Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Politikin’ and Playactin’
By Brandon Bowlin (Blogger)
Published October 2, 2008

Chairs were creaking in anticipation. Too many of us had our minds made up. We wanted a knock out and now leaned forward with bloodlust. McCain had been long accused of misrepresenting Obama’s positions. Of name calling and implied racism. Well old man here’s your chance. The real thing in flesh and blood standing in front of you. Lights came up and on one side you had a lean, mean, just quit smoking fighting machine and on the other…we saw a grumpy ass neighbor who can’t stand y’alls loud-ass music and never throws any balls back.

The bell rung annnnd…


That’s it. After McCain’s repeated calls for the postponement of the debate, both the Obama camp and the Commission on Presidential Debates agreed; The debate went on as planned…a run of the mill contest.

Although not blown away, I think the Senator from Illinois kept swinging enough to leave a good impression on the minds of the new markets that were really just introduced to his type of politics. When he DID counter he got applause from the crowd I was with. Barack Obama can knock McCain out of the park and be done widdit except that he is on a tight rope. If you are a Black or Female executive in a big money corporation, you know what I am talking about. The campaign seems to believe that one can LOOK vital and strong and right without intimidating the White vote he needs. I can see that but I’m more inclined to believe that when a house is burning, the occupants could give a damn what color the fireman is. And for the last two weeks…our house has been burning.

Wall Street

We are in a financial crisis. One that began, for most of us, three and four years ago. The biggest straw of course is Wall Street and the House bailout, although stinking from here to eternity, was set up to do one thing…discourage panic.

Real panic. The kind that actually produced an old timey “bank run” on WAMU. Yes there were rumors that Washington Mutual was in trouble because of the debt it held. Those rumors got to customers who…got their cash out.

I don’t know if this would’ve happened if the markets had seemed to be stable over that weekend. There wouldn’t have been a weekend gap were it not for the politics acted out by John “The Deregulator” McCain. I’d like to see a number on how much money was lost during John John’s lil tantrum.

The Huffington Post reports that, at the last minute of the last hour on the last day, John McCain, in a room of almost unanimous opinions, stood up, threw up on the “country first” ideal and tore the agreement asunder. He proposed a conservative plan which abated capital gains tax and reduced taxes on corporations that bought bad debt. This is a plan Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson didn’t think would work. The negotiations imploded and we all went back to square one.

Playacting. Except, here John McCain wasn’t just screwing off his campaign money…here he was f*cking up international commerce…Right after his lil’ stunt, London, China, Japan and many other markets sank. Moreover when Wall Street suffers, pension plans and mutual savings and municipal funds all break. This ACT II affected more Americans faster and quicker than any vote he has ever made in the Senate.


Eeeeww, this is kinda awkward! See that morning, before the vote, McCain took swoop-in-and-save credit for the bill…and (gulp) saving America. He blamed Obama for standing on the sidelines. Meanwhile the House Minority leader John Boehner and President Bush both claimed that the bill was secure. But no one told a group of Republicans that said, “uh, naw”! By the end of it last week, Obama looked the reasoned/seasoned vet and McCain looked like an impulsive flakey brat…without a party and standing right under Bush. Thus, it has been from the depths of great uncertainty and fear that the two candidates have shown their true Governing style.

I think Senator Barack Obama was ready partly due to a month’s worth of…

Obama Fighting Back


Race Posting
Senator Obama has rallied the hopeful and those determined for a change. In the primaries he went from political phenom to a historic candidate. The Senator from New York lobbed a few dirty shots and Obama took the high road, kinda.

But the general election is different. Droves of Whites will coagulate in a thick fog. They claim to have issues with Obama’s politics but really, it’s about race. McCain knew this and so immediately attacked with “reasons” not to vote for Obama. Untruths really. The idea was to put so much out there that race driven and fence sitting “independents” would have several “reasons” not to vote for Obama. I believe this because on paper, McCain should be done by now. He has openly flip flopped on several issues. Sometimes HOURS apart. His gamble is that there are enough race voting folk in America to juuuust give him an edge.

Say what you want about political ideology and truth and polls and campaigns, but if Obama were White it would be completely over.

I was part of the progressive flotilla flying Obama’s flag that called for the Senator to begin to display some fight. The thing that was missing in the Kerry ranks. Or even the Gore camp.

Turns out I’m a genius.
Okay no I’m not.

But I am brilliant.
Okay no I’m not.

But I can tell the future.
Okay, no I can’t.

But I was right, Senator Obama must fight back…
…no argument here.


I know a lot of you want this campaign to be of an almost King-like movement but Senator Barack Obama is not an activist. He is not a Black activist. He is not a civil rights activist. And he is especially not a peace activist.

He is a politician.

Let’s all take some time away from the pews to put that into real perspective.

He is a POLITICIAN - not an activist!

Good? Okay moving on…

I don’t believe that the Obama campaign’s pause in responding to the McCain smear swamp was due to any great altruistic stance for “above board” politics. They just couldn’t figure it out yet. How to defend and gain the upper hand. And then, Post-Palin, how to go on offense without being truly offensive to the Palin minority? And while they scratched their heads, McCain and Co. grabbed heaping piles of shit and threw them…including sexist charges before the Obama campaign said anything.

As for Palin, well judging from her recent interviews, she is imploding…I was right about that too. Funny thing is that they’re trying to mask it in an “every day” gal wrapper.

Anyway, Senator Barack Obama hit back with a flurry of stern, earnest, strong and humorous remarks and ads to peel Senator McCain’s cap a little. Finally the campaign strikes back without prefaces of “honorable service to this country” or “going to be a formidable opponent” applied to their opponents. Finally, the Senator from Illinois got a little peeved and addressed McCain’s attacks with the level of incredulity they deserve.

Obama“I think it’s pretty clear that Sen. McCain is a little panicked right now, at this point he seems to be willing to say anything or do anything or change any position or violate any principle to try and win this election.”


Right before the first failures, McCain seemed disconnected when he said,


McCain“Our economy, I think, still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong but these are very, very difficult times,”

Fundamentally, I have no idea what he is talking about here.


However, in his new found offense strategy, Obama answered;

Obama"Senator McCain, what economy are you talking about? What is more fundamental than knowing that your life savings are secure? What is more fundamental than knowing you will have a roof over your head at the end of the day?"


McCain re-defined his answer,

McCain“The American economy is in a crisis. It is in a crisis."



And then re-redefined his answer,

McCain"My opponents may disagree, but those fundamentals – the American worker, the innovation, the entrepreneurship, the small business – those are the fundamentals of America, and I think they are strong,"


Obama retorted with an ad that begs the question:


Obama"How can John McCain fix the economy – if he doesn't understand it's broken?"



After claiming a populist mantel of reforming Wall Street via Washingtonian reformation, McCain then accused Obama with being right there in the middle of it (the economic greed).

McCain"We've heard a lot of words from Senator Obama over the course of this campaign," he said. "But maybe, just this once, he could spare us the lectures, and admit to his own poor judgment in contributing to these problems."


Obama answered with the obvious: McCain has been the system for 27 years.

Obama“This morning, Senator McCain gave a speech in which his big solution to this world wide economic crisis was to blame me for it, this is the guy who spent nearly three decades in Washington and after spending the
entire campaign saying I haven’t been in Washington long enough he apparently now is willing to assign me the responsibility for all of Washington’s failures.”

This was something here:




Modus Operandi

Although not too smooth or detailed, Senator Obama chose to try and calm mass panic immediately by putting up an ad outlining a general approach to the recent fallout;

In later speeches he then began to redirect those fears into anger towards a Wall Street culture of greed and the Corporate CEO’s. Well, some of that was unfair because many of the devices at risk and that drive Wall Street come from pension and municipal funds that are bundled in mutual accounts and investments. He took leadership on the issue and then capitalized (I know bad pun) on it for his political advantage towards the Presidency. He blamed Washington, Republicans, Democrats, CEO’s and golden parachutes. Make no mistake Senator Obama is still a politician.

McCain’s approach was a little more complicated. His response to the economic turmoil was to suspend his campaign, call for a debate suspension, go to Washington, turn over the money changers tables, take credit for a “new” bill passing and then blame Obama for non-action. Well he did go to Washington. And he did disrupt the vote. And he voted for a bill today which has $100 billion MORE added to it in pork. In other words, he bargained up. UP! Gov. Palin better hope McCain doesn’t win. Hell, he’ll give Alaska to Norway in a game of “rock, paper, scissor”! This begins to finally shine a light on McCain’s now woefully crippled economic positions. They have exploded in front of everyone!

Columnist Paul Krugman writes:

KrugmanHere’s what McCain has to say about the wonders of market-based health reform:
“Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.”

As I have stated over and over, people react to strength. Finally standing and quoting McCain’s remarks only shows a will to fight back AND diminishes the sniping. Barack never had to answer with smears, but simply repeat McCain’s statements incredulously.

Obama’s showing of strength and clarity and his immediate articulation of solutions has shown McCain’s “theater” to be almost farcical. Indeed today proved it when Obama’s campaign called for an increase in FDIC limits (from $100,000 to $250,000) independently. President Bush did it and McCain had to call for it AND give Obama the credit. Tonight the candidates did the only real thing they could “do” in this morass…vote.

Fighting back, opening up and being prepared tends to create a rhythm that is Quick Clean and Concise. So much so that he looked to be the “leader” during this crisis even though there wasn’t much he could literally “do” about it.

Obama“John McCain’s talked about privatizing social security. Imagine if you had some of your social security money in the stock market right now, how you’d be feeling about the prospects or your retirement. Without social security half of elderly women would be living in poverty. Half. If my opponent had his way millions of Americans would have had their social security tied to stock market this week. Millions would have watched as the market tumbled and their nest egg disappeared before their eyes."

Finally, Barack put out another video to calm the nerves of America (unsuccessfully). The gist of which should be debated by economists. To me what’s important is that he offered leadership without grandstanding but still threw some punches. He also tried to calm world markets. Something that both candidates and the President should have done shoulder to shoulder to shoulder. Not because I am down for Wall Street per se but because what has been rough is gonna get harder and we all need as soft a landing as possible.


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