Sunday Issues Links: 23 November 2008
Elders’ Unique Economic Difficulties

Post-Election Politics

Is it Crabby Old Lady or has politics become annoying in the three weeks since a new president was elected? For the better part of a year, Crabby’s life went all to hell as she spent too many hours every day reading newspapers and magazines, online and off, and followed political blogs and pundits and polls. Not much else got done.

Now, it should be time to get back to "real life," but it's not easy. The only political item that has jazzed Crabby since 4 November is the 60 Minutes interview with Barack and Michelle Obama. Governor Palin is still irritating as the press rags the topic of her political future like a dog with an old bone. And in the video clip or two Crabby has seen of Senator McCain, he’s revealed himself as the ill-humored churl she always believed him to be.

To further offend Crabby, McCain announced his intention to start campaigning for the 2010 Senate race even before all the ballots have been counted in this year’s Senate contests. Can’t he give it – and us – a rest at least until after the holidays?

You won’t catch Crabby Old Lady feeling sorry for George W. Bush any time soon, but the phony hoo-haw over whether foreign leaders refused to shake his hand or not at the economic summit in Washington was unseemly.

President-elect Obama hadn’t had a chance for a good-night’s sleep and maybe a hug for his daughters on election night before the media started guessing what kind of administration his will be. He mentioned reading Abe Lincoln and for three days all the talk was of a “team of rivals” cabinet pro and con. Since Senator Clinton’s name was leaked as his choice for secretary of state, every pundit in the U.S. has weighed in “for her” or “agin her” and her appointment isn’t even official yet.

In the past couple of days, the concentration has been on Obama’s selection of Washington insiders for top posts. Opinion is divided between brilliant and stupid: “These people know their way around the D.C. pitfalls” versus “Oh, no, too many Clintonites.”

All of which probably accounts for the fact that yesterday's Sunday Issues post was loaded with woolly mammoths, wild horses, a Roomba-riding cat and ruminations on Daylight Saving Time.

The campaign is over, but the pundits have been so consumed with horse race politics for so many years, they appear to be incapable now of discussing governance - an entirely different matter that is more complex and subtle than regurgitating today’s poll. Governing requires a balance of action on the many competing needs of our current crises, but you wouldn't know that from the the people who purport to be experts; each has a single agenda.

One says an economic fix comes first. Colin Powell says, no, children first. Another wants bipartisanship (duh!) while a couple more want health care to be the priority. Still more claim that the environment, infrastructure, innovation, national security or energy must be the focus, and one self-important turkey claims to know already what Obama's legacy will be.

Is it too much to ask that the press report and stop second-guessing Obama until after inauguration day or so? It's not like pundits have any experience themselves at governing. Crabby even read a dissenting opinion on the Obamas’ choice of Sidwell Friends School for their daughters.

Bah, humbug, says Crabby.

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Jeanne Waite Follett recalls her father's wry humor in Shared Moments.]

Comments

I thought I would be so relieved after the election and believe me, I am infinitely more relieved than if the election had gone the other way but I am still holding my breath until January 20. GWB is leaving us a legacy of war and financial ruin. I'm worried that he still has time to give us famine and pestilence too.

I wonder if ANY presidential candidate really knows what they are getting into with every decision questioned, every association critiqued, words taken out of context.
Speaking of Palin. Did anyone see the video of her interview with a turkey being beheaded in the background?

Well, Crabby, meet Crabbier. I have been disgruntled by the political coverage since the silly season began two years ago. Way too long!! It seems we have not just single issue voters but single issue pundits. Each is fixated on his/her own little kingdom and its travails. Each wants his/her own problems dealt with on a priority basis. I wish they would get a clue that the crises Bush and Co. have given us require a multi-pronged approach, not blinders.

I pray the Obama family will restore some of what's been lost in our society these last 8 years. As for me, I'm watching less TV "news" & enjoying some downtime. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone. Dee

Well, this is what the corporate news does on a 'slow news day,' invent something to make into headlines. My advice is to leave them alone until something really happens that is worthy of being news. My impression is that the Obama folks will be making big news right after the end of January, so I'm going on a news fast until then.

I am burnt out on politics and news. After Palin "dissed" Obama for using complete sentences while beating the hell out of the English language, I turned off on the whole thing. That a so-called communications major would say such a thing is both shocking and stupid.

Stop the world, I eant to get off!

I agree and it's hard to quit writing about it as one thing or another comes up and my interest is tweaked. Andrew Sullivan said he thinks in a healthy government, the people are not obsessed with what happens. We have had, and still do for how, a very unhealthy government and it will be hard to get back to letting it do its job.

Most of the biggest complainers that Obama is not doing right come from those who never voted for him and did all they could to cost him the election; now they tell those of us who did vote for and support him what we expect but naturally they are still wrong. It's not surprising (but hardly patriotic) that the far right would be now doing all they can to hope he fails. The thing they don't seem to get is we need success there and wishing failure for political reasons is self destructive but given the last 8 years, that's not surprising either.

Sounds like you need to be the crabby old First Lady of the land. But then let's just usher in the new era of Scamalot.

"Since Senator Clinton’s name was leaked as his choice for secretary of state, every pundit in the U.S. has weighed in “for her” or “agin her” and her appointment isn’t even official yet."

Yep, I turned on the TV one morning last week and there were some talking heads discussing this. From the tone of the conversation I thought that Clinton had accepted overnight while I was sleeping. When I found out this was not so I felt anger and realized I had enough of this kind of crap being presented as news. I said to myself no more and, like Gary White, am now on a news fast until after January.

(Let me amend that last sentence to read "...on a modified news fast..." I am too much of a news junkie to stop completely. )

That is me above. Forgot to fill out name, rank and serial number before I clicked post.

Something I really respect about Obama is his natural ability to float above the press nonsense and go about doing his job. The Cabinet of Rivals stupidity being the prime example: As you point out, Ronni, there's no evidence that this is his intent other than him happening to mention that he was reading about Lincoln. You think its possible that Obama wanted to reflect on binding the nation's wounds as opposed to provide speculative fodder for the lazy MSM? Nah, that couldn't be it...

The press, reduced to reporting news instead of manufacturing it? I'm not holding my breath! I think one of the fun things about the election--governance aside--was that there really was something to report, even if it was just polls. Now we're back to listening to people who don't know anything ask each other what their opinions are. Snore.

Some poor souls on Poynter.com occasionally comment that the reason that newspapers are dying is *content* - not the Web, not blogs, not TV, not talk radio, but just crappy irrelevant content.

Not much happens day-to-day, thank God, and, at our age, not much is new. I've been hearing about the Middle East peace talks since, what, 1967?

The heck with it! Right now, my interest is focused on finding a second dog.

I can recommend Change.org where Obama is keeping us all up to date on his progress. He delivered another of his "fireside chats" this Saturday, which was an entirely internet affair. If you want to know what is going on with the new administration you can get it pretty straight from this site. I am also posting pieces that I find particularly interesting on my site.

This is a new era of communications and we don't have to be dependent on the corporate media to vet everything we hear, see, and read. The internet is the wave of our future and I am getting most of my "news" from this medium. So, I'm only fasting from the corporate talking heads.

I, for one, am so burned out after two years of campaigning that I don't want to hear another word about politics until after Obama is inaugurated.

My wife, the political maven, follows me around the house, spouting this and that about this person being chosen for that post, and what egregious thing some pundit said. I ignore her, which just drives her up the wall!

If we don't get a divorce before the inauguration, I figure that our marriage of 38 years will be safe until the next campaign starts. Tomorrow.

Hey -- in our very different styles, I think we wrote the same post today. I was a little crabbier, turning some of it outward on the Republicans, but same stuff.

I like this statement by Citizen K

"Something I really respect about Obama is his natural ability to float above the press nonsense and go about doing his job"

I think we all need to take a cue from Obama and learn to "float above the press nonsense"

I thought I was burnt out on politics and news, but find I cannot stay away from it for too long a period. I would also like to have Sarah Palin fade from the limelight. However, as horrible as it was witnessing the slaughter of the turkey, it tickled me to listen to remarks of people on the news and elsewhere voice their surprise and disgust. Do they actually think that turkeys are picked from a tree or gathered up in a field wrapped in plastic and netting?

I almost always agree with everything you say here, but the last paragraph is the BEST! It seems that a candidate or elected official can't even go to the bathroom without taking criticism from the media!

I'm just sorry Palin is destroying the need for SNL, the Daily Show, and political satire in general. They can simply report her antics instead, she is so surreal.

Oh, Mary,

I recommend petfinder.com for finding a dog. Great place to get all the humane societies, rescue organizations, etc. in one place.

Dear Bah Humbug.........
Yes, the political diehards are taking a vacation and switching to Firefox. We are whipping cream with a little hope, still driving less but happily, and watching the economic news while filling salt cellars.

I for one am glad my husband has a job. I am glad all my kids are alive, grandkids alive, and I still have a hip and they can save my hand. Sometimes one has to leave politics behind for the moment.

Change we can believe in...
yee haw.

I just tune out all those flapping jaws and actually feel sorry for them having to come up with something to talk about. I manage to keep up with what is going on in the world and our country, ignoring the rest.

Under the life is stranger than fiction category .....

Heard an interesting true story recently that a bed bound lady in a skilled nursing setting was heard screaming, "Get him off ... get him off ... " Staff members rushed to her room to discover her pointing to the TV -- couldn't find her remote control. The screen pictured our current Pres. Bush speaking and she was practically hysterical wanting the channel changed or the set turned off which was done immediately.

George W. Bush is still in the process of screwing the people of this country and then he'll pardon himself and his fellow criminals. Don't ignore the news now.
Stay vigilant before he takes whatever we've got left.

Think I'm kidding? Just you wait and see.

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