Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

How The Other Half Lives

I was standing outside a bar last night (does a common theme emerge in these posts?), talking politics with some people. We started listing the various canards and pseudo-evidence that might keep a poorly-informed voter from supporting Obama: He's a Muslim, a terrorist, a member of Al Qaeda, his middle name is Hussein...

A woman standing nearby yelled, "That's not true, and I'm voting for him!" Great, right on, we responded. But, "You need to get your facts straight!" she yelled. No, we were joking, we explained. "Doesn't sound like joking to me," she said, and returned to her cellphone.

In short, she was an intrusive pain in the butt, far more interested in excoriating than in educating. She's voting the right way, but I wonder how many votes she's cost Obama with her hectoring.

And I got a sense of how folks on the right must feel when we true believers explain things to them. It's not fun to have a stranger yell at you. It doesn't make you reconsider; if anything, it makes you even more certain that Obama and his supporters are scary.

I understand the frustration - we're fighting racism and a massive campaign of lies. But it doesn't matter how right we are - stay calm, or stay silent.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I'm Calling It Now: Obama Wins Virginia

I was at a blues party this past Sunday. I was wearing my Bush's Last Day t-shirt. The guy sitting in front of me was wearing a B-52 bomber peace sign t-shirt, "Peace The Old-Fashioned Way." White guy, middle-aged.

I told him we probably disagreed on all sorts of things, but I thought his shirt was cool. He told me I was making assumptions that might be wrong. We chatted. He was right.

He's a vet, served in a bomber wing, is proud of it. But he had no problem with my t-shirt. As a conservative Bush voter, he feels "betrayed," and his feelings about the Iraq war match mine: senseless, the wrong war.

He's not thrilled with either presidential choice, and he wouldn't say how he's planning to vote. But he did say that he hopes that "young man" can lead the country. So, again, this is a prototypical McCain voter who's actually somewhere between uncertain and Obama.

Another reminder that, in these polarized times, there are smart people in the middle with nuanced views.

Finally, a caveat, my margin of error: I do most of my political fieldwork with a bellyful of good beer. Unlike the media elite, however, I admit it.

My Money Went To Wall St. And All I Got Was This Lousy Bailout

Good thing Congress acted so quickly to reduce market volatility.