Archive for October 23rd, 2008

Teh Internetz: How it affected election coverage.

Oct 23, 2008 in The Internets

Arianna Huffington notes how the increasing dominance of the internet over our electoral dialogue affects the dirty damned lies of the right:

Back in the Dark Ages of 2004, when YouTube (and HuffPost, for that matter) didn’t exist, a campaign could tell a brazen lie, and the media might call them on it. But if they kept repeating the lie again and again and again, the media would eventually let it go (see the Swiftboating of John Kerry). Traditional media like moving on to the next shiny thing. But bloggers love revisiting a story. So when Palin kept repeating her bridge to nowhere lie, bloggers kept calling her on it. Andrew Sullivan, for one, has made a cottage industry of calling Palin on her lies. And eventually, the truth filtered up and cost McCain credibility with his true base: journalists.

The Internet may make it easier to disseminate character smears, but it also makes it much less likely that these smears will stick.

As a result, the McCain campaign’s insinuation-laden “Who is Barack Obama?” was rendered more comical than spooky. Who is Barack Obama? The guy we’ve been watching over and over and over during the last two years. We’ve seen him. We know him. And we can remind ourselves about him with a quick Google search and a mouse click.

Obama “has shown the same untroubled self-confidence day after day,” and “over the past two years, Obama has clearly worn well with voters.” Those are the words of David Brooks, who has gotten to know Obama just like the rest of us.

Four years ago, McCain’s Rovian race-based appeals to our darker demons might have worked. This year, they are blowing up in McCain’s face. And in the face of the entire GOP.

The truth will out! The Hannity/Limbaugh right desperately hoped they could win “if only people knew about AYERSACORNREZKOWRIGHT!” but people did know, and they deemed it insufficient. Rightwingers loved those things because they thought they could make them work in their favor as Republicans. But Republican victory isn’t really on America’s priority list right now, it’s solving problems and fixing the country. Those things had nothing to do with that. Even worse, they were flimsy charges lacking substance, having little to do with who Barack Obama really was. The right, still in their own bubble, has rightfully earned their defeat. May justice be served on Nov. 4th.

-jb

Obama will do his job.

Oct 23, 2008 in Barack Obama

George W. Bush, being unable to actually think beyond simple maxims and truisms, delegated most of his jobs to other, more qualified people. Were they able to return to him and say, “We’re doing well,” he thought he had “this President thing” figured out.

Barack Obama will signal the return to the White House of an executive willing to actually do the hard work instead of complaining about it, and embrace responsibility instead of devoting his resources to avoiding it. In this conversation with Joe Klein, he describes how he will take the commander-in-chief reins back from the generals, using his conversation with General Petraeus as a model.

Q] Let me ask you about a situation like that. I have been collecting accounts of your meeting with David Petraeus in Baghdad. And you had [inaudible] after he had made a really strong pitch [inaudible] for maximum flexibility. A lot of politicians at that moment would have said [inaudible] but from what I hear, you pushed back.

[BO] I did. I remember the conversation, pretty precisely. He made the case for maximum flexibility and I said you know what if I were in your shoes I would be making the exact same argument because your job right now is to succeed in Iraq on as favorable terms as we can get. My job as a potential commander in chief is to view your counsel and your interests through the prism of our overall national security which includes what is happening in Afghanistan, which includes the costs to our image in the middle east, to the continued occupation, which includes the financial costs of our occupation, which includes what it is doing to our military. So I said look, I described in my mind at list an analogous situation where I am sure he has to deal with situations where the commanding officer in [inaudible] says I need more troops here now because I really think I can make progress doing x y and z. That commanding officer is doing his job in Ramadi, but Petraeus’s job is to step back and see how does it impact Iraq as a whole. My argument was I have got to do the same thing here. And based on my strong assessment particularly having just come from Afghanistan were going to have to make a different decision. But the point is that hopefully I communicated to the press my complete respect and gratitude to him and Proder who was in the meeting for their outstanding work. Our differences don’t necessarily derive from differences in sort of, or my differences with him don’t derive from tactical objections to his approach. But rather from a strategic framework that is trying to take into account the challenges to our national security and the fact that we’ve got finite resources.

The whole interview is worth reading. I’m simply ecstatic at the prospect of having a president this intelligent and capable back in the Oval Office. It feels like Obama has been spending his time wrapping his brain around the scope of the presidency, and the results have paid off. He is as ready as any president has ever been, and more ready than many have been. I simply can’t envision a more perfect match for the crazy shitstorm we’re going through. There isn’t the slightest hint of trepidation on Obama’s part at the thought of dealing with so many blooming clusterfucks at once. But it’s not like Sarah Palin’s “Sure I’m ready to be in charge of Congress!” idiot blindness. He knows what lies ahead. He knows how we got there. He knows what he, as president, will be able to do. He is fully aware of what we need to do to fundamentally repair our nation and put it back on the right track. Contrary to lazy assumptions that Obama will be thwarted by librulz in the Congress run wild, I think he will have Congress looking to his lead and eagerly doing their best to complement it. Unless he does some chickenshit stuff like compromise on FISA again. That’s when he’ll get a fight, not when he’s supporting renewable energy or fixing the health care system.

On that note, I am proud to have already cast my vote for Barack Obama. He will not give me everything I want, but I feel America will be steered best through these tumultuous times with Obama as our leader, and I feel that we will be better off in four years than we are today. He is the best choice to stop this downward spiral and create once again an America ascendant.
This hope is impossible with John McCain, especially with the looming threat of a Palin derail.
Rewarding the GOP for 8 years of Bush and a campaign of hatred would be devastating to Americans, and the prospect of our country resembling McCain’s schizophrenic train-wreck campaign is truly threatening to our well-being. We must be prudent, and we must put the Limbaugh/Rove/Hannity era behind us.

Be a good steward, voters. Help this country. Vote Obama.

-jb

Updated Presidential poll numbers.

Oct 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

Winning the culture wars!

Oct 23, 2008 in Culture

Completely unnecessary title, but check out 11 Life Lessons in The Big Lebowski, loljokerz, and The Philosophy of Batman: The Schopenhauer edition.
I got something out of Is Watchmen filmable? as well. Don’t know if today’s a special day, or if I’m lucky to have discovered www.overthinkingit.com this morning…but my best advice is to go to imdb.com every day and look at the recommended articles at the bottom of the page.

-jb

Saved by zero! Saved by zero!

Oct 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

I truly hate that Toyota commercial.

-mg