That’s not the fat lady singing. That’s John McCain.
A couple of things are on my mind these days. The first is the Alfred E. Smith charity dinner. The Second is John McCain’s new war on black and brown people. The third is what I am going to do about both.
Senator Obama and Senator McCain sat down together once again, Thursday night, after the third debate, to help support a 60-odd year old charity honoring the first Catholic candidate to win the Democratic nomination for president. Fundraisers are all well and good, but McCain’s first joke was about “Joe the Plumber . . . sign[ing] a lucrative contract with a wealthy couple to take care of all eight of their houses.” How many people, worrying about their mortgage and their bills, faced with too much month at the end of the money, struggling to cope with the loss of THEIR ONE HOME, thought that was funny? Senator Obama made a joke about “no expense being spared . . . it must be a dinner for AIG executives,” because those bastards spent half a million dollars on a retreat, complete with spa treatments after they got their $85 million “bailout”, and no one laughed, because that one hit a little too close to home. And Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, and a host of other powerful people laughed and yucked it up. (Confession time: I laughed, too.) I even told my students to watch it, because it was an example of how though these two men are competing against each other, and have said some pretty nasty and insulting things, they can still come together, setting aside their differences for a good cause.
Upon more sober reflection, it began to bother me. White ties. Bone china. Champagne flutes. I felt like one of those people who talks a good game about helping the less fortunate, but aren’t really working for it, like a voyeur watching the pigs and humans playing poker in Animal Farm. The whole dinner gave me a squirmy feeling that said, “none of these people really know what struggling is, even if they used to. Because this show is wrong, even if it’s for a good cause.” I am supporting Senator Obama for president, but . . . I think he needs to rethink his participation in this one.
Kanye West got some notoriety after President Bush and his cronies f*cked up the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, when he said, “President Bush don’t like black people.” I’m going one step further: neither do John McCain and Sarah Palin. The “war on ACORN” that he’s fighting, to de-legitimize an Obama victory in November, is pre-conditioned on disenfranchising the poor, mostly minority, people that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now is working to register and involve in the body politic of the United States. Much like his tax policies, and his stance on immigration (which isn’t discussed on his website except in the context of Homeland Security), this latest campaign attack only seeks to disenfranchise citizens who aren’t going to support his candidacy anyway. By attacking another non-issue, though, he effectively tells citizens who did register with ACORN that they’re suspect, and to people who aren’t political junkies like me, that Obama is doing something wrong even though ACORN is not associated with the Obama campaign. However, as we’ve come to see in this campaign, facts don’t mean much to Senator McCain and Governor Palin. As long as they repeat what they want people to believe loud and long enough, they think that citizens will believe it. Country First? Apparently not.
And just what am I going to do about these things? First, I’m going to continue speaking truth to power. Yes, I support Barack Obama for president, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some things I think he needs to reconsider. I expect McCain to pull stuff like the Smith dinner, but Obama, Clinton, Schumer, the Catholic Church!, all have some explaining to do. Second, I’m going to march my happy behind right down to 3619 Motor Avenue in Los Angeles, and spend at least 30 minutes a day volunteering for the Obama campaign between now and November 4th. I think that the tenor of the campaign says much about the style of governance of the candidate, and by all rights and examples, the choice for me is clear. Just like former Secretary of State Colin Powell, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Kansas City Star, and a whole lot of other people and organizations, I am endorsing Barack Obama for president, and I’m going to work to make that happen. And so should you.
McCain Acorn Fears Overblown
Obama, ACORN, and Voter Registration
ACORN and the FBI
Barack Obama for President
Cross posted at Will Rhodes Portmanteau on October 18, 2008.