Monday, September 08, 2008

Whatever It Takes, But Will It Sell?

YESTERDAY'S NEWS:
McCain's Problems: decreased GOP voter registrations, low-to-no-tech campaign, RNC's delayed ground support.

The emails I received varied in their assessments of damage to McCain. A few people said it showed how out of touch McCain is, one person noted that maybe he just doesn't roll that way, and a few people said toss-up. I liked the idea I read that wouldn't it be cool if it ended not mattering a bit?

I have to agree, it would be one of those amazing footnotes to history, not unlike the 1948 election. Since I look at McCain / Palin and see many similarities to Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Truman, that dog might hunt and that shoe might fit. (Note: T.R. was an avid outdoorsman and Truman once sold shoes, LOL.)

What kind of odds would I bet on that happening? I have no freakin idea. Not high. We'll have to see. Lots of days left for stuff good and bad to happen. But I should also assert that these very factors could cause it to all go terribly wrong for McCain. And that kind of upsets me a bit, for all of us who want there to be a real fight for the office. Just sayin'...

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Saul Alinsky, an early 20th century Chicago activist who is considered the father of modern community organizing, taught hundreds as a mentor to apply aggressive psychological techniques and bold behavior to both the people he was trying to empower as citizens and the people and institutions he considered their enemies or opponents. He had one thing in common with Dr. Martin Luther King: the belief in bloodless revolution. Beyond that, the differences in methods are clear and important. If you click on his name (above), that will take you to Wikipedia's page about him, where you can read more about his methods (if you didn't avail yourself of the links I provided yesterday, particularly this one).

My problem with Alinsky as an Obama mentor is not as a model for grassroots local community "revolution" because I think Alinsky's methods are tailor-made and appropriately suited to that small population. The problem IMO is how Obama has applied Alinsky's principles to the largest population possible: this country. What works well for 30 or 300 doesn't often work for 300 million, dig? To me, the volatility is in the chaos that must be created. And I believe you see that bad application on Obama's part in the vilification of both Clintons and Ferraro to dispose of them (take them all out of the political equation), and then the exact same thing being done to Sarah Palin in the blogosphere, the media, and, at the risk of sounding redundant, members of the Dem Party.

Many Obama supporters are totally out of control but feel empowered to plow on, because they've been taught Alinsky's principles one way or another. They read about him in Obama's books, they saw his pastors actions, they see how they can take over the internet and brow-beat their debate opponents. I just want to know, where is the accountability for this and who takes responsibility when it all goes terribly wrong (as it has, more than once)? Who is the grown-up when all Obama will say is the actions are despicable and his campaign staff will be fired if they participate, conveniently leaving out the vast number of perpetrators? And for why? He waaaa waaaa cannot control them? Oh. Well, just prove my point. I think here is where I say, see French Revolution. See Russian Revolution. The power of the mob without accountability is one of the main things our forefathers sought to avoid and one of the big reasons we are a democratic, representative republic instead of a flat-out democracy.

You may be thinking, what's the harm? Where are the dead bodies and burning buildings? Nowhere. There are none. The only casualties have been journalistic truth and perspective, something the forefathers also considered so sacred they gave it a special rightful place as arbiter, but also with a requirement to keep their integrity.

I lack 7 hours of having a bachelors degree in journalism, before changing majors and earning a bachelors in accounting 30 years ago. I once practiced it very seriously and felt its power and impact on a local level. I have always taken journalism very seriously. So, I see the difference now, the loss of total integrity and objectivity, believe me. The Bush Administration had them cowed. This is not a correction. It's a sell out. Actually, it has bore the hole where I put my negative feelings about Obama. IOW, if the media would do their jobs, I might very well have many more positive feelings about the candidate. So, it is not that I just "see" or "read" things into the media's work. Well, I do see one thing: the Emperor's New Clothes.

So, when I see Obama practicing Alinsky on a dangerously too large population of people, excuse me for not just concluding as Alinsky does, whatever it takes, do not worry, feel guilty or hold back, just do. I see horrible bad judgment with no responsibility for accountability.

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Obama Flip-Flop Watch:
Obama considered joining military, regrets abortion answer

Sun Sep 7, 10:00 AM ET...
Barack Obama says his answer about abortion at the Saddleback Church forum was “probably” too flip.

During separate televised interviews last month, Pastor Rick Warren asked the two presidential candidates when a baby gets human rights. Obama replied that the question is “above my pay grade,” while John McCain won love from the right by saying quickly, “At the moment of conception.”

Now, Obama tells ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an interview taped for “This Week”: “What I intended to say is that, as a Christian, I have a lot of humility about understanding when does the soul enter into … It's a pretty tough question. And so, all I meant to communicate was that I don't presume to be able to answer these kinds of theological questions.”

In the ABC interview, Obama goes on to give the answer he wishes he’d given: “What I do know is that abortion is a moral issue, that it's one that families struggle with all the time. And that in wrestling with those issues, I don't think that the government criminalizing the choices that families make is the best answer for reducing abortions.

“I think the better answer — and this was reflected in the Democratic platform — is to figure out, how do we make sure the young mothers, or women who have a pregnancy that's unexpected or difficult, have the kind of support they need to make a whole range of choices, including adoption and keeping the child.

In an electric interview, Obama suggested again and again that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain’s running mate, is unprepared for the job. At one point, he mocked her camp’s suggestion that Alaska’s proximity to Russia gives her foreign-policy credentials: “Well, look. You know, I actually knew that Russia was next to Alaska, as well. I saw it on a map.”

“It's not a qualification?” Stephanopoulos press.

“I don't think it is,” Obama replied.

But Obama’s team recognizes that picking a fight over experience isn’t necessarily in Obama’s interest, and he acknowledged as much in the interview: “You know, this whole résumé contest that's been going back and forth is not what the American people are looking for.”

Obama also accused the McCain campaign of cynicism by frequently attacking him and then denying it: “I mean, these guys love to throw a rock and hide their hand.”

However, Obama said he did not agree with the commentators who saw “racial code” in the Republicans’ mocking reference to his early work as a “community organizer” during their convention.

“You know, I didn't hear that,” Obama told Stephanopoulos. “I mean, I just think that there is a — for folks who suddenly have tried to grab the change banner, you know, they've got a very traditional view of what service means.

“You know, it means, running for office and being a politician, I guess. Or serving in the military. I mean, those are the two options that I think they've talked about. I think there are a whole lot of people — young people, in particular — who are teaching in underserved schools or working in a hospital in need, you know, volunteering for their community, that think that's part of the change that we need. That's part of the energy that we've been able to mobilize in this campaign.”

Obama disclosed that he had once considered serving in the military.

“You know, I actually did,” Obama said. “I had to sign up for Selective Service when I graduated from high school. And I was growing up in Hawaii. And I have friends whose parents were in the military. There are a lot of Army, military bases there.

“And I actually always thought of the military as an ennobling and, you know, honorable option. But keep in mind that I graduated in 1979. The Vietnam War had come to an end. We weren't engaged in an active military conflict at that point. And so, it's not an option that I ever decided to pursue.”
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Are Obama's flip flops just clarification of honest viewpoint, or innocent pandering to connect to McCain supporters, or calculated spin to dupe them? Is it acceptable to you or unacceptable? Is it effective?

BONUS QUESTION:
Joe Biden came out swinging today at the McCain campaign for "sequestering" Palin. It seems she hasn't yet interviewed with that lovable old media that trashed her, her family, and also several of her decent coworkers and friends in Alaska. Just today I read on a blog about the latest blogosphere rumor to be proven false. So, it has not stopped, just maybe toned down somewhat and maybe even gone underground for microscopic analysis of every little pimple and wart.

It was announced today at about the same time that Palin would give her first interview one on one to Charlie Gibson at ABC on Thursday...9/11.

So, do you feel she was justified in not immediately making herself available to the media, because of the smearing?

1 comment:

american girl in italy said...

I can certainly understand her hesitency to "grant the media" interviews, after what went down. I also understand her need to be briefed and get "in synch" with mccain. obama has had two years to run, and he still comes across like a big idiot gaffe master. people need to have a little time to get themselves togteher.