Archive for April, 2008

The NRSC doesn’t even believe itself

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Amusing is to look at the propaganda outlets for the Senatorial campaign committees of the two political parties, by way of the “National Republican Senatorial Committee” and the “Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee”.  This being a terrible year for the Republicans with a terrible map before them, their page is naturally going to be more screwy.  Take a look at the icons for the various specific campaigns, starting with the only seriously (though maybe not) vulnerable Democratic seat — Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, and running through the eight Democratic challengers of the eight most vulnerable Republican seats.  Nobody anywhere believes that the Republicans are going to be able to recapture the Senate, but to keep the illusion for their page I am guessing that the NRSC really needs to place, at the very least, a second Democratic Senate incumbent up to rationalize the “TWO Seats to Capture the Senate”.  I don’t care if they decide to throw New Jersey up there, or South Dakota, or a write-in bid for Arkansas, just… SOMETHING.

Beyond that, my favorite of the icons has to be “Boulder Liberal Mark Udall”.  Granted, they found a suitably ridiculously harsh image for Minnesota’s Al Franken (as with Mark Warner, but I have to say they somehow fell on their face with Jeff Merkley), but nothing here beats the mish mash of rainbow coloring and flag burning that sits astride Mark Udall.  A burning flag image?  Really?

McCain and Forgotten America

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

One of the good things about Reverend Jeremiah Wright popping his head back into the news is that it flushes away and makes moot a question I have had attached to my election theory.  I have this idea that the stasis in this electoral fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is such that they both win the states they are supposed to, demographically speaking, and it continues on in the media’s mind as a tie until Obama wins a state he is demographically supposed to lose.  I was wondering if a hypothetical Indiana  victory qualified as such.  But I no longer have to entertain that question, thanks to Reverend Wright.  So we now go on, Clinton wins Indiana and Obama wins North Carolina.  Next Clinton gets to win West Virginia (where the issue of race is context as opposed to the subtext it is everywhere else) and Obama wins Oregon.  And we march forward from there.

Meanwhile, John McCain gets this interesting little write up from the tepid political editorial writer that is John Broder.  The up-shot is that McCain’s “Forgotten America Tour” through poverty – stricken areas shows the necessary re-jiggling of a Republican message which is broken and needs, electorally speaking, massaging.  I am not entirely sure what McCain’s “tour” gets at, in one sense it echoes in termperament the check-list stylings of George Herbert Walker Bush in 1992 with the quotation, “Message:  I care”.  But, more pointedly, David Broder does not seem to see just how well we are wandering around in circles as a country.  2000, George W Bush has “Compassionate Conservatism”, because, you know, the Republican message needs some massaging.  It is only 2004 which saw Bush (under the guidance of Rove) employ the “Base Hugging” strategy, which appealed to the requisite number of swing voters due to the appeal of “Strength” verus “Vaccilation”.  This was a curious debate which entered political discourse — “Appeal to the swing voters” versus “Appeal to the Base”, the answer to that debate is “Yes”, and thus is the dual struggle of every political candidate.  The upshoot of the 2004 election was the sudden discovery of a mass of right-wing evangelical Christians who Bush must feed, which was a balloon that swirled over the political punditry until it was punctured by public reaction over the Terri Schiavo matter.

So we come full circle from 2000 to 2004.  And, also from 1988 — when Nancy Reagan was chagrined at the implications of George H W Buh’s phrase “Kinder, Gentler America” (Kinder and Gentler than whom?), or… I don’t know, Herbert Hoover in 1928 massaging away a bit from the stern image of Calvin Coolidge.

For the life of me, I can’t quite figure out what Bob Dole was up to in 1996.  But that one probably did not matter much.  Once Bill Clinton established himself as essentially a moderate Republican, the nation wearily wandered through in a most apathetic matter that election, and Clinton was content to let his 20 point lead fritter to 7 points because Dole was not about to win.

As for Obama… oh boy do those two special House elections portend a sizable victory for him in November.  Despite the cultural problems exposed by Wright and Bitter.

Fringer’s Fringer

Monday, April 28th, 2008

I hate my blog sometimes.  Other people have normal blogs and receive normal comments from normal people about normal things.  My mother, for instance.  She has a blog.  It’s the type of blog that you can show to your mother, and your mother would feel more than comfortable leaving a comment there.

Me?  Oh sure, I can tap on the shoulders of a local cartoonist or a famous children’s book author every once in a while.  Or fall into some local electoral politics and mix some things up there.  But otherwise I am swirling around events from Leesburg.  And, seemingly just so the blog fates can mock me, I squeeze out something for the latest cause de jour for Bill White, and receive a comment from this proprietor of, reportedly, the second largest neo-Nazi website.

What is wrong with me?  What is wrong with my blog?

Actually, regarding Mike White, of  Trumpeting his ideology in White supremacism is an ideology I will call shameless self-promotion, for instance inserting a fictional account of him meeting with Ron Paul people to discuss a supposed Ron Paul covert neo-nazi agenda.  But, what I sort of know him as is the dual bit of particulars discussed here — ie: he managed to insert himself into news coverage of two school shootings.  An unbelievable, somewhat darkly amusing, feat.

Which brings me to my line of questioning for Bill White.  The Libertartarian National Socialist Green Party(!!!)  What is the thoroughline which connects the two seemingly different strands of “the party”: seemingly an esoteric joke website, then a deadly serious website of neo-nazi ideology?  Who, manning the controls, shifted the focus and, precisely, when?  And when, oh when, did Bill White become anything of a “spokes-person” for the thing — What?  He was tapped for membership when Jeffrey Weisz went on that rampage in Minnesota, and that was that?

As for the Indiana candidate in question, Tony Zirkle: White provides us with a typical supposing of mass support for a candidate who once received 30 percent in a Republican primary and is not about to achieve 30 percent anytime soon.  I suppose such delusion clouds every corner of the ideological spectrum, it’s just that it’s more ridiculous a fantasy off to the fringes, basically by definition.

A Curio Analysis of Campaigns Present

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Looking back over the Clinton — Obama Democratic primary race, I have the sense of a peculiar problem by way of perceptions.  At a certain point, the evenly matched match-up becomes one where you can slice the states which either candidate should win based off of demographics.  And that is what has happened.  The problem comes in that the media-storyline, and thus ours and thus the contrived reality, has the rules that a candidate can carry along the contest so long as she wins the states she has been demographically sliced to win.  (Or, you know, he).  As soon as she loses one of those states she is supposed to lose, the momentum is such that the contest is closed.  (Or you know, he).  Further, the fact that the other candidate was unable to win the state he was not suppose to win, based on these demographic cut-ups, he will be questioned on why he can’t win this state he was not supposed to win, in lieu of the next contest where he will almost surely win a state he is supposed to win.

It is all a little bit baffling.  I propose, though, in an even party match-up such as this one, and I tend to like Obama’s response on why he can’t, quote “close the deal” end-quote of “I am”, that it is going to show the demographic electoral faultlines of either candidate by definition of a 50 (plus one) -50 (minus one) contest, and if the line of focus on the problematics were flipped because Hillary Clinton lead by the insurmountable 100 delegates, her candidate’s demographic make-up would shatter to pieces far easier than Barack Obama’s.

I think this is political suicide, don’t you?

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

A congressional candidate appeared last Sunday at a birthday party for Adolf Hitler.

“I told (WNDU-TV in South Bend, Ind.) in the beginning that I’d speak to any group that wanted me to speak,” Tony Zirkle, a candidate for the Republican nomination in Indiana’s  2nd district, tells The News-Dispatch, adding: “I’m keeping my promise. I’ll speak to any group. (The National Socialist Workers Party) was interested in the targeting of white people for prostitution.”

The lawyer addressed 56 “white activists” at a meeting in Chicago, according to the paper, which published a photo that shows him standing in front of a large portrait of Hitler.

“Some people are going to impute motives and say things that I mean, but many of these people have never even talked to me. So their ability to say what I intended is not very credible,” Zirkle tells the wire service.

Asked if he agrees with the Nazis’ racist ideology, the News-Dispatch reports that Zirkle demurred, saying “he didn’t know enough about the group to either favor it or oppose it.”


What’s odd is that surfing around for comments, I see people give the unruly advice of testing his “Will speak before anyone” idea with the absurd idea of approaching him as members of NAMBLA.  As though, you know, a Nazi group positioning him in front of a picture of Adolf Hilter weren’t as ridiculous enough.

Beyond that, I am trying to figure out what information Zirkle could possibly be given to guide him to an opinion one way or the other about Nazis.   Maybe he needs to see the Indiana Jones movies.

Operation Pulling Crap Out of His Butt

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Right now, Rush Limbaugh is engaging himself in a massive act of onanism, bahind the banner of “Operation Chaos”.  This is at first rather standard fare — a usually ineffectual cross-party stunt effort which surfaced with Romney and the dailykos earlier this year, here asking his Republican listeners to switch parties and vote for Hillary Clinton in order to prolong the nomination process and bloody the eventual nominee for the general election.  Oregon Republican chattering class has its own version — no doubt Lars Larson, Reinhardt wrote an op-ed regarding it, the website of Victoria Taft entertains the notion.  The good news for Oregon Republicans is that the state party is dead right now so they won’t be missing anything down-ticket, and indeed switching parties is the only way they will have any say in the Attorney General race.

Limbaugh continues on and gets carried away with his notion, lining his sights on a reprise of the 1968 Democratic Convention with rioting and looting in the streets, the betterto “expose the Democratic Party as captives of the far Left”.  It is a strange fever dream indeed.

What makes this a masturbatory exercise on Limbaugh’s part is the self congratulatory cheer of “We Did It!” upon Hillary Clinton’s 9 point something victory in Pennsylvania.  Just as with any other state, and just as with states where Independents can vote in the party primary (I don’t think there are any where party registers can vote in the other party), the rather small number of Republican voters who switched to Democrat broke heavily for Obama, a portend of things in November and a good off-shoot to the margins in the blue-collar and rural and largely Catholic vote Obama is struggling with in the primaries.  They probably not so much defied the mechinitions of Rush Limbaugh as they were never aware of these mechinitions in the first place.

Now that I think about these things, it strikes me that Limbaugh is stunningly irrelevant to the days’ electoral flow, his last visible imprint seems to have been the aiding of the election of Claire McCaskill in knocking Michael J Fox.  Sean Hannity, on the other hand, has stuck his nose into mainstream discourse, and thanks to him I now know that Obama has exchanged pleasantries with a member of the Weathermen.  It really is… Raining Men.