September 27, 2008

Let's compare the candidates' post-debate ads.

Here's Barack Obama's:



Here's McCain's:



Okay, McCain's ad is way funnier. It's clever, though it's not really fair. If you look at the transcript, you'll see that every time Obama began with an acknowledgment of agreement with McCain -- which shows generosity and willingness to reach across the aisle -- he proceeded to distinguish his opinions from McCain's. For example:
Well, Senator McCain is absolutely right that the earmarks process has been abused, which is why I suspended any requests for my home state, whether it was for senior centers or what have you, until we cleaned it up.

And he's also right that oftentimes lobbyists and special interests are the ones that are introducing these kinds of requests, although that wasn't the case with me.

But let's be clear: Earmarks account for $18 billion in last year's budget. Senator McCain is proposing -- and this is a fundamental difference between us -- $300 billion in tax cuts to some of the wealthiest corporations and individuals in the country, $300 billion.

And what's with that brown and gold radiating background they've put behind Obama? It looked like some combination of the Japanese war flag and a religious icon and a hypnosis pattern. Is that fair? It's fair enough.

Now, Obama's ad is simple, but a little boring. Is it a good gotcha? Ha ha, you forgot to say "middle class." We have a buzz word. A shibboleth. And Obama said it -- ta da! -- 3 times! Yay!!! He cares about the middle class!

I love the lame class warfare of the middle class. Does anyone care about the poor? Obama never said "poor" or "poverty." Nor did he say "working class."

Anyway, those are the ads these characters came up with.

Who's got the better post-debate ad?
Obama
McCain
Eh
  
pollcode.com free polls

85 comments:

Brent said...

I love how Barack always talks about the Middle class as "them", "they" and "you".

Never "we", or "me and".

Sure does need your helps now, Massa Barack, for us middle classers heah.

Helps us Barack! Helps us!

Joan said...

Cracks me up that Obama extracts an ad about domestic policy from the foreign policy debate. Was that the best he could do?

Weak tea.

Brent said...

Oh, my!

Ifn Massa Barack an his fine lady don't git in thee White House,

and thee guvmint don' helps us heah in the middle class, what will we do?

Lawdy, what will we do?

Brent said...

Massa Barack make thee eye contac with the McCain.

That mean He a better man than McCain.

He give things for the middle class, yea man!

MadisonMan said...

It's like a game.

Rich Beckman said...

One problem with McCain's ad is that he starts with the premise that Obama agrees with McCain and concludes that Obama is not ready to lead.

So one is ready to lead if one disagrees with McCain?? And that says what about McCain?

For the record, I stole this "analysis" from either The New Republic or TPM.

Paddy O. said...

Obama's was better, in my mind.

It hits his core appeal. He talked to the people, said his message and why he was different.

McCain's ad was an obvious one, given the material at hand, but it is pretty weak stuff indeed overall. We all know that Obama and McCain disagree. And what is sad is that McCain's campaign couldn't find anything that McCain said that would be appealing enough for a commercial.

Obama hit his soundbites better. McCain was more substantive, but if his campaign doesn't want to emphasize that, why should anyone else?

The Drill SGT said...

Rich Beckman said...
One problem with McCain's ad is that he starts with the premise that Obama agrees with McCain and concludes that Obama is not ready to lead.


I think the message is that Obama is a follower, not a leader. And I think the ad works well in that context.

It reinforces the message is a strong leader. Now even Dems I think say that (and frankly some of the GOP), though they may not like where John would lead them.

The Drill SGT said...

Well, Senator McCain is absolutely right that the earmarks process has been abused, which is why I suspended any requests for my home state, whether it was for senior centers or what have you, until we cleaned it up.

And he's also right that oftentimes lobbyists and special interests are the ones that are introducing these kinds of requests, although that wasn't the case with me.


Ann, that's just campaign BS. Earmarks were just as corrupt during the first 3 years of Obama's Senate term, but he asked for a Billion dollars, including lots for his wife's firm, and political allies. Giving up earmarks this year was just a campaign ploy to take the issue off Ann's horizon.

He claims no lobbyiest or interest asked him for any of the Billion dollars? that he just thought up those projects on his own? Horse shit :)

His wife's firm thought enough to triple her salary.

1jpb said...

Can we have a poll option that judges the poll creator?

I always interpret (likely wrongly) that the "pie" option is an FU to the poll maker. Like; "the premise of your poll is so stupid that I will not participate in a constructive way."

Perhaps to remove the ambiguity rather than "pie" an option could be "the premise of your poll is so stupid that I will not participate in a constructive way."

Just tossing out ideas.

Peter V. Bella said...

Barak was not in DC enough this past year to pass earmark legislation. He just let Durbin the Turban do it for him.

During the debate Obama reminded me of the SNL Church Lady.

Bissage said...

I’m glad Barack Obama gets it.

Because I’m middle class . . .

and I’ve been really struggling . . .

and I need a fair shake.

And as soon as he’s President, his tax plan will shrink my enlarged prostate and I’ll get to enjoy those long, luxurious, carefree golden streams I enjoyed back when I was youthful class.

Now, that’s the change we need!

Pastor_Jeff said...

I think McCain's ad would have been more effective if it had closed with "So what do we need Obama for"?

Obama's ad was pretty good. He's obviously working hard to tie McCain to Bush.

I'd have loved to hear McCain say, "One of those times I 'voted with' the President was calling for reform of Fannie & Freddie 3 years ago. He's not wrong all the time, you know."

Michael said...

I guess if you're not a member of the middle class, McCain's disingenuous ad was brilliant.

It was edited in such as way as to make Obama sound like he was agreeing" with McCain although anyone actually watching the debate as Ann points out) knows that's a crock.

If you are a member of the middle class, I would think you would want someone on your side at this point in time...you know, considering what America is facing right now...and every poll I've seen has Obama winning the debate, sometimes by double digits.

*And someone tell me why McCain's think tank didn't remind him to at least mention the middle class at least once?

rhhardin said...

Obama thinks like a lefty commenter.

Four years of Open Thread is what Obama offers.

McCain thinks like a fighter pilot. Four years of interesting things.

Michael said...

Paster: "Obama's ad was pretty good. He's obviously working hard to tie McCain to Bush."

Seen the polls?

Michael said...

Brent: "Massa Barack"??

Nothing like injecting racism into a discussion.

What's wrong with you?

Michael said...

Bissage, why not just pick up some saw palmetto?

Michael said...

Joan, Speaking of "weak," if you actually watched the debate, damn near the first half was on the economy.

Duh.

veni vidi vici said...

Sure McCain's ad "wasn't really fair"...

But it's not like Obama talking about cutting taxes is true, so why is that fair? He can't hope to pay for his new programs without a big fat tax hike, and if he's cutting taxes on 95% of americans that means he's going to have Uncle Sam writing checks to about 30% of Americans.

I'm not really looking to elect Robin Hood here, just a credible president. Can this Barack douche please be a little more honest himself if he's going to have his surrogacy accusing McCain of dishonesty at every turn? Talk about voodoo economics...

Gimme a break. Or, "Gimme a Barack", as it were. A Barack I can believe in; this current model ain't closing the sale.

veni vidi vici said...

Problem with McCain's campaign is that while it is clever and cute with the cutting down to size of Obama, and has done a decent job annunciating McCain's impressive biography, the campaign still hasn't presented a coherent rationale FOR the ticket.

In my recollection, failure to move beyond "don't vote for that guy" into "vote for me because..." territory means that, no matter how likeable or accomplished the candidate, he will lose.

McCain's running out of time to close the deal himself.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Poorandmiddleclass" has been a single word for decades now. At election time, anyway; when it comes time to pay for it all, they find that the only way to get enough money is to tax it away from the richandmiddleclass.

DanMyers said...

Ann,

Don't you think Obasmic comparing earmarks to a tax cut supports John McCain's premise?

He brought up earmarks, Obasmic reponds with "Bad tax cuts - Bad, BAD".

If that doesn't shine a light on Obasmic's argument, I don't know what does. But, the pundits ignore them.... They've fallen for the Big O's cult of personality.. Can't say anything negative now.. No, that would be showing our white hate.... Baloney..

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Althouse: When 'cruel neutrality' comes to a screeching halt, do remember who was a humorless scold and who had the lighter touch. You'll have to put up with it for 4 years. No matter who wins, the 2012 campaign starts right away. [*shudder*]

Alex said...

Ah, I can see Baghadad Michael has his talking points all nice and fresh!

Michael said...

Alex, I have absolutely no idea what in the world you're referring to...especially the "Baghdad" part?

Try to be more concise.

Michael said...

Here's an ad (it would have to be 60 seconds) I wouldn't be surprised to see from Obama:

Palin's unblinking description of the importance of the bailout:

“That’s why I say I, like every American I’m speaking with, we’re ill about this position that we have been put in … where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh – it’s got to be all about job creation too. Shoring up our economy, and putting it back on the right track. So healthcare reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade, we’ve got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, um, scary thing, but 1 in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.”

Got that??

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Never mind that McCain's ad "wasn't fair," it was immature. He severely underestimates the public, as if everyone is going to think "Hey Obama agrees with McCain which means McCain is right!"

Any rational person sees Obama and thinks he's showing statesmanship, and then they see McCain (the man who says we must reach across aisles) turning it against him. Hypocritical and immature, and another big backfire. So much for McCain being a man of his word and encouraging bipartisanship.

Alex said...

shorter Zach:

any rational person knows that McCain is evil and will vote for the Obamessiah!

Alex said...

veni - and what coherent rationale has Obama presented for his ticket?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Alex putting words in peoples' mouths to try and distort the rational points they are making only makes you look...irrational.

UWS guy said...

Where would the McCain camp be if they did have Alex single handedly out there scrapping it up for them in the comment section at Althouse.

Beth said...

Alex putting words in peoples' mouths to try and distort the rational points they are making only makes you look

like a troll.

Michael said...

Alex's comments are generally so disjointed and unintelligible they're not worth the time.

He's either very young or just plain dense.

UWS guy said...

Both Obama's and McCain's ad informed moderates and independants that Obama is not some scary liberal.

McCain shot himself in the foot with undecided. How can it be bad that Obama agrees with McCain? That's how Obama beat Hillary!

democrat debates:

Hillary: blah blah blah healthcare.
Obama: I agree I agree I agree

McCain helps to make Obama appear more mainstream.

lose for mccain.

Joe said...

I'm in the middle class and truth be told, we're not only get a fair shake, we, as a group, are doing just fine tax-wise. If Obama and McCain really want to help; get government out of our lives. NCLB is offensive and so is the Federal government paying for preschool and other education programs THAT DON'T WORK.

EIC is an offense as are school lunch subsidy programs that allow a family of four making $38,000 a year to have subsidized school lunches. Subsidizing ethanol AND oil production is vile, though ethanol is worse since it's not a green fuel (by itself it's more polluting that Gas) and caused inflation in food markets.

EVERYONE earning a dime should be paying some income tax. If you don't have a stake and feel the pain of government, you're just voting for handouts and we know how that always works.

(And, once again, energy independence is a silly joke. It makes as much sense as mattress, toaster or blue jeans independence. We live in a connected world and having economic ties to that world promotes peace and stability, not the other way around. We really are better off being engaged in the middle east than not. Besides, most our oil supply doesn't actually come from the middle east anyway, but I don't expect demagogues to understand that [nor the press, which is composed of genuinely stupid people.])

Synova said...

Oh please... we all know that "I agree with McCain" is the equivalent of "Bless his heart."

Don't we?

You say, "Bless his heart, but he doesn't have the brains of a rabbit," because "Bless his heart" excuses you from the criticism.

So Obama uses (perhaps without really thinking about it) the phrase "I agree" to start out with the impression that he's not actually, really, being divisive. Is he actually, really, reaching across for understanding and cooperation? No.

And sure, it makes McCain's ad completely misleading... because what Obama was saying when he said he agreed with McCain was misleading. If he didn't mind misleading people into thinking he agreed with McCain, then I think it's fair for the ad to do the same. Plus, it's funny.

Obama's ad is boring. Might be effective, sorta. It does get the poor middle-class needs help message out there which the middle-class might not necessarily appreciate... except for those who do. Personally, I thought "middle class" meant you weren't poor... that you were nice and solid, got a nice if modest salary, and could send your kids to the state college or university if everyone worked hard to do that.

Is middle class the new poverty?

Robt said...

I know I risk ridicule because the house line for commenters-- althouse's cruel neutrality aside-- is that Obama is a gibbering idiot who can't speak without a teleprompter and says "um" a lot, and that John McCain is maverick war hero whose errors in judgment are really brilliant political strategy but:

The problem with McCain's ad is that it unintentionally reinforces the notion that Obama is a reasonable man.

The reason that the commenters on this blog don't recognize that the ad doesn't work is because it is for them: people who have contempt for Obama.

People will not come away from McCain's ad saying, "Yah, he's not ready to lead." They're going to watch it of the corner of their eyes and say, "He seems kind of okay." Ads happen in a context, and in the context of the rest of the campaign, this ad is loser. It does not work to advance McCain's standing with people who are uncertain about him.

It ends with same sneering, Limbaugh like tone that works with choir but makes the rest of the audience wonder why. This is one election that probably won't be decided by the base.

The unfortunate thing is that the commenters on this blog now sound like the carping leftists of the last eight years, whose only explanation for the failures of their candidates is that the opposing candidate is dumb or the electorate is.

Joe said...

PS. Obama is full of shit about energy independence. If he really believed that, he would not only pass a law allowing off shore drilling, his law would mandate it. He would open up oil shale and coal gasification.

Another point that pisses me off about Obama--if he believed all his bullshit, why hasn't he tried passing laws pushing it? Why hasn't he bucked the "junior senator" wrap and become a bull in a china shop? Why has he stood on the side lines?

McCain is a hypocrite too, but at least has sponsored and passed crap laws.

Joe said...

Obama is a blithering idiot and McCain is batshit crazy. Both see government as the solution; pox on both their houses.

Michael said...

Joe says: "Both see government as the solution."

Which aspect of the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, our general defense and social services do you feel "government" should step away from?

And who would you suggest take over the responsibilities?

Kirby Olson said...

I thought they were both extremely good. Better than I would have done for sure, by a power of 10, at the very least.

McCain is more comfortable making decisions, and getting out his response. He's not afraid to lead.

His ad plays on that.

Obama is patient and waits for a consensus, and then follows it. He's more of a follower, which McCain's ad points out.

It's going to be difficult as a president waiting to find out what you are supposed to do. Maybe he will say it is above his pay grade to lead the country, and will instead wait for Iran's leader, or Venezuela's leader, to tell him what to do.

Obama's supersmart, but he won't stick his neck out.

McCain's maybe not quite so smart in an academic way, but he's much more comfortable saying what he thinks, and putting it on the line.

Michael said...

Joe, you really think the key to "energy independence" is based in offshore drilling...not "long-term" alternative sources of energy?

Really?

Michael said...

Anybody who thinks Obama is "a gibbering idiot who can't speak without a teleprompter" is not being truthful.

I've watched many of Obama's speeches and the only time I've ever seen him uses a teleprompter is during an organized presentation as in the convention.

But I'll tell you this: try to find a McCain speech where he isn't constantly referring to file cards he's holding.

I have no idea, at this stage of the campaign, the man can't remember what he's going to say next...considering how many times he's given the same speech.

It's kind of scary.

Paddy O. said...

"I know I risk ridicule because the house line for commenters..."

No. You risk ridicule because it doesn't appear that you know what blog you are at or that you've read any of the comments here.

Synova said...

I think that the "Obama needs a teleprompter" thing is a pretty safe mime to recognize.

What I'm less sure of is presenting McCain as a superman who makes no mistakes. The man won the nomination because he was everyone's second or third choice.

And Obama's ability to present himself as someone who is reasonable and what all but the *facts* are that Obama votes his party line even more than his party does and McCain, no matter that Obama has charged that he's a Bush yes-man, does not.

Ralph said...

McCain is a hypocrite too, but at least has sponsored and passed crap laws.
Bless his heart.

I'll never forget Gephardt's mantra of "working families" in that labored, bombastic style of his.

Is any allusion to slavery or white supremacy still racist when a black person is in the role of the master? Brent's point holds even if Obama were all white. If Obama spoke in dialect, it might be different.

Joe said...

Michael,

Government should step away from
most aspects of the economy, getting out of Afghanistan (which is the true quagmire), and most social services.

"And who would you suggest take over the responsibilities?"

Us, you dumb ass. The problem with you liberal fools is that you think government is helpful beyond the basics of enforcing contracts and our basic civil liberties.

"you really think the key to "energy independence" is based in offshore drilling...not "long-term" alternative sources of energy?"

Ann has a post here about stupid things smart people believe. Alternative energy is one of them. Of course when liberals say "alternative energy" they don't mean nuclear or algae produced petroleum; they mean all sort of untentative "green" solutions that are years away from even providing a fractional amount of energy for the country. In the meantime, we could become 100% energy independent inside of ten years through coal, oil shale and domestic oil sources. I think it's dumb, but it is very possible.

chickenlittle said...

Joe said: Why hasn't he bucked the "junior senator" wrap and become a bull in a china shop? Why has he stood on the side lines?

I'm guessing but I think he was probably talked out of doing that.

Michael said...

Joe, in response to my query: "And who would you suggest take over the responsibilities" (of government)

Says: "Us, you dumb ass..."

OHHHHHHHHHH, I see.

When would you like to start on that next interstate highway or bridge levee or emergency related to hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, etc? (And bring along plenty of dough to pay for everything.)

And, hell yes...disband the military...WE'LL handle everything from this point on.

Oh, and forget about the veteran's administration...the vets should be able to handle things themselves.

And no more medicaid or medicare...let the elderly deal with their own medical expenses on their own.

Absolutely ridiculous.

vbspurs said...

And what's with that brown and gold radiating background they've put behind Obama? It looked like some combination of the Japanese war flag and a religious icon and a hypnosis pattern. Is that fair? It's fair enough.

Because Steve Schmidt is not only using the words used by Obama against Obama -- he's also rubbing his face in it with the kind of posters he inspires.

Like this.

McCain may yet lose, but it was through no lack of savviness and lightning-fast reactions by his staff.

More groovy Obama posters here.

Cheers,
Victoria

Michael said...

Joe, why not tell us where you live and you keep that nasty "government" out of your affairs.

*You're not living with Osama Bin Laden are you?

vbspurs said...

Aren't you guys intrigued by the evolution of the Change theme?

Obama's ad is now ended by a more specific variation: For the Change We Need.

Is he tacitly conceding that McCain/Palin are also agents of change, but that they are merely the wrong kind?

I think so.

Cheers,
Victoria

Michael said...

"McCain may yet lose, but it was through no lack of savviness and lightning-fast reactions by his staff."

You must be referring to the uniquely "savvy" selection of Sarah Palin? (Only 40% think she's qualified to be V.P.)

Or maybe telling everybody he was suspending" his campaign, but...you know, not really.

Or not taking part in the debate, but...you know, not really.

I'd say "sloppy" more than "savvy."

Michael said...

Joe, Can't come up with anything can you?

Ha.

Robt said...

Hey Paddy O-- I know what blog I'm reading, I just post infrequently and enjoy the show. That's why I know that whenever I'm in Brooklyn looking for the right gift for the woman I love, I should shop at LeeLee's Valise.

It's also why I also know that the hardening of the caricature of Obama among McCain supporters is the same mistake the left made about Bush. It just seems so much like the whole thing with Gore, all those democrats running around saying, but our guy is so smart, and entirely missing the point. Similar to the right's disbelief about Clinton-- and Clinton outflanked them at every turn.

Obama's just outdone McCain whenever it mattered, and, as a candidate, he's had to come a lot farther to do it. He's had to show he was reasonable, normal-- always not one thing or another.

McCain has the same problem Hillary (and Bill) did (and Al Gore and Bob Dole, for the matter)-- a problem George Bush (and Bill Clinton) didn't have: they think they deserve to be president, and forget that they have to be elected, and to get elected, you have to get people to want to vote for you. I get wait to see republican's running around hawking that Lakoff reframing stuff after this election is over.

James said...

vbspurs wrote:

"Is he tacitly conceding that McCain/Palin are also agents of change, but that they are merely the wrong kind?

I think so."

I don't think so, I think it has been changed for a couple reasons.

1) The previous variations, i.e. "Change we can believe in" sounds to wishy-washy, and plays into the McCain theme of Obama just speaking empty words. (Obviously, the change in slogan doesn't add more content, but it sounds more forceful).

2) The desire to be more forceful for another reason. In the wake of the current economic crisis, most people are (rightly or wrongly) blaming Bush and the Republicans, and you can see that in the hit in the polls McCain took. By changing the slogan to "change we need," they aren't conceding that McCain/Palin are agents of change, they are just reasserting the old "more of the same" line. As in, "We 'need' Obama's change because of how bad the Republicans have screwed up."

Joe said...

Michael, you are making the false and weak argument that because I oppose the current size and reach of the federal government, therefore I oppose all things the government does. You then intersperce places where federal government is appropriate (interstate commerce with the highway system) and places it is not (flood control, levees and government support to build and rebuild in highly risky areas.)

You fall for the fallacy that cutting some of government necessitates cutting all of it. The counter argument is that if the government is so good at all these things, why not expand it? Why not have it take over all health care. Why not have it take over all energy production? Why not have it take over running all public schools (and bad private ones.)

Do you honestly believe that federal control and bureaucracies are the most efficient way to do things? Why even have state government at all? Why have local government? Why bother having a local school board if the federal government can do a better job?

Incidentally, have you ever run your own company? Have you experienced first hand the heavy hand of federal regulation? Have you ever seen how complicated EIC is to administer?

I am not an anarchist and neither are most conservatives and libertarians. The US constitution deliberately put limits on government out of tacit recognition that governments are inherently inefficient and prone to become tyrants.

Even in those areas where government does work best, and has been specifically granted powers, such as "providing for the common defense", there are limits. Or do you think government should have a blank check for the military? (Or should I use your same stupid argument that if you're against, for example, the JSF, you must be against veterans benefits?)

So, to turn this around, what are the limits of government? None? Enlighten us.

vbspurs said...

Obama's just outdone McCain whenever it mattered, and, as a candidate, he's had to come a lot farther to do it. He's had to show he was reasonable, normal-- always not one thing or another.

This is where you are wrong.

He had to show only one thing -- that he was American enough. Though he tried to reassure his target audience of those uncomfortable with his odd background by saying his father came from Kenya NOT the Middle East, he failed by his almost mordaunt pronunciation of Pakistan and Taliban (and IIRC, Al-"Kayda").

If McCain thinks he deserves to be there (and let's be honest with ourselves that few men who are part of that stage, think anything but), Obama thinks he can say and do anything and still be elected.

He can't. He's got a long laundry list of anti-American associates and writing negatively about America. This scares the bejesus out of people.

Obama can't be Obama and win.

Cheers,
Victoria

Joe said...

Has it occurred to you Michael that you're making the same stupid argument as fascists about police power?

Someone says that believe in limited police powers; in throwing out evidence that was obtained by illegal means. The fascist responds "so, you don't believe in the police." Of course not; you believe that police should not have unfettered powers--that there should be limits and that there are many things police just aren't good at doing, even if they could do them.

vbspurs said...

James wrote:

)As in, "We 'need' Obama's change because of how bad the Republicans have screwed up."

But he can't say that outright, because he's still running an upbeat campaign, at least on paper, right?

The stakes couldn't be higher. Say it. Differentiate yourself from the Republicans in no uncertain terms.

"You want change? Democrats are not Republicans. We won't make the same mistakes"

If not a poster, at least just SAY IT like that. Americans are plain-talkers and Obama is much too professorial.

blake said...

Intelligent, educated people believe it's possible to debate "Michael"...

...wait, wrong thread.

Robt said...

But Victoria, people aren't scared of Obama. He had to disabuse people of the notion that he was somehow foreign and strange. That's why people who insist on calling him "Barry" are so confused-- they want it both ways. He's not really "Barack," he's really "Barry." Then they turn around and think that New Yorker cover was parody, yes, but kind of right, really.

To many people people, Obama looks just like your kid's best friend, or the guy you went to college with, or a kid in a Hollister ad.

If McCain understood that, he'd be attacking Obama for being Obama, not for being a caricature from the 20th century republican imagination. And he'd be consistently leading every poll in every state that mattered.

In a way, it's too bad. If McCain remembered who he was, he wouldn't have spent all that time last night reminding us how many years he's been in the Senate, of his many journeys to Waziristan, and of his conversations with George Schulz. He'd be someone who didn't have to.

bagoh20 said...

veni vidi vici said...

"In my recollection, failure to move beyond "don't vote for that guy" into "vote for me because..." territory means that, no matter how likeable or accomplished the candidate, he will lose."

Most people it seems to me feel that their guy is not great, but "at least he's not as bad as that other guy".

I actually think voting against a candidate has been at least as strong as the vote for one in the last 2 elections. The anti-Bush vote sticking to McCain is very thick. I know many people who know absolutely nothing about these candidates except that they believe McCain is closer to Bush than Obama and that does it for them. I want to vet all voters personally. They need to at least know the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow in order to enter the voting booth.

Joe said...

What do you mean, an African or European Swallow?

Joe said...

For those too bored: http://www.style.org/unladenswallow/

cubanbob said...

Liberals are so accustomed to Hollywood special effects that they can't distinguish science and scientific facts and science fiction.
Alternative energy is a crock. Just because some things like solar energy are workable on a small scale does not translate in to being a commercially viable energy production method. Some day perhaps, when the physics and technology are further advanced, but not today.

I would like to replace my worn out di-lithium crystals in my rebuilt warp core, but unfortunately there aren't any available at the moment.

Obama assets that we have only 3% of the worlds oil reserves but we consume 25% of the worlds production. Lets stipulate as lawyers like to do that the assertion is correct (about reserves and consumption). He is either too ignorant, too stupid or more likely thinks the public is too stupid to be unable to distinguish the difference between world total reserves and our annual consumption. And that is taking his assertions as fact. The 3% figure is a current politically defined reserve as opposed to a geophysical reserve. Huge difference.

We need to drill here, drill now not only for our economic health but for national defense reasons.
Putin, Chavez and Amadingdong have one thing in common. They are essentially banana republics with oil being the banana. They need high oil prices to sustain their regimes and are willing to cause trouble just to prop up the price of oil. If we get serious about drilling for oil at home, prices will drop dramatically and seriously affect those regimes. For their worse and our better.

Regrettably McCain did not pound home clearly what a fool Obama is.
One doesn't talk head of state to head of state with ones adversaries. You dictate terms to your adversaries. You talk to your friends and allies and trading partners. What exactly are we supposed to discuss with Iran? Which country besides Israel they intend to annihilate? The problem with Iran is the same as with North Korea. Clinton sent his secretary of state their. We talked to them. They made promises and assurances. They kept neither. They played us for fools. And we were fools. We knew better but chose to delude ourselves.

We need to use our power to suit us. We forget just how powerful we are. Imagine if our 'friends', 'allies' and trade partners were given a simple choice: you can do business with us or you can do business with them, but not both. And you have a month to make your decision and wind up your affairs with the US if you chose them. When put bluntly to them, it clarifies the matter to all parties concerned. We have the better hand. Its time to play it.

Obama is beyond stupid to insist on a timed withdrawal from Iraq. All it does is to tell the enemy to lay low and wait until we are gone. Sheer brilliance (if your for the other side). Naturally he has never seen a map of Afghanistan. If he did, he would not make such foolish comments about being tougher on Pakistan. Just exactly how do we supply our troops there if we have no access to Pakistan? Through Iran? Russia? China? So he publicly threatens to cross the border in to a country we need and that is armed with nuclear weapons without their permission but expect them roll over? No. One does what we are doing, quietly killing the bad guys in Pakistan without being publicaly seen doing that. Yet Bush is the so-called dummy according to the leftist. One has to be a liberal to believe such things. No ordinary person could be that big a fool.

He wants to to punish the Wall Street fat cats. Fine by me since almost all of them are democrats and give heavily to the democrats. He wants to raise taxes on the rich, who already pay most of the countries income taxes. So when the parasite tax consuming class gets their cut just remember this: 75% of the workforce works for small business and middle sized business.
The ones who's taxes Obama wants to raise in the name of 'fairness'. Naturally those businesses will need to cut expenses in a slow economy when their taxes are increased. Just remember when looking in the mirror which is the easiest expense your boss can cut.
And if you are self employed and in the services business such a fitness trainer, well it doesn't take a Harvard MBA to know what are the first personal expenses to be cut when your clients taxes rise considerable.
Enjoy your tax cut while standing on the employment line singing 'brother can you spare a dime?'

So if we bug out out of Iraq, our troops died for nothing and our word and guarantees mean nothing. Which simply assures that in the future we will pay an even heavier price. In the seventies the Democrats stabed America in the back when they took a fragile victory in SE Asia and instead of buttressing our victory and helping an ally, they stabbed our ally in the back. A bit of air power along with ammunition replacement would have resulted in another huge loss for North Vietnam in 1975, just like the failure of the NVA's 1972 offensive. 58 thousand dead for nothing. And like waves in a pond when skipping a stone, from that act of treason we are still paying the price. Africa, Afghanistan, Khomeini, we are still paying for the consequences of the Democrats treason and leftist idiocy.

McCain did the nation a wonderful service when he helped the House Republicans tell the Democrats to go screw themselves along with Paulson the Secretary of Goldman Sachs. Let Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi pass their abortion of a bailout package all on their own. They won't and if the Republicans continue their show of manliness, it will be the Democrats who cave on the bill's conditions. McCain has already proven to be a better president than Obama could ever be and that's before his election.

John Stodder said...

If you are a member of the middle class, I would think you would want someone on your side at this point in time...you know, considering what America is facing right now...and every poll I've seen has Obama winning the debate, sometimes by double digits.

This is a weirdly disconnected way of talking about people, which illustrates why Obama's ad falls flat.

I'm a lifelong member of the middle class, and yet I seldom think of myself as part of a class. The whole idea of classes having distinct, definable interests is so 19th Century, but the Democrats of late have truly perverted it. The vast majority of this country is middle class, and they don't all agree with each other on the proper role of government. Thomas Frank, one of the most childlike pseudo-intellectuals on the planet, sees divisions in the middle class as due solely to false consciousness stoked by Republicans' appeal to their bitter religious and gun-totin' sides. But there is no evidence that the only thing keeping the middle class from joining the left are the social issues. Middle class people have enough education, generally, to come to their own diverging conclusions about what "being on my side" constitutes. Some of them recognize that the kinds of federal programs offered by the Democrats as their answers to every problem generally haven't performed as advertised. Others remain hopeful.

But that leads to dishonesty #2 about Michael's prattling and the Obama ad. What exactly has Obama proposed for helping the middle class? I know, I know: Health insurance reform and a tax cut, all paid for by a tax increase on the rich.

Sure, some in the middle class will line up and say thank you for these gifts Obama bestows upon us. But others recognize that in a global economy, taxing the rich and the business world doesn't increase the society's overall wealth. Therefore, every gain in assets allocated to the middle class by government leads to a loss somewhere else: Fewer jobs, higher consumer prices, fewer choices. And, worse yet, it's not a 1:1 tradeoff. If you tax Mr. Rich an extra $100,000, by the time you get to handing it out to the middle class, you've got only $50,000 to work with (or less). It costs money to collect it, and to make sure there is compliance. It costs money to run the redistribution programs. Unlike the creation of wealth through enterprise, where value is (hopefully) added at each stage of the process, in a redistribution scheme, value is subtracted each time the money changes hands.

Michael, you have to have a pretty patronizing idea of middle class voters as stupid if you think an ad proclaiming Obama is "on the side of the middle class" will be persuasive. What's he really offering? A heartfelt "attaboy" isn't enough. The good intentions of politicians and bureaucrats aren't enough. Obama needs to show us how his plans will spur economic growth, which is the only thing all members of the middle class benefit from. So far, he's neglected to do this. And that's why his ad falls flat.

As a footnote, citing the fact that polls show the middle class supports Obama's pitch by wide margins are, first of all, not necessarily the case. There aren't enough rich people to elect anybody if the middle class unites behind a candidate. I'm not even sure what poll you're pointing to, but you're being credulous if you believe it. But secondly -- so what? Are you saying middle class people will vote for Obama if they perceive other middle class people are? Is that why Obama fans always point to the polls as if that's an argument for him? I'm supposed to overlook the insubstantial nature of Obama's pitch, just because other people like me like him?

To whatever extent Obama's got an advantage in this election, it's because of Iraq, Bush fatigue, ethnic pride, partisan loyalty and his excellent performances on the stump in the early months of his campaign. It's not because he's closed the deal with the middle class. And I don't think saying, "I heart you middle class" is an intelligent way for him to get over the hump.

After sleeping on it, I think the reason McCain won the debate is purely and simply because he offered more substance. That's Obama's problem and it's been his problem all along. If he doesn't overcome it, he'll lose despite all his advantages.

zeek said...

I can see the bumper stickers now.

"John is right." -- Barack Obama

blake said...

Stodder (as always) makes a good point.

I'm middle-class, I'm pretty sure. At one point, in the late '90s, I was making money hand-over-fist--but I was still middle class. Then I made some life changes and found myself (after Bush's tax cuts "for the rich") getting my withholdings refunded. Still middle class.

I could inherit 5 million and still be middle class, or get so many properties that the income flow made it unnecessary for me to work--and I'd still be middle class. Or at least as middle class as I've ever been.

As an American, I feel more kinship with the CEO who becomes fantastically wealthy through hard work cleverly applied, than I do with someone who doesn't work--who never has worked, whether because they have always been very, very rich or very, very poor.

I have esoteric tastes in a lot of things, but they didn't change because I was richer or poorer.

"Class" is a very feeble construct in this country--as it should be. The worst thing the government could do is try to encourage--and ossify--a class hierarchy. A caste system.

The AMT was a tax on the rich--whoops! "Rich" during the Civil War was $10,000 a year. "Rich" was the top 1% at one point.

And the only value the label has is to determine how much money the government can take from you?

The government should not be in the business of dividing its people up.

Daddio said...

I think it is interesting that during the whole bracelet thing, each candidate told us something significant about his supporters.

John McCain's supporter said,"promise me one thing, that you'll do everything in your power to make sure that my son's death was not in vain." That seems to honor the cause her son was fighting for but even more to honor his specific activity. She clearly believed he was doing the right thing. We was a soldier and he was fighting for his country. Her request to John McCain seems to me to be very normal and realistic.

Barak Obama's supporter asked him, "can you please make sure another mother is not going through what I'm going through." Her son was a soldier, he died fighting. She seems to believe that his activity as a soldier wasn't worth dying for. It seems to disregard the value of soldiers in general. How realistic is it to expect the president to prevent soldiers from dying in a war? Do Obama supporters really believe that he will somehow end all wars or that maybe he is so smart, he will fight our wars in such a way that there are no casualties? Or is "what I'm going through" a statement of her feeling that her son died in vain. If so Obama should have refused the bracelet because he immediately went on to explain that "No U.S. soldier ever dies in vain because they're carrying out the missions of their commander in chief." This seems like a pretty shallow statement and indicates a real failure to grasp the concept of patriotism. I've never met a soldier who signed up and put his life on the line for the honor of following the orders of the Commander in Chief. Does Obama believe that soldiers would do this for him? If so recruiting posters should ditch Uncle Sam and replace his picture with Obama's, "I want you!"

I know that the left is fond of calling themselves the "reality based community" but I think their fundamental misunderstanding of soldiering and warfare are a very dangerous thing indeed.

Paddy O. said...

"the hardening of the caricature of Obama among McCain supporters"

See, that's sort of what I'm getting at. This blog, and the commenters here don't have a hardened caricature, nor is there cheerleading party for McCain. There are supporters, but it seems like you're trying to frame everyone who supports McCain within this stock response.

Lakoff wasn't popular with conservatives, he was popular with Democrats who tried to understand conservative values, when they thought those values were clearly absurd.

We're just shooting our responses like we see them, and to me I see Obama assuming he deserves the presidency as much if not more than McCain is, which leads your suggestion to go towards Dems as well. Obama, after all, is the one with repeated gaffes this election concerning his assumption of the win. The crowds in Germany, the seal on the podium, etc.

Don't caricature McCain. He had the primary lost and he came back because he broke out of what people expect.

And please don't have stock responses to stock McCain supporters here. Especially after just above I laid into McCain and expressed how much better Obama's ads were.

Except for a few people who I suspect are here for their own peculiar trolling fueled ego the people here generally are individuals who are sharing their well thought out opinions, not falling into group think.

Not realizing this, but instead seeing only locked in framing, is a great way to entirely misunderstand a very large portion of our society.

Sometimes, after all, people simply disagree, without either being evil or disingenuous, or stupid. Realizing this would go a long way towards solving this political rancor that has developed, no matter who wins.

Jason said...

Think again about Obama:

Washington, DC – September 26, 2008 – Barack Obama is now using local law enforcement officials to carry out his campaign of legal intimidation by assembling a group of high-ranking Missouri police officials and prosecutors – including St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCullough and City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce – to identify and target anyone the campaign determines is producing “misleading” political advertisements.

* * *

Gov. Matt Blunt Statement on Obama Campaign’s Abusive Use of Missouri Law Enforcement

JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Matt Blunt today issued the following statement on news reports that have exposed plans by U.S. Senator Barack Obama to use Missouri law enforcement to threaten and intimidate his critics.

“St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.

“What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.

“This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights. The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.

“Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts - not a free society.”

John Stodder said...

“That’s why I say I, like every American I’m speaking with, we’re ill about this position that we have been put in … where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh – it’s got to be all about job creation too. Shoring up our economy, and putting it back on the right track. So healthcare reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade, we’ve got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, um, scary thing, but 1 in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.”

Okay, maybe it's time to give Palin her due here.

This is obviously poorly expressed. She's not always this inarticulate. It's easy to find clips from interviews and debates in Alaska to see where she is above-average as a political speaker. So, at least in this one interview, she fucked up royally.

But if you parse what she says, is any of it wrong?

“That’s why I say I, like every American I’m speaking with, we’re ill about this position that we have been put in … where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out."

Well, yeah. This thing would have passed a week ago if it wasn't so unpopular and didn't make taxpayers so uneasy.

"But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh – it’s got to be all about job creation too."

Well, okay, this is particularly bad. But behind the confused verbage, there is an undeniable point: If the credit markets don't pick up again, we will go into a deep recession. There will be a lot of people laid off, quite suddenly, and they will all lose their health care in the bargain. She's trying to say a lot of supposedly separate issues actually depend on this bailout. Which I believe Obama, Biden, McCain, Dodd, Reid, Schumer et. al. agree with.

"Shoring up our economy, and putting it back on the right track. So healthcare reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade, we’ve got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, um, scary thing, but 1 in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity."

Well, she's swirling around an issue that actually divides Obama and McCain. Obama is a straddler on free trade. He tells labor audiences one thing, business audiences another. But it's fair to predict that under Obama, free trade will slow down, just as it did at the outset of the depression because of Republican isolationism.

"All of those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.”

So this demonstrates a key point about Palin's gaffes. They aren't gaffes. She sounds like a ditz. But she's describing a difference in her ticket's approach and Obama's. Her thinking is clear where her expression isn't.

Obama is the reverse. He is a smooth talker, but refuses to let himself be pinned down; on the bailout, on trade policy and on any strategy for job creation. He could win my vote if he'd just stop straddling on economic issues, stop with the poll-tested sound bites, and just give us the straight story on what he'd do and how he'd do it.

Kirby Olson said...

Obama just can't win.

Getting down the Democratic gauntlet to nomination is a matter of seeming to be tolerant on every issue, and sticking your head in the sand on every issue.

That wins you the Democratic nomination.

It's exactly why he'll lose the general election.

Eli Blake said...

brent:

Obama made $4 million last year. So to him that's not 'middle class.'

Of course it is middle class to McCain, who said at the Saddleback forum that 'rich' meant earning five million a year.

As for referring to 'middle class' as opposed to 'working class' or 'poor' that's not hard to explain either:

Rush Limbaugh and other Republicans have poisoned the well, so that if a Democrat talks about helping the 'poor' then he automatically is portrayed a teary eyed librul who is going to take all your money away and give it to poor people who don't work by choice, and if he talks about the 'working class' then the appeal is supposed to be limited to union members.

It is really a sad thing, because there are many issues related to the poor, such as medicaid, homelessness, poverty and having enough to eat that are just plain not being addressed anymore, but that's reality. Until some Democrat (probably one who is already in office) decides to push back hard on the poverty issue (i.e. like the Kennedy 'war on poverty') it will continue to be obscured because the rabid mouths of the right have done such a good job of mocking the 'poor' and anyone who proposes that we do anything for them.

blake said...

Of course it is middle class to McCain, who said at the Saddleback forum that 'rich' meant earning five million a year.

It's interesting that you start your post about "poisoning the well" with a misleading statement.

Should I say, in response, that "Eli Blake doesn't think that earning five million a year is rich?"

I don't think so.

But then, I don't think any of the "War on"s have been successful.

Eli Blake said...

blake,

You are free to contend that the war on poverty, etc. were ineffective.

But that is not what my point was. What I am saying is that it is effectively off-limits to even suggest any kind of program designed to help poor people, because if you propose one you immediately are classified as a naive socialist (aw, boo-hoo.) Which is a problem because there certainly are some issues affecting the poor (like those I referred to) that exist and if no one can talk about them in a political debate they won't just go away.

blake said...

But Eli, could it not be that the incredible failure of said programs is what's made them poisonous, just as it's made Communism poisonous?

You're blaming right-wing hosts--and I'd certainly concede (without really knowing) that they were responsible for getting a point-of-view out.

But had the War on Poverty been successful, wouldn't its champions be able to point to it and say, "See? No more poor!" Or at least "Fewer poor!"?

Is the right-wing propaganda machine so powerful that it can squash the staggering success of the War on Poverty? And, if so, why is it so powerfully weak on so many other issues?

I'm really not trying to snark here. It seems to me that we have (or have had) people being supported by state-run agencies and schooled in state-run schools who end up having children supported by state-run agencies and schooled in state-run schools.

At that point, the state has all the power, and through no apparent conscious design, it uses that power to make more people who are dependent on it.

I had a relative on welfare in the '70s. She had to cheat to get off it. If she got a job, no matter how poorly it paid, she lost her benefits and didn't have enough money to get by on. So she cheated until she could support herself.

The problem with bureaucracies is that they don't want you to escape. The problem with gov't bureaucracies is that they often have the power to make escape impossible.

Synova said...

War never solves anything.

;-)

blake said...

War solves a few minutes of boredom if you have a deck of cards and you're 10-years-old.

Fen said...

Micheal: But I'll tell you this: try to find a McCain speech where he isn't constantly referring to file cards he's holding.

I have no idea, at this stage of the campaign, the man can't remember what he's going to say next...considering how many times he's given the same speech.

It's kind of scary.


Sure, just like Churchill. Damn you're a frickin moron.

Still no comment on Fascist Obama trying to shut down media that criticizes him? Just like your hero Chavez, eh?

Peter V. Bella said...

Still no comment on Fascist Obama trying to shut down media that criticizes him? Just like your hero Chavez, eh?

Fen, try closer to home; Harry Reid.

Leland said...

Obama thinks we should classify people and that only the middle deserve anything special. Why is that a good ad?

What happened to the notion of the government treating people as equals?

sydney said...

I second Leland.

It always makes me nervous when politicians start talking about the "middle class" as if we are some sort of special interest group. The founding fathers didn't base our government on class resentment but on the idea that all men are created equal. It's what distinguished our nation from other revolutions going on in the world at the time. Consider France. Their revolution was explicitly fueled by class resentment. They ended up with the Reign of Terror.