The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Little More Light Today

McCain was FAR better last night than he was in the first debates. Sharper, more aggressive, but also more respectful (it actually seem to take effort, but he DID look Obama in the eye), and I think that he may have won (by a narrow margin). He obviously knew this was his very last chance, and didn't leave anything in the locker room. Looked healthier, too. Good for him...and good for America. I want both candidates to bring their very best, so that people can make informed decisions.


Does anyone remember McCain's emotional reactions during the primary more clearly than I? I would love to hear that he treated his other opponents with the same disdain he demonstrated toward Senator Obama. While I think it would be a nightmare to have a president with such poor emotional control (diplomacy, anyone?) I would frankly prefer to think he's generally angry and hostile than...well, bigoted. I mean, he fits the profile (age, gender, voting against MLK day, refusing to meet Obama's eyes, refusing to shake his hand, body language furious, etc.) but I actually used to like McCain. I would hate to put him in that category, although I could still respect him as a human being. So...was he like that in the Primaries, and I just didn't notice?


Really, all I see here is that the country moves from one polarity to another--it's natural and healthy. To elect a Republican...ANY Republican, is to reward the R-Party for the last eight years of governance. Those who believe they've done a good job will vote that way, as is their right and responsibility. The rest of us should vote for the Democrats. Maybe Nader. The President has long, long coattails, and will pull a lot of other officials along with him. Even if McCain is the best candidate, he hasn't specifically repudiated Bush, hasn't drawn the clear distinctions that would convince me he wouldn't fall into some of the same mistakes in the future. I mean--those of you who agree with the Iraq War, please understand that SPECIFICALLY what I would want is someone who would NOT have gone in. I want a President who sees the world as I do, and is at least as smart as I am.


Fox News. What a bunch of cowards. Now that it seems increasingly certain that the Right will lose big, you can feel Fox edging back toward the center. Rush Limbaugh was LIVID this morning that Fox didn't lie and say McCain knocked it out of the park. He came VERY close to saying that Fox should have lied. Wow.


I talk about visualizing the three triangles every morning and night. Body (appearance, energy, function), Mind (Career--earning the amount I've set for myself per day), and Spirit (my relationship with my sister Joyce, Jason, Nicki, and Tananarive. Visualize myself sitting in a semi-circle with them, and addressing each relationship in turn.) A couple of days back, I had a VERY hard time lining up the three triangles so I could "look right down the middle". Now, they're starting to line up. Cool. My take on this is that I'm getting more relaxed with the Hannibal project. We'll be recording the voices next week. That's the "Mind" aspect: exercising skills and opening doors. "Body" is going great. Using Jeff Martone's H2H circuits, the Five Tibetans, yoga, and martial arts...I'm learning how to balance them so that I don't overtrain. I'll know more about how my body is functioning after the BKF workout tomorrow night. And Spirit? Most of my family stuff is going great, and my heart is happy.


Saturday, Nicki and I will drive up to Paso Robles to watch her mom Toni in a dramatic reading. Looking forward to both the drive and the chance to hang out with the Youngs--an absolutely fabulous family. Love them to pieces, really. And Toni's brother Pat is one of my favorite guys in the world. He's a terrific family guy, martial artist, and a seriously hard-working, decent, good man. Should be fun.


Steve Perry said...

To use a boxing metaphor, McCain came out strong, throwing a lot of punches, but he ran out of steam after twenty or thirty minutes, and Obama won on points.

If you want the title, you have to soundly beat the champ, and that didn't happen.

CNN's poll rated it 58% Obama, 31% McCain, and when you adjust for slightly more D's than R's in the survey, the I's put Obama ahead.

In all three of the polls, taken among people who actually watched the debate, Obama's number have steadily climbed, and McCain's have either stayed the same or gone down.

Obama is three-for-three. He stayed calm and cool, and for folks who want a steady hand and a guy who doesn't get riled easily, that's a big win. McCain tried to get a dogfight going and couldn't.

(Somebody ought to point out to McCain that there is a difference between autism and Down Syndrome, too, since he apparently doesn't know there there is.)

Arnold Morellis said...

A great moment from the debate was the Ayers exchange. Clearly, the Obama campaign expected it, and had a well-crafted answer ready. These guys run the best, smartest campaign in recent memory.

In warfare, Obama's prepared response would be like a strongly fortified position. Only an idiot would attack such a position, especially with insufficient firepower. Last night, McCain turned out to be that idiot.

arnold morellis said...

I did like it when McCain said "Good job! Good job!" at the end of the debate. Like his correction of the woman who thought Obama was an Arab, it was another moment when the old McCain shone through - a man with more class and integrity than the image we've been seeing recently.

Anonymous said...

I mostly only listened to the debate - didn't watch the screen much - and I noticed that McCain stumbled over words and phrases a lot. Like when he seemed to refer to his opponent as "Senator Government". Obama sounded very collected by constrast.

Dan Gambiera said...

My dad, who has both a well-trained clinical eye and the perspective of being elderly himself, was a little alarmed. He pointed out a hitch in the inhale that accompanied almost every McCain speech in that debate. In his considered opinion it does not speak well for the Arizona Senator's general health and stamina.

If the debate does that is he physically up to the rigors of the office?

mjholt said...

McCain's use of the wrong word or the repetition of odd phrases concerns me. He obvious disdain for Obama, bothers me, too. Perhaps not for the reasons you might think.

His behaviors remind me of my father in the first (very confusing for me) years of Alzheimer's, before he was diagnosed. It could be the heart medicine or even cancer medicine, but that just does not explain the goof-ups of a well-practiced, slick politician like McCain. His mental acuity and his ability to speak have been a hallmark of his career.

Particularly the inappropriate disdain of Obama, which smacks of racism (which McCain should be smart enough to hide) reminds me of times when my father had another train of thought choo-choo through his head.

Cathy Doyle said...

I think that McCain is beyond annoyed that this young guy has bested him, this was his time, he waited out the Bush administration, after all. I don't remember this level of anger during the primaries, but it was a much different environment then.

And I think that the whole Joe the Plumber business was careless beyond belief. Once again, his news cycle is taken up by the vetting his team should have done beforehand, rather than the point he was trying to get across.

And I did see something really funny last night. MSNBC covered both McCain and Obama speaking at the Alfred Smith dinner last night, for Catholic Charities. Both of them were very funny, taking many of the points that they've been talking about over the past couple of weeks and turning them to humor. Their speechwriters did a great job and so did they. Seek it out and have a laugh.

Anonymous said...

"I think that the whole Joe the Plumber business was careless beyond belief."

Is Joe the Plumber supposed to actually represent a winning issue for Obama? Because the way he's been covered in the media for the last few days strikes me as slightly appalling.

If you're an unrepentant former would-be murderer like Bill Ayers, you're OK, and the media will barely deign to admit your existence; but if you're a plumber who Obama walks up to and talks with, and you say the "wrong" things, then the left-wing noise machine will spend several days deconstructing your life.

If this is going to be the general result when ordinary citizens presume to disagree with The One, I predict a rather absurd and ugly four years.

--Erich Schwarz

Steven Barnes said...

Ayers has been old news for thirty-forty years. Someone new in the news cycle gets all the attention. That's the way it's always been. Both Right and Left have their noise machines. If you're just noticing it, welcome to the jungle. Those on the Left have noticed the "Right Wing" machine shouting everyone down for the last ten years. Turnabout is no fun at all.

Cathy Doyle said...

To anon

No, Joe isn't a winning issue for Obama, it's just another example of how careless they are in vetting people. It took the media all of five minutes to find out his name wasn't Joe, he didn't own a plumbing business, he didn't pay taxes, etc.. What they're not used to is the fact that the media is finally examining Republican claims with the same level of detail that they do to similar Democratic claims.

And I don't think that anyone has said what Bill Ayers did was OK (besides the fool himself.)

Anonymous said...

"Ayers has been old news for thirty-forty years."

When, in this election, have the media considered Ayers news at all? Never, as far as I can tell. I know more about Joe's tax returns than I do about the details of Ayers' association with Obama, despite the fact that Obama's been running for the Presidency for two years and Ayers is a former terrorist, while Joe is merely some ordinary person who Obama walked up to at his own house, insisted on talking with, and got an insufficiently deferential question from.

Bad mistake. Joe should have just servilely agreed with Obama; then he'd still have his normal life.

"If you're just noticing it, welcome to the jungle."

I've noticed it for decades, but until fairly recently, there was -- I thought -- a general understanding that the "jungle" applied to people who do politics for a living, and who could be reasonably considered consenting adults to this sort of nonsense. It was not, I once imagined, applied to people who were minding their own damned business and exercising their First Amendment right to not utterly worship the Left's latest Kwizach Haderach.

If you walk up to an ordinary citizen going about his lawful activities at his own home, and you talk with him, and he makes the mistake of asking you something that you find politically inconvenient, that's a news story about you, not about that ordinary citizen. If you're living in a sane country, anyway.

So, now you're telling me that that sort of sanity's gone, and the Left is salivating at the prospect of four years of this nonsense?

OK. So, at some point in the next half-decade, should I manage to sufficiently blaspheme against Pres. Obama, I also can expect the entire freaking human race to learn about my divorce, my past health problems, any complaint that any coworker had about me, any irregularities in my finances, and any details of my personal life from disgruntled ex-girlfriends.

Of course, that pretty much'll make it my categorical duty to try to get on the Enemies List. But is that what "hope and change" is going to end up meaning?

--Erich Schwarz

Anonymous said...

Cathy Doyle wrote:

"It took the media all of five minutes to find out his name wasn't Joe ..."

You're right. His actual name is "Samuel Joseph (Joe) Wurzelbacher". Good that the media could tear themselves away from their furious scrutiny of Obama's campaign finances [1] to unmask that nefarious deception!

"... he didn't own a plumbing business..."

And with the revival of Carternomics as Obamanomics, presumably Joe's misguided aspiration to own a business in the future will be, properly, squelched by his betters. Phew!

"...he didn't pay taxes..."

Apparently, neither did Obama's campaign treasurer -- but, after all, such pecadillos are irrelevant for servants of The One!

Like I said: 2009-2012 are shaping up to be an absurd and ugly four years. Though they'll at least be amusing, for some value of "amusing".

--Erich Schwarz

[1] Oh, how I kid.

Steven Barnes said...

It is palely amusing to me that the Right refers to Obama's "Messiah" or "The One" aspects FAR more often than anyone on the Left ever did. And trust me--there is nothing you can point to on the Left that Lefties can't find a similar or equally irritating tendency on the Right. Considering the way Leftie radio folks complain about the MSM being TOTALLY in the tank for Bush, and even their former love affair with McCain, and the way the average American knows WAY more about Obama's early childhood and life than McCain's at this point--trying to suggest that no one on the Right owns, runs, edits, or reports for newspapers, radio, or television is just absurd. So huge conglomerates, taking over the news divisions a'la Network are all Left leaning? I'm sure it seems so if you are far enough on the Right. Just as it seems the media is on the Right if you are far enough on the Left.

suzanne said...

Like I said: 2009-2012 are shaping up to be an absurd and ugly four years. Though they'll at least be amusing, for some value of "amusing".

how sad
(but unsurprising)
that you believe this way

Anonymous said...

"It is palely amusing to me that the Right refers to Obama's 'Messiah' or 'The One' aspects FAR more often than anyone on the Left ever did."

Hey, we pale right-wingers aren't the one who made Obama say that his nomination "was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow". Nor did we claim that he was a "lightworker".

However: do a Google search for "Obama Kwizach Haderach": over the entire World Wide Web, zero hits.

So, if that particular derisive comparison becomes commonplace, I can honestly claim to have invented it! How many people do you know who've originated a conservative talking point? Echoed one, sure. But started one?

See, it's not enough for me to get put onto the Enemies List -- I have to earn my way onto it. You know, that whole conservative "bootstraps" thing.

--Erich Schwarz