Friday, September 12


Gail Collins is having none of the doomsaying.

And there is reason to believe that Palin is not quite the electoral catnip that the Republicans (and I) seem to think she is. But there's no questions she's helping McCain - mostly by keeping the coverage away from substantive issues. There's a reason Republicans want this: voters who say the issues are the most important factor for them (as opposed to the candidates' personalities) favor Obama about 60-40 (can't find a link right now but trust me - just saw a poll on this). In the face of that kind of data, the last thing the Republicans want is any discussion of substance.

This election is the ultimate test of the strength of the United States' dwindling reality-based community. It is just extraordinary that the Republics are ahead while carrying the twin burdens of a very unpopular incumbent and hard economic times. But they've figured out that the US has a media and political culture in which reality is no barrier to success (to political success that is, the Bush administration is proof that reality remains a barrier to successful management). So it is possible to run a campaign dominated by easily refutable blatant lies. On the rare occasions you get challenged, you just deny that you denied reality. They intuitively know a deep and dark truth: if you put enough effort into spreading falsehoods, people start to believe the lie.

So Gail Collins can make fun of me all she wants. I still think McCain is going to win.

Sadly, the Onion gets it better than the real media


Blogger Steve Peterson said...

To the extent that democracy works, it does so not because it provides the best government, or even the best government given a range of shitty alternatives -- it works because it gives the majority of people the government they deserve.

5:12 PM  
Blogger dan said...

Agreed - exactly why US elections are so terrifying

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Eric said...

I'm not in my office right now, but on my office door I hung a quote from McCain's campaign manager dated September 2, 2008 in which he says this election is not about issues, it's about the collection of impressions voters develop about the candidates. I think that pretty much says it all as to the cynicism of these folks. They know they don't have an ounce of policy credibility so they need to foster as much celebrity culture as they can. Palin fit that bill. She speaks like a cheerleader running for class president and has about as much intellect as that stereotype carries. Might I recommend excellent commentary on this phenomenon by Tim Wise:

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this Dan. I spent the morning following links, and feeling hopelessly underinformed about the state of the empire.

I've just finished Eliot Weinberger's (excellent) 'What Happened Here', which I read in a continual state of shock.


10:58 PM  

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