October 17, 2008
Here’s a healthy sign: Bidden denounced a Palin statement. It has for me been weird hearing her highly inflammatory statements echoing through the news with nothing but denials by Obama and Biden. Palin has been treated like a little girl who should not be treated severely. This has given her a sort of immunity to make the most outlandish statements which seems to be mobilizing a segment of the population that everyone prefers not to talk about.
Today Biden called her out for apparently identifying areas of “real America” as apparently opposed to geographical pockets of sedition. This of course is (I thought) by now a hackneyed tactic of setting Americans against each other for political gain. All you need to do is fill some people (a majority) with self-righteous contempt for others or promote righteous doubt about the legitimacy of others, including candidates. (Palin informs us that Washington D.C. is not pro-America and cities should be viewed with suspicion.) It seems so transparent but it still seems to work to some degree. At least the tactic does not appear to be effective with a majority of the people. At least not right now.
Anyway, I say call demagoguery out. This tactic needs to be aired and revealed for what it is.
September 20, 2008
Joe Biden, never known for flowery speeches, seems to be getting right to the nub. He is saying what Democrats seem to have been afraid to say out loud. The Atlantic quotes him as follows after being told of claims by McCain and his running mate:
“How many small businessmen are making one million, four hundred thousand–average in the top 1 percent. Give me a break. I remind my friend, John McCain, what he said–when Bush called for war and tax cuts–he said, it was immoral, immoral, to take a nation to war and not have anybody pay for it. I am so sick and tired of this phoniness. The truth of the matter is that we are in trouble. And the people who do not need a new tax cut should be willing, as patriotic Americans, to understand the way to get this economy back up on their feet is to give middle class taxpayers a break. We take the tax cut they’re getting and we give it to the middle class.”
September 18, 2008
Bush’s press secretary refused to confirm the truth of the McCain statement this week that the economy is fundamentally sound. Ordinarily you would think that this might put the Republican candidate out on a limb, particularly one who has endorsed Bush’s economic policies. McCain though with characteristic alacrity now denies his own assessment and is calling for regulation of the financial industry. We can ad this to the list of issues that he has argued first one side, then unblinkingly argued the other side.
Biden has developed a funny bit in discussing McCain’s 180 degree turn on this. McCain has a little bit of bagage on this isuue, what with 83 Wall Street lobbyists on his staff and his chief advisor, Phil Graham, the senatorial champion of financial deregualtion.