Mostly because, they certainly don't think about me.
But this VP selection by McCain does have me flummoxed.
I was certain that Rob Portman would be his choice: Portman is known as a budget hawk - so he plays into the "I am going to trim the federal budget meme; Portman is from Ohio - and that is a state McCain wants to attempt to win; and Portman may have had a role in the Bush Administration - but who holds the OMB Director accountable for the mistakes like Katrina?
When I heard the initial reports, I assumed it was some false fire being sent out to misdirect the media and keep everything secret until the announcement. Instead, the story I thought to be too crazy turned out to be true.
Never to old to learn a new trick, I guess.
Mostly because, they certainly don't think about me.
If you disrespect everybody that you run into - how in the world do you think anybody gonna respect you?
In this piece from Friday (still returning to normal; long trip back from the DNC in Denver), respected (?) journalist provides his analysis on the convention speeches - with his greatest focus on Obama's acceptance speech and the themes it contained. How does his analysis conclude? Well, like so many in the press, he has some advice for our young hero, so that the good ship Change - as navigated by Obama - does not run aground on the rocky shores of reality. The reality in this case being, attempts to portray this son of a single mom, raised by his grandparents will have a hard time convincing people he is not an elitist - given how thin he is and how "difficult it is to imagine Obama - so disciplined and imperially slim - wolfing down a Big Mac".
This qualifies as political analysis nowadays? One perhaps should not be surprised by this piece from this author and from this journal; after all - it was the National Journal who trumpeted to the world the very liberal status of this Senator from Illinois. Somewhat obviating the fact that his voting record - on which this claim was based - was necessarily impacted by his travel schedule for the 18 months of this presidential campaign. Regardless, let me keep my focus on that "difficult to imagine" line from this "analysis"; apparently - if you are black - you can be too rich and too thin. Sure, Obama is not as rich as John McCain - for all of her charms, Michelle Robinson Obama has never been described as an heiress - but his books have made him wealthy (damn those people who have the temerity to be good writers! John McCain knows that Senators are supposed to have their books ghost-written for them). And his tendency towards frequent exercise and healthy living has led him away from a fast food diet - two tendencies that are most certainly not shared by our increasingly overweight and diabetic society. So of course, it is entirely appropriate for an analysis of four days of convention speeches to zero in on the major problem Obama has: "imperially slimness" and an inability to credibly "[wolf] down a Big Mac".
And this man hopes to be taken seriously as a respected journalist.
Now, I know not what is in Ron Brownstein's heart; I only know the man by his actions. And for him to write that Obama cannot seriously be credited with humble beginnings because he is both now successful - usually a good trait in those we seek for our highest office - and disciplined (horror of horrors!) is to enact journalistic malpractice and or malfeasance. One has to wonder what crosses the mind of a man as he commits such words to electronic ink: do they cause his heart to fill with the simple pride of a job well-done? I know that much is made these days of how little esteem the public holds for the press: I say the press must first respect themselves to engender respect from the public.
When you put your name to a piece of analysis that proffers the difficulties a candidate would face in credibly downing a Big Mac, you disrespect yourself and your profession.
This shouldn't bother me; its just a throw-away line mostly ancillary to the larger point the author is attempting to make:
In my Avis Rental car yesterday, I was treated to an XM Radio discussion on POTUS08 with the author of "The Faith of Barack Obama"; there were several misstatements of Black Liberation Theology as well as what Obama's faith means to him and although I do not have as large a podium as an internationally - indeed, intergalactic - broadcast radio program, I do want to address those with you here in this letter.
We have an apathetic electorate.
Why do black Americans fret about our membership numbers in the Republican Party? They do not fret about it. Did you see McCain's presence at the NAACP and NUL conventions as more than just going through the motions?
The Republicans made an explicit choice after Goldwater lost in 1964, that they would be the party of all interests antithetical to black people. There were black Republicans; Democrats coveted our votes and so they pursued Civil RIghts legislation. We left the Republican Party as for more than a century after the Civil War, their promises to look after our interests were met with sullen statements about how they could not get simple laws passed that required our voices to be heard. Now, you might put the start date with FDR and someone else might put it with Truman, but the fact is by 1960, the Democratic Party was no longer the party of Woodrow Wilson - who hosted the KKK in the White House and that noxious movie, Birth of a Nation - and it was the party of JFK.
There is a reason that man's photo still hangs in the houses of our aging grandparents.
In five years, the coalition JFK and LBJ built did for black Americans what Republicans had failed to do for well more than a century.
(NB: Have you heard about that book - Slavery by Another Name?)
So has the Democratic Party fallen short in areas since the 60s?
Has the Democratic Party coasted on the good graces earned by their representatives from the 60s?
Perhaps, the problem was not with the Democratic Party. Perhaps - with the candidacy of Barack Obama - we are beginning to see that it was not just the amorphous noun, "the Democratic Party" that was lying stagnate, but it was the black political consciousness - such as it is.
And now that we are experiencing a revival - you want to discuss going back to our former home? The home from which we were thrown and the home in which Rush Limbaugh now lives?
First rule for observers of the American political scene is to ignore any media analysis that posits a "horse race" meme. Here are several reasons why:
- Journalists interpret their commitment to objectivity as requiring them to balance ever positive statement of a candidate with a negative statement. Reporters, anchors and editors fear applying any value metric - that's subjective! - and so they merely present tables of "this helped candidate X; this hurt candidate X.
- Media outlets need to sell papers and get ratings. Conflict, division, battle - these are the themes that attract attention from viewers and readers. Witness how early polls that showed Obama with a wide lead were immediately discounted as false.
- Focus on an allegedly tight national poll ignores the fact that we do not elect presidents that way; we elect presidents on a state by state basis. And yet even here - where Obama has held a consistent 20 electoral vote lead by the most conservative estimate since the conclusion of the Democratic primary season - the commentary from journalists tend more toward, "why isn't his lead even larger?" This is the classic case of comparing Obama to a "generic" Democrat and saying that he is not doing as well as that "generic" candidate. This ignores the fact that he was not in a contest against a "generic" Democrat, he was in contest with Clinton, Edwards, Biden, Richardson, et al. Then and now he is performing better than any of those candidates.
Is it not the very definition of insanity to do what "experience" has taught you to do and still expect a different result? We know what experience told us to do when it comes to energy supplies: go to war to obtain the energy resources needed. That is what WWII was all about, was it not? Did we not cement our alliance with the House of Saud as a result of that war? So when two oilmen enter the White House and develop an energy plan in secret - can we not assume that the plan was developed from their experience?
Experience is changing our environment, this is a confirmed fact that we can all see every day. We do not know what the new environment will be and we do not know if we can live in that environment; why should we risk finding out? Why would we bet the lives of our children and all of their children in some selfish quest to do what our experience tells us to do?
We have a need; we can call that need "change", but what we need is to do something new. We cannot do what we did before - what our experience has taught us to do - as that way is the path to death. The human - the animal - instinct for survival compels us to veer off the well-trod path of experience.
McCain wants you to think that Obama is risky. Nothing could be more risky than electing a man who is so incapable of learning something new - of doing something different - that he has his staff "bring him interesting information off the internet." Sphere: Related Content
To whom should we - the citizens who have ennobled and enriched the free press and its associated television reporters, anchors and commentators - lodge our complaints of malfeasance against the ABC News organization and their corporate overlords at Disney?
I was reading Glenn Greenwald today on Salon.com and he laid out a fairly prima facie case that tied ABC News and their atrocious reporting on the anthrax case to the thin fibers of a causus belli for war to depose Saddam Hussein. What we know now - in the absence of honest reporting by ABC News - is that government officials deliberately lied to ABC News to get an implication of Saddam Hussein's involvement in that anthrax attack. These repeated insinuations have been cited by as high an authority as President Bush as an exemplar of Saddam's status as an original member of the "axis of evil" and just the sort of evil dictator who could no longer be allowed to operate in a post-9/11 world.
- ABC News has information on several government sources who spread false information about that anthrax attack.
- ABC News has not revealed which government operatives were spreading those lies that implicated Saddam Hussein in that anthrax attack.
- We are approaching our second presidential election since a war against Iraq was launched - resulting in the deaths of more than 100K people, final toll TBD - and a "news" organization with critical information on how and why we are at this point is sitting on it; for what reason?
This is beyond a complaint letter to an ombudsman. This is not something that the Justice Department can even begin to investigate as they are hopeless compromised. There is no independent counsel law and who would trust one appointed by this President. Congressional hearings have been debased from the point of view of the public.
To what institution can we turn to redress this ill?
What follows is my latest attempt to check fools - this time on "John in Carolina". This comment has not made the cut there - yet.
Tarheel Hawkeye: let me be more clear; apparently, I was too diffuse earlier.
Obama has not questioned McCain's status as an American.
McCain has - implicitly - questioned Obama's status as an American ("The American President the American people have been waiting for" - and he did so with a dangling participle)
McCain attacked Obama's status as an American through Obama's African - black - father.
McCain was the first to play the race card in this presidential contest and he did so in the most incorrigible way possible: by insinuating that by the "black blood" Obama carries directly, he cannot be the American President the American people have been awaiting.
This statement was a direct descendant of the thinking that led to the decision in the Dred Scott case of 1854, wherein the Supreme Court of this land stated that no black man had any rights which need be respected by law. The drafters of the Constitution denied citizenship - American-ness - to the African residents of this country; the Supreme Court reinforced that otherness in Dred Scott and nameless other decisions as well. John McCain reincarnated that philosophy with his initial campaign ad of the general election.
I know you have named this blog "John in Carolina", but I hope and pray that it is not beholden to the same old tired rhetoric that claims blacks are not citizens and can never be citizens.
A war was fought over that idea.
Many people died over that question.
Must we repeat that war in the 21st century?
McCain chose to play the race card, because he believes - cynically - that it is his best hope for bypassing the failures of the administration he seeks to succeed.
His act was beneath him.
Defense of that act is beneath you and I alike.
PS - I brought up Helms and Gantt simply for the connection to Carolina and it seemed a nice corollary to the point that bringing up race has long been a component of Republican electoral strategy. A quick read through comments that call Obama an "affirmative action candidate" - firms up that tie-in as affirmative action was the culprit in that Helms ad against Gantt then too.
Black people are not now and have never been the enemy of this country. We have fought for the American ideal in every war this nation has ever waged - even before the fruits of freedom were secured for us and our kin. Anyone who attempts to drive a wedge between Americans of "different" racial backgrounds is seeking to build up their own power base and not to build up our nation.