Monday, October 27, 2008

8 Days to RAIN Day

RAIN Minus 8

Item First – Let it RAIN: From now until the presidential Election Day we will begin each post with a review of the Remove All Incumbents Now (RAIN) campaign. A good rain washes clean all the road scum, dust and filth. We hope that a cleansing of Congress will result in the firing of the legislators who are part of the group that bailed out Wall Street with nearly a trillion dollars, at least 150 billion of which was blatant authorized pork by Democrats to appease Republicans who had previously rejected the bill then changed their vote allowing it to pass after being seduced by pork. We are not sure how much of the bailout, if any, was actually needed.

To vote or not to vote… there is no question: One week from tomorrow. November 4, 2008, those of us who have not early voted will shuffle on to Buffalo or whatever city we live, and exercise our right as Americans. Of course, if we live in small towns or rural Virginia we’re better Americans than the rest of the country, so says one of the candidates. Another of the candidates hangs all the country’s problems on the current administration. And while the Bushies certainly have a litany of faux pas, bumbling and stumbling without humbling, there are some things that have happened on their watch that they did not directly cause. But the mystery of which candidate will lead us through the next four years; the old and tested or the young and restless, has been solved. Bobby Lewis once said, “I couldn’t sleep at all last night. I kicked my blanket on the floor, turned my pillow upside down. Got out of bed, turned on the light, pulled down the shade went to the kitchen for a bite. Rolled up the shade, turned off the light, got back into bed it was the middle of the night.” Last night it hit me. I know exactly who’s running, who will win the election and why.

Dinosaurs and Religious Wing Nuts: To the right, surrounding John McCain and Sarah Palin sit two constituencies; the dinosaurs and the religious right wing nuts. The dinosaurs see McCain as the last best whitest hope. He was a hero in Viet Nam, got shot down and became a prisoner of war. He is an old white guy who is surrounded by old white guy and a few old white gals in the congress – and oh yes, lightly sprinkled with a bit of diversity. His running mate is a conservative religious governor of a state with a population that is one-third the size of Las Vegas. She started out as the “Thrilla’ from Wasilla,” but has become to be seen by many in her party as “The Blunder from the Tundra.” Still she has plenty of pretty perky peppy appeal to a certain demographic and is able to fill an arena with raucous supporters and the curious. It has been reported that Senator McCain’s handlers have resorted to using campaign volunteers to fill empty chairs at some of his rallies. The party, some say, has been hijacked by far right zealots who like what they see in the Great Alaska Shout-out. The Republican ticket has attempted to paint the Democratic ticket as left-wing liberals, ironically using the “same old business as usual by dinosaurs” tack used on them with the citing of Nancy Pelosi Harry Reid, and Barney Frank as their whipping, uh, boys?

Novices: Support for the other side comes in large part from first time voters, diverse population groups, and leaping leaner lefties. The Democratic ticket started out with a “person of color” vs. a female in the primaries. When the “person of color” became the nominee he chose an old white guy as his running mate. As Senator Obama is fond of saying, “You can’t make this stuff up.”

As a young, energetic candidate to lead, the party clearly was at the opposite end of the continuum from the old white guy’s party. They had a much smaller constituency and had one or two big money backers as opposed to their opponent who had lots of longtime voters and plenty of cash. To make up for the difference the novices set in motion a strategy that historians and pundits will quote for generations. Rather than try to sway the vulnerable group that represents their opponent’s middle, they decided to create a new coalition of young first-time voters. The government campaign money was eschewed for small donations by new idealistic registrants. They went into areas of people who historically did not bother to register and vote – inner cities, barber and beauty shops, gymnasiums, spas, grocery stores, factories, college campuses and many other locations that diverse groups of historical non-voters hung out. The result was legions of new voters became novices whose views, for the most part could not be changed by the other side. They quickly figured that if each American gave a few dollars through the internet, they’d have much more money to spend than their opponents.

Code Words: Voters on the right (meaning Republican) fired up their base by reminding them of the dangers of voting for candidates from the left (meaning Democrats). They cited heroism in Viet Nam (young voters could not differentiate between the Viet Nam War and the Civil War). They accused their opponent of steering the country toward socialism (young voters think socialism means hanging out with their buds). They talked about diversity (code word to Dinosaurs for African American) and illegal immigrants (code word for Hispanics) and crime (code word for young, nonwhite, people without a college education). The problem for the Republicans is that code words solidified the Dinosaurs (their constituency) but meant little to Novices (code word for newly-registered voters). Hence, the election will be determined not by Palin’s wardrobe or Biden’s gaffes, or McCain’s anger or by Obama’s rallies, but by a simple matter of numbers – will more Dinosaurs or Novices vote? We’ll find out for sure next Tuesday but most polls suggest it will be the Novices.

More danger to hunters than gatherers: There is something so doggone romantic about killing one’s own supper. Perhaps it is the human DNA that takes us back to the time when a good club over the head of a helpless bunny or a spear in a dear would bring home the bacon, so to speak. But men of all shapes and sizes fight for the right to keep guns skip work to blow away Bambi for sport. It is a lot easier to stalk one’s prey in the aisles of a Kroger store and apparently less dangerous than to don the gear and shoot the breeze and an occasional buck. The biggest danger that some hunters face isn't getting eaten by a bear or hit by a stray bullet or falling out of a tree stand. It's heart disease. Three times more hunters die from the big one than from a hunting accident. So before heading into the woods with your 30-30 Winchester, camouflage gear, 25 extra pounds of beer belly, and your best Havana cigars, be sure to pack a cell phone to call for help. Oh yes, if despite of being in a drunken stupor you do bag that elk, lugging it to your car can also put undue strain on your heart.

A little blogging music Maestro… Anything by Guns ‘N Roses.

Dr. Forgot

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