Carol and I have never talked to Lydia about the Presidential campaign. Yet, because she’s been exposed to it from TV or her friends or whatnot, she knows that John McCain and Barack Obama are running for President. (She thinks that Hillary Clinton is still running, and I haven’t been able to dissuade her of that fact; I KNEW the primary season ran too long.)
Not only does she know this, but she can identify the three of them by sight, although she does sometimes confuse McCain with other gentlemen near his vintage, including Joe Biden.
She doesn’t know Sarah Palin, but I’ve heard her say to her stuffed animals/sisters, “I’m going to be governor of Alaska.” I have no idea what THAT’S about.
But there is one big disappointment: she supports McCain. I don’t know if it’s his avuncular look or what, but she’s glommed onto the GOP candidate. Just one more reason not to lower the age of voting to four years old. I realize that we haven’t really talked to her about race. It was important for us to go to a mixed race church and for her to attend a mixed race day care, but we never talked about it overtly. I realized this when she referred to a woman in our church as a lady with “brown hair and brown skin.” (Which is why I’ve always had a difficult time believing that people don’t see race; it may not be important to them, but if a four-and-a-half year old picks up on it, as a matter of fact, then I suspect a universality to it.) ROG
As you probably know, Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama for President. In his conversation with Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press, he noted that if he had just wanted to endorse the black candidate he could have endorsed Obama months ago. Powell’s a Republican and would have endorsed McCain but for his unfocused and nasty campaign and his choice of Sarah Palin. Naturally, commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan suggested that Powell endorsed Obama because they’re both black; my favorite resdponse to that.
1. Do political endorsements matter to you? If so, from whom? It’s much more likely to matter to me in a local race where I don’t have enough of the facts. 2. Do you think political endorsements matter to the population at large? I was struck by the number of newspapers that endorsed Bush in 2004 who are endorsing Obama in 2008. 3. Can this election be stolen? Probably. But I’m much less worried by ACORN than I am by polling stations with long lines (as has already happened in early voting in Florida) and/or with machines that don’t act as they should. This recent New Yorker column speaks to my concern: “The idea that Democrats try to win elections by arranging for hordes of nonexistent people with improbable names to vote for them has long been a favorite theme of Rove-era Republicans. Now it’s become a desperate obsession.” More cynical people than I believe that bringing up the Bradley effect is a screen for hiding voting machine manipulation and disenfranchisement strategies. Tell people to call their COUNTY board of election and make sure they’re registered and verify the voting location. (My voting location has changed, but it’s not reflected on the STATE Board of Elections site.) 4. Would you like to know more about the health of the four candidates for President and Vice-President on the major party ticket? This article suggests we don’t know enough about ANY of them, especially McCain and Biden, but also the status of Obama’s cessation of smoking. The mysterious circumstances around the birth of Sarah Palin’s last child is pretty much the ONLY info the press has on her health. [Stolen from the Frog. *** STILL undecided? *** Oooh, the photo above? That’s a shot of a lovely 8 by 10 color glossy that a relative of mine, a Republican but not a McPalin supporter, received from the RNC and gave to me, knowing just how much I would appreciate it. And I do, I really do. I obliterated the name so you can photoshop in the name of your favorite liberal and make him or her nuts.
I was commenting on Anthony’s thoughtful, as usual, essay, Are Americans Suspicious of Intellectuals?. My answer was a resounding “Yes.” The conversation went back and forth, somewhat heated at times, and I chimed in: “Ultimately, my primary reason NOT to vote for Palin/McCain can be summed up by the frenzy of hate they and their supporters have stirred up. My favorite example. Seems somehow antithetical to what the country needs right now.”
Someone named Kevin Benson responded: “Roger – Wow! Do you really feel that there is less hate on the left than on the right? If so, you have been doing some very selective listening. Unfortunately, ignorance, hatred, and prejudice are too prevalent across the political spectrum. If you are going to vote based on the ‘frenzy of hate’, you really should not vote for anyone.”
Anthony jumps in, and says, in part: “Kevin – I agree with you that there is equal disinformation and hateful rhetoric on both sides of the political divide, but I have seen more appeals to ‘not one of us’ rhetoric coming from the McCain/Palin camp during this election season. What I mean is that Palin particularly, and some of those at the McCain/Palin rallies have directly and indirectly presented Obama as ‘not a genuine American,’ a man who has other than American interests at heart. And, maybe it is just me, but among all the negative campaigning on both sides, this particularly gets to me.”
I respond: “Kevin – What Anthony said. Sure there have been attacks on McCain as old, out of touch, plus some legitimate health concerns. Even HE jokes about his ill temper. Palin is portrayed as not very with it, though not until her conversations with Gibson and Couric suggested that. Biden is a loose cannon who doesn’t always know when to shut up, he might acknowledge. “But Obama’s been called a traitor, doesn’t love his country, an Arab (not that there’s anything wrong with that except it was used to evoke post 9/11 feelings and it’s not true), a Muslim (ditto), etc. I mean, what does “Who is Barack Obama REALLY?” supposed to suggest? Not Repudiated: Hate Talk Express-McCain/Palin Hate Every Day!“.
Apropos of that, the picture Colin Powell alluded to on Meet the Press during his endorsement of Barack Obama :
Painfully, some of the smearing works. A Democratic committeeperson in Albany County asked me just yesterday, “But what about Obama being sworn in on a Koran?” I could have screamed, but gently, rationally noted that the information was NOT true and that she ought to go to Snopes.
Oh, I hear LOTS of frenzied stuff on both sides, to frankly a tiresome degree. But some independent entity determined that while virtually all of McCain’s ads during a recent period were attack ads, only 1/3 of Obama’s were. And I dare say, most of those were responses to the McCain ads, such as one noting that the McCain ads were “not true”, lest he be swiftboated.
No, Kevin, I totally disagree that the “frenzy of hate” is caused equally by both sides. The “otherness” attack which may be code for race-baiting, and race is still the subtext, is hardly the equivalent to suggestions that Palin could be an extra in the movie “Fargo”. And heck, the abandonment by folks from the political right of the spectrum is certainly fueled at least in part by the realization that the McCain-Palin rhetoric is fundamentally flawed.
And while I’m noting things from other blogs, Nik wrote: “Obama has proven to be pretty masterful at projecting a cool, collected vibe, even if it sometimes is a bit stiff. But McCain has been all over the bloody show at all three debates, by turns hyperactive, frazzled, arrogant and insecure.” To which I wrote: “I’m convinced the “stiff”-ness you perceive (probably correctly) in Obama is his self-training in not being the ‘angry black man’.”
Amazingly, it was only then that the obvious parallel came to mind: Jackie Robinson. Jackie was a proud (and occasionally angry) black black man, who Branch Rickey told to suck it up, take the insults, and break baseball’s color line. I think that Barack may have learned to be preternaturally calm because he’s had to learn to straddle the color line virtually all his life.
The person sent me the picture above wrote, “What must it feel like? To carry the hopes and dreams of an entire race of people on your shoulders?” And I suppose that’s become true. Though less than a year ago, it was Hillary, not Barack , who was the choice of most black Americans. And most blacks would probably have voted for whatever candidate the Democrats put up, though I think Obama’s candidacy will spur a greater turnout.
Finally, Arthur and Jason had their post-debate podcast, and there was a discussion about polling. It’s my contention that polling will be “off” significantly, not just because the pollsters miss all of those mostly younger voters without landline phones, but also because many states allow for early voting without cause. (In New York, I would have to be out of town or in the hospital. Oooh, I’m not feeling so well. May I vote now? PLEASE?) *** How Muslims become racialized *** Ballotpedia wiki provides information concerning ballot initiatives in each state. *** Ted Nugent (yes, that Ted Nugent) on McCain-Palin “closing the deal”.
Apparently, Wayne John couldn’t come up with an actual post. I’m so cool with that that I stole the idea.
1. At dinner last week, my wife and I actually had as conversation about The Three Bears. To wit, if all of them went for a walk because the porridge was too hot, then why was the porridge in Mama Bear’s medium-sized bowl too cold, but Baby Bear’s small bowl “just right”? Was it that Mama Bear was on a diet and took only a small portion? Or was the construction of their individual bowls so different that they had such radically different cooling times?
2. Does anyone know which DVD of the Simpsons includes The Raven? My wife needs it for educational purposes. Really.
3. I’m obsessed with branches that have broken off from trees but that have not yet landed on the ground. I worry that a stiff wind will tumble those branches onto someone. Last week, I dislodged one by flinging my backpack over my head.
4. I think if Obama wins, it’ll be because people got their third quarter 401(k) reports and blanched. Mine went down 12% so far this year, with half of that just in the last quarter. So did my wife’s. And my daughter also has a little account that tanked.
5, Conversely, McCain may have lost when he had to explain to some audience member that Obama was not an Arab. BTW, are there ANY Arab-Americans out there supporting McCain? Or any American Muslims, for that matter? If so, they remind me of Log Cabin Republicans.
6. I got out of painting the front porch last week by taking three children to the playground for an hour and a half. I’m not sure I got the best end of the deal.
7. The are people who have signed up for my Twitter feeds and I have no idea how they got there. I don’t tweet enough; I do so hope I don’t disappoint.
8. Every time my daughter’s sick, I’m the one who takes the first day off from work. This means that I only have about 139 sick days left.
9. My wife has an unusual item on her Christmas list: to hire someone to evaluate our home for a possible design redo.
10. I wish more sites I read had RSS feeds.
11. I’ve had a book called Play Bridge in Four Hours for years. It’s on my reading list. For 2016. *** WONDER WOMAN DAY 2008 Every year, writer-editor Andy Mangels stages the Wonder Woman Day event to support women’s charities. Wonder Woman Day includes an auction of donated drawings from a wide assortment of artists. Every year, Wonder Woman Day gets bigger and raises more money, and from the looks of it, the 2008 event will be no exception. This year’s festivities will be held on October 26. If you’d like to see the selection of artwork that’s going up for sale and learn more about Wonder Woman Day, please go here.
I’m loath to bring this up, but others have done so before: should he win the election, I’m very worried about an assassination attempt on Barack Obama.
What prompted, or more correctly, re-prompted this thinking, was a piece Evanier linked to by “Frank Schaeffer, a longtime supporter of John McCain and vice-versa, [who] thinks McCain-Palin rallies are starting to resemble lynch mobs.” Schaeffer writes: John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as “not one of us,” I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence.
At a Sarah Palin rally, someone called out, “Kill him!” At one of your rallies, someone called out, “Terrorist!” Neither was answered or denounced by you or your running mate, as the crowd laughed and cheered….
John McCain, you are no fool, and you understand the depths of hatred that surround the issue of race in this country. You also know that, post-9/11, to call someone a friend of a terrorist is a very serious matter…
John McCain and Sarah Palin, you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us…
…stop stirring up the lunatic fringe of haters, or risk suffering the judgment of history and the loathing of the American people – forever.
Now to be fair, I also worried about Ted Kennedy in 1980, but that was based more on actuarial tables (all three of his brothers dying violent deaths – Joe in WWII; the 20-year Presidential curse that ran from 1840 to 1960) than any perceived threat.
I don’t think we live in a post-racial America yet – whatever that means – and Obama’s recent rise in the polls makes me both hopeful and fearful.