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… run – do not walk – over to Anglachel to see her post today. It’s a must-read. Here’s a taste, but the whole thing is excellent, and I had trouble picking out which bit to post here:

That female identification with Hillary and later Palin has been dismissed as either irrational (vagina voting) or actually a sign of secret racism exposes the ease with which misogyny is mobilized to try to belittle, badger, and dominate. Its very ubiquity makes it unremarkable and difficult to problematize. Our arguments and explanations on how we perceive our interests to be best served are trivialized as the whines of “bitter knitters” instead of serious challenges by engaged citizens. Insisting that we be heard garners a mix of aggressive bluster and wide-eyed faux-innocence.

Misogyny deniers try to focus on just a few figures, and explain away broad actions as being reasonable responses to these despicable, polarizing broads. No, no, it’s not that we are kicking women down; it’s that Hillary’s a cold bitch! We’d like someone else. But not Ferraro, that racist, shriveled up old hag. And Chelsea is really just letting herself get pimped out. Then we defend teenage sexuality, except for that wanton slut, Bristol Palin, and her bigger slut, the mother I’d like to fuck (MILF), Sarah.But then how to explain the fury expressed at women who do not support Obama?

Go read the whole thing.

Jay Rosen, last August:

Whereas I believe that the real—and undeclared—ideology of American journalism is savviness, and this is what made the press so vulnerable to the likes of Karl Rove.

Savviness! Deep down, that’s what reporters want to believe in and actually do believe in— their own savviness and the savviness of certain others (including operators like Karl Rove.) In politics, they believe, it’s better to be savvy than it is to be honest or correct on the facts. It’s better to be savvy than it is to be just, good, fair, decent, strictly lawful, civilized, sincere or humane.

Savviness is what journalists admire in others. Savvy is what they themselves dearly wish to be. (And to be unsavvy is far worse than being wrong.) Savviness—that quality of being shrewd, practical, well-informed, perceptive, ironic, “with it,” and unsentimental in all things political—is, in a sense, their professional religion. They make a cult of it. And it was this cult that Karl Rove understood and exploited for political gain.

What is the truest mark of savviness? Winning, of course! Everyone knows that the press admires an unprincipled winner.

But the thing is, it’s not just the press. Matt Taibi, in Rolling Stone, again regarding Rove:

Rove is not a genius, or even very clever: He’s totally and completely immoral… It doesn’t take brains to compare a triple-amputee war veteran to Osama bin Laden; you just have to be a mean, rotten cocksucker.

The reason Rove continues to survive is the same reason that Johnnie Cochran was called a genius for keeping a double-murderer on the golf course — because this generation of Americans has become so steeped in greed and social Darwinism that it can no longer distinguish between cheating and achieving, between enterprise and crime, and can’t bring itself to criticize winners any more than it knows how to be nice to losers. He survives because an increasing number of Americans secretly agree with Rove’s vision of rules, laws and “the truth” as quaint, faintly embarrassing rituals that only a sucker would let hold him back.

Rove’s comeback is evidence that the attack on our civic institutions in the Bush years wasn’t an isolated incident, something we can pin on a specific group of now-deposed politicians. It’s a trend, a thing that grows in direct proportion to our greed and ignorance.

All throughout the primaries, especially after the cries of WWTSBQ? started up, I kept reading comments about how Hillary lost the campaign because she failed to appreciate the importance of the caucuses. Obama was declared a “superior” candidate because he’d “gamed the caucuses” – an argument which sounded, to my ear, exactly as convincing as “his branding iz rilly cool! omg widgits!“, which is to say that it was shallow and vapid and barely an “argument” at all. Game strategy does not automatically make one a superior candidate. For one thing, the kind of strategy that’s involved in creating, passing and implementing beneficial legislation is an entirely different animal than the kind of strategy one needs to implement in an campaign. They both take a level of sophistication and finesse, but the similarities are actually rather limited. Stripping away all the extras, campaigns are about (or are supposed to be about) gaining political support for your ideas and platform and the direction you want to take your constituency. Each person who votes for you gives you power, sure, but I think it’s reasonable to say that a vote won on persuasive argument is a tad more valuable and dependable in the long run than one won by manipulation. Which brings us to today’s post at Reclusive Leftist:

It’s an eerie experience reading through the thousands of incident reports from caucus participants all over the country. Eerie because almost everyone assumed that the problems they were reporting were unique to their own caucus, merely the result of local miscreants. No one grasped — how could they? — that what they were experiencing was part of a nation-wide pattern.

The pattern is the same, from Washington to Texas, from Iowa to Nevada, from Maine to Minnesota: Obama workers arrive early at each caucus place and take control of the premises and the process. Hillary supporters are intimidated, told their names aren’t registered, even physically barred from the site. Busloads of mysterious strangers arrive and cast votes for Obama. Sign-in sheets disappear; voter tallies are falsified. Over and over and over again, the pattern is the same.

How did this happen? Simple. The Obama campaign spent the entire year prior to the election planning the whole thing out. They saw an opportunity to game the system and they took it. At “Camp Obama” training centers, Obama campaign officials schooled volunteers in the fine art of stealing caucuses. And I have to hand it to them: they did a great job. When Obama points to his campaign as evidence of his executive experience, I’m inclined to agree. He’s definitely proven himself to be an executive-level criminal.

So, to recap: being shrewd, practical, well-informed, perceptive, ironic, ‘with it,’ and unsentimental in all things political” does not only describe journalists, but could be easily applied to the base of the Obamacan movement, the so-called “creative class.” The American public, in general, has become “so steeped in greed and social Darwinism that it can no longer distinguish between cheating and achieving, between enterprise and crime, and can’t bring itself to criticize winners any more than it knows how to be nice to losers” and “increasing number of Americans secretly agree with Rove’s vision of rules, laws and “the truth” as quaint, faintly embarrassing rituals that only a sucker would let hold him back.” And Obama, the Hopey Changey Saviour Candidate, proves his “worthiness” by gaming the system… and the crowds roar.

“It’s better to be savvy than it is to be just, good, fair, decent, strictly lawful, civilized, sincere or humane.” Not to repeat myself or anything, but we’re all doomed.

No really. It’s the only way to explain crap like this:

Sen. Barack Obama’s team will continue its aggressive outreach to evangelical voters at the Democratic National Convention next week. Making a prime-time appearance Thursday night will be Joel C. Hunter, a Florida megachurch pastor who will deliver the convention’s closing prayer following Obama’s speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination…

Whether or not larger numbers of evangelical voters will join him in accepting the Democrats’ invitation is still unclear, Hunter said. But, he added, his presence in Denver shows the party’s recognition of “pro-life voices.”

Uh, Barack? “PRO-LIFE VOICES” ARE ALREADY BEING LISTENED TO.  You know who’s being ignored? The majority of the population who’re pro-choice, aka your base. Astraea, months ago:

I don’t know how many times I heard in the past six months that Obama needed to tiptoe around abortion so he wouldn’t scare away the Independents. (Of course, I was also told to trust that he would defend reproductive rights once he was in office, so I guess it’s okay to lie to get the Independents).

NARAL sponsored a poll that challenges these assumptions. In fact, NARAL has shown that Obama can gain not just Independent women, but Republican women as well by being strong on choice and making his position clear (not to mention us pesky Clinton supporters who aren’t ready to back Obama). By being a champion for choice and attacking McCain’s pro-life record, Obama could differentiate himself from a candidate portrayed by the media as a moderate and falsely attacked by pro-life groups as less than ideal. By standing up for choice, Obama would strengthen the Democratic party by winning the support of pro-choice women. NARAL lays all this out very clearly. Promoting a pro-choice message:

  • Moves the swing vote by drawing Independent women toward Obama.
  • Generates crossover support by moving pro-choice Republican women toward Obama.
  • Consolidates the base by bringing home Democratic women

NARAL’s poll focused on Republican and Independent women in important battleground states and found that when the difference between Obama and McCain’s positions on choice are stated clearly, Obama gains 13 points among pro-choice Independent women and 9 points among pro-choice Republican women. Overall, the impact on the general election is significant:

Once balanced information about Obama and McCain’s respective positions on choice is introduced, Obama gains 6 points, with his overall lead in these twelve states expanding from a net two points (47-45 perconet) to a net 13 points (53-40 percent).

That is huge. Also huge:

Among pro-choice Independent women, pro-choice Republican women, and liberal to moderate Republican women, the issue of abortion produces a larger advantage for Democrats than the economy, the war in Iraq, or health care.


Get that, Democrats? Pro-choice positions aren’t just window dressing for pro-choice women of any political persuasion.

Unfortunately, no, Astraea – the Democrats don’t get it. At all.

(My laptop arrived. If you couldn’t tell.)

New computer still hasn’t arrived. Combined with a sudden burst of work craziness and my quadrennial Olympic Fever, not been posting much – though I am thrilled (though wary) with the news of Hillary’s name being put in nomination. Hurray!

I’m also fighting off a cold, so I’m feeling too fuzzy-headed to post anything of substance, but I’m amused to find that, in my semi-absence, I’ve attracted myself a libertarian troll who has a hard-on for my Chill Down the Spine post (my most linked-to entry to date, but I think he found it through the ‘corpocracy’ tag.)

There’s a couple of comments waiting in moderation, but I thought I’d share the more hilarious of the two:

Liberty is Freedom
http://adoxography | anitshallbedone@****.com | 207.200.116.131

There are only Two guarantees in America. Life and Liberty. One has to be willing to die to keep theseTwo Freedoms.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As the citizens of America bow, on bended knee. To Powers of “CORPORACACY”. Its minions rally together with faith of their master’s power and authority. Dividing monetary gains of fortune and control. Drawing funds directly from individual citizens. By use of “Deception” “Deceit” and out rite lies. This is the representation of “Corporacacy” of the new world order. Power and control over the weakest element combined with acceptance.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The guarantees of Life and Liberty have been breached! What are you going to do about that? Manipulation instigated thru selective enforcement excusing all violators living in the honored grace of authorities. Stripping citizens of their basic right to LIBERTY. States failing to honor federal lease agreements and the federal government is letting states get away with it. What is up with that? Is our government asleep?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What has happened to independent self supporting America. This whole country, (it appears has jumped on the welfare wagon). We do not need this crap… Round em up ship em out. Shut down this socialist’s communist agenda. We do not need this crap… Congress and every politician have caused this debt. Every city should pay its own way. Every family should earn and pay their own way. A human’s labor is the most valuable asset they possess. Congress has stolen that. Give it back!

2008/08/10 at 1:54 PM

Hear that? Jump off the Welfare Wagon and bow down to the ‘Corporacacy’, bitchez! Oh, the lollerskates.

No postiness for awhile – I was away all weekend for an event in my hometown, and halfway through the weekend, my only two-year-old Vaio went kaput for the second time – and this time it wasn’t under warranty. After hearing that parts and labour would likely cost upwards of $300, I decided to cut my losses, and not an hour ago, I purchased zees, a Studio 17 from Dell:

Shiny!

Shiny!

In red.

Shexay!

Shexay!

As a bonus with my purchase, I got a deal on a Creative Zen media player, which is – I think – the mobile-video device I’ve been looking for forever:

So teeny!

So teeny!

Mama likes her toys. Yes, she does.

But lots of stuff happened this weekend/early this week! And I don’t want it to pass by unnoticed. And so, what Astraea and Melissa said.

Via campskunk @ Alegre’s Corner:

O RLY?

O RLY?

Dear Barack:

Which ‘late-term abortions’ do you oppose, exactly? Those caused by “all those irresponsible, fickle, ninny-brained straw-women who decide willy-nilly they want abortions” when they’re “feeling blue”? Those mythical ones that do not exist?

Pregnancy is not physically comfortable, Barack, nor does society often look kindly upon the choice we make, whatever it may be.  Since women (even the dirty, whorey ones!) don’t often subject their bodies to supporting a fetus for seven months or more unless they really want to, the likelihood that a late-term abortion is done for any other reason than the “health and life of the woman” is slim-to-nil.

A piece of advice? After two presidential terms under which the reproductive rights of half the population have been under steady, unrelenting attack, the year you beat out this woman* to become the presumptive nominee? Is not the year to be fucking around with the pro-choice base of your party. People are likely to get awful… bitter.

In short – get it together, dillweed.

– RKMK

(*In theory, anyway.)

Really, after the FISA flop, is this really in good taste? At best, IMO, it’s tacky; at worst, it’s politically shtupid.

That concern aside, what’s really been troubling me is the outright corporatization of the democratic process this primary season. No, I’m not talking about the behind-the-scenes by lobbyists and favour-trading and back-scratching and “free speech donations” between corporations and politicians to gain influence in Washington (though I hate that, too), but the growing trend to speak of politics in business-speak terms.

The first time I noticed this was back in March, when Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) was quoted as saying, “You have a very unhappy electorate, which is no surprise, with oil at $108 a barrel, stocks down a few thousand points, a war in Iraq with no end in sight and a president who is still very, very unpopular. He’s just killed the Republican brand.

“Oh, Rep. Davis,” I giggled. “Only Republicans would see civics and politics in such a manner, and talk in such blatant marketing-speak!”

I was so young, then, and naive.

Not long after, I came across a friend’s blog (a personal one, which is why I’m not linking), who – while simultaneously admitting he wasn’t qualified to comment on the quality of either candidate, and was leaving it up to his political-junkie friends to duke it out – complimented Barack Obama, and his branding:

Barack Obama’s branding is really really good. Specifically, his website branding. It’s clean, very uncluttered, and visually pleasing. Hillary’s is quite good, about what you would expect, but Barack has definitely got some sugary web 2.0 (are we at 3.0 yet? I can’t keep track) goodness going on. Note the logo – the big O. Very simple, but nice. Note the my.barackobama.com, which smacks of .mac account level fandom. I don’t really have the interest to sign up and see what it’s all about, but from the outside, it’s genius: a barack dashboard. He has created his own social network! What’s next – a widget for vista/OSX of an “obameter” or a “barameter”?

Again, the political-junkie and civics nerd in me sneered – great marketing and graphic design does not a great leader make. The thing about Barack Obama’s website that jumped out at me the most was that, (at that time) he had no section on women and women’s issues, and the kind of blind spot that overlooked the needs of about 52% of the population.  That, to me, indicated far more about Barack’s candidacy that the “clean, uncluttered” nature of the site. “What about his policies,” I cried (internally). “What is he going to do?”

To my great dismay, this sort of talk didn’t abate as the primaries went on; in fact, it got worse. After Barack “won” the primary, a post by zuzu at Shakesville asked Obama’s supporters why Clinton’s supporters should vote for him in the general, and a well-meaning commenter responded:

To all of the substantive points I raised, I will finally add Obama’s brilliance in marketing.

He has managed to associate his brand so indelibly with “hope”, “change” and “inspiration” that his opponents and naysayers are forced to criticize those words and concepts, which rarely works out well. Regardless of whether he actually does represent hope change and inspiration (I personally believe he does), don’t we want our Democratic presidential candidate to be a hella good marketer?

I had a visceral reaction to reading this – I hadn’t been lurking at The Great Orange Cheeto or any other pro-Obama site, and hadn’t actually seen people arguing that this sort of thing was a positive; before I could respond, however, Shaker kidlacan was on it:

“perverse as it probably sounds, for me, the quality of obama that last of your posts highlights is the thing putting me off him the most. i’d give anything to have a break from the marketing. it sets my teeth on edge. i’ve been wishing since january that his website would tell me the sorts of things you’ve told me, in your posts, and shut up with the Hope and Change and Hope and ooh web 2.0 lookit! already. it’s a relief to me to hear reasons for supporting him which haven’t got anything to do with ‘the zeitgeist.’ “

Jerseyboy quickly followed up with:

“I agree…Zoe has enunicated succinctly what we never get on TV from him, from his supporters in general or from his website…the marketing stuff is a monstrous turnoff for me…we dealt with that garbage from Bush and Co. for nearly eight years…I hated it from the right, I don’t want to see it from the left…it’s nauseating from any part of the political spectrum.”

There’s been a lot of pop-psychology running around the media and the ‘net about the tensions between whom supports whom, via age (Boomers vs. Echo-Boomers/”Generation Y“), the “waves” of feminism (second vs. third), and classes (Creative vs. Working), and geography (urban vs. Appalachia).  I’m personally starting to see another thread of preference (which surely intertwines with each and every one of these divisions),  that is,  which kind of “consumer” each voter is: those who enjoy “buying into” concepts, and those who don’t like being “marketed” every. last. thing., especially not democracy.

For example, I’ve often commented that while I’m part of the “demographic” that is supposed to be overwhelmingly pro-Obama (young, educated, urban latte-sipping liberal), I’ve pretty much rejected the entire kit’n’caboodle. This is perhaps in part because I identify more with second-wave feminism, which in turn may partly be because I both get along fabulously with my boomer-generation mother and because I don’t particularly share my generation’s resentment of the boomers.

But I’m also someone who’s reknowned as a “hard-sell.” I hate telemarketers. I hate going into stores and having salespeople flutter at me, because I know what I want, and I resent someone trying to sell me otherwise. I rarely buy something just because the commercial appealed to me, aesthetically or otherwise; I enjoyed the Joe Canada commercial back in 2000, but I never bought Canadian –  because I don’t enjoy the taste of beer.  I really liked the Pepsi/Britney campaigns of the same era, and could appreciate their zip and style, but … I prefer the taste of Coke, and that’s what I buy.   Right now, I’ll fully admit to being addicted to my Starbucks, but it’s not a status/brand thing to me – it’s that their hazelnut/cinnamon dolce/chai lattes are fooking delicious. The only time a commercial speaks to me, like, enough to part with any money, is when it happens to speak to me on a functional level, that the product that’s being sold to me will actually solve a problem I have or I truly enjoy it.

That Generation-Y link says the following about my generation:

They represent more than 70 million consumers in the United States. They earn a total annual income of about $211 billion, spend approximately $172 billion per year, and considerably influence many adult consumer buying choices. They also face a greater degree of direct corporate marketing than any other generation in history….

A 2008 survey by UK recruitment consultancy FreshMinds Talent in partnership with Management Today suggested that Generation Y are generally more ambitious, brand conscious and tend to move jobs more often than ever before.

I think my generation is definitely more brand-conscious than ever before, but I think there’s a bit of a dove-tailing effect: there’s a split between those who are marketing-skeptical (like myself) –  those who can recognize marketing tricks for what they are, and have fused it with the previous generation’s anti-capitalist sentiment – and those who have embraced corporate branding and marketing as an art, and make their judgements based on the brand, the marketing itself, who buy into the “logic” that the person who can manipulate the message the best is, ipso facto, the person who would lead best.

Which, to me is a logical non-sequitur, but it seems to follow to the latter kind of person, and (terrifyingly) that the latter seems to be far more prevalent. But what kind of “consumer” one is seems to both correlate with and explain the cross-section of voters that Clinton and Obama appeal to, respectively, across those urban/rural, generational, and class divides: those who are likely to appreciate and buy into gloss and glitter, and those who are wary about throwing their money and support behind something without there being a little substance to back it up.

Oh, yeah. That’s just going to fix everything. I’m continually amazed at the DNC, and how they don’t quite understand this “democracy” they’re taking part in, let alone, y’know, any sense of history.

I think my favourite bit is this part:

The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t establish conditions to recognize the Boston Celtics as NBA Champions; Roger Federer did not demand concessions before recognizing that Rafael Nadal defeated him at Wimbledon.

Sports analogies? Seriously? Seriously? First off, way to assume a male audience, and to imply that any men who aren’t online aren’t doing things the Dudely Way, and the silly wimmin who aren’t cowtowing the way they’re supposed to just don’t get how things are done in Man-World. Secondly: not at all appropriate. Politics is never as simple as win/lose, number of points in the same way as tennis and basketball. It is a more subjective ‘sport’, with a myriad of methods of decided who ‘won’: delegate count, popular vote, potential tallied electoral college votes in those states, and – in this case – the delegate count if all 50 states are measured at full votes.

You want an appropriate sports analogy, there, Don ‘n’ Alice? I gots one for you:

South Korea have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) over a judging error which cost Yang Tae-young a gymnastics gold.

Three judges were suspended on Saturday for the mistake which saw American Paul Hamm win the men’s all-round event.

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) upheld Tae-young’s protest but said they could not change the outcome.

“We want this obvious misjudgment to be corrected,” a South Korea statement said. “We want fairness and justice.”

The judges denied Tae-young a tenth of a point from his parallel bars routine – the same margin which would have seen him upgraded from bronze to gold.

“The judges’ marks have to be accepted as a final decision and cannot be changed,” said the FIG in a statement.

But South Korea are determined to take the case to sport’s highest legal body.

“FIG’s sanction against judges who have not judged correctly is not enough for us to accept,” South Korea added in a statement.

Yeah, that’s more like it. One even more appropriate (and closer to my wee Canadian heart):

“The French Judge”

Judges from Russia, the People’s Republic of China, Poland, Ukraine, and France had placed the Russians first; judges from the United States, Canada, Germany, and Japan chose the Canadians. However, suspicion fell almost immediately on the French judge, Marie-Reine Le Gougne. When Le Gougne returned to the officials’ hotel, she was immediately confronted by Sally Stapleford, chair of the International Skating Union‘s Technical Committee. Le Gougne had an emotional breakdown in which she confessed that she had been pressured by the head of the French skating organization, Didier Gailhaguet, to vote for the Russian pair regardless of how the others performed.

She repeated this confession at the post-event judges’ meeting the next day. It was alleged that this was part of a deal to get an advantage for French couple Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat in the ice dance competition that was to follow a few days later. However, in a signed statement, Le Gougne denied taking part in such a deal and also stated that she had truly believed the Russian pair deserved to win.

Howdya like dem sportsy apples?

Edit: I mentioned this analogy over at The Confluence, and Riverdaughter dug up this fabu video:

Via a friend:

89% Dennis Kucinich
86% Mike Gravel
85% Joe Biden
85% Chris Dodd
83% Barack Obama
82% John Edwards
80% Hillary Clinton
71% Bill Richardson
34% Rudy Giuliani
20% Ron Paul
20% John McCain
16% Tom Tancredo
13% Mitt Romney
13% Mike Huckabee
5% Fred Thompson

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Truth be told, I would be happy with any of the current front runners (Obama, Edwards, Clinton); I’m not thrilled with any of them on every single issue, but, God, anything is an improvement, no?

And I mean, c’mon, Iowa: Fucking Huckabee? Really?

Truthier, scarier truth be told? In this post-Bhutto madness, I am terrified that Obama or Clinton will be assassinated should they win. And if that happens, I don’t know if my psyche could take it.