Sorry I’ve just been posting links lately, I’ve been working a ton and my brain doesn’t have much energy left for original thought. In any case, read these
Many people have mentioned that Palin has benefited from being an attractive woman, and Obama has benefited from being black. One thing that has not been mentioned is that Obama is a good looking black guy. If he were eight inches shorter, 80 pounds heavier, and sweated a lot, would anyone even remember him at this point, or would he be hanging out with Richardson on the short list for Secretary of State?
Since these have been piling up in Firefox, here’s what I’ve been reading
- Obama and the Born-Alive issue – ghoulish stuff. The controversy of abortion is where one draws the line on person vs potential person. Even the most ardent pro-choicers seem to draw it at birth, but it seems not everyone does.
- Via Will Wilkerson
Obama terrifies me: an intelligent, thoughtful, well-prepared, capably extemporaneous man ascribing a future holocaust to some sort of non-existent, fantastical, steroidal Iran; talking about unsanctioned cross-border incursions into Pakistan because we found bin Laden, or some such, and must “take him out”; warbling around about “main street” while, in a lawerly, circumlocutory way signaling that he’s ultimately going to get behind hundred-billion-dollar cash bailouts to institutions that ought to be dismantled, destroyed, scattered to the wind. He wants GM to make electric cars. He wants the American people to know that he will appear before them to make extravagant xenophobic declarations in order to assuage their insecurity about the rise of other competing economies. He does this all in a calm, perfectly reasonable manner, with a convincing boardroom demeanor, and judging by the reactions of my liberal friends, with whom I listened, this was basically pleasing to them.
McCain is of course out of his mind: forgetful, vicious, reactionary. And his ideas are even crazier than BO’s, but there’s a certain comfort in the fact that their insanity is laid so plainly and mercilessly bare by the grinning psychopath’s delivery. He provides no quarter for those who want to convince themselves that by Killing People for Their Own Good we are not actually killing them, or that by suborning corporate malfeasance we are combating it, or that by desperately seeking to maintain the geography of radial sprawl and the automobile we are seeking “energy independence.”
I’ve had the thought lately regarding McCain, Bush, and bailouts – if we’re going to have corporate socialism shouldn’t we have a Democrat do it? At least they don’t have the supposed association with the free market that Republicans do.
- David Friedman on the bailout
The failure of a firm doesn’t wipe out wealth, except to the extent that the firm itself—its firm culture, web of relationships and such—has some value. When a firm fails, that is at least some evidence that that value was negative, which is why nobody chose to buy out the firm and keep it going. The ordinary assets of the firm—its buildings, land, stocks, bonds, mortgages, and whatever it owns—don’t vanish when the firm fails, they get sold to someone else.
The bailout is not a way of preventing the loss of value. The loss (or transfer) of value occurred when people made bad mortgage loans. What happened more recently was the recognition of that loss. All the bailout can do is to shift the loss from some people to others, from the stockholders and creditors of firms that are now effectively bankrupt to the taxpayers.
On the whole, I think they both came out well. Obama is clearly not at his best in this forum, and does not think on his feet that well. His response to the economics questioning was stunted and halting, but largely came around during the foreign policy portion. McCain was consistent throughout. The real shocker (to me anyway) was Obama supporting Ukrainian and Georgian membership in NATO, which is truly a horrible idea. Of course, McCain seemed to support it too.
There was little I actually agreed with in most of the debates; both of them seemed to like the status quo of America the GloboCop, and neither seemed to have any meaningful problem with the Wall Street bailout, but it could have been a lot worse (for America). On the whole, it seemed like McCain was the honest authentic guy, and Obama was an honest authentic guy’s attourney which is the usual pattern.
More thought later most likely.
As Congress seems to be willing to give the Treasury secretary a check for 700 billion with no strings attached, where are our two main nominees? As far as I can tell they’re not in the Senate doing the job they were actually elected to do. And we’re expected to respect their “experience” and “judgment”?!?!
Check out this clip of Obama (accurately) decrying the false umbrage over some “lipstick on a pig” comment, and longing for a return to “issues”. Think of the implications. The McCain campaign is fighting the war they’re in, while Obama campaign fighting the war they wish they were fighting. It’s quite similar to most of the Bush presidency, and by extension saying that your enemies hate you for your “virtues”.
Just imagine what the debate would be like if the candidates had clear, consistent ideologies (a la Wilson, Reagan (sort of clear) or Polk) or clear records of achievement, like Bill Gates, David Petraeus, or Andrew Carnegie. Instead it’s a desperate attempt to convince the electorate that if elected they’ll pull off five consecutive miracles when they can’t even do simple card tricks.
In reading over this, I realize that the above paragraphs aren’t particularly clear, but I’m in a rush.
It seems to me that the McCain campaign is using Sarah Palin to draw out the worst of the democratic leaning population, which will cause the not that interested voter to associate the Obama campaign with the Move-On/Cindy Sheehan crowd, and hence be turned to Obama. Pretty clever.
On another note, isn’t Palin a wonderful blank canvas on which people can project their hopes and desires? She’s the equal of Obama in that regard.
Sarah Palin was a good choice. Why?
The voters have made it clear that they do not care about experience this year. If they did, then the election would be between Richardson (governor, former cabinet secretary) and Romney (former governor, businessman and olympic organizer). Nor do they care about ideology, if they cared about that, the campaign would be between Fred Thompson (remember him), the closest follower of Reagan running in 2008, and Clinton, who basically (along with Bill) defined the modern Democratic party.
Instead it’s a contest of tribes.
The Republicans quickly split off into the evangelicals (with Huckabee as their champion) vs Everybody Else (featuring St John of Arizona).
The Democrats presented a more interesting conflict. They split off into the Black vote, the white working class vote, the over 35 woman vote, the progressive (aka elitist) vote, with a little “Return to Normalcy” tribe (sort of like the Druse or Mormons) sprinkled in.
The Black and Progressive tribes roped in the Return to Normalcy tribe and triumphed over the over 35 woman and white working class tribes, and annointed their chosen one. (On a side note, isn’t tribal warfare in America better than in other countries?)
McCain accurately saw the rules of the game as they are currently defined and saw a chance to pick off the dead enders in the WWC and over 35 woman tribes, and took it. I still think Obama is going to win in November, but it’s going to be much closer than it would be if he nominated, say, Romney or Ridge.
Via the Agitator – I bring you VPILF.com!
And I now coin the term “McCain’s other trophy wife” which the Dems will start using in approximately fifteen minutes.