The Morning After Last Night’s Casualties

home-bar

Somewhere on the other side of 3 am, I finally decided to make last call at my home bar. There was little resistance considering I was the only one left standing. This session would yield little solace other than the civil and somewhat gracious tone of Donald Trump’s victory speech after Hillary Clinton’s telephone call acknowledging her defeat.

Unable to sleep, I would return to the television set a few short hours later to see how America was faring after the revolution. Much to my surprise, the early morning pundits had not been cancelled or beheaded. At worst, they were eating their crow with good humor as the “I told you so” side of the panel restrained their glee. And even  the stock market futures that had indicated a precipitous fall during the overnight opened on the upside. In fact, most companies trading on the Dow were enjoying healthy gains with one notable exception. Smith and Wesson had lost nearly 16% of its value.

A company that had benefited in part because of the irrational fears propagated by the NRA and right wing media may regret having a few less Democrats in power. It’s funny how sometimes you wind up losing even when you think you’ve won. Take heed Mr. Limbaugh.

As the morning progressed, leaders and politicians from both parties took to the airwaves to talk about unity, inclusion, and healing. By early afternoon, I was feeling somewhat optimistic again about our collective prospects. Our democracy had once more demonstrated its resilience and ability to peacefully pass power from one party to the other. And while I’m not a big fan of one group having all of the political marbles–recalcitrance, obstruction, and gridlock as excuses for not governing will have to be shelved until at least the 2018 midterm election.

So once again, my silver lining syndrome remains intact. And since I was born without a team gene, I’m open to the possibility of worthwhile policy being generated by either side of the political spectrum. But there remains a lingering sadness about this election, because it resembles a civil war more than a revolution. And while we didn’t sacrifice a single soul in the course of this particular domestic squabble, this nation lost some portion of its honor, dignity, and humanity along the way. And like both sides at the Battle of Gettysburg, we have to wonder if it was worth the cost?

Cannons at Gettysburg

Posted by: Chris Poh for American Public House Review

 

Why does Rev. Wright continue to hurt Obama?

Rev. Jeremiah Wright has finally broken has silence.  After weeks of staying silent and letting the story play out into political history, he has brought it back to the forefront in dramatic fashion.  But for democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, his “friend” now seems much more like an enemy.  However, if the media were truly paying attention Wright’s weekend vanity tour should help the senator more than it hurts him.

Since the reverend’s comments first came into the public’s view weeks ago, the media and Obama’s opponents have done all they possibly can to confuse where Wright’s words end and Obama’s begins.  Despite the dozens of times the campaign has spoken out against them, the media has decided that whatever nonsense comes out of Wright’s mouth is the responsibility of Barack Obama to answer to them. 

But if you saw yesterday’s bizarre appearance in Washington, you would see once and for all that whatever place Rev. Wright held in Sen. Obama’s heart or mind years ago he is not in that same place now.  What we saw yesterday was a man hell bent on destroying his so called friend’s political future.  Time after time he denigrated and insulted Obama for a cheap laugh.  Whatever friendship existed before, it has clearly been tossed aside now.

If Obama really wants to sever these ties with which the media and his political opponent insist on binding him to Wright, he should use this opportunity not only to denounce Wright but to strike back.  Because if Senator Obama does not feel now, after being run through the mud yesterday by a man looking to bring him down, that he should get aggressive and defend his integrity then perhaps it would be fair for voters to question his resolve.

Posted by David McBride, marketing director at American Public House Review

Published in: on April 29, 2008 at 2:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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One more example of the erosion of presidential politics

For years, we have expected presidential debates to be mostly serious affairs, so much so that many found them boring.  Two or more candidates would take to a stage and be questioned on policy issues by some network political wonk and many would tune out after only a few minutes.  Well after last nights democratic debate in Pennsylvania, those days can now be viewed as the good old’ days.

What we saw last night was nothing short of a seismic shift in the way network televised debates will be presented.  Instead of a 90 minute break from the normal nonsensical campaign bantering of surrogates and the infantile back-and-forth silliness we all have come to expect, we got more of just that sort of thing in this debate.  Thanks to Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, discussion of policy and real issues, like the economy, Iraq, healthcare and anything else that matters to people’s lives, took a back seat and were pushed aside.

The first question should have given us an insight into what was coming.  Charlie Gibson, with his glasses perched on his nose so as to appear like the candidates fourth grade history teacher, asked if they would put the other on the ticket as a running mate.  But he didn’t specify who the question was for, so as the two senators paused in an attempt to be polite to one another Gibson gave a snarky “Don’t all talk at once” type jibe.  Either Gibson choked on the very first question, or he was hoping this would happen so he could put them both down right off the bat.  It was ridiculously awkward moment, but as the next 50 minutes would reveal, it was just the type of table setter he was looking for.

The first six questions, encompassing nearly the entire first half of the debate, was completely devoid of policy issues or anything else one would expect to find in a debate.  Instead we got regurgitated “gotchas” that have all been discussed and answered over and over for weeks.

There was an obvious plan to what ABC wanted out of this debate.  They were going to corner Obama and watch as Clinton slapped away, like an episode of Jerry Springer.  For example, the moderators used a taped question from a Pennsylvanian about Obama and his lack of a flag lapel pin, as if that were of any consequence to why I can’t afford to fuel my car.  Of course no one bothered to point out that Hillary Clinton was also not wearing a pin, because that just wouldn’t have fit the script.  It was painfully pointless and depressingly hard to watch.

But it will be up to bloggers and newspapers to point this out.  The television media will never criticize one of their own as soon they will also be called on to perform such a task.  Will this new “reality television” style of political debates be what the future holds?  Let’s all hope not.

Published in: Uncategorized on April 17, 2008 at 2:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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