|I DON'T GET IT
17 October 2008
I am no "talking head," and I don't have all the facts and figures at my disposal, but I do have some very strong impressions about the debate last night.
McCain has said more than once, when confronted with the level of negativity in his campaign, that if Obama had accepted his invitation to do town hall meetings, things would have been very different.
Doesn't this sound like blaming the victim? I mean...just because Obama chose not to do town hall meetings that means that McCain has to use ugly smear tactics? Telling lies and half truths? Question Obama's patriotism? Fire his supporters into shouting things like "kill him"??
Does this make any sense to anybody but McCain?
In last night's debate, McCain declared that he "always" confronted people who shouted ugly things at his rallies. Anybody remember seeing more than one time when he confronted the audience about their comments? (Other than contradicting that woman who said that Obama was an Arab). He was roundly booed when he suggested people should treat Obama with more respect. You think he's going to do that at every rally? And if he "always" did that, don't you think that it would make the news?
Has anybody once seen Sarah Palin react when someone yells "TERRORIST!" or "KILL HIM" at her rallies?
Then McCain turns around and gets "hurt" because John Lewis (D-GA) compares the atmosphere around McCain's rallies to George Wallace and the atmosphere of the 60s. McCain accused Obama of refusing to criticize Lewis' statements, when, in fact, an Obama spokesperson issued this statement:
Sen. Obama does not believe that John McCain or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace. . . But John Lewis was right to condemn some of the hateful rhetoric that John McCain himself personally rebuked just last night, as well as the baseless and profoundly irresponsible charges from his own running mate that the Democratic nominee . . . pals around with terrorists.
I guess McCain never read that, when he seemed to accuse Obama of approving Lewis' statements. I dunno...if an emotional crowd was yelling "KILL HIM!" about me, I'd be a bit nervous myself. Wouldn't you?
I thought last night was perhaps McCain's "best" debate, but I think he lost every pro-choice woman in the country when he snorted and sneered about the necessity of including "health of the mother" in exception for late term abortions. (He also consistently called it "Pro-Abortion" rather than "Pro-Choice.") How could "health of the mother" possibly be a factor, seemed to be his attitude, suggesting that women and their doctors would lie about "health".
I've often thought how very weird that is. A woman is going to endure weeks of morning sickness, months of pregnancy with all of the problems that accompany it and then suddenly when the end is in sight, decide that now is the time for an abortion. I suppose there are very rare occasions where that might happen, but I just find it difficult to think that this might be a reason to deny all women the chance of life-saving surgery, I suspect any woman who has been pregnant would agree with me.
And my god will he let the Bill Ayers business go? No matter how much Obama explains his non-relationship with Ayers, McCain is bound and determined to link him to terrorism because he served on a board with Ayers, whose terrorist activities occurred when Obama was 8 years old.
I also was amused to hear McCain talk about how proud he was of the "First Dude," Sarah Palin's husband, the secessionist, the guy who wanted Alaska to secede from the Union and joined the Alaska Secessionist Movement, whose leader has been quoted as saying, "The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government. ... And I won't be buried under their damn flag."
I dunno...but it sounds to me like the First Dude has been pallin' around with terrorists.
I have to admit that the thing I like and admire about Obama is that there were so many ways he could hit at the McCain campaign on personal things, like Palin's personal life, like the fact that McCain is no longer talking about that bill Obama voted for to study the DNA of bears (he had that cute little joke "I don't know if this was for crime purposes or a paternity suit") when it turned out that McCain had voted in favor of the same bill. Instead McCain now talks about earmarks for a projector for a planetarium in Ohio. Obama could have made something about the bears .
But he doesn't. He keeps his cool. He explains the truth about the half-truths that the McCain campaign shoots with and he keeps the discussion on the issues. Even his negative ads aren't personal attacks on McCain, but are comparisons between his position and McCain's, as opposed to McCain's, which personally attack Obama on his patriotism and hint at nefarious behavior. Even today a McCame spokesperson was saying that if Obama was "tight with terrorists" the public had a right to know.
We are a country that makes a lot of decisions on externals -- how a candidate looks, how s/he sounds, in addition to the message presented.
Obama looks and sounds presidential; McCain looks like an angry bull dog (or perhaps a pit bull?) who is sputtering around from one attack to another.
I've said it before, but I'm supporting Obama because he is the first candidate since Kennedy who makes me feel hopeful for this country. I could well be very, very wrong in my thinking that he has the better chance of actually bringing change. I hope not.
But I"m never going to vote for someone who spends 100% of his advertising dollars (according to a bipartisn study dont recently) on negative attack ads, many of which are personal attack ads, not "message" attack ads (check this analysis.)
Sorry, John. I can never support you. (However you were very funny at the Alfred Smith dinner tonight!)
Obama with Joe the Plumber
MILES TO NOWHERE: 80 miles