October 7th, 2008

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The penultimate, yet essentially final debate.

Want to know who is going to be the next President of the United States?



That one.

Cranky, rude, disrespectful, arrogant, elitist.... and *soooo* angry.  He can't even bring himself to look  Senator Obama in the eyes. He even refused to shake Obama's hand!

I kind of feel sorry for John McCain, really, because fifty years from now, Americans are going to look at this kind of behavior and say "Wow... we were so much more racist and bigoted back then."

...and frankly, I don't think it's really racism, as much as it's a strong sense of entitlement, and of being robbed of a goal he has held for arguably longer than Hillary Clinton.

If anything, John McCain has always had a "free ride" of entitlement, getting into Annapolis and becoming an officer and a pilot not based on his talent, but because his father and grandfather were both admirals. Graduating at the bottom of his class... being allowed to crash numerous times, before being captured by the enemy, and then misusing his P.O.W. status after the war to be courted by people in the Republican cocktail set, dumping his injured wife for a rich young debutante... his constant battles within the Republican Party, where his "Maverickness" oftentimes manifested itself through calculated political positioning, interparty wrangling, demogogueing on populist issues, and general extortion to gain greater prominence within the party... 

And now, here's John McCain with his big shot, lost... a damaged sense of entitlement. His star on a steep decline, never to rise again.  Perhaps that explains his anger, frustration, and inappropriate behavior.     

But ultimately, how much of racism is a sense of entitlement? A fear of losing that which you think you deserve, to someone you don't view as your equal?

Someone who you both hate and fear.

Someone you view as less less than yourself.

Someone you view with disdain and disrepect in order to help justify your deservedly special position the world.

Someone it's okay to objectify. 

That one.



***Update*** 

The first debate polls are in...!

The CNN/Opinion Research poll of 675 debate watchers gives Obama the win, 54% to 30%.

The biggest shifts of the night were on how the public perceives Obama. Before the debate, 59% thought Obama understands voters’ needs and problems; that rose to 80% after the debate, as compared to McCain, who is at only 44%... and 68% of uncommitted voters now say that they think Obama will make the right decisions on the economy, a gain of 13 points.

A CBS/Knowledge Networks poll of 516 uncommitted voters generally agrees with the ratios of support shown in the CNN poll, giving Obama the win 40%  to 26%, with 35% declaring it a tie.

SurveyUSA interviewed 741 debate watchers... 54% thought Obama was the "clear winner" compared with McCain's 29%.

NBC's focus group of undecided Pennsylvania voters had Obama winning by roughly a 60-40 split. Frank Luntz's focus group, over at Fox, showed undecided voters leaning towards Obama because of his position on health care.

The overall effect of the debate seems to be a strong increase in voter's level of comfort and confidence in supporting Obama, which is potentially critical as more people start to seriously consider casting their ballots early.

McCain *NEEDED * a win tonight to be competitive with early voting over the next 8 days before the final debate. Tonight's debate was kind of boring, and yet essentially reassuring to voters... so it wouldn't be surprising if many out there now feel comfortable enough with where things are going to send in their ballots... and if McCain takes a hit in the polls because of the debate tonight, and his "that one" gets replayed as much as I think it's likely to be, it should only increase voter's level of confidence in their decision.
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Republican pundits eat their own.

I'm getting a good chuckle from reading "The Corner" over at National Review, a shared blog of a bunch of arrogant neoconservative asses who are the "braintrust" of the Republican Party. I don't really want to link to their site, but hey, I'll still enjoy their misery...!

"I think the typical voter sees two politicians who seem reasonably competent. 90% of those voters think we're on the wrong track. So why not vote to kick Bush in the shins and elect the Democrat? What's the difference? And, based on their performance tonight thus far, I'd have to agree."

"The Story of the Night . . . is going to be McCain, after refusing to look him in the eye last time, seemed to call Obama "that one" tonght."

"...every minute we talk about the economy and healthcare is simply handing the battlespace to Obama."

"It's not the moderator's fault that McCain is behind, and often weak, on domestic issues."

"...every minute he failed to clearly and convincingly separate himself from President Bush, he was losing."
"This was a lost 90 minutes out of my life, and a huge, irreplaceable, lost opportunity for the McCain campaign."

"...most of the folks who tuned out early will have heard only the economic stuff at the beginning, when Obama was at his smoothest and McCain had yet to warm up."

"...selection bias is no excuse for McCain performing poorly."

"This was not a great night for our team. It's up to the 527's now I think. I don't know how else to get the negatives about Obama out there."

"We have a disaster here — which is what you should expect when you delegate a non-conservative to make the conservative (nay, the American) case."

"Memo to McCain Campaign: Someone is either a terrorist sympathizer or he isn't. . . You helped portray Obama as a clealy qualified presidential candidate who would fight terrorists. If that's what the public thinks, good luck trying to win this thing."

"With due respect, I think tonight was a disaster for our side. . . Obama did everything he needed to do, McCain did nothing he needed to do. What am I missing?"

"Obama came off as a plausible alternative. . . that is a tragedy."

"McCain has largely failed to make Obama look like the radical his background suggests he is or at least once was. . . Obama, meanwhile, sounds OH so earnest and comes across as the moderate, reasonable, suave post-partisan he wants to seem."

"Nina Easton nailed it by referring to McCain's mortgage buy up plan as a death knell for free market capitalism. Out in California Reagan is spinning in his grave."

"...tonight obviously wasn't enough. Obama, meanwhile, just has to appear plausible and he did. . . He carries himself with confidence, he never appears flustered, and he has mastered his material."

"I am listening to Karl Rove blather on right now as if Obama was knocked off his lead. When did that happen?"

"At tonight's debate, McCain proposed a new program under which the government would buy mortgages directly from homeowners. . . McCain's plan is redundant, and it would create significant new responsibilities (and costs) for an already-beleagured agency. I'm not sure what the campaign was thinking."

"Well I have gone outside and pulled up my McCain/Palin sign. This election is over."

No it's not.

First comes the general acknowledgement that the Republican Party is doomed.
... then comes the fun!