The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 08:09:05 +0200
From: Michael Gurstein <>
Subject: [stuff-it] FW: [TriumphOfContent] Dear Old Golden Dog Days (Gail
     Collins - The NY Times)



-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Steven Brant
Sent: October-12-08 7:01 AM
Subject: [TriumphOfContent] Dear Old Golden Dog Days (Gail Collins - The NY

The New York Times

October 11, 2008

Op-Ed Columnist

Dear Old Golden Dog Days


I miss the good old days. Remember when the presidential campaign was
all about oil drilling? That sure was fun.

I miss August. August was neat. The Dow was over 10,000 and nobody
had ever heard of Sarah Palin.

Remember how we used to joke about John McCain looking like an old
guy yelling at kids to get off his lawn? It's only in retrospect that
we can see that the keep-off-the-grass period was the McCain
campaign's golden era. Now, he's beginning to act like one of those
movie characters who steals the wrong ring and turns into a troll.

During that last debate, while he was wandering around the stage, you
almost expected to hear him start muttering: "We wants it. We needs
it. Must have the precious."

Remember when McCain's campaign ads were all about his being a
prisoner of war? I really miss them.

Now they're all about the Evil That Is Obama. The newest one,
"Ambition," has a woman, speaking in one of those sinister
semiwhispers, saying: "When convenient, he worked with terrorist Bill
Ayers. When discovered, he lied." Then suddenly, with no warning
whatsoever, she starts ranting about Congressional liberals and risky
subprime loans. Then John McCain pops up to say he approved it. All
in 30 seconds! And, of course, McCain would think it's great. For the
first time, the Republicans appear to have captured his thought
process on tape.

The Republican campaign strategy now involves sending their
candidates to areas where everybody is a die-hard McCain supporter
already. Then they yell about Obama until the crowd is so frenzied
people start making threats. The rest of the country is supposed to
watch and conclude that this would be an enjoyable way to spend the
next four years.

Maybe the Republicans should have picked somebody else. I miss Mitt
Romney. Sure, he was sort of smarmy. But when Mitt was around, the
banks had money and Iceland was solvent. And, of course, when we got
bored, we could always talk about how he drove to Canada with his
Irish setter strapped to the car roof.

I miss the old George W. Bush. When he came out of the White House
and made an announcement, you would usually think that whatever he
wanted to do was a terrible idea. But at least you thought he could
actually make the terrible idea happen.

I miss the old American public that was too busy shopping to worry
about the state of the world. Now everybody is getting scared and
weird. They've been racing off in great numbers to see "Beverly Hills
Chihuahua." And nagging Target to take the Little Mommy Cuddle 'n Coo
dolls off the shelves because people think that when it gurgles you
can hear the baby say "Islam is the light."

I miss the old Cindy McCain. The one who used to go to rallies and
sit huddled in the corner looking as if she thought the audience had
a communicable disease. Now, she's right up there on stage, standing
behind her husband and making disgusted faces when he rails on about
the opposition. And she's started railing herself. (The family that
rants together ...) Obama is waging "the dirtiest campaign in
American history." His votes on Iraq were votes "not to fund my son
when he was serving."

Remember when the McCains wouldn't talk about the fact that their son
was in Iraq? Oh well.

Maybe Cindy is trying to hold her own against Sarah, who is with John
almost as much as she is. I miss the old guy-guy McCain who had so
many male pals around he looked like a walking fraternity reunion.
Now, he's starting to resemble an ambulatory patient accompanied by
female attendants on an outing.

Palin has been pressing the line that people don't really know "the
real Barack Obama," and who could make the argument better than a
woman who we've already known for almost six weeks? Really, she's
like one of the family.

We've gotten so close we've already learned that she didn't actually
sell the plane on eBay, didn't actually visit the troops in Iraq and
didn't really have a talk with the British ambassador. As soon as we
get the Trooper thing and Alaska Independence Party thing and the tax
thing figured out, she'll be an open book.

And she's got a point about Obama. True, he's been campaigning for 19
months and has been interviewed by everybody from "Meet the Press" to
"Men's Health." Which would be O.K. if we were talking about somebody
from a small town rather than, as a McCain campaign co-chairman noted
delicately, a "guy of the street."

Back in August, women politicians were afraid of going negative
because it might have made them look too strident. Amazing, the
things you wind up being nostalgic for.

Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company


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