Sunday, August 31, 2008

Palin? Oh, please.

Sorry for the break during such a fun, political time.

Let's rejoin our race in Dayton, Ohio where John McCain just insulted feminists across the country by suggesting that one woman equals another. That glass ceiling Palin referred to in her "speech" - don't you think it's positions such as McCain's disapproval of equal pay for equal work that have made that ceiling and kept it firmly in place? Feminism should be large enough to embrace pro-choice and pro-life positions. Feminism is the belief that women are people, too. But McCain didn't nominate Palin because she's a qualified person for the job; he nominated her because of her gender.

As for all the foaming at the mouth about Palin's rural credentials, hunting moose doesn't make one qualified to be a heartbeat (and an election, thankfully) away from the presidency. I'd rather see a city-slicker with a heart for workers all over the nation than someone who suggested in her inaugural address that we all just need to pull ourselves up from our bootstraps. Never mind the lack of boots.

At least early polls suggest most voters see this political stunt for what it is.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I don't have television, so I just now got to watch Biden's speech thanks to Politico and I don't have too much to add to the blogosphere. But I'm very impressed with the way in which Biden has already addressed both his social connections to McCain and his previous (merited) criticism of Obama. I really hope that they electorate can see that Obama is still holding on to those politics of change when he is willing to surround himself with principled, experienced critics.

On to Denver.

"Appalachia, ideologically, is at war with itself."

My hometown newspaper, The Roanoke Times, has a great package today about Appalachian voters and Obama's chances in Virginia.

Pundits and bloggers, myself included, have already spilled a lot of digital ink about how to swing rural mountain voters one way or the other. This is important to both campaigns, but I don't know what I can say that hasn't already been said. I would like to point out, however, how the Times' piece tries to balance coverage of people in Appalachia. Yes, a lot of us still operate under the misunderstanding that Obama is Muslim. A lot of us are racist. A lot of us are disenchanged. And, yes, a lot of us are bitter.

But as I've moved even farther back up into the mountains, I am also reminded how people here would give you the shirt off their back, cut you a deal on rent you can't afford, and carry out a million other small acts of kindness. In sum, Appalachian voters are people, too - people who seem to have gotten a shorter end of the stick than those voters who don't worry as much about Obama's racial background. People in poverty who are racist or too busy feeding their families to pay attention to politics don't deserve to be exploited, either.

And if you think that considering how to cover these voters without being condescending, just ask Obama what sort of electoral risks that attitude carries.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Well, maybe not

Looks like Wes Clark will be in Italy instead of accepting the Democratic VP nomination. Oh well, this game is fun.

If We'd Just Run Government Like a Business

I think comparisions of government to business is generally overly simple and not very helpful. Mark Warner remains an exception to that rule and I'm excited to see him deliver a keynote at the convetion in just 13 days!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Broad Side of a Barn

Maybe rural America never needed Edwards in the first place; we've got Obama:

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Money is on Wes Clark

I very nearly drank the Kaine kool-aid when it came to Obama's VP pick but now that the Associated Press has released the themes for the Democratic Convention, I really think it's going to be Gen. Clark. The VP's night is "Securing America's Future." Those who obsessively read about this race, like myself, will note that is the motto of Gen. Clark's PAC. I can't imagine a better nod to the Clintonistas without the choice actually being HRC herself. Gen. Clark is also white and a man. It would be a shame to leave those folks out from under our big tent.

Clark was my original choice back in 2004 when he wowed me at Tudor's Biscuit World in Roanoke, so I may be a little biased, but I really can't imagine anyone better to counter McCain's accusations of inexperience (other than Sen. Webb who has very publicly said "No, thank you").

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A little bit of election humor . . .

. . . in the midst of all the somber news out of China, Georgia, and Raleigh:

Thanks, Ezana.

Friday, August 8, 2008

“You can say that for the first time in his life, Mudcat refused to comment."

The worst things about this aren't the affair or the lying, it's the total disregard Edwards had for those who worked for him and believed in him as well as his legacy and the Democratic party. Can you imagine if he'd been the nominee? Did he really think this wouldn't out? I, for one, really thought Edwards was a different type of politican and feel incredibly betrayed.

On the bright side, there is now an opening for the Progressive Working Class/First Generation College Student Advocate. Daddy, I know you're reading.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Complicated Case of Country Music

Over at TNR, Jason Zengerle suggests that Toby Keith isn't all bad. And I have to agree. Not just because I love ironically singing "The Angry American" but because Keith represents a genre that gives a lot of credence to storytelling, banjo music, and other pluses of Appalachian culture. Sure, some of it is ridiculous (see "Redneck Woman") and some of it is objectifying but country music is pretty far behind in the list of genres that encourage violence and objectification.