August: The Non-Month In Politics. And Everything Else.

People are looking at the August polls and, depending on which side of the aisle you come down on, are either seeing the sky falling or it’s raining McCain (Hallelujah, they might add). My take on the August polls?


Let’s look at this realistically, shall we? What has John McCain done since Hillary conceded the nomination to Barack Obama? It looks suspiciously like he’s auditioning to be The Daily Show‘s conservative voice. His ads comparing Obama to Britney and Paris are laughable at best. He’s spent a lot of time talking about the man from Illinois, and most of it sounds like fodder for Letterman’s nightly monologue.

What did Barack Obama do?

He went to a foreign country for vacation. Oh, wait. Hawaii’s a state. Damn you, Cokie Roberts! Damn you!

In short, August has been a textbook example of why the French take the month off. Wouldn’t you?

In August, Congress is out. Publishing is dead to the world. My wife, who works in the already-dormant mortgage industry has spent the month on in-cube sabbatical because everyone who’s buying a house (All 3 of them nationwide during this economic downturn) have already moved this summer. The singles, DINKs, and empty nesters are all cramming in vacations before diving into the housing market after Labor Day. (Actually, in this housing market, it’s one single guy, one DINK couple, and a pair of empty nesters. That’s about it.) So it is at BigHugeCo, where everyone’s too busy with kids and vacations to either report they’ve broken stuff or even to actually break it. Looking back at my workload for the month, I should have finished my latest novel and come up with an hour of solid standup material by now.

So it is with politics. McCain’s campaign isn’t even trying. Obama soaked up some rays prior to heading for Denver. The most strenuous thing he’s done all month is meet Joe Biden in Springfield (where presumably they criticized Monty Burns for endorsing George Bush for a third term.)

It’s hard for me as an Obama supporter to get worked up over the current polls. The candidates haven’t done anything worth mentioning (unless you’re one of those wingnuts who thought Obama catching The Dark Knight at a Hilo cinaplex newsworthy. Then you’re a moron.) Were I a McCain backer, I’d pretty much yawn until the GOP big show next week.

Actually, I’ll probably skip that, much like I’m skipping the Dems’ big show in Denver this year. I have Family Guy and Ice Road Truckers eps I’ve TiVo’d, and really can’t be bothered with conventions. Spoiler alert: Obama and McCain are the nominees. The last bit of suspense until the first Tuesday in November will be resolved this weekend, by which time, McCain will have announced his VP pick.

After that, it’s really just a nail-biter for the undecideds.

Oh, and you people backing Nader this year?

Would you people please just move the hell to Canada already and quit pretending your guy is relavant? Even George Bush is scratching his head, and he owes his job to Nader.

At Long Last, Political Establishment, Have You No Shame?

John McCain, a man gracious enough to tolerate the Warren Harding of his generation to raise funds for him, has kissed enough babies with full diapers to get the GOP nom. Barack Obama has narrowly defeated the first viable female candidate for president and is seriously considering her as his running mate.

Now McCain wants Obama to join him in 10 town hall-style debates between now and the election in November.  “What a welcome change it would be were presidential candidates in our time to treat each other and the people they seek to lead with respect and courtesy as they discussed the great issues of the day, without the empty sound bites and media-filtered exchanges that dominate our elections,” he says.

Barry, I say go for it.  If you’re serious about change, if you’re serious about doing business differently, you need to take McCain up on this.  I know this is salt in the wounds of people who live for partisan rancour and ideological chest beating, but so what?  Those people have wrecked America.  If they don’t like it…

Well, it’s your turn to whine about moving to Canada.  Just do us a favor.

Follow through.

(Sorry, Canada.  We have to send the True Believers of both colors somewhere.  If it makes you feel better, send them to Newfoundland.)

She’s Being Evited

Looks like Ohio and Texas are must-wins for Hillary Clinton, the woman once considered the “Inevitable Next President of the United States.”  While that alone proves America will vote for a female president, it also proves there’s no such thing as an inevitable candidate.

And now the attacks are getting lame.  Even Fox News, which still trots out the “closet Muslim” myth mainly to fill air time these days, doesn’t seem as enthused to embrace the thinnest of smears against Obama.  One senses that even on the right side of the spectrum, people really don’t want to choose between another old white guy and another political dynasty.  The best anyone’s come up with against Barack Obama that doesn’t have me falling out of my chair laughing* is lack of experience.

And lack of experience, ladies and gentlemen, seems to be Obama’s strength.  One suspects the package Hillary is selling will be bought by the electorate, especially since she is appealing to many conservatives as an alternative to John McCain, but that Obama will be collecting the commission.

The fact is people are sick of the establishment.  And for once, we have a smart man who likes building bridges, can run with good ideas, isn’t shifting his stance every time a new poll comes out, and just happens to be different enough from everyone else in the race to send a message to the rest of the world that America is better than its current leadership has demonstrated.

I’m not one of those who believes that Obama will solve all our problems, that beer will spout from every public fountain, and unicorns will magically appear** under his administration.  I simply think we have the best chance of repairing our relations in the world – and only paranoid moron thinks we don’t need the world – and squelching this red state/blue state bullshit that’s poisoned the nation for the past 7 years.

I have no doubt Hillary can pull it off.  I’m sure John McCain can make policies I don’t like work for everybody.  Believe me, this is an election I’m not going to lose sleep over for once.  But I’ve already made my choice. 

And it’s not business as usual.

Welcome back to 1980.

*Or wondering why Tod Goldberg isn’t attacking the person as a fucktard.  I mean they can’t all be writing to Parade, can they?

**Because everyone knows this Administration has diverted millions in unicorn research to Halliburton.

Independent’s Wet Dream

You have absolutely no idea how giddy this makes me.

The presidential race is now down to two men who appreciate the importance of reaching across the aisle and compromising for the good of the nation and a Third Way Democrat. (And if you read this space regularly, you already know what I think of the first and second ways. If you don’t, here’s a hint: They suck.)

I can live with McCain. He might be pro-life, but he’ll never be able to stack the Supreme Court without four years of a Republican Congress. Three words: Not. Bloody. Likely.

And even if that happens, wanna bet the hard-line conservative wing finds itself kicked back into the wilderness for a decade or two?

But if it comes down to it, I’ll vote for Hillary. I don’t like her, but I don’t have to like her. I just have to know she’ll get things done. And she doesn’t have Bill’s penis, so that’s one less distraction. Instead of impeachment, she can just make Bill go sleep on the couch.

But it’s Barack Obama I’m pulling for. Any man who can be pro-choice, address a pro-life crowd, and get applause without backing away from his position is a man who can build bridges.

And we’ve burned far too many bridges this decade.