Don’t Get Down, Obama-ites!

US Politics
on 15 Comments

–Kos says Obama outperformed Hillary in small Pennsylvania towns, improving on his performance in Ohio. These are the "clinging" towns that are supposed to be angry at him;

–The press turns. It’s the nature of the beast. Now all the conventional wisdom is against Obama. We can outlast them.

–We still have numbers. A friend who knows this stuff says: "HRC cannot win unless Obama implodes. There is no way supers are going
to hand this to her unless she has more delegates. And she can’t get more
delegates unless he destructs (with a strong assist from the Clintons). The
pro-Clinton press this week doesn’t change the facts.  If he can
rebound and win IN as well as NC, the race is effectively over.

–We’ve already won. Says my friend, "Whatever happens, Obama’s run has changed the country. We’re a bigger,
better place as a result. I never thought we’d be having this discussion for
another 20 years at least. He’s changed time as well as the times. I too get very emotional (i.e. livid). But if you can take a step back once
in a while and look at what has happened not very long after jim crow, it’s a
pretty marvelous sight to behold." Amen.

–Obama isn’t finished surprising us. I interviewed realist scholar Robert Pape for the American Conservative. Pape has advised Obama. "What I mainly observe is growth… a tremendous capacity for growth. If
you look at how he has responded to salient, high tension moments, it has
brought out not just the best in him but the best from those around him. That
has been a remarkable thing to observe."

15 Responses

  1. sword of gideon
    April 25, 2008, 4:34 pm

    High tension moments, debates, press conferences,are exactly when he cracks. McCain is going to steamroller him.

  2. Charles Keating
    April 25, 2008, 5:05 pm

    Hopefully, McCain will stroke out before his steamroller goes full tilt. We don't need another fly-over bomber pilot who never wondered what a food stamp looked like to run the nation, especially one who, aping his dad, ignores the grunt veterans of the USS Liberty. I will take the first woman or first black over that dirty old white man.

  3. Jim Haygood
    April 25, 2008, 5:21 pm

    AP reporter Sonya Ross has written a witty commentary about the "race card," which starts out like this:


    WASHINGTON – Imagine, for just a minute, the pain of America's first black president. Not Barack Obama — Bill Clinton.

    That's about the only explanation for Clinton's lack of brotherly behavior lately: He's in pain. He is a figurative black man watching an actual black man soak in all the love that black voters used to save for him.

    Suddenly, he looks oh so white.

    link to


    But Ross goes on to decode Obama's highly sophisticated use of nonverbal communication:

    'Just days before the Pennsylvania primary, Obama dipped into the Clinton racial playbook of old when he blunted Hillary Clinton's attacks with a simple brush of his hand on his shoulder, mimicking rapper Jay-Z in his music video, "Dirt Off Your Shoulder." The gesture — clearly deliberate because Obama did it twice then grinned all big — spoke to black voters just like Clinton did in 1992 by playing a saxophone on "The Arsenio Hall Show" from behind a pair of dark sunglasses.'

    Sonya Ross misses one point — the gesture didn't speak to black voters, but rather to YOUNG voters. Rap has cross-cultural appeal, but it is very age-specific. Boomers (of all races) hate rap the way the way their parents hated rock 'n roll.

  4. Richard Witty
    April 25, 2008, 5:22 pm

    The turning of the press.

    I saw ABC News with George Stephanopolis on a webcast last Saturday.

    Sam Donaldson was on the show, and the issue of criticism of the press questions at the Pennsylvania debate came up. I didn't see the debate, but heard that the questions were as petty as the press is capable.

    Sam Donaldson's response was indicatively petulant. The talking heads regarded themselves as sancrosanct. At least George Stephanopolis asked John McCain real questions, "You say that you want to cut discretionary spending. From where specifically?"

    And then George Will piped in with his defense of lower capital gains taxes as "effective" an criticized Obama for declaring that he would seek greater tax parity.

    Then all three chimed in about how everyone has 401(k)'s and what would happen if those were taxed at ordinary rates?

    And, the irony of their idiocy is that 401(k) plans aren't taxed at capital gains rates, but only at the higher ordinary tax rates when one withdraws them.

    Uncontested. I wish I was on the show. I doubt they even got letters about it.

    Working people are taxed at least 15.3%, up to a maximum federal tax rate of 43% at around $95,000 per year, then declines to around 32% up to around $200,000.

    Those that don't work pay a maximum tax of 15% on long-term capital gains and dividends. Interest on municipal bonds are exempt entirely. Rents, and interest on federal obligations are taxed at ordinary income rates, but no social security tax.

    Receipts from social security taxes are comingled into the general federal funds, so when they report a deficit or surplus, it doesn't include the still large social security surplus on funds that the republicans have no intention at paying out per promises.

  5. MRW
    April 25, 2008, 5:22 pm

    sword of gideon,

    Dem voters this year exceed Rep voters in all races by way more than 2-1, Limbaugh's Operation Chaos notwithstanding.

    65-70% of Americans oppose the Iraq War and what it's also doing to the economy.

    So it isn't going to matter a rat's ass how Obama does in debates or high tension moments when the American populace in in such dire straits, and want things changed ASAP.

  6. Castellio
    April 25, 2008, 5:22 pm

    I haven't seen Obama crack. He's doing well. SoG is dreaming in technicolor.

    To worry is the Republican-Clinton alliance to destroy him. Behind that alliance is a lot of political clout, and they want one of theirs in the House.

    Clinton has bought into both the negativity and the Republican ethos, it is a disfavor to whom she might have become. If she had truly embraced Obama's success, she might in fact be leading the race.

    Strange but true.

  7. Castellio
    April 25, 2008, 5:23 pm

    I haven't seen Obama crack. He's doing well. SoG is dreaming in technicolor.

    To worry is the Republican-Clinton alliance to destroy him. Behind that alliance is a lot of political clout, and they want one of theirs in the House.

    Clinton has bought into both the negativity and the Republican ethos, it is a disfavor to whom she might have become. If she had truly embraced Obama's success, she might in fact be leading the race.

    Strange but true.

  8. MRW
    April 25, 2008, 5:25 pm


    Sonya Ross misses THEE point.

  9. Castellio
    April 25, 2008, 8:42 pm

    Richard: Thanks for the precise info. Appreciated.

  10. Rowan Berkeley
    April 25, 2008, 9:33 pm

    phil : ghastly revelations from one of Mailer's tarts:
    link to
    the article notes that:
    When it comes to the tricky business of narrating sex is it possible that Ms Mallory will turn out to be rather more talented than he? It was soon after his death that Mailer was awarded the Literary Review's "Bad Sex in Fiction Award" last year for attempting to describe moments of heated intimacy between the parents of Hitler in his last novel, The Castle in the Forest. The judges were clearly swayed by Mailer's description of the male member in this interaction as being "as soft as a coil of excrement" and speaking of its owner standing "ready at last to grind into her with the Hound, drive it into her piety".
    Myself, I never quite got over the bit in An American Dream where the german au pair says "Mr Rojak, you are truly a genius."

  11. Michael Blaine
    April 25, 2008, 11:31 pm

    “John McCain gets tax-free disability pension

    The disclosure of the Navy benefit for injuries incurred as a Vietnam POW may raise fitness questions.

    By Ralph Vartabedian

    Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

    April 22, 2008

    Sen. John McCain has long said he is in robust health and is strong enough to hike the Grand Canyon, but he also is receiving what his staff Monday termed a “disability pension” from the Navy.

    When McCain released his tax return for 2007 on Friday, he separately disclosed that he received a pension of $58,358 that was not listed as income on his return.

    On Monday, McCain’s staff identified the retirement benefit as a “disability pension” and said that McCain “was retired as disabled because of his limited body movements due to injuries as a POW.”

    McCain campaign strategist Mark Salter said Monday night that McCain was technically disabled. “Tortured for his country — that is how he acquired his disability,” Salter said.

    Certain types of military and veterans pensions are either partially or completely tax-exempt, depending on the seriousness of the disability. In McCain’s case, the exemption is 100% . . .”

  12. Richard Witty
    April 26, 2008, 6:05 am

    The emperors new clothes is the current tax laws.

    Tax working people to subsidize the old rich.

  13. Protest Obama
    April 26, 2008, 8:19 am

    Obama is a moral meltdown.

    Review his books, which are just plain bad. A pack of vivid emptiness, and lies.

    He was brooming himself for this act, and on the road to politics, he was hijacked by his handlers. He is their hostage, now. A tied up figure head. His early sponsors were foreign agents, and mutual fund owners.

    Unfortunately, his fans are falling for the cheap propaganda, and his intellectual glamor is just a smoke screen.

    He needs our votes, and has to fool lots of people with the assorted messages each tailored to the various tastes.

    Obama's slogan peppered gulash campaign is the antithesis of decency.

    I think that only McCain has got some resemblance of honor, so I will vote for a Republican, and hope that he will prune the idiotic branches of his party.

  14. Rowan Berkeley
    April 26, 2008, 8:54 am

    "I think that only McCain has got some resemblance of honor."

    Does this ring any bells?

    "Ask any of Raymond Shaw's former platoonmates from the Korean War what they think of him, and they'll quickly tell you that Shaw (Laurence Harvey), a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, is the kindest, warmest, bravest, most wonderful human being they've ever known in their lives. But is he? Shaw, the stepson of a right-wing, McCarthyesque senator, is an arrogant, snobbish misanthrope, and most people can't stand him—including his platoonmates. Shaw's old commander Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) can't stop thinking about it, and lately he's been having this strange dream where he and his platoon are guests at a meeting of a ladies' garden club—or is it actually a discussion of hypnosis techniques by Soviet and Chinese intelligence officers? Therein lies a mystery, one that Marco is determined to get to the bottom of—a mystery that involves brainwashing, assassination, and a Communist plot to overthrow the government… "

  15. Charles Keating
    April 26, 2008, 9:38 am

    Witty's correct about our tax code. It's the best index there is to
    the national priorities.

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