26

No Moar! Do Not Want!


 

It is fascinating how the U.S. TV pundits turn on a dime — yesterday, she’s a disaster; today she’s the greatest person ever in the history of the world — but this isn’t new; George W. Bush received similar coverage and inspired the same kind of breathless cult following. Her speech last night reminded me a bit of Bush too, in that it was a collection of fairly standard conservative talking points, including a line lifted from National Review, and it had the tone familiar from a lot of Bush’s speeches, the snide, condescending tone (apparently being a “community organizer” is now something to be mocked, because apparently conservatives don’t believe in working outside of government) and the certain knowledge that TV pundits will call you “likable” even as you’re saying nasty things.

G.W. Bush was, in essence, the first post-Limbaugh president, the first conservative Republican president to have most his political career after the explosion of conservative media in the ’80s. What we saw last night, and what we’re going to see for the next two months, is a Limbaugh type of campaign, with Limbaugh’s weird but effective combination of anger and victimology. Bush and Palin are essentially more telegenic Rush Limbaughs, able to make their fans feel that they’re taking their side against the unnamed elites who are keeping them down. They are made for TV, and TV is where elections are won and lost.

It certainly worked in 2004, and McCain has concluded that a 2004 campaign is the best way to win. He’s probably right, and I’ve felt for a while that he’s going to win (not happy about it, I admit). But that would get me into political prognostication, and that is out of my focus (this post is about media/TV coverage, so it counts), so instead I’ll work on my post about the season premiere of Entourage, and listen to a song from a simpler time in politics.


 

No Moar! Do Not Want!

  1. “the snide, condescending tone (apparently being a “community organizer” is now something to be mocked”

    I know it smacks of school yard politics but I think she went after Obama’s ‘community organizer’ experience because he started the belittling and she’s just returning fire.

    Have you noticed the Obama campaign doesn’t mention that she is Governor but always focuses on her time as mayor of a small town. She’s just pushing back against Obama’s elitist, condescending comments.

  2. Don’t count out Obama just yet. That guy was built for TV.

  3. LOL, the Obama campaign actually hasn’t said anything much about Palin, though I understand that in your topsy-turvy world, the media and the Obama campaign are basically equivalent.

    Of course, by making the staggeringly stupid decision to attack, Palin has forfeited the one tiny protection her threadbare qualifications had. Now she’s fair game.

  4. Gentry

    The media have behaved like she was fair game since she was unveiled on Friday but it’s hard to imagine the media will be able to get any deeper into the raw sewage than they already are.

    And I agree that Obama campaign has mostly stayed out of the fray and let their comrades in the media do the smearing for him but Barry has made a couple of comments about her and he always ignores her experience as Governor.

  5. I don’t generally bother following US politics.

    In 2000, though, I saw McCain making the rounds of some of the talk shows. I liked him. He seemed like a very solid, thinking individual. He seemed to want to approach politics with the idea that getting things done was important, and getting into power was simply a means to achieve that. I didn’t agree with a lot of his views as expressed through his voting record, but he at least was sincere. Sadly, it seemed the Republican Party, which increasingly seems to be a base of people who are extremely hateful to anything outside of their own group, decided that Mr. McCain was not the right choice from them. So when it seemed that Mr. McCain had the nomination this year, I was pleased.

    Then, when I saw Obama running, I thought to myself, how lucky the Americans are. They’re getting an election where both candidates are striving to achieve power for what they can do for the people, not merely for the power itself.

    Unfortunately, given some of what I’ve seen from Ms. Palin, I can only conclude that she is the pound of flesh demanded of a man who truly believes in Republican values from a party that does not. I’m afraid that, while she may assist them in achieving the ends of the neo-GOP, those ends have more to do with power than service.

  6. Of course she’s fair game – she’s running for a position that puts her one heartbeat away from the most important political office in the world.

    And I continue to be amused that people refer to “the media” as if it’s some sort of monolithic institution. Dan Gardner had it spot on yesterday in his column – cognitive dissonance is alive and well.

  7. Ed, I meant “fair game” in the sense that the Obama can take her on directly without fear of blowback.

    Also, please, get it right: it’s the “liberal media”, never simply “the media”

  8. Of course the media is liberal. Free speech is one of the fundamental values of liberalism.

  9. What an idiotic post in that you know NOTHING about small town America and Obama’s condescension to those of us who proudly and not bitterly cling to our God and our guns. You effete socialists just don’t get it. And that works to our advantage.

  10. You effete socialists just don’t get it.

    Because there’s nothing condescending about calling an entire class of people, who make up just as much of America (or any other country) as small-town conservatives, “effete socialists.”

    I don’t understand why you feel the need to project your own elitism — your feeling that you represent a superior culture and that urbanites, liberals, and anyone else you can name is inferior — onto others.

  11. “Then, when I saw Obama running, I thought to myself, how lucky the Americans are. They’re getting an election where both candidates are striving to achieve power for what they can do for the people, not merely for the power itself.”

    Give me a break. Both Obama and McCain are striving for power for its own sake. They wouldn’t be the nominees of the two-headed monster known as the Republicrat Party if they weren’t. Both are firm believers in micromanaging Americans’ lives from Washington and intervening in countries all over the globe, Obama’s highly qualified objections to the Iraq war notwithstanding. The only candidate running this year on a major-party ticket who wasn’t striving for power for its own sake was Ron Paul, and you’ll note that the GOP did its best to marginalize him, and still does, trying to bury his delegate counts at the convention. The rest of ’em are interchangeable when it comes to policy: Obama equals McCain equals Hillary equals Giuliani equals Romney equals Biden equals Huckabee equals (insert name of politician other than Paul here).

  12. “Lifted”?

    The author, Jim Geraughty, said “Please use this line”.

    So “used with enthusiastic permission” is a much more accurate term.

    Unfortunately, after reading the rest of your article I realized that accuracy and truthfulness aren’t your stock-in-trade. So I’m guessing you’ll continue to use the misleading term “lifted” when you describe that action.

  13. The author, Jim Geraughty, said “Please use this line”.

    And the post I linked to showed him exulting that they’d used his line. I’m not sure what he’s complaining about.

    I haven’t really thought of “lifted” as the same thing as stealing; I used it because it’s a milder term. Would “borrowed” be better?

    Anyway, I don’t think they were wrong to use the line (I’ve seen lines I wrote used with modifications in other people’s work, and that also makes me happy); I just find it an example of how the modern U.S. conservative movement, particularly Limbaugh types like Bush and Palin, are so keyed into the conservative media that their speeches are literally full of talking points from National Review and talk radio.

  14. What makes Obama’s community organizer experience so easy to mock is the way he has lionized himself for it, (“I turned down Wall Street”) bragging about his self-sacrificial nature as though he has no idea that he’s running against a guy who spent the same years of his own life being tortured in a jungle prison.

  15. So you’re saying McCain chose to be tortured for the good of his community? Interesting. Never heard that about the man before. What did it achieve, exactly?

  16. T Thwim

    McCain’s jailers gave him option to go free, ahead of other prisoners who had been there longer, and he said no thanks. The reason he looks so stiff, wooden is because the injuries he suffered during torture were not treated in time.

  17. Now that is interesting. Why did they give him the option and why did he refuse? Again, what did it achieve?

  18. The “narrative” is that they offered to free him when they found out he was an Admiral’s son, but he refused because he didn’t want enemies of America to say the offspring of military officers received special treatment.

    Or did you know that already?

  19. Nope, I didn’t. I suppose good on him, but to be honest, I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing if officers’ offspring receive special treatment — on both sides. Works to prevent an officer from going off his nut and doing something suicidal.

  20. Just to finish the story (can I use that word instead of “narrative”? it seems easier to work with), the achievement was that he was able to free his fellow POWs along with himself.

    Not sure how much fact checking has been done, but anyone who questions it is likely to get more than Swift Boated.

  21. ” the achievement was that he was able to free his fellow POWs along with himself.

    Not sure how much fact checking has been done, but anyone who questions it is likely to get more than Swift Boated.”

    Lord, how do you people make decisions about politics being this poorly informed. When they found out he was an admirals son, they offered to release him. Military code said first captured, first released and he refused to accept until those ahead of him were released. This is information that is easly checked. Anyone who questions it clearly has not bothered to do any research.

    btw, the article by Roger Simon was one humongous straw man. But I suspect he knew that when writing it. As I suspect you do also.

  22. Fair call buzz. I noticed that too after I read the link jwl posted.

    My point is that it’s harder to “fact check” highly emotional topics like claims of patriotism than, for example, senate voting records. In this case I’m not sure how important that is, since nobody on the Democratic campaign is questioning McCain’s heroism.

    In fact I’m impressed with his humility. I do think he’s the better candidate, but his lack of charisma will probably be his undoing.

  23. “Limbaugh types like Bush and Palin, are so keyed into the conservative media that their speeches are literally full of talking points from National Review and talk radio.”

    On the contrary, National Review and talk radio are not in the business of issuing talking points to candidates; they are in the business of discussing and elucidating conservative values that, surprise surprise, happen to be shared and lived by people like Sarah Palin and John McCain. But if you insist on trying to paint them as empty vessels who need feeding and protection by a sympathetic media elite, conservatives are more than ready to have that discussion, including as it relates to The One and his sycophantic cheerleaders in the MSM. In fact, we’ve been addressing that very subject at the RNC for the last few days, in prime time so it can be shared with the largest possible audience, and will continue to do so for as long as we see fit.

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