Saturday, September 06, 2008

"They must think you're stupid!"

Not that the media covered these speeches (Zzzzzzzz), but Barack Obama and Joe Biden both fired back today at McCain/Palin for spending their entire convention ignoring all the actual issues that should be deciding this election. Give this to the GOP... they may not know how to govern, but they know how to control the news cycle like nobody's business.

Said Sen. Obama, "Maybe what they're saying is, watch out George Bush! Except for economic policies and tax policies and energy policies and healthcare policies and education policies and Karl Rove-style politics, except for all that, we're really gonna bring change to Washington!" Zing!

[PS- For my take on Obama's appearance on The O'Reilly Factor, go here.]

Thursday, September 04, 2008

John McCain, one minute ago...

...Promised to "get this country back on the road back to prosperity and peace."

And, ummm, how'd we get off that road, John? Hello? Hello??


[PS- The fact that the GOP is running on a bastardized change/reform message? Proof that this election, for better or worse, is all about Barack Obama. It's a referendum on him, and that's why this convention has been-- for the most part-- a substance-free personality battle aimed at elevating McCain and Palin, and turning Obama into a punchline. John McCain? He is almost an afterthought in the election, the default for partisan Republicans and those just scared of the thought of a you-know-what in the White House.

It's nice that the Obama camp is trying to stay above the fray and on message, but to quote Marge Simpson, "You don't win friends with salad." Time to get back on offense, starting tomorrow morning. Simply reminding Americans about what the GOP has clearly forgotten this week as they give the same cut-and-paste speeches that could've been heard at the 2000/2004 conventions-- that they have not only been running things for the last 8 years, but also have largely had their way fully on policy matters (like taxes, spending and budget matters, energy/oil, jobs, war, court appointments, etc)-- is a good place to start. Sens. Obama and Biden, game on.

PPS- omg, issues, lolz!]

[UPDATE: At 11pm, McCain implores Americans to "serve a cause greater than yourself." Just don't become a community organizer or a Senator, though. I hear they fucking suck. And no flag pin, sir? For shame. Mercifully... it ends. Nothing between now and the election but a few debates and countless weeks of inane media chatter. Pray we survive the latter.]

Sen. Obama responds... a press conference today. A good start, but we need this to get ramped up.

Of course, the liberal media is too busy today verbally ejaculating over the awesomeness that is Sarah Palin's ability to read words off a teleprompter that she didn't actually write herself to have gotten the other side's reaction. But if you're curious what the Obama camp thought of last night's show, there you go. He'll be on The O'Reilly Factor tonight too.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Shorter Republican convention...

John McCain is a war hero who was tortured enhanced interrogation techniqued for your freedoms. Only he and Sarah Palin-- whom we all are really happy about, seriously!-- can protect our country (first) from the menace of that weird foreigner the other guys are running.

These damn Republicans liberals who've been in charge the last 8 years have run this country into the ground with their tired conservative socialist policies and their allies in the corporate liberal media! It's time for the change that only finally electing some Republicans to high office can provide! Go America!

*insert immature giggling and red-meaty applause lines here*

["This election is not about issues. This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates," - Rick Davis, McCain Campaign Manager.]

In honor of the Republican convention...

Hey everyone, it's Barack Obama!

Apparently, there's this guy named Barack Obama who is the Democratic candidate running for President! WOW!!! Here is discussing some overhyped tabloid shit about a teenage pregnancy workers issues and Hurricane Gustav at the Milwaukee Rally for America's Workers yesterday.

It seems there is a lot going on in the world right now! Wow! Who knew!

Random Thoughts

I've obviously missed a lot of news, so here's some quick thoughts...

I was overall very satisfied with the Democratic convention. Obama's speech (video) was better than expected, because he made sure to bring up all the attacks against them, and slammed back. The Democrats are definitely getting better at playing defense, but it's the mastery of offense that keeps Republicans winning, and Democrats need to keep that in mind always. Throw the first punch every once in a while. George Bush didn't defeat John Kerry by besting him in policy debates. That doesn't mean playing dirty like the GOP does (*cough*), but it does mean not apologizing every time you state the obvious about the GOP/McCain's record.

My only real complaint about the DNC was the lack of specifics in their case against the GOP. Just reminding everyone how shitty the last 8 years of Republican rule have been isn't going to be enough, I fear. Read off the bullet points! The war(s), the housing crisis, an outsourced and depressed economy, health care, the energy crisis, our ravaged national infrastructure, a corrupt government more interested in ideology than governing, etc... these should be mentioned as often as possible.

Some good speeches along those lines? John Kerry (who, in the proud Democratic tradition like Al Gore, didn't actually become a decent candidate until after he lost the election) and Montana's governor Brian Schweitzer (who made all the right points on energy). You may have missed these two speeches because the cable networks thought you'd be interested in watching Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann yell at each other than seeing the actual convention they were supposedly covering.

Onto the Republicans!

A lot of people were speculating a week ago that Hurricane Gustav would be bad news for the Republicans and their convention because it would be a reminder of Katrina and how the government was asleep at the wheel while one of its biggest cities drowned (pull yourselves up by the bootstraps, dying poor people!). Instead, it is turning out to be a bit of a blessing-- well, not to those who live in its path, obviously-- because it is giving them an excuse to scale back a convention they clearly barely wanted to have anyway. Do you really think the Republicans wanted to follow the spectacular Democratic convention with a week of speeches by such brilliant political minds like Cindy McCain, Joe Lieberman, Mitt Romney, and Rudy Guiliani's 9/11 keynote? And you better believe that, hurricane or no hurricane, that would've found a reason to keep President Bush and VP Cheney from speaking/reminding Americans that John McCain belongs to the same party as these two monsters. And so now, they get to keep it very low-key while John McCain gets to play President by giving speeches about national crises. Well played.

And the elephant in the room-- pardon the pun-- is Sarah Palin, the woman who would be Vice President. What can I say about this decision that hasn't been said already? It is transparently political along several lines... 1) a 100% non-subtle grab for woman voters/disgruntled Hillary supporters, 2) a way of marketing a 'change' candidacy of their own, and 3) a means of appeasing the Christian right, who tend to throw temper tantrums if the Republicans attempt to run candidates who don't meet the proper standards of insanity. This is a decision based on electoral politics, not the actual governing of the country, which is of course the Republican party in a nutshell. It just may be stupid enough to work too.

Joe Biden, on the other hand, has more value after the election to Obama than he does before it.

Obama Gets The Message?

Hopefully this continues through the Fall, but this and this are more like it.

The convention next week should also be helpful in this regard, but I fear any bounce the party gets from said convention will be diluted by the fact that the GOP one follows right behind it the next week. After that, voters will be so inundated with talking points from politicos and pundits about Scary Barack The Tax-and-Spend Elitist Foreigner (unlike War Hero Maverick John McCain!), they'll forget whatever happened at the Dem convention... Al Gore mentioned something about carbon emissions, right? Granted, the GOP event can't be any worse than 2004's NYC-based 9/11 Orgy, but watching them blame Democrats and liberals for the mess created under the conservative governance of these last two terms will be painful to watch (and in the case of Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, they won't even wait until their convention before they start foaming at the mouth). I'll be glad when both are over.

Now the Fall debates... my friends, that is something I am very, very much looking forward to.

Obama... Getcha Head in the Game!

Kellen posted some links about the election on his LJ and asked for my opinion on them (the links were this and that). He wrote: "Obama needs to create a more firm stance on issues and state point blank why McCain is horrendous and why he is not. The American public needs to hear things as plain as you can make them and there are lots of facts about McCain that we just aren't getting from the general broadcast media."

I replied thusly....

I think that first link is a good website, but I wish it was less focused on background crap (ancestry, bio facts) and more on explaining the vast differences between the two on the key issues... the economy, health-care, the war, etc. Focusing too much on Obama's ancestry plays up this meme the GOP is pushing that Obama is foreign and different and weird and unamerican. I think that's bullshit (Obama's unique background is a plus to me), but the average voter really gets worked up over that bullshit.

Take a lot at McCain's anti-Obama ads-- not just the Paris Hilton one-- and you will see they focus very little on actual issues and are more geared toward personality stuff... making voters see Obama as foreign or as an elite snob (the latter being the tactic the GOP used to destroy Gore and Kerry). Obama, on the other hand, is focusing his ads on McCain's support of Bush and conservative policies. It's no surprise-- given voters' love of BS non-issues-- that Obama's lead in polls is shrinking.

And that is why I completely agree with the second link... Obama needs to get his head back in the fucking game. He totally kicked Hillary's ass because he stayed focus and ran a solid campaign with a clear message. And Hillary was a much tougher opponent than McCain (in my opinion), so Obama should be winning by a landslide here. He's not because he's gotten lazy and sloppy.

He's let his message get diluted because he's spending too much time on defense and trying to appeal to 'centrist' BS issues that voters don't care about anyway (for instance, Obama should never have even given the GOP an inch on the offshore drilling/oil issue, but he's already given them a foot).

The time for playing nice with McCain is over. McCain and the GOP are playing dirty... and it's time to stop allowing them any accommodation or respect. The message should be clear... the GOP and Bush and McCain were running the country for the last 8 years. They are now pretending like they weren't, but they were. Things are real shitty now. End of story.

Ronald Reagan won by a landslide by asking voters a simple question: "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?". BAM. There's Obama's message. And every speech and press conference he gives should be geared toward a) reinforcing that, and b) reminding people that McCain and the GOP are responsible for this mess. Every time some book comes out insisting Obama is a marxist Muslim moonbat or every time the GOP says Obama wants to raise taxes and make gas expensive because he hates America, Obama needs to hold a press conference at some closed-up factory somewhere in middle America, and say "The GOP did this. End of story."

PS- As for foreign policy, Obama should be reinforcing how weak and pathetic the Bush/McCain policies have made us. Iraq is still a mess and even the GOP isn't pretending we can/should stay there forever (basically they've tiptoed back to closer to where Democrats have been). The GOP has also now adopted the longtime Democratic policy on fixing Afghanistan. Etc. All while insisting that listening to Democrats/liberals on foreign policy will result in armageddon.

And now we see Russia casually invading Georgia (though the latter isn't 100% innocent here either) because they knew President Bush was off slapping girls' asses in China and is generally an impotent buffoon with an incoherent worldview (ie. McCain-- Mr. Bomb-Bomb-Bomb-Iran himself-- stating with no sense of irony that ""In the twenty-first century, nations don't invade other nations"). The world sees us weaker than they have in a very long time, and it's not just because our currency is in the toilet. Obama needs to nail this home too.

If he thinks he can coast until November, well he should ask President Kerry how well that works.