Archive for October 17th, 2008

October 17, 2008

Lobster, caviar and champagne

Just a little snack at the Waldorf:

THOUGH he’s battling GOP accusations that he’s an Ivy League elitist, Barack Obama has a lifestyle of the rich and famous, like TV show host Robin Leach, who always signed off, “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams!” While he was at a meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Michelle Obama called room service and ordered lobster hors d’oeuvres, two whole steamed lobsters, Iranian caviar and champagne, a tipster told Page Six.

Take that, Joe the Plumber!

October 17, 2008

Dear media: Please ignore this

Greta Van Susteren notices that Wade Rathke, the guy who founded ACORN and also founded Local 100 of the left-wing labor union SEIU, got his start as a college draft-resistance activist with Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the organization from which Bill Ayers created the Weather Underground.

It is vitally important that major media organizations ignore this. Do not look into this possible connection between Rathke and Ayers. Also, don’t anyone at the New York Times or the Associated Press get any clever ideas about trying Googling search terms like “Rathke ACORN embezzlement” or “Rathke SEIU Soros” or “Rathke Soros Obama.”

No news to see here. Move along.

October 17, 2008

Confession of an unlicensed journalist

Howard Wolfson was just on Fox News ranting that Joe the Plumber isn’t licensed as a plumber by the state of Ohio.

This caused me untold heartache because, you see, I am an unlicensed journalist.

That’s right: Although I have worked as a journalist since 1986, I have never been licensed to practice journalism in any state. So to all of those who may have been misled by this deceit — including Howard Wolfson’s former boss Hillary Clinton, whom I covered during the primary campaign — I guess I owe you an apology.

Howard Wolfson also exposed another evil right-wing deception that relates directly to me. Like “Joe” Wurzelbacher (whose actually first name is Sam), I have been fraudulently going by my middle name since I was a baby. My first name is the same as my uncle Bobby, and so I have always been known to family and friends as Stacy. (In college, my nickname was “Spacey Stacy.”)

While falsely passing myself off as journalist, however, I got in the habit of using my full name as a byline because if I wrote stories as “Stacy McCain,” people would call the office and ask to speak to “her.” And so even though I was a phony unlicensed journalist, my byline was accurate. It was the real me that was fake.

I guess it’s only a matter of time now before the Federal Bureau of Blogging notices I haven’t completed the proper paperwork.

October 17, 2008

Maverick on Letterman

Very funny, but calling the mortgage crisis “a drive-by shooting by Washington and Wall Street” is just wrong. There are specific culprits in this crisis, and to blame the entirety of the American financial industry is to promote a fundamental misconception that only helps Obama. Leave the Wall Street-bashing to Democrats.

October 17, 2008

Future of the GOP!

Jim Treacher finds some interesting anti-Joe action at (where else?) Daily Kos, including this comment:

I am sick and f****** tired of being told that, because I live in California (used to be SF), that I am somehow LESS of an American than these “average Joe” types. . . .
And I’m sick, as an educated, gay, urban-dwelling American, of being unfavorably compared to these fake, lying, wife-beating, tax-cheating, racist, immigrant-hating frauds.
F*** him. F*** them. It’s my America, too.

The true voice of today’s Democratic Party. If you’re an “average Joe” type, this is what today’s Democrats think of you.

October 17, 2008

Joe the Plumber pays the price

Cause trouble for Obama, and you can be sure that Obama will cause trouble for you:

The progressives have made a very definitive statement today. They have said that if you dare to speak out against their Chosen One, they will not only smear you and broadcast the details of your life to the world but they’ll also deprive you of your livelihood.
A couple of days ago, Joe Wurzelbacher was just a regular guy with a house and a son and a dream of one day seeing his hard work pay off with a better life. Then Barack Obama showed up in his front yard. Now, thanks to the Obamessiah’s brownshirts, he is likely to lose his job as a plumber.

This massive left-wing attack has caused Michelle Malkin to identify a new “progressive” disorder: Joe the Plumber Derangement Syndrome. Frankly, I’m not worried about Joe, who can obviously take care of himself. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t have a book deal and his own talk radio show by Election Day.

UPDATE: Jules Crittenden has got an excellent roundup of Joe the Plumber news, including this from the Toledo Blade:

“Everyone’s more worried about what Joe the Plumber has to say than what Obama or McCain has to say.”

Jules has some savvy media advice for Joe:

Don’t talk to any more reporters. Just pretend like you’re a Norman Rockwell painting. Strong, silent, earnest type. A “go jump in the lake” or two will only further endear to the heartland.

The public-relations consulting firm of Crittenden & McCain would be only too happy to get a contract from the Palin-Wurzelbacher 2012 campaign.


Look on the bright side. The media’s finally starting to vet acquaintances of Barack Obama.

Yeah, if they spent half as much effort investigating Bill Ayers, the Annenberg Challenge and ACORN, Obama would be in single digits.

October 17, 2008

What the GOP is up against

It’s very hard to explain to conservatives in Washington that independent voters don’t fit easily into the prefabricated compartments with which ideologues are comfortable. Independent voters, God bless ’em, are a cantankerous bunch, generally ill-informed about the stuff that political junkies take seriously, but very certain about their hatreds.

Keep that in mind as you read what a Republican consultant said in an e-mail to Ben Smith of the Politico about a recent Midwestern focus group where people were asked to watch and react to a Republican TV ad:

The two most unreal moments of my professional life of watching focus groups:
54 year-old white male, voted Kerry ’04, Bush ’00, Dole ’96, hunter, NASCAR fan…hard for Obama said: “I’m gonna hate him the minute I vote for him. He’s gonna be a bad president. But I won’t ever vote for another god-damn Republican. I want the government to take over all of Wall Street and bankers and the car companies and Wal-Mart run this country like we used to when Reagan was President.”
The next was a woman, late 50s, Democrat but strongly pro-life. Loved B. and H. Clinton, loved Bush in 2000. “Well, I don’t know much about this terrorist group Barack used to be in with that Weather guy but I’m sick of paying for health insurance at work and that’s why I’m supporting Barack.”
I felt like I was taking crazy pills. I sat on the other side of the glass and realized…this really is the Apocalypse. The Seventh Seal is broken and its time for eight years of pure, delicious crazy….

There are several things going on here. Notice that the white male was a stout enough Republican to vote for Dole in ’96, and also voted for Bush in 2000, but went for Kerry in ’04. What happened during the first four years of Bush’s term to switch this guy to Kerry? We don’t know, but now he uses “god-damn Republican” as an epithet and advocates the nationalization of industry as something that Reagan would have done.

And what of this woman who (a) is pro-life, but (b) supported the Clintons, then (c) turned against Al Gore, yet now (d) supports Barack because (e) she’s upset about health care?

These reactions seem bizarre and irrational to the Republican consultant, but reflect two basic facts about independent voters:

  • They are radically disconnected from the political information system. There is a strong correlation between partisanship, political involvement, and news consumption. The less news you consume, the less likely you are to be politically involved, and the less likely you are to have a strong attachment to a party or ideology. Thus, the woman is pro-life, but voted for the pro-choice Clintons, while the man is a hunter but voted for gun-control advocate Kerry. They simply don’t follow politics closely enough to know which candidate supports their issues.
  • Their political passions tend to be personal in nature and negative in orientation. We don’t have enough background on these two people to know what’s going on with their lives, their jobs, their marriages, their finances, etc. However, if you talk to independent voters one-to-one, you’ll find their politics are usually motivated by their own direct experiences. Did this middle-aged white guy get his truck repossessed? Or did his wife leave him? And is the woman’s complaint about health insurance related to some specific medical problem she’s got? Did her employer just get a new health plan that raised her premiums? Whatever the root of their grievances, these grievances translate to negative reactions: I’m against X, and therefore I’m voting against the opponent of whoever I blame for X.

This is where the “brand damage” of the Bush era comes from, and it’s one of the downsides of having a Republican in the White House. People who aren’t politically involved don’t pay much attention to Congress (a recent study found that 41% of CNN viewers don’t know that Democrats have a majority in Congress), but generally they do know who the president is and what party he belongs to. So when these politically uninvolved people are unhappy, the guy in the White House takes the blame, and his party along with him.

Thus the apocalyptic revelation for the Republican consultant: These independent voters don’t know a lot about politics, but they do know they’re not voting Republican — and ideological coherence be damned!

October 17, 2008

Jon Stewart on the Mahoney scandal

Jon Stewart is a liberal, but he obviously doesn’t mind busting on a Democrat now and then. He just did a segment on the sex scandal involving Rep. Tim Mahoney. Noting that Mahoney was elected to replace Rep. Mark Foley, who was similarly felled by a sex scandal, Stewart said that the slogan of Florida’s 16th District is, “Where Old Jews Vote for Perverted Irishmen.”