If you're an American and a registered voter you're probably not paying a lick of attention to the mid-term elections. Not voting is soooo American. Oh, if you read this blog, you probably care. Or if you're my parents, the kind of folks who vote rain or shine because someone died so they could do so, care. But then, my parents are hardcore, 60 Minutes watching, Meet the Press watching, Chris Matthews mocking, Maddow/Olbermann/Stewart Democratic voters in a swing state. As far as they're concerned, every election is an important election. But the attitude that many have towards mid-terms are not the same.
Entries in Missouri (8)
In one weekend, Barack Obama received crowds of 100,000 and 75, 000 respectively in Missouri, his campaign announced raising more than $150 million in September, he's up in Virginia and North Carolina and Gen. Colin Powell endorsed him Meet the Press.
This is a lot, A LOT, of good news going into Monday and if we've learned anything from the last few go 'rounds the McCain Campaign cannot allow all this to become the news story du jour. None of this is helpful to the Republican candidate. This is so much "rah rah rah Obama" news that it will completely block out Gov. Sarah Palin's tethered performance on Saturday Night Live.
I don't think the appearance hurt her in any capacity, but it further solidified the point that she's limited in her scope. The best bit was in seeing her sway side-to-side while Amy Poehler performed a hip hop number in her honor.
But seeing her and Tina Fey quickly cross each paths like a pair of voodoo black cats isn't enough to silence Powell's statements that the narrowing scope of the campaign and McCain's judgment in selecting Palin as veep sent him running to Team Obama.
So what stunt will be pulled Monday? Where will the juggling bears and the dancing girls come from this time? Just how many trick ponies does John McCain own? I prepared for the Republicans to do their best to explain why Colin Powell is no longer relevant. That pretty much started the minute the interview was over with.
On Face the Nation, Missouri Gov. Matt "Little Boy" Blunt told Bob Schieffer the endorsement didn't matter, then dug into the crates with the "Obama = celebrity" meme when explaining how The Great Hopemongerer pulled 175,000 folks in Missouri rallies. Did I mention Matt Blunt is a highly unpopular governor who chose not to run for re-election rather than face certain doom to the Democrats this year? He took one for the team and got out of the Missouri Republican Party's way so they could at least have a shot at the retaining Jefferson City.
Blunt had his talking points. Endorsements don't matter. Even when they're from the guy behind the "Powell Doctrine," who is generally liked by both parties, is an iconic military figure and has played ball with the Republicans for the last few decades.
And Powell and John McCain are "friends."
But saying that alone isn't going to make it go away. It'll take something crazy and unexpected. Perhaps something clever involving Donald Trump and Heidi Montag, or Sarah Palin suspending her campaign to go hunt Osama bin Laden. Or McCain naming Joe Lieberman and "Joe the Plumber" as Palin's co-veeps. Or McCain calling for some random person within government to "step down."
Maybe he'll challenge Obama to a duel. Anything to keep the Irate Talk Express rolling and straight jacking for news cycles. Whatever it takes!
I realize that Missouri is a "red state." Because of this some folks were surprised that Barack Obama pulled down his largest stateside lookie-loo turnout in my hometown Saturday, but in all fairness -- St. Louis is the New York City of Missouri. The Democratic Party has run the city for decades now under the threat of no one, nearly all the self-identified Liberals are from here and a solid majority of city dwellers are African American. Also good chunk of St. Louis County (namely North County) is African American. And it was St. Louis and Kansas City who helped Obama win Missouri during the Democratic primaries.
So, if Barack Obama was going to haul 100,000 supporters out of the middle of the country we were the place to be. That doesn't mean St. Louis is some black, Liberal Mecca. (God, no! If anything it's so horribly the opposite.) And it doesn't mean this feat isn't impressive, because it's obviously impressive. I'm just saying ...
Missouri is complicated.
That said ... stand in awe of the Gateway Arch, the Jefferson Expansion Memorial and more 100,000 people. (Photos by The Associated Press and AFP)
A roadside billboard sprung up in West Plains, Missouri, recently, featuring a caricature of Barack Obama wearing a turban along with the message "Barack 'Hussein' Obama equals more abortions, same sex marriages, taxes, gun regulations." While some members of that community are shocked and disgusted—the Obama campaign dismissed it as "a distraction"—other locals are of the opinion that if you don't like that sign you can drop dead.
Thank you for not disappointing me with your racism and ignorance, Missouri. Makes me feel right at home (and put in my place as a Negress). Kudos to you, ignoramuses!
Stop me if you haven't heard this before -- Missouri is the Show-Me State.
It's our motto of sorts, conveying that Missourians are a "don't talk about it, be about it" people. Of course, if you ask most Missourians I'm not a real Missourian because I'm from the "Sodom and Gomorrah" of the Mississippi River. From your most Catholic American city outside of New Orleans, La. and Boston, Mass. -- St. Louis.
I'm a St. Louisan, which is not one-in-the-same with being "Missourian." For one, a lot of us insist on pronouncing Missouri "Missoureee," proving how questionable we are.
St. Louis and Kansas City have all the money, sports teams, corporations and racial tensions of any mid-to-large sized Midwestern city, but the real Missouri (which is pronounced "Missourah" there), runs the state. Former St. Louis Mayor Vince Schoemehl's dreams of being mayor were destroyed in 1992 when he referred to his Democratic rival, country dweller Mel Carnahan, as the Redneck from Rolla. Schoemehl, an idiot, forgot that the vast majority of the Missouri voting public were from small towns like Rolla and were, quite proudly, Rednecks, but didn't appreciate some big city Liberal flinging it around like the N-word.
Carnahan became our governor for two terms, only later to die tragically in an aviation accident a few weeks before the 2000 senate election. In death, Carnahan went on to beat "Let the Eagle's Soar" singer/songwriter, Republican (and former Missouri governor) John Ashcroft, who, for not bitching too much about the loss, was rewarded with being named Attorney General of the United States.
But politically, this is the environment of Missouri. KC partisans to the left of me, St. Louis Liberals to the right and here I am, stuck in the backwoods with you ...
Despite this ideological divide, Missourians and Missou-rahans can join together on things like getting a presidential or vice presidential debate. Washington University in St. Louis, our most prestigious private university in the state is playing host. Somehow the university has managed to snag one of these high profile debates every four years since 1992. This vice presidential debate, about to start in less than two hours central time (it's about 6 p.m. now), will finally end one level of ridiculousness before moving us on to the next.
Wednesday, Chris Matthews actually carried on a discussion as to whether or not Joe Biden should pull out Sarah Palin's chair for her -- even though both will be standing during this debate. Right now, commercials are airing attacking either Palin or John McCain's judgment in picking Palin and both in terms I would describe as cruel and crueler.
The first, repeatedly shown on CNN featured footage of aeral wolf hunts, essentially making the accusation that Palin is a cruel wolf killing, animal hater (Defender of Wildlife Action Fund). The second was borderline inappropriate if only because it featured a power ballad with the chorus "One Heartbeat Away," damning headlines about Palin's controversial decisions as mayor and governor with an image of a steadily fading away McCain as a heart monitor flatlines (CA Nurses Association). I'm against McCain, but a flatline? Really? The song's catchy and funny, if it were a skit on Saturday Night Live or The Daily Show, but as a campaign ad?
I'm guessing that ad will probably be pulled come the next few days.
I don't know how Missouri is going to go in the election. The race is close here, but some pundits are putting us in Barack Obama's column even though I still think we're still a toss-up. Missouri tends to pick the winner because we're a bellwether state. We go as the country goes. But as with Schoemehl, I hope everyone, from Biden to the surrogates to Obama himself, stay away from accidentally insulting an entire subgroup of people in an effort to get one over on their opponent. I want people to be hard-hitting, but not ignorantly swinging away. Especially when they're technically in the lead.
I don't expect Biden to call Palin the Redneck from Wasilla. But Palin could also stand to avoid heading down the well worn path of snide and divide if only because as a St. Louisan who gets tired of being lambasted for the audacity of being multicultural, "different" and "not one of us." I get tired of hearing intelligence and exceptionalism bashed, along with any religion that doesn't involve Jesus (and I love Jesus, but it's not necessary to be jerks). I don't need another us against them, I'm a real American because I shop at Wal-Mart and you aren't because you like Target. It's incredibly dumb. But I know why people do this because it is easier to play to the lowest of human nature, to our lizard, primate brains, than to appeal to any sort of logic or critical thinking.
We say we're from the "show me state," but our criticizes will gladly -- like all Americans -- take the lazy route and just say, "tell me." Tell me exactly what I want to hear.
I'll be watching for sport. Not for knowledge, but I do love a good fight. It'll either be dull as dirt or highly insane.
Here's one vote for chaos.
I know. I'm shocked too. To think that a mere eight years ago he was being attacked for having Vietnam War PTSD, that his wife was a pill-pooping loony and he had an illegitimate black child. But there he is, beaming at me from my TV.
John McCain: The Thing That Would Not Die.
Not since Bruce Willis has one thing been so recalcitrant to allowing himself to be euthanized like a mangy old dog. By refusing to go away he lingers around, one-to-three points behind Barack in the polls, nipping at his heels.
It isn't pretty to watch, but as the slogan said for our St. Louis Blues' loser hockey team last season, "Whatever it takes." They were going to do whatever it took to win back the fickle fans of St. Louie who really only love the Cardinals and politely tolerate whatever other pro-teams we have right now. They were going to do it, all out, whatever it takes.
That's not how it worked exactly, but John McCain is working with something a little better than what our star-crossed hockey team has been dealing with since their inception in 1967.
So far "Whatever it takes" has come in the form of a political ad bombardment in Missouri, a swing state. I've seen three different versions of the "celebrity" ad and a few other ads that work to convince me that Obama is going to harm my children through punitive tax hikes. If I weren't a close watcher of the news I'd think this Obama fella was some sort of new age cultist with a fawning legion of Obamabots who is really the Antichrist who wants to bring back debtors prisons and lock our little white children away in them into perpetuity or at least until we fork out enough dough to keep us making the Saudis rich for decades to come.
Barack's ads have been aplenty, but none of them are burning their way through my retinas. They lack the kick 'n da balls touch that only MoveOn.org can bring or the jackboot self-righteousness to the Adam's apple of a VoteVets.org ad. I'm not saying Obama needs to truck out the cringeworthy white women clutching their babies saying John McCain can't have them. But this weak tea he's swishing around in the form of "John McCain is distorting my record is not working."
I'm living in "Obama is a secret Muslim-stan" over here.
Look. I'm from Missouri. Born and raised. A state where city folk go from pronouncing the state Misoureee to Missouraaah the minute a statewide election takes place. Where they all, farm boy and city slicker alike, pose next to a tractor/horse/bale of hay/corn field, don some flannel and tell me why the other guy is not "one of us."
When Mel Carnahan ran for governor in the democratic primary back in the 1990s, St. Louis Mayor Vince Schoemehl infamously referred to good ol' boy by Mel as the "Redneck from Rolla."
I don't need to tell you how that election turned out.
The St. Louis and Kansas City may ring in the cash and culture, but it's the rest of the state who elects the government. Quite frankly, there are more of them than us and they know it. In the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton swept Carnahan land. It took the city of St. Louis to close the deal and win the state for Obama. Ergo, Obama can't keep fighting fire with baby wipes. He needs a strategic strike. Something not as strong as Gen. Wesley Clark's words which were distorted (if being a POW prepared a man negotiating with Vladamir Putin. The guy is a former intelligence officer.) But he can't truck out anything so weak that it leaves no lasting impression.
These people voted for Bush ... TWICE. They aren't going to be swayed by a handshake and a smile. It's time to throw down the gauntlet in Missouri, but McCain, a man with nothing to lose, has been a whirling, nonsensical, political dervish since he was put under new management.
If I may, here are some things the Obama campaign (and their proxies) could do to sling McCain right out of my swing state:
1. How many times can you put a picture of Bush and McCain in an ad? As far as I'm concerned, never enough. Preferably the one with them kissing each other and Maury Povich yelling, "John McCain ... YOU ARE the war's father!" Even in the sticks, Bush isn't particularly popular around here.
2. John McCain is not one of "us." Turn the tables on that. Have them take a long look at the man with the billionairess bride, who lives in finery, who hasn't the faintest clue of what us broke people have to deal with in this economy, his embrace of Bushinomics, where are like Regeanomics, only stupider. Point out the privileged playboy upbringing. That it was his dad who pulled the strings to get him into the academy. Very different from Barack the bootstraps boy, with the single mom, raised by his grandparents who had to ... I don't know ... actually be gifted and talented to succeed. Not just the guy in charge's son.
3. Can't be a maverick if you agree with Bush on everything!
4. Sexist revealed! Stop allowing McCain to insult the women-folk. For any malingerers in the Clinton camp, at the end of the day, Obama has to be the lesser of two evils. McCain couldn't even answer if it was unfair that some health insurance companies covered Viagara, but not birth control.
And I don't know about the other sisters out there doin' it for themselves, but I did not appreciate McCain's team trucking out the two most repellent women ever to compare Obama to. They couldn't throw up Ben Affleck, Andy Dick or Terrell Owens? Brett Farve? Russell Crowe? Justin Timberlake? K. Fed? No. It had to be the women folk. One who is a tragic narcissist who hawks cheap hair weave and hamburgers, and the other who has deep seeded mental issues. Because the only thing stupider than a stupid man is a stupid woman, right? That's why it's funny? Because they're two chicks who don't wear underwear and he's a Harvard Law Grad.
Then there was the one McCain made at his wife's expense at a biker rally where they hosted a beauty pageant. He joked about getting Cindy McCain to participate, sort of glossing over the fact that this beauty contest was the trashiest thing a bunch of drunk bikers on a summer's day could come up with.
Lord, how many more Botox-injected indignities must that woman face?
5. Lastly, John McCain is pretty much a gaffe machine. Things I expected to blanket the airwaves (Sunni or Shia? To drill or not to drill? My cone of silence came with a crib sheet. MLK needs no holiday. What's slinging the word "gook" around between friends? That whole Keating 5 thing. How I learned to stop worrying and love the Bushes. The economy's just peachy. I got so many houses I can't remember to pay taxes on them all. Pick a gaffe! Any gaffe!)
Policy debates are nice. But for the casual viewer they are boring. And Obama knows it, America knows it -- McCain is a one-trick pony. All he has is the war and the fact that he's the white dude. No one trusts him on any issue but the war. If he picks pro-abortion former Penn. Gov. Tom Ridge as his veep, he will reopen a wound that never really closed for evangelicals.
When the war is going bad, it hurts him. When the war is going well, it hurts him. But the war is all he has. So if he wants to call you unpatriotic, you call him a warmonger. You call him a sexist, duplicitous warmonger who has dropped his maverick status to be Bush's flunky. And you package all that in a clever, funny, but brutal ad. And you play it all the time.
I can see it now. Problems would pop up on the screen -- housing crisis, poverty, healthcare, the thinning out of the middle class, job loss, warmongering, international affairs, terrorism, our crumbling infrastructure and out of the sky would come a hammer slamming down on every problem, shattering it, but still making a mess. And the voice of God would intone, "To a man with a hammer every problem looks like a nail." Showing Iraq and Afghanistan being smashed, but the terrorists remaining. Tag line: It's time to get some new tools.
I'm The Black Snob and I approved this message.
This has nothing to do with nothing, but I was downtown in a government office today and saw this portrait of our current Governor Matt Blunt and was dumbstruck at what had to be the feyest, most effete depiction of a politician since 1787 when the politicians still fancied white curly wigs, knickers, brass buckles and stockings.
OK. That was hyperbole. The picture isn't that queer, but maybe it's the way his left hand is clasped over his right wrist, resting on his thigh while he pertly sits on the edge of a chair giving him the illusion of a slight hour glass figure.
Not noticing it? I'll ramble on anyway. This will only take a minute.
Our governor is quite amazingly not embroiled in any current sex scandals, is not a "toilet stall" trisexual. He doesn't have a healthy appetite for hookers (that I know of) or underage interns and pages (that I know of). He's also not involved alleged corruption schemes, like building some bridges to nowhere, I think there's at least four degrees of separation between him and Jack Abramoff, and he hasn't started any intractable wars on false pretenses. Nope, all Blunt has is good ol' fashion cronyism and ethics violations!
Just takes me back to a simpler time where political crisis were all complicated, dull or hard to follow (Iran-Contra, anyone? Teapot Dome Scandal?)
Yet despite only being yellow threat level corrupt he's stepping down after only one term. I think it had something to do with everyone hating him for cutting Medicaid. While I can't say I'm a fan of Lil' Boy Blunt (re: he's a Republican, son of Rep. Roy Blunt), he sure was an especially boyish, sweet-faced looking governor which probably contributed to the fey, foppish dandy thing he has going on in this picture.
But then maybe it's just me? Right?
It's me, isn't it? OK. You're probably right ... but I don't care!
That picture is totally fey!
Well, I don't want to pat myself on the back, but I think St. Louis County and City helped push Barack Obama across that Missouri finish line, edging out Hillary Clinton by almost 10,000 votes. That was all St. Louis, baby. Because down state and the rural counties all flipped Clinton (unsurprisingly).
This is because St. Louis is the east coast of Missouri, your downgrade New York and Kansas City is our barbecue loving western cousin. Both places are stuffed full with black people and educated, upper class Liberals, two groups Obama is racking up.
The rest of the state is as Red as they come out in the rural areas. You might as well be in Arkansas when you get out in the Ozarks or hanging out in the boot heel.
Despite St. Louis' valiant effort to ram Obama through, Clinton gathered enough votes county and city-wide to split the state almost evenly with Obama. Because of this the win is more for bragging rights. Missouri's delegates will be split evenly between Obama and Clinton. Hence the Missouri Compromise reference.
So the fight goes on with Obama and Clinton in a tough race for the nomination. I have to admit, this is rather exciting. I've been a political observer since I was around 12 and this is the first hotly contested, dog-fight for delegates race I've ever seen. It was thrilling to stay up until 1 a.m. to see how the states flipped. Gosh, I wish every presidential election were like this. Of course, I could still do without the pundits, but what can you do.
Side note: Michelle Obama is the snazziest potential first lady in the pack. No matter what event she's is killing it in the clothes department. She's got Nancy Reagan's touch of glam and Jackie Kennedy's loads o' class. I have never seen her in an outfit that wasn't innovative, yet feminine. Her clothes hearken back to old school pillbox n' pearls chic mixed with the avant-garde. Her hair is always on point. I think I'm going to have put together a Michelle Obama photo fashion show, because someone needs to dole out bona fides for her ability to put it together with amazing efficiency.