The Obama Pitch

I said this over at the crack den, but I wanted to expand on it a bit here. It’s a measure of how screwed we’ve been for how long, and how utterly unacknowledged it has been by our leaders, that the very basic statement that once you’ve earned a pension no one should take it away should sound so radical to our ears, should be so welcomed. It’s a measure how voiceless we have been for so long that we would take such wild joy in hearing that no one should lose her house because her husband got sick. It’s a measure of how intemperate our face to the world has been, that someone can speak of “taking the fight” toanyone and be perceived as mild.

In other words, my response to what Obama said in that ad isn’t so much about Obama as it is about Bush, and maybe that’s the case with all politicians, that we hear not just what they’re saying but what we’re saying. In that case I’m less reassured than I would be by this kind of thing ordinarily, because what I heard very clearly was WE ARE MASSIVELY SCREWED THIS IS A VERY DEEP HOLE PLEASE SEND GRAPPLING HOOKS AND CANNED GOODS.

A.

8 thoughts on “The Obama Pitch

  1. pansypoo says:

    freeze dried coffee taint that bad.

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  2. karen marie says:

    after obama’s pitch was over, i flipped the channels just because the tv was on and landed on pbs, an american experience biography of lyndon johnson.
    seriously, you have to watch this. i was shocked and surprised at how little i actually knew about johnson and his presidency. you just don’t pay that much attention to stuff like that between the ages of 7 and 11.
    the viet nam parts were the hardest to watch because on the domestic front johnson was a remarkable president and but for the viet nam war he would have been remembered as one of the greatest presidents this country ever had. the civil rights legislation passed in the 1960s would not have succeeded without him. johnson’s vision of “the great society” is still waiting to be fulfilled.
    after watching and reflecting, i have great hope that with the right leadership this country — we — can again start moving toward fulfilling that vision for all of us.
    barack obama is taking up the mantle. do your part — this weekend make phone calls for obama, participate in some way in the success of this election. and watch the LBJ biography by going to this link:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/36_l_johnson/

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  3. virgotex says:

    The longer I spend time talking to victims of domestic abuse, the more I think it’s not unlike the way we’ve all lived for the last decade or so. Bushco is the batterer, wielding power and control over the beaten down and conditioned populace. We’ve become so negatively conditioned and decisionally impaired, our reality so skewed, the abuse normalized, our affect completely flattened.

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  4. BuggyQ says:

    I’m painfully reminded of how, in the years immediately after World War II, things were so bad in Great Britain that Americans were sending care packages to Britons to keep them going.
    I wonder who’d send us care packages if McCain won.

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  5. virgotex says:

    I think Obama is doing very well to reassure us only about what is in fact, reassuring: that in the face of bad times, we can still get through, that Americans have done so in the past, that the basic promise of the country at least allows for us to try again.
    It would insane and unrealistic to provide reassurance about much of anything else. I think one of the reasons the campaign has been successful is that it’s not sugarcoating anything, that people trust what they are hearing because it speaks to their reality. How can I trust somebody to really fix my problem if they don’t convince me that they really understand it?

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  6. virgotex says:

    forgot to add: karen marie-Robert Caro’s (unfinished) series on Johnson is MUST reading for any student of American history and politics. Caro’s lifework, his fascination, is with power first, those who wield it second. His first subject was Robert Moses. The LBJ books are examination of his power, the good and the bad, not an effort to perpetuate the myth. The real subject is the American political system. They are huge and sweeping reads, with a cast of thousands. In particular, Master of the Senate is great. I learned as much from that book as I did in several college political science classes.
    I can’t recommend them highly enough. I just hope Caro lives long enough to finish the last one.
    The Years of Lyndon Johnson

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  7. BuggyQ says:

    By the way, I went out to canvass voters for Obama last night for two hours before the teevee thing. Most of it was great–of the 15 or so voters I talked to who had already voted, 9 of them volunteered (most enthusiastically) that they’d voted Obama. Only one guy said he and his stepson voted McCain (and I’m a little skeptical about the stepson–I think he might have just told the stepdad what he wanted to hear). And even that guy (the stepdad, that is) was really, really friendly. I thanked him for voting, and moved on.
    But the worst part was the undecided voters. There was one woman I talked to who seemed to be leaning Obama, and I talked to her for a while about why I was voting Obama (education, health care, personal responsibility). But I wanted to shake her and say, “Jeebus!!! What on earth are you waiting for? Neither one of them is going to walk on water, so just look at the fucking issues and make up your mind!!!!”
    After a gazillion ads, hours of debates, endless discussions by the punditry, and campaign websites that are as full of information as the fucking Library of Congress, and she has the unmitigated gall to say that she just doesn’t know enough about the candidates@!!?!?!:!!?!
    GAHHHHHHHHH!
    One woman even said that she wasn’t even voting because she didn’t feel informed enough. She admitted that it was because she hadn’t had (or more accurately, hadn’t made) the time. I was unfailingly polite and nice–no sense burning bridges–but jeebus, it was infuriating. I’m working one full-time job and two part-time jobs, I have a hobby that is nearly as demanding of my time as another part-time job would be, and here I am, out volunteering to help my candidate *after* having done months of homework to decide that he’s good enough and smart enough for it to be worth it to me.
    I’ll be so glad when this is over and these people can stop stumbling their way into the spotlight and go back to their fact-free lives.

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  8. liberalrob says:

    Well, we are massively screwed and this is a very deep hole and we do need grappling hooks. No sense trying to avoid it. It’s just straight talk like McCain used to give before he ran for President and apparently forgot how to do it.
    What’s a pension?

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