Nov 5, 2008

Post-Election thoughts, free-form style

The People vs The GOP

The Republicans' worst enemy finally came out of hiding and made a rare appearance, and its name is Voter Turnout.

Long the minority party in this nation, the GOP has benefited from: a) election participation fig's being in the 50%-range, and b) its superior GOTV (Get Out The Vote) ability amongst its own ranks.

A charged-up black, Hispanic and college population reversed that trend and helped seal the deal.

Policy? What's Policy?

As evidenced by the McCain effort, the party of Lincoln and Teddy R. now has as its intellectual barometers the following individuals:

- Joe the Plumber
- Sean Hannity
- Sarah Palin
- Joe the Plumber (again)
- Bill O'Reilly
- Paris Hilton
- Curt Schilling
- Hank Williams Jr
- Joe the Plumber (one more time)

William F Buckley must be rolling in his grave. Hank Williams, Sr as well.

Fair & Balanced Stupidity

Fox News became nothing more than a 24-hour McCain infomercial in the final days of the campaign. Don' think so? Then go watch the YouTube reruns of Mr Sean Hannity's 'Obama's Radical Friends.' I was wondering whatever happened to Lyndon Larouche -- he apparently handed the reins over to an understudy.

One can argue over media bias -- I argue that the corporate mainstream media is, in general, biased towards the Republicans. But Fox is so far over the edge in its role as being the GOP Broadcast Network that the question of allowing equal access / rebuttal time to the opposition party needs to be asked.

Who'd A Thunk?

Hop in the time machine and travel back a few years to the Post 9/11 days leading up to the Iraq War. You're in the backyard eating some dogs and yakking it up with a group of friends and neighbors. Politics is the talk and someone says the following:

"I predict that the next president will not only be a Democrat, but will be of mixed-race, produced by a white mother and an absent Kenyan nationalist troublemaker of a father. He will have been raised by his white grandmother in that kooky state where Pearl Harbor is located, will have almost-nil political experience and will have gained his power in an urban Rust Belt city. And, oh yeah: he will have a middle name of Hussein."

Now what kind of betting odds would you have laid down against whoever made that statement?

Fighting Fire With Fire

Since the Reagan days and through the groundbreaking efforts of Richard Viguerie and others to follow, the Republican party has simply been the superior political campaigners. Unleashing the power of both IT and broadcasting to reach out and touch voters -- in a highly targeted and efficient means -- along with an innate ability to play the spin control / sound bite game , the GOP has long been the masters of this influence game when it comes to winning elections.

That trends looks like it has run its course. Observers from both camps are highly impressed -- even amazed -- at the organizational powerhouse called the Obama campaign, which not only matched the Republican competencies but added a new element to the mix: the network.

The people involved in this effort could make a nice career ahead of them -- not in politics -- but in the corporate re-organization and turnaround field.

The McCain Legacy

The Maverick entered the contest with a recognized dignity, class and respect from most corners. He left the campaign with a reduced amount of each.

Long a thorn to the Bush/Jesus wing of his own party, McCain presented a "I can work with this guy" alternative to the sane / country club / coastal factions as well as to suburban independents.

Granted, his abortion view created problems, but he would offset that concern with comments such as those that warned his comrades of the dangers of allowing freaks like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson being handed the keys to the family car.

Although he gained the nomination largely without the help of the right-wing, McCain felt the need to play makeup with them after. And it wasn't pretty. Along with that union must come the wedding present of the Karl Rove dirty tricks / Swift Boat playbook, for that's what became of the McCain campaign.

A New Drinking Game Is Born

From one of our younger friends comes word of a new dorm room and frat house sensation that swept throughout the UAlbany student community: the Joe the Plumber Drinking Game.

You guessed it: the students would tune in to C-Span every night to catch a stump speech by Mr McCain or Mrs Palin with bottles of tequila and six packs of lager at the ready. Each time they heard the name 'Joe the Plumber,' a 'shot and a shooter' were required by the participants.

Well, at least it's good to hear that our future leaders are involved in the process...

The McCain Error (the biggest one, at least)

McCain smelled an opening after Obama put away Mrs Clinton. The thinking: after the primaries' bitterness, the female vote could be had. What was needed: a female candidate.

But at the same time, the right wing needed stroking; and we all know what the predominant issue among this group is, don't we? So that made the perfect VP candidate as being: a pro-life woman. A very, very short list it was.

That's why the search ended up landing in -- of all places -- Alaska. There, the cartoon character names Sarah Palin was found and thereby thrust into the national spotlight.

Actually, two bad assumptions were made by this move:

1) Clinton supporters (male or female) were not going to jump ship to McCain. I take that back: they would have IF he nominated Mrs Clinton herself. I wonder how that would have gone over at the convention?

2) At the same time, he needn't have worried about keeping the Right wing in fold. Did he really think they were going to go vote for Obama in a hissy fit?

How Could McCain Have Made It A Tighter Race?

Michael Bloomberg as his VP pick.

Just think about how the campaign could have paraded Mr Mayor in front of the cameras during the market meltdown. He's a guy who knows finance and Wall Street, but isn't taited as being one of its bandits. It sure would have worked better than the image we have of McCain suspending the campaign, running back to DC to save the day and then just looking overwhelmed by the scale of the issue.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with the Bloomberg thing.