29 October 2008

Some people who hope to leave a mark are just circling the drain, if you know what I mean.

If you want to see how over-the-top pathetic the hard-core Republican political types -- not the crazy ass ignorant tin foil types that these politicos use -- are, then look no further than the red state blog, a proving ground for what passes for serious Republican thought these days. Dan Perrin offers up -- at first I thought tongue in cheek, but he seems to be serious -- seven reasons why the McCain-Palin ticket is a "lock to win" the election. His first reason is the media:
The first and foremost reason McCain-Palin will win is the absolute arrogance, elitism, condescending, patronizing and in-your-face voter suppression campaign – don’t vote for McCain, he can not win -- being conducted by the national media on Senator Obama’s behalf.

Americans do not like to be told what to do. But the national media has become a feminized, electronic vote-for-Obama nagging machine. There is plenty of precedent for the average American telling those telling them what to do, to go pound sand, especially to those who tell them over, and over, and over again. Just ask the HMOs. Their you-can’t-do-this or you-must-do-only-this business strategy ended with the average American saying NO to joining HMOs.

Really? The media is conducting a voter suppression campaign? So far in this election cycle, only Republican operatives have been convicted of voter fraud, and the typical suppression campaigns on the ground seem to be run to the benefit of Republicans (the letters in Virginia supposedly asking Democrats to vote on November 5 rather than the 4th to ease the crush at the polls...). There's nothing elitist, condescending, patronizing or anything of the like in reporting the polling results. You may not agree with polls -- although you can be damn sure the Republicans wouldn't have any problem with them if they showed they were ahead -- but you can't blame the media for covering the seemingly directionless trainwreck that is the McCain-Palin campaign.

However, Mr. Perrin then goes on to show, in his second paragraph, two glaring reasons why the Republicans are so hopelessly out of touch. Apparently seeking to alienate most women, Perrin likens the media to the stereotypical "nagging wife," complaining that the media is "feminized." I'm not actually sure how one jumps from the claim that the media is pro-Obama to the assertion that such an alleged bias makes the media "feminized," but it's very clear that Perrin sees feminized as a derogatory term.

The second bizarre contention that Perrin puts forth is his analogy about HMOs. Again, I'm not clear on why he thinks the media is telling Americans what to do (and I do not discount the power of the media to shape opinion and reflect dominant biases in the culture at large, but it doesn't work in the simple way Mr. Perrin seems to think it does) in covering the absolute thrashing McCain-Palin are getting in the polls, anymore than the media was telling Americans "what to do" in covering California wild fires or Hurricane Katrina or any other disaster. But what the hell is this bit about HMOs and "average Americans." Due to Republican policies, a large chunk of what you might call "average Americans" aren't saying "no" to HMOs so much as they're saying, "Jesus, I can't afford health coverage..." -- for those of us lucky enough to have health care, HMOs are one of the prominent choices: you can't escape their presence. Agree or disagree with HMOs and the principle of profit-based healthcare, but please don't manufacture some sort of HMO rebellion where there is none, and from a rhetorical standpoint, please don't bring such exotic references into a diatribe about the media's political coverage.

Mr. Perrin's other six points are equally ridiculous, although he doesn't elaborate on them as extensively as he does for the media. In fact, a few of those other reasons are indirectly blamed on the media as well. For instance, he thinks women who are likely to vote for Obama won't vote, because the media has told them Obama would win (he actually conflates the "young" with his argument about women, so it's unclear whether he means young women or the youth in general), but older women will vote, and they'll vote for McCain, he says. Apparently because the all-powerful media hasn't deterred them, despite its being feminized.

In fact, Perrin's points are so goofy that I suspect he is having a bit of fun, and maybe I've been taken in by an arch piece of satire. Maybe.


JES said...

You know, cuff, you really are good at this. I'm almost sorry the election will be behind us in less than a week.

Re: the Virginia vote-on-Nov.-5th thing, today the "Wizard of Id" comic strip (of all things) is based on the same idea. Basically, "Nov. 4th is election day if you're voting for the king, otherwise you vote on the 5th."

God, I just wish I could relax and have confidence in the numbers we're hearing...

cuff said...

Jes: Thanks. The funny thing is that today the Washington Post has an article on the concern over the accuracy of polls. Typical Post story, too: no actual evidence or investigative reporting -- just interviews mainly with McCain campaign personnel and some pollsters.

So next, the RedStaters will be arguing that such articles are the dastardly liberal media "concern trolling" to convince people they'd better get out to vote for Obama...