Monday, October 13, 2008

Paddington, Palin, Politics, and Polls

Paddington Bear

On Google's main site is the announcement that Paddington Bear is 50 years old. For me, that is the equivalent of hearing news of a distant relative whom you've known of, but never spoken to. I don't know Paddington, having somehow missed the phenomenon.

Instead, I immersed myself in other children's series such as Curious George, Frog & Toad, Lyle the Crocodile, and the Narnia series. Perhaps I missed it because there wasn't enough time to get to it before I was reading the Nancy Drew series at age six.

I looked into the Paddington series when my own child was very young, and wasn't terribly impressed. I'm sure you have to be reading it at the right age, at the right time, with a crispy piece of toast thickly smeared with marmalade. But there are so many books, and so little time!

Sarah Palin's Campaigning Tactics

Now that an Alaska panel has declared the Palin had abused her power as Governor of Alaska, her credibility has been damaged.

Reports over the weekend have said that she's toned down her rhetoric and has become almost apologetic in her attacks on Obama. I don't know if this is a result of her latest battle wounds, or if she's been told by McCain that he wants her to play nice.

Either way, it's a mistake. With only a couple more weeks on the trail, the only way to win will be to start laying out Obama's flaws for the public to see. They can be sure that Obama and his henchmen will be milking Palin's recent failure for all it's worth.

Negative campaigning (or mudslinging) is as American as apple pie, despite the protesting howls of the injured. It's also been shown to be very effective under certain circumstances, such as when a campaign is behind an average of 7.5 in the polls (as McCain's was over the weekend).

Will McCain have the guts to do it? It's doubtful. McCain has never understood that politics is not a coy sport.


The Lazy Iguana said...

Sure, when you are behind and have nothing else to go on - you have to do something!!!

McCain has to make the case that he is change - which he has not. There is no incumbent here, but McCain does represent the party in power. Running as "change" is really something of a tall order for the guy.

Palin has toned it down because the polls showed it was not working. Her revelation was not new - it was moldy news that was kicked around before.

So bring it up, then allow more of that old stale "but he is a muslim" shit to circulate, and then back away.

But that does not matter. It was just more pandering to the base - which does not include moderates. This is why the polls went south on McCain. He was running old news in the face of a real crisis.

And then the stunt where he suspended the campaign to work out a solution - only to have that solution fail in the house (AFTER he stepped in) and then have almost the same thing pass the Senate and later the house.

By making himself the front man who suspended his campaign to "lead", the unpopular provisions of the bill landed in his lap. Sometimes it is better to just keep it on the down low. This is the problem with a stunt - they can backfire.

And then there is the HIGHLY erratic panic mode like talk from the McCain camp. How many times has McCain changed a position? I lost count. Just with his economic plan he has been all over the place. He is for the bailout. Then against it. Then against it only if it has pork. Then for the pork, but only if it is low in fat. And then maybe just a little fat for flavor. But then it goes too far to protect Wall Street.

And then he wants to buy up all the bad mortgages - at full loan value (meaning taxpayers fork over the pre-crash value NOT the current value - so the banks will pocket a whole lot of profit) then renegotiating the payments with homeowners.

A plan which all but guarantees that the government will never be able to "sell" the mortgages to recover any money. A plan which ensures buying high and selling lower.

But he is not a socialist! Oh no! Socialism is bad!! Naughty word! So we will just call this.....uhhhh.....McCain-o-nomics? Has a nice ring to it huh?

Look for him to reverse this next week.

And then there is the highly amusing instances where McCain himself says something, then Palin says the opposite - or something different - later the same day. Or Palin tries to explain what McCain meant when he said "get off my lawn to damn kids".

It is really sad. McCain is a parody of himself. He may well be in the early stages of losing his marbles.

Ed Abbey said...

I'm guessing it is the latter and McCain told her to tone it down. After seeing some of the rally clips where an old lady calls Obama an Arab, etc., I think McCain finally realized that there is a difference between character assissination and negative campaigning ON THE ISSUES. I would have thought that McCain learned that in his run against Bush with the love child and druggy wife accusations. But then again, since Bush won that election, perhaps he learned the lesson too well.

I just read where McCain is going to talk more on the issues now. I can't wait but I'm not going to hold my breath either. It's about time.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, Actually, they weren't using the "Obama is a Muslim" tactic, since it's not provable. They were using ugly facts,instead. Stale? Maybe - but true, nonetheless.

The negative campaigning is not what's causing the polls to rise in Obama's favor. It's the economy, plain and simple.

Yes, McCain does change positions. Of course all politicians do, Obama included. I'm not impressed with McCain, as I've repeatedly said. I just think he's a little better than Obama.

If we're talking about the mortgage crises, let's remember that Obama's little group, ACORN, used high pressure tactics to make sure that loans were given to people who weren't qualified for them. Obama trained the ACORN foot soldiers, and there's no doubt he was in agreement at that time.

McCain is a Democrat in Republican clothing, although I have little respect for the Republican party since it churned out the Bush family.

And yes, Obama is a socialist in Democrat clothing.

Ed, I think you're on the money, here. I believe that McCain is mistakenly waffling on this position, when he should pick a strategy and stick with it. It makes him look appallingly weak.

Uncle Joe said...

If McCain and Palin don't come out and kick some ass this week I'm moving to somewhere that people like to kick other people's asses.

Oh wait. I'm in Oklahoma already.

The Lazy Iguana said...

The Republican party did nothing to squash the "he is a muslim" rumors. How many speakers at Republican rallies have used Obama's middle name? It this a common thing to do? No - not really. So then why do it?


Also the Fox news network, claiming to be fair and balanced and then hiring people like Rove (and others), first reported about the madrassa and other false things.

So yea, the same sleaze that was behind the lies made up about McCain in 2000 is behind the same thing today.

And it worked. A lot of people still believe it, in spite of any evidence to support it.

As for Ayers, one of McCain's wealthy supporters GAVE A LOT OF MONEY to that group. So McCain has a link to the guy too. Someone who supports him gave money to a group with known terrorists in it. So what does that say about McCain? This is why McCain will not bring it up in a debate. He knows better.

Oh yea, McCain also worked with a group that contained some unsavory people. People into eugenics in fact. And then there is another well known McCain supporter, who is also a Republican delegate, that praised some crazy woman who shot a doctor in the arms.

Of course, the fact that people who gave a lot of money to McCain also gave money to a group that had "terrorists" on the board of directors means nothing. You can not connect the dots here.

But - using crazy McCain logic - you can in fact connect some dots.

Obama personally trained all the ACORN people huh? A neat trick. We have tens of thousands of troops - and billions of dollars a month - and yet we can not even seem to train an Iraqi police force. Given all the manpower, money, and time I find it a little strange that one man could personally train a small army of ACORN people.

The community investment act, which prevented redlining, was passed in the late 70s. So you can not blame that on the current problem.

Also - how did ACORN "force" banks to make bad loans? You either qualify for a loan, or you don't. If the bank can justify why you do not qualify then that is it. It is not redlining and not illegal. ACORN had little power to "force" banks to do anything.

I can show you plenty of shit in Miami. Luxury condo buildings in foreclosure. The whole high rise in foreclosure. And it make it even better - some of these buildings are still under construction. Banks are taking a MAJOR loss here, as nobody is going to buy a building under construction - with no units ready to move into - for the full loan value.

So did ACORN force the banks to loan tens of millions to developers so that they could build $750,000+ luxury condos?

I can also show you "bank owned" property in some of the nicest areas of Miami. Houses with ocean access waterfronts. Houses worth a whole lot of cash. For sale.

ACORN again? Low income people taking loans that can not repay?

No. Of course not. Unless you are Glen Beck or some other turd burger.

Oh yea, Ed McMahon's multi million dollar California mansion went into foreclosure. I bet ACORN put a gun to the head of a banker and forced them to loan that bad credit risk Ed millions to buy that dump huh?

Did some lower income people default? Yea. Should they have taken out the loans? Maybe not. Or maybe they took out the wrong kinds of loans.

But the bulk of the problem was caused by house flippers. People buying three and four homes, no money down, then selling them later. Condo developers who took out loans a hundred million at a time. People who could afford million dollar homes who bought 5 million dollar homes. And so on.

As for socialism - it is clear that the "free market theory" does not work. Given the chance to make a lot of profit in the short term, while exposing yourself to a lot of long term risk - we can predict what will happen. We need regulation of the markets. This was figured out in the 30s, but then we forgot.

And during the 40s and 50s and 60s - thirty years - the USA had a great economic track run, in spite of these socialist handicaps. Workers had jobs. Fords were made in Detroit. You could make a decent living without a college degree.

Those days are long gone. It all started to unravel in the 70s, partly because of the Vietnam War (when you are at full employment starting a war is a bad idea as Government war spending has to compete with consumer goods sales) and mostly because of the oil embargo.

In the 80s, the massive push to total deregulation began.

Ill take the 30 years of steady stable growth over the mess we have now - where growth is explosive and then recessions are sharp.

If that means "socialism" them fine.

Ellen said...

Sorry, Saur... love ya to death, but I'm with the Iguana on this one.

It is one thing to stump a speech and talk about differences and change, and quite another to rally the nut-wing troops. We didn't see this in the Obama rallies, and the one time a few boos came up during a speech Obama made, he IMMEDIATELY squelched it by saying, "Hey, we don't need any of that.... we just need to get out and vote." He was able to squash it out without missing a beat.

Palin's rallies (especially the "Who is Obama" ones) have riled up the worst that this country has to offer... the very people who proclaim that they are "Christians". (Wonder why I'm agnostic?) She did nothing, not one thing to put a stop to this the moment it got out of control. That I find deplorable, degrading, and immature to say the least. Yes, I understand that all types of people come out of the cracks at these rallies, but she NEVER addressed it when it happened. Who is she to question "who is Obama?" when she has her own dirty laundry in the form of direct ties and connections to the Alaskian Independent Party... even recently telling them to "keep up the good work" in a speech to their convention.

Palin is an embarrassment, not just to women, but to the general public. She cannot connect a simple sentence or thought to cream puff reporters as Katie Couric or Charles Gibson, and that alone makes me wonder the judgement of John McCain in picking her as a running mate. For a person only one 72-years old heartbeat away from the Presidency, I expect more in a running mate.

As for John McCain, he reveled in the steaming up of the masses at his rallies until all the political think-tanks told him not only was it was a losing strategy, it did more to divide the masses and make the whole election muddier than it could possibly have gotten. In other words, his stratagy was playing with poor tactics. So, yeah, he toned it down... he had to. Once again showing me that McCain is a day late and dollar short of everything the Obama campaign has shown so far.

But all that aside, I decided to let the "pals" of both sides be damned in my decision. (Obama: Rev. Wright, Tony Rezco, William Ayers. McCain: G.Gordan Liddy, Charles Keating). I figure we all have some nefarious characters in our past. What matters more was who could reach not just across the aisle, but rather across the planet to solve some of the messes our current administration has gotten us into, and there are many more we don't even know about yet. I don't think for a moment that the Bush regime has put all the cards on the table for us to see, and whoever occupies 1600 Penn Ave in January will have to have some great skills in diplomacy to put things back on track again. As for me, I'm looking for the man who can handle the helm with a steady head. McCain doesn't give me that confidence.

As I said at the beginning, I love ya to death... and find that you are a brilliant wordsmith... I just disagree with you on this one.

Mr. Grey Ghost said...

McCain has to continue exposing Obama for who he is: the most liberal senator in Congress with ties to terrorists with little to no experience to be running for president. And at the same time let Palin be herself, despite what the liberal press being in the tank for Obama, because Palin still appeals to the GOP base. Obama's only in front because a bad economy goes hand-in-hand with whatever party is in the big chair (no matter whose fault it really is), so McCain has to go after independents with the message that he has the wherewithal/experience to fix it, not BO.

daveawayfromhome said...

Oh, by all means, let Sarah Palin "be herself". Please? At a press conference or three, that'd be good. Talk about not knowing someone.

Democratic philosophy: We're all in this together.
Republican philosophy: Every man for himself.

Which one of those do you suppose works better for a society?

M@ said...

I find it amusing that the McCain campaign actually finds the need to REMIND the public that Obama is a Negro.

We're aware of the fact that Obama is a Negro. That's how pissed we are about the situation that we're voting for him.

Saur♥Kraut said...

m@, Oh good, you finally found proof that no one else has. Please give us that negro quote, I beg of you. I'll publish it immediately.

Or...could you possibly be saying that political attacks are some way of making it a racial attack? Well then, are the political attacks against McCain racist also?

Saur♥Kraut said...

Dave, Well, only time will tell. No matter what, this political season is heating up and getting interesting!

Mr. Gray, SO very nice to see you again, my friend! You are completely dead-on. Thank you!

Everyone, ...more in a moment...

Three Score and Ten or more said...

Get a copy of the committee report. It is one of the least coherent documents I've ever read. (And as a forty plus year teacher, I have read a lot of incoherent documents).The only thing that is clear is that the committee was desperate to try to find something negative about Sarah.

The Doozie said...

It wasn't effective for Hillary, so I'm not sure how it will help the Palin. Women can't get away with that shit....everyone already thinks she's a bitch, to slander won't help. I say she should take the high road.

Uncle Joe said "ass". Thats major