THE POPCORN REEL: OBSERVATIONS
The Officer And The Gentleman
The calm and the storm: Senator Barack Obama
as the gentleman and Senator John McCain as the officer, during the second
presidential debate. The final debate is on Wednesday. (Photo: Getty
Omar P.L. Moore/The
October 14, 2008
The officer graduated 894th out 899 students at the Annapolis Naval Academy in
Maryland and was a prisoner of war for almost six years in Vietnam.
The gentleman graduated first in his class at Harvard Law School and was
president of the Harvard Law Review. He then taught constitutional law for
12 years at the University of Chicago. He was a community organizer in
Chicago, fighting to eliminate asbestos from communities and fighting on behalf
In an interesting foreshadowing to say the least, the officer had a bone to pick
with the gentleman, more than two and a half years before they would end up
battling it out for the presidency of the United States. For example, look
at and note the contrast in the tone of the letter that
the gentleman wrote the
officer on February 2, 2006 and the
response letter from the officer to the
gentleman dated February 6, 2006.
The only base that McCain-Palin '08 is appealing to is the baser instinct within
the wackos, racists and assorted ignoramuses -- the deeply hateful, cowardly and
insecure elements lurking within Archie Bunker's closet.
Archie Bunker at least was half way smart -- he didn't pick a wife the way the
officer (or at least his camp) picked a running mate -- after meeting with her
just twice (once in person).
And at least David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who ran as
a Republican candidate for president in 1988, didn't run nearly as racist,
hateful or dishonest a campaign as John McCain has here in 2008.
During their only vice-presidential debate, Alaska governor Sarah Palin, whose
state is number one in rape, child molestation and incest, chided Joe Biden
about "pointing backwards" but it is Alaska's governor and Arizona's senator who
are doing just that, in true Alice In Wonderland through-the-looking glass
Pointing backwards to the not-so-distant days of lynch mobs, riled up pitchfork
crowds and the wayward, violent street justice of 1950's and 1960's America, in
both the North and South. In 1964 three civil rights workers went down to
Mississippi to register people to vote, and were killed for their efforts to
bring additional American citizens into the most cherished thing of all:
democracy. (A flawed film, "Mississippi Burning", featured the murders of
the three workers in its opening few minutes.)
Today, the officer's camp is pointing backwards and disrupting democracy in America
by falsely accusing a predominantly black community organizing group ACORN of
registering black, white, middle income and poor voters in a fraudulent way,
when in fact the officer's camp has been actively confusing prospective voters and
engaging in anti-democratic methods by sending out confusing and misleading
absentee ballot applications to voters in battleground states like Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Colorado and Michigan, engaging in voter
suppression. The officer's campaign has even sent e-mails to blacks in
Philadelphia warning them that they would be arrested for outstanding traffic
tickets if they showed up to vote on November 4, election day. The
mainstream corporate media is also doing the officer's bidding by helping to
further confuse voters about ACORN, when in fact ACORN is trying to weed out any
voter fraud. The electronic media also isn't reporting what hundreds of
local newspapers and even the New York Times is: widespread voter suppression by
the Republican party.
ACORN, a 38-year-old organization that for each of those years , has registered
1.3 million new voters this year. Most of these voters are likely to vote
for the gentleman. This is precisely what the officer's campaign is afraid
of. These properly obtained new registered voters are whom the officer's
campaign is most likely to challenge on November 4 and beyond.
The officer shouts country first, but the reality is he's putting country dead
last, not only with these scurrilous tactics to suppress predominantly
Democratic votes the way that George W. Bush's campaigns of 2000 and 2004 did,
but also by saying that if they continue to talk about the economy they will lose
The officer's camp has avoided talking about the economy -- the very issue that
Americans are most concerned about. Hardly an example of country first.
Hardly an example of concern for the way the country's citizens feel about the
issues that matter most. After all, the officer's campaign manager said
that this election "isn't about issues."
The officer has trumpeted support for veterans but he has voted against veterans
issues many times, getting a grade of "D" from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans
Against The War.
The gentleman received a "B" grade, as did the
gentleman's running mate.
The officer's running mate has a husband who was a member of the Alaska
Independence Party for seven years until 2002 -- a party which preached
separation from the rest of the United States, just like the South wanted to
secede from the Union in the 1800's, which brought about the bloodiest war ever
fought on American soil -- the Civil War. The AIP's now-deceased founder
Joe Vogler, who either blew himself up with explosives in 1993 or was killed in
during a sale of plastic explosives, once said that "the
fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American
government . . . and when I die I don't want to be buried under their damn
flag." The officer's running mate appeared at the AIP's conference in
March 2008, telling them to "keep up the good work".
The officer's running
mate was found to be in abuse of her power as governor of Alaska on October 10,
The officer's campaign slogan is reform-prosperity-peace, but the only things
that have prospered over the last two weeks are fear and hate.
Correction: the entire campaign of the officer has prospered in rank hate,
racist innuendo, fear-mongering, division, extreme dishonesty and the condoning
In fact, the officer has shown intolerance to others throughout his entire
political career. His temper is hotter than Tabasco sauce. His
judgment is cloudier than a typical San Francisco day. No one has to tell
you that fellow Republican colleagues of the officer, most notably Thad Cochran
of Mississippi, one of most conservative members of the senate, have waxed
poetic about the officer's hair trigger temper. Kenny Rogers would be
proud of the 72-year-old officer, because the Arizona tantrum-meister loves to
The officer has a history of treating women (including both his first and his
second wives) with contempt, making crude "jokes" declaring that Janet Reno is
Chelsea Clinton's father and that a woman would love to be raped by a gorilla.
One of his significant contributors in Texas, a former Republican gubernatorial
candidate, once "joked" that rape was like the weather: that a woman should just
relax and enjoy it. The officer voted against the gentleman's running
mate's Violence Against Women Act in 1992 and voted against the Martin Luther
King holiday in the 1980's. The officer voted against equal pay for women
saying that women needed more training and education before they could merit an
equal paycheck as men.
The officer once admitted in late 2007 that he didn't know much about the
economy and in early 2007 admitted that he never really loved America until he
was deprived of her company.
The officer said that he suspended his campaign to try to help negotiate the
bailout bill, even though he didn't suspend campaign ads or offices anywhere.
The officer told David Letterman that he had to cancel his appearance on the New
York-based show to fly to Washington, when in fact he went eight blocks west in
New York to live on Katie Couric's news show on the same television network at
the very same time that Mr. Letterman's show was taping.
The officer once told a group of union workers in 2006 that he bet they wouldn't
pick lettuce for $50 an hour in Yuma, Arizona. They booed and heckled him.
The officer ran ads that did everything but call the gentleman the "n"-word.
The officer ran false ads that all but called the gentleman a kindergarten child
The officer ran false ads that accused the gentleman of hanging
out with terrorists, stopping just short of accusing the gentleman himself of
being a terrorist (even if several of the officer's audience members didn't stop
short, and other members shouting out "kill him" and "off with his head".)
After a week -- well, months -- of such vitriol, the officer who ran these ads
all along, finally-- if reluctantly -- told the more unstable audience members
at his rally that the gentleman was "a, a good man, a family man, a citizen
. . . "
The officer treated the gentleman with disrespect in debate number one, refusing
to look at him, save for a brief fleeting glance when the gentleman, who had the
temerity to mention his name, acknowledged him.
In debate number two the
officer referred to the gentleman as "that one".
The gentleman has spent almost five months praising the officer as a genuine
American hero, honoring the officer's service in Vietnam, even as many people
who support the gentleman were upset at the gentleman for repeatedly doing so.
The gentleman tried to kindly steer the officer from obstructing the second
debate moderator's teleprompter last Tuesday in Tennessee. The officer
refused to budge, so the gentleman also walked into the moderator's line of
vision in order to not make the wandering officer look foolish by himself.
The officer and his beer heiress wife left the debate about two minutes after it
concluded, while the gentleman and his prospective First Lady stayed for more
than 40 minutes after the debated ended, talking to the audience of undecided
voters, taking pictures with them and signing autographs for them.
The gentleman has avoided heated and hateful rhetoric even as the officer
continues to do anything but.
The gentleman told his own supporters "no, we don't need that," when his
supporters began booing the mentioning of the officer.
The gentleman has continued to look presidential while the officer has continued
to look pathetic.
When the officer was asked this month by an editorial board at The Des Moines
Register if there was a time where he hadn't been covered by a government
tax-payer health insurance in his political career, he responded with a rambling
response which included that he "never wanted to be an astronaut."
And the officer who never wanted to be an astronaut, never
answered the question.
The gentleman has never lost his temper in 20 months of campaigning. The gentleman has graciously kept
his head above the fray while some of the most vicious, negative attacks have
been launched against him.
The gentleman, whom in his original August 28 convention speech had the line
"failed Bush presidency", changed the line to "failed Bush policies".
The gentleman unveiled an expanded economic plan on October 13, 2008.
The officer, after his campaign surrogates said he would do the same, did not.
Can you guess who is the officer and who is the gentleman?
(Photo: New York Times)
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