Obama isn't simply leading McCain in the polls. At the moment he's handing poor Huggy Bear his wrinkled old fanny. That may not mean a whole heckuva lot this far from November but it's at least a hushpuppy for all the concern trolls prowling about the interweb and complaining about how upset they are that emotionally immature and unserious partisan Democrats -- who were practically handed this historic presidential election dead in a sack -- have staged their primary like an episode of American Idol and selected the obviously inexperienced, clearly unelectable candidate Black Hussein McBama, a secret negro possible Marxist, and sexy-ass Muslim extremest with a bad reputation for being the most reliably liberal dude in the Senate.
If any or all of those slams against Obama sound vaguely familiar its because they're all variations on the same boilerplate used against Democratic contenders by Republicans and Republican enablers since the disgraced Nixon -- a liberal hero and American patriot compared to the players at BushCo. -- skulked his jowly, conniving way out of the Oval office.
Well, the secret (some might say magic) negro part is new, but only because it wouldn't have worked very well against Kerry or Gore. And frankly, none of the GOP's threadbare old tricks --not even the flagrant racist pandering-- appears to be working too well this time around, no thanks to the conflicted Democrats who still can't wrap their Beltway-muddled brains around radical ideas like popular Democracy.
Not to diminish a revolutionary brand of netroots politics pioneered by 50-state strategist Howard Dean and perfected by Team Obama, it's not unreasonable to suggest that, like Darth Vader redeeming himself in Episode VI (only more accidentally), the Republicans will be the Democrats best allies in '08. Why? Well I'm glad I asked.
Reason #5: The GOP is a rudderless party trying desperately not to sail off the edge of little Tommy Friedman's flat world.
Republicans are out of ideas, as the saying goes. In particular Karl Rove, "The Architect" responsible for George W. Bush's rise to unprecedented power is completely and hilariously out of step with the Mainstream. Recently the man the President calls Turdblossom cracked on Obama saying,
"Even if you never met him [Obama], you know this guy. He's the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by."
Well, who sounds like a polo playing elitist now? Sure, once upon a time the GOP could spin tales about latte loving, arugula-eating liberals and it scared the hell out of heart-landers who've since discovered that lattes are pretty good and Iron Chef is almost as awesome as MXC. In that same meanwhile there's been no great swelling of Rove's peers in the country club set.
Some have read dark machinations into the Rovian imagery but really, it just sounds like Uncle Karl needs to drop in on Dr. Phil and talk about his wounded inner child who's quivering and quite unable to shake away the memory of that horrible moment when he was eight and given an atomic wedgie by the 10-year-old guy with his candy cigarettes and a prematurely developed girlfriend who helped.
Reason #4: The Ick Factor Yes, there's still a lot of racial tension in America. But only the ickiest ickwads want to be associated with things like this. And let's not forget about the Texas GOP, which has ungenerously (and rather shamefacedly, in fact) donated to Midwestern flood victims the $1,500 in rent collected from a controversial vendor selling racist buttons at their recent convention. A party spokesman told reporters that Texas Republicans neither condone nor profit from racism. Although they obviously did both until it became inconvenient and embarrassing. Reason #3: Jerry Falwell is dead and evangelical extremists aren't polling too well either.
It's really too bad that Rev. Falwell, the conservative activist who blamed gays, lesbians, feminists, abortionists, and the ACLU for the 2000 terrorist attacks in New York, didn't live long enough to witness the horrible Midwestern floods which proved once and for all that sometimes God Almighty aims his devastating wrath at America's heartland where hard-handed Christian men grow corn, drink sweet tea and marry wholesome female wives who go to church and give birth to fat freckled boys who quickly learn the value of a dollar, the meaning of a hard day's work, and how to love the Lord as heterosexually as dear old Dad.*
Rigid divisiveness may not define spirituality in modern America but it has become the Religious Right's public political identity. That's the late Rev. Falwell's civic legacy and it's toxic. Just ask Bill Frist whose long distance diagnosis of a brain dead Terri Schiavo-- a cynical, self-conscious gift to conservative Evangelicals -- cost the former Senate Majority Leader his shot at the White House.
Reason #2: The Ooh Scary Booga Booga Industrial Complex
We live in a scary world, but the spectacular flameout of Rudy Giuliani's terror-centric run for the White House suggests that scare tactics are so 2004. This week McCain who has occasionally acknowledged that radical Islam is good for Republicans was forced to repudiate his surrogate Charlie Black who said another terrorist attack would be good for his candidate. Why would the death of thousands of Americans be good for anyone, let alone a politician whose party failed to protect America from one such event already and has supposedly spent the last eight years blowing through blood and treasure in the name of national security? It's difficult to say, though one might be tempted to call it wishful thinking on Black's part. Though he is usually identified by the media as a conservative spokesman or a "McCain advisor" Black is also a lobbyist whose creepy clients benefit from more war in the Middle East. His firm represented Ahmed Chalabi, the international con man who supplied much of the information used by the Bush Administration to sell America on war with Iraq. It also coached Eric Prince CEO of the private military firm Blackwater, prior to a Congressional hearing.
Fortunately for the Democrats, you don't have to know that Black's a fear merchant who uses 9/11 as a license to print money to recognize that anybody caught pondering the positive externalities of a large scale terrorist attack is complete ghoul.
Reason #1: (Drumroll) Inverted Maureen Dowdism.
For every rich old white alpha male with an awesome ride, important job, and junky wife there's some other rich old white alpha male with an awesome car, important job and junky wife who's sick of his shit.
*Before anybody says anything, I don't think god was punishing anybody. That would be insane.
A nonprofit group in Detroit -- Memphis' unofficial sister city -- is farming derelict land to grow food for the needy.
NPR's "Morning Edition" says Urban Farming has a 20-plot pilot program in which volunteers tend the gardens and the city of Detroit picks up the water bill ...
Let's call the superintendent of the Memphis City Schools the decider.
Except the superintendent isn't really the decider. There are several deciders -- the nine elected members of the school board, some elected from districts and some elected at-large. Five of them, in fact, are running for reelection this year ...