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Posts Tagged ‘2008 presidential election’

Yesterday our own David zomGergen told you of the spontaneous revelry that engulfed his home neighborhood of Harlem the other night. (Didn’t you hear?)

It was a similar scene in our nation’s capital, as noted on the new blog Curbside/Shoreline. And, as that writer pointed out, Nov. 5 was also an exciting day for newspaper publishers across America, although likely not the dawn of a long and lasting change of the kind bearing down on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Here’s the difference, noted by others already: People didn’t snatch up papers yesterday to get the news. They did so to have a keepsake, a physical remembrance of an historic event. Today and onward, we’ll go back to getting news and information in the ways we find most convenient for us — and those increasingly involve pixels and power supplies. As long as unique moments in history remain few and far between (and by definition, don’t they?), the dead-trees business will likely continue to see its profits, and relevancy, slip.

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As it often happens with controversies and scandals, what we are getting from the mainstream media in regards to this ACORN business has been incomplete at best.

While right-wingers, both those employed by FOX News and otherwise, have been pushing hard to pin this on Obama (big surprise), Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has taken the audacious step of calmly walking us through what’s up.

Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: ACORN pays individuals to go out and register voters. But these folks don’t always have the strongest work ethic (they may even be unemployed themselves) and so you end up with a lot of falsified voter-registration forms. The ones ACORN doesn’t catch get turned in and voila: massive left-wing, Obama-lead voter-fraud conspiracy.

But the folks doing all the huffing and puffing haven’t bothered to think through this. How could filling out voter registration forms with the names of cartoon characters, dead folks and the Dallas Cowboys actually lead to real voter fraud? Seriously, think about it. These applications will not make it past state screeners — as we are finding out. And if they did, then what? You cannot just line up with your fellow election-stealers outside the polling place and have your way with the voting booths. There are actual safeguards in place that prevent this.

So this is not about vote-stealing. As far as methods of voter fraud goes, this is a dead-end. If Obama was trying to steal the election, you’d think he’d have a little better strategy than trying to sneak Terrell Owens and Tony Romo onto the rolls in Nevada.

Agreed — this is inexcusable behavior and a phenomenal strain on public resources. Those responsible should be held accountable and punished within applicable legal guidelines. But why has the media narrative been about how Obama might be connected and whether our democracy is one step from the cliff’s edge? Why won’t anyone bother to apply, as Mr. Marshall did, a little common sense and critical thinking?

(And of all things, this? How about paperless electronic voting machines? Voter intimidation? Faulty equipment? Improper voter purges? Anyone?)

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Welcome to what we hope is the first in many roundtable discussions about the goings on in the hilarious world of American politics. While a few of our contributors are indisposed for this first installment, 4 of Bandit Pulpit’s most obnoxious personalities are here to give you the business concerning John McCain’s decision to suspend his campaign as the mushroom cloud that is our economy continues to cast a shadow over Wall Street and Main Street.

With that being said, heeeeeeerrrrrrrrrreeeeeee we go!

Karl Trollve

It’s brilliant! True grit and leadership! It’s “country first!” Mac’s the only candidate in this election who really knows the economy! It’s a game-changer!

It’s a ploy! A stunt! The man’s in over his head and wants to dive deeper! Barney Frank is right — he’s trying to swoop in and take credit for something that’s already getting done! Of course he wants to cancel the debate — the economy is the last thing McCain wants to talk about — not just ever, but especially right now! It’s Sarah Palin times 10!

Phew. Ol’ Karl’s head is spinning. The McCain “suspension” (I use the quotes because he still gets wall-to-wall coverage without having to spend a dime on campaign ads; he’s off the trail but very visible; he’s not running but right in your face; on and on) is all the above things and more. This is the ultimate test of the spin-doctors and opinion-peddlers. May the shrewdest and most cunning win!

This is Karl politics, and it makes me proud. Don’t wage the war on facts and objectivity — the battle is to be fought and won in the realm of perceptions. Who looks and acts presidential? How does this feel? (Oh, and don’t forget: Who would you rather have a beer with? I know that might seem irrelevant in our current crisis, but trust me — it’s the ultimate presidential litmus test, even when your guy says he doesn’t actually drink.)

I’d be inclined to admit it’s a dangerous gambit to lay your fate upon the perceptions of the masses. Because, remember, the people are dumb. But that’s the brilliance of Karl politics — the more transparently cynical and can’t-pass-the-smell-test a ploy is, the better chance it has of leaving the populace drooling over themselves and begging for more.

John McCain, The Original Maverick. The Conquering Economic Hero. Cue “Hail to the Chief.”

Rofl Blitzer

McCain suggesting that presidential campaigning be suspended is just another gimmick dressed up as “putting country first.” I’m putting this move in the same category as picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. It is political theater. Nothing more than a stunt designed to dupe voters into thinking McCain is some über-patriot who will sacrifice whatever is necessary for our amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties.

My opinion is that McCain sees himself sliding in the polls and, suspending campaigning “for the good of the country” is the easiest way to stop the bleeding. Points to Obama for calling McCain on this say boldly saying “we can do both.” I would much rather support a candidate who can handle multiple things at once rather than someone who can only focus on one serious issue at a time.

David zomGergen

Surreal. It’s the only word I can think of. I have a hard time imagining John McCain “rushing” anywhere, let alone to save the economy. One can only wonder if history will look back and say “If not for John McCain the United States would have been helpless to resist the coming destruction of their financial markets.” It somehow falls short of “If not for Superman the world would surely have fallen into chaos at the hands of the evil Brainiac.”

I write this in the wake of David Letterman’s 2 night tirade on McCain canceling his appearance, a fair amount of clever comparative editing on behalf of the Daily Show, and a lot of general reflection on the news coverage regarding the financial crisis.

For me the most adequate point came from Letterman’s scathing critique. In short: If you have to leave the campaign trail to tend to important Washington business, fine. You leave your VP in charge and you leave your campaign running. The notion that you suspend your campaign and delay debates (through which the American people will arguably get their first glimpse at pseudo-unfiltered dialog on the issues upon which you will be ELECTED)…strikes me as absurd and disrespectful to the American people and to the democratic process.

Let’s have a little less political theater and a little more content. This nation IS in a crisis no doubt, on many fronts. That they need leadership is beyond question. In light of that we need information, we need direction, vision, and intelligent dialog regarding those issue which will define the next 4 years and much farther beyond, NOT another press conference of political posturing with LOTS of talk and LITTLE meaning.

Rush Limblog

This whole “suspending the campaign” move reeks. Every move the McCain campaign insists is genuine is just the opposite. All McCain and his advisers want to do is derail the news cycle that continues to expose his deficiencies as a candidate when it comes to the economy. The same policies and pleas for deregulation that McCain has been calling for have gotten us into this mess… Go ahead and add that on top of the fact that an advocacy group run by Rick Davis (McCain’s campaign manager) called Homeownership Alliance has been collecting lobbying fees from Freddie Mac since 2005, and you have a campaign disaster… But you see, this disaster is all self-inflicted. McCain is the one who insisted that the fundamentals of our economy are still strong, that deregulation is the only way, and that Obama’s thin connections to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are worthy of attack while insisting that his campaign manager has no ties to either company.

The same goes for you too, Johnny Mac.

The same goes for you too, Johnny Mac.

McCain wanted to slow down this campaign and postpone the debate because he knows that he would get torn apart and his numbers would continue to plummet… Regardless of the fact that the debate is supposed to center on foreign policy and national security, it is inevitable that the economy would be brought up. There is NO reason for McCain to go to Washington during the bailout negotiations other than to skip out on the debate and artificially boost his already horrible economic credentials. Even tonight, reports are coming out that McCain is sabotaging the negotiations with the help of the Bush administration, hoping to draw them out so he can have a reason to not debate Barack Obama on the issues. The fact is that McCain cannot win on the issues… The only chance he has to win is to continue to distract this country from his disastrous flaws and shortcomings; use dirty tactics like THIS or THIS or THIS (proof positive that McCain is a total d-bag); or hope that white America is still scared by brown skin and funny sounding names.

Suspend the campaign? Fine by me… Just don’t expect us to buy that this is anything but a bailout for your campaign.

A Rofl Blitzer Production

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