As this election season enters it’s final 30 days when things will get uglier – as oh so nicely announced by the campaigns! – I am feeling the need to pull back my view lest I get too caught up in the polarization of it all. The Us vs Them thing. You see, there are oh so many people on the Them side who I otherwise love and respect and generally have to live with every day ;-) I don’t want to get sucked into thinking of them is Those terms (you know, as Them vs them). Yeah, my head hurts thinking about it too.
So here’s the thing. Rather than think of it as The Most Important Election of my lifetime and start getting all “How can you possibly even believe this crap and support ‘x’ or ‘y’?” and get frustrated at people, I’ve decided to think of it in sports terms. We’re just fans of different teams! That’s all! Really really dedicated fans who support our team in good times and bad. We support our team no matter who the people are on it. Because it is not about the players, but those colors on their jersey. And if you are a member of my team, I will stick with you no matter what. Even if I did not choose for you to be on my team. It doesn’t matter. Once you put those colors on the team loyalty comes first. Both team’s fans will find a way to justify all manner of things to be supportive of their players. Much like San Fransisco Giants fans cheering mightily for their steroid created home run king Barry Bonds – who’s name and visage was literally *no where* to be found this past season now that he is out of the game. Or how Dallas Cowboys fans adore and defend their Terrel Owens – the same one they booed and threatened when he was on another team and dissed their precious Star on their stadium floor. Or how Dodgers fans suddenly LOVE Joe Torre and Manny Ramirez. Oh, wouldn’t a Dodger/Red Sox series be INTRIGUING?? I know, you would think I would root for the blue team on that one, but there is just no way ;-)
So when my head is spinning trying to figure out how people can defend and support the other side, I take a deep breath and remember that they have to. That is their team.
I also always try to believe that everyone’s motivations are pure. Joe Biden mentioned a story about that in the VP debate. When asked about when in his political career he has had a change of heart or mind he told a story about being locked into a very deep battle with Jesse Helms where he was starting to think personally ill of Jesse, when another Senator reminded Joe that Jesse was doing the job for the same reasons – he had a family to support who’s future he cared about. He loved his country as much as Joe did. They just approached the solutions to the problems from differnet angles, but their motivations were based on the same things. Now, the truly cynical can argue quite correctly that there are probably more than one or two politicians who’s motives may not be completely pure, but I don’t choose to look at the world, or other people, that way.
So for the next 30 days I will root for my team, some of you will root for yours, and in the end we will shake hands and say “good game”.
Thanks to my August mom buddy from CT, here is a link to PalinBingo!
Not that I wont be drinking – I’ve got Sam Adams Oktoberfest chilled and bloody mary mix in case it gets really bad – but since it’s a work night I think this is a very fine/fun alternative…or what the heck..drink AND play Palin Bingo!!
Check out Maggie’s blog for a wonderful discussion going on in the comments. Her husband is a Republican and she is a Democrat and is looking for assistance in communicating with him without too much emotion. Boy do I admire mixed marriages! I am sure that election years like this one are a real challenge. Mostly I am impressed with how nice everyone is being in her comment section and how well they are listing out why they support their candidate.
I know, I said I wasn’t going to do appointment blog topics. But then, I found out that when you declare that you will stop doing something, like oh…campaigning for instance…if you declare that you are suspending something..you don’t *really* have to DO it!! In fact, all you really have to do is just not make appearances yourself (other than one or two) and let your surrogates do all your talking for you! It’s awesome. So, following along with a certain Presidential candidate, I will pass on opining about the bailout issue myself and send you all to read Greeblemonkey’s version of it. Which, other than the hysterical suggestion by her DH which I did not think of myself, is pretty much spot on with how I feel about things this week.
For the record, IF McCain actually HAD suspended campaigning then I could have potentially agreed with this editorial by a local San Diego writer. Unfortunately I think Mr Navarrette wrote that just after reading the McCain press release about the suspension, not after seeing if reality would match the announcement. Instead, I end up agreeing more closely with Mike Huckabee!! (yeah, I’m quite freaked out by that statement myself).
Oh boy – I have to be straight up and point out that the recent week on FactCheck shows the Obama campaign floating some pretty decent whoppers and spin jobs of it’s own in their ads. Argh! Prior to that, it had been almost a 75/25 split with McCain spinning the biggest whoppers in his ads. Now Obama is fighting smear for smear. Ick. Of course this does not change my vote, my political stances are too set and I am supporting the party more than the person and I am well aware of his shortcomings.
OTOH, prior to last week, many Democrats were pushing the Obama camp to go negative and hit back more harshly. There is a habit for Democrats to be too ‘nice’. For sure Kerry was! But Obama did signal in his acceptance speech that he will not roll over. That he has more fight in him. And history has shown that the GOP wins when they fight dirty. It’s why they keep doing it, right? The voters respond. And THAT ‘my friends’ is what is really pathetic! Why do voters buy into this crap? Look at the polls. McCain’s best weeks not only were around the convention, but then he held that bounce when he was pushing the narrative around things like lipstick on pigs. That was the week full of attack ads and speeches from both Palin and McCain that were so inaccurate that just about *every* media outlet was talking about it. Of course, only a couple actually said “lies” but they came up with about every other possible synonym for the word! Again though, people buy it up to that point when the media exposes just how far these ads are from the truth. A lot of the time they don’t bother doing their own fact checking. Shoot, the McCain campaign even used a quote from Factcheck.org in one of it’s ads and then Factcheck had to fact check it!! Ok, my head hurts, but you get the drift.
This weekend my neighbor had some local conservative talk show on his car radio while he was doing an oil change and I heard the host go on about Obama not saying the pledge!! WTF??? You are STILL yapping about that?? And of course the callers pile on with the classic lines from one of the original much debunked emails from last year. Why? You mean you people still have not heard that those are unfounded lies and that you are being a total ignorant schmuck repeating that on air? Doubly pathetic. I mean, I get it – if you are a Republican you have many many policy reasons why you wont vote for Obama. Talk about that on your show! Highlight those philosophical differences on how to address the nation’s problems. Don’t talk about McCain’s age and lack of technological skills. Don’t talk about Obama’s patriotism and heritage. Talk about how they will handle this economic down turn. Or the war on terror. Nah..that’s all too boring isn’t it? Sooo much more fun to dig up every example of the 4 main candidates saying some variation of the phrase about lipstick and pigs. Pa-the-tic!
But…umm..you know..far be it from me not to get a few giggles from some of the nonsense:
Which candidate is the elitist one again? :-)
*Note* – For those who noticed, yes, I am stopping my weekly ‘appointment’ posts. They were starting to irritate me :-) I hate writing by assignment and for that reason I probably wont participate in NaBloPoMo or anything like it again. Writing does not come naturally to me, but I like and want it to be fun and assigned writing is too much like school to me!
What is more up my alley are numbers. So polling has been fun to watch this election year. I can’t wait to see which one ends up closest to actual results. I get irritated by many though as they are rarely consistent. Some poll ‘likely’ voters. some poll ‘registered’ voters. Some flop between the two and often don’t tell you that they have. Many don’t release the internal breakdowns. And you can tell that many are publicized merely for their ‘news worthiness’. Ugh. Thankfully, Markos of DailyKos thinks like me and had enough of the mess. At the top of the site there now sits a three day poll result which updates each day. You can always click on the internals link to get the exact results. They use likely voters only and stick to that. Here are the results for 9/20/08. If you don’t want to go to the main site, then you can save the one I’ve linked to and just change the date in the address line to the most current. They are updated pretty early in the morning – around 8-9am est I think. The trendlines are a great visual aid as well. He got this up just after the GOP convention and it showed the post-Palin bump which the GOP ticket got and held onto for a few days. This past week has been a reversion back to pre-convetion numbers though right now I think it is higher for Obama than I have seen it. This hasn’t been a very good week for McCain. But, 40+ days is still plenty of time for things to swing again.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a different set of numbers – Pee Wee football scores :-)
Palin Baby Name Generator
I am Tank Dent Palin. Check in with your Palin name in the comments :-)