Back Home and Watching the News

There's a plumber in the basement doing routine cleaning for our furnace, a noisy task, so I have the kitchen TV on mute and have been watching the "news bites" on the bottom of the screen on MSNBC and CNN. Here are some funny things I've seen:

"Palin defends tone of campaign, says it is not 'mean-spirited.'"

Ahem. I disagree. 

"Obama: If we can spend $10 billion a month in Iraq, we can spend it in Ohio."

Senator Obama, I love you, I really do. But I think the point is not to spend more than we have, anywhere.

"McCain says Obama 'measuring the drapes' for White House."

Okay, what is this supposed to mean? Invention of a new form of domestic terrorism, death by draperies?

I found the tone of the campaign last week very troubling. I know that McCain took the microphone away from the woman who referred to Obama as "Arab" the other night and then described Obama as a "decent family man." Does he mean that Arabs cannot be decent? There is so much wrong with the whole scenario, it's hard to know where to begin. Probably the most disturbing story to me involved a pastor giving a prayer at a Davenport, Iowa, rally:

Well, that's going beyond the little "updates" at the bottom of the screen, but I can't let it go by. I realize that a lot of the organization of these rallies goes on locally. I realize that no one can stop a crowd member from shouting out whatever enters his or her head. But the climate being created is not neutral, it's developed with aggressive specificity, by both sides. It's disingenous to brush off responsibility for the overall event, for the effect of the live moments on the general discourse.

A president is in a powerful position to model behaviors not only for our country but for the world. For the past eight years we've been embarassed by nicknames and unwanted backrubs and a general climate of "let's go get 'em" and "mission accomplished" when no such ends had been achieved. What we've seen in this general election campaign on Obama's part is a concerted effort to rise above whatever it may be, sometimes to a ridiculous degree. I can't believe I'm about to give credit to Joe Scarborough, but this morning he said something with which I agree when he wondered why Obama doesn't just say with some considerable firmness, "Yes, I am named after my father. My name is Barack Hussein Obama. I understand you're named after your dad, too."

We live in a country full of people from a variety of backgrounds. I grew up with the name Spong and I know my dad was teased as a child about being Chinese, for Pete's sake. I wish I felt more sure that we are moving beyond that kind of biased, ignorant, self-justifying smack-talking. But the world is full of bullies, and they will make their cowardly attacks wherever they see an opening, and this crap that has been unloaded by the McCain campaign and the crowds at McCain-Palin rallies is just that: bullying.

I'd like to see McCain say the full name at the debate, and then I'd like to see Obama give him the "come here" gesture made famous in The Matrix. The whole thing is THAT irritating.

(I am now picturing the two of them in mid-air, and I am REALLY enjoying it.)

By the way, the guy who is putting the Treasury plan in place? His name is Neel Kashkari. Who is he? Where is HE from? Ooooo, this is scary!! Bald guys? Don't look like me.

That is the approximate level of discourse, and I've had enough of it. Who's with me?

14 thoughts on “Back Home and Watching the News”

  1. yes, yes, yes. (we can)
    I got your hat this weekend! It’s gorgeous!! Thanks so much–you are awesome. 🙂 Much midwest love coming your way!

  2. Oh sista, you know I am with you. :c) Funny, I thought the same thing about the Bailout Czar when I heard his name. I even turned to hubby just a bit ago and said (tongue in cheek), “Gee, wonder if we can trust him? His name sounds like one of those foreigners we don’t like with odd names.”
    What I wish is that Obama could delve into any boards McCain has served on and with whom, and make “pal” connections. Sort of like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. The entire thing is beyond ridiculous.

  3. All the way, Songbird. All the way.
    I seem to remember an earlier “measuring the drapes” scandal, only it was about a comment that Bush made after Pelosi became Speaker for the House. And W was, appropriately, reamed for it.
    So either McCain is stupidly forgetting about a gaffe that another Republican already made; OR trying to emasculate Obama while at the same time calling him overconfident; OR all three.
    I can’t wait for this election to be over.

  4. I don’t think you have to be for Obama (which I am) to see that this campaign has delved into the unChristian when it is based on lies, unwarranted personal attacks, and fear. This kind of campaigning doesn’t play to people’s best, to their hopes, to their faith (except in the most limited way; I believe in Jesus and I don’t think Sen. Obama does). I think Obama could do more in calling people to these things–and I hope he will when he’s elected. Transformational leadership lifts everyone–and anyone who knows anything about Jesus ought to know that.
    But fear seems to trump everything else.

  5. I’m with you. Definitely. I just told my husband this evening that if everything else in the campaign were the same, but the Democratic candidate were a white guy named Barry O’Bannon, instead of a biracial guy named Barack Obama, things would be very, very different. He’d probably have a 30-point lead by now.

  6. I can’t take it anymore, my radio and TV are OFF.
    My latest question for the Republicans is this:
    “Will I lose more of my retirement and the money I have saved for my kids college funds through the *Obama Tax Hikes* or through the *Financial Meltdown of 2008* ?”

  7. Oh..its so hard watching all this remotedly…I’m with you all the way, while feeling kind of helpless because whoever gets the White House will have such an impact on the shape of the whole world…and I’m plain scared if it’s McCain…

  8. I am so with you. I also think the level of childess type behavior seems to have escalated…
    On a happier note, SNL has had great material…what will they do after the election?

  9. I’m with you and have gone from annoyed to scared that this will justify (in their minds) some loon taking matters into their own hands if Obama should win. I often imagine our founders standing there with tears in their eyes like the 70’s anti-pollution commercial feature the Indian… and of course that brings up a whole different topic entirely.

  10. Just imagine what Ohioans would be like with 10 billion a month…
    I had no idea you were Chinese.

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