Tag Archives: Debate

The Tattlesnake Odds and Ends from the Week’s News Edition

…With No Particular Place to Go But Here

If This Were in a Book, You Wouldn’t Believe It: It’s been hilarious watching various members of the GOP hierarchy criticizing the Rush monster, and then scurrying hat in hand to apologize or ‘clarify’ their comments, the new Republican euphemism for kneeling at the ‘flabulous’ bloviator’s altar and seeking forgiveness. (Michael Steele’s ‘clarification’ “Really, I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about!” was worthy of a Monty Python skit.) Doubling the fun is watching some of the same humbugs deny the bleeding obvious — Limbaugh is the 500-pound elephant in the middle of the Republican Party’s leaky punchbowl and he’s calling the shots now. This is killing the GOP and there’s nothing they can do about it welcome to your self-made hell, neocons.

Speaking of the Mouth of the Wingnut South, Limbaugh recently challenged Obama to debate him on his show, knowing full well, naturally, that the president has much more important things to do than goose Lard Lad’s ratings. If Rush really wants to debate Obama, here’s something he could do, if he has the guts: Run for president in 2012 and, if he’s the Republican nominee, he’ll get his debate with Obama, probably even two or three. Don’t bet on that happening, though Limbaugh would never face the people that way he only talks to Dittoheads and other psychotics. (Incidentally, the Radio-Dazed Monarch’s assurances of 20 million weekly listeners may be as exaggerated as his bulbous torso it also doesn’t confirm how many are tuning in to laugh with him and how many to laugh at him.)

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The Tattlesnake – The End of McCain’s Campaign and the Reagan Revolution Edition

The Final McCain-Obama Debate: Small-Idea Republicans, Narrow Minds, and Big GOP Government for the Wealthy Come Out the Loser

I intentionally watched this debate without taking any notes, and with a female friend who, although she supports Obama, has a small business that serves mostly white, middle-class clients, only one of whom actively supports McCain. I wanted her small-business-owner perspective, as well as how she thought her clients would react to McCain and Obama’s final go-round before the election.

What follows, then, is an ’emotional’ reaction to the debate and, keep in mind, all quotes are paraphrased from memory, so they may not be verbatim:

Right out of the box, McCain didn’t do well, looking somewhat confused as he repeated some form of the word ‘anger’ about eight times – was he describing the electorate or himself?

McCain’s only good line of the night — the thing about “I’m not George W. Bush – if you wanted to run against him you should have run four years ago” — will be replayed endlessly by the Punditocracy but, overall, had little impact. Far more important were the typical ‘Republican honcho’ attitudes he displayed about women’s health care and jobs. (More about that later.)

Will McCain finally put the Ayers nonsense to rest? He seemed to be saying he didn’t care about ‘washed-up ’60s radical’ Ayers, but will he tell Sarah Barracuda to stop inflaming crowds with Obama’s tenuous connection to the man? At this point, if he continues to use Ayers to bash Obama, he’s going to look like the biggest jerk in the country, but that doesn’t seem to faze him anymore, so perhaps he will. Throughout the debate, McCain just couldn’t keep McNasty from emerging from the depths of his psyche, which is going to cost him this election.

McCain also veered into Captain Queeg territory several times, and we were waiting for him to produce metal ball bearings from his pocket. As well as repeating ‘anger’ robotically, later he also puzzlingly started trashing Obama for something having to do with vets and their families at his rallies – neither Obama nor his campaign ever said a word about vets or their families at McCain events, so what was he babbling about? Then there was his attempted slam of Obama over Supreme Court nominees wherein he seemed to say that Obama voted against Justice Stephen Breyer, although Obama wasn’t in the US Senate when Breyer was up for the Court. In these lapses McCain just appeared to be a confused old crank, if not actually senile.

‘Joe the Plumber’? Sweet Jesus, he sounded like an old Jackie Gleason character: “Hey, Mrs. Magillicuddy, I’m here to fix yer pipes!” McCain may have thought he was scoring points by repeatedly using this cornball cardboard cut-out of the small business owner, but real small business owners already know that the Bush Republican years have been terrible for their businesses – higher gas prices alone have been killing them. McCain continuing to invoke this as some kind of theme meaning that he identified with the ‘Little Guy’ was just plain silly.

Two other things that sunk McCain: 1.) Even the post-debate pundits noticed his callous attitude toward the health of mothers in late-term abortion cases. His sneering and heartless attitude – “These anti-abortion groups stretch the word ‘health’ so it can mean anything” — didn’t go over well with women or men. Who wants their wife, daughter, mother or sister treated by Dr. Just-Shut-Up-And-Have-The-Damn-Kid? He might as well have said pregnant women are nothing but a bunch of whiners. Obama hit the right note of concern and sympathy; McNasty couldn’t go there. 2.) And this is one the Pundits didn’t catch; while Obama proposed getting people back working at useful, good-paying jobs making such items as energy-efficient cars, solar panels and wind turbines, McCain basically brushed that off and said the magic line that will turn the Rust Belt states deep blue: “We’ll send them in for reeducation and retraining.” Laid-off auto and manufacturing workers from Kenosha to Toledo and Detroit to St. Louis have heard those fateful words for over twenty years and know what they really mean – a few weeks learning data entry at a community college and then a minimum wage gig manning a cash register at a convenience store because there aren’t any data entry jobs available, if they can find any work at all. McNasty, with this one phrase, just lost the Midwest and the election.

Obama, meanwhile, as he has in the previous two debates, appeared calm, presidential and knowledgeable about the issues, in contrast to McCain’s occasional rambling and pugnacious attitude – it was obvious he was trying to rile Obama, trying to push him into a gaffe, and Obama benignly smiled at the attempt. In a time of national emergency, McCain’s political gamesmanship just seemed petty, self-centered and narrow-minded – and emblematic of his entire campaign.

McPalin will hobble along for the next few weeks, chained to what’s left of the dwindling GOP base of religious nuts, neocons and racists but, nearly out of money and with a message that’s not selling to the general public, all he can do is pray lightning strikes. Obama will seal the deal with his half-hour of paid TV primetime next Wednesday while McCain watches from the sidelines, bleeding from mostly self-inflicted wounds.

This was McCain’s last chance to reach a national audience and he came up with confusion and bile and the same Reagan-Bush prescriptions that have set the table for our current economic disaster. In short: The majority of the public is suffering from Republican Fatigue: they are tired of George W. Bush, tired of the effects of the Reagan Revolution, tired of the Republican Party, tired of Rovian personal attacks, and tired of John McCain.

Obama is averaging about a nine-point lead in the polls, cut that by three for the ‘Bradley Effect’ and the various GOP voter purges, then add the millions of cellphone users and newly-registered voters who aren’t being polled, and you still have Obama winning by six or seven points and at least 300 electoral votes, a landslide in anyone’s book.

The Tattlesnake – Obama-McCain Round Two Edition

Best and Worst of the Second Presidential Debate, in Brief:

Obama’s Worst Moment: No really bad moments or gaffes, but it would be nice if he answered the question and then explained his answer rather than the other way around. Still, looking at how far he’s come, maybe Obama knows what he’s doing after all.

McCain’s Worst Moment: What was with answering a question about who he would appoint Treasury Secretary by saying to debate moderator Brokaw “Not you, Tom”? I appreciate an oddball sense of humor and have one myself, but I could not fathom the wit or point in this ‘joke’ – maybe he should have said “Major Tom” and tried to nab some David Bowie fans. Also, when he approached the bystanders in the bleachers too closely, I got the feeling they were hastily looking for a crucifix to ward him off. Other than that, McCain was the best McCain he could be.

Obama’s Best Moment: When he finally said, harkening back to FDR in 1944, that health care is a right. That one line by itself may have been sufficient to nail down enough votes in the hard-hit Rust Belt states to win him the election.

McCain’s Best Moment: Considering McCain’s never been a great public speaker, he didn’t do a bad job overall, and, to his credit, he assiduously avoided diving to the slimy ‘dark side.’ But that’s not what this election is about anyway; it helps that Obama can speak populist poetry to McCain’s Reagan-GOP boilerplate when necessary, but the election is really about who looks like they’re up to the job of saving the country. The hunched and elderly McCain, lurching around spouting his stump speech Talking Points, did not look like that man; Obama did.

And the Winner Is: Obama. In the final analysis, this all boiled down to appearances: Obama, as in the last debate, once again looked presidential and poised; McCain, partly due to factors beyond his control such as his age and physical appearance, looked old and weary and annoyingly lapsed into his standard “My friends” mode halfway through the thing, indicating that he was running out of gas. Cap’n Crash is going to discover on November 4th that a majority of Americans just aren’t his buddies.

Put the champagne on ice; the last eight years of our history – a rambling Hunter S. Thompson nightmare of treachery, deceit and devastating Republican Doom ‘n’ Gloom as scripted by the two Terry’s, Gilliam and Southern, and Mario Puzo — is about to take a turn for the better angels of our Frank Capra, as Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington to effect a Change We Can Believe In. (Whew! Have another swig, Mr. Tattlehead.)

Is it really all over but the shouting? Barring an October Surprise of unimaginable proportions, some unforgivable gaffe by Barack or Biden, or the presidential preference of computer hackers, it’s all about the ‘O’ now.