And yet another political roundup…

Under the fold….


When Republicans say that Democrats “just don’t get it,” this is the “it” to which they refer. Conservative positions on gays, guns, god, and immigration must be understood as means to achieve one kind of morally ordered society. When Democrats try to explain away these positions using pop psychology they err, they alienate, and they earn the label “elitist.” But how can Democrats learn to see–let alone respect–a moral order they regard as narrow-minded, racist, and dumb?
Unity is not the great need of the hour, it is the eternal struggle of our immigrant nation. The three Durkheimian foundations of ingroup, authority, and purity are powerful tools in that struggle. Until Democrats understand this point, they will be vulnerable to the seductive but false belief that Americans vote for Republicans primarily because they have been duped into doing so.

Palin & Polar Bears:

I knew more about Gov. Palin than I otherwise would have because of my daily Google searches. (I have long had searches ongoing for news about “zoo”, “elephant” “polar bear” and the “amphibian crisis”.) The Polar bear search has generated many articles about global warming and the general, worldwide acceptance that mankind has contributed to it, about the Bush administration’s reversal over time on that issue and Gov. Palin’s suit against the Bush administration for its listing of the Polar bear as threatened due to global warming.

I Don’t Understand the Dichotomy of the Repubilcan Platform. Can You Explain It To Me?:

What got me thinking about it, and actually reading the platform, was the argument that “the pursuit of happiness” equates to the ability to amass wealth (a definition that was presented to me on FriendFeed, though I forget by whom). See, to me that means the pursuit of happiness equates to the pursuit of money, which by logic means money equals happiness. This is of course absurd: I know rich people who are never happy, and I grew up poor and quite happy. Not all the time, of course, but who is?

So who’s the better candidate, Obama or McCain?:

Brooks complained that technology (namely the ability to record video with small cameras and the use of blogs) actually make campaigns less transparent. He recalled the days when journalists used to rub elbows with candidates and chat informally on the campaign buses. But with every move being recorded these days he added: “The candidate can not afford to unwind and open up … It has had this perverse effect of making campaigns less transparent.” He added that the Obama campaign is particularly bad about this

McCain-Palin Crowd-Size Estimates Not Backed by Officials:

Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) — Senator John McCain has drawn some of the biggest crowds of his presidential campaign since adding Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to his ticket on Aug. 29. Now officials say they can’t substantiate the figures McCain’s aides are claiming.

Are The Netroots Being Played By Rove?:

McCain and crew realized early this cycle that they did not have a visible internet presence. So what did they do? They took over the liberal presence, they are manipulating the leading liberal blogs , just as they manipulate the MSM. All to their own advantage. And the blogs have all fallen for this hook, line and sinker. Does no one realize this?

Infantilizing John McCain:

It’s telling that Jonah, along with the dozens of conservatives who’ve hopped on board this crazy train, are turning the Republican ticket into two innocent babes in the wood who can’t stand the slings and arrows of even the most indirect criticisms of them or their capacities. Should you criticize Sarah Palin, you hate mothers and women and hunters and hockey and…well, I’m not a particularly big hockey fan. Criticism of John McCain is slapping a prisoner of war in the face, telling him that his service means nothing. The politically correct oversensitivity on display is turning McCain and Palin from the bold reformers they never were into sad little children, constantly needing protection from the scrapes and scratches of the world lest they get a boo-boo or come home crying about their hurt feelings too often.

Small town values:

I live in a small town, I like living here, and there are definite advantages to it — it’s easy to get to know other members of the community, the life style is a bit more laid back, and a lot of the hassles of just moving around are absent. But small town values? The ones the Republicans are worshipping seem to be the narrow insularity verging on xenophobia, the judgmental meddling in other people’s affairs, the backward-looking reverence for the good old days (which actually weren’t that good), the worship of ignorance, the easy way authority can personally intrude on people’s lives without oversight, except by a coterie of good old boys.


Are you getting a sense yet of the connotations of that word, “worldview,” and what its repeated use signals?

McCain campaign systematically targets the news media:

Accusing the media of smearing a candidate is “a standard tactic” for politicians who don’t want scrutiny, according to Brooks Jackson, director of Annenberg Political Fact Check, which operates the non-partisan voter resource

Oil Price Fluctuations:

My gut feeling is that the Drll Here! Drill Now! Pay Less! chant is just that, a chant to paint environmentalists as the enemy. Those who are opposed to the moratorium are just trying to score in the coming election and they know that in the end the drilling is meaningless except in terms of a victory. Somebody would rather win an election than to solve a problem.

The Most Important Thing She Said:

Thanks, governor, for being a lone voice of sanity in this, at least. What you are saying is that what the Palinpregnant McCain camp is intimidating the press (including Gibson) from examining is a perfectly legitimate line of media inquiry. Palin has said that her life is an “open book.” She has therefore pulled a Gary Hart in inviting the press to examine her life in full.

New election low: distorting the fact-checking:

News outlets and independent truth squads seem to agree that the McCain camp’s distortions on Barack Obama have gone too far.

Do McC’s war injuries prevent him from using a computer?:

Look, there’s a limit to how much mileage you can get from this war hero crap. Yadda yadda the Democrats honor his service, and blah blah blah he’s a good man who loves his country. I say bullshit. He’s a creepy bastard liar coward who, if he becomes President, we’re really in for a ride. And if he gets elected let’s get him some great doctors so he doesn’t die in office and leave us with the hockey mom pit bull with lipstick who doesn’t blink or travel or know any heads of state, as President.

Why I have to take a stand against Sarah Palin:

I usually avoid politics in my blogs and podcasts, but I just got an email that made me realize that I have to speak out against Sarah Palin. When she was first nominated I couldn’t believe that the average American woman would fall for such an obvious ploy. However, the polls show that I was wrong!

I’m Just Hoping By November 5th, I Still Have Friends:

And then…something happend. It was like, involuntary. I launched into this tirade on women voters and issues and how, actually, a new study showed Clinton voters are now 55% less likely to vote for McCain due to the Palin pick and women actually vote on issues, not gender…so assuming they would vote for Palin based on gender was not only untrue but rather insulting…and on, and on, and on.
He then politely said something to his wife about his dentist appointment and left the table, moving to talk to a much less crazy mother.

It’s the economy, stupid:

Although the sign was intended for an internal audience of campaign workers, the phrase became something of a slogan for the Clinton election campaign. Clinton’s campaign used the recession to successfully unseat George H.W. Bush. In March 1991, days after the ground invasion of Iraq, 90% of polled Americans approved of President Bush’s job performance.[2] Later the next year, Americans’ opinions had turned sharply; 64% of polled Americans disapproved of Bush’s job performance in August 1992.[2]

McCain Barbs Stirring Outcry as Distortions:

Harsh advertisements and negative attacks are a staple of presidential campaigns, but Senator John McCain has drawn an avalanche of criticism this week from Democrats, independent groups and even some Republicans for regularly stretching the truth in attacking Senator Barack Obama’s record and positions.

No Disproportionate Shift in White Women’s Preferences:

An analysis of Gallup Poll Daily tracking interviewing conducted before and after the two major-party conventions shows that the impact of the conventions was not materially different for white women than it was for white men, and neither group’s shifts were substantially different than the changes among the overall electorate.

Like I Said, Morally Unfit:

It seems to me that the lying and exaggerating that has been done by the mccain campaign either from his lips or with his approval has a moral dimension that is not being discussed. No one is questioning McCains physical courage. But lying is an immoral act, one that you cannot get “forced into” by acts of others.
If there is a sustainable link between McCain, Palin, Bush and Cheney, it is their willingness to lie to get what they want. Bush and Cheney lied us into a war they wished to wage and they have been deceptive about many of their other policies. And the way an Administration runs takes its direction from the top. Is there really any doubt that if McCain and Palin are willing to lie about themselves and their opponents in an effort to get elected that they will continue to lie to the American public about there plans and policies.

Obama Camp: McCain Running ‘A Campaign Not Worthy Of The Office He’s Seeking’:

“We will take no lectures from John McCain who is cynically running the sleaziest and least honorable campaign in modern Presidential campaign history. His discredited ads with disgusting lies are running all over the country today. He runs a campaign not worthy of the office he is seeking.”


But there’s just something breathtaking about John McCain’s 2008 campaign, and it’s not just because he’s running in part on his reputation for candor and integrity. We’re talking about a candidate who’s been lying about everything — his record, his running mate, his opponent, his agenda, his past, and his policies. He’ll lie, get caught, and then repeat the same lie. He’ll lie, get caught, and then lie about lying. He’ll lie about some things in which the truth was just as good, but lying came more naturally. And he seems to be lying more as the race unfolds.

Compare And Contrast:

During the primary, I compared the legislation Clinton and Obama had managed to get enacted (1, 2, 3); and it occurred to me that it would be useful to do the same thing for Obama and McCain. I compare the legislation each person has sponsored (later I’ll do co-sponsored legislation) that actually became law. For one thing, this gives some idea of how effective they are at working with Congress, and for another, it’s easy to write a bill that promises the moon so long as you don’t think there’s the least possibility that it will ever become law; sticking to legislation that actually got enacted avoids bothering with that stuff.

John McCain is not responsible for John McCain:

Was McCain saying that his campaign turned mean and nasty out of spite?
He’s mad at Obama for not going along with the town hall idea so he’s going to show him?
Or did he mean to suggest that if he and Barack Obama were spending more time together they would have had to play nicer together? Would McCain have been too embarrassed to run a nasty campaign based on lies and smears if he had to face Obama and explain himself every night?
Either way, McCain was, as Matt says, blaming Obama for McCain’s own bad behavior. In the first case, he’s suggesting that Obama should have known better than to not let McCain have his own way and it’s Obama’s fault for not spoiling him and giving in before he decided to hold his breath and turn blue, and in the second case, he’s saying that he wouldn’t have drawn all those nasty caricatures on the blackboard if only the teacher had stayed in the room and kept the chalk away from him.

Forum sells ‘Obama Waffles’ with racial stereotype:

Activists at a conservative political forum snapped up boxes of waffle mix depicting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama as a racial stereotype on its front and wearing Arab-like headdress on its top flap. Values Voter Summit organizers cut off sales of Obama Waffles boxes on Saturday, saying they had not realized the boxes displayed ”offensive material.” The summit and the exhibit hall where the boxes were sold had been open since Thursday afternoon.

Political Poaching: When 527s Step on and Muddy the Message:

This is exactly why the Obama campaign has tried to put the damper on 527s (independent organizations buying TV ads supposedly to influence the presidential election): they distract and, worse, they sometimes fire up the rival base. Their own fundraising and organizational agendas get in the way of messaging more often than not.
In sum, this ad is an act of “political poaching.”

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