Dover Bitch

Friday, September 05, 2008

GOP 2008 Message

Don't expect big government to solve your problems. The real American heroes take some initiative and work within their own communities to organize people and solve problems.

Also, Americans who take initiative and work within their own communities to organize people and solve problems are complete losers.

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Zzzzzzzzz... did I miss something?

Oh. I guess that was McCain's acceptance speech.

I'm heading away for the weekend. Need to clean out my brain after all this washing. While I'm gone, I'll leave you with a few things...

Once again, if you have some coin to spare, consider keeping good satire flowing through the tubes.

Here's the dumbest paragraph I've seen today:

Culturally, there is little for the Heartland to dislike. By now, you've probably seen picture or two of Palin sporting a rifle. Apparently, she's left carcasses strewn across the Alaskan wilderness. In some places -- areas where the nation is growing -- owning a gun is not yet a sin. And unlike Obama, Palin seems to believe that the Second Amendment means the exact same thing in rural Alaska as it does in the streets of Chicago.

Aside from Harsanyi's deep understanding of the "Heartland" as seen from New York City (where I believe he still resides), he appears to be implying that Chicago's streets should be littered with carcasses. A sort of 12 Monkeys vision of the future under McCain/Palin.

I forgot to thank Digby, dday and tristero for having me over at Hullabaloo. It was a pleasure to spend time there, as always. Thanks also to Batocchio, who did a bang-up job posting there with me.

Finally, it's been a while since I posted a poem. Here's one I like:

The Revenant by Billy Collins

I am the dog you put to sleep,
as you like to call the needle of oblivion,
come back to tell you this simple thing:
I never liked you--not one bit.

When I licked your face,
I thought of biting off your nose.
When I watched you toweling yourself dry,
I wanted to leap and unman you with a snap.

I resented the way you moved,
your lack of animal grace,
the way you would sit in a chair to eat,
a napkin on your lap, knife in your hand.

I would have run away,
but I was too weak, a trick you taught me
while I was learning to sit and heel,
and--greatest of insults--shake hands without a hand.

I admit the sight of the leash
would excite me
but only because it meant I was about
to smell things you had never touched.

You do not want to believe this,
but I have no reason to lie.
I hated the car, the rubber toys,
disliked your friends and, worse, your relatives.

The jingling of my tags drove me mad.
You always scratched me in the wrong place.
All I ever wanted from you
was food and fresh water in my metal bowls.

While you slept, I watched you breathe
as the moon rose in the sky.
It took all of my strength
not to raise my head and howl.

Now I am free of the collar,
the yellow raincoat, monogrammed sweater,
the absurdity of your lawn,
and that is all you need to know about this place

except what you already supposed
and are glad it did not happen sooner--

that everyone here can read and write,
the dogs in poetry, the cats and the others in prose.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Palin's speech II

I was wrong.

It was no tear-jerker. Just jerk.

I forgot, for a couple days, that the base of the GOP really only cares about mocking other people. Hard to believe I forgot that. That's what hope does to you, I guess.

Hillary Clinton's convention speech, to me, was phenomenal. Not just because of the values we share. She was a class act. Even her barbs at McCain were done with respect.

Palin, in no small feat, managed to follow a rabid Rudy by looking petty. She is petty. No wonder they love her. I cannot believe any real Hillary supporters could have watched that and seen anything in Palin they saw in Clinton.

This has been a shallow and ugly convention. I've watched every convention since I was nine years old. I truly believe this is the worst one I've ever seen.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Vietnam... cut to Cindy!

Nice of Fred Thompson to cut to the chase. It's like nothing happened to McCain between coming home from Vietnam and posing for a photo with Cindy McCain.

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A note about debating

I think I can speak for every political junkie out there when I say that I love to watch and participate in debates. It's hard to resist a debate, especially when the debate is one which you believe to your core is yours to win, just based on the facts.

The problem is -- when the opposition presents you with such a debate, it's usually because they want to you in it.

An example that comes to mind is the 2004 shiny object that George Bush waved in front of John Kerry: Global Test. Really, who cares what Kerry meant by "global test." It was obvious to anybody paying attention what he meant, but instead of debating about a hypothetical war in which Kerry would have to argue he would behave exactly like Bush, he would have been better served to point out that we were fighting an actual war at that time and it was based on bullshit.

Every Democrat on television or answering questions by the press should ask themselves first before every question What is the point of staying on this topic and is there something better to talk about?

If the answer to that is "There is no point in talking about this when I could talk about that," then they will control the conversation and win the day.

I just watched Michael Smerconish explain to David Gregory that McCain selected Palin in part to make people talk about Obama's experience. David responded by turning to Rachel Maddow and asking her about... Obama's experience. Perfect example.

When anybody talks about her experience and compares her's to Obama's, every single Democrat on my TV should laugh it off as a joke and stick it to McCain for his recklessness. I don't want to see one second wasted talking about Obama's experience.

McCain doesn't think he can win unless people are talking about Obama. Let's keep the spotlight on McCain. It's that simple.

Not every debate is worth having, even if it's winnable.

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Low-information country

Despite my amusement by the complete train wreck that is the McCain selection of Sarah Palin, I think the thing that bothers me the most, at my core, is the insult McCain has hurled at our political process.

I'm not always the biggest fan (to say the least) of the process, but at least I have respect for the idea that America is supposed to work because we, as citizens, are given an opportunity to evaluate the candidates and issues and make our decisions based on what we see and feel.

It is always frustrating to see elections turn on the votes of people who don't pay much attention. It is thoroughly depressing to see the numbers of elated Americans who are thrilled to support a candidate they didn't even know last week. What can you say to defend America's political system in light of that? A massive number of people who don't know squat about Palin are delighted with the pick.

But I've learned to be unsurprised and calm about the vast numbers of blind supporters out there. I've even been able to remain only slightly irritated by the calculations of the GOP to try to woo the support of low-information voters.

But I cannot abide the idea that McCain has tried deliberately to make us all low-information voters.

Here's how the Sarah Palin Story is supposed to be told: Palin makes a great speech at the 2008 convention. Palin announces an exploratory committee in 2011 or 2015 and puts together thoughtful policy papers and teams of experienced advisors. Palin participates in debates, gives interviews, manages a campaign, is vetted by the press, responds to real-time world events... And then, after seeing her in action, the American people decide whether she is up to the task of leading the country in dangerous times.

That's how it works. It's not a secret formula. It happens all the time. That's how America gets to learn about and evaluate the political skills of nationally unknown candidates.

McCain, in his gamble, has robbed the American people of this opportunity. He wants us all to be unable to see what kind of leader she is. Obviously, he didn't really know, either, as evidenced by the litany of blemishes that have come to light in recent days.

I find it seriously insulting that he made this move for many, many reasons. But I just wanted to highlight this one because in a lot of ways, it burns me the most.

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The same process

The McCain campaign is saying, over and over, that Sarah Palin was put through the same vetting process as every other candidate.

I guess that means they only read the Hartford Courant.

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Palin's speech

Palin's acceptance speech at the convention is going to be a real tear-jerker for the Religious Right. She's really going to go for the sympathy vote. I think it's going to be remarkable in that sense and it will be fascinating to see how much the talking heads will work to facilitate that angle for her.

I wonder how the Obama camp is preparing to respond to this. They have to know it's coming.

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I'm enjoying reading the Sarah Palin news so much I'm not spending any time writing about it. The absurd revelations are coming in too fast to keep up anyway.

I do have one question today, though. During the DNC, the media was talking relentlessly about the McCain ads that were timed to coincide with the convention. I know there's a new Obama ad, but are the Democrats doing anything to control the conversation? I know there's a lot for the media to talk about right now, so I don't expect them to be dropping the lack-of-Palin-vetting or Gustav or plane-with-blown-landing-gear, etc.

Usually, I am quick to point out the media's flaws (which are legion), but I always know that when they fail to cover something, it's partially due to the Democrats' lack of effort in pushing it. We have all heard the proclamations that the media doesn't create a debate all on their own. As horrible as that is, it's still an open invitation for the Democrats to create debates when it suits them.

Perhaps they just love all this Palin news so much they're letting it ride. I get that. I would, too. But I hope they have something ready to air if Zeus' bottomless pot of ugly Palin news ever runs dry.

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