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End Game Begins

Friday, October 03, 2008 by Michael Reynolds

According to my always shaky grasp of higher math we have 30 days left until election day.  Give or take.

Can John McCain still somehow win this thing?  Yes.  Maybe.  In theory.  But it would be tough. RealClearPolitics.com has Obama with 260 electoral votes.  9 more throws it to the House.  10 more is win for Obama.

If those numbers are accurate, Obama can win with just Ohio.  Or just Florida.  Or just Indiana, just Missouri, just Virginia or just North Carolina.  Or he can win with Colorado and New Hampshire.  Or Colorado and Nevada.  So many ways to win.  He could hold onto what he has, move out of every other battleground state and throw all his resources into just, say, Virginia, and he'd win.

RCP has McCain at 163.  He pretty much has to run the table.  

If you were playing poker you'd want to be holding Obama's cards.   He's got three jacks.  McCain has a pair of twos.  Obama has so many ways to win, and McCain has so many ways to lose.

McCain has almost no choice now but to go even deeper into the gutter.  He has to try and do to Obama what George W. Bush did to McCain in 2000.  McCain 1.0 wouldn't have gone there. But McCain 2.0 -- The Creature That Ate John McCain -- will go for it.

The next 30 days will likely be unpleasant.  But it will be hard to change the math.  We've already seen so much Republican mud that I suspect the voters are inured to it.  And McCain faces the dilemma of the next debate.  Having hurt himself by coming across in the first debate as angry and contemptuous, he either has to stay the angry course, or try and convince the voters he finally took his prunes and come off as less hostile.

Here's the problem:  a nasty debate McCain would mesh with a mudslide attack but reinforce the voter's sense that he's maybe too much of a dick to spend four years with.  While a nice-guy debate McCain would seem hypocritical if he's simultaneously running Rove-style ads.

Tough to square that circle.  My prediction is that we get an air-war mudslide from McCain and his 527's on the one hand, and the terse gritting-my-teeth-trying-to-be-civil McCain at the debate.  I don't think that's going to work.  I think it will come off as phony and desperate.

McCain will attack, Obama will respond but in more measured tones.  McCain will try one more desperate gamble, if he can come up with one.  But I sense that the country, while it has not decided to vote for Obama, has decided not to vote for McCain.

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A Little Help Here?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008 by Michael Reynolds

Can someone tell me what it is that Republicans believe?  Because I'm confused.

Please, someone explain the ideological unity that binds the Republican president, the Republican candidate for president, the House Republican leadership and the Republican House members.

What is the principle there?  What is a Republican?

Anyone?  And please frame your answer in such a way that it makes sense of Bush, Paulson, McCain, Palin, Boehner and the GOP backbenchers.  

And if you can't do that, Republicans, just why do you think it is so vitally important for your party to win?

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Wood Shed Time

Tuesday, September 30, 2008 by Michael Reynolds

I can name all kinds of reasons I dislike Democrats, ideologically and culturally.

I can't stand it when people assume that disagreement must necessarily come from stupidity or a lack of education.  

I don't like wimps.  

I have no tolerance for tolerance that is given only to designated minorities but denied to others.  

I don't like people who wear hair shirts.  

I think language helps to bind the country, and our language is English.  I believe in assimilation, a melting pot, not a tapestry.  I believe we have a right to control our borders.  

I do have a problem with late term abortion.  

I don't have much faith in government, don't think it is the only answer.  My sphincter tightens when I hear the words "government program."  

I believe we have a right to preemptive defense in certain circumstances.  I believe in targeted assassination of terrorists and to hell with borders.  I believe in a strong defense.  I believe in American exceptionalism. 

I cannot stand smug eco-scolds.  Can't stand aggressive vegetarians.  I despise PETA, NARAL and MoveOn.  

I am self-employed, hardworking and ambitious.  I like money.  I'd like to keep more of it.

In so many ways, I should be a Republican.  

I wrote a post a while back describing the three segments of the Republican Party.  Money, Bombs and Jesus.  I can understand the Money Republicans.  I think they need someone keeping an eye on them, like they were a bunch of trouble-prone, pre-moral eight year-olds, but I get them.  

I get along fine with the Bombs Republicans.  I like flying missiles into Al Qaeda caves at least as much as the average Republican.  Make sure that our fighters can always shoot down their fighters?  Hell yeah.

There is a complete disconnect between me and the Jesus Republicans probably because I don't believe in Jesus.  And because they spend most of their political energy trying to outlaw abortion and humiliate gays.  I feel a bit bad calling them Jesus Republicans because I don't think they have much at all in common with the reputed historical Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible who bathed the feet of whores and said, "Judge not . . ."  But I guess Jesus, if he's real, can take care of himself.

I have voted GOP in the past and can imagine doing it again.  But not until they have been sent into the wilderness to suffer and contemplate and be cleansed of their sins.  

I don't mean because of  the war.  Or the economy.  I mean because of Atwater and Rove and Newt Gingrich.  I mean the politics of personal destruction.  The incivility, ruthlessness, relentlessness and utter lack of moral standards that have come to define the GOP.

The GOP, post-Reagan in particular, has become the party of slash and burn, slander and lie.  They stopped playing politics some years back and now play a mean, spiteful, cynical, and ultimately un-american game.  

The catalyzing event for me?  The attempt to remove Bill Clinton from office.  That was when I started making contributions to Democratic candidates.  I remember it very clearly.  They wanted to use the politics of personal destruction to undo the clear will of the people?  Fine:  that's when I start writing checks.  

I can easily see a day when I'll vote Republican again.  But not soon.  And not without some time in the woodshed.  The GOP needs to go away, think about what it has done, and come back when it is prepared to behave itself.  Then I'd like to her what they have to say.

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Witch Old Witch?

Monday, September 29, 2008 by Michael Reynolds

You can laugh all you want, but Sarah Palin has been witch-free ever since.

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Guess The Gambit

Sunday, September 28, 2008 by Michael Reynolds

So far in John McCain's WTF campaign we've had:

1) Attack the media which McCain used to refer to as his "base!"
2) Cancel the convention!
3) Run ads so dishonest even Karl Rove was going, "Dude, whoa!"
4) Pick an ignoramus as Vice President!
5) Lipstick hysteria! 
6) Pretend to suspend the campaign!
7) Parachute in and blow up the all-but-finalized bail-out deal!
8) Rush off to a debate you said you wouldn't attend unless there was a deal on the bailout which there wasn't probably because you demagogued the thing and then go to the debate anyway and act like an asshole by refusing to be civil to your opponent!

Surprisingly . . . surprisingly, I say . . . McCain's poll numbers are still slipping.  It seems McCain's, "Fuck the country, I wanna be president," campaign style has not impressed the voters.

Hmmm.

So, what crazy-ass gambit will the creature who has eaten John McCain come up with next?

As always, I'm here to help.  So my suggestions, in no particular order:

1) Trade his suits for a stars-and-stripes leotard and when Obama refuses to do the same, accuse him of hating America.

2) Replace Sarah Palin with the Chocolate Rain guy and take credit for first African-American Veep candidate.  

3) Accuse Michelle Obama of selling oxycodone to Cindy.

4) Break into National Archive, sign his own name to Declaration of Independence and pretend it was there all along.  (Leak plan to conservative blogs so they can denounce John Hancock as a lying liberal.)

5) Replace Chocolate Rain guy with Leave Britney Alone guy/girl and claim credit for first cross-dressing Veep candidate.  

6) Suspend breathing unless Obama legally changes name to Osama.

7) Replace Leave Britney Alone guy/girl with Dramatic Hamster.  Claim credit for picking Veep candidate at least twice as convincing as Sarah Palin.

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