Monday, April 21, 2008

Re: Wrapping and clinging

the "tested by fire" argument is like too many republican arguments;
   "I made him stronger by his having to work thru my hatred".
and you must not have seen hillary's latest PA ads:   every negative symbol except willy horton.  (wherein she abused harry truman's phrase: "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen")
don't tell me how profound or not barak was on his "bitter" quote. just now on the news hour, the central PA reporter, admitting that harrisburg, _york_(*) , etc were conservative, used every word _but_ bitter to describe the rural PA voter:  he said their issues were god, guns, and government, yes, yes, and no!   and he was _hardly_ a barak support _or_ anti-hillary.   he was, if anything, a mccain guy!
barak, on this issue demonstrated more insight that george S could ever muster.

(*) york:  where kitzmiller vs dover was decided, in which the dover board of ed was sued for insisting the biology teachers paste into their science books a disclaimer that evolution is only a theory.   don't tell me that rural america isn't "clinging" to religion, among other things.  the case was decided when judge jones said the defendant's support for "intelligent design" was based solely on religion, and had no scientific merit.     i would suggest that a _majority_ of america bases its views on the guns and god than good government.

On Sun, Apr 20, 2008 at 10:59 PM, Meg McGowan <> wrote:
I think instead of making a profound point about American society, Barak was trying to explain to potential funding sources why he is having trouble beating Clinton in PA despite outspending her at least 2 to 1.  He might have been trying to say some Hillary supporters are racists (he did say something about, they are skeptical about a message coming from a young African American).

Yes,  ABC did scour PA for a voter to ask him about the flag lapel pin, and I don't think George Stephanopolous asked John McCain today why he wasn't wearing one.  But Obama supporters have been enjoying and egging on the media trashing of Hillary Clinton and wonder now why media scrutiny is directed at their wonderful candidate.  Joe Conason had the right take on this in Salon:

A small example worse than the flag lapel question, was Steve Croft's interview with Hillary Clinton on 60 Minutes when he asked her at least three times whether she thought Barak Obama was a Muslim.  Her first and second responses were "Of course not."  On the third response, perhaps wondering where the "gotcha" point was, she added,  something like . . .at least, I don't have any reason to think so.  So what was repeated endlessly in the media the next day, Hillary Clinton not sure whether Obama is a Muslim.   And the Obama camp and its "progressive" supporters pilloried her for her response.

Hillary has said she will urge her supporters to vote for Obama if he is the  nominee, but all are worried how he will handle the right wing slime machine like Kerry, Gore, and Dukakis, since he has never really had to face Republican opposition (only Alan Keyes).

On Apr 19, 2008, at 2:32 AM, Marty McGowan wrote:

i used 'familiar', well aware he didn't use any term  like that.  

 he might have said "guns, religion, the flag, ... "  he nailed it perfectly.   the reason
he didn't throw the flag in there was

   a. that would have been _too_ obvious, and
   b. it would have been political suicide.  "how dare you impugn the flag and those who love it."  

what barak is saying, let's be plain, is that when hope (in the government) is gone, people cling to things, simple things, single things, they can find comfort in.  some of this"clinging" is in things not of themselves good, i.e. hating those "other" people. 

but some of the things are not necessarily evil by themselves:   religion, the flag, guns.   some of us
liberals think there is nothing but evil with guns; while i can see no good use for a handgun, a "gun-lover" will defend his right to that gun in the belief that if i can take it away from his  friend, next i'll be coming for his shotgun.  

but, back to the issue at hand;   are there, or are their not people who "cling" to simple, single things, good or bad, out of frustration with some part of their life, expressed (consciously or not) in distrust of the government, and with bitterness.

now, in case you missed it.   John Stewart, the night before last, pointed the finger right where it belongs.   and think about it.   they easily found a PA voter who was a. clinging, and b. bitter.   not that she came off that way,   abc could easily have interviewed 40 bitter souls and found the one who could sell the phrase "not that i am challenging your patriotism ..." with some flair.   stewart, in his own inimitable way retorted,  "then what _ARE_ you doing?"

i didn't watch the debate, but am going to review shields and brooks take on it on the Tivo in a few minutes.  i hope they are as appalled as the rest of civilized america at abc's performance in the guise of george s and c gibson.   i further hope that the democratic nominee, if not both hillary and barak before the nomination, can say to a questioner in a debate,
   "not to be dismissive of your question george, but how does that question advance the public interest?"


  "could we discuss first for a moment, my impression your question is nothing but a ratings ploy?"

 The real debate, at least in the primary, is _not_ between the candidates.   That is what the media would have us believe, the real debate is between their (the media's) interests and the public interest.    now, i don't pretend to speak for the public, but stewart also pointed out that it was 63 minutes into the two hour debate when george s asked this question:

  "this is the most important question on the public's mind today: the economy, so what is your take .... "

 the point being that we need not take them (the media's) interests seriously if it takes them over half the debate to get down to our (the public's) interest.

   on your point about obama's flag lapel,   the rep on the news hour pointed out that he's "not accurately representing his original position"  on his reasoning.   to which i'd add that further investigation of his reasoning embarrasses not him, but those who he originally pointed at.   the reason barak needn't pursue that line is he doesn't want to be the source of further embarrassment.

  to wrap up, barak might have substituted  "use a single issue",   in place of "cling",  but the sad truth is, regardless of what you call it, some people do exactly that.   his choice of words was only a political error, not one of insight or judgement.

On Sat, Apr 19, 2008 at 3:47 AM, Meg McGowan <> wrote:

To continue to beat this dead horse, Marty, I don't have Obama's exact response to the lapel pin question, but at least one prominent media scribe, Paul Krugman, did counter Obama's earlier comment, "And it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them."


Krugman says:  "Mr. Obama's comments combined assertions about economics, sociology and voting behavior. In each case, his assertion was mostly if not entirely wrong. . . .Does economic hardship drive people to seek solace in firearms, God and xenophobia?" (Is this wrapping themselves in the familiar?)

Data on church attendance shows that although much of the South is both church-going and poor, "some poor states outside the South, like Maine and Montana, are actually less religious than Connecticut. Furthermore, within poor states, people with low incomes are actually less likely to attend church than those with high incomes."

Now the fact that  Obama  may have gotten his economics/sociology wrong is not going to stop me from voting for him as the nominee.  (I bet even Paul Krugman will vote for him over McCain.)  I just wish Obama's worshippers would take a step back.   And if we are going to criticize the press for trivializing the campaign, we should be consistent and point out all attacks on or falsehoods about all Democratic candidates.  

(Incidentally, I liked Obama's original point about the flag lapel pin, in which he said he didn't wear one because it has become a substitute for real patriotism. He has since backed off from this remark.)

>>> "Marty McGowan" <> 4/17/2008 6:49 PM >>>
i just did, too thanks,

i took the time to point out that the "american flag" question proved
barak's point:
when people aren't served by their govt, they wrap themselves in the

it's interesting that neither the media, nor the cynics they play to will
admit barak
hit this nail on the head.

-=+-. Grandpa Marty McGowan 24 Herning Ave
908 230-3739, YIM: applemcg Cranford NJ 07016

-=+-. Grandpa Marty McGowan 24 Herning Ave
908 230-3739, YIM: applemcg Cranford NJ 07016

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