Thursday, October 16, 2008

I was debate watching last night with the rest of the Country and was heartened by Obama’s steadfastness, his humor and his unflinching responses to McCain’s outrageous and repeated accusations.

I watched the debate at the studios of Green 960, progressive talk radio in San Francisco, invited as a listener guest. After the debate, two of us went into the studio with veteran host Angie Coiro for an on-air discussion of the debate with callers. Joining us were California Democratic Party Chair Art Torres, and San Mateo Republican Party vice chair Deborah Wilder. It made for an interesting discussion, you can imagine.

Small plug here:

If you don’t already listen to Green 960, you are missing a great radio experience. Tune into 960 on the AM dial. Angie Coiro is “live and local” at 3 pm every day and I never miss her show. Check the website for other shows and news of the progressive community in the Bay Area. If you are outside the Bay Area, there are live podcasts and archives of most shows. Check it out!

Who won?

All the major networks except Fox found Obama to be the winner. McGrumpy made some points with his newfound aggressive style, but most agreed it was too little too late. Actually too much is more like it. My co listener guest Kim called it “Kitchen sink politics.” Obama never ducked the flying objects McCain kept tossing at him. He didn’t need to. McCain wore himself out to the point he was having trouble articulating, calling his running mate “a breash of freth air” at one point, but that might just be because he gets all hot and bothered thinking about her. (Did you catch the way his gaze kept sinking to her bottom when he first introduced her as his Veep pick? But maybe he was just falling asleep.)

It’s all about the Supreme Court:

For me the watershed moment was McCain’s declaration of a Culture War. No he didn’t say those words, but he did say we need a change of culture, and he was referring to the issue of choice. Saying Obama was allied with “pro-abortion extremists” because he would make an exception for the health of the woman in opposing late term abortions. (Yes, I was disappointed he opposed them, because they are always either for the health of the woman or because the fetus is so badly deformed it couldn’t survive in any meaningful way outside the womb. Hey, these are women who want to have babies. This is not a last minute change of heart or whimsy on their part, as the anti-choice crowd would have you think.)

McCain was flippant, insulting and grossly ignorant or worse, in his cavalierly dismissing the health of the woman as a consideration.

And Choice:

Make no mistake, under a McCain presidency the cause of choice would be set back if not downright overturned altogether if he gets to pick who sits on the Supreme Court. He says he would not make Roe v. Wade a litmus test, but it is clear he would. It ain’t over yet folks. Stay tuned. And if we win, the Reps are already planning a challenge based on “voter fraud,” about which they know plenty.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dear Friend, Goodbye. A Satire

Dear Friend,

I won’t embarrass you by using your name, or myself by knowing it, so let me just call you “that one.”

I must say good bye and end our long friendship, that is acquaintance, since I have had my investigators look into your past and have found some pretty troubling information.

Like that time in kindergarten you whacked Suzy Shepard over the head and threatened to “kill you,” if she didn’t give back your favorite dolly she was pulling all the hair out of. Such violence cannot be tolerated.

Or that time in high school when you and your hooligan gang threw toilet paper all over the vice principal’s house on Halloween. Such a blatant lack of respect for authority is beyond the pale in these times of fear and terror.

Worst of all may be the well founded rumor which circulated in the sixties that your anti-Vietnam War sympathizing had actually turned into radical terrorism as you kicked the nice policeman in the shin, while he tightened the handcuffs around your wrists and lifted you oh so gently off the ground to toss you into the paddy wagon with the rest of your terrorist protesting buddies. Non-violent disobedience my tuckas!

And just being an anti-war sympathizer in this time when our brave troops are fighting the terrorists over there so we don’t have to fight them here is something I can no longer overlook.

So I must tender my resignation to the Board of our Homeowners’ Association, although it pains me to do so, since we are so close to working out the landscaping for phase three, and I was so looking forward to overseeing the planting of my beloved semi-double laciniated pompom mums in the common area. But to keep an association with you at this time is to put into jeopardy my future political career as a Republican candidate for Sanitary Commissioner.

I am copying all my fellow Board members as well as the press, as it is my civic duty to let them know what kind of individual they have placed their trust in.

I am sorry I will not be able to attend the ill-advised wedding of our two daughters, as we had planned. Jessica is no longer speaking to me, her own mother, so you can see how far the seeds of your radical past have been sown.

Next time you want to serve on a board of directors, be sure not to omit the pertinent facts outlined in this letter from your resume, so that all may be forewarned and not learn the hard way, as I have,

Your former friend,

Upstanding Citizen and phase two condo neighbor

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Angry "Older" White Women

I have been an angry white woman a good part of my life. Now as a boomer reaching 60, some might classify me as an "older angry white woman."

I’m angry over the fact that we still don’t have an Equal Rights Amendment. That women still make 77 cents to every dollar earned by a man; that we are losing women in our legislature, that some younger women don’t seem to appreciate all the sacrifices their mothers’ and grandmothers’ generation made to get where they are today. (taking for granted that they too can take their place at the corporate trough), angry that we still have a corporate culture, not the cooperative society we all believed in the 60’s.

One of the things I am NOT angry about is Hillary Clinton. Sure, I’d love to see a woman president and I’m glad to see a viable woman candidate, who was able to rally millions to her cause go as far as she did (even though Hillary herself is a little corporate for my tastes.) A major step in the right direction.

But when I hear the media says Obama will have to work hard to win over older white women, that some of them (us) might actually vote for McCain out of spite, I just don’t believe it. Would I, as a feminist, really want to throw away all I’ve worked for on a bland white Republican, because my candidate didn’t win? Would I want to sell the legacy of future generations to endless war and a Supreme Court stacked against all I hold dear? Would I do this out of anger, bitterness or a sense of if I can’t have it neither can you as the corporate media would have you believe? Not likely.

So who are these angry older white women who might vote for McCain? The Democratic equivalent of the Guns, God and Gays voter?

I don’t think they exist. I think they are a figment of the media imagination. All the older white women I know who were rooting for Hillary have swallowed their disappointment and moved on. To work on uniting the Party, to defeat the right, to defeat the tired old George Bush neo-con agenda, and work for change.

Hillary would have been change. Obama is going to be change. Change for the better. If you were for Hillary, you’re not going to be for McCain. The Peace, Environment and Choice voter is just too smart to vote against her own (and her children’s) self interest, no matter what the Gays, Guns and God voters do (if they even exist either).

Don’t let the talking heads convince you otherwise.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Obama and Language or Much ado about....

Oh, wait, that’s been said before; I mean, there’s a tempest in a teapot brewing… No, that’s off limits too. But in all this rush to accusation over Obama’s use of some well worn phrases to express sentiments that rouse the public, where’s the beef? (Sorry little old lady peddling burgers)

If politicians went out of their way to pen speeches with nary a reference to any concept ever before expressed, and all new speeches, who’d know what the bleep they were talking about?)? In all this bloviating about Obama’s use of words that may have been uttered by others, no one is mentioning it’s the use of the familiar that drives campaigns.

Get a grip (full disclosure, not my line) pundits. We’re not talking about turning in someone else’s homework here.

All this media buzz (not my words either, I stole them from 6 or 7 different news papers and blogs, so sue me) over Obama’s rhetoric expressing in some of the very same words, some of the very same sentiments of other candidates or officials has left my head reeling (commercial for something? TV?)

So now he has the audacity to sound like John Edwards, after months of people begging him to pick up some of Edwards ideas and run with them (football term). I know this from the horse’s mouth (Joyce Cary, title of a novel, that I know darn well he didn’t make up. Did anyone sue him for plagiarism?) I was on a conference call with Obama and former Edwards staffers not two weeks ago who were urging him to do just that.

So is Obama just supposed to express these sentiments in different ways? Like, instead of saying, let’s talk unions, would you rather he say, let’s talk about those guys and gals who you know organize other guys and gals into groups of guys and gals to try to get better working conditions? (Oh, yeah, Guys and Gals, maybe too close to Guys and Dolls? Musical based on book by Damon Runyan.)

Is he supposed to ignore the mass culture of drug companies trying to dupe us into thinking we’ll be happier if we’re doped to the gills (whoops, heard that somewhere before too, stop me before I plagiarize again), by using the same imagery Edwards did of happy people cavorting in a field after ingesting some kind of pharmaceutical or other? Good image that. Why not use it? Better than take this pill and you’ll be able to fit through a keyhole, enter the land of Wonderland. (as in Alice in, novel by Lewis Carroll.)

And now they’re going after him for his “Yes we can” slogan. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank needs a history lesson. His article in today’s (Feb. 20) Chronicle attributes the “Yes we can” saying to a kiddie show cartoon character called Builder Bob. (The online version of the original article at least gives a nod to its use by Caesar Chavez) That saying, “si se puede” in Spanish, was first coined as a rallying cry by Dolores Huerta of the United Farmworkers Union in 1972. Its use by a kiddie TV character shows just how far language reaches into popular culture.

In the immortal words of Lewis Carroll:

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch "

from The Jaberwocky

Cutting and running for now (George W. stolen from old nautical term, no attribution or apologies ever offered),

your faithful correspondent Dotty the Green Dog Democrat.