19 October, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

A huge endorsement for Obama:

On "Meet the Press" this morning, ret. Gen. and former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama. Powell continued to refer to the Republican Party as "my party," and added that he doesn't plan to hit the campaign trail for Obama, but nevertheless gave a full-throated endorsement to the Democratic candidate.

General Powell, I have to say, doesn't sound too pleased with McCain and the Republicon party in general:

Powell was asked about the relentless negativity of the McCain campaign, and Powell made no effort to hide his disappointment. Perhaps most importantly, Powell noted that the constant right-wing efforts to a) falsely label Obama as a Muslim; and b) make "Muslim" some kind of slur, not only undermines national unity, but also damages America's standing in the
world. "Those types of images going out on Al Jazeera are killing us around the world," Powell said.

He went on to express his disgust for Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) neo-McCarthyism. "We have got to stop this kind of nonsense," Powell said, "pull ourselves together, and remember that our great strength is in our unity and in our diversity."

Tying it all together, Powell concluded, "We can't judge our people and hold our elections on that kind of basis. Yes, that kind of negativity troubled me. And the constant shifting of the argument, I was troubled a couple of weeks ago when in the middle of the crisis the campaign
said, 'We're going to go negative,' and they announced it. 'We're going to go negative and attack his character through Bill Ayers.' And now I guess the message this week is we're going to call him a socialist. Mr. Obama is now a socialist, because he dares to suggest that maybe we ought to look at the tax structure that we have. Taxes are always a redistribution of money. Most of the taxes that are redistributed go back to those who pay them, in roads and
airports and hospitals and schools. And taxes are necessary for the common good. And there's nothing wrong with examining what our tax structure is or who should be paying more or who should be paying less, and for us to say that makes you a socialist is an unfortunate characterization that isn't accurate."

I haven't had a chance to see the reaction from the right wing, but I imagine "apoplectic" would be a fair description. They can't be happy about a man with Powell's reputation and standing coming out so strongly against all of their bullshit and endorsing wholeheartedly a man they loathe.

For some unaccountable reason, I feel very cheerful about this.

This comes on top of another piece of stunning news from the Obama campaign:

There were ample reasons to believe that the Obama campaign's fundraising was very good in September. Obama is blanketing airwaves with expensive television ads, and is buying half-hour prime-time blocks on most of the major networks. There was some speculation that Obama may have blown the doors off the old record and raised $100 million in just one month.

No one could have predicted this.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama reports raising more than $150 million in September in an unprecedented eruption of political giving.

Holy fucking shit, that's a lot of money. And it wasn't megacorporations and filthy rich buggers that raised that number: it was mostly just an assload of small donors, millions of them, giving their few bucks here and there when they could spare 'em.

McCain, bludgeoned to death by numbers and news he can't top, had to play the sour grapes card:

Here's John McCain's response to Barack Obama's fundraising totals for September (h/t):

"I'm saying that history shows us where unlimited amounts of money are in political campaigns, it leads to scandal. I'm not comparing it with -- I'm saying this is the first since the Watergate scandal that any candidate for president of the United States, a major party candidate, has broken the pledge to take public

We enacted those reforms because of that scandal. We know that we let unlimited amounts of money -- in this case $200 million unreported -- and there's already been stories of people who have made small contributions multiple times and all that.

I'm saying it's laying a predicate for the future that can be very dangerous. History has shown that."

It seems pretty clear to me that McCain is saying this because he wants to plant the idea that there's something scandalous or unsavory about Obama's fundraising in people's minds.

And that would be a valid concern if that money had come from special interests, a few wealthy donors, and ginormous corporations. Since it came from regular ol' voters, I'd have to say McCain, as per usual, is completely full of shit.

Of course, to Republicons, the idea that the people themselves have the say and the power of the purse is "very dangerous," so I'm sure he sincerely believes every word.

I wouldn't take him too seriously. This is the same man who believes his robocalls are honorable:

John McCain defended his robo-slime campaign against Barack Obama today -- and as a special bonus, completely misrepresented what his robocalls actually say about Obama.

McCain's comments on robo-slime-gate came this morning on Fox News, after Chris Wallace pointed out that McCain had denounced robo-sliming back when he was the target of it in 2000.

Wallace asked him if he would stop his own robo-slime campaign against Obama, and McCain said "of course not." The Obama campaign was quick to highlight the exchange in a transcript emailed out to reporters.

McCain defended his robo-slime by saying that the calls directed at him were worse than anything his own calls said about Obama.

"These are legitimate and truthful and they are far different than the phone calls that were made about my family and about certain aspects that -- things that this is -- this is dramatically different and either you haven't -- didn't see those things in 2000," McCain said.

McCain said his robo-slime was highlighting "a legitimate issue," which is the question of whether Obama is "being truthful with the American people," a clear reference to his robo-call attacking Obama's association with William Ayers.

Actually, this is false. McCain's robo-call about Obama and Ayers says absolutely nothing about whether Obama is telling the truth about his relationship with the former Weatherman. If you don't believe me, you can listen to the full call right here.

McCain's Ayers robo-slime is not about Obama's honesty at all. Rather, it's all about Ayers' domestic terrorism, and it's all about the false insinuation that Obama just may have "worked closely" with Ayers in his capacity as a terrorist and killer of Americans.

We're now at the point where John McCain has been reduced to distorting his own distortions -- he's not only running a robo-slime campaign that is totally at odds with his previously claimed principles, but he's now lying about it, too.

I do believe these are the symptoms of a campaign that has died.

Good fucking riddance.


Nicole said...

Gotta love those Chicago donations!

george.w said...

Yep, apoplectic prit' near describes the reaction. Heh.