My 82 y.o. Mom in Keokuk, Iowa called the other day. The afternoon ahead might have been dreary. The weather had finally turned cold and grey and my Mom won’t be headed to Florida this year to escape the long Iowa winter. My Aunt Pood, as we call her, was admitted to the nursing home on dialysis and Mom was headed there with some food and comfort.
But she was still ecastatic. She had just finished watching Barack Obama’s first news conference. "It was so uplifting!" she said. "He has a sense of humor and he answered the questions so clearly! The election just gives me so much hope."
Lee County, Iowa where I grew up - a rural farming area bounded by the mighty Mississippi to the east and Des Moines river to the west - voted for Obama by a huge margin.
The McCain camp has a litany of excuses for why the Arizona senator lost the election. The economic meltdown. Media bias. Barack Obama’s money machine etc. etc. Pundits like Kruthhaumer and
(First, his money machine came from small donors like my Mom. Or people like my most certainly not-wealthy sister and her husband and her friends and my friends - who gave and gave and gave, nd then gave some more, in $100 increments as their paychecks arrived. It was the ultimate in public financing.)
Media bias? The McCain camp only has itself to blame for the negative stories. They behaved badly. They engaged in stunts. They stoked hate and and fear in their supporters. It’s ironic that the press is accused of bias when they were simply reporting the news.
This brings me to a certain ugliness in the McCain campaign which I believe is the single biggest reason - besides the irresponsible choice of Sarah Palin as the VP candidate - that the McCain campaign lost - a vein of elitism and disdain for the voter - not smart enough to understand the lies, contradictions, the ugliness, lacking entirely in critical thinking skills.
The single biggest mistake: The McCain camp truly disdains the electorate. The term "low-information" voter started popping up on Twitter. The McCain camp was going for the group, the group they assumed wouldn’t notice the lies and manipulations, wouldn’t fact check. I’m not sure where the following came from, perhaps it was a press briefing but NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen posted this on Twitter in September.
but the proliferation of Twitter and other forms of social media overwhelmed the lies.
Iowans on the whole are educated. They’re well-informed. Most of all, they have manners. Name-calling? It just isn’t done. The difference between now and the 2000 election: many people in my home town have high speed internet, many with wireless routers installed in their house. T
his year, election pertubations hit the youtube and twitter with blazing speed. Within minutes, the latest comments off cable news - from the McCain campaign crazy lady to Congressman Bachman’s make it to Youtube and onto the blogs.
If I had to identify the demarkation when the McCain camp nastiness really got rolling, it started with the manufactured lipstick on a pig controversy. At the same time, the McCain camp released a sex education ad which implied that Obama was sex offender.
Discussion erupted on Twitter, a true on-line clubhouse for the MSM. The press piled in, and rightly so, to denounce the ad. And while the McCain camp was throwing chum in the press waters, the economy melting fast. (Click here to read up on details on how the McCain camp pushed the fake controversy.)
And no, I don’t buy for a second that the press has a liberal bias. Press reports seemed negative because the press was reporting what was in front of them - racism, manufactured controversies, guilt-by-association, involvement of McCain operatives in the Ashley Todd hoax, the emergency The McCain camp only has themselves to blame.
he’s elderly with four bouts of cancer (possibly metastasized melanoma). Governor Sarah Palin would be in line for the presidency.
After spending hours every day following media coverage - from watching cable news and reading blogs and newspapers across the country and tweeting, tweeting, tweeting, and more tweeting - I feel as if I could write endlessly about the disaster that has become the McCain campaign and why the Sith Lord Wing of the Republican party must be sent packing.
To be honest, I’m not even convinced Karl Rove is the Sith Lord Wing. Perhaps, the wing is led by senior McCain advisor Charlie Black. ???? seemed to think so when he discussed on Lou Dobbs the dispicable Elizabeth Dole smears in North Carolina. When ??? pointed the finger at Black the ???? groaned in unison.
Whoever the culprits are, they need to go. They destroyed the candidacy of a once honorable maverick, Senator John McCain. Plus, they wasted hours of voter time on trivial matters, thrown into the water like such much chum. It seemed they were willing to do anything distract the voters from the real issues.
This litany of offenses is long. I’m starting to hear whining about about liberal media bias. For heaven’s sake people, look in the mirror for once. The McCain camp was hell-bent on going negative, and the press simply relected this.
Manufactured controversies- from lipstick on a pig to the latest manipulation of Obama’s coal remarks. Click here to read the details of how the pig lipstick controversy was engineered.
Over the weekend, the Republican National Committee came up with pig lipstick redux. They distributed a flat out lie about a supposed San Francisco Chronicle "cover-up" of an Obama remark about the coal industry. Sarah Palin railed about the "cover-up" at a rally in Ohio. Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter spewed.
However, the story was entirely false and when they were outed, RNC refused to retract the story. An infuriated San Francisco Chronicle wrote an editorial titled "Palin’s Reckless Desperation."
Race-Baiting: McCain’s Pennsylvania Director of Communication was implicated in the Ashley Todd hoax. He pushed an inflammatory version of the story to Pennsylvania tv stations before the police released details.
Outright Fabrications: McCain senior advisor Charlie Black (see above) was apparently the force behind the Elizabeth Dole ad in NC in which a voice over was used to put words in the mouth of her opponent.
The endless guilt by association with Bill Ayers, Hugo Chavez, Khalidi etc.. I watched the incessant drumbeat on cable news as GOP operative after GOP operative repeated word-for-word the following GOP talking point. "Obama’s Political Career was launched in Bill Ayers living room." Most of the time cable anchors allowed the remarks to pass unchallenged. This is completely false and I wrote about it a couple of weeks ago.
The Drama Queen Stunts: the seat-of-the-pants return to Washington D.C. to save the country from economic collapse combined with the threatened cancellation of the debate (ostensibly to deal w/ the economic collapse). This blew in in McCain’s face for various reasons, not the least of which was the Letterman debacle.
McCain’s nastiness and disdain during the debates toward Barack Obama. HUGE turnoff.
Voter suppression and more voter suppression: GOP voter suppression dwarfs ACORN impropriety/red-herring. And cable news never did do a very good job helping viewers disguish between registration issues and real and extremely rare voter fraud.
And last but not least, Sarah Palin’s dangerous and irresponsible "palling around with terrorists" remarks (see Bill Ayers) that incited near riots at rallies. This was a terrible low point in the campaign in my view. It seemed that the McCain campaign had decided to win an election by appealing to the most base instincts of the American public. The press and pundits were uniformly horrified.
But the proliferation of social media tools may spell the end of the Sith Lord Wing. Videos are now posted on Youtube instantaneously. Twitter explodes, immediately. and CNN is there, to pick off the stories. Talkingpointsmemo is on the case, tracking down the real source of some of these stories.
The hate and the ugliness was immediately apparent during this election. Voters couldn’t not look in the mirror. It’s hard, but they’re doing it. And it’s hard for any campaign to hide. Every move is documented. I read a report that exaggerated the numbers at a Yes on 8 rally at San Diego’s Qualcomm stadium. But someone with a little Flip camera captured video of the event and posted it on Youtube. The stadium was nearly empty.
First, why we’re not voting for Senator John McCain, aside from the fact that
So what’s the fundamental difference between Barack Obama and John McCain. John McCain - or should I say, the Sith Lord Wing - wants us to vote for him by appealing to the WORST in us (racism, hate of the other, division, fear of almost everything but mostly change, greed, darkness) and Barack Obama has appealed to the BEST in us (equality, unanimity, hope, healing, sharing, wholeness, light, forward movement).
Obama laid out his policies and showed enormous grace under fire, in spite of McCain personal nastiness and disdain. He never took the bait during the economic crisis and he said from the git-go that returning to D.C. would politicize the proceedings. (He was right.) His attacks on McCain have been restrained. (his campaign resisted playing tit -or-tat on the Ayers issue and declined to go after McCain’s long and far worse association with G. Gordon Liddy.)
We support Obama’s approach to health care and most of all, we support his taxation plan. And, depending on the year, my husband’s consulting firm might get caught in the 250K plus column and have to pay a bit more tax.
It’s something we are quite happy to do. Have we become so selfish this country that we can’t make a small sacrifice so that everyone can have a decent health care?
We went with the hope and healing and equality. But here Donna Brazile says it best.