aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, March 19, 2007
Hillary 1984 whodunit: Maybe it was Limbaugh
After all, the anti-Clinton conservatives have been high on Obama lately:
The fact that Hillary Clinton took something of a pounding last week wasn’t big news. But an examination of the talk outlets revealed an interesting twist to that pattern. Whatever the motivation, some of those conservative hosts are not only using their microphones to blast away at Clinton. They are also embracing, or at least saying nice things about, Barack Obama, a liberal Democrat whose primary virtue in their eyes may be that he can defeat Clinton for the nomination.
Whether heartfelt, strategic or simply faint praise, this Obama mini-love fest may strike some as sounding strange coming from some icons of conservative talk.
SEE ALSO: Adam Conner’s excellent parsing of the viral explosion, Anatomy, Mystery, and Impact of The Obama 1984 Ad.
[It] represents “a new era, a new wave of politics ... because it’s not about Obama,” said Peter Leyden, director of the New Politics Institute, a San Francisco-based think tank on politics and new media. “It’s about the end of the broadcast era.” [...]
Veteran San Francisco ad man Bob Gardner, whose work has included political campaigns for former President Gerald Ford, said the video is “very powerful” in its efforts to call for a generational change in politics.
“It puts Hillary spouting cliche nonsense to the drones—while a fresh face breaks through,” he says. “It’s old versus new.”
That theme—reflecting a generational change in the relationship between media, politics, candidates and voters—suggests that “Hillary 1984” could have the iconic power with the 21st century political generation that another classic political ad called “Daisy” represented to Baby Boomers, says Leyden. That 1964 spot for President Lyndon Johnson—featuring images of a child plucking a daisy, which morphed ominously into a nuclear mushroom cloud—battered GOP presidential candidate Sen. Barry Goldwater because it, too, portrayed “a shattering of the whole world” in both political leadership, and media.
Obama’s campaign says it had absolutely nothing to do with it. I buy that. And I’m as big a believer as anyone in the talents of the public. Still, I can’t help but be suspicious that this was not “just someone playing around with their home editing setup who doesn’t like Hillary.”
It’s been on Fox all day. Wanna bet it leads the morning shows tomorrow?
The struggle continues
This from a region where defiantly hanging Ten Commandment plaques on courthouse walls is a badge of honor:
BUTLER, Ga. - The cool, busy lobby of the Taylor County courthouse features a bulletin board, a Dr Pepper vending machine and two framed rosters honoring local veterans of World War II. It is easy to spot the slight difference in wording that justifies displaying two plaques instead of one.
This list says “Whites,” and that list says “Colored.”
County officials explain that the segregated plaques continue to hang because state law says no publicly owned memorial dedicated to veterans of the United States - or of the Confederate States of America - shall be relocated, removed, concealed, et cetera, et cetera.
“Fifty-dash-three-dash-one, subparagraph B,” recites Edward N. Davis, the county attorney. It is up to the state legislature to change the law, he says. Besides, he and other county officials say, some people like the plaques the way they are, and not all those people are white.
Yes, and they tell us some slaves loved their masters too.
The animal within
Over the past two centuries, people have had to disabuse themselves about various ideologies asserting that humans are fundamentally different from other animals. Biologists have shown that our arms and legs and organs have long evolutionary histories. Beliefs about the uniqueness of human behavior might well be the last bastion of our superiority complex, but research by [Emory University primatologist Frans] de Waal and many others suggests that even this redoubt may be crumbling.
“I have done studies of reconciliation and coalition strategies in chimpanzees,” de Waal said. “Business managers tell me that reminds them so much of what people do.”
Trapped in the War on Terror
After listening to the University Channel podcast* of University of Pennsylvania Political Science Professor Ian S. Lustick’s “Trapped in the War on Terror” speech at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, today I bought the book:
The hijackers’ biggest victory was to goad our government into taking the bait by unleashing the War on Terror. The worry, witch-hunt, and waste that have ensued are, according to Ian S. Lustick, destroying American confidence, undermining our economy, warping our political life, and isolating us from our international allies.
The media have given constant attention to possible terrorist-initiated catastrophes and to the failures and weaknesses of the government’s response. Trapped in the War on Terror, however, questions the very rationale for the War on Terror. By analyzing the virtual absence of evidence of a terrorist threat inside the United States along with the motives and strategic purposes of al-Qaeda, Lustick shows how disconnected the War on Terror is from the real but remote threat terrorism poses. He explains how the generalized War on Terror began as part of the justification for invading Iraq, but then took on a life of its own. A whirlwind of fear, failure, and recrimination, this “war” drags every interest group and politician, he argues, into selfish competition for its spoils.
* The audio quality is poor but the content so compelling that it’s well worth a listen. I’m grateful that they put it out.