Symbols in Politics, by dnd

On 30 October I wrote the following:

“If money is the mother’s milk of politics, symbolism is certainly the strained carrots.  Or in this election, possibly the soiled diaper.  The McCain campaign is branding Joe the plumber as the everyman.  Yet Joe is a phony.  He’s not a licensed plumber.  He’s a tax cheat.  He would benefit from Obama’s tax plan, yet he’s against it.  He’s not unclogging anyone’s toilet these days because he’s on the stump with the McCain/Palin campaign.  And now he’s got a P.R. agent and a reported country and western record deal.  Joe’s most embarrassing moment may be when on 30 October 2008 John McCain said at a rally in Defiance, OH that Joe was in the audience.  In defiance, Joe wasn’t there.

And then there’s Sarah Palin, hockey mom.  Governor Palin is brilliant on the stump when pandering to the base.  But when off script, she reveals herself to be politically incurious, unethical, corrupt and power hungry.  Not what one would normally think of when thinking of a hockey mom.

Symbols are powerful in politics.  They are most powerful when they reflect the truth.”

This was replaced by my rant on Daylight Savings Time.  But the last sentence turned out to be particularly prescient.  The election of Barack Obama is symbolic on many levels, both domestically and internationally.  As such, we’ve not just elected the most competent candidate; we’ve elected a metaphor for who we have become as a people.

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69 Comments

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69 responses to “Symbols in Politics, by dnd

  1. Scary to think that John McCain based his White House hopes on those two yokels. Boy was Obama right when he said the man didn’t have the temperament to be prez!

  2. dnd

    For their 3rd quarter, Ford announced a $3 billion operating loss. Car sales down 25%. They’ll layoff 2,600 more hourly workers. Unemployment in MI is 8.7%.

  3. chefsheila

    Thanks dnd,

    Once again you have given us a deep thinker.

    I think your right that Obama is a relfection of who we have become. After a most dramatic attack on our soil. We as a group, were numb and inactive from a lifetime of privelege and technology.

    But after two terms of an extraordinarily bad adminstration and congress, we chose wisely and well.

    I think its too late to catch our country before we bottom out, but its not too late to spend the rest of our lives making up to the next generation.

    Obama could not have been any better for this time and we will reap the benifits, but not before all including Obama goe through some dicey times, but at least we have each other.

  4. nannymm

    Nice post, dnd. All those symbols were just more repug attempts to distract the country from the real issues. As you suggest, they failed because they revealed the truths they were meant to hide.

  5. nannymm

    We didn’t really need historians to tell us this:

    Historians: Bush presidency ‘battered,’ ‘incompetent,’ ‘unlucky’
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/06/bush.legacy/index.html

  6. nannymm

    hmmm…the system ate my post again.

  7. dnd

    In the “are you smarter than a 5th grader” category, Gov. Palin thinks Africa is a country.

    I really question some Republicans saying she’s the new face of the party. The notion that she can be “educated” is B.S. Anyone that clueless at 44 doesn’t have much promise.

  8. I’m not buying the Africa crack.

  9. BevnTempe

    This is a sad way to begin the new administration from a very sore loser. Someone told me their neighbor is flying the American flag at half mast and upside down. It doesn’t say much for respecting the flag as well as advertising his own bigoted mind. So much for “country first!”

  10. nannymm

    That’s appalling, Bev. But not surprising. I had someone tell me the other day that Obama should be “examined” to see if he is a real Christian. When I stated that he is a Christian and has said so repeatedly, I was told that the ONLY way to be sure was to make sure he is circumcised. I was dumbfounded!!!
    This person went on to “explain” that ALL Jews and Christians have to be circumcised because it is in the Bible. Nothing I said could dissuade this man from his erroneous beliefs. I’m still shaking my head in amazement at the ignorance of the right wing nut jobs.

  11. You should have replied we don’t have religious tests for elected office.

  12. nannymm

    I tried that, but it doesn’t matter to people like that. They are convinced that Obama is a muslim sleeper agent sent to take this country down from the inside.

  13. Don’t waste your time with people like that!

  14. BevnTempe

    I agree with Brian 100%. a person’s religious preference should not have any effect on whether a person is qualified for office. Not everyone in the United State is Christian, Jewish or other sect. There are those who are agnostic or atheist and they are compassionate, caring, loving, and wonderful people. There are gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgender, and straight people in this world.

    However, it is also sad that the straight religious people in this country feel they have to dictate how other people are permitted to live their lives, as in AZ prop 102 and CA prop 8.

    At least we have overcome the color barrier this election. Sometime in the future, perhaps not in my lifetime, my non-religious, gay son will have the same rights as “Christians.”

  15. BevnTempe

    Nannymm – my oldest son and his wife, who are Methodists, chose not to have their baby boy circumcised. Things do change! I think it will take the younger generations, who see things from a different point of view, to rid the Bible-thumping religious nuts of “it’s there way or the highway.”

  16. dnd

    Nannymm,
    What a wonderful story. It helps explain Kathleen Parker’s change of heart.

  17. dnd

    Bev,
    That story makes me glad my parents raised me the way they did. My very white Republican 84 year old mother called today to say how thrilled she was with Obama’s election.

  18. dnd

    Brian,
    Even if the Africa story, leaked from the McCain camp, isn’t true, I still don’t think Palin has the intellectual heft or motivation to be anything other than Caribou Barbie.

    I do think she’ll have a promising career on “Fox and Friends.” 😉

  19. dnd I wouldn’t vote for her for dog catcher, that being said I think the not knowing Africa is a continent is a stretch. But the statement sure gives a lot of insight as to what it must have been like in the McCain campaign.

  20. Interesting that Jennifer Granholm was at the economic meeting this morning.

  21. Lieberman to lose his chairmanship! YES!

  22. nannymm

    Lieberman losing his chairmanship is great news! Next, he needs to lose his seat.

  23. dnd

    In Paul Krugman’s NYT column today

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/07/opinion/07krugman.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    He kept referring to liberals as “progressives.” Professor Krugman, there is nothing offensive with the term “liberal.” That sort of branding came from the Newt smear machine. Using the term “progressive” puts “liberal” in pejorative. If you think using the term “progressive” renders conservatives “regressive” you are wrong. So, please, knock it off.

  24. Well he’s still got 4 years remaining on his current term, but we can certainly keep our fingers crossed.

  25. dnd

    Happy Birthday Billy Graham. You made it to 90 and you made it to see our first Black president.

  26. dnd

    One has to wonder if very liberal though hawkish Lieberman will switch sides.

  27. Well MSNBC reported that he found unacceptable that his chairmanships were being yanked and was deciding who he would caucus with. I think he’s going to cross over the dark side!

  28. dnd

    Brian,
    Michigan’s economy is in the toilet. 8.7% unemployment. Glad to see Jennifer Granholm at the table.

  29. dnd

    Jennifer Granholm and Paul Volcker standing behind Obama at the presser. I’m impressed.

  30. I think Granholm is going to get transportation.

  31. dnd

    “I think Granholm is going to get transportation.”

    Interesting.

    “Bonior will get labor.”

    Twisted.

  32. why twisted? He’s a long time union guy.

  33. dog's eye view

    Bittersweet story from WaPost front page today. Interview last week with Eugene Allen, White House butler who served 7 presidents from 1952-1986 and his wife, Helene.

    I would bet the Allen family will get an inaugural invite from President-Elect and Mrs. Obama.

    A Butler Well Served by This Election
    For 34 Years, Eugene Allen Carried White House Trays With Pride. Now There’s Even More Reason to Carry Himself That Way.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/06/AR2008110603948.html

  34. dnd

    Brian,
    My bad. I was thinking of John Boehner 😉

    Bonior would be great at Labor.

  35. big difference between the two of them!

  36. BevnTempe

    Since the times have changed, is there a cut-off time for MST to add to the blog?

  37. BevnTempe

    I’m asking because I have tried 3 times to respond about circumcision and Islam and 3 times my post was not accepted.

  38. I just released one. Folks if your post gets blocked by the spam filter please don’t try reposting it, just post a msg it a post got blocked and I’ll release it when I have a chance.

  39. dnd

    Brian,
    Where’s Bev’s blocked post? Can’t find it.

  40. dnd

    dog,
    That story about Eugene Allen was great. Thanks.

  41. I think I deleted it inside of releasing it, she’ll have to repost it, sorry.

  42. BevnTempe

    Brian – this is the blocked post:

    In response to Nannymm’s post about Christian and Jewish circumcision and Barack having to prove he’s not Muslim according to the Bible
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/islamethics/malecircumcision.shtml

    Of course this does not prove he’s not Muslim, but only that her acquaintance doesn’t know what he’s talking about!

  43. dnd

    Off thread but if you don’t love bluegrass, well, I just don’t know.

    Here’s the later, great, Vassar Clements, Del McCoury and friends doing the Orange Blossom Special

  44. Hi gang…

    Before I read the comments the actual number of unemployed is I would imagine a lot higher then what was reported today.

    Don’t forget that those numbers don’t include those who have quit looking for work. If I had to take a wild guess I would say that the unemployment numbers are probably around 10 or 12 percent.

    That would be more realistic I believe.

    Now for my own curiosity did anyone read my last post from the link I left. Just curious as no one seemed to say anything about it.

    God Bless.

  45. BevnTempe…

    Don’t forget Florida’s Amendment 2 which got passed. I don’t believe that the people understand what these type of Amendments actually mean or they wouldn’t have passed them.

    Only the true American Taliban would vote for anything like that.

    Today on the Bud Hedinger radio show they were talking with a Republican about how they were going to rebuild the Republican Party.

    And on cue they brought up the Second Amendment on guns, abortion, same sex marriage and of course the fiscal conservative platform that they run on.

    Palin was also mentioned as a prospect of future political office. In fact Bud ask who would be a good ticket in 2010 and the guy he was interviewing mentioned Duncan Hunter and Sarah Palin, while Bud thought Romney and Palin in either Pres or VP role.

    I hope they stay in the wilderness forever and never return.

    God Bless.

  46. Brian…

    He’s Judas Iscariot Lieberman had already crossed over to the Dark Side.

    God Bless.

  47. Oopsssss…

    Meant 2012 and not 2010.

    God Bless.

    PS: Need to go catch up on the other sites I lurk at. Later.

  48. off topic: real time map with details of police activity – (i think ?)- new york city …I think this is pretty cool.

    http://gothamist.com/labs/map

  49. I read it Anon….loved the photos….few words that mean so much!

    eprof recommended we read MLK’s entire speech a bit up thread….it was well worth it……snap-shot of the times and on message.

    Obama’s speeches are some of the best I have ever heard/or read in my very short lifetime…(LOL)

  50. Folks I’m doing update on the page, if there is any links you want added to the page email em to me.

  51. “As such, we’ve not just elected the most competent candidate; we’ve elected a metaphor for who we have become as a people.”

    I certainly hope so!

  52. Well I have been officially been elevated to the status of Troll over at Craig’s by Jack.

    And champ whom I made no comment to hit out at me as well. And then of course there’s patsi whom believes that Palin who with her husband pals around with secessionists who has ties to racists and bigots is being given a bad rap.

    Palin is the total opposite of Hillary whom patsi supposedly embraces. One has to wonder how truthful she really is if she defends Palin.

    Though many think I’m nuts its obvious to me I’m not wanted over there. I think that I’ll ask Craig to pull the link to my site from his blogroll and he can keep the hateful bigots to himself.

    Good night all and …

    God Bless.

  53. The Africa thing: seems a stretch to me, but note that it is all coming from the GOP. Sounds likely it is an old Romney or Huckabee loyalist trying to dethrone her now before 2012.

    I’m wondering how Al Franken’s hopes are going to turn out in Minnesota. Jim Martin is currently running coattail ads here in GA against Saxby Chambliss. The run-off is in early December.

  54. dog's eye view

    Hey, it’s a Saturday Steve! Lark habits die hard, hmmm?

    First weekend all of us can devote to relaxation and work, secure that the campaign is over and we are happy with the results! (Last part is the unusual but could get used to it part.)

  55. well I am not going to hijack the thread. It gets really rough during basketball season. Free computer time is hard to find.

    Being an old Kerry man, he’s my choice for Secretary of State. I would at least like to see him get something important.

    Man hugs, Brian

  56. Man hugs, LOL. you funny str8 boy!

  57. just getting my cup of jo….morning all…..

    “Man hugs” ….. that’s cute !

  58. NEW THREAD, hug me on the NEW THREAD.

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