A few random thoughts…
I’m not a big fan of blatant populism, but as obvious panders go, I’m enjoying the whole “Joe the Plumber” story more than any other political story in a while. “Joe the Plumber” is such a wonderful example of the common man—plumbers are as useful as any blue collar profession, and are regarded as salt-of-the-earth, sturdy people. And the actual plumber referred to couldn’t be better for McCain’s purposes—he is a living embodiment of the American Dream.
The American Dream usually means owning one’s own house and business. It doesn’t usually mean being a campaign spokesman, but maybe Joe Wurzelbacher should go into that profession instead of being a plumber. He manages to make a much stronger case against Barack Obama’s tax plan than any of McCain’s people.
If McCain wins—and he only trails by four in the latest Rasmussen poll, by two in the Gallup poll—“Joe the Plumber” will become the most famous campaign legend ever. He would replace “Dewey Defeats Truman” as the inspiration for longshot candidates.
I think it’s pretty obvious that the media has done a dreadful job this election cycle, not so much because of its liberal bias but because of general incompetence. The fact that cable news is an intelligence wasteland is pretty obvious, but the networks and talk radio are pretty bad as well. The networks are all hemorrhaging viewers, and their format is obsolete—I don’t have time to watch the news for a half hour at six o’clock, but even if I did, I wouldn’t anyway—I’d have found out about the stories that interest me six hours earlier on Drudge.
Talk radio is largely pretty bad too. I listen to Rush, and occasionally Glenn Beck, but the rest of the crew (in Cincinnati, that’s Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and Mark Levin), is irritating. Hannity is relentlessly predictable—he has two set conversations. One for liberal callers (Liberal caller asks question, Hannity changes the subject, Hannity hangs up on listener), and one for conservative callers (“You’re a great American, Sean” “You’re a great American, caller” “Those liberals sure are bad, huh?” “They sure are…let’s go to…[next caller]”) I can’t take the repetition anymore.
I’ve noticed that the conservative blogosphere seems to be either really angry or really depressed, depending on the blogger. Both emotions, to me, seem a bit over the top and unnecessary, and neither will help McCain win. McCain’s not far enough behind to justify depression, and I just can’t get too angry at Obama. Maybe I should, but I’m just not feeling the anger.
Colin Powell might endorse Obama. Some Obama organizer decided to scrap the national anthem to fit another speaker into an Obama event. I’m not excited—but they’re stories up on Drudge. I guess not much is happening.
Returning to the topic of Joe the Plumber, how can the top headline on Drudge be “McCain defends Plumber”? Isn’t there anything else going on? Guess not.
I guess the baseball playoffs are good this year. I can’t watch—I used to be a big sports fan, but I’ve lost interest for the past year. I live in Cincinnati—since 1990, the Reds and Bengals have had two playoff appearances between them. Both teams are always bad—and they aren’t bad in a so-bad-it’s-good kind of way, but just plain, boringly bad. I root pretty hard for my teams—so if they won’t put out any effort, neither will I.
So instead, I’m following politics and rooting for McCain. Yeah, that’s the way to find a winner. Anyway, I’m trying to stay optimistic. Actually, not really—I’m just trying not to become terminally depressed at McCain’s chances.