted on MeFi somewhere. Maybe even this thread...
posted by five fresh fish at 7:54 PM on October 23, 2008


Oh, it's completely possible to spend that much in clothes if you're shopping at Neiman Marcus and Saks. Single jackets, shirts, and skirts can cost $500-$800 easy. Easy. $1500 - 3000 per outfit, including jewelry and scarves, no problem. Handbags? Thousands. Coat, shoes, boots? Thousands. I'd expect horses here, not zebras, but billyfleetwood is still right that that's exactly the problem and enough of a problem right there.
posted by Miko at 7:54 PM on October 23, 2008


Well, she chooses much more sensible attire to bust moves in. ;)

posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:12 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


But really, how do you spend that much?

I'd have a 3-piece suit woven entirely from nanoscale fibers of pure rhodium and palladium, underpants made from articulated sheets of solid gold, and a top hat carved from a single, solid synthetic ruby.

Also, a nice penis gourd.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:22 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


When did Chris Matthews get the balls? That is Hardball. Shame they weren't like this in the previous eight years.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:34 PM on October 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


I can't vote on that site without signing up, but Chris Matthews is my new hero! I want pictures of him and Rachel Maddow all over my bedroom.
posted by inconsequentialist at 8:37 PM on October 23, 2008


New York Times endorses Barack Obama.
posted by inconsequentialist at 9:07 PM on October 23, 2008


Also, a nice penis gourd.

Wait, you didn't get yours when you paid the five bucks?
posted by lukemeister at 9:36 PM on October 23, 2008


When did Chris Matthews get the balls?

Jesus. That was just unbelievably uncomfortable. I am impressed by Matthews's tenacity on this and unwillingness to let it slide (finally!), but man, cringeworthy.

It makes me uncomfortable, too, because I'm left wondering how and when my predominant emotion with regard to the McCain campaign turned from anger to disgust to exasperation to bewildered, gently condescending pity. Terrible.
posted by peachfuzz at 10:23 PM on October 23, 2008


Ohio story: Some voter kindness and the surprising outcome
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:02 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wait, you didn't get yours when you paid the five bucks?

I *SAID* a **NICE** one. Sheesh. *rolls eyes*
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:04 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


When did Chris Matthews get the balls?

When it became obvious who was going to win, of course.

Not to get all Paglia on you, but he's not a worshipper of the flight-suit codpiece because he likes cock, but because he likes masculine power, which the McCain campaign is sorely lacking in. Also, I don't want to compare Hilary Clinton, who is a genuine heavy hitter, with Palin, who couldn't think her way out of a paper bag, but in the mind of a man like Matthews, they are both women usurping the role that should belong to a powerful man.

If, and only if, a chance of nailing Obama as an effeminate queer comes up, then Matthews will turn on the Democrats in a microsecond. But for now, the weakest hens are Republicans. Peck peck peck.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:14 PM on October 23, 2008 [4 favorites]


Pallin' around with dictators? The Huffington Post says they've found declassified documents showing that John McCain had a hitherto unreported private meeting with Augusto Pinochet in 1985.

No doubt the conversation included a discussion of the Chilean regime's preferred torture techniques, and how they might compare to the treatment McCain received as a POW.
posted by scody at 11:44 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


five fresh fish: "A great endorsement. A conservative voter realizes at the last moment that there is a historical event about to take place.
He wants to be able to tell his grandchildren that he took part in history.
"

That's exactly what I've been trying to understand about this election. How will we be judged by future generations?

Grandchildren: You were there for the 2008 election! What was it like? How did it feel to be a part of history?

Grandparent: Wellllll... actually... I... I voted for evil.

Grandchildren: ... but, but, why?

Grandparent: I don't know... they said Obama killed babies or something. And maybe he was a secret terrorist trying to destroy the country? Seems kind of ridiculous now, of course, but I was certainly riled up at the time.

Grandchildren: ...

Of course, I know there aren't any McCain supporters under 50, and grandchildren don't actually talk to their grandparents, but still.
posted by team lowkey at 11:54 PM on October 23, 2008


Grr. The evil spirit of Pinochet may have borked that link once, but he cannot do it again.
posted by scody at 12:05 AM on October 24, 2008


New poll puts Michelle Bachmann trailing Tinklenberg 44-47, a swing of 14 points since October 12th.
posted by Rumple at 1:00 AM on October 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


Just read the NY Times endorsement and found this little nugget:

"Mr. Obama wants to reform the United Nations, while Mr. McCain wants to create a new entity, the League of Democracies"

LOL... that sounds like something out of a really bad, really cheesy, 50's comic. Here comes Captain Freedom with the League of Democracies!
posted by like_neon at 1:53 AM on October 24, 2008


I'm trying to use the fucking right to vote that this Constitution guarantees -- that same Constitution you spent five years in a Viet Cong Prison for -- and nothing more.

Minor correction: I do not believe that McCain's motive for flying a plane over North Vietnam and dropping bombs on it had anything whatsoever to do with the Constitution. I also do not believe that his decision to ignore a missile-lock warning and not perform the evasive maneuvers that would probably have prevented his being shot down had anything to do with the Constitution.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:56 AM on October 24, 2008


Okay, trying to write something snarky about "league of Democracies" here, but the Orwellian chills running up my spine are making my hands shake.
posted by nax at 4:36 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Minor correction: I do not believe that McCain's motive for flying a plane over North Vietnam and dropping bombs on it had anything whatsoever to do with the Constitution. I also do not believe that his decision to ignore a missile-lock warning and not perform the evasive maneuvers that would probably have prevented his being shot down had anything to do with the Constitution.

He may have thought so himself, though. But I was mostly just overemotional.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:54 AM on October 24, 2008


Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on whether a "League of Democracies" is a good idea:
Although the proposed “League of Democracies” reflects a useful recognition of the need to rebuild credibility through greater multilateralism, such a league could aggravate rather than alleviate global sensitivities over U.S. democracy promotion and the U.S. global security agenda....The idea for a League of Democracies reflects a valid concern with the fact that the overall state of democracy in the world is troubled and that alternative power centers with an authoritarian character are gaining in strength. The best way to respond to this new context and to rebuild the legitimacy of the United States as a global actor is not to circle the ideological wagons. Instead it is to make the United States a better global citizen on numerous fronts and get the country’s own economic and political houses in order.”
posted by Miko at 5:16 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


MCCAIN: Well, in our nation's capital and New York City. I've seen it. I've lived there. I know the town. I know-- I know what a lot of these elitists are. The ones that she never went to a cocktail party with in Georgetown. I'll be very frank with you. Who think that they can dictate what they believe to America rather than let Americans decide for themselves.

As a long-time, politically active DC resident with a friends from all parts of the country and of ALL political stripes that have all kinds of social parties (literally from socialists to Heritage Foundationists, Public Citizens to Americans for Tax Reform). I've been to them all and given them all "equal time" (particularly because I like free food and drinks, but also because I'll argue politics with anyone after a couple of free cocktails). Anyway, the only people in this town that throw what could even be described as "elitist cocktail parties" in Georgetown are the right wingers. The lefties tend to have house parties with kegs and burgers on the grill.

Of course, McCain would never have been invited to one of the lefty parties, so I can see where he'd assume he "knows" what is going on there, when really he's just projecting what he has seen on the right onto the left.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:58 AM on October 24, 2008


To be fair, I've been to lefty elitist cocktail parties. not in Georgetown - but let's be honest, elitist cocktail parties happen and there are rich people in both parties who enjoy putting them on and playing power-broker. I see the problem as one of disingenuousness - McCain's been to those parties, too, and he knows they happen no matter which party is hosting, and he has needed them just as much as anyone as part of his fundraising efforts. I mean, what do you call this from last week:
More than 1,000 people paid $1,000 each for tickets to the main fund-raiser. Nearly 250 people who contributed $25,000 got dinner beforehand with Mr. McCain.

The event on Tuesday night at the Grand Hyatt was Mr. McCain’s fourth and final appearance at a fund-raiser since the Republican national convention. The campaign raised roughly $4 million at each of the other events Mr. McCain headlined in Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles
It takes some kind of elite to pay $25K for dinner. I'm sure cocktails were included.
posted by Miko at 6:25 AM on October 24, 2008


I'll be very frank with you. Who think that they can dictate what they believe to America rather than let Americans decide for themselves.

Is he saying that people who drink cocktails in DC are trying to "dictate what they believe to America" yet people who drink heavily sweetened iced tea in Red States are just exercising their constitutional right to free speech? And cocktail-drinkers in the nation's capitol aren't Americans?
posted by leftcoastbob at 6:26 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


In McCain world, $25k is pocket change. The man's wife has more money than they'll ever need.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:31 AM on October 24, 2008


This works on voters, of course, but you have to keep it under the radar. When it goes above ground for sustained periods of time, it has a tendency to sicken people, or at least make the very uncomfortable about voting for the candidate engaged in the practice. Which is why it's great in many ways that the MSM is shining a spotlight on it, as in, "Senator McCain, how do you justify the robo-calls?" That says to the American public: McCain is doing something underhanded that we are exposing, something he is forced to defend.

The Obama campaign has a new site - Under The Radar. It's so well done and I saw some things I hadn't seen before that really show the ridiculous measures the republicans are going to.

Great site - http://radar.barackobama.com
posted by cashman at 7:26 AM on October 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


I agree, nicely done cashman. Although the result is that the mid-eastern coast is a bit hard to navigate, the visual impact is effective. I especially like how they used McCain's own words against him at the top.
posted by like_neon at 8:05 AM on October 24, 2008


That "Radar" site isn't working. Did we break it?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:19 AM on October 24, 2008


Is he saying that people who drink cocktails in DC are trying to "dictate what they believe to America" yet people who drink heavily sweetened iced tea in Red States are just exercising their constitutional right to free speech?

There's more to the implication as well though. He's also implying that his side of the aisle in DC are somehow not involved in the sinister cocktail sipping and also that these sorts of button-holing social networking events actually take place here exclusively. As if a Concerned Citizens Committee fish fry in Tupelo starring Trent Lott and Thad Chockran is somehow morally superior and lobbying the hell out of them for pork projects to a mythical bunch of college elites sipping martinis on leather couches and discussing issues as they rub elbows is somehow undermining the fabric of America.

The reality is that:

1) both sides are participating in "elite coctail parties" in Georgetown. and
2) fish fries/bar-b-ques/cook-outs/beer busts in the sticks are essentially the same thing, except probably more likely to contain unlawful, extremist, or anti-American (in the sense of how good it is for the overall picture vs. the local element) lobbying.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:30 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Obama campaign has a new site - Under The Radar. It's so well done and I saw some things I hadn't seen before that really show the ridiculous measures the republicans are going to.

This is great. Lately this is like watching a good but temperamental chess expert play against a Master class player assumed to be merely unsurprisingly good until late in the game.
posted by Tehanu at 8:46 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nice find, cashman.
posted by inconsequentialist at 9:10 AM on October 24, 2008


Anther spiffy little web tool The Obama Campaign does your taxes for you!
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:40 AM on October 24, 2008


Does Palin Know What A Precondition Is?
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:24 AM on October 24, 2008


When did Chris Matthews get the balls?

I'm w/ Joe's spleen. I think the only thing the media is any good at is determining next month's political forecast. It pisses me off to no end that now, NOW all of these reporters start to question the actions of Republicans. What the hell were they doing for the past decade? Seriously, the ONLY reporters I've seen doing ANYTHING that might actually be considered fair reporting prior to 2007 were on Comedy Central.

For a time, I thought that the powers-that-be at MSNBC decided that the only way to do their actual jobs was to stop being afraid of being called leftist or liberal and go ahead and report the fact that much of what various Republicans were doing was BAD. You know, report the news, instead of reporting an incident and then allowing some Republican troll to come on and call people names to allow for "fairness" to both sides. As if there are two sides to some issue. Either Bush knowingly lied about WMDs in Iraq, or he didn't. There's no partisan issue here. Just present the fucking facts. If people want to call you names for doing it, fuck them. It looks like a liberal media, and FOX is going to say it's a liberal media. But it's okay to be called that. If you're doing your job, at least you can hold your head high and say, "you might not like it, Republican troll, but at least it's TRUTH."

But now? Now I think that MSNBC et al just know that it's safe to appear liberal. They're still not actually doing their jobs. Chris Matthews bitching about Palin's clothing bill? The irony of that is that Nancy Pfotenhauer is right: this isn't a real issue. You know why it's not a real issue? Because there is no fucking way Palin is going to be VP. That story is over. This isn't real news. If these reporters had ANY balls, the TOP story every night would be about either Iraq or the economy. Those are the two issues where reporters could actually inform the people about what has happened, and what's happening now. But again, outside of This American Life and the Daily Show, nobody is covering this, except to say, oop, the stock market is down, we're going into a recession. Yikes!

Seriously, imagine if the reporters started actually getting HARD on Obama? What if they said, "listen. You're as good as in. What's the plan to get us out of this recession? We know your tax plan, but when do you start enacting it? Talked to any congresspeople about it yet? Again, we know you're still campaigning and everything, but seriously, the economy is in a BAD way. When do you plan to start meeting w/ Congress? Who will be in your cabinet? I know it seems like I'm rushing you, but we don't really have time to spare."

Maybe that would be unfair. But man. That would take real balls. And that's the job of the fourth estate: even if they guy elected is in fact Jor-el, you have to be skeptical, and you have to keep him honest. I'm willing to wait for that to happen until November 5 or 6, but I'd like to see that start happening now.
posted by nushustu at 10:53 AM on October 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'm sorry, I meant Kal-el.
posted by nushustu at 11:10 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Because there is no fucking way Palin is going to be VP. That story is over.

Le Fail. It's not over. Look at your calendar. Until a result is announced after election day, it is not "no fucking way" she'll be VP. I get your tone and I like some of what you're saying, but let's not get ahead of ourselves here.
posted by cashman at 12:01 PM on October 24, 2008


look. Don't get me wrong. I know there's a chance of a McCain win, but seriously. For McCain to win now would require some INCREDIBLE story about Obama, a dead girl or live boy story. Either that, or the voting machines are rigged.

Now, a dead girl live boy Obama story WOULD be news, and so it would make sense for the media to cover that, and how it might affect the election. A voting machine story won't come out until well after McCain's in office, and will probably be just as effective as the voting irregularity stories were on Bush's presidency.

But at this point, Montana and North Dakota are up for grabs. The way things are now, this isn't going to be a close race. There's no need to keep doing 24-hour reporting on this election without some crazy thing happening that actually changes things in McCain's favor.

Although, honestly, I don't really mind them knocking the Republicans. God knows the Repubs. deserve it. I just don't think we should be happy w/ the press having found their balls in Obama's pocket.
posted by nushustu at 12:18 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's not over. Look at your calendar.

Yep. The fat lady hasn't sung yet.
posted by ericb at 12:24 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Roseanne Barr Releases Pop Single Endorsing Barack"

I'm sorry.
posted by cortex at 12:33 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think it is the Roseanne demographic who is going to vote him in. The working class is smarter than McCain has given them any credit of being during this election.

Someone else is gonna sing the song though.
posted by Tehanu at 12:51 PM on October 24, 2008


For Obama, a Melancholy Biography Tour
posted by anastasiav at 1:03 PM on October 24, 2008


Actually, Rosanne has already endorsed Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney, stating: "Since i will vote for a woman instead of a man any day - there is a woman running, I am going to vote for Cynthia McKinney"
posted by thewittyname at 2:09 PM on October 24, 2008


Does Palin Know What A Precondition Is?

It goes on before the shampoo, right?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:21 PM on October 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


Actually, Rosanne has already endorsed Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney, stating: "Since i will vote for a woman instead of a man any day - there is a woman running, I am going to vote for Cynthia McKinney"

Interesting. I meant more who she played on tv though. I couldn't accurately predict what the real Roseanne will do on any give day.
posted by Tehanu at 2:33 PM on October 24, 2008


I couldn't accurately predict what the real Roseanne will do on any given day.

She's probably checking on Roseanne Shante's latest diss track and thinking up a response.
posted by cashman at 3:28 PM on October 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain Campaign Calls Obama a “Socialist”—But Why is That a Smear?
posted by homunculus at 3:30 PM on October 24, 2008


"Palin Insurgency"

Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image — even as others in McCain's camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain's decline.

"She's lost confidence in most of the people on the plane," said a senior Republican who speaks to Palin, referring to her campaign jet. He said Palin had begun to "go rogue" in some of her public pronouncements and decisions.

"I think she'd like to go more rogue," he said.

posted by EarBucket at 5:54 AM on October 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Thanks earbucket, for that link. Visavis Palin and her meltdown I can’t quite figure out if the Republicans are pulling their typical tactic (or is it a strategy?) of criticizing the opposition (or in this case themselves) for their own tactics, or if its some sort of double spin to rescue her credibility and viability after the election, or straight spin by party regulars to blame McCain for her downfall, or what.
posted by nax at 6:28 AM on October 25, 2008


I'm going rogue!
posted by chunking express at 7:51 AM on October 25, 2008


Palin is the gift that keeps giving.
posted by pointilist at 8:09 AM on October 25, 2008


Wow -- going rogue? That's even more mavericky than a maverick! It's like a maverick times ten, with a little swashbuckle thrown in!
posted by Miko at 8:18 AM on October 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


I think she's a rogue maverick, which makes her pretty conformist, just to a very weird set of rules.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:59 AM on October 25, 2008


Actually, Rosanne has already endorsed Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney, stating:

"the two of us can jumpstart the economy just by eating out at applebee's every day"
posted by pyramid termite at 9:33 AM on October 25, 2008


Does anyone know exactly when, what days and/or times, Obama's 30 minute prime time episodes will be airing? Olbermann asked Axelrod earlier in the week but he wasn't biting.
posted by inconsequentialist at 10:18 AM on October 25, 2008


She is acting rouge, not rogue. Just look at her makeup bill.
posted by longbaugh at 10:47 AM on October 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Bizarro quote of the day from the McCain campaign, this time from Nicolle Wallace regarding what is evidently shaping up as an orgy of finger-pointing:

"I am in awe of [Palin's] strength under constant fire by the media," she said in an e-mail. "If someone wants to throw me under the bus, my personal belief is that the most graceful thing to do is to lie there." uh... quoi?

In other news, it's being reported that Palin's determination to "go rogue" was actually a decision on the part of her makeup stylist to go with more rouge.
posted by scody at 10:50 AM on October 25, 2008


damn you to hell, longbaugh
posted by scody at 10:51 AM on October 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Because there is no fucking way Palin is going to be VP. That story is over.

The way Palin gets to be VP is if voters decide the deal is done and do not vote. Do not get so over confident that an Obama win slips by the way side.
posted by bjgeiger at 11:12 AM on October 25, 2008


Going "rouge" is de riguer for Palin. She's a classic backstabber, and McCain has outlived his usefulness. This is more of the same for her.
posted by lysdexic at 11:44 AM on October 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Does this make the race between the Hot Lady and the Tiger Woods Guy Rouge et Noir?
posted by lukemeister at 1:48 PM on October 25, 2008


Krugman: Desperately Seeking Seriousness
posted by homunculus at 2:03 PM on October 26, 2008


"the two of us can jumpstart the economy just by eating out at applebee's every day"

That is extremely uncalled for.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:34 PM on October 26, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'm going to be an obnoxious person and ask if there is a newer election thread and, if there isn't a good one yet, if someone would kindly point my way toward it when it rears its head. Thank you.
posted by inconsequentialist at 8:59 PM on October 26, 2008


Does anyone know exactly when, what days and/or times, Obama's 30 minute prime time episodes will be airing? Olbermann asked Axelrod earlier in the week but he wasn't biting.

inconsequentialist: The show will be on Wednesday 10/29 at 8:00 EST. If you have a Tivo, search for it under "Barack Obama Political Message."
posted by brain cloud at 9:30 PM on October 26, 2008


Is it me or is the WSJ going absolutely nuts trying to say anything they can, right about now? Talk about flailing. I'm sure it's not too far off of what they usually pull, but it almost feels like pretty soon their article titles will be "Pleeeease, no don't touch the reactor! We'll all dieeeee!" Pathetic. You can almost hear their suits crinkling as they writhe around in their chairs pissed that they'll have to work even harder to oppress everybody.
posted by cashman at 10:21 PM on October 26, 2008


He said Palin had begun to "go rogue" in some of her public pronouncements and decisions.

That's utter shite. The only reason Palin is "going rogue" in her public pronouncements is because she has absolutely no grasp on her Party's platform or McCain's positions on anything, and when she's pressed, she goes with the answer that sounds most reasonable to her at the time. I guarantee you, when she's asked about tax policy, US Policy on Iran, or deregulation in general, she's thinking about the issue for the very first time in her life.

The press corps is tilting at windmills on the whole Palin is subverting the McCain campaign meme. Why try to explain things in terms of conspiracies when ignorance and laziness suffices to cover it?
posted by psmealey at 10:43 PM on October 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


CNN: 50,000 voters purged in Georgia

College senior Kyla Berry was looking forward to voting in her first presidential election, even carrying her voter registration card in her wallet.

But about two weeks ago, Berry got disturbing news from local election officials.

"This office has received notification from the state of Georgia indicating that you are not a citizen of the United States and therefore, not eligible to vote," a letter from the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections said.

But Berry is a U.S. citizen, born in Boston, Massachusetts. She has a passport and a birth certificate to prove it.

The letter, which was dated October 2, gave her a week from the time it was dated to prove her citizenship. There was a problem, though -- the letter was postmarked October 9.

"It was the most bizarre thing. I immediately called my mother and asked her to send me my birth certificate, and then I was like, 'It's too late, apparently,' " Berry said.

Berry is one of more than 50,000 registered Georgia voters who have been "flagged" because of a computer mismatch in their personal identification information. At least 4,500 of those people are having their citizenship questioned and the burden is on them to prove eligibility to vote.

posted by Rhaomi at 10:56 PM on October 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


CNN: 50,000 voters purged in Georgia

They have to cage votes in Georgia now?????
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:55 AM on October 27, 2008


I totally missed that (up side?) to the story. Damn. Well if the Republicans are going to win, their going to have to suppress votes like it's going out of style.
posted by chunking express at 6:02 AM on October 27, 2008


their they are. god damn it. they are.
posted by chunking express at 6:10 AM on October 27, 2008


Awesome. Thanks, brain cloud.
posted by inconsequentialist at 8:23 AM on October 27, 2008


I thinks it's bizarre that one of your major political parties considers it more important to steal an election than to ensure fair elections are held. It's an anti-democracy party, yet so few people seem to call them on it.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:58 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ain't it, though, fff? Their voter suppression shit is anti-democratic, offensive, gross, and so so obvious. And yet, it continues. The whole thing wigs me out every time.
posted by rtha at 5:23 PM on October 27, 2008


I thinks it's bizarre that one of your major political parties considers it more important to steal an election than to ensure fair elections are held.

It's not really about stealing the election; it's more the ongoing war between the Dems wanting everyone living or dead to vote and the GOP wanting to suppress turnout among the living and the dead to boost upper middle class white male participation. Or, honestly, it's just the last vestiges of Jim Crow in Georgia.

Purging 50K off the rolls won't do much to help McCain's chances in Georgia; that's barely a percentage point above the 4.1M they had registered at the start of 2008 (probably less than 1% now with the flood of new registrants). If the GOP needs to cage 1% of the vote just to save McCain in GA, well, they're in a hell of a lot of trouble nationally. 50K off would help with local races, though. I'm guessing that's the point here -- to maintain the GOP dominance at the local level.

I think early voting is helping defeat the caging, though. If Ray can't vote because the system's "fouled up," he bitches and the SecState's office fixes the problem, and they fix it before election day. And better still, the Dems are lawyered up to help people overcome this scenario.

It's amazing how well early voting has been working so far. Honestly, though, I wish we could either move to a vote-by-mail system or just have a national voting week with 7 days of round-the-clock voting.
posted by dw at 5:32 PM on October 27, 2008


White House Asks for Scrutiny: 200,000 Voter Registrations in Ohio Conflict With Other Records

It seems John Boehner requested that the Justice Department look into voter fraud in Ohio after Ohio's Secretary of State wasn't cooperating. When Justice didn't act on the request, Boehner took it to President Bush, who has now asked the Attorney General to look into it.
posted by Tehanu at 9:17 PM on October 27, 2008


"Voting rights advocates, however, immediately raised concerns. "This is taking the politicization of this to a new level, and the last thing we need is for the elections officials and voters of Ohio to be put in a chaotic situation in the last days before the election," said Jon Greenbaum of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law."

I had to go in through Goog News to get the text. This is ridiculous.
posted by cashman at 9:51 PM on October 27, 2008


Although I hope like heck that it doesn't come down to such dire circumstances, I hope everyone is prepared to participate in civil unrest/civil action if this election is stolen again. The polls make it damn clear that the vote should go overwhelmingly to Obama. If he loses, it is because the election was stolen from you.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:39 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ohio Dems Push Back On White House Call For DOJ Action On Voting
posted by homunculus at 10:42 PM on October 27, 2008


I really don't want to be reading "None Dare Call it Stolen 2: Ohio's Revenge" in Harpers this december. I'm guessing not many people do.
posted by chunking express at 5:04 AM on October 28, 2008


NAACP sues Virginia governor over election readiness.
posted by Tehanu at 7:39 AM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


From Tehanu's article:

"In some precincts, officials ran out of ballots during the primary, leaving voters in tears and forced to mark their preferences on sheets of paper. The makeshift ballots were later rejected."

That is in freaking sane.
posted by cashman at 8:49 AM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dallas Morning News (AP story): Update on voting rights cases
Washington Post: A voting rights disaster?
Washington Post on NAACP lawsuit
In Georgia, flagged voters can cast ballots
Boston Globe: Missouri ripe for voting snags
AlterNet: Florida Early Voter Reports: Dems Have Edge Despite Some Voting Barriers
NYT editorial on voting in NYC
posted by Tehanu at 9:22 AM on October 28, 2008


Related, flyer tells Virginia Democrats to vote on Nov 5th due to the high volume of voting expected.
posted by Tehanu at 9:27 AM on October 28, 2008


Yeah, America really needs help running its elections. I sincerely think the federal government should have some Indian firms come in and show them how to do things. I can't believe people need to line up for hours to vote -- and even then their vote might not count. The UN really should be sending in people to document all the funny business that takes place.

I wonder if all this early voting stuff helps. Or do they just throw all those votes in the garbage.
posted by chunking express at 9:43 AM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


NPR: In South Dakota, Native Americans face voting roadblocks.
posted by Tehanu at 10:18 AM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, America really needs help running its elections. I sincerely think the federal government should have some Indian firms come in and show them how to do things. I can't believe people need to line up for hours to vote -- and even then their vote might not count.


Really? Here's a state election in India this year. I don't see them doing that much better than the US in terms of queuing issues. And election days in India are holidays!

Not that I don't agree with you on the US needing a better election system. The Canadians, for as much as I mock them, have done an excellent job with recent elections run by Elections Canada, an independent agency. We would be better served by a national non-partisan agency who runs, supervises, and audits elections.

But all things considered, we're really not doing so bad here. Voter fraud is minimal. Caging is isolated. Voter roll purges are being done relatively transparently. Last election European observers had concerns, but didn't spot any issues that violated international standards. Things could be a lot better (e.g. standardizing absentee balloting, allowing for registration at the polls with ID and proof of residence, opening more polling places and reducing the size of precincts), but we're still a long way from Russia, much less Zimbabwe.
posted by dw at 10:56 AM on October 28, 2008


Indiana GOP Sec of State Helped Stop Florida Recount
posted by homunculus at 2:29 PM on October 28, 2008


http://www.866ourvote.org/ is the most organized effort to ensure access to voting that I've found. They seem to be gearing up for next week in a big way, too.

I'm willing to post that (if it's not a double) and some of the suppression stories once I've gotten a chance to frame things well. Right now I've just got a bunch of links. It needs more context to be a good FPP.
posted by Tehanu at 3:27 PM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Shepard Smith vs. Joe the Plumber
posted by inconsequentialist at 3:30 PM on October 28, 2008


Also: datadatadata.
posted by Tehanu at 3:46 PM on October 28, 2008


"In some precincts, officials ran out of ballots during the primary, leaving voters in tears and forced to mark their preferences on sheets of paper. The makeshift ballots were later rejected."

WTFF? That should be an impeachable offense. How the hell can they deny citizens the right to have their vote counted? It's insane, it should be criminal, it should be cause for a citizen's uprising.

It is evident that there are states in the USA that do not participate in democracy.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:39 PM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Shepard Smith vs. Joe the Plumber

That actually was fair and balanced.
posted by minifigs at 1:47 AM on October 29, 2008


Hey, guys, cheer up. Look at this.

HAhahahahahahahaha!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:01 AM on October 29, 2008


WVA Vote Flipping Caught on Tape. Forgetting the wonky interface for a moment, how fucked up do you think the security of that system is going to be.

And yeah dw, I have no idea why America doesn't copy Canada's election system.
posted by chunking express at 6:54 AM on October 29, 2008


Hey, guys, cheer up. Look at this.

HAhahahahahahahaha!


Yeah, the RNC has borrowed $5 million dollars. But I think the DNC just borrowed a lot more.
posted by Tehanu at 7:18 AM on October 29, 2008


Ah here's the article. DNC opens $10 million line of credit. No idea how much they'll actually use though.
posted by Tehanu at 9:14 AM on October 29, 2008


So, basically -- $5M for the RNC to staunch the bleeding, $10M for the DNC to keep the momentum going.

Works for me!
posted by contessa at 10:02 AM on October 29, 2008


It's not that simple. In terms of the campaigns, Obama has more money than McCain. In terms of the parties, the RNC went into this election with more money and is still ahead.
posted by Tehanu at 10:12 AM on October 29, 2008


Ah here's the article. DNC opens $10 million line of credit.

Well I walked into that one I suppose. I ought to learn to curb my schadenfreude.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:12 AM on October 29, 2008


And yeah dw, I have no idea why America doesn't copy Canada's election system.

Because some of us can't hold our liquor that well. Drinking and voting is not a good combo. how else do you explain Harper?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:16 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Silence From DOJ On Voter Intimidation Claims
posted by homunculus at 8:02 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Joe the No Show
posted by inconsequentialist at 11:19 AM on October 30, 2008


GOP Voter Suppression: More Miss than Hit
posted by homunculus at 3:48 PM on October 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


What's At Stake: The Rule Of Law
posted by homunculus at 3:13 PM on October 31, 2008


What's At Stake: The Rule Of Law

These guys remind me of kids on the playground, making up rules for baseball by general consensus without any knowledge of the real rules.
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:57 PM on October 31, 2008


Not a big surprise, but still nice: Ron Reagan makes it official.
posted by scody at 8:11 PM on October 31, 2008


I'm not Obama, but I played him on TV - an interview with Jimmy Smits.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:27 AM on November 2, 2008


I wouldn't read too much into the lines of credit. Lines of credit are not quite the same as loans. They're meant to provide ready cash to cover bills in the case that there is a squeeze in your cash flow. The business I work for uses a line of credit - we book most of our income in December and in June. When bills are due in May, we often have little cash on hand because our income is sitting in the form of unpaid debt and uncashed checks. So we use the line of credit to pay the bills, then repay the line of credit when the cash is in hand again. A line of credit helps you ease the ebb and flow of payment cycles - you can imagine how useful this is when your organization's finances depend on booking payments from checks and online, thousands of them a day, drawn on hundreds of different banks and credit organizations.

Also, both the $5 and $10 million figures seem paltry in comparison to the operating budgets of the campaigns. I heard yesterday that Obama's campaign had been averaging $5 million a day since September. The lines of credit are just pocket change, meant to keep debt from mounting and late charges from coming due.
posted by Miko at 5:58 AM on November 2, 2008


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