Now This is What You Call a Photo Op

75,000 people at a single Obama rally in Oregon. Yes, they may be all pot-smoking hippies up there in Oregon, but honestly, even if they are, when was the last time 75,000 pot-smoking hippies managed to get it together enough to be in the same place at the same time? I’ll give you Bonnaroo, but after that it gets dodgy. Certainly anything without a scraggly-haired rock guitarist hasn’t rated this for a decade or two. Alternately, does anyone really believe that John McCain could get 75,000 ham supper-eating fundies to show up to hear him in, say, Alabama? Perhaps if he brought the exhumed husk of Reagan with him. But then they wouldn’t be there for McCain, now, would they.

This is does illustrate the problem McCain and the Republicans are facing in this election. No, Obama’s not some mystical, magical human sent to save us all from ourselves (and I do sense Obama, if elected, is going to face something of a backlash when people eventually realize Saint Obama can’t make everything perfect now). But it’s hard to deny he’s got the sort of charisma that makes people want to believe. Reagan had it, Bill Clinton had it, Obama’s got it. It – along with everything else – gives the GOP a hard row to hoe.

91 thoughts on “Now This is What You Call a Photo Op

  1. The one problem Obama has is his demographic. They are much younger than McCain’s and traditionally haven’t been known to make it out to the polls. I saw a story the other day that older voters connect more with McCain than Obama on Social Security. I’ve never seen a Republican take that issue from the Democrats in my lifetime, and I doubt that will hold true, but it is interesting.

    Now that being said, Obama has a special kind of charisma that even Ronnie and Bill didn’t have. He may keep the young voters motivated enough to put down the bong and vote.

  2. I like Obama, but have not been obsessive about listening to or reading every word he says. In one speech I did hear, he talked about things he wanted to do. Not things he would do on day one, or in his first 100 days, but what he wanted to do. All of these were discussed realistically. “This is a great idea, but it would take a minimum of a year to get through congress, maybe longer. But we can do it.” or “I don’t know if we can get this together in one term, but I am going to try.” or “This is fairly simple, we can probably make it within the first 6 months or so.” etc. All realistic, and all considering that a president can’t just DO things, he has to get them through congress. I really liked that. About the only honesty I have ever heard from a politician. So much better than “My husband, I mean I, have 35 years of experience and I can hit the ground running on day 1!!!!”

  3. C’mon now, you know there was probably a scraggly-haired guitarist opening up for him.

  4. Query: are postings with links banned? I just posted with a link to the New York Times and the comment didn’t show up.

  5. If my quick search is correct, The Decemberists performed at the rally. Do they have a scaggly-haired guitarist?

  6. Jonquil:

    No, it probably just got kicked into the moderation queue. I’ll look for it presently.

  7. Speaking as a native Alabamian, I would definitely show up for Reagan’s husk, but I’m on the Obama bandwagon for now (Yes, the GOP does have a firm hold on our voting public. But they don’t have their claws in all of us). I think we should change the BAMA pronunciation in Alabama to sound like Obama (ala-bomma).

    AlaBAMA for oBAMA :-)

  8. After this, will Ms. Clinton continue to say that “white” people won’t vote for Mr. Obama?

  9. I’m never reluctant to state the obvious: Exhumed Husk of Reagan would be a great name for a band.

  10. Point of order:
    Although Portland is quite liberal (along with the Wilamette valley) the rest of Oregon is pretty conservative. Oregon has a lot of farming, logging, and ranching outside of Portland. A good analogy for Portland might be the relationship between Chicago and southern Illinois. I feel bad for Waterfront Park – it probably looks awful this morning.

    The distribution of pot smoking in Oregon has little to do with region, politics, or hippydom. It’s a statewide recreational activity.

    That said Obama’s probably going to crush Clinton in Oregon (pronounced Ory-gun never Ory-gon).

  11. After this, will Ms. Clinton continue to say that “white” people won’t vote for Mr. Obama?

    No, she says white working class voters won’t vote for him, and clearly hippies don’t work so she can keep on with the line. The benefit of being a Clinton is you can keep clarifying (read: redefining) your terms so that your message stays the same and you are always right.

  12. I see this has already been addressed but not directly.

    Colin Meloy, front man of The Decemberists, which band opened for Sen. Obama, has indie rock hair, which is very nearly scraggly. And he plays guitar, and other instruments, to boot.

    Also: Yay, Obama! I dropped off my ballot this weekend. Also also, yay, Oregon vote-by-mail!

  13. I think she actually said something about “hard-working” Americans. So she apparently believes that Obama voters are all a bunch of slackers, like those pot-smoking hippies pictured above.

  14. 75k pot smoking hippies all in one place?
    I have been to a few Grateful Dead shows that had to be at least close to that.
    Mountain Air Festival in Angels Camp Calif…
    Madison Square Garden in NYC…
    Giants Stadium in Jersey..
    A few Oakland shows..
    Polo Fields in SF…

    I guess the main difference is instead of campaign flyers all those hippies were handing out tiny flyers about the size of a thumbnail with pictures of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Mr Natural on them. We were told to eat them….

  15. Hi. I default when necessary to native Oregonian despite long spells out of state, since I spent most of my childhood there with family whose local ancestry goes back some distance on a few branches.

    And now, my thoughts:

    The intersection of the Oregonian and pot-smoking hippie populations is not nearly as large as people think, nor is it when the subset is limited to Multnomah County.

    The Decemberists did play, but one band does not a festival make.

    During most nomination races Oregon gets two or three inches on page A13 because of its late primary and comparatively small population; this time Oregon gets to be the proverbial fat lady a-singin’, which has got to be a good feeling.

    There’s a popular blog that caters specifically to Oregon left-leaning types. At this moment, the about the rally has 87 comments, a tally normally reserved for unambiguous controversy.

    Obama’s presence itself doesn’t energize me the way it does some; at the bottom line I see a lawyer with a wonkish tone to his positions. But…

    He’s living proof that the Land of Opportunity pitch isn’t a lie, and we couldn’t create someone more different than the sitting President. There is some hope that he can take a different approach to the job, while the alternatives are just more of the Same Old S–t.

    You’ve got a guy with room to talk saying that Obama shows every promise of being better qualified for the job than was Kennedy.

    I am deeply worried about the the likelihood of race-baiting if/when Obama is nominated; there’s already been a ton over this whole Rev. Wright thing; if that’d been a white pastor making those remarks, he’d be characterized as kooky rather than malevolent. And don’t think for a moment that a white man can’t make similar observations; all that’s needed is the intellectual honesty to recognize the evidence of one’s own eyes.

    What was that about the alternatives?

    Well, you’ve got this lady who’s been mired in controversy for the past fifteen years, practically without interruption. And you’ve got this old Establishment guy who’s a bona fide war hero, but who puts his finger to the wind every time he makes a decision: shrewd, but not what we need, because the winner of the general election will need to carry out some very tough and unpopular policies.

    As for the feminists out there who are feeling cheated, consider the possibility that you’re being done a favor. Because so many people despise HRC, there’s a good chance that if elected, she’d be unable to work with Congress on anything progressive – and that would make her legacy unremarkable at best. Is that what you want history to say about the first woman ever to hold the office of President? I didn’t think so.

  16. I see that while I was commenting, I got beaten to the punch by several people on some of the “points of order” (as Ian M. 14 put it).

    …And to those who noticed, sorry about straying into GYOB territory. Can’t say it won’t happen again, but I do generally try to avoid it on principle. …Just not as often here because our host does an excellent job of framing his thoughts in ways that demand thoughtfulness. Even when he’s writing about The Cure.

  17. Oh, do you see me there? I’m the 146 person on the right, 64 rows back. See? yes, I’m the one taking a bong hit next to the 365 other people taking a bong hit. (Actually I do not recall seeing or even smelling any mary-wannie. I think there was more when the Dali Lhama came to visit.)

    It was actually pretty cool, all that energy in one place. But not the 75 minute wait on the light rail which was stuck waiting for the “motorcade” to pass after.

  18. Ruth and I had a boring OryCon committee meeting across the street from the rally, otherwise we’d have probably been in the crowd like my nephew was.

    But I certainly saw a lot of people in the crowd that were older than we are, and I’m in my late 50s. (We saw the same demographics when he was here for a 10,000+ person campaign appearance in March.) It’s by no means only the young voters who ardently supporting him.

  19. No, Obama’s not some mystical, magical human sent to save us all from ourselves (and I do sense Obama, if elected, is going to face something of a backlash when people eventually realize Saint Obama can’t make everything perfect now).

    Damn it, Scalzi – stop being so, so reasonable! :-)

  20. You know what? No one should feel cheated. Regardless of what happens (though I think it should be obvious that Obama will win), both an African-American and a female candidate have both been considered as legitimate, electable candidates for the position of the President of the United States.

    I, for one, think that’s pretty damned cool.

  21. “I’ll give you Bonnaroo…”

    Well, there goes a mouthful of coffee that won’t be acting as a psychoactive stimulant drug to my central nervous system!

    Anyway, what does it matter whether Obama has 70000 supporters or just seven? Hillary has declared that next vote wins!

  22. Also, this is the rally that The Decemberists played at? Sweet… I would have gone there just for that, though, even if I was a die-hard Hillary worshiper. Those guys kick ass.

  23. Pietro Nenni, an Italian politician, used to say “piazze piene, urne vuote”, that is, uninspiredly translated, “squares full of people, empty ballot boxes.” There were always huge crowds at his party’s rallies, and nevertheless he was in opposition for decades.

  24. As a lurking conservative I would just like to say that I wish the crowd had been bigger. If the media won’t report on his mind numbingly dense statements, maybe he can take them directly to the people.

    This was just classic:

    “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,” Obama said.

    “That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen,” he added.

    So… does that mean that the EU gets to set the thermostat in my house next winter, because my wife is going to want to have a say in that.

    And how is this different from Jimmy Carter’s “put on a sweater and turn down the thermostat malaise” speech?

    Charismatic? The guy is struggling to put away Hillary.

  25. “Charismatic? The guy is struggling to put away Hillary.”

    Hillary was put away after North Carolina, Drew. It’s not Obama’s fault she doesn’t want to admit it.

  26. As a good libertarian, I will assuredly not be voting for any of the three senators running, but my take on Sen. Obama is rather different than the honorable John Scalzi’s.

    Now, this election is clearly there for the Democratic Party’s taking. If Hillary’s anointing had proceeded as planned, the sacrificial lamb would have been ritually slaughtered – back in 2005 I thought it would be Pataki or Giuliani, but McCain fits the Dole mode even better – but her pacing rabbit got out of hand and actually thought it was a real race.

    While it’s true that Obama does have real charisma, he has literally nothing else on offer. He’s a made man, as any writer can tell from the New York Times profile on his literary career, and a man that can be made can be very rapidly unmade.

    Nothing has changed in the last two weeks except for his recent demonstration in West Virginia that he may be one of the very few Democrats capable of losing to John McCain in November despite the massive electoral winds blowing in the Democratic direction. Now, that would be ironic; the Republicans go ahead and offer up the expected sacrificial lamb, only the clueless wing of the Democratic party insist on nominating the one guy who can’t manage to cut its throat!

    Consider this: if Obama had the nomination in the bag already as the delegate totals seemingly indicate, then why haven’t the uncommitted superdelegates moved to endorse him and end the race? Clearly, there are games going on behind the scene to which the public is not privy; therefore I expect Hillary Clinton to be the nominee and the eventual president.

    I realize this is contra the current media assumptions, but I don’t place much faith in any expectation that relies on the Democratic Party leaders strictly following the rules.

  27. Pietro Nenni, an Italian politician, used to say “piazze piene, urne vuote”, that is, uninspiredly translated, “squares full of people, empty ballot boxes.”
    There were always huge crowds at his party’s rallies, and nevertheless he was in opposition for decades.

  28. Given the Democratic primary turnout this year, I don’t suspect this will be Obama’s problem.

  29. Ok, let’s try this. During the ’70s and the ’80s you could hardly find a Cristian Democratic voter in Italy; in workplaces, universities, trains, restaurants, beaches, everywhere everybody claimed to loath the government, that things didn’t work, that a change was needed.
    Nobody admitted that they voted for the Cristian Democratic Party, nobody knew anyone who voted for the Cristian Democratic Party.
    And nevertheless the Cristian Democratic Party was continuously in power from 1948 to 1992.

  30. You voting for Bob Barr, VD (assuming he gets the Libertarian Party nomination)?

    No, I won’t vote for anyone who supported the Patriot Acts and the Drug War, although I understand he’s made a partial transformation regarding the latter. He’s much more of a conservative than a libertarian, in my opinion, and while I respect him more than I do most DC politicians, that’s a pretty low bar.

    I’ll probably sit this one out. It may hearten you to know that many Republicans of my acquaintance and at my blog intend to do so as well. Of course, it would be remiss of me to fail to remind you of the old adage about getting what you wish for….

  31. The question is going to be whether Obama can maintain the high levels of voter turnout in the general election. Statements by at least one member of the Democratic “leadership” aren’t helping. Geraldine Ferraro, I’m looking at you – again.

  32. Well, G, it’s not that hard to find Republicans here; according to this fellow, there were lots of them in that Obama rally crowd.

    Would you like to try another round of “mass numbers of conservative voters will magically appear”?

    Justme:

    I don’t suspect that Obama will pull immensely far ahead in the popular vote; with a nod toward what I suspect is G’s point, there are lots of people who won’t vote for him no matter how charismatic he is. I do suspect he’ll be far enough ahead to count, however.

    VD:

    Actually, I would never encourage any voter to sit out a presidential election, although I certainly understand why some would, depending on the election and their own positions.

  33. I’m a native of Illinois. In 2004, when Obama ran for Senate, he did quite well, carrying literally dozens of rural Republican counties – counties that also went handily to Bush. Places like Edgar County, Illinois, which with 15,000 people in the whole county, voted 60% Bush, 60% Obama.

    In short, “made man” or not, the guy can and has carried working class voters, “bitter gun-lovers” and all sorts of folks not normally swayed Democratic.

  34. Well, he was running against Alan Keyes in that election; i.e., carpetbagging loony from Maryland.

  35. If there were tons of Republicans in that crowd (and I myself know some Republicans who are definitely going to be voting for Obama, or at least “Not Fucking McCain”)… then this should be a most amusing election to watch.

  36. Sorry, it’s just that “mass numbers of right-wing voters magically appear” is exactly what happens in Italy in almost every election. It is an indisputable reality, an ineliminable component of the leftist voter mindset, and inevitably we tend to see the world through it.

    We leftist Italians are a strange kind of people. My parents, like millions of other people, voted for the old Communist Party and then for its successor parties for all their lives and won just two times in 40 years.

  37. Said carpetbagging loony was fully endorsed and supported by the state Republican party. Granted, Judy Barr Topinka, party chair at the time, wasn’t happy with that choice. (I’ve actually met her, and she seems a fairly reasonable sort.)

  38. Understood, G. Our right wing voters tend not to be shy in terms of their presence.

  39. The GOP really needs quite a few years not just in opposition, but completely impotent – maybe then it will get through their skulls that turn-of-the-twentieth-century style populism is not the right alternative to offer to turn-of-the-21st style populism.

  40. Hmm. You may want to take a look at Coke’s popularity before attempting to use it as an unfavorable comparison.

  41. Hmm. I thought McCain *was* the exhumed husk of Reagan. Oh, well. Guess I won’t be voting for him.

  42. Saint Obama can’t make everything perfect now

    I’m easy and will settle for less bad, though.

  43. So this is what it’s like on the other side of the looking glass. Filled with red queens, on a sugar high. I *hope* it’s sugar.

    [now let me see … lefty cliches … nope, I think that’s just about enough]

    I don’t quite know what y’all are complaining about. B.O. is the leftmost senator. McC is not the rightmost. The art of the possible would require some, uh, balance, no? Talking about being a uniter must have some reference other than to xenogamy, huh? B.O. has no history of cross-aisle compromise. McC has a too-rich one.

    Bush is stupid and inarticulate. clinton was a slut and a perjurer. Tammany Hall. The Teapot Dome. The XYZ Affair. The Zimmerman Telegram. For my part, I’m trying to live in the present.

  44. Personally I don’t believe it takes moderation to move forward. Nor does it take a government that is split in both directions. Both of these situations lead to a standstill.

    What is necessary for movement is either
    1) a government that leans in one direction both in the executive and legislative branches.

    2) or a split government where one half of the split lies down like a blanket and lets the other side walk all over them.

    Whether the movement is desirable depends upon who you are.

    Move to the left or to the right…but if you stay in the middle of the road, you’ll get run over.

  45. In Oregon, the pot smoking hippies are armed.

    I’ll probably sit this one out. It may hearten you to know that many Republicans of my acquaintance and at my blog intend to do so as well.

    I guess it’s easier to sit out than to organize the first time, to write in a name, or to vote for a very minority party candidate.

  46. Hey! I’m from PDX born and raised…

    We’re not *All* pot smoking hippies. Some of us are blue haired video game playing, sci/fi reading nerds ;)

    It was too hot to go to the rally for me (besides, after throwing a cousin of G W’s through a door when I was 11, I feel I’ve done my part for rallying)… But we’re all Obama supporters among my friends pretty much. I have high hopes, but I know it won’t all get fixed at once. I figure the nation’s state is like a body. A few weeks or years of binging will gain you 100lbs, but a few weeks of dieting won’t take them off.

    So there is your over-simplified view for the day. (reads comments) or…maybe not.

  47. TD — You get run over in the middle of the road only if the road has just one lane. Sort of backwards, that. Is it a dirt road? Are there chickens running around? The roads where I’m from have a line down the middle — a yellow line, which is unfortunate for my analogy … or is it yours? Let’s abandon it.

    Your faith in totalitarianism is disturbing to me.

    But all this rationality has convinced me. I love Obama, oh yes I do, I love Obama, and so should you. We love Obama, it’s true — O-ba-a-ma, we love you!

    Substance? What’s that? If there’s one thing my long, rightwing life has taught me, it’s that blind faith in dogmatic assertions is the way to go. Unity! Change! Hope! UCH!!!

    Coke is life!

  48. Jack, you’ve hit on my personal belief that we basically live in a kind of secular theocracy – if you don’t fall in line with one of two competing belief systems then you are a heretic and the high priests will condemn you, essentially ending your chances of winning any office above the local level.

  49. There you go then. It’s that Alan Watts thing. At first the mountain is a mountain. Then, in the pursuit of enlightenment, it is no longer a mountain. And after enlightenment has been achieved, it is a mountain again.

    We mustn’t let duality fool us. Behind the ying and the yang, is the Tao.

    There is a third solution to the Gordian knot. If you ask me nicely…

    But I am too gnomic. Somehow, I am a heretic while remaining true to the old ways. A reasonable conservative, open to reasonable liberals. I don’t care about theories, or motives. I care about results. Peace and generosity and general happiness. Good aims, eh? Peace through strength. Personal generosity, rather than government largess. Earned happiness, rather than entitlement. But I’ll take what I can get.

    J

  50. There are probably a lot of people in that crowd mostly there for the adventure. Excited about Oregon’s primary actually mattering for once. Wanting to say “I was there” in case the first black president is elected. Happy to be down by the river on what looks like a beautiful day. But that still doesn’t really support “mass numbers of conservative voters will magically appear”, and all those same things should apply to Clinton (sub black for female), and she’s not getting that turnout.

  51. I once heard an interviewer ask on NPR of a lesbian, why Christians were so anti-gay. “Well, y’see, it’s like this…”

    And I was all, like, “Uh, hello?”

    It’s best not to do a lot of speaking for the side you’re not on.

    Mass numbers of conservatives will not turn out, ever, for anyone. There aren’t mass numbers of conservatives, relatively speaking. A third, at most. As with liberals — about a fifth. Generally it’s a matter of how the middle swings. If they’re swingers, it’ll be left. If they’re, uh, heh heh, stable, it’ll be right.

    Who would you guess appeals more to centrists? It’s no guarantee, of course, but speaking as a conservative, I can live with McC. And I think the racists will save us from Obama. As you will know, they support Hillary. Go-o-o-o-o, racists!

    J

  52. My goodness. I just can’t help but be clueless. Won’t somebody help me? You are talking about the “racist” remark? Are you, by dear, unaware of Hillary’s widely reported comment, re her “hard-working white supporters”? And how that was widely seen by commentators on both sides as an appeal … another appeal to racism?

    But I do apologize. My ironic intent was not clear. On the other hand, now you might examine the bigotry, genuine, apparently, inherent in you own comment, against conservatives. Ironic, isn’t it, that *I* should be the nuances one. Go figure.

    J

  53. Well. I just followed CK’s link to his/her blog. It’s what I do. Just lookin’ around, seein’ what there is to see. I wouldn’t have commented there, but it seemed so, so relevant. May I share what I wrote?

    *ahem*

    Quote:

    Greetings. I followed your comment on Scalzi over here. You seem to be concerned about race, and its ism. That is as it may be.

    Allow me to make one observation. I just finished S’s book, Android’s Dream. Did you notice that Creek’s race was never noticed or hinted at? He could have been anything.

    That’s what I think of race.

    You might think about giving me an apology. :-)

    Pax,

    J

    Endquote

    There was a small part of me that expected a reveal. I’m glad it didn’t happen. Sort of a, what, Sixties thing? The shock of it? Unnecessary. “and hanging from the car door handle was … a BLOODY HOOK!!!”

    J

  54. But what’s his position on the space program and energy independence? Probably not much worse than McCain or Hilary. How are you going to feel when the first people on Mars are Chinese? We’ll probably still be fueling our cars with Saudi oil then. Whatever happened to American innovation and real hope? I guess I’ll wait for the next election, again.

  55. 1972-49(R)/1(D) Nixon v. McGovern
    1984-49(R)/1(D) Reagan v. Mondale

    Obama is as far left a candidate as either of the two listed above. He is going to lose by historic margins. McCain starts in the center and runs to the left gaining the disappointed Hillary voters in the center together with the terminally confused “independents”. Obama starts from the left and can’t move to the center because he can’t/won’t move to the center and thereby disabuse his activist donors.

    He is a Cook county hack with practically no national legislative experience and he speaks in generalities that defy interpretation for meaningful content. His triumph as the Donk’s candidate validates the conviction that the Dems have no platform only wildly conflicting constituencies eager to band together to plunder the national fisc.

    All this despite increasing inflation, disenchantment with a wastrel Congress and a war weary republican sensibility eager to disclaim its true imperial status.

  56. Ray Clutts: The fact that that’s the best argument you can come up with against Obama is heartening.

    Lose by historic margins? Are you kidding? What fantasy world are you living in?–have you seen how well Obama does with independents and Republicans compared to other recent Democratic candidates? And McCain is going to the right, not the center.

    Obama is proof that you don’t NEED to move to the center to win. He may speak in generalities, but that, if you haven’t noticed, is what most of the public cares about. If you want specifics, they are available and easy to find on his website–look at the post above yours if you can’t be bothered to look for yourself.

  57. No, JackH, I do not owe you an apology, or even a response.

    However, here is one of those two things. (The response, not an apology.)

    When a man is waving a gun around, no one is surprised when he shoots someone. This is not bigotry, it is a probable effect of waving a gun around.

    You come on here and draw attention to yourself with pithy comments barely masking your own bigotry. You say you are being ironic, and you may very well feel that you are, but you reveal yourself as ego-driven and self-congratulatory, as evidenced by the fact that you had to show everyone just how cleverly you try to put down your detractors, i.e. me, instead of just letting your comment stand.

    For the record, I knew you were “joking”, but considering your other comments in this thread, it was disingenuous. You are using the new-old rhetorical trick of turning it back on me to deflect your own guilt.

    I will admit to a bit of prejudice when it comes to conservatives, but to be fair, it is no greater than the apparent bias you have against liberals. The only difference is, I try NOT to be the stereotype, and you seem to revel in it.

  58. ” How are you going to feel when the first people on Mars are Chinese?”

    Fine with me – at least they’d be spending our money on something other than US companies.

  59. John Scalzi wrote: “Well, he was running against Alan Keyes in that election; i.e., carpetbagging loony from Maryland.”

    True, but that was only because no local Republicans wanted to take Obama on after Mr. Kinky Borg Love dropped out.

  60. Yeah. That guy was an idiot. Married to Seven of Nine and still not satisfied. Id-I-oT.

  61. Ahem.

    To the host and habitués of this thread, I apologize for the sideshow. It’s not an earnest apology, because the offense can only be small. I just dropped in yesterday cuz I liked JS’s book. But to the point:

    CK — “Pithy”? What, these old things? Why, thank you. I blush.

    I accept your apology. We’ll say no more about your misunderstanding.

    But your reference to guns frightens me. I view it as a threat, and have reported it to the appropriate authorities. The, uh, ACLU? NOW? NARAL? NAMBLA?

    I suggest that the probable effect of gun-waving is not that someone is shot. It is a possible effect, only, and given the presumed lop-sided ratio of waving to shooting, an unlikely one. Please, sir or madam, some rigor.

    But I’ve been silly. If you feel put down, or detracted, I apologize. I expected my tone to be caught, and understood. It is a common failing in me. I don’t think my attempts at irony were overly subtle. Really, rather obvious.

    I’ve met with quite a bit of bigotry, and have no patience for it. You admit yours. If you can be that honest, perhaps you have the courage to deal with it, too. You indicate that you’ve taken all of my comments into account. If so, I suggest you have been lazy in your attempt to understand them. I’m not quoting Kant, here. It’s easy to understand.

    If I draw attention to myself, well, isn’t that a good thing? Be amused. If I am ego-driven, all the more amusement for yourself. Watch the monkey dance.

    You are not entirely consistent, in your suggestion that I should have just let my comment stand. You could have done the same.

    Regarding my conservative guilt, I should think that the issue you’d have is that we conservatives don’t feel enough guilt. I’m guilty about … what? Your analysis is flawed by your pre- and misconceptions. Know your adversary. Your strategy is flawed.

    If you elect to, you might point out my apparent bias against liberals. If you mean the “red queens” and that lot, well, please. I thought it was mildly amusing. Your appeal to stereotypes seems in earnest. Mine was farce. Indeed, however, I do revel. Forgive me for that. I’m harmless, mostly.

    I will give you the last word, if you choose to reply.

    No hard feeling? Friends?

    Now I have to scan this for typos.

    J

  62. “Bill Clinton had it” (JS in the original post speaking of charisma).

    But he sure has demonstrated lately that he has lost or misplaced it along the way. Bill is yet another reason in a long list of reasons not to have Hillary as the VP candidate.

  63. To get somewhat back to the original subject –

    I think that you were closer to the truth than you’d care to be when you compared Obama with a rock guitarist. This rally wasn’t that large because people were excited by his policy papers, they were there because… their friends were.

    Obama is a fad, in every sense of the word. I say this not as a slam (I have plenty of those) but as an observation.

    To show this, lets look “go to the numbers”…

    Obama – 358K Clinton 240K Reps 340K total 950K votes

    Proposition 53 passed by 471K out of 938K cast (a lot of people evidently simply voted for the pres nomination and nothing else). This was a simple-minded “lawnorder” proposition, about as right-wing as you can get. It basically gives LE carte blanche for seizures, and then adds a little incentive, inasmuch as they get to keep the proceeds. It SPECIFICALLY removes any requirement for conviction for seizures to occur.

    Lets say that 2/3 of the Reps are this idiotic, and 1/2 of HIllary’s voters. That means that 120K (over a third) of the voters that are mad for one of the left-most senators voted for a proposition that is about as red-necked as they come.

    I say that his support is shallow. Of course, most voters are shallow (they voted for this 53), as well, so it may work out for him… but don’t think that this rally shows his invincibility.

  64. Hey now, some of us are gun-toting, fence-sitting non-hippies, here in Oregon. Besides, I was away from the state that day, visiting family in the bay area – to my immense relief.
    Why, that giant crowd might have just gotten bigger and bigger, and ended up making its way down the I-5 to where I live… *rolls eyes*

  65. I apologize if I missed it earlier (someone might have brought this up) and I do think it is an impressive feat to get that many oregonians in one spot (were a notoriously lazy group…. or at least I am, and it makes me feel better to attribute it blindly to the whole)

    BUT, how many were there *purely* for Obama?

    The Decemberists were there, and very few seem to mention how many were there for the band ,I would suspect quite a few, and how many were there for Obama alone? Not to put down his accomplishment. I do hope he wins, but it seems rather silly to pretend that it was EVERYONE there for him in staunch support

  66. “The Decemberists were there, and very few seem to mention how many were there for the band ,I would suspect quite a few”

    According to what I’ve read, a show they played a few days before the rally attracted ~800 people. I suspect that quite a bit fewer than you suspect were there for the band.

  67. “According to what I’ve read, a show they played a few days before the rally attracted ~800 people. I suspect that quite a bit fewer than you suspect were there for the band.”

    http://www.decemberists.com/news.aspx
    http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/portlandevent

    it was directly before the rally, on the day of.

    Again, I’m not saying there weren’t a lot of people there for Obama, but the Decemberists are regionally very popular, and it was a free concert, thats bound to attract more than 800 in Portland, so thats why I question the “Holy Crap Solidarity for Obama because of one event!” mentality thats coming about from this.

  68. Woops, my apologies, didn’t read your message well enough, 800 several days before on a DIFFERENT concert, my bad. Was the concert free/what location? Ive seen popular bands in small venues (less than 200) so that can be misleading as well.

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