Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Presidential suite

Talk radio and cable network news killed the zeal of presidential politics. Once, there was a time when people could freely trade half-baked ideas about candidates over a few beers. Then came the Rush Limbaughs, the Wolf Blitzers and a veritable cornucopia of call-in lines, live chat programs, all-day, all-night, all-year-long in-your-face coverage that has made discussing presidential elections a bit of a bore at the very least; a brain-cramping, unnerving simulation of schizophrenic psychosis at best.

Today, everyone has an opinion on the so-called race, but few can actually lay claim to them being unique in the classic sense of the term. Discussions are often limited to the hackneyed sound bite-centric babble puked out by the network punditry; many of who take their barking orders from party bosses to begin with. Hence why presidential politics is seldom discussed here at iSaratoga; a focal point for the local politics that are so frequently ignored by the pseudo-intellectuals that think an education in the big game can be garnered from a few late night trysts with CSPAN. The brand of reader here is the type that might wear brass knuckles and carry a flask of tequila to their local party meeting; the type of freak who forgot which channel to flip to for CNN, but can fire off the names of all the party candidates they plan to support during the ‘off-year’ elections.

This isn’t to say presidential politics should be ignored; rather it shouldn’t be dumbed down and hyper-diluted to the extent that it is among nearly every main-stream media source and even many of the local ones. Presidential politics is a meth-fueled high-speed chase that weaves through bumper-to-bumper traffic during rush hour; it’s the big dance, the major leagues; the wall every rookie swings for, but only a few clear. And it’s not something that Limbaugh or Blitzer can’t simplify for those who lack a basic understanding of the players selected every four years.

Take for instance the Trojan horse play that has just about sank any hope of a Republican three-peat this fall. Sure, the pundits point to narrowing polls as evidence that Republican Sen. John McCain might just pull a victory out from beneath one of his chins. But the fact of the matter is he’s done, finished by a drastic miscalculation by the right wing.

As the Democratic front-runners shook out in January, the right wing had already made its choice for their nominee: Hilary Clinton. Marching orders were distributed and the AM talk hosts attacked, much like they had during the prior two elections. Clinton very quickly became a rallying cry as the Republicans struggled with an identity crisis of their own. The Ron Paul schism took nearly all of the fanfare away from their early front runners, so they focused on the New York senator. Pretty soon, the very centrist Clinton was emblematic of the liberal far-left; the dubious socialist plot to reclaim to White House and raise taxes.

However, it was Barack Obama found his stock rising rapidly in the early caucuses and primaries. He offered voters a fresh young face that wielded passion in his voice with each speech. Pretty soon, he was amassing a chest of delegates to rival Clinton’s. But the Republican mouthpieces didn’t budge from their stance. They salted the earth of Clinton’s wilting campaign, pounding it mercilessly right up until the senator conceded the nomination to Obama in June.

Even in the days that followed, some speculated that the power-hungry Clintons might arrive in Denver with a vendetta to settle with presumptive nominee. Some speculated that a schism might form and that independent and centrist-riding Clinton supporters might flock to McCain’s camp in revolt. On the airwaves, the hatchet-wielders were scrambling for any sort of issue they could peg on Obama that might again mobilize the Christian evangelical pall bearers of the Bush presidency; an idea that is simply too late in the making come the dying days of August.

McCain’s last hope was that Clinton might pluck the knife from his chest and take a swing at Obama. Instead, she plunged it deeper and started twisting. When Clinton reached the National Convention podium late Tuesday evening, she didn’t take long to quash any thought that she might be Denver’s Richard Daley-sized party spoiler. Though delegates on the floor still waved white Clinton placards during the inception of her speech, they were replaced by the blue ‘unity’ signs by the end.

Certainly, there was some back-room politicking to get Clinton’s concession. But when that politicking took place will be something for history buffs to determine. Allow this humble author to proffer that her decision to abandon the run came long before her late-spring announcement.

In waiting until the last minute –a move many brain-dead pundits figured as the death knell for party unity –she served as the perfect flak jacket for the one candidate that stood an inkling of a chance at bridging the Democratic divide forged between the larger collective of moderates and the very vocal far-left flank. Even the selection of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden on Saturday was timed so that the pundits would have only a split second during a busy summer weekend to amass the battle munitions needed to mount vocal opposition.

On a side note, you would think the local bush-league Democrats could learn a thing or two from their big league counterparts. The idea of unity seems so foreign for a band of hapless hacks led by Shawn Thompson and aligning themselves under the moniker Democrats For Change. In fact, party unity seems to be exactly what these folks stand against considering their Nixonian “opponents" list.

No doubt, Obama’s camp will pay for Clinton bowing out. Just think, if it takes $125,000 just to get her husband to show up for dinner, how much will it cost to have his wife take a dive for the good of the party? Here’s a hint: a high-level cabinet position, Supreme Court nomination, or ceding the island of Guam to the Clinton family; or perhaps a future senator’s seat in New York for her number-one booster on the campaign trail this year.

So fasten your seatbelts folks, because this ride is going to juke and jive while speeding over the next two months. Keep your eyes on the road because the turns are quick, the space is tight and the driver of this hurtling beast might not be in the mental state for thinking anywhere inside the box.

24 Comments:

Anonymous Uncle Smoove said...

Nice column Ho. Don’t know if I’m becoming curmudgeonly, but it sure seemed like presidential politics was more fun when you didn’t get more than a half hour of coverage a day. Now, with 3 cable networks spending 20 hours a day exploiting every minute on the campaign trail, its hard not to get tired of the BS pretty quickly. I don’t know about you, but I could go a lifetime without hearing another candidate’s spokesman talk about how his guy’s foolish gaffe was actually a great strategic move. Apparently, the most important skill for a spokesman is the ability to tell outrageous lies on TV with a straight face.

The dirty secret for us residents of NY state, is that your presidential vote doesn’t really count. NYC will give an overwhelming vote to the democrat candidate, and he will handily win the State, regardless of what we Saratogians decide to do. The only times that NY voted for a republican presidential candidate, it didn’t matter because they won everywhere else in the Country.

If you want your vote to actually count, I’d recommend moving to Florida or Pennsylvania.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smoove:

Love your suggestion that Republicans should leave Saratoga and move to Pennsylvania or Florida.

Great idea!

Please post the address of the "Send Scott Johnson to Scranton Fund." I'll send a check today. If we can get rid of him and the rest of the do-nothing Republicans we'll have a chance for a city government that actually tries to do its job.

11:53 PM  
Blogger A small "r" republican for fairness said...

Do nothing Republicans...

Ha! Good one 11:53.

I'm so glad we had a mayor like Val, and have a PS Commissioner like Kim with their plethora of Democratic accomplishments....

Beware of the coolers that say "Kool-Aid" on them when you are at the next DFC meeting. You are being drugged.....

Small 'r'

7:11 AM  
Blogger shotinthedark said...

11:53 PM said...

"rest of the do-nothing Republicans"


I love how you assholes paint everyone with a wide brush. All Republicans are sleazy; all blacks are lazy.

If you want to talk about a do-nothing Mayor, Valerie Keehn comes instantly to mind.

People like you don't realize their ignorance.

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do nothing republicans?
Republicans often donate the most $$ to charities unlike liberals who show up to charity benefits to see and be seen and behave as if they are doing everyone a favor.

Case in point, I once worked at the Shelters of Saratoga, funny how i never saw any "progressive liberals" while working there, they certainly never volunteered there. We had a garage sale and the middle class baby boomer bitches who claim to be "helping" raise money for the shelter would literally hand over a dollar for something that was worth ten or twenty dollars. Liberals disgust me, they have become the most intolerable people, ungiving and yet stand around yelling their theme song " but somebody should do something!" yah, as long as its not them.

8:25 AM  
Blogger shotinthedark said...

8:25 AM...

"Liberals disgust me,"

Hey, another asshole who paints everyone with a wide brush.

I'm a liberal and I've worked in the homeless shelter.

11:20 AM  
Blogger shotinthedark said...

Today's Political Wire...

"According to the Dayton Daily News, Sen. John McCain is still giving away tickets to his Friday rally where he will unveil his running mate. He's having trouble filling a 10,000 seat arena.

The contrast with Sen. Barack Obama giving a speech before 75,000 people tonight is striking and speaks to the excitement factor between the candidates. Obama tickets have been sold out for weeks."

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be good to get rid of these do nothing democrats like Cliff Ammon and Phil Diamond. They love to hear themselves talk but continue to say nothing!

5:43 PM  
Blogger A small "r" republican for fairness said...

Right on 8:25!!

When I was younger, and the shelter was a trailer on Washington Street, I remember cooking Thanksgiving dinner (complete with HOMEMADE pies I might add) a couple of years for the people staying there.

Very rewarding, and very humbling. It made me realize how blessed my life was. It also affirmed that I have an obligation to serve, AS someone who has been so blessed. To quote an iconic liberal leader, Jack Kennedy "From those who have, more is expected..."

Regardless of 11:53's broad brush, I will continue to do things like this; you know, because I am a "do nothing" Republican.

Your point about the absence of the progressives in regard to charity is spot on.

I'm SURE this doesn't describe ALL of them, but in my 20 years of trying to serve our community, I can honestly say that the "old boy network" (to quote Madame Mayor's paragraph endorsing Montagnino) people outnumber progressive volunteers by at least 8 to 1.

You'll notice I said VOLUNTEERS, because I can already hear the DFC hate machine cracking about just donating money as a tax writeoff. When I say Volunteers, I mean that they donate their time and talent-not just their treasure.

When I see people like Rod Sutton & Tom Roohan flipping burgers to raise money for youth sports, that says something. Knowing people like Phil Klein coached little league for a billion years or so-that says something. Seeing Sonny Bonacio swinging a hammer to help build/repair something to better the city-like the Center for the Family-that says something.

The only reason you don't hear about these acts is because it is far easier for opponents to criticize these people than to join in helping them. Also, because these people don't trumpet their service. They prefer to lie low and let their actions speak about their character.

Like them or not, these "old boys" work hard, and walk the walk. Do nothing? These are people I hope to emulate in terms of work ethic. I'm sick to death of the DFC trashing such people.

Small 'r'

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Shot! You are a liberal and lived in the homeless shelter. Let's get that straight! You and your two blowhard friends, Cliff Ammon and Phil Diamond. Next we will hear you say Jeff Wait is the right man for Judge. How's his drunk daughter doing? Still at the bars with her? Does she get your vote too?

4:13 AM  
Anonymous Mamie said...

People are brutal! Matt Dorsey is as good as it gets! He's got my vote!

3:25 PM  
Anonymous agphoto said...

Gee, wasn’t this a once a good post about presidential politics?

Let’s see: comments on CA, PD, JW, JW, VK, SJ – all your favorites: give the all-start team a day off, ok?… last time I looked, they each got 1 vote for president, just like you and me (assuming you are registered, which is another story altogether).

So here’s the scoop: It’s Barack in a wipeout. Could be closer somewhat with electoral college votes, but popular vote is going to be the largest margin for the dems in recent memory, and maybe back to LBJ-ville. Strange but true.

The key element is that Mr. Obama gets people excited and motivated to act. Mr. McCain doesn’t have the verve, style, and élan to match – and I am sorry to point out to you that these things matter when America chooses leaders. Maybe unfortunate but true.

1- Uncle Smoove led off the comments with an extra-base hit with the “where you live counts” angle; something we talk about every 4 years or so, but never seem to do anything about. In this weird, new, wired world, the electoral college hangs on, as quaint as the congress park carousel. Tradition, laziness, and inertia are a tough combo to beat.

2- Or: (Not to go ‘unibmr’ on all of you, but) It can be said that the EC contains the comfort of stability in a rapidly changing technological society.

Which is true for you?

I put this prediction on the line, though before labor day:

Barring a (unlikely, but always possible) debate meltdown, Barack wins big.

Also, Mr. Biden must of thought “cha-ching” when he learned who his debate opponent was.

McCain had the right idea with picking a woman.

Unfortunately, the one woman he could have picked that might have reversed the gravitational field was Hillary, and she wasn’t buying.

Yes, you read that right.

So that’s the truth guys and gals. Now we can watch the tourists leave and enjoy fall – which means for some us foliage, and for others the folly-age of local elections. There are going to be some battles here in 12866, to say the least, but not with choosing Mr. (again!) President. True.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Malcolm X-Lax said...

Obama will lose. He couldn't carry a big state against Clinton in primary. He won't against McCain. Unfortunately, like you said, sad but true old things still count like the fact Obama is black. People still can't except their president to black.

9:04 PM  
Blogger A small "r" republican for fairness said...

I agree with Ag.

Although I will probably place one of the few irrational votes of my life-I admit it, I love McCain-he is about to be stomped like a narc at a biker rally.

When I heard he picked Pallin, I said "Who?" I consider myself somewhat astute in political affairs, but I had no idea who she was.

She is an intriguing choice, and I admire her moxie. Anyone who has a child in the military, while raising a baby with Down Syndrome AND governing our biggest state, well, that's pretty darn impressive.

Not impressive enough though to where I would feel comfortable with her in the big chair if McCain were to eat it. I certainly don't think she is going to appeal to the pissed-off Hillary set-so if that was what Senator McCain was going for, he missed the target completely.

Biden however was probably the smartest pick that Obama could make. The man oozes blue collar street cred and his Pennsylvania roots will put that state in play for the blue team. He also has tons of foreign policy experience; something his Republican counterpart has NONE of. Given our dirt poor standing in the world right now (Thanks again, Mr. President....) and the rise of China and a newly nationalistic Russia, this is going to be a MAJOR factor in the next few terms going forward.

Anyone who wants to gauge the outcome of this election need only look at the attendance of their nominees convention. Shot was right on point with his post about this. (Hey Shot, did you know that Palin's parents were SCHOOLTEACHERS! Couldn't resist that...)

I love McCain, just like I love the Yankees, but I am smart enough to know that neither of them is going to make the playoffs....

Small 'r'

9:21 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Malcom,

Had you said that six months ago, I probably would have agreed. I even held out from making any ambitious predictions thinking my theory about the Clintons was born from an over-aggressive hand dumping tumbler after tumbler of cheap tequila down my throat. But to be honest, any doubts I had about the Clinton vote are vanquished after hearing both Convention speeches. Even the media had a tough time finding someone in the crowd to cast a slick of sour grapes across the whole thing. The best they got was some half-crazed non-voting attendees who said 'well, Obama better show me something Thursday...'

The Dems are behind the black man, and they're out there right now canvassing every black neighborhood and ghetto in search of unregistered voters. That alone could sink McCain's water-laden ship. And the fact that he's pandering to a segment of the population -the pro-Hilary whitebred 50-something voter -is even more evidence that his campaign has gone dreadfully awry.

Frankly, I'm not thrilled with either VP candidate. While Biden is certainly a foreign policy plus, he's also a senator, which means he rolls with the elite. Generally speaking, Americans don't like congress and they sure as shit don't like senators, a sort of uber-elite with rectums so crammed with money they often can't relate to their plebeian electorate. Even with his working class roots, Biden is still a senator and one who has quite openly been part of the 'system' Obama proffers to 'change.'

As for Pallin, you really couldn't get much worse of a choice for VP. Sure, she's a hard working woman. Sure she's a conservative. But she's also governing one of the least-populous states in the union and is so far removed from the game she might as well be some sort of back-woods countess from Siberia. Even Dan Quayle would have been a better choice.

Some say the VP isn't THAT important, as we've only had a sparse few presidents who couldn't serve out their terms for whatever reason. In the 72-year-old McCain's case, there's a REAL chance this guy could die in office. That chance multiplies with the concept of a second term. Would I want Pallin leading the free world? Well, I suppose she's a better choice than what we have today. But that's not saying very much.

Another factor that will certainly figure into the game is Gustov's muting of the Republican shindig this week. The nation followed a very celebratory Dem convention last week, which was steeped very heavily in poignant speeches. If the GOP lacks any response to this, they're going to see it in the polls. They're frankly between a rock and a hard place right now. Unfortunately for them, there's no reset button on this game.

agphoto,

I agree re: Clinton as McCain's VP. It would have been a shoot-the-moon pick, but it was probably the only one that could have saved his campaign. There's a sense of desperation now ringing in the voices of conservative talkshow hosts; the sort of desperation you hear in people who are looking at their house as it burns to the ground and still insisting that everything is alright. In McCain's case, everything is NOT alright. All I can say is that he's going to make Bob Dole proud. Who knows? Maybe he can get an ad deal with Cialas after this shitstorm bowls him over.

7:34 AM  
Blogger shotinthedark said...

You guys are not factoring an important difference in this election.

One of the few things that we can all be proud about in the country is the race factor.

When I was a kid, not that long ago, you would have never seen a black and white couple together. Thankfully those days are well past us.

Shit, even the Saratogain has same sex wedding announcements.

Barack Obama in a sweeping landslide.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous agphoto said...

ho/malc/"r"/shot:

there is no doubt that there are a number of voters that will die before pulling the lever for a black man.
However, i submit to you that this number will pale in comparison to the number of 1st-time black voters that will turn out. Couple that with other dis-enfrancised ethnic groups, plus i believe students in general that will be motivated to vote for the first time.

Look at the % of first time voters that each candidates gets- i can't see McCain getting over 20% of them, and that's generous.

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same sex wedding announcements?
Shot,
When's the big date?

4:10 AM  
Anonymous agphoto said...

sorry for the multi-posts, but i forgot this one:

Hey, Mr. McCain, what was wrong with your grl Condoleeeeeeeza? i don't think i need to waste anyone's time saying why...

Too easy?

She wants to be NFL commish, so maybe she handicapped the field

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone wants to see the stupid Saratoga County 43rd senate district's guy - check this quick video out!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atw1gnQTznc

7:06 AM  
Blogger shotinthedark said...

Today's My Left Wing....

Sarah Palin: A Plunger-Handle Up The Ass of "The People"
by: konopelli
Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 06:01:37 AM PDT

Sarah Palin's nomination marks the lowest point yet in the decline of the American polis. Witness (via ThinkProgress):
"In 2006, the Eagle Forum Alaska sent a questionnaire to all the state's gubernatorial candidates, including Sarah Palin (R). Palin replied. From Palin's response about the Pledge of Allegiance:
11. Are you offended by the phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?
SP: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I'll I'll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance."
However, as Hunter points out, the words "Under God" didn't appear in the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954; the founding fathers had nothing to do with them. The Pledge itself, in fact, wasn't even written until 1892."
Are You Fucking SHITTING ME???
ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME?
YOU ARE FUCKING SHITTING ME, RIGHT?
Jesus. H. Fucking Christ...Jesus. H. Fucking Christ...Jesus. H. Fucking Christ!!!
Does anyone else suspect this bible-babbling bint would echo the Texas teacher who figgered if English was good enough for God to write the BIBLE, it was good enough for ("messkin") school kids in class?
The nomination by McShitstain of this dismal, empty-headed, god-blighted, mind-fuckingly moronic Sarah Palin signals the final demise of any relevance of the USer electoral process to anything cursorily related, or even adjacent, to "reality," as well as the ultimate rejection of the idea of government for "all" the people.
Nobody, I mean NOBODY, who seriously holds such views is qualified to suck runny shit through a flavo-straw, much less to stand/squat/kneel a mere heart-beat (or a couple of squamous cells) from the presidency. She is appallingly ill-qualified... which is, you understand, of course, the point. This is the final "Fuck You, America" from the GOPhascist Phuques as they rescind the Republic, the thumb in your eye, the plunger handle up the ass in the police-squad shitter...
(And I sher am sorry for the 'hateful speech,' you betcha! Actually, I like 'McShitstain' better...more descriptive...PS: This entry first appeared on THE POND with a kewl, snarky illustration. Probably it'll show up on WWL, later, too.)

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Skidmore Demo said...

Shot in the dark! What a fucking dick you are!

6:37 PM  
Blogger shotinthedark said...

Small r said...

"(Hey Shot, did you know that Palin's parents were SCHOOLTEACHERS! Couldn't resist that...)"

Hey Small r, did you see where Albany had to cancel the first 3 days of school because someone screwed up all of the kids schedules.

I wonder how much that little mistake is going to cost the taxpayers?

Do you think any one will be fired or even reprimanded over this costly mistake?

We both know the answer to that question, don't we?

In the private sector, the shit would be hitting the fan.

2:46 PM  
Blogger shotinthedark said...

From the LA Times...

The Real John McCain: What a Maverick!!!!!
A must read!!!! First wife out of sight, how shallow can one man be?

By Carol McCain:

McCain likes to illustrate his moral fiber by referring to his five years as a prisoner-of-war in Vietnam . And to demonstrate his commitment to family values, the 71-year- old former US Navy pilot pays warm tribute to his beautiful blonde wife, Cindy, with whom he has four children. But there is another Mrs. McCain who casts a ghostly shadow over the Senator's presidential campaign. She is seldom seen and rarely written about, despite being mother to McCain's three eldest children.

She was the woman McCain dreamed of during his long incarceration and torture in Vietnam 's infamous 'Hanoi Hilton' prison and the woman who faithfully stayed at home looking after the children and waiting anxiously for news. But when McCain returned to America in 1973 to a fanfare of publicity and a handshake from Richard Nixon, he discovered his wife had been disfigured in a terrible car crash three years earlier. Her car had skidded on icy roads into a telegraph pole on Christmas Eve, 1969.

Her pelvis and one arm were shattered by the impact and she suffered massive internal injuries.

When Carol was discharged from hospital after six months of life-saving surgery, the prognosis was bleak. In order to save her legs, surgeons had been forced to cut away huge sections of shattered bone, taking with it her tall, willowy figure. She was confined to a wheelchair and was forced to use a catheter. Today, she stands at just 5' 4" in and still walks awkwardly, with a pronounced limp. Her body is held together by screws and metal plates and, at 70, her face is worn by wrinkles that speak of decades of silent suffering.

For nearly 30 years, Carol has maintained a dignified silence about the accident, McCain and their divorce. But last week at the bungalow where she now lives at Virginia Beach, a faded seaside resort 200 miles south of Washington, she told The Mail on Sunday how McCain divorced her in 1980 and married Cindy, 18 years his junior and the heir to an Arizona brewing fortune, just one month later.

My marriage ended because John McCain didn't want to be 40, he wanted to be 25. You know that happens...it just does.'

In 1979 - while still married to Carol - he met Cindy at a cocktail party in Hawaii . Over the next six months he pursued her, flying around the country to see her. Then he began to push to end his marriage. Some of McCain's acquaintances are less forgiving, however. They portray the politician as a self-centered womanizer who effectively abandoned his crippled wife to 'play the field'. They accuse him of finally settling on Cindy, a former rodeo beauty queen, for financial reasons.

Ted Sampley, who fought with US Special Forces in Vietnam and is now a leading campaigner for veterans' rights,
said: 'I have been following John McCain's career for nearly 20 years. I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is -deceit.'

When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her almost right away. Everybody around him knew it. Eventually he met Cindy and she was young and beautiful and very wealthy. At that point McCain just dumped Carol for something he thought was better."

McCain is the classic opportunist. He's always reaching for attention and glory,' he said. After he came home, Carol walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona . And the rest is history.'

Ross Perot, a billionaire Texas businessman, and a former presidential candidate, who paid her medical bills all those years ago, now believes that both Carol McCain and the American people have been taken in by a man who is unusually slick and cruel - even by the standards of modern politics.

6:32 AM  

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