The Phony Campaign

2008-07-06 Update

The Google forecast calls for continued high levels of phoniness, with occasional outbreaks of arrant hypocrisy, possibly continuing for the next four months or so.

Query StringHit CountChange Since
"Barack Obama" phony752,000-1,000
"John McCain" phony676,000+40,000
"Bob Barr" phony12,000+1,400

  • Charles Krauthammer seems to be warming to the phoniness that is Senator Obama. He runs through the week's flip-flops: flag pin, check; gun control, check; Iraq, check. Conclusion:
    As Obama assiduously obliterates all differences with McCain on national security and social issues, he remains rightly confident that Bush fatigue, the lousy economy, and his own charisma — he is easily the most dazzling political personality since John Kennedy — will carry him to the White House.

    Of course, once he gets there he will have to figure out what he really believes. The conventional liberal/populist stuff he campaigned on during the primaries? Or the reversals he is so artfully offering up now?

    I have no idea. Do you? Does he?

    A real good question.

  • Betsy Newmark details another instance of Barackrobatics that Krauthammer has (so far) missed: the abortion issue. She points to Friday's report from ABC legal analyst Jan Crawford Greenburg, who notes Obama's Strange New Respect for conservative jurisprudence on the issue:
    In a recent interview, Obama appears to back away from his long-stated positions on abortion (and a proposed federal abortion rights law he had co-sponsored), repudiate 35 years of accepted Supreme Court rulings on the issue and embrace a view on abortion restrictions that has been expressed on the Court only by Justices Thomas and Scalia.
    Obama now states that the "mental distress" of a pregnant woman shouldn't count as a "health of the mother" exception to obtaining an otherwise-prohibited late term abortion. As far as anyone can tell, this is a new position. Betsy concludes:
    Once again, Senator Obama has shifted to the center on an issue in a way that will please conservative and centrist voters. His more liberal supporters will grin and bear it because they want to win and he's [their] guy. Perhaps they are confident that he is still with them in his heart of hearts and is just pivoting for political advantage. They want to win just as conservatives want to win and are willing to talk themselves into supporting John McCain. If Obama is to win, he'll most probably be dealing with a strongly Democratic Congress and he won't have to worry about any abortion bill with an exception to the mental health exception coming out of the Congress. And, despite his statement to the Christian Magazine, Relevant, I can't see him fighting for such an exception or vetoing the Freedom of Choice Act if it should come to him from that Congress. Just words perhaps?
    Yeah. I can't see him actually nominating any judges who have a Scalia/Thomas record on the issue, either. So: "just words", definitely.

  • Things have gotten pretty bad when even the New York Times editorialists have a problem with your tergiversations. (Campaign finance, check; FISA immunity, check; faith-based initiatives, check; death penalty, check; gun control (again), check). Conclusion:
    We are not shocked when a candidate moves to the center for the general election. But Mr. Obama’s shifts are striking because he was the candidate who proposed to change the face of politics, the man of passionate convictions who did not play old political games.

    There are still vital differences between Mr. Obama and Senator John McCain on issues like the war in Iraq, taxes, health care and Supreme Court nominations. We don’t want any “redefining” on these big questions. This country needs change it can believe in.

    I will be giving a dramatic reading of these paragaphs at the dinner table tonight, with quivering chin and quavering voice, on the edge of tears.

  • Obama may be a phony, but his birth certificate isn't.

  • By the way, the Pun Salad-invented word "Barackrobatics" is still losing badly to "Obamafuscation" on the Google. Today's score is 1,190 to 3. "Obamafuscation" has even cracked its way into the Urban Dictionary. Moan.

    But while browsing through the UD, this one gave me a chuckle: "Baracknophobia." Proposed McCain campaign slogan: Baracknophobia—Catch It!

Last Modified 2014-12-01 10:55 AM EDT

Be Kind Rewind

[Amazon Link] [4.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

I haven't been a big Michael Gondry fan in the past, not being swept up in the near-universal accolades for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. But Gondry wrote and directed this movie, a screwball comedy with fantasy elements, and it really worked for me.

Jack Black and Mos Def play buddies Jerry and Mike, respectively. Mike works for Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover) in the local VHS-only video rental store in lovely Passaic, New Jersey; its alleged claim to fame is that it was the birthplace of Fats Waller. Jerry is delusional and paranoid, but in a nice way. Through an unlikely misadventure in the local power plant, he erases all the tapes in Mr. Fletcher's store. Even less likely, he persuades Mike and others to remake their own versions of the destroyed movies as substitutes, substituting their enthusiasm for talent, accuracy, and production values.

Mia Farrow has a small role as sweet and daffy Miss Falewicz, who starts out the whole enterprise by demanding to rent Ghostbusters. There's also a wonderful cameo from an actress who just happens to have been in one of the movies Jerry and Mike remake.

Last Modified 2012-10-11 3:57 PM EDT

Experimental Results


This week's test of the Sunday Basic Cable Movie Actor Theory:

  • 12:00AM on A&E: Die Hard (Bruce Willis)
  • 1:00PM on SPIKE: The Big Bounce (Morgan Freeman)
  • 8:00PM on TNT: The Fifth Element (Bruce Willis)
  • 8:30PM on FX: I, Robot (Will Smith)
  • 10:10PM on TNT: The Fifth Element (Bruce Willis)
  • 10:30PM on AMC: Look Who's Talking (Bruce Willis)
What's with all the Bruce movies? I checked, it's not his birthday.

I've never seen The Big Bounce, but I understand it's pretty bad.

The theory stands unrefuted for the past twenty weeks.

Last Modified 2008-07-12 6:45 AM EDT