Instead of caving to the big boyz, why aren’t we asking them why they are so insistent about shoving a complete neophyte down our throats and into the Oval Office when they *know* he’s going to be in over his head?
Two ideologically driven movies squeezed into the bottom of the top 10. Vivendi Entertainment’s “An American Carol,” David Zucker’s flag-waving, proudly right-wing comedy, secured the ninth-place berth with $3.8 million, while Lionsgate’s “Religulous,” Bill Maher’s skeptical lambasting of the world’s religions, was right behind in 10th place with $3.5 million. However, because “Religulous” was playing in less than one-third the number of theaters that offered “Carol,” it scored a much higher per-theater average, earning $6,972 to “Carol’s” $2,234.
MORE: Silly Willy “Wrong About Everything” Kristol writes...
I pointed out that Obama surely had a closer connection to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright than to Ayers — and so, I asked, if Ayers is a legitimate issue, what about Reverend Wright?
[Sarah Palin] didn’t hesitate: “To tell you the truth, Bill, I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more, because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that — with, I don’t know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he didn’t get up and leave — to me, that does say something about character. But, you know, I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up.”
This morning I got inordinately mad because Mort Zuckerman was sitting on the left side of the stage on The McLaughlin Group, so I decided I needed a break from politics today. Right now I’m about to watch Forgetting Sarah Marshall on DVD. Pray for me.
Sarah Palin’s heroic cheesesteak assassin Michael Rovito, who I’ve written about before (here and here), emailed me earlier to let me know that he was interviewed by the Huffington Post. Smart guy, great interview. I especially liked this part:
The notion that young scholars, workers, and activists—the next generation of tax-paying voters—are sometimes seen as disaffected and alienated from politics is insulting. One of the big differences between the Obama and McCain campaigns is their acknowledgment of the importance of young voters. Obama’s campaign has been strategic about involving the youth vote; McCain has seemed less open. I think it is a fundamental miscalculation on the part of the McCain campaign to assume that young voters are not strong stakeholders in this election.
Our future outlook has been severely compromised because of the policies of the past eight years. We are keenly aware of the financial burdens we will face as our democracy is rebuilt in the next administration. In the future, our labor will drive the American economy. We will pay the taxes. We have already been fighting the current wars. Most importantly, we vote.
As I’ve written before here and elsewhere, getting out the under 30 vote is what will ultimately make or break Obama in this election and, from what I’ve seen, he may be the first politician in my lifetime to actually pull it off. That makes this cranky ol’ bastard very, very happy.
A very wise TV executive once told me that the key to TV is projecting through the screen. It’s one of the keys to the success of, say, a Bill O’Reilly, who comes through the screen and grabs you by the throat. Palin too projects through the screen like crazy. I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, “Hey, I think she just winked at me.” And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can’t be learned; it’s either something you have or you don’t, and man, she’s got it.
Okay, who am I kidding? It’s really fucking funny.
As they sat inside a conference room in downtown Ann Arbor Thursday afternoon, a handful of John McCain supporters were oblivious to the news swirling outside that McCain was all but conceding Michigan to rival Barack Obama.
Instead, those supporters - all Democrats who now back McCain - remained focused on how to convince voters that McCain would make the best president.
Without clicking through, guess who one of those McCain supporters was. (Answer below the fold)
Not since Cadet James Tiberius Kirk pwned his Starfleet instructors by gaming the simulated “no-win scenario” in his favor has a seemingly doomed participant avoided a humiliating exposure of incompetence as cleverly as Governor Palin did last night.
It truly was a no-win situation for Palin: As she’s amply demonstrated over the past several weeks, she doesn’t know jackshit about national affairs, foreign policy or McCain’s position on key issues. She also can’t respond coherently to basic questions. So how could she avoid a train wreck? By ignoring the questions and delivering talking points and attacks instead. And she pretty much pulled it off.
Damn, I wish such a strategy had occurred to me back when I was in college. Instead of studying for exams in dreary subjects like algebra, I could have just ignored the test questions and submitted an essay on the use of allegories as a foreshadowing device in Wuthering Heights instead. That would have showed those pointy-headed, elitist mathematics professors and their boring old numbers.
Except I would have flunked out. Luckily for Palin, debates aren’t scored objectively, and apparently, responding to the actual questions isn’t a requirement. Folksiness counts. So she did okay.
According to the snap polls I’ve seen, most viewers thought Biden won the debate. But the consensus is that Palin didn’t screw up. My sense at this point is that Palin avoided disaster but didn’t change the trajectory of the race. She made the wingnuts happy again and failed to move the center.
And it looks like the McCain campaign plans to call that good enough—Palin’s line about the mainstream media indicates to me that she’s going to finish out the remnants of the race by sticking to wingnut informercials like the Hannity and Hewitt “interviews.”
I don’t see how Palin’s preaching to the choir helps McCain pick up the independents he has to have to win the presidency. But apparently avoiding a Palin implosion is good enough for McCain. And that has to be considered a win for Obama-Biden.
*1,000 nerd points to all who knew what this was without clicking the link.
As some of you may know, I’m a big-time bluegrass fan, dating back to my high school years when one of my best friend’s older brothers introduced me to the music of the late, great John Hartford. It warms the cockles of my heart (whatever in the hell those are) to report that bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley, who many of you may know from the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, is starring in an absolutely charming pro-Obama radio ad that’s running in Virginia (and maybe elsewhere). You can listen to it at TPM. I just may have to wear my big dopey straw hat with Ralph’s signature on it on November 4th for good luck. Yee haw! [hat tip to my bluegrass festival buddy Iceberg Wedge]
Our pal Robert Lanham has a new piece up about Sarah Palin at Radar. Go check it out:
Anyone who remembers the movie Bob Roberts will be familiar with Palin’s type; the pseudo populist who subverts a progressive movement and co-opts it to fit his/her own image. Yup, that’s Sarah. But the frustrating thing about the Bob Roberts and Sarah Palins of the world is this: they’re typically most successful when the institutions they’re co-opting are stagnating. And let’s face facts: feminism has been suffering an identity crisis for years, and it’s only gotten worse during the 2008 election cycle.
Boogie Man will tear at your American (and allegedly forgiving) soul in ways that no other documentary has done before. As much as the tragic end of scumbag Republican strategist Lee Atwater’s life is compelling in the most push-out-the-piss kinda way, as the credits roll you’re left with a horrific and crisp vision of just how despicable and rotten Washington gamers can really be. Boogie Man also very deftly (and sometimes quietly) lays bare how unjustifiably rewarded and adulated flagrantly reckless and mean-spirited spinheads like Atwater have been by the members of our complicit, junk-hungry media.
Atwater, as some of you may know, was Karl Rove’s mentor (you know what a smoldering pile of offal he is—no need to go there). And Rove begat Steve Schmidt, the oddly-skewed baldheaded mule spawn who’s been recently seen burping up detritus in support of his paid-to-love-him guy John McCain. That’s why this doc is an important arrival now. As much as you may be relishing the recent apparent flaming destruction of the McCain-Palin campaign, after viewing this documentary, you should be concerned that Schmidt could still pull some wild, ill-conceived Atwater-style bottom-dwellerism outta his keester that will, inexplicably, click with a majority of voters and pull the gate down, once again, on what seemed like the Obvious Choice.