Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The enemy, defined

Daily Kos has produced a poll in which self-identified Republicans, of whom nothing more needs to be said at this point than they must truly be witless to remain so, responded to a whole host of questions about issues and President Obama. The answers are among the most depressing data points I've ever seen compiled in one document. Among the lowlights is this tidbit, surely the most ironic answer ever, given the outrageously "patriotic" noise these clowns make: 42% of the respondents either think their state should secede or aren't sure.
Simply put: yikes.
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The Presidency done right

I've been highly critical of President Obama. I don't think he's really a liberal, let alone a *gasp* "Socialist" (I wish!), but I do think his heart and mind are in the right place. As evidence, please take a couple of breaks from your daily grind to watch him in action the way the President of the US is supposed to work.
His visit to the House Republicans late last week has already become the stuff of legend. Not because he blasted them all to smithereens with pointed rhetoric or angry vengeance--which would have been justly deserved and a balm to all sane people everywhere--but rather because he showed his abilities off to the greatest advantage. He placed himself in the lion's den, to be sure, and he more than held his own against some truly ignorant questions and wrongheaded attacks. The best thing about this, though, was that it was televised so everybody could see (and thanks to the internet, will always be freely able to see) the exchange. This interview wasn't about Obama talking to a bunch of neanderthal thugs, but instead about our President talking to us, the American people at large. That he was simultaneously able to fairly well embarrass some unthinking Republican Party hacks in Congress was the bonus that could very well pay off politically as well. This is how modern politics should work; this is how a President is supposed to communicate
A much less heralded (so far) interaction took place yesterday on YouTube, where President Obama showed even more adroitness in handling himself. Anyone could have foreseen what questions--or at least what kinds of questions--a Republican drone would ask him, but taking questions from the masses themselves? Talk about potential pitfalls! Granted, there were some editorial choices made by the YouTube host, but one truly gets the impression that there was nothing scripted about the exchanges.
A number of years ago I was thinking about how Democrats could circumvent the right wing's ownership of American mass media, and stuff like this was exactly what I thought they should be doing (to toot my own horn, of course!). Bypass the media in any way possible, and for someone like the President, it's as easy as this. For people as rich as any Senator, it would be just as simple as well; buying up airtime on the teevee worked for Ross Perot--I watched his infomercials in 1992, and so did millions of other people, because the concept of actually taking one's case to the public directly is so refreshing these days it has great appeal. It works, and I applaud the President for doing it. The fact that he's smart enough to be able to take on all comers in this fashion is enormously satisfying, especially after having endured 8 years of Smirky manipulating the public at every "managed" opportunity. The only question I have is: why didn't you start this last year, Mr. President?

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