Friday, July 11, 2008

Back in the Saddle

(Photo Credit: Mauceri/Abbot/INF in People; Christina Aguilera performing in Houston, 2/20/07)

Blog pal and rodeo gal Historiann may have gone on vacation, but we're back in the saddle here in Roxie's World, where the moms have unpacked, recovered from their jet-lag, and mapped out a strategy for surviving without the new iPhone G3 until September 2, the day their 2-year contract with Verizon expires. Yes, you should feel sorry for them. You say you're curious about their strategy, though? Oh, Goose will finish a book, of course, while Moose cleans out closets, diligently re-dedicates herself to her Tim Russert Memorial Lifestyle Adjustment Plan, and faithfully patrols the internets looking for strangely alluring images of Grammy-winning singers she's barely heard of. (Hey, who knew Aguilera had a song called "Candyman," with a killer retro-WWII-style video? Not us, but we hereby supply a link to said video, with affection for one of our sweetest and most favorite readers.)

We will also spend a bit of time between now and (our) iPhone Day monitoring developments in the presidential campaign so that Roxie's World can continue to offer the kind of hard-hitting political analysis our dogged readers have come to expect. For the moment, we continue to fly a Swiss flag here in these sacred precincts. We won't vote for McCain, but we haven't seen anything yet that has convinced us to vote for Obama. We are "neutral," then, on the question of whether loyal Clintonistas should follow Senator Clinton's lead and throw their support to Obama for the (alleged) good of the party or respectfully decline to do so as a way of registering dissatisfaction with the candidate and/or outrage over the manner by which he was selected. (That outrage is righteously summarized by pissed-off PUMA ringleader Riverdaughter here. Poor Donna Brazile. How does she bear the torrents of hatred cascading down on her broad shoulders from furious Clinton supporters? Why do we suspect the prospect of replacing Howard Dean at the DNC if Obama wins has something to do with her equanimity? Just a hunch, but remember you heard it here first.)

From the safe distance of northern Europe (where everyone to whom they spoke was surprised and disappointed by the outcome of the Democratic primary race), the moms watched in amusement as the abject Kool-Aid drinkers of the media and the "progressive" blogosphere reeled over the past couple of weeks at the spectacle of the Lesser proving to be -- oh, the shock! the pain! the wounded idealism of it all! -- a politician willing to adjust or flat-out abandon any position that proved to be inconvenient once the pesky matter of suckering Democratic primary voters had been taken care of. We're too late to the story to bother with going over the litany of positions that have been nuanced, calibrated, modified, and, um, righted by the whiz-kids who fostered the belief that Obama was a transformational leader with a clear vision and bedrock principles that wouldn't shift with every new political wind. Roxie's World never bought that hoo-ha, of course, but a lot of people did, so it is fun and fascinating to watch them trying to adjust to the now inescapable facts that Barack Obama is a) mortal, b) political, and c) as moderate and centrist as the evil, pragmatic bitch/shrew/whore he vanquished in the primary race.

How did the Obamaniacs not know this all along? Moose compares it to a brief period of her late childhood when she truly, passionately believed that teen idol Bobby Sherman was a great singer, greater than all the other superstars in that glorious heyday of rock and roll. Sometimes, she says sheepishly, the force of our desires blinds us to things we don't want to see -- or hear. Obama acknowledged something similar earlier this week when he candidly declared that those -- including many of his disillusioned "progressive" supporters -- who were accusing him of shifting to the center "apparently haven't been listening to me." NY Times columnist Gail Collins sits disappointed Obamaniacs down for a talk and compares their willful mishearing to a woman selectively listening to what a guy says when she is looking for a relationship and he is looking for a date.

Moose, Obama, and Collins are all right in their assessment of the human tendency to take information in through the filters of desire and the will to believe, but they all discount or overlook the extent to which the Obama campaign exploited this tendency in order to secure the Democratic nomination against an opponent whose experience was used against her -- as proof that she had been tainted by the corruptions of politics. It remains to be seen whether Obama's claims to purity -- which are key to the appeal of his brand -- can survive the public modulations of positions that ordinary politicians engage in as a matter of routine. (Dem strategist and analyst Bob Beckel has a good analysis of the challenge Obama faces here.) Having held himself up as other and better than that old-style kind of politician, Obama now has the audacity to pretend he hasn't changed at all and to blame his core supporters for being bad listeners. One wonders if, in the fullness of time, the iPhone candidate won't begin to sound like the guy in those old Verizon commercials, trying desperately to cling to customers fleeing from a devalued brand: Can you hear me now?

We're listening, Barack. Believe me, we are listening. Do us a favor and try saying something worth hearing, will you?


  1. I LOVE how all of the Obamaniacs are crestfallen that Precious voted for the amended, yet still problematic FISA. While I envy them for their fervent belief in the political process, which I gave up on in 2004, most of them are all twenty-somethings that lack institutional memory; moreover, they refuse to listen to those that do. While I'm no spring chicken at thirty-seven-years-old, I'm entirely too young to sound so curmudgeonly. Now, as for the iPhone version 2.0, have you been following all of the problems related to activating the new gizmos? Even those who own the old versions and loaded the update patch are having difficulty. The iTunes site has been hammered left and right. Methinks the 2 September goal is worthy because by then Apple will have worked out most of the kinks. At least I hope so. Finally, I have Christina Aguilera's most recent album, which features "Candyman." It's not the best thing in the world, but girlfriend has lungs!

    Finally, I raise you your Bobby Darin with Neil Sedaka.

  2. Bobby SHERMAN, sweetie, not Bobby Darin. The former is even more execrable than the latter. Oh, and Moose also went through a Neil Sedaka stage. Of course.

  3. Anonymous1:26 PM EDT

    Hello, Roxie! We here at the House of Ironical Beagles are pleased to hear that the humans have returned safe and sound, while trusting that during their absence you availed yourself of every possible concession you could worm out of your dog-sitter.

    We are SO not going to get into the subject of singers, stages about whom anyone in this house may or may not have gone through. However, we do note that what we have always thought of as Bobby Darin's pretty good rendition of "Mac the Knife" is far outdone by Sammy Davis, Junior. We don't know if you have ever gone through a Sammy Davis, Jr., stage, but we think we just might try it out.

    We do love that happy little ditty, in just about all its forms. (Not, however, the MacDonald's ad version. Which we thought was just stoopid.)

    By way of maintaining the dramatic tension for which Roxie's World is fast becoming famous, we will add that, indeed, Obama deeply disappointed many people with the FISA vote. And we would dearly love to hear an explanation from him about it.

    However, the way ALL Dem. politicians are going these days, it's pretty much a sure bet that, had Clinton won the nomination, RW would in short order be looking at some vote or speech or action of hers and going, "What was she thinking?" or "What were we thinking?" or, failing that, fighting a rearguard action against those who are saying that. And Collins or someone would write an article reminding us of girlfriends we KNEW had characteristic X,Y or Z, reminding us of the DLC, and wondering why we are surprised. Put not thy faith in politicians, like the Good Book says--or ought to say.


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