Saturday, July 26, 2008

I Predict They Deliver

A couple days ago, I said that I thought the press would turn Obama's trip abroad in to a plus for John McCain, who spent the week eating in a German restaurant and having an awful photo-op in a grocery store, having a fake conversation with a hand-picked local supporter. McCain's campaign seems to be run by the same people who ran Michael Dukakis' infamous 1988 Presidential run, not able to catch a break even from the weather. Obama, on the other hand, was practically tongue kissed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, previously the darling of the right.

According to this overview by a diarist at Daily Kos, not only did the press somehow step up and try to turn Obama's triumph in to some kind of negative, they did so using the same word - presumptuous. This commenter says roughly the same thing I do about this entire story:
It's interesting how the corporate media sets up these ridiculous narratives to screw Democrats. You'd almost think they were getting their talking points from the RNC. ("Gambling? Here? I'm shocked!")

Before the trip the narrative was "This is a big test for Obama. If he makes any mistakes, it proves he's not ready to be President."

Then when he completely kicked ass and made no mistakes (while McCain was back here making a gaffe a day) the narrative became "He's presumptious" for being so competent and awesome. Hand it to the propagandists in the corporate media to somehow turn a brilliant flawless performance on the world stage into a negative. It really is bat shit fucking insane.

That word, presumptuous, is a nice, polite off-hand way of saying that Obama is an uppity nigger. Period. Not only that, he has the audacity to be accepted by leaders of other countries as an important person. Of course, there are those on the right who dismiss the opinions of people and leaders from other countries, especially when those opinions don't jibe with their own.

Back in 1999, George W. Bush was questioned on his knowledge of world leaders. In a bit of historical irony, or perhaps an instance of karma turning around and leaving big old teeth marks on his butt, he famously couldn't answer when asked who was the leader of Pakistan (then in the news because of the coup that led to the military dictatorship of Gen. Prevez Musharaf). When that interview took place there was a howl of rage from many pundits, who insisted that such knowledge was unnecessary to be President (which turned out to be true, in a minimalist kind of way). They called the interview the worst kind of "gotcha" journalism, a kind of verbal mugging. They did everything but promise to coach Bush for any future encounters.

The goal posts constantly move around for Republicans and Democrats, but in different directions. When a Republican candidate for President, whether George W. Bush or John McCain, shows basic incompetence, or even a tendency towards a certain lack of understanding, excuses are made until what should be evidence of a lack of qualifications becomes a plus. On the other hand, when a Democrat not only has a record of competence, but rises to certain occasions with aplomb and class, that doesn't matter, because the original demands have suddenly morphed in to a new set demands that weren't even visible before. For example, Michael Dukakis ran on a record of more-than-competent governance, including a sterling environmental record as Governor of Massachusetts. George H. W. Bush stages a photo-op in Boston harbor, where journalists can take pictures of dirty water while the then-VP claims he wants to be the "environmental President", thus juxtaposing an image and a good sound-bite that are neither related to one another nor true with the honest record of a good Administrator.

Obama is chastised for not going overseas, so he not only does so, he does so in style, with an agility and ability that is stunning, especially given the past seven years when we all cringe whenever the sitting President goes to another country and embarrasses all of us. Because he outshone not only McCain, who whined today because he didn't get the press Obama did, but our current sitting President (not that that's hard; my St. Bernard could do better), he is, therefore, "presumptuous" to have done so.

Suck it up, Republicans. Obama knocked the entire week out of the park, out of the parking lot. McCain got a chili dog when he ordered nachos, and complained about the lousy seats he had behind third base.

Virtual Tin Cup

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