I think I have figured out what had been a most puzzling situation. The situation was this.
Barack Obama can travel half-way around the world, be greeted enthusiastically by people who never before waved an American flag that wasn’t afire, take along a macho war-hero REPUBLICAN senator for back-up, and still be treated with mild uncertainty by the three network anchors who travel with him at his expense.
John McCain can spend the week-end at a biker rally — yes, a biker rally — where he suggests he should have entered his wife in the “Miss Buffalo Chip” contest, and the press, those who even bothered to notice where he’d gone or what he’d done, treat it as another example of good ole John’s common touch.
- Now, you’ve seen coverage of the Obama world tour. Have you seen the real coverage of the biker rally McCain took his family to, the biker rally where he played the one-of-the-guys game in his $500 shoes? Please, take a moment to follow-up on the event, courtesy of hilzoy. There’s a video of McCain’s performance, and links to performances by the “Miss Buffalo Chips” contestants. I’m not sure whether there’s a link to the “Fake Orgasm” contest.
Okay, back to my argument. The reason for the disparate coverage is simply this. Obama goes out and talks to thousands, so the media treat everything he says as if meant for global presentation and analysis. McCain goes out and talks to a couple hundred raunchy bikers, and the media treat everything he says as if it were of interest only to those couple hundred. That’s why Obama can’t giggle, sneeze, or wipe his nose without being criticized, while McCain can pimp his wife at a biker rally and no one thinks anything of it.
One other item. You’ve heard about and perhaps seen that controversial commercial, linking Obama with major-league blond bimbos. One of those bimbos has now decided that, with all the free publicity she’s been getting in the Presidential campaign, she might as well enter the race. You might have noticed her commercial on Obsidian Wings; if not you can find it at Funny or Die. Please take a look. If nothing else, it will be grist for some struggling PhD candidate’s dissertation. I think the title might be, Recursive Irony as an Instance of Satirical Politicization. Or something similar.
UPDATE: It finally dawned on me what the McCain people are doing. They are — as several observers have pointed out — desperate. They have a candidate who cannot possibly win; their only chance is to make the other guy lose. Here’s their battle plan.
No matter what Obama does or says, find a way not simply to dispute or contradict or fault it, but a way to way to diminish and if possible ridicule him in the process. That is what we have been seeing for the past several weeks.
Lure Obama into an attack on McCain. The biker rally was critique bait. If Obama said anything negative about McCain or Miss Buffalo Chip, the machine would have excoriated him: he’s not MAN enough; he’s afraid to play with the big boys; eventually Ann Coulter starts her girly-boy routine.
I can’t prove it, but that’s the basis on which I’ll be operating until someone proves me wrong, or comes up with a better explanation.
Now, back to our regularly-scheduled program.