Monday, September 10, 2012


This? This is supposed to be a bad thing for Obama and Biden?
Vice President Joe Biden got caught in a stunning photo with a female biker sitting on his lap.

The Associated Press snapped the shot at Cruisers Diner in Seaman, Ohio on Sunday....

Four years ago, John McCain attended the annual biker rally in Sturgis, South Dakota; he even said his wife should enter the Miss Buffalo Chip beauty pageant there. His '08 running mate attended a biker rally in 2011 when it appeared she might be ready to jump into the presidential race.

But now this kind of thing is unacceptable to the right. Romney? Ryan? The Republicans on the ticket are the clean-cut, preppy, brown-nosers. They're the Omegas in Animal House. They think America wants the Omegas to win.

Another photo of Biden:

This is exactly how you campaigned back in Boston when I was a little kid, at the tail end of the Last Hurrah era. This is supposed to be bad for Democrats?

(And I'll throw in the pizza place owner who gave Obama a bear hug -- a great image. And, no, I don't think it hurts Obama in any meaningful way to have described "Made in the USA" as "three proud words" -- but this trivial gaffe that inspires a sniffy "Who Is Dumber, Joe Biden or Barack Obama" headline from the Omega-iest of right-wing blogs, Power Line).


Here's why none of this is bad for Obama and Biden.

First of all, the message of all this is that the Obama administration is stupid, bumbling, ineffectual, asleep at the switch, fiddling while Rome burns. The problem is, Republicans have been telling us for four years that the Obama administration is a ruthlessly efficient machine systematically and relentlessly dismantling everything that's good about America in a deliberate, cold-blooded effort to enslave the population and destroy freedom. You can't be both. Either you're a juggernaut or you're stumblebums -- both of these things can't be true. Even people who don't buy the former message in its entirety have absorbed the notion that these guys have done stuff. So you can't turn around and try to convince people that they're goof-offs. (This is also why Republicans can't successfully attack Obama as an empty chair, or as a guy who plays too much golf, though Repubs will never stop trying.)

Beyond that, there's the fact that the most important dividing line in American politics is the perceived line between heartlanders and cosmopolitans. Republicans have defined every Democrat in the last several decades as cosmopolitan, often to those Democrats' detriment. It's becoming less of a handicap -- otherwise Obama, unlike Dukakis and Kerry, couldn't have won -- but it still hurts in the red states and rural areas. But now, after relentlessly portraying Obama as an urban, urbane, Ivy League, effete, elite slickster, Republicans are trying to say that he and Biden are rubes. It doesn't work. It can't work.

The parties really are switching positions:
On the campaign trail, the most thunderous applause for Mr. Ryan often comes when a local politician introducing him mentions the Oct. 11 debate with Mr. Biden. The Republican faithful are spoiling for the matchup, which they see as pitting Mr. Ryan, with his cold command of budget facts, against an outclassed Mr. Biden, whom they portray as gaffe-prone....
"Cold command of budget facts"! Forget whether it's true. Republicans apparently think there's nothing voters love more than that.


Danp said...

You can't be both? I'm not so sure about that. Bush was an idiot as an individual, but the nominal head of a ruthlessly evil and efficient political machine. I don't see that as a conflict. It's not even close to being an accurate description of Obama's organization, but in a fact-free environment, it's fine.

Victor said...

How will Romney and Ryan govern in prose, when they can't even create an atom of poetry while campaigning?

And you can't portray Obama as some Black Super Villain, while at the same time imply that he's a mewling kitty, cowering under the bed.

And neither Romeny nor Ryan distinguished himself on the Sunday gabfests yesterday.

And if you can't handle softballs thrown at you by Dancin' Dave, Ignorah O'Donnell, and George Vowelalotalous, then you ain't ready for prime time anywhere - except maybe on FOX.
And if you think Chris Wallace is tough on you while you're there, just wait until you get a look at Putin, the Ayatollah's in Iran, and the leaders of China.

Unless they can suppress more voters than we think, or something aweful happens, I'm starting to think this may be a landslide.

Poor Schmoe Scar's and his Polico cronies - they were practically crying on air this morning!

And, when talking about Obama leading in Ohio, and being tied in Florida, Schmoe said, "Mitt Romney is a flawed candidate." Saying, of course, that a true Conservative would be winning!

Yes. Yes, Schmoe, Mitt is a flawed candidate.

But he's YOUR flawed candidate!

He was the best of the dwarves your party ran.
For Republicans, apparently, he was just the right height of dwarf.

Raenelle said...

I agree that these photos don't hurt Obama/Biden, but not because I believe that wingnuts (and aren't the Repubs all wingnuts, now) just can't hold contradictory ideas. I mean, come on. However, my impression is that the photos make Obama/Biden look loose, confident, like they're having a good time. And generally Americans like being with the winners. Romney/Ryan OTOH--desperate whining nattering nabobs of negativity. You can smell the flop sweat through the photos.

Steve M. said...

Danp, I think a lot of us thought of Bush as ignorant but purposeful -- he might not spend much time (or any time at all) weighing the evidence, but he jumped in with both feet when he chose a course. Also, we thought the people driving his decisions (Cheney, Rove) were smart, or at least clever, in their own sinister fashion.

Neo Tuxedo said...

Hey, they spent eight years going back and forth on whether Bill Clinton was a Mayberry Machiavelli running his own "ruthlessly efficient machine systematically and relentlessly dismantling everything that's good about America in a deliberate, cold-blooded effort to enslave the population and destroy freedom" or a horny hillbilly letting the country ride the greased pole to hell while he tried to stick his "distinguishing characteristic" in anything that couldn't outrun him and wasn't Hillary. The base bought it then, and they'll buy the portrait of the Obamanation as simultaneously stumblebums and a juggernaut. Cognitive dissonance is for those of us cursed to be capable of cognition.