The media pundit pile-on regarding Barack Obama has begun in earnest the last couple of days, as his campaign has picked up steam by winning two more contests in WI and HI. The worst, by far, was the contrived idiocy of David Brooks.
For a man who looks as though he never sheds his Brooks Brothers, he is obsessed with hippy aspersions. Remember this gem from the 2000 campaign?
DAVID BROOKS: I think that’s kind of… I don’t agree with that…. you know, Gore has this double front problem. He’s got to win over the whiners in West Virginia who want to protect their hunting rights. He has to win over the hippies in Oregon who want U.S. energy needs to be met by burning hemp oil And he’s got these hippies and hunters — he’s got to hit them both.
Having a Republican pundit bitch about people exercising their 2nd amendment rights is an amusing twist for slamming Al Gore, but I think we all catch the wink wink nudge nudge of the "burning hemp oil," don’t we? Subtle.
Her Snipiness isn’t far behind, mainlining the usual slagging of Hillary, but the edginess at Barack at the end says to me that she’s just itching to drop her "crush" routine and get right to the manic break-up phase. Predictable, much?
Robert Samuelson takes a different tack altogether, with a critique of style and subtance or perceived lack thereof. Where was he in 2000 when the GOP platform and the Bush campaign had less substance than a fart in a windstorm? Oh, that’s right, he was contemplating how nice it would be to have a beer with the candidate most likely to be declared class clown. The hell with substance back then (H/T Brad DeLong), eh, Bob?
Not that it’s anything new, or unexpected, or even unpredictable. We have known it was coming, the love affair with a Democrat never lasts, but the crush on McVain apparently lasts for-evah. Are substance and policy issues something to be questioned? Absolutely, for every candidate. Is it being done in an even-handed way? Nope. Not even close. Again.
Something they can’t spin away?
Democratic turnout has dwarfed the GOP’s. Including in early voting totals in Texas — TEXAS! And that huge increase in primary turnout has come with a whole slew of new Democratic voter registration. Here’s a report from last night’s Hawaii caucus from our own Bob Schacht, who was a precinct leader in his area:
I just got back from my Democratic Caucus in Honolulu (District 25), and it was a phenomenal night! We had a huge line of new voters, and another huge line of people registering as Democrats for the first time– so many that we ran out of Democratic Party registration forms!…People had gotten word of a possible huge turnout. I brought a friend with a disability and arrived early, about 5:30 (voting was to begin at 7 PM)….
Everyone had to go to their precinct table to await the official time for the caucus vote, 7:00 – 7:30 PM. The procedure was that everyone had to sign in at their precinct, get a ballot and vote. Unfortunately, we had no microphone or loudspeakers in the room full of hundreds of people! The poor district president had to try to shout over the din to move us along to the next point on the "agenda".
…Some precincts quickly ran out of Precinct Sign-in forms, and I barely had enough. Our tables were filled to overflowing. Once balloting started at 7:00, there was mayhem for a while. In my precinct, everyone left as soon as they voted. No one in my precinct stayed for the "party business" that was supposed to come next. But even after my tables had voted and emptied out, there were still long lines with new voters, and newly registering Democrats who needed to know what precinct they were in. Consequently, I was kept busy with a trickle of voters long after the voting was supposed to end. Finally, about 8:00, we got the call (or "shout") to start counting ballots. Of course, the ballots in each precinct had to be signed off by two people. By this point, I was the only person left in my precinct, so I had to get help from another precinct.
Yay Bob for being involved — and a huge shout out to FDL readers who have been out there through the primary season voting, caucusing, driving folks to the polls, working for candidates, and doing everything else to be active in the process. THIS is the heart of changing things, doing the work to make it happen.
Lest anyone attribute this solely to some sort of hometown Hawaii Obama-mania, this has been going on in every single primary — in Iowa with new Barack Obama voters showing up to caucus all over the place, in New Hampshire with scads of Hillary Clinton supporters, and on and on. This is not some isolated event, it’s a consistent demand for something that is not the same old Republican cronyism and unilateral executive fiat.
The YouTube above is Obama’s speech from last night in Houston. (Part II of the speech is here.) Contrast his discussion of issues that matter to the everyday lives of the people in the audience with the one that not even Viagra could enliven from John McCain (YouTube), that can be summarized, in Jane’s oh so eloquent prose, as "terra terra terra booga booga booga."
Had enough? Apparently most of America is right there with you — the fact that the GOP can’t be trusted to competently manage a popcorn stand, let alone their craptastic handling of the economy being one of many, many factors. No wonder the media pundits are worried for their good ole pal McVain. The old terror message, it ain’t what it used to be…
Together we made history last night! Over 37,000 citizens turned out at our caucus sites to voice their preference for the Democratic Party nominee for President. We have never before had more than 5,000 participants at our caucuses.