Beyond Ugly

I wish I had video to show you, but On Anderson Cooper 360 last night, there was a segment with Ed Rollins, David Gergen, and Paul Begala, and there was a look of palpable fear on the faces of Rollins and Gergen. Some of the commentary:

ROLLINS: The other fundamental question here is, how do you want to end your career, if John McCain ends his career? We’re now starting to lose — the potential is there to not only lose the Senate, but to lose the Senate leader, the Republican leader, to lose someone like Elizabeth Dole. We could lose 10 Senate seats. We could lose 25 House seats.

GERGEN: Wow. Do you really think 10? That’s the biggest number I have heard.

ROLLINS: There’s 12 of them in play. And I went through the list today. And it’s — it’s — the floor is dropping. And, so, all of a sudden, he needs to help his party. He’s the leader of his party.

***

COOPER: There’s also the question of ruling after this, and bringing the country together. It’s going to be all the more harder to do that whoever wins with all this anger out there.

GERGEN: This — I think one of the most striking things we’ve seen now in the last few day. We’ve seen it in a Palin rally. We saw it at the McCain rally today. And we saw it to a considerable degree during the rescue package legislation. There is this free floating sort of whipping around anger that could really lead to some violence. I think we’re not far from that.

COOPER: Really?

GERGEN: I think it’s so — well, I really worry when we get people — when you get the kind of rhetoric that you’re getting at these rallies now. I think it’s really imperative that the candidates try to calm people down. And that’s why I’ve argued not only because of the question of the ugliness of it.

But I think McCain ought to get his campaign off the road and look at the — and get the best economic minds in the country together and come back Monday, Tuesday, with a really serious speech. He’s the one who ought to be buying TV time, talking to the country.

These are dangerous times. People are frantic and losing their jobs, they are terrified about the future. Years of Republican dominance are coming to an end. The market is crashing. We are in two wars. And right now, it looks like a young black man may be the next President, and after thirty years of culture war, there is a firm “us” vs. “them” mentality at play in the heartland.

And what the McCain campaign is doing, whipping their supporters into a froth, is dangerous. This “he’s buddies with terrorists” is irresponsible beyond just the fact that it is nonsense. Gergen has been around a while, and he chooses his words carefully- incendiary, he said.

Digby:

I know I’m sounding like a broken record, but what we are really seeing is the beginning of a right wing story line about the next president of the United States — he is a drug user, a foreigner, a terrorist and a traitor. And the importance of that is that it gives permission to the right wing machine to do anything and everything to destroy him. He will not really be president, you see. He will be illegitimate — a usurper.

I just hope the Secret Service know what they are doing. I was talking to my father last night, who is still a Republican and who thinks I am being short-sighted and erratic myself with my support for a Democrat after years of being a Republican, thinks there is reason for concern. On the phone, he was audibly shaken by the tone of the campaign- “Have you heard some of the things they are shouting at the rallies? I am afraid where this is heading.”

I hope he is wrong. I fear he is right.

*** Update ***

Add Joe Klein to the list of the old hands who have been around for some elections who are concerned:

Watch the tape of the guy screaming, “He’s a terrorist!” McCain seems to shudder at that, he rolls his eyes… and I thought for a moment he’d admonish the man. But he didn’t. And now he’s selling the Ayres non-story full-time. Yes, yes, it’s all he has. True enough: he no longer has his honor. But we are on the edge of some real serious craziness here and it would be nice if McCain did the right thing and told his more bloodthirsty supporters to go home and take a cold shower. But McCain hasn’t done the right thing all year. His campaign is appalling, as the New York Times editorial board said today–and more, it is a national disgrace.

And Sullivan:

But they are also very very dangerous. This is a moment of maximal physical danger for the young Democratic nominee. And McCain is playing with fire. If he really wants to put country first, he will attack Obama on his policies – not on these inflammatory, personal, creepy grounds. This is getting close to the atmosphere stoked by the Israeli far right before the assassination of Rabin.

For God’s sake, McCain, stop it. For once in this campaign, put your country first.

These are scary and uncertain times.

More here on the angry right.

James Joyner says this is overblown. I hope he is right.






109 replies
  1. 1
    chopper says:

    I know I’m sounding like a broken record, but what we are really seeing is the beginning of a right wing story line about the next president of the United States—- he is a drug user, a foreigner, a terrorist and a traitor. And the importance of that is that it gives permission to the right wing machine to do anything and everything to destroy him.

    and this is different from the 90’s how?

    He will not really be president, you see. He will be illegitimate—a usurper.

    oh. so it’s like the clinton + the reverse-bush. nice combination.

  2. 2
    cleek says:

    it really is irresponsible, and reckless, short-sighted, selfish, hypocritical, and cynical. it is 100% pure demagoguery.

    and, i gotta say, if anything happens (ahem) to Obama because of what McCain and Palin are brewing, there will be rioting in the streets. and i will be participating.

  3. 3
    ye ye ye says:

    If we think Nov. 4th will be the end, we’ve got another thing coming.

    Obama never talks about honor or bravery much because he is a humble man and the press never gives him credit for what he’s doing everyday. Obama has a quiet honor. McCain likes to wear his honor on his sleeve and he had earned it after what he went through, but if he loses this election, his reputation will forever be tarnished.

    I think it’s fair to say that Obama is literally risking his life, moreso than anyone out there right now.

    The press underestimates the hate that is bubbling to the surface as the prospect of Obama becoming president is getting extremely close.

    I pray to God that the Secret Service keeps this man and his family safe.

  4. 4
    Punchy says:

    It truly is fucked up that I, as a former R supporter, now just want to see these people destroyed. Not beaten, but crushed. However, this thought that the crazies and zealots that infect the conservative movement would be less hysterical, insane, and full of shit if the Dems elected some old cracker is ridiculous. They’d trash any Dem elected President. That’s Hannity’s job. It’s why Rush is making $400 million. Black or not, this visceral hatred of all things lib’rul exists and is only now being MSM-covered due to the unique condition of having the 1st black Prez.

  5. 5
    Genevieve says:

    Here is the video from the Anderson Cooper segment.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSeOBqM5sMc

  6. 6
    sparky says:

    Someone–preferably someone who controls a lot of GOP-style money and doesn’t want to see their nice country go up in smoke–had better sit Johnny Drama down and read him the riot act.
    Also, soon.

  7. 7
    jrg says:

    You’re talking about right-wing violence like it’s hypothetical… As if there are no Rudolfs or McVeighs. As if that nut did not shoot up that UU church earlier this year. As if that other nut did not shoot up the Democratic offices in Arkansas.

    A sizable minority of "heartland" types really do believe that everything that has and will go wrong is the "liberal’s" fault. No amount of evidence is going to convince these people otherwise. To them, violence is necessary because they think the rest of us are not paying attention. Of course, these are the same people who take pride in ignorance, and think that anyone who reads is an "elitist".

    This country is headed to a bad place, and everyone knows it. When violence does occur, expect McChickenshit to run around saying "no one could have known".

  8. 8
    4tehlulz says:

    >>When violence does occur, expect McChickenshit to run around saying "no one could have known".

    And YouTube will provide plenty of opportunity to show that McCoward knew exactly what was going on.

  9. 9
    SGEW says:

    Senator John McCain needs to say "Barack Obama is an American patriot, who wants what’s best for this country." Obama has said the same about McCain on numerous occasions. McCain should continue on, and denounce any allegations that Obama is a "terrorist," or a "traitor," and firmly state that he respects Sen. Obama as a congressional colleague and as a political opponent, much as he did during the primaries.

    Of course, he can not or will not do this. First of all, it would be shouted down at his rallies with choruses of boos and "thunder sticks," and it would be excoriated by his Ayers-hating, bloodline-questioning, "Hussein" bashing "base." Secondly, he’s probably being told that this will sink any possible chance for electoral success: it’s quite obvious that they believe that demonizing Obama is their only route to a win*. And finally, McCain himself probably doesn’t believe it anymore, if he ever did. I suspect that our august Senator from Arizona personally believes that Obama is unfit to be president, and is rationalizing this dishonorable strategy by telling himself that he needs to stop Obama from becoming president. By any means necessary, if you will. (cough)

    *As to this electoral strategy, I believe it is a heap of bullshit . . . but what else have they got?

  10. 10
    sparky says:

    and it would really really suck if the boomers screwed this up just like they did the 1960s. narcissistic nitwits.

    translation:
    cranky me–boomers get off my country!

  11. 11
    Tom65 says:

    I think it’s really imperative that the candidates try to calm people down.

    Oh fuck you, Gergen. I don’t see anyone at Obama or Biden rallies yelling "kill him" or "traitor", or calling McCain or Palin "terrorists".

  12. 12
    aimai says:

    Are there any adults left in the Republican party? I ask that, seriously, because it seems like there is no one left who can tell John McCain that what he is doing is both sickening and sickeningly dangerous. Is there no senator who plans on staying in congress who is willing to step forward and tell McCain to stop trying to get Obama killed? To stop trying to get some poll worker, or voter, or random black, hispanic, or arab looking guy killed? What does it take for McCain to grasp that he has *already lost* the sane voters and he is simply playing red meat man to the losers.

    The fact that top republicans–the kind of guys who want to run in 2012 see no harm in what McCain is doing and probably see it as valuable to their efforts in four years is even more disgusting. They see a new base growing from these efforts and they like it. They are allowing McCain to do the dirty work and they figure they will come in later and pick up those disgruntled voters. We can only hope that by that time the country has grasped the nature of the choice and rejected it.

    I find it ironic that the party that is dragging up the sixties is also dragging up the violence, race baiting, hysteria, and perhaps rioting of the sixties. but this time the role of the angry youth in Watts will be played by hysterical white red necks at McCain rallies. For all his flaws bill ayres was protesting, using violence, in an extremely violent society. As McCain plays up the notion that his voters are the new disenfranchised–ripped off by the now (somehow) coddled, elite, minority and democratic voters supporting Obama, expect to return to that violence with posses, militias, and in the street thuggery from the whipped up white reactionary populace. They will become more angry the closer they get to realizing they are losing.

    Tell your republican voting relatives that if they are voting to appease this racist, militant base they are wasting their time. The only way to finally drive a stake through the heart of this beast is to put Obama over the top with a popular vote mandate and landslide and to publicly rebuke these nutcases.

    aimai

    aimai

  13. 13
    Robin G. says:

    (My apologies if this is not entirely coherent, I’m typing with a baby in my lap.)

    This is one of the first times I’ve disagreed with Digby, and it feels weird. Yet disagree I do.

    If Obama wins (and I’m not ready to count my chickens), even if the Republicans try to destroy him, as long as he demonstrates a palpable feel of leadership, I think the country will follow him. There will always be the 20% of mouth-breathers, of course, but the rest of the country will follow him. And I think the standard Republican tactics aren’t going to stick.

    Conventional wisdom says that people like the leadership when the country is doing well, and they dislike the leadership when the country is doing poorly. Therefore, there have been a lot of Republicans who would prefer to lose the White House this time, so that they can pin the mess on Obama (though I doubt they ever expected to lose Congress so profoundly). I think that that’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the national psyche, however. I think that in times of real crisis, people want to feel that they’re in competent hands, and there’s a sense of common purpose and unity, and they will be even more satisfied with that than they will with success. That’s why Bush was popular for so long (not because he was competent, but because he managed to convince a lot of people he was). And I think Obama, if he does this right, will provide the leadership the country is craving, and will be as loved as FDR — even if his policies don’t fix everything immediately, if Obama can make the country feel that common purpose, if he can make them feel that we can all work together to fix this, he will be loved.

    The Republicans can try to destroy him with their general dirty tricks, but Lewinsky-style politics only works when things are going well. If we’d been in a recession or a war in 1998, no one would have given a shit who Clinton was blown by. It’s because things were going so well in the country that anyone had time to focus on something so profoundly trivial. That’s why the Ayers attacks aren’t sticking — the people are listening, and then saying, "So, this is going to help me pay my mortgage how exactly?" No one reasonable is expecting this crisis to be fixed in the next few weeks or months — it will be years, probably most of Obama’s first term. And during that time, as long as Obama continues to instill confidence in the people that we are all in this together, I really don’t believe that anyone other than the 20% are going to give a shit about his so-called "otherness".

    At least, I hope so.

  14. 14
    4tehlulz says:

    @Tom65: I’ll cut him a little slack on the phony equivalence here. It was probably the only way he could talk about potential violence without getting shouted down by AC and Rollins.

    Also, Gergen called out the "The One" dog whistle to Stephenolpolous’s face, which makes me more inclined to believe he knows what he has to do to put this on the table.

  15. 15
    Bitty says:

    Cleek: demagoguery, indeed. That’s exactly the word I’ve been using everywhere since the day after the veep debate. Every time Palin opens her mouth, that’s what comes out.

    It’s disgraceful.

    I saw the show discussed here, and I saw the clips where angry town hallers screamed at McCain to get uglier with "the terrorist." McCain took no real position. He didn’t much try to calm the people down, nor did he agree to the man’s request. Confusion crossed his face and he changed the subject.

    John McCain: not ready to lead.

  16. 16
    sparky says:

    Robin G–
    i agree. but i think people are worried about another Anton Cermak/FDR event. and rightly so, IMO.

  17. 17
    pk says:

    Barak Obama will win, but he will not be able to do much since it will take a miracle to undo the years of republican fuck ups. Then Limnbaugh, Hannity and the rest of the fascists will blame voter fraud for Obama’s win and stir up hatred for the next god knows how many yrs until finally somebody gets killed. Looking at McCain and Palin, I can understand how the jews were made the scapegoats for every ill in German society and how the schumks lapped it up.
    The "liberal" is the enemy for republicans and natural consequence of this much hatred is violence.

  18. 18
    Jeffro says:

    I wrote an op-ed to my local paper earlier this week about the same incident Klein mentioned. We need to step it up on these people, and quickly.

  19. 19
    Kamishna ya Watu Xenos says:

    cranky me—boomers get off my country!

    Not really fair. McCain is not a boomer. Neither is Palin, Obama, nor even Biden. Maybe that is why we are having a generalized freak out right now.

    Steven Schmidt was born in 1970! (damn that makes me feel old).

    The most prominent boomer involved in the campaigns is David Axelrod, who is brilliant, decent, trustworthy… all that Boy Scouts oath stuff.

  20. 20

    I just want to second what people here are saying, with a personal story: I was in college when Bill Clinton was elected in 1992. The next day, some tool in my residence hall put up a sign in his window with "America Held Hostage" and a count of the days Clinton had served. And this was a southern white guy we elected! I kept wondering, what had he done? Why did they hate him so much? It took me a while to figure it out.

    Republicans hate Democrats. As a party, they hate immigrants and persons of color. (I also suspect they hate poor people, even poor people who have made something with their lives through hard work) They went nuts when Clinton was elected; they are going to go batshit insane when Obama wins.

  21. 21
    Comrade Darkness says:

    If we really wanted to finish off the republican party (40 years in the desert) we’d let mccain win. Let a republican president eat this depression they’ve created. It’s easy to lie to people about what caused it (as they clearly have, based on the crowd comments) but the proof is in the pudding of them not having a clue how to fix it. I’d eat baked beans every day, and enjoy it, just to watch them flounder in front of the mobs they seduced.

  22. 22

    @Bitty:

    John McCain: not ready to lead.

    Precisely. McCain is a reactionary. Look for him to come out today and hold a "press conference" announcing he will no longer tolerate this sort of behavior at his rallies. You know, when he isn’t face to face with those nasty rat-fuckers at campaign stops. Not unlike his inability to actually get up in Obama’s grille about his so-called association with Ayers McCain just doesn’t have the stones to publicly confront people unless he loses his temper. Isn’t this one of the classic signs of a bully?

    @Robin G.: I think you are on to something here. Yes, things look pretty nasty, but most people will not succumb to the nutjobs screaming at these rallies. I believe Obama will do a good job of calming fears of the reasonable folks who vote against him. But, as you say, the mouth-breathers will never be satisfied. So What. Let them eat Cheetos.

    John Sydney McCain: A coward and Not Ready to Lead.

  23. 23

    Someone—preferably someone who controls a lot of GOP-style money and doesn’t want to see their nice country go up in smoke

    Not to sound snarky, but who might that be? Seriously. Richard Mellon Scaife? Rupert Murdoch? Bush’s Texas oil-rich "rangers"?

    How about those Wall Street-types who reject the bailout plan because they don’t want to take a pay cut? Are they "country first"?

  24. 24
    Doug H. (Comrade Fausto no more) says:

    Well said, Robin. The country wasn’t in that much better shape in 1936 than it was in 1932, yet FDR still won re-election easily. America wasn’t all that great in 1963 either, yet JFK’s still got a shiny halo. At their core, the people really just want competence and inspiration, and Obama is showing himself to be a guy who’s on top of the ball.

    (It’ll also help if the GOP rallies around Palin or Bobby Jindal for 2012 instead of, say, Mike Huckabee or a legalized Schwarznegger.)

  25. 25
    Walker says:

    If we really wanted to finish off the republican party (40 years in the desert) we’d let mccain win.

    The country would not survive that. It would lead to a full-on economic collapse. Unless you are a survivalist and believe you can weather that, you do not want this.

  26. 26
    Lou says:

    When people are in the bread lines, will the right wing story line have less catch? Or will it, in a very scary sense, have even more catch?

  27. 27
    NickM says:

    Where are the Republican adults to talk McLunatic down? Dick Lugar, Arlen Spector, Collins, Snowe, John Warner – somebody? Imagine how much worse the financial crisis will be if the peaceful transfer of power in this country starts to look wobbly. God damn it – if McCain really puts "Country First" now is the time for him to show it.

  28. 28

    sparky: and it would really really suck if the boomers screwed this up just like they did the 1960s. narcissistic nitwits.

    I don’t get all this generational blame. Maybe it’s because I’m almost sixty, but if I busted my hump in my union for my working life and spent time and energy writing about all these issues that are coming home to roost now, I don’t want my lifetime dismissed because of the DOB on my drivers license.

    The whole concept of generational guilt is bullshit. The generation that fought in World War II also produced Prescott Bush and Allen Dulles and a lot of other scumbags whose bodies of work we still must endure.

    Class blame at least makes a rough division between winners and losers but even that doesn’t pinpoint actual criminals from the lucky or unlucky.

    By the way, narcissism seems to be a human condition that isn’t limited to any particular generation.

  29. 29
    comrade scott says:

    Are there any adults left in the Republican party?

    No.

    Thus endeth today’s episode of One Word Answers To Questions.

    And yeah, I fully expect the right-wing, domestic turr’sts to become active again starting next January. Funny how you haven’t heard much about right-wing militia groups these last 8 years after all the publicity they got in the 90s. Gee Beav, I wonder what that is?

  30. 30
  31. 31
    sparky says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.: point taken. but i was thinking more of the people who run corporate-state america–GE, Exxon, GM. those folks, who are really the lifeblood of the GOP spigot. i think, though i may be wrong, that they really don’t want disorder, and that they’d prefer BHO take office without rumblings in the street.

  32. 32
    HRA says:

    My husband and I are registered Republicans who decided to support Obama early on during the primaries. We talked about changing our party affiliation then. Now with all of these more than disgusting tirades of McCain campaign events I feel we can wait until after the election. We are hoping many more registered Republicans will follow suit by voting for Obama. There is a need to show this nation we do not subscribe to what has become the worse kind of tactics in our memory and the violence it is enabling some to express freely without admonishing them.

  33. 33
    Lee says:

    The broader picture is that this is the future of the Republican party for the near term. The anger-filled, racist, bigoted voters are a growing percentage of the GOP. Democratic party registration is on the upswing while GOP registration is sliding. More and more, the non-crazy Republicans are leaving the GOP and registering as Independents or as Democrats. So what you’re left with is this core of crazies as the base.

    Over the past 2 decades or so, as the GOP "perfected" the blame game (blame gays, blame liberals, blame intellectuals, etc etc), all they have managed to do is essentially distill the Republican party down to a core group of people who hate. That’s all. They just hate. They hate everything and anyone who isn’t them. And the GOP did it to itself.

    You can’t govern like that and you definitely can’t continue to put together a winning coalition with just a small group of crazies. I think the trend will continue since the few moderate Republicans left are losing their elections now. The crazies won’t vote for them because they’re not crazy enough and the rest of us won’t vote for them because we are sick of the GOP brand in general.

    The only way to correct this slide into one party (Democratic) rule is for the few remaining moderates in the Republican party to put a stop to the hatefest (and I don’t mean just the McCain/Palin rallies, but all the nonsense being spewed by people like Limbaugh and Michael Savage). And they need to actually govern, as opposed to handing out government money to their cronies. But they seem incapable or unwilling to do that.

    All imho, but I seriously do believe that the GOP is destroying itself by excluding more and more of the American electorate with its hate-filled rhetoric. For a while, I though they’d have a chance at capturing the Latino vote. McCain seemed fairly reasonable on some of those issues but he was overridden by the crazy haters and has since gone along with them.

  34. 34
    cleek says:

    mmm. wide screen.
    (ok. all better now)

  35. 35
    sparky says:

    @Kamishna ya Watu Xenos: point partially taken. one of the reasons i like BHO is that he’s not a boomer. i was teh careless in that post, as boomers are a hobbyhorse of mine. what i meant was not public figures but the demographic bulge of the general public that it feels like those of us who are a bit younger have had to suffer under all these years.
    /ranting stopped ;)

  36. 36
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    and it would really really suck if the boomers screwed this up just like they did the 1960s. narcissistic nitwits.

    This boomer, and a lot of boomers like me, are doing all they can to make sure that Obama wins, and that we get strong majorities in the Congress to try to pick up the pieces of this mess.
     
    So stick your generational warfare schtick up your ass, okay?

  37. 37
    Napoleon says:

    If I am Obama I have Biden call McCain and say "I am calling on my own, and Barack knows nothing about this, but I have been watching what you and Palin have been doing and so help me God after we win if something happens to Barack and in any way it looks like it was some righty that was stirred up over his election I swear I will publicly blame you and Palin’s actions as contributing to it."

  38. 38
    Comrade Darkness says:

    legalized Schwarznegger

    Um, if McCain can be president than so can Schwarznegger. Neither were born on American soil. I’d take Schwarznegger now in a heart beat over McCain. At least when he would run a rally, he’d know wtf he was doing.

    By the way, narcissism seems to be a human condition that isn’t limited to any particular generation.

    If I may, I think the comment was directed at the notion that the boomers have tended to vote as a block, and not always a rational one, easily swayed by the concerns of the moment focused on their priorities in life at that time in their life. Their numbers let them get away with driving the political tone, to the annoyance of those outside that clump who found things swaying the wrong way for them.

    It’d be absurd to claim that older people don’t hold up their end of things and have not in the past. In the campaign I’ve been volunteering with, they are the anchors. There during the day, handling the phones like pros when making calls, giving advice to the candidate about what events are best to reach certain groups.

  39. 39
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    one of the reasons i like BHO is that he’s not a boomer.

    The Baby Boom lasted from 1946 to 1964. Obama was born in 1961. Obama’s a boomer.

  40. 40
    gbear says:

    @Punchy:

    …just want to see these people destroyed. Not beaten, but crushed.

    Shaken, not stirred.

    there is a firm “us” vs. “them” mentality at play in the heartland.

    John, I can’t believe you wrote that. Seriously. Fuck this shit about all the whackos being part of a fucking mythical ‘heartland’. The stupid is spread out everywhere. The rational people haven’t all moved to the coasts. ‘Heartland’ is a dog whistle as bogus as anything that Palin uses to say that Obama is ‘not like us’. The ‘H’ word needs to be mocked into oblivion.

  41. 41
    sparky says:

    @Bob In Pacifica: i wasn’t dismissing people on the basis of their age, so i apologize for giving that impression.
    what i meant was the arc of life that the US has had to endure from a policy standpoint can, to some non-trivial degree, be traced to boomer action-reaction, from fucking around in the 60s and scaring people into electing Nixon, to becoming conservative born-agains (paging the WH) who now are intent upon telling everyone how to live. in short, wacky youngsters who grow up into conservative types who just want to hoard what they obtained via believing that there was a free lunch for 20+ years. did the GOP take advantage of them? absolutely. but they let themselves be taken.
    pissed? yeah, i am.

    and as for narcissism, excuse me, but it was the boomers who gave us, among other things, greed is good, you can have it all and numerous other self-justificatory claptrap. not to mention disco and cars larger than the ones their parents drove.

    /head explodes.

  42. 42
    sparky says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer: yes, you are definitionally correct, but i don’t buy into that long tail business WRT to the boom. it’s more a psychology thing than a year issue, IMO.

    dat’s my theory an i’m sticking with it.

  43. 43
    sparky says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer: cain’t, that boomz too big!

  44. 44
    Original Lee says:

    The other interesting part of that AC clip to me was that Rollins started out his comments by saying that he was going to vote McCain. That’s how far the GOP has sunk – ED ROLLINS had to establish his cred as a loyal Republican before delivering the bad news. Yet he still was not adult enough to call McCain on his crap beyond saying that the Ayers schtick wasn’t working. WTF? When even my crusty curmudgeon dyed-in-the-wool Republican neighbor is worried about what McCain and Palin are saying on the stump, you would think Rollins would be able to stand up and say that this isn’t Christian behavior or something. (Said neighbor has decided to vote for Barr, BTW. He’s still racist enough not to vote for Obama, but I’ll take what I can get.)

    What Punchy and Lee and HRA said. Also, though.

  45. 45
    sparky says:

    i will now light a candle and thank the Darkness for putting it much more eloquently than i did. i was more heat than light.

    incidentally, OF COURSE THERE ARE PLENTY OF BOOMERS FOR BHO. THANK YOU!

    ok now?

    i have no idea how what i wrote was translated into some negative about boomers not being supportive. serves me right, i guess. next time i shan’t post without more glue and coffee.

  46. 46

    i was thinking more of the people who run corporate-state america—GE, Exxon, GM. those folks, who are really the lifeblood of the GOP spigot. i think, though i may be wrong, that they really don’t want disorder, and that they’d prefer BHO take office without rumblings in the street.

    Where I’m coming from is, I truly don’t think people like that give a crap about this country. They send jobs to India, they hide their money in the Bahamas, they vacation in Switzerland, they would sell their interests to North Korea or Iran at the drop of a hat if they could get a sweet deal. If the streets of America erupted in bread lines and rioting, these people would simply jet off to their vacation homes and not look back.

  47. 47
    Balconesfault says:

    My fear. Enough nutjobs are stirred up by the Obama=Terrorist rhetoric, and the "minorities caused the crash" idiocy from the right … and on November 4, early in the day, we have some targeted attacks on predominantly black voting precincts in swing states.

    Federal Government steps in, says we can’t have a safe election under those conditions. Suspends the elections by mid-day.

    Predictable riots ensue. Military and National Guard take to the streets (they’ve already been redeploying military units to the US to "support local police in case of unrest").

    The market may well be tanking in large part because the wealthiest are already putting money into cash and moving it out of the country.

  48. 48
    Comrade Darkness says:

    Sparky, I think the boomers don’t recognize the accommodation that’s made for them (political or otherwise), something I’ve long since accepted, but it used to annoy me more. I take it in exchange for being right behind them as medical science gears up to treat them as they age, I’ll be set since things will be perfected before I need them. That’s my consolation, anyway.

    It makes sense they don’t recognize it since it is carefully targeted to them. *shrugs* Whatever it is, it just seems like the natural thing to them. I think that’s why your comment was misinterpreted. You couldn’t possibly be ranting about the way things are, that’s . . . just the way they are. It must have been something else. Well, no . . .

    How about this. You’ve worked in a company for 10 years and always your favorite snack is the break room. Spicy cheetos. One day, one of the new kids complains that there are never any snacks in the break room. And you say, what are you talking about, there are always great snacks. And the kid says, no there aren’t, I hate cheetos. And it turns out everyone under the age of 40 can’t stand the smell of the things. And you say, oh. I see. Well, multiply that by like a thousand and spread it out across more aspects of life.

  49. 49
    gbear says:

    Is there no senator who plans on staying in congress who is willing to step forward and tell McCain to stop trying to get Obama killed?

    Those messages are piling up on his blackberry but he hasn’t figured out how to access them yet.

    Seriously, I would imagine that some senators have been trying. I wouldn’t be surprised if Biden himself had tried to contact McCain about it in private. Given that McCain has never really had any friends in the senate and is such a freakin’ hothead, he may be in full everybody-hates-me mode (or worse, full POW mode) and not taking advice from anyone not on his payroll.

    The only folks that McCain can even get to try to like him any more are the ones who show up at his campaign events, so he’s not going to do anything to alienate them even though you can see in his body language that they scare even him. McCain is petrified but he wants their love.

  50. 50
    slaney black says:

    @Punchy:

    It truly is fucked up that I, as a former R supporter, now just want to see these people destroyed. Not beaten, but crushed.

    I still have a warm, slimy place in my heart for ’94-98 vintage Gingrich – and I agree with you. The GOP hath seriously f’ed Lassie and all of her furry canine companions if they’ve lost me…

  51. 51
    Josh Huaco says:

    Sparky…I’m as big a fan of Strauss and Howe and the Fourth Turning as anyone, but I think you’re getting it wrong. The things you talk about happening reflect a greater trend towards selfishness and atomization in the second half of the twentieth century, whether it be of the 60s kind or 80s kind. It wasn’t boomers who were responsible for them, nor were they the only ones acting them out. You have to realize that boomers aren’t sui generis, they were raised in an environment created by their WWII generation parents who had their own priorities that were based upon their experiences. Believe me, as a Gen-Xer I get what you’re saying, but you have to be careful with generational analysis. It can turn into a kind of astrology, where someone’s entire being is based on when they were born.

  52. 52

    The only way to correct this slide into one party (Democratic) rule

    Again, I don’t want to sound like Mr Disagreement here, but why would that be a bad thing? What does today’s Republican party bring to the table?

    Sure, there were abuses of power whenever Democrats held a monopoly on power, but nothing that even comes close to what the Republican party has wrought.

    Look at it this way: from 1932 to 1968 the Democratic party ruled absolutely, its ideas and goals dominating the public agenda even when it didn’t, itself, hold office. Were those bad times for America? We crawled out of the Great Depression, defeated the Third Reich and the Empire of Japan, implemented the Marshall Plan, put in place a framework to confront the USSR without open war, pushed through civil rights, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Great Society, the moonshot. . .

    Add to that the fact that the Republican party was against most of that when it happened, and I say: to heck with ’em.

  53. 53
    Original Lee says:

    @39 Comrade Scrutinizer:
    Until approximately 1986, the baby boom was characterized as ending in 1960, because the number of live births started dropping significantly in 1961. However, around 1982 or so, the demographers started noticing that there were actually more adults that had been born in the 1961-1964 window than adults that had been born in the 1956-1960 window, so the population bulge of alive adults did not start tailing off until almost 1967. A number of theories have been advanced about this, but the CW now is that improved antibiotics and child safety enforcement (such as seat belt requirements and so on), as well as the end of the Vietnam War and of the draft, contributed to a higher percentage of the babies born in 1961 forward surviving to adulthood than in prior birth years. Most of the papers about this are behind subscription walls, so I’m not providing links, but I remember reading a piece in Science about this around 1985 or so.

    Anyway, to make a long story short, demographically the Boomer generation was extended to 1964-1967 (depending on whose numbers you use) to allow planners to take into account the large number of adults who were born in the 1960s, but psychologically these people are not Boomers. For my own mental shorthand, I use the JFK assassination as a benchmark for Boomerhood. If you are old enough to remember that awful day in Dallas and immediately subsequent events but were not an adult at the time, you are a Boomer. Therefore, Obama is not a Boomer unless he has an exceptionally precocious memory.

  54. 54
    ThymeZone says:

    and this is different from the 90’s how?

    My sense of it is that what’s different now is that people, and in particular the chattering classes, are seeing it for what it is now, in ways they didn’t in the 90’s. And the blogs are on it every day.

    My hunch is that the crazy shitheads, the fools and the hillbilly-citygoats are marginalizing themselves now.

    The fear and smear fest is not moving the poll numbers much, and from what I can see, might be firming up the numbers for Democrats. We might have reached the point at which this stuff no longer works.

    In the face of real problems, like an economy in turmoil, made up problems like gay marriage and Ayers may not have traction any more.

    This is not much different from the race baiting and fear mongering we saw in the day of George Wallace, and I don’t think it will amount to much in the long run.

    Listen to Barack, keep eyes on the prize, stay focussed.

  55. 55
    sparky says:

    @Josh Huaco: like i said, posting without glue and coffee will be the death of me ;)

    you’re quite right–it’s not the boomers per se. and it is really important to avoid falling into the kind of trap you are describing. i conflated venting with my point.

    my theory (uninfluenced by reading, ha!) is that the sheer increase in population is driving some of these changes.

  56. 56
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Digby is right, no matter how good or great Obama may be as president, these asshats are going to be working non-stop to undermine and attack him in every way imaginable. Every way imaginable, you can bet on it.

    I think about how much inner strength it takes to be doing what Obama is. It is a form of courage that you don’t get to see often in someone. He knows that there are nuts out there who would like to see him dead and yet he goes on like it is no big deal. I know he has some of the best protection that US money can buy, but that has not stopped nuts in the past.

    He has a beautiful wife and two beautiful daughters. He has made his ‘bundle’ so to say and he could be sitting back as a Senator and live quite well with what he has done so far in life. But that is not the way Obama rolls. It is clear that he is a ‘giver’, a person who tries to do for others who are having problems or can’t do it for themselves. Obama is giving of himself now in what he is offering to do with us, and he is doing so knowing what the risks are for him and his family.

    Courage, he’s got it and he quietly shows it to us every single day. Not to disparage McCain’s service but he could only wish to have the kind of courage that Obama has been displaying every single day of this campaign.

    An Obama or Biden rally is a rally for them to build positive support for themselves. The McCain and Palin rallies are nothing more than anti-Obama rallies where they whip up the crowd into a hateful anger. They have realized that the public is rejecting the Republican ‘brand’ and they can’t win by talking about what they would do for the country because few believe them, so they have to destroy Obama.

    I am sure proud of the way that Obama has conducted his campaign. He has a reason to hold his head high and I hope it stays that way.

  57. 57
    Napoleon says:

    Until approximately 1986, the baby boom was characterized as ending in 1960,

    That is not true. I am 6 months older then Obama and my whole life (and by 1986 I was graduating from law school) my brother who was born in 1964 and I were baby boomers. It has only been the last few years that suddenly some are trying to recatagorize us to Gen X or whatever.

  58. 58
    mellowjohn says:

    at the risk of breaking godwin’s law (if someone already hasn’t): grampy mcsame/bible spice are turning their campaign appearances into nuremburg rallies and the republican party is at risk of turning into nazis.

  59. 59
    Original Lee says:

    Watch the tape of the guy screaming, “He’s a terrorist!” McCain seems to shudder at that, he rolls his eyes… and I thought for a moment he’d admonish the man. But he didn’t. And now he’s selling the Ayres non-story full-time. Yes, yes, it’s all he has. True enough: he no longer has his honor. But we are on the edge of some real serious craziness here and it would be nice if McCain did the right thing and told his more bloodthirsty supporters to go home and take a cold shower. But McCain hasn’t done the right thing all year. His campaign is appalling, as the New York Times editorial board said today—and more, it is a national disgrace.

    McCain rolled his eyes and shuddered because he didn’t believe his campaign aides when they told him that people would actually swallow this crap. He’s thinking, "Holy s**t! I can’t believe they were right!" Unfortunately, he’s not thinking, "Holy s**t! How do I turn this off?"

  60. 60
    sparky says:

    @Comrade Darkness: Comrade!
    Well put with teh Cheetoz!
    I have long shared the same consolation. I’m also assuming that the um medical payment thingy will be uh resolved by that time, too.

    I’d thought I’d accommodated myself to the way things are a bit more than I had, apparently. I admire your temperament.

    Please insert obligatory pop culture reference here.

  61. 61
    NickM says:

    "McCain seems to shudder at that, he rolls his eyes… and I thought for a moment he’d admonish the man. But he didn’t."

    It’s like he’s tasting a forbidden, evil fruit for the first time and discovering to his mixed horror and delight that he fucking loves it.

  62. 62
    Original Lee says:

    Napoleon: Well, I guess it depends on where you’re from. I was born in 1962, my sisters were born in 1964 and 1967, and we weren’t Boomers until suddenly in 1986 people were telling us we were. (It was more of a shock to my sisters than to me.) And there definitely was a paper in Science talking about shifting the demographic definition of the Baby Boom generation, except I can’t provide links because it’s behind subscription walls. Although the focus was primarily on the supply of future scientists, engineers, and doctors, there were bar graphs showing the live birth vs. adult data.

  63. 63
    sparky says:

    @Original Lee: thanks for the info about the redefinition of the boomer years. incidentally, i agree with you that awareness of the JFK shooting seems like a good marker. perhaps 9/11 will be like that one day.

  64. 64
    les says:

    I find it ironic that the party that is dragging up the sixties is also dragging up the violence, race baiting, hysteria, and perhaps rioting of the sixties.

    With one major difference–in the sixties, no major political party was inciting, supporting and attempting to use the violence. I hope it’s only my paranoia, but this looks to me a lot more like a central European country, a generation before the sixties.

  65. 65
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    and as for narcissism, excuse me, but it was the boomers who gave us, among other things, greed is good, you can have it all and numerous other self-justificatory claptrap. not to mention disco and cars larger than the ones their parents drove.

    No, the boomers aren’t responsible for the "greed is good" claptrap. Ever been to the Biltmore House? A paeon to the Gilded Age. (In fact, the guide books there talk about the Gilded Age as if that was a good thing.) "The one who dies with the most toys" wins philosophy is a lot older than the Baby Boom. Or the Gilded Age, for that matter.
     
    Cars bigger than their parents drove? Have you ever seen a 1958 Buick Special? A Continental Mark IV? Heard the term "land barge"?
     
    Disco. Well, I’ll give you that. That was some nasty shit. I was a card carrying member of the "blow up a disco" brigade, but still—John Travolta has some serious purgatory time coming for that Stayin’ Alive thing.

  66. 66
    Comrade Darkness says:

    I’d thought I’d accommodated myself to the way things are a bit more than I had, apparently. I admire your temperament.

    Eh. You know what’s made it easier… for my job I’ve had a need of learning more about branding and marketing, which I would normally abhor, but once you see it from the other side, it’s fascinating as much as it’s disturbing. But, having become a better observer of it, I’ve been amused to watch the boomer pushback as each new little tween group comes into range of the marketers. Whatever is being marketed at that level will get a lot flack from the boomer group. Currently the tail end of the "princess" schtick right now, for example. They’ve even hauled out dead pulp psychologists to hit back with. Same with the last round of goth. Personally, I think it is all harmless stuff, so the pushback seems a misplacement of energy better spent on real causes. My theory is that the boomers are so accustomed to large mainstream marketing messages being tuned to them that anything not tuned to them strikes them as discordant and sets them off a bit.

    Whereas for me (and maybe you) marketing never seems targeted accurately. And when I think a marketer is trying to, I laugh in mockery. I’ll have increasing chances to test my theory as the boomers decreasingly become a target for main stream marketers. Not that they aren’t targeted, but the shift has gone to more cost-effective niche marketing, which is less visible to those not in the way of it.

  67. 67

    and as for narcissism, excuse me, but it was the boomers who gave us, among other things, greed is good, you can have it all and numerous other self-justificatory claptrap. not to mention disco and cars larger than the ones their parents drove.

    All right, now you’re making me mad. I was born in ’45 and goddammit, "boomers" did NOT give us "greed is good." REPUBLICANS put out that shit, for God’s sake. I’ve always lived on the edge and been a rebel. I put my body and future on the line to stop a fucking war and I’ve never owned a single share of any stock, so just STFU and join in to help fucking FIX things.

    Harrumph.

  68. 68
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @Lee:

    What you said. The GOP destroyed itself at least once before, after 1964. It rebuilt itself into this unstable coalition of neocons, fiscal conservatives, and social conservatives (ie, Bible thumpers). That coalition couldn’t last long—the neocons wanted empire, the fiscal conservatives wanted to drown government, and the Bible Thumpers wanted some kind of theocracy. None of those aims are really compatible one with another.
     
    I’m not sure what’s going to emerge from the power struggle going on in the GOP. I don’t think the Palin brigade will ultimately win, but I do think that they have a huge potential to do harm. They are taking the same kind of toxic right wing rabble-rousing that we saw in Texas in 1963 that created the environment for Kennedy’s assassination, and they are taking it national.
     
    I disagree with Robin G in that the problem isn’t going to come from the Republican Party trying to destroy Obama, the problem is going to come from the nutjobs that are getting stoked up in these rallies. There is a underlying layer of anger and violence in some of those people in those crowds, and the McCain campaign not only tolerates it, it celebrates it. McCain needs to be cutting the fuse, not blowing on it.

  69. 69
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    legalized Schwarznegger

     
    Um, if McCain can be president than so can Schwarznegger. Neither were born on American soil. I’d take Schwarznegger now in a heart beat over McCain. At least when he would run a rally, he’d know wtf he was doing.

    Jesus, I thought this was covered ad nauseam during the whole argument about Obama’s birth certificate.

    Even though he was born abroad, McCain is a natural born citizen by virtue of 8 USC 1403. Schwarzenegger is not. Barring an amendment to the Constitution, Schwarzenegger will never be eligible to run for President.

  70. 70
    OriGuy says:

    I just want to second what people here are saying, with a personal story: I was in college when Bill Clinton was elected in 1992. The next day, some tool in my residence hall put up a sign in his window with "America Held Hostage" and a count of the days Clinton had served.

    That’s because that’s exactly what Rush Limbaugh did on his TV show. That tool was clearly a dittohead.

  71. 71
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Comrade Darkness:

    Um, if McCain can be president than so can Schwarznegger. Neither were born on American soil. I’d take Schwarznegger now in a heart beat over McCain. At least when he would run a rally, he’d know wtf he was doing.

    This is bullshit. McCain may not have been born on American soil, but he is an American citizen by birth. Schwarzenegger is a naturalized citizen. Why do people keep bringing this nonsense up?

  72. 72
    sparky says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer: yeah, WTF was up with disco?

    on the autos thingy, i dunno–were those 50’s cars really bigger than an Escalade, or a Navigator?

    i agree about the Gilded Age, but in those days, IRRC, many people below them (basically everyone) didn’t think the emergence of the plutocracy was a good thing. the Progressive Era didn’t arise out of a depression, but was an effort, among other things, to curb the plutocracy.

  73. 73
    sparky says:

    @Juan del Llano: guess i better get off your lawn, hey? ;)

    seriously, though, why do people assume that when i make a jokey huge over-generalization people assume i must mean them personally? i mean, i thought it went without saying that the group of people who fit within boomer years can’t all be alike. guess i should go play in the shallow end of the pool till i gets my snarker fixt.

    ps: thank you for being different.

    pps: why does preview not work in Safari?

  74. 74
    oh really says:

    This country is headed to a bad place, and everyone knows it. When violence does occur, expect McChickenshit to run around saying "no one could have known".

    Funny, based on past experience, I would expect McBigLie to run around saying he warned everyone about it two years ago.

    Then, he could follow up by saying, "My friends, I know how to end violence. I know how to do that. I’ve done that my whole life, my friends. But it’s time for a little straight talk, my friends. I’m not like Senator Obama. I’m not the most liberal member of the Senate. I’m not BFFs with a terrorist. Everyone knows who I am. But who is Barack Obama?"

    At which point the crowd will begin chanting, "Kill him. Kill him. Kill him. Kill him. Kill him."

  75. 75
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    I am 6 months older then Obama and my whole life (and by 1986 I was graduating from law school) my brother who was born in 1964 and I were baby boomers. It has only been the last few years that suddenly some are trying to recatagorize us to Gen X or whatever.

    I was born in ’65. I don’t identify with either the boomers or the Gen Xers. I think the best terms I’ve heard for my particular age group were "Wedgies" and "Gappers"; as I put it, "too young for tie-die, too old for tattoos." We were the people who were in high school when MTV went live.

  76. 76
    John S. says:

    @ Naploeon

    My wife is a sociologist, and according to her the definitive source on generations is Generations by Strauss and Howe, which defines the ranges as thus:

    Lost Generation (1883–1900)
    Greatest Generation (1901–1924)
    Silent Generation (1925–1942)
    Baby Boomer (1943–1960)
    Generation X (1961–1981)
    Generation Y (1982–2001)
    Generation Z (2001–)

    Although I have seen the Boomers extended to 1964, quite frankly I don’t think that’s right. My mother was born in 1944 and my older brother was born in 1964, and I don’t think it’s a logical assumption that they are part of the same generation. They aren’t.

    I was born in ‘65. I don’t identify with either the boomers or the Gen Xers.

    Neither does my brother. I was born in 1976, and in terms of pop cultural references and experiences, we have very little in common.

  77. 77
    sparky says:

    and why do i not have permission to edit my own comments? have i really been THAT bad?

  78. 78
    Tom65 says:

    Joyner has his head in the sand. He’s only seen the fuckwits getting ugly in WI? What about Ohio and FL?

  79. 79
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @sparky:

    pps: why does preview not work in Safari?

    For the same reason it doesn’t seem to work in anything. It’s evil.

  80. 80
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    I was born in 1962, my sisters were born in 1964 and 1967, and we weren’t Boomers until suddenly in 1986 people were telling us we were.

    You and your older sister, like myself, are part of this generation. Your younger sister, like my wife, is classified as generation X. I kind of like the name, Generation Jones.

    Like when I run out of weed. ;)

  81. 81
    Martin says:

    pps: why does preview not work in Safari?

    It works fine, except when you put the reply to stuff at the top of your post – that’s when it doesn’t work.

  82. 82
    liberal says:

    sparky wrote,

    Someone—preferably someone who controls a lot of GOP-style money and doesn’t want to see their nice country go up in smoke—had better sit Johnny Drama down and read him the riot act.
    Also, soon.

    Look, I agree, but AFAICT history is replete with the wealthy willing to let things go to pieces in a gamble to get tax cuts and other handouts from the state.

    Tax cuts, tax cuts, …

  83. 83
    liberal says:

    Juan del Llano wrote,

    All right, now you’re making me mad. I was born in ‘45 and goddammit, "boomers" did NOT give us "greed is good." REPUBLICANS put out that shit, for God’s sake.

    It’s possible that boomers are selfish, but at the same time not blameworthy.

    Why? IIRC, those "Bowling Alone" studies looked at community spirit etc across the various generations, and the people who went through the Great Depression were unusally civic-minded.

    The Bowling Alone crowd would say that TV etc caused us to deviate from that. IMHO, a more likely explanation was that that was (unfortunately) a deviation from more typical human selfishness, which the Boomers, and later generations (as well as probably many generations from before) reverted to.

    Then there’s also some evidence that poorer, working class people are actually in some sense more generous than those wealthier than them. If the entire country gets wealthier over time…

  84. 84
    Josh Huaco says:

    There’s some weapons-grade stupidity and self-pity on exhibit in that WaPo article.

  85. 85
    Jess says:

    Although I have seen the Boomers extended to 1964, quite frankly I don’t think that’s right. My mother was born in 1944 and my older brother was born in 1964, and I don’t think it’s a logical assumption that they are part of the same generation. They aren’t.

    I was born around the end of 1963, and in high school I was very aware of a generational shift happening before it was given a name. Those a few years older than me were still infused with Boomer idealism and art-rock self-pity, and those a few years younger embraced the whole punk/new wave cynicism. At the time I thought Devo’s "Whip it" kinda summed up the new attitude. I would assume this generational shift happened sooner in college towns, the coasts and urban areas, so YMMV. I consider myself a Gen-Xer because of my enthusiastic embrace of punk & new wave in high school (and my inability to buy a house until just a few months ago!).

  86. 86
    Robin G. says:

    I disagree with Robin G in that the problem isn’t going to come from the Republican Party trying to destroy Obama, the problem is going to come from the nutjobs that are getting stoked up in these rallies. There is a underlying layer of anger and violence in some of those people in those crowds, and the McCain campaign not only tolerates it, it celebrates it. McCain needs to be cutting the fuse, not blowing on it.

    I don’t remotely disagree with the idea that the problem is the nutjobs (I was mostly referring to Digby’s concern, and the concern of others, that the upcoming character assassination is going to do us a lot of damage). The McCain campaign is being grotesque, but… while he might be raising the chance of danger to Obama by a small margin, does anyone believe that the people shouting "kill the terrorist" at these rallies weren’t thinking it before? Again, it certainly makes things worse. But if the Secret Service hasn’t been preparing for a vastly increased likelihood of violence from the first day Obama became a major candidate, then they’re worthless. The chance of a lynching was always high, and I have a hard time believing it’s all that much higher because of these rallies. If nothing else, at least it’s calling attention to the issue.

    Side note: Why the hell are we titled Generation Y?

    I admit, I harbor a certain hostility towards the Boomer generation as a whole. They had it right in the ’60s, more or less — then came Reagan, then Gingrich, then Lewinsky of all things, and in the blink of an eye McMansions and SUVs and protection from "terrists" became way more important than their ideals. Lord knows this is not true of everyone (my parents are Boomers and have stuck to their guns [and their weed]). But it certainly appears to be the majority, when looking at demographic breakdown. Then look at the previous generation — the people who fought in WWII, the Greatest Generation, more or less controlled elected offices for 35, 40 years. The Boomers didn’t get the White House and the national stage until 1992, which means that if we follow the previous rubric, means they get to be in charge until 2032 (which, given current medical advances and increased lifespan, is certainly plausible). And a lot of Boomers I’ve talked to seem to feel that’s their right. Whereas my generation is looking at that, looking at the last 15 years, and thinking, "Ain’t no way in hell we’re waiting that long." The people under 40 are starting to chafe, and the Boomers aren’t ready to give up their long-awaited control. And, personally, I think that’s where a lot of the tension is coming from.

  87. 87
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer: yeah, WTF was up with disco?
    on the autos thingy, i dunno—were those 50’s cars really bigger than an Escalade, or a Navigator?

    Oh yeah they were. A 66 Pontiac Bonneville had body length of 221 inches. An H1 (biggest hummer) is "only" 196 inches.

    They drove like boats too. Just changing lanes would set off the suspension to rocking back and forth like you were on choppy seas.

  88. 88
    Kamishna ya Watu Xenos says:

    In any case, generation Z is turning out to be a pretty sharp bunch. They had better be, as they are inheriting a mess. I am trying to teach my kids to make do with little, and to enjoy hard work. And to learn several languages, too.

    The good side is that they are growing up in a community with no racism, no sexism, no heterosexism. They have no idea the drastic changes that have taken place to allow this.

  89. 89
    Comrade Darkness says:

    Side note: Why the hell are we titled Generation Y?

    You are railing against marketing definitions. There are two parts to the boomers: politics, which has to do with socially organizing around the blob of additional bodies at a given age, and marketing.

    The reason those born between ~60-68 got shoved down into "boomer" was because marketing companies didn’t know what to do with them, not because they fit, culturally. This was more than half wishful thinking. Same with Gen X, Y, Z. The marketers loved them some boomers. They could get them to buy anything, really easily. They pwned them and they were living high on companies turning to them handing them money and them handing back customers. Then the boom generation eased off and what replaced it, the marketers didn’t understand. They floundered around for nearly 2 decades, faced with X, that rebelled against the old ad tactics and Y that outrightly distrusted all advertising. Advertising started to have the exact opposite effect that it was supposed to. Even viral "marketing" (which was touted as a savior of advertising) backfired the second time it was used on a major campaign.

    These guys are desperate. WE are the product. We are bought and sold as consumers to be directed to do things. And ad agencies need categories, for which they can assign qualities/traits/motives, etc so that when Company Whatever shows up they can just run with a standard program based on the age group. They operate on categories and can’t live without them, hence the wishful thinking part. In their dark little hearts hope by assigning people to groups they can convince them to be in that group and the happy ad days will return again.

    The grouping X, Y, etc. are literally product definitions, stuck up on a big ad agency shelf. Probably the reason you have an inherent dislike of it. Which is good. As far as I’m concerned.

  90. 90
    TenguPhule says:

    I disagree with Robin G in that the problem isn’t going to come from the Republican Party trying to destroy Obama, the problem is going to come from the nutjobs that are getting stoked up in these rallies.

    They are one and the same.

    Their base are the American Taliban.

    They will not concede. They will not negotiate. They can’t be reasoned with.

    They can only be put down.

  91. 91
    RH Potfry says:

    You guys don’t like it when the other side gets angry, eh?

    Meanwhile, we’ve been subjected to eight years of moonbat rallies filled with seething rage, calls for Bush’s death, calls for violent overthrow. Coast to coast.

    Now, there’s some anger and venting at right wing rallies and you guys are surprised?

    Spare me the feigned shock.

  92. 92
    Brachiator says:

    Watch the tape of the guy screaming, “He’s a terrorist!” McCain seems to shudder at that, he rolls his eyes… and I thought for a moment he’d admonish the man. But he didn’t. And now he’s selling the Ayres non-story full-time.

    McCain has apparently not learned anything from his long life experience. Some of the articles about his career as a flyer indicate that he would ignore all warnings and plow ahead to try to complete his mission even when he had clear evidence that the riskier course might likely lead to disaster, even when his plane was damaged, even when his electronics systems indicated that the enemy had locked their weapons on him.

    Having been a victim of smears himself, he viscerally knows how damaging this stuff can be. And yet he plows ahead, and blindly inflames the worst passions in his supporters. He clearly believes that he will be able to channel the rage and anger that he is whipping up. But he is also a man who has been wrong far more often than he has been correct.

    And to top it all off, he has selected as a running mate a woman who he believes is as mavericky as he is, but who clearly delights at being the Belle of the Reichstag.

  93. 93
    jrg says:

    Meanwhile, we’ve been subjected to eight years of moonbat rallies filled with seething rage, calls for Bush’s death, calls for violent overthrow. Coast to coast.

    Did ya miss the whole "Iraq" thing, dumb ass?

  94. 94
    Comrade Tax Analyst says:

    Bob in Pacifica says:

    I don’t get all this generational blame. Maybe it’s because I’m almost sixty, but if I busted my hump in my union for my working life and spent time and energy writing about all these issues that are coming home to roost now, I don’t want my lifetime dismissed because of the DOB on my drivers license.

    Considered your remark "seconded" by a fifty-eight year-old down here in Santa Fe Springs, CA.

    We are not the enemy. No one gets a "choice" as to what generation they are born in…and there is no reason for anyone to want to make one. It’s not when you were born, it’s what you do with the time you have AFTER THAT.

    BTW – I work in a company where about 80% of the people are less than HALF MY AGE, and less than 10% within 10 years of me, and I have no problem with that…in fact, I think it’s great…everyone here is sharp, smart and hard-working, regardless of their age, and we work together very, very well.

    Sparky, maybe you weren’t serious, but if you were I’d ask you to lay off the "generational blame" crap. I don’t want things to be fucked up…not now, not 2 years from now and not even a million fucking years after I’m dead and buried.

    See, one of the reasons I want a man like Barack Obama to be elected is that he is clearly someone capable of uniting people. He does not run his campaign on separation and divisiveness. We need to look for things that bring us together rather than separate.

    So in that spirit I graciously invite your young ass down here so I can kick the living snot out of you at ping-pong, you young whippersnapper…

  95. 95
    Comrade Tax Analyst says:

    sparky

    @Bob In Pacifica: i wasn’t dismissing people on the basis of their age, so i apologize for giving that impression.
    what i meant was the arc of life that the US has had to endure from a policy standpoint can, to some non-trivial degree, be traced to boomer action-reaction, from fucking around in the 60s and scaring people into electing Nixon, to becoming conservative born-agains (paging the WH) who now are intent upon telling everyone how to live. in short, wacky youngsters who grow up into conservative types who just want to hoard what they obtained via believing that there was a free lunch for 20+ years. did the GOP take advantage of them? absolutely. but they let themselves be taken.
    pissed? yeah, i am.

    and as for narcissism, excuse me, but it was the boomers who gave us, among other things, greed is good, you can have it all and numerous other self-justificatory claptrap. not to mention disco and cars larger than the ones their parents drove
    /head explodes.

    Ummm…yer still doing it, sonny, and it’s gettin’ on my nerves, ya’ hear?

    Please repeat after me: "The boomers" were/are not a monolithic block. You’re talking about a whole lot of people from a whole lot of different backgrounds who actually did a whole lot of different things with each of their INDIVIDUAL FUCKING LIVES. Some were/are greedy and narcissistic , and it’s certainly a good thing that your generation apparently solved that problem. I’d stand and applaud you, but that might not be self-effacing enough for you.

    Don’t want to be coming off like cranky old John "Get Off My Lawn" McCain here, but every time you start to clarify and semi-apologize you keep stepping on this damn old sore toe of mine. I remember something my kindly old mother used to say to me and my brothers, "If you can’t say something nice, don’t say a mother-fucking thing."

    Now I should shake my head and say something stupid, like – "This younger generation, I’m sure they mean well, but they just don’t understand".

    Now do you see what I’m talking about?

  96. 96
    RH Potfry says:

    Did ya miss the whole "Iraq" thing, dumb ass?

    Oh, I get it. Anger and rage is OK when you feel something’s wrong, but when someone else does, it’s…well…just anger and rage and…uh, dangerous.

    Dipshit.

  97. 97
    RH Potfry says:

    My God. A couple instances of anger and stupid shout-outs at protest and you guys are wringing your hands, wondering if the restless red states might eat you.

    From Cole’s initial over-wrought anxiety to the palpable nervousness in these comments, this is the most entertaining thing I’ve read all day.

    Boo!

  98. 98
    Comrade Tax Analyst says:

    Comrade Darkness

    Sparky, I think the boomers don’t recognize the accommodation that’s made for them (political or otherwise), something I’ve long since accepted, but it used to annoy me more. I take it in exchange for being right behind them as medical science gears up to treat them as they age, I’ll be set since things will be perfected before I need them. That’s my consolation, anyway.

    It makes sense they don’t recognize it since it is carefully targeted to them. shrugs Whatever it is, it just seems like the natural thing to them. I think that’s why your comment was misinterpreted. You couldn’t possibly be ranting about the way things are, that’s . . . just the way they are. It must have been something else. Well, no . . .

    How about this. You’ve worked in a company for 10 years and always your favorite snack is the break room. Spicy cheetos. One day, one of the new kids complains that there are never any snacks in the break room. And you say, what are you talking about, there are always great snacks. And the kid says, no there aren’t, I hate cheetos. And it turns out everyone under the age of 40 can’t stand the smell of the things. And you say, oh. I see. Well, multiply that by like a thousand and spread it out across more aspects of life.

    Allow me to briefly respond: Bite Me! You just don’t know what the fuck you are talking about. What, you think everybody born in the boomer age had/has a guaranteed ‘Life is just a bowl of cherries" existence? Well, honestly, just Fuck Off, OK? You’re making blanket assumptions that are really just plain ignorant. Snack on that a while.

    On the positive side, by comparison you DO make Sparky look a lot brighter.

    But I guess you’re right, I really don’t recognize all the accomodations that you have made for me. All I can say is, "Thank you" that was ever-so-gracious of you. It’s making me warmer and fuzzier even as I whack these words out on my keyboard.

  99. 99
    jrg says:

    Anger and rage is OK when you feel something’s wrong, but when someone else does

    I guess Obama’s middle name is as big an existential threat as multi-trillion dollar debts and lies to get us into a war. You’re too stupid to vote. Go out and troll the CNN boards. People need to see just how big a moron you have to be in order to support the GOP.

    Oh, and BTW, what Dem is making campaign stops, calling Bush or McCain a terrorist? What Dem crowd is yelling "terrorist" and "kill him" when Bush or McCain is mentioned?

  100. 100

    Sorry, Sparky. You can do whatever you want on my lawn. Hell, I don’t even have one. There’s nothing out there but sagebrush, chamisa, rocks, and cactus, and none of it belongs to me, anyway.

    It’s just that snarky references to "boomers" make me livid. I lived through a time when our own government was trying to KILL ME, dammit, and millions of others — which permanently propped my eyelids open with regard to the American dream — and I reject with every fiber of my being any notion that all us REAL dirty fucking hippies had anything to do with all the bullshit we’ve all been living with. In the sense that I did not personally go out and kneecap all the bastards, sure. But otherwise, it’s been decades of just trying to get by and learning what makes me tick inside.

    That’s why I’m gung-ho for Obama. He isn’t rejecting anyone. He GETS it (the Big Picture). Whether he knows he gets it or not is unimportant, he just does… That makes him the biggest gift to this country and the world I’ve ever seen, and I have never been so proud to cast my vote as I will be this time.

    (It’s not "about" Obama, incidentally, but we can leave that for another time…)

  101. 101
    Comrade Tax Analyst says:

    Juan del Llano on October 10th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    What he said.

    Right on, Juan

  102. 102

    Balloon Juice: Video of Ed Rollins on Anderson Cooper 360…

    Video:
    Do you believe this race is over for John McCain?
    "I do. You know, I’m for McCain. I’m going to vote for McCain. But the momentum is going all the other way…. I think people clearly want to make a move. It’s like Carter…. Once Reaga…

  103. 103
    Comrade Darkness says:

    Allow me to briefly respond: Bite Me! You just don’t know what the fuck you are talking about. What, you think everybody born in the boomer age had/has a guaranteed ‘Life is just a bowl of cherries" existence? Well, honestly, just Fuck Off, OK? You’re making blanket assumptions that are really just plain ignorant. Snack on that a while.
    On the positive side, by comparison you DO make Sparky look a lot brighter.
    But I guess you’re right, I really don’t recognize all the accomodations that you have made for me. All I can say is, "Thank you" that was ever-so-gracious of you. It’s making me warmer and fuzzier even as I whack these words out on my keyboard.

    Huh, accommodations isn’t usually such an inflammatory word. So, the schools weren’t made bigger when you guys hit 5 years old? and then the universities made bigger, and more influential just about they time you got to that age? No? And then the suburbs. And then the monster retail boom when you all got jobs and started families? And then the boom in luxury brands when you all hit upper management and peak salary. What, that was all random? Now botox and other age-defying technologies being all the rage, yet another random event?

    Those sound like accommodations. The market and society accommodated and maximized on the fact that there was a larger than average chunk of people about the same age. You want to deny that, seems silly. But sure, whatever.

  104. 104
    Peter says:

    Why shouldn’t they be angry. Obama and ACORN are stealing the election and news outlets like yours won’t even report on it.

  105. 105
    JC says:

    @78 is right. Joyner is apparently oblivious to much of what is happening, saying talk of unhinged crowds is

    based a single rally yesterday in Waukesha, Wisconsin — and just two outbursts from the crowd, at that.

    I wish that were the case, but there similar outbursts have been reported in FL, OH, and PA. Widely reported, at that. How Joyner missed it, I don’t know.

    I find it hard to believe that this is only happening in those four places.

  106. 106
    Comrade grumpy realist says:

    Not to beat the deceased equine into the ground, but there definitely is a "cultural" difference between those of us born at the very tail end of the Boomer years and those born in the middle.

    My interpretation is our parents freaked out so much about our rebellious older brothers and sisters that they kept the lid down firmly on us. And we also grew up hearing all about Protest and Rebellion from our bossy older siblings, so by the time we reached their age, there wasn’t much Protest and Rebellion left.

    My class at college rebelled by getting plastered on cheap beer and vodka, and raising pot plants under Day-Gro lights in closets. And we didn’t even raise them to smoke much–our amusement was to transplant them to spots around campus and see how long it took the campus authorities to notice the extra little touches in the rhododendron bushes…

  107. 107
    Comrade Tax Analyst says:

    Comrade Darkness says:

    Huh, accommodations isn’t usually such an inflammatory word. So, the schools weren’t made bigger when you guys hit 5 years old? and then the universities made bigger, and more influential just about they time you got to that age? No? And then the suburbs. And then the monster retail boom when you all got jobs and started families? And then the boom in luxury brands when you all hit upper management and peak salary. What, that was all random? Now botox and other age-defying technologies being all the rage, yet another random event?

    Those sound like accommodations. The market and society accommodated and maximized on the fact that there was a larger than average chunk of people about the same age. You want to deny that, seems silly. But sure, whatever.

    Still having problems with blockquote, I’m trying to edit one in. Anyway, my rant starts after this sentence. Tax Analyst

    Maybe the problem here is you seem to think the "boomers" (by the way, I never thought of myself as a "boomer", but I was told many times that I was) somehow not only got all these "accommodations", but somehow didn’t want you to get any, and somehow went out of their way to make sure you didn’t. Well, I can’t speak for others, and I don’t think I would if I could. I sense that you nonetheless are including me in a labelled group that had some control over the statistically documented advantageous you refer to. I guess that the largest part of what I find annoying. You know what, man, a lot of the shit you didn’t get went towards things that I loathed with every ounce of my being. You seem quite familiar with marketing and seem to base your take on the "boomer" generation pretty much on a statistical analysis of consumption during the period. I wouldn’t deny that certain material advantages were more readily available in 1968 than were in 1958. You know what I remember about 1968? Well, I was about to get out of high school and wasn’t sure of much of anything. I really didn’t have any desire for more school at the time…I felt burned out, but I didn’t want to be drafted. We were on our way to 500,000 soldiers in ‘Nam…I believe that number was reached in 1969. I worked a little, went to school a little, screwed around a little, er, a lot. I remember Martin Luther King was murdered 3 days after my 18th birthday and I remember Robert F. Kennedy, who I believed would try to change things in positive directions, was assassinated on June 4th, 1968, right after giving his California Democratic Primary Election Victory Speech. I had fallen asleep with a little portable TV on in my room and I awoke to view a seemingly surreal and confused scene of despair and pandemonium. Kennedy had seemed likely to win the General Election over Richard M Nixon, and I had gone to bed quite relieved since I didn’t think Eugene McCarthy would beat Nixon if he managed to get the nomination instead of Kennedy. So we not only lost RFK, but we had to live with Nixon instead. I remember that the mid-seventies mostly sucked economically…our first "Gas Crisis" and for quite a while inflation was running in double-digits and as I recall we were still not quite out of Viet Nam yet. Viet Nam…it was kind of inconvenient for a lot of people…over 50,000 American soldiers died and perhaps millions of people in Viet Nam and the surrounding nations. It fucked up a lot of things, you know. A lot of folks lost their lives and the folks who didn’t, well, just about everyone I knew lost somebody in that fiasco. Money that could and should have been spent on other things….probably a lot of those accommodations you didn’t get, I imagine, went to kill and destroy. Progress towards equality and a better future for the next generation got sucked up into a Culture War that was stoked by craven politicians to divide people who should have been aligned together in most concerns. It was kind of ugly. This is not "boo-hoo, poor me", but I’ll tell you this, man, the material things you think I got and that you feel you were deprived of were not anything to me, nor to a lot of the people I knew. I lived several years without a TV just because I really didn’t want one. There were a lot of things I never had…mostly because I didn’t particularly want or need them. So it frosts me that you measure and judge the people who lived through that era solely on the basis of consumption surveys and marketing analysis or whatever. You speak in generalities and lump everyone from that period together and assume they all wanted and that was all that mattered.

    I’m not saying we had it better or worse than you. It really doesn’t matter. We all live in the times we are born into and in certain areas of our lives we benefit or suffer just because we are there when events larger than ourselves happen and sweep up everyone in their path for a ride. Sometimes the wave you end up in will ease and let you out if you want and sometimes it insists you come along. When it’s over if you’re still around you make some…hmmm…accommodations and learn to move on.

    So I guess from your perspective you are correct. Life was good and easy, a joyful theme ride that a whole fucking generation just had handed to them just for being there. Yeah, I guess it was. By that measure it surely had to have been the best of times.

    Like you said, whatever..

  108. 108

    […] the coordinated efforts of opinion-leaders on the Right.  Even veteran campaign reporters for whom Balance is a religion have been acknowledging that the McCain/Palin rallies are unique in their mass-crowd vitriol and […]

  109. 109

    […] the sum total of the message. He and the Wasilla Wingnut have done nothing for the past two months but provide weak and ugly reasons why you should not vote for Obama, starting with the sneer de force at the RNC and continuing on to […]

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  1. […] the sum total of the message. He and the Wasilla Wingnut have done nothing for the past two months but provide weak and ugly reasons why you should not vote for Obama, starting with the sneer de force at the RNC and continuing on to […]

  2. […] the coordinated efforts of opinion-leaders on the Right.  Even veteran campaign reporters for whom Balance is a religion have been acknowledging that the McCain/Palin rallies are unique in their mass-crowd vitriol and […]

  3. Balloon Juice: Video of Ed Rollins on Anderson Cooper 360…

    Video:
    Do you believe this race is over for John McCain?
    "I do. You know, I’m for McCain. I’m going to vote for McCain. But the momentum is going all the other way…. I think people clearly want to make a move. It’s like Carter…. Once Reaga…

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