April 25, 2008

McCain as Paris Hilton, Obama as Daniel Day-Lewis

John McCain spent the week campaigning in poor black neighborhoods. Is this part of some complex master Rovian plan to switch the demographic balance of the election? Nah. Or is it part of a cynical "Message: I Care" ploy? Nah, too. Or does McCain really care about poor blacks? Nah, three.

McCain's pretty much broke, so he's running a Reality TV-style campaign where instead of paying for expensive speechwriters and TV ads, he just figures out some wacky situation that will attract more cameras than normal and he just wings it in from there. This week's McCain campaign jaunt was like that Paris Hilton reality show "The Simple Life" where she and Nicole Richie milked cows.

McCain's been winging it his whole life. That's what he's best at. He may lose a wing now and then, but he's still here.

In contrast, Obama's preferred mode of campaigning is the way Daniel Day-Lewis makes movies: as infrequently and monumentally as possible. Obama's 5000 word speech on Rev. Wright was the political equivalent of Daniel Day-Lewis's performance in "There Will Be Blood."

In fact, what a lot of people said to each other right after Obama's Rev. Wright speech was awfully similar to what they said as they were walking up the theater aisle from "There Will Be Blood," with Brahms' Violin Concerto blasting away behind them:


"He makes a shiver run down my leg!"

"Like Orson Welles' 'Citizen Kane!' / Lincoln's 'Gettysburg Address!'"

"He's so much better than all other actors / politicians!"

"By the way" [in a small voice, looking around to make sure nobody else in the crowd is paying attention], what the hell was that about?"

"Uh ... I dunno."

"You don't know either?

"Well, it was about this minister."

"But what about the minister?"

"Yeah, well, Day-Lewis / Obama hates / loves the minister. And he gets rid of / doesn't get rid of the minister."

"How come?"

"I ... don't know. It had something to do with religion. But, it didn't seem to come up much in the movie / speech."

"So, why are we raving about it?"

"Look, making sense isn't really the point, now is it? The point is that Daniel Day-Lewis / Barack Obama is the most amazing person in the whole world."

"Right, sorry, my mistake, never mind."

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

Steve, once again you're being insensitive. This is modern art, man! It's about "flatness" of reality, or surfaces, or not constructing any literary truths into objects. Or something like that. Who cares. The important thing is it makes you feel "what I see/hear is great." It's fundamentally gay -- all looks, impressions, histrionics, no "natural" anything. I mean think: with Brahms, the dude tried so hard to combine harmonies, themes, variations in sensible way, and all he got was...that he's as great as Brahms (i.e. "hisself"). With "There Will Be Flood (of innumerable sensations and emotions and hardly anything else)", the guy who scored the music gets treated as Brahms (ehem, a giant, as we all literarily know.)

You're so outdated, Steve. Come to the 21st century. It's all "constructing reality out of nothing" now.


Anonymous said...

McCain's pretty much broke, so...

Get used to hearing that. McCain may have won the GOP nomination, but he's not big at inspiring the GOP base. The GOP used to have a strong advantage among small donors - individuals who gave $15 or $50 or $100 not to buy access but because they believed in the principles allegedly espoused by the Party. The GOP's open affair with the big business/open borders crowd, and the repeated one-fingered salutes to the middle class base, has cost them those donors.

. That financial advantage

Interstingly, John McCain's plan - which he has repeated several times - is to have the "border state governors certify that the borders are secure before moving on to address [amnesty]."

At present the border state governors are Arnold Schwarzenegger(R-Mexifornia), Janet Napolitano (D-Arizona), Bill Richardson (D-Aztlan), and Rick Perry(R-Texas). Perry ran his recent re-election campaign as ardent borders enforcer and then after his victory was secure immediately admitted he lied.

These are the people we're supposed to trust to certify border security?

Anonymous said...

Off topic--you've been leaving some great comments at Tyler Cowen's blog. Too bad I miss most of them since I don't usually read comments.

One great thing about your blog is that you're not an academic, so you're willing to question whether those studies that Cowen is always citing enthusiastically are actually adding to our knowledge about the real world, or not . . . once you join the academic game you can't do that, even though recognize how silly they are, because then somebody might point out that your own papers aren't adding any serious insights either.

Anonymous said...

William, Obama is even worse. Yes it's possible. McCain would at least be partly constrained by his base. Obama would owe nothing at all and might even offer voting to non-citizens.

McCain is of course a RINO or Moderate Dem. But structurally, Dems and Reps have an interesting swap.

Dems are the party of big money. Obama at San Francisco Billionaires Row, at the Getty Mansion, is emblematic. His base is narrow in votes, but deep in money. Democrats represent the very rich urban yuppies, the "Seinfeld" votes, and Blacks, Latinos, Gays, etc.

Reps are the party now of mostly the little guys, the NRA, Evangelicals, and homeowners. When Reps win it's by painting the outlines of Democratic interests. Seinfeld's interest is not that of say, Al Bundy.

Government handouts don't interest the white working/middle class because they know they won't get any of it. That goes strictly to minorities or "save the Polar Bear" stuff for the Seinfeld voters. Instead lower taxes, and issues to make prices lower, interest the middle/working class white voter.

Expect McCain to seize on Ethanol (he ran against it in Iowa) as a driver of high food prices, and promise to deliver lower food prices by repealing subsidies.

This drives a wedge between the Seinfeld interests (Global Warming) and the Al Bundy interests (cheaper food). It's an excellent play and one Obama can't counter. One he probably wouldn't even see coming. Shopping at Whole Foods like he does.

Note: more people watch crummy reality shows than Daniel Day-Lewis movies. So McCain's strategy is not completely dumb.

Anonymous said...

McCain would at least be partly constrained by his base. Obama would owe nothing at all and might even offer voting to non-citizens.

Since when has he ever been constrained by his base?

If McCain wins, then he's going to start pushing these stupid ideas. He's obsessed by them and won't drop them. And guess what? Because he's got that (R) after his name, the general public will blame the GOP for all of them, and at least some Republicans in Congress will feel obliged (or pressured) to back him on the measures.

If Obama wins then all of us can go into full opposition mode. We still have the filibuster. Heis not a dictator. He can't grant uniltateral amnesty, and he can't give non-citizens the right to vote.

So, if McCain wins we get an asshole for 4 years and lose yet even more seats in 2010.

If Obama wins we get an asshole but actually pick up seats in 2 years, and perhaps regain control.

Which do you prefer? I now which one I'd favor.

ricpic said...

What's with the acclaim for Day-Lewis? Two and a half hours of lockjawed Brit trying to make like a real Ammurican.

Anonymous said...

William -- here is political reality. If Obama wins, any opposition to him is "racist" and will be shouted down. Until he does irreparable harm. The media will be having a thrill up their leg every day for him. So too Dems, various "activists."

NYC took over a decade to recover from Dinkins. The damage Obama would do would be essentially irrecoverable. Among others, voting for non-citizens, reparations for slavery, throwing out the Constitution for "international law" and strict quotas to limit the "typical white person" in well, basically everything.

Once those are set in, it's impossible to recover. Want Bill Ayers on the Supreme Court? How about Bernadine Dohrn? "Dig it!" How about people like them at every level of the Justice Dept. and the Judiciary? Heck how about Al Sharpton as Attorney General?

McCain's old, a white guy, the press will turn on him five seconds after he's inaugurated, Hillary of all people is well positioned to run as the "blue collar savior" (don't laugh, who ever thought she'd down shots of Crown Royal) opposing whatever McCain proposes. Dems would load up anything McCain passes with a declaration that say, the US loves Ho Chi Minh or something just so McCain is forced to veto it.

Bottom line: McCain won't have the base to push things through any more than Bush did 2004-2006. Obama WILL since he'll have:

Moveon, ANSWER, Code Pink, etc. Soros funded 527's.
The Media.

Politics is the art of the possible. Obama = disaster, McCain containment of said disaster. I'll note that Republican base already torpedoed Amnesty under Bush. Obama would just LOVE to stick it to the "typical white person" which I'd keep in mind. Yeah McCain sucks. I would not let anger rule my decision making on which bad outcome is the least bad.

Bottom line: Congress and the President of opposite parties is the best shot at blocking anything from happening. See: Republican Congress, Bill Clinton, 1990's.

Anonymous said...

Where is there one shred of evidence that Obama is for open borders or giving votes to illegals? You mean, those Hispanics who did not vote for him? You mean, those Hispanics who are taking unskilled jobs from Blacks? You mean, those Hispanics who are driving Blacks out of their neighborhoods?

It seems like people around here assume Obama is pro-open borders because he is brownish. Is this just coming from unexamined assumptions about race, or what?

There ain't no brown-black alliance, folks.

Anonymous said...

McCain did one of those dumb appearances on American Idol,this was before the wrestling thing--and I am sure 99% of the teen girls and gay men who watch the show dont have a clue who he is,nor have the slightest knowledege about his POW experienece,but when he delivered his line about how he is re-thinking immigration,so "watch your back Simon",genuine laughter burst out. You know what girls say:If you can make me laugh,you can---heh heh heh! Interesting race may be coming up!

Anonymous said...

"Where is there one shred of evidence that Obama is for open borders or giving votes to illegals?"

Haven't you ever seen Obama on TV defending his statement illegals should get driver's licenses? I have.
I'm not saying McCain would be better but anyone who thinks Obama isn't eyeball deep in the Open Borders swamp is in a coma.

-Vanilla Thunder

Anonymous said...

"William said...

These are the people we're supposed to trust to certify border security?"

Good post. And good point about the border governors who will "certify" that the borders are secure (what does that even mean?).

I watched the video of McCain you linked to. He looked real enthusiastic talking about border security - about as enthusiastic as he probably was when he dictated his torture-extracted confession of war crimes to his communist vietnamese captors. So I guess we know how he feels about us.

I noted that he said Americans didn't trust the government for a whole variety of reasons, which he listed, including the government's response to hurricane Katrina. Does he really believe that? I know that's a fashionable belief among the press, but do regular Americans think that? Watching the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on television didn't weaken my trust in the government - it weakened my trust in blacks. That may sound harsh, but, hey, reality is harsh.

Anonymous said...

"testing99 said...

William -- here is political reality. If Obama wins, any opposition to him is "racist" and will be shouted down. Until he does irreparable harm."

You've laid out a concise brief as to why Obama would be disastrous. I quite agree with you. The charge of racism will be used to beat down all opposition and ram through anything that Obama - The One - The Chosen - He Whose Coming Was Foretold in the Ancient Scrolls - sees fit to do. He could well govern as a virtual dictator for a few years.

But I think McCain would be bad too. He would continue to display his characteristic indifference to the concerns of Americans, further march us down the road to being a global hegemon, and wreck conservatism in this country.

I think the best outcome is Hillary. She's really not a very astute politician, and she's a really bad liar (and by bad I mean an obvious liar). Seemingly, half of her own party despises her. With her in the white-house, I expect four years of grid-lock, which is the best we can now hope for.

P.S. I dug your "Dig It!" comment. What Dorhn said about Manson needs to be rubbed in her face at every oppurtunity. Neither she nor anyone she ever talks too should be allowed to forget it.