A Problem of Perception

So, so wrong.

I guess it’s true what the Captain said inCool Hand Luke. Some men, you just can’t reach. Women, too.

Thanks to the miracle of Facebook, I’ve been getting in touch with friends from high school, some of whom I haven’t heard from in the better part of two decades. And it’s amazing to see how their thought processes have changed. Many of them, unfortunately, have given into the dark side and decided to be Republicans. Note that I do not say “conservative,” because they really don’t give a shit about small government. They just want Jeebus to rule us all. Or they hate “liberals,” for reasons they can’t really explain.

Anyway, here’s what a friend had as her status update after the debate:

[I wish] that Obama would stop referring to Senator McCain as “John”. Show some respect-Didn’t your mama teach you any manners–oh that’s right she wansn’t around

Really? Really? Addressing a colleague like he is a colleague is disrespectful? And then you go and crack on Obama’s mother? 

I just don’t understand what time does to some people. If it helps anyone’s sanity, this person is not living in a swing state by any stretch of the imagination. So there’s no electoral college implication for her vote.

8 thoughts on “A Problem of Perception

  1. Doc beat me to it – I wondered if you knew, Jude, when I saw the reference. I loved him in that movie. I loved him in every movie of his I ever saw.
    She’s worried about Obama being disrespectful? Really? Cuz McCain, with that scary grin and won’t look him in the eyes thing, and the toxic campaign that he’s run, that’s all about the respect.
    I don’t understand people. I really don’t.

  2. At least where I come from, complaining about people being disrespectful while being equally disrespectful without realising it is a sign of class anxiety, and/or a huge tell that the person is a lot more lower-class than they think they are. Jus’ sayin’.

  3. Well, the right wing is actually pushing this meme that Obama’s collegiality is, somehow, disrespectful and that he picked it up from Biden so its “borrowed” and inauthentic, too. I thought it was very significant that McCain refused to call Obama by his first name and only referred to him as “senator” because in other circumstances *that* would have been polite but under the circumstances and the way he did it it came across as rude. But I think the most important thing about your friend’s observation is that it indicates that they literally had no idea what the were watching and expected an unheard of and anachronistic level of deference from obama (either because he’s black or because he’s younger than mccain) that simply could never/should never exist by the time two candidates are sharing the same stage with each other. I have to contrast this rage, which interrobang correctly marks as class or race anxiety, with a dkos poster who wrote about how moved they were by Obama’s genuine generosity of spirit. When McCain stumbled on ahmedinejad’s name Obama can be heard, gently, in the background saying “its a tough one”. McCain, of course, would instantly have attacked Obama for his failure to get the name right. Obama’s not as agressive as I am and he didn’t say any of the angry shit I would have said up there. But I think you have to applaud and recognize the deep courtesy and humanity he showed his opponent at every step. Someone who could watch that cool, restrained, polite display and misread it as all about Obama’s arrogance and condescension is really too blinkered to live.

  4. Time has also apparently caused that former friend some confusion about the facts, as Obama’s mother is the one who raised him. But facts be damned, that doesn’t fit her narrative.

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