Sunday, September 28, 2008

Why Obama Won the Debate

Immediately after the debate was over, I thought that Obama had probably forced a tie, and that since he was leading in the polls, and McCain's recent behavior could charitably be described as erratic, that a tie translated to a win for Obama.

Imagine my surprise Saturday morning when I read the news sites, to find that all the focus groups, and many of the pundits, had declared Obama the winner. And not even a close winner, but winner by a large margin. While I'm thrilled to hear it, it took me a while to figure out why.

And then it hit me. People are desperately hungry for change. Recent polls have shown that the current administration has an approval rating of 29%. But voters barely know Obama. The Right Wing Noise Machine has been extremely busy painting Obama as a risky, inexperienced neophyte, and, you know, a black guy, absolutely unready to serve as president. Friday night, Obama showed up in a business suit instead of a track suit, he didn't speak in rhyme, and he demonstrated a wide knowledge of every subject that he was asked about. In other words, he's a perfectly acceptable candidate for president. And he's not a Republican. He hasn't spent the last eight years voting for every important Bush program, and indeed, campaigning for Bush.

In other words, Obama won the debate because the American people desperately needed and wanted him to win the debate.

For all practical purposes, this election is over.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Barack Obama for President--of Arkansas

A week ago Saturday, Mrs. Archaeopteryx and I drove up to Pine Bluff to buy a few gewgaws at Lowe's, and to have lunch at Chili's. I wore an Obama 08 t-shirt. Several people stopped me to ask where I'd gotten my shirt. Some were black, some were white. That night at dinner back in Monticello, a man came over to our table and said "I'd like to compliment that shirt." This past Saturday, the missus and I made our monthly trek up to Little Rock to hit Sam's, and Barnes and Noble, and to run a few other errands. Again I wore the t-shirt, and again, people walked up to me and commented on my shirt--it made me a celebrity. I stood in line at Sam's ahead of two old white ladies who were discussing their clearly fundamentalist Bible studies. One of them saw my shirt and said, "Where'd you get that? I've been looking for yard signs and can't find them." A middle-aged white guy walked up to me in Garden Ridge, and made me put down a double-armload of tailgating supplies (Go Weevils!) so that he could shake my hand. "We can't take another four years of the same stuff," he said.

My point--no need to write off Arkansas. Where is the state party on this? How come Governor Beebe isn't publicly supporting the nominee of the party? Maybe it's hopeless to think that Obama could win Arkansas, but it's important that he make a good showing. I understand that the national campaign has to concentrate its resources in the states where it will most likely produce results, but I give money to the state party, and I expect them to at least try to mobilize the electorate here. And, frankly, I think that a lot of people are overestimating the effects of racism in this race. Sure, there are a lot of old fuddy-duddies who wouldn't vote for a black man if he were running against Satan. There are also a lot of old white people who have enough sense to vote their interests, even if it means a brother in the White House. There is a huge amount of pent-up anger against the Republican regime, right here in Arkansas. Somebody should tap it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Train Wreck

Husband belonged to successionist party, she attended conventions.
Troopergate, abuse of power, lying
Lousy record as mayor--nearly faced recall, left city in debt
Fired city workers who did not offer political support
For abstinence-based sex ed, teen daughter pregnant, first child born eight months after wedding
Belongs to faux-feminist anti-feminist group
Spent most of life in a church that preached voting for Kerry would send you to hell
Global-warming denier
Foreign policy experience apparently limted to knowledge of Russia's proximity to Alaska
Fund-raiser, political partner of Ted Stevens
Lied about support of "Bridge to Nowhere"
Hired one of Jack Abramoff's lobbyists
Flew from Dallas to Seattle to Anchorage, then drove for an hour to allegedly give birth to a premature Down's baby.
Mother-in-law refuses to endorse
May have lied about being Miss Congeniality in Miss Wasilla Pageant
For drilling in ANWR
Against gay rights, even though "has some gay friends"
Opposed endangered-species status for polar bears, offered bounties on wolves to increase moose populations, shows a complete lack of understanding of wildlife ecology
Wanted to ban books from city library

NOTE: This post originally said that Palin herself was member of a successionist group, which party officials and voter registration records seem to deny.