As usual, I didn’t watch the debate. And while I read TPM’s and Carpetbagger’s live blogs, it’s really not so easy to get a sense from your own team on how you did. And so for the definitive word on the winner, I turn to RedState. And having just read RedState head honcho Erick Erickson’s post, I can definitely announce the winner: Barack Hussein Obama.
Why? Because McCain totally impressed the hardcore freaks at RedState. As Erickson states, "John McCain mopped the floor with Barack Obama." And if these guys feel satisfied that their Bizarroland talking points were addressed with sufficient anger, then the rest of America must be scratching their heads at the performance McCain must have given. For whatever reason, McCain has become convinced that his future rests on convincing the choir to start singing the same song they always sing, and didn't even bother issuing songbooks to anyone else.
Because we all live in our own little fantasy worlds. We have our little areas of concern and importance, and we focus on these certain areas as if they're the only things that exist. A sports fan thinks you're crazy for not knowing who's playing in the World Series. My teenage daughter thinks I'm not hip because I don't know who the hell Chris Brown is, while I was a little startled to learn that she had never heard of Malcom X. And wingnuts...if you don't quote chapter and verse from their ever-changing etiquette book, then you might as well be a communist.
Wooing the Trekkies
Everyone has their set of factoids and interests, and while it might make us feel better if everyone else shared ours, that's just not how things work. Everyone's different, which I personally think is a good thing. But to wingnuts, all they want is loyal believers who agree with them on everything, because they suffer from low self-esteem and need to believe that they're part of some large movement in order to justify their delusions of grandeur.
And so for them to think that McCain hit a homerun would mean that he must have gone deep enough into their fantasyworld to have left everyone else behind. As Greg Sargent said in regards to McCain's reference of Ayers "The whole conversation sounded as consequential as a momentary diversion into an argument between Trekkies over the relative merits of Captains Kirk and Picard."
And that's exactly right. Only political junkies care about who Ayers is, and even then, only because wingnuts have grasped onto him as being the only link that might suggest Obama's a radical. Same with Reverend Wright. These are the sort of stupid rhetorical arguments that should be drunkenly shouted about at the local bar by heated participants who speak a coded language outsiders can barely comprehend. But for anyone who still hasn't figured out the differences between Obama and McCain, or even to have based their decision on the "D" or "R" that follows the name, this stuff is just waaaaay too obscure. If they had the time to research who Ayers is, they wouldn't need a political debate to tell them who to vote for.
McCain didn't win any votes by mentioning Ayers. All he did was make a bunch of wingnuts high-five themselves, proudly down another shot of mouthwash, and feel all squishy inside. "Finally," they say to themselves. "America will hear the truth."
And as usual, reading the comments section is pretty illuminating too. Apparently, NRO and Fox News have gone soft and don't care about Obama's lies anymore. One commenter recommends that they not read NRO and just "stick to RedState." And the line of defense shrinks further, as more heretics are pushed outside the castle gates.
Another commenter is "still banking" on there being a "silent majority" that magically comes out of nowhere to elect McCain; thus "making fools of all these pundits and pollsters." When someone asks the guy how a silent majority is possible in this age of heavy polling, the guy responds by mentioning Democratic friends in Massachusetts who refuse to vote for Obama. As he explains, in his world, pollsters are relying on heavier Dem participation as their guide to who will win, rather than actually asking people who they plan to vote for. Besides, none of this guy's friends have been polled yet. Sure, polls currently show Obama with a 17-point lead in Massachusetts, while InTrade gives McCain a 2% chance of winning the state...but this guy's friends... With anecdotal evidence like that, who needs polls?
One commenter was really upset that McCain referred to Ayers as a "washed up old terrorist" and complains that McCain isn't "going for the jugular." As he describes it "McCain doesn't want to win ugly. Sorry, that doesn't cut it. Obama is a socialist. He is a radical leftist and he is out of step with the majority of Americans." But of course, the real reason McCain won't go for the jugular on this is because he knows there's no jugular there. What other excuse could there be? Honestly, if Ayers really was some sort of active terrorist radical and was plotting with Obama, we'd all be fools for not talking about it. But...if Ayers is a "washed up old terrorist" who changed his tune and is no longer radical; then McCain has no attack. And that's the sort of mind-blowing admission a wingnut just can't handle.
And I'll end with this odd quote from Jaded "Luckily those pundits only have one vote and just like the media wing of the Democrat party WE the base ignore them!"
Yeah. That's real lucky. Too bad these debates aren't about the base of either party. It's like it never occurred to this guy that the purpose of debates is to convince the people who haven't already made up their minds; as the other ones are pretty much decided. It's like all this is just one big morality play for their personal benefit. If only the base stays pure, we win!!!