Thursday, October 30, 2008

Campaign Droppings XVII

Thoughts arrived at while mourning the apparent breakdown of a perfectly good PC.

Joe Der Bleiarbiter

So now Joe the Plumber is a foreign policy expert, telling a fan at a Palin campaign event, “Yeah, I will go ahead and agree with you on that.” The “that” being “a vote for Obama means death to Israel.”

Funny, but I thought Joe, who isn’t named Joe and who isn’t a plumber and who isn’t about to buy a business that would not earn $250,000 a year in profits, would be more inclined by virtue of his last name to favor the death of Israel. If not all its individual non-Arab citizens.

I bet his grandfather and great grandfather, Joachim and Johann Wurzelbacher, did, anyway.

Sarah the Socialist

Sarah Palin has been having fun calling Obama a socialist, as if she even know what it meant. Oh, wait, she does know what it means! As she explained just a few weeks ago in an interview about her state’s oil revenue, “. . .we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.” Thus, Palin, who added $1,200 to checks that now total $3,269 from the state of Alaska to each of its citizens, whether from each one’s ability or according to each one’s need, is the socialist governor of a socialist state.

John the Fabulist

It’s one thing to tell the Big Lie over and over again if you are a Republican presidential candidate (re: the falsehood about Obama’s tax plan), but quite another to repeatedly lie about a tiny thing of no merit whatsoever, and something that irritates the Faux News Network arm of the McCain campaign.

McCain has been telling audiences that under a McCain presidency, the World Series starting time would not be moved back. He was referring to Obama’s 30-minute “roadblock” of network programming Wednesday night, which was falsely reported to have forced a changed in the time of the Series start, broadcast on Fixed News. According to Major League Baseball, and the Fake News Network, the game time has always, always been 8:37 p.m. EDT. That is seven minutes past the end of the Obama infomercial.

If McCain will lie about that, what else will he lie about? That he abhors negative campaigning?

Republican the Goon

Despite the polls, or because of them, there are many reasons McCain might win the election:

1) – There are no undecided voters. It is impossible to believe that after the longest campaign in history between candidates of sharply differing views that anyone has not made up his or her mind. Therefore, the roughly 6-10 percent of “undecideds” in polls, are phantoms who will almost all vote for McCain. They claim to be undecided rather than admit they will not under any circumstances vote for a black man for president.

2) Undecideds, to the extent they exist today, always “come home” to the party of their heritage. Since the Republicans have had a lock on, or own the default position of the presidency, for most of our lives, the “home” is McCain.

3) Both McCain and Palin have hit their rhetorical strides and will spend every second until Election Day raising economic, foreign policy, terrorism doubts about Obama that fit a narrative many Americans want to believe.

4) Obama’s chances depend entirely on turnout of first-time voters. The reason they would be called first-time voters, for the most part, is that they never bothered to vote before. In social science, past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

5) The Republican Party and affiliated groups are already engaged in a massive vote suppression scheme. I would call it a conspiracy, but it is quite open and characteristic of the soul of the Republicans. For as long as I have followed politics (I remember when it was called the Electoral High School), Republicans try to keep people from voting and Democrats try to get more people eligible to vote.

This year’s tactics include papering a black section of the Virginia electorate with fliers telling Democrats they must vote the day after Election Day, trying to purge hundreds of thousands of Ohioans from the voter rolls because of insignificant discrepancies (like middle initials) between registration documents and drivers’ licenses, and telling college students that undercover police will arrest them for unpaid traffic tickets if they show up to vote.

Republicans have never in my lifetime held the popular edge in most major issues upon which people vote. So their only tactic for victory is to discourage people who are not used to having a stake in society (blacks, Hispanics, students, homeless) from voting. There is no evidence whatsoever in recent years of even small scale voting fraud by Democrats, blacks, Hispanics or students, but Republicans hire a sty of lawyers to keep those groups away from the polls.

Add to that, voting machine distribution favoring the rich (i.e., creating disproportionately long lines in Democratic precincts and short ones in Republican precincts) and the outright theft of the 2000 presidential election, it is not particularly paranoid to attribute a McCain victory to Soviet-style ballot shenanigans.

GOP thuggery goes back at least to 1964 when young Republican lawyers tried to keep minorities in Arizona from voting against Barry Goldwater. Among the leaders of that effort were one Bill Rehnquist and a Charlie Stevens, who became a mentor to young state legislator Sandra Day O’Connor. I don’t know what became of Stevens, but 36 years later, O’Connor – hoping to retire and give her seat to a Republican – voted from the Supreme Court bench to give war criminal George W. Bush the presidency, the same bench led by Chief Justice Bill Rehnquist.

So on Election Day, don’t be surprised if John McCain wins because his party has tortured the true election returns.

Presidential elections are decided on the weekend before Election Day, so watch for the public opinion polls that include people surveyed through Sunday. If Obama is not above 50 percent in each and every national and toss-up state poll, prepare for President McCain and an early coup by Vice Marshal Palin.

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