I have to swear off Transition Watching. The election is over. The good guy won. As perilous as our situation is, we had to wait for eight years to get a really smart president and a few more weeks won’t kill us. Probably. I guess. In any case, obsessing over every rumor that leaks out about the upcoming Obama administration is not a productive use of time. Unless you’re cable news. Then it definitely works for you. It only works because there are millions of us who are so starved for good governance that we’ll tune in and absorb every unsubstantiated tidbit they’ll throw at us – as in Hillary either will or will not be Secretary of State.
Of course there’s also the other sideshow that’s going on – the Republican rending of garments and gnashing of teeth – well that’s just mandatory fun. There have been approximately 432 articles written in the past week by Republicans describing the various ways in which the GOP is screwed. I think my favorite article today was The Center-Right Nation Exits Stage Left, by Tod Lindberg, a fully credentialed conservative.
We are now two elections into something big. This month’s drubbing is just the latest sign that the country’s political center of gravity is shifting from center-right to center-left. Republicans who fail to grasp this could be lost in the wilderness for years.
From your keyboard to God’s ears, Mr. Lindberg. I’m taking nothing for granted, but you have to get your gloat on when you can and there might never be a better time.
Still, there has to be a little time for life. For blogging, for housework, for friends, for getting work done during office hours. Not necessarily in that order. I know for sure that I’m not the only one in this fix, though. I bet that a significant portion of the population needs to kick this habit. I can do it. I know I can. It’s a matter of keeping things in perspective. There’s more to life than politics.
By the way, it’s less than two months ’til the Obama trading cards hit the stores!
We’ve been away a bit lately, visiting with friends. We’ve been in upstate New York a bit, but mostly in Western Massachusetts. Western Mass is a good place to be in the Autumn and it’s even better in big election years if you happen to be a Democrat. Along with the gorgeous foliage there are Obama/Biden yard signs lining almost every street, or so it seems. And I’m not sure it’s entirely legal to drive without at least one of their stickers on your car. We were cool. We have a couple on the car.
You don’t see nearly as many political bumper stickers on Long Island, ever, for anyone as you do once you get a little north of NYC. Maybe it’s just too cynical here for that, or maybe people worry about messing up their cars. We can’t touch Massachusetts, but we do seem to have more than usual this year. The ones I have seen have been mostly Obama’s. I’ve only seen one or two for McCain. On the other hand, we have many fewer yard signs than is normal for an election year and the ONLY ones I’ve seen in predominantly white neighborhoods are for McCain. The polls say that our two counties are going to go heavily for Obama, but I think that people in our white suburbs are a little afraid to advertise that on their homes and I think it’s because they’re afraid of retailiation from unhinged racists. Maybe there’s not so much to worry about, though, since Obama’s even made inroads into the racist demographic.
As encouraging as that is, it’s still going to be a long, long two and a half weeks.
Coming to a Fox News show soon: Yes, Obama seems to have a great family now, but what would happen if Michelle met with an accident that cause her to be disfigured in some way or to gain weight? You can tell just by looking at him that Obama’s the kind of guy who’ll leave her and the kids and marry an anorexic heiress. Probably a martini heiress.
Next up: You can tell just by looking at him that if Obama had a temper problem and if he was a dick he’d call his new heiress wife (see above) ugly names in public. You can tell just by looking that he’s the kind of guy that would do that if he were an entirely different person.
Do we want to take a chance on a guy would we can see just by looking might behave that way if he’d made different choices, had a different temperament and values and was living a different life than the one he has? Do we?
Bob Barr is positioned to be a factor in the 2008 election, or so some say. Welcome to our world, GOP. I don’t know how much a difference Barr will make come November but I know where he could buy space on some billboards. We were in Central Florida just over a week ago. If you drew your conclusions just from what you saw in that particular spot you would have had to assume that Ron Paul was the runaway frontrunner. Huge billboards proclaiming his virtue were spaced along the main thoroughfare, mixed in with others that endorsed variously: Jesus, tourist attractions, medical centers and X-rated superstores. Bob Barr would look just fine on the billboards previously occupied by Ron Paul.
McCain was represented on the roadside as well, but not in commercial space. There was a one-man grassroots effort going on every day. The one man in question looked like he’d taken a leave from his regular gig as one of those “The End is Near” guys in a New Yorker cartoon. He was covered in hand lettered McCain signs. The endorsement seemed sincere. It’s value is less clear. Other than that, the only signs I saw that an election was coming up were a couple of bumperstickers. Both of them were for Obama. So, I hope that Bob Barr puts some effort into Florida. There seems to be some opportunity for him there.
I just caught up with the rest of the world by viewing some clips of Michelle Obama’s appearance on The View today, courtesy of Roadkill Refugee. So now maybe she’s reassured a few people that she’s not that much of a scary militant even though at some point in her life she might have noticed that she was black and, even more terrifying – that being a high achieving black woman in America carried with it some complications. That seems to make people uncomfortable. I mean, we’re not bigots you, know. We’re OK with people being black- within reason – as long they’re willing to assure the rest of us that it doesn’t mean anything one way or another and they’re just happy to be here.
The reviews are in and mission accomplished, apparently. The pundits mostly seemed to be reassured that this beautiful, brilliant and accomplished woman might not decide to turn around and set fire to that American flag at the next campaign rally after all.
That’s all great and everythinig, but let’s not overlook her biggest coup on this day. She looked fabulous in a dress that retails for $99. And that’s assuming she paid full price. She could have gotten it on sale. At this time of year it could have gone for as much as 30% off or maybe even more. She’s Jackie Kennedy good looking, but on a human budget. We’re going to be able to watch these people at the inauguration without wincing in vicarious embarrassment even once. That’s change I can believe in.
Al Gore has finally endorsed Barack Obama. You know he’s been wanting to. You could just tell. If only he had been able to orate the way he did tonight back when he was running for president he might have won by enough to actually take office. It’s really something to think that the history of the world has been so radically affected by the respective speaking styles of two men – and one who prevailed can’t even speak. Unfortunately not much has changed in that department but hopefully it’ll work in our favor this time around.
Watching pundichat ahead of the endorsement tonight was generally irritating. They were giddy with the thought that Al might run for VP with Obama. That might be interesting if anyone had even suggested that they had sources to lend an iota of credence to the idea. If they did I didn’t hear them say so. He was standing on same stage as Barack Obama and saying good things about him so that’s reason enough to speculate that he or she might be the choice for veep. The fact that Al Gore was vice president for 8 whole years and then was elected president before being deselected by the Supremes hardly caused a blip in the bloviating. To be fair, someone – I think it was Jeff Toobin – did say that he probably could have been the presidential nominee if he’d wanted to and he didn’t seem to want to, so it was unlikely that he’d want to be the VP again. I mean -couldn’t they come up with something more original as a subject for speculation? Don’t the talking heads ever get tired of themselves? Just wondering.
Professor Karen O’Connor appeared on Washington Journal this morning. She clearly would have preferred for Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic nomination, but was eminently reasonable about the importance of supporting Barack Obama now. At least she was reasonable when we consider that we all look at these things through our own particular lenses. I tended to agree with some of the last few callers during her segment who reported becoming increasingly turned off by the Clinton campaign as time went on. She didn’t agree with their points and at times didn’t seem to see them at all. That’s OK. There’s no real point to rehashing all this with someone who’s agreed that we need to be on the same team now.
What was bizarre was how, after saying that she thought the complaints about Hillary’s aura of inevitability and/or entitlement were because she was a woman and dismissing the argument that there was so much focus on Bill because this particular candidate’s spouse used to be the President, she kept referring to Hillary as President Clinton. Not once, but several times, including when discussing whether she would or should be chosen as Obama’s running mate. I think she might need a little more time to decompress.