Archive for November 9th, 2008

This Just In

Barack Obama not actually a socialist.

Try to contain your amazement.

9 comments November 9th, 2008 at 10:09pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Economy,Obama,Politics,Republicans

Another Oppressed Minority Celebrates Obama’s Victory

For as long as I can remember, they’ve been reviled and scapegoated; ridiculed and called un-American, unpatriotic, even subversive.  No-one could ever imagine one of them becoming president.  But on November 4th, they finally had their day.

I am referring, of course, to intellectuals.

1 comment November 9th, 2008 at 06:52pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,Obama,Politics,Republicans

What To Look Forward To In 2009-2010

Another Multi Medium flashback, this time from last January, reflecting on the significance of conservative Rod Dreher’s repudiation of the Bush administration:

I expect there were a whole bunch of bitterly disillusioned conservatives back in 1974 too, but they sure got over it pretty quick. I suspect that if the next Democratic president can’t undo the deep structural, psychic, and moral damage 8 years of Bush misrule have inflicted on our country, and if the Republicans field a candidate peddling a bogus message of sunny optimism, then the conservative true believers’ faith will be miraculously and instantly restored.

After all, Bush was an aberration; he wasn’t a real conservative, and they were all taken in by his wily, resolute ways. But the next time will be totally different, and they’ll follow Reagan II to the end of the Earth… until they get close enough to the edge to see the abyss below, at which point the cycle will repeat. Conservatives fall in love with Republicans, Republicans nearly destroy America, Conservatives fall out of love with Republicans, Democrats fail to usher in Golden Age Of America, Conservatives fall in love with Republicans again.

Thinking on it a bit more, I think a big part of the problem (or maybe just a symptom?) is standards. Conservatives simply hold Republicans and other conservatives to a much, much lower standard than they hold Democrats and progressives to. Look at how badly Bush had to fuck everything up before Dreher finally lost faith in him, as compared to him losing faith in Jimmy Carter over one failed rescue operation. Compare the relative standards for impeachment, or for congressional investigations, or even the very definitions of words like “popular” or “mandate.” I might try to blame the media for this, but the sad truth is that most of the media is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the conservative movement.

But the bottom line is that the standard of success for a Republican president is somewhere in the vicinity of “Don’t get us into a depression or World War III”, whereas the standard of success for a Democratic president is “Fix everything the Republicans broke and make the world perfect.” So based on that, they can easily say, “Hey, I tried to give the Democrats the benefit of the doubt, but they had their chance and they failed miserably, so I’m going to start screaming my head off for impeachment like any reasonable, responsible citizen should.”

I think this gives us a pretty accurate idea of what to expect from the media and the so-called reasonable conservative community (but I repeat myself).  The first time Obama screws up, they will declare him to be The Worst President Of All Time, and will attack him mercilessly until he leaves office… and possibly after.

1 comment November 9th, 2008 at 05:44pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Media,Obama,Politics,Republicans

Welcome To The Center-Right

Apparently “center-right” does not mean what the pundits think it means…

David’s done yoeman’s work here-and elsewhere-documenting the pernicious Versailles meme that despite the stunning victory won by Obama and Democrats running for Congress, America “remains a center-right nation” and therefore Obama must not enact his planned agenda.  I finally got to the end of the 98-page post-election Democracy Corps report, “The Change Election Awaiting Change”, and on page 94, I found something directly relevant to this pernicious Versailles meme: the American people overwhelmingly believe the exact opposite: that Republicans should give Obama the benefit of the doubt, and try to work with him to acheive his agenda.

Indeed, this sentiment is much more far-reaching than the core support for Obama’s agenda in the first place.  The reason is simple: the American people believe in democracy, they believe in elections, and they believe in giving their elected leaders (not the unelected Versailles punditalkcrazy) the opportunity to act on their electoral mandates….

There is nothing surprising about this, really.  The Versailles consensus has been wildly out of touch with the American people at least since Ronald Reagan came to Washington.  That’s when they began promulgating the myth of how the American electorate had moved sharply to the right, when the underlying polling data showed nothing of the sort-in fact, it showed the American people becoming increasingly liberal and pro-activist government throughout the 1980s.  But Versailles remained oblivious to all that, and lionized Reagan for bringing about a transformation in public attitudes that had very little on-the-ground reality.


Enough!  The people have spoken.  And after speaking, they have spoken again, even more emphatically: respect the results of the election.  Let Obama govern as promised to, to bring about significant change from the politics of the past, not to continue it.

The people have spoken, but is anyone listening?  All signs point to the new political center being considerably to the left of the Republican Party, and even to the left of the pro-war, pro-corporate wing of the Democratic Party.

(h/t Sirota)

1 comment November 9th, 2008 at 04:07pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,Media,Obama,Politics,Polls

What I’ve Been Waiting For

Me in May 2006:

What I want to see the Democrats do this time is refuse to play the Republicans’ game, but call them on it instead. Rather than simply saying, “We do too hate terrorists and gay people just as much as the Republicans! More, even!”, call the Republicans on what they’re doing. Say, “The Republicans have failed and dishonored this country in every way imaginable, and all they can do is campaign on hate and fear. Do they think you’re that easy to distract? Is this all they think you care about?” Americans love to congratulate themselves on their bullshit-detecting abilities, and therefore hate being played. Unfortunately, they hate admitting that they’ve been played even more, which is why so many still cling to the idea that the Republicans actually want what’s best for America, and why the Democrats have to make it very explicit and impossible to dismiss or ignore.

The Multi Medium Manifesto, about a month later (referencing that same post):

The Democrats must start calling the Republicans on their strategy of using smears, fear, and hate every single election. They must make voters realize just how stupid, cowardly, bigoted, and easily distracted the Republicans think they are. When the American people finally reject these tactics, the Republicans will have nothing left – it’s not like they can run on their record or their policy positions.

Today’s Frank Rich column:

For eight years, we’ve been told by those in power that we are small, bigoted and stupid — easily divided and easily frightened. This was the toxic catechism of Bush-Rove politics. It was the soiled banner picked up by the sad McCain campaign, and it was often abetted by an amen corner in the dominant news media….

Almost every assumption about America that was taken as a given by our political culture on Tuesday morning was proved wrong by Tuesday night.

I would have liked to have seen the Democrats more explicitly call the Republicans out for that strategy, but based on the backlash against the ugliness of the McCain campaign (not to mention the even-uglier Liddy Dole campaign), it looks like the American people figured it out all by themselves.  Although, as Rich also notes, it would have been nice to see the GOP’s appeals to homophobia rejected as decisively (or at all).  Still, it’s tremendous progress, and something I never would have believed possible four years ago.

Rich also offers up this thing of beauty that I just have to share:

Even the North Carolina county where Palin expressed her delight at being in the “real America” went for Obama by more than 18 percentage points.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!  Why does “real America” hate America?

2 comments November 9th, 2008 at 03:05pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Elections,Media,Obama,Politics,Racism,Republicans,Terrorism

Clock Of The Month

Instructibles shows you how to make a clock out of old hard drive parts.

What are you waiting for?

(h/t Unplggd, by way of Engadget)

November 9th, 2008 at 01:28pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Technology,Weirdness

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