Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"Yes, We Can!"

My name is Paul Levine, and I approve this message:

To my friends in Wisconsin...yes, you can.



  1. Well said, paul.


  2. He's speaking here in Dallas tomorrow. I hope I'm not the only person in the arena.

  3. Ah, the wonders of video editing and a good sound track. Interesting that it didn't actually say anything, kind of the Seinfeld of political commercials.

    If anything, it underlined his lack of experience. Perhaps that's a good thing for him.

    Ever the cynic.

  4. JD's tongue-in-cheek comment reminds me of the apocryphal story stemming from George Smathers' unseating Sen. Claude Pepper in the 1950 Florida Democratic primary. It was a vicious campaign in which Smathers smeared Pepper as a pinko who favored universal health care and civil rights.

    That led a reporter to make up a satirical speech in which Smathers supposedly told a rural audience:

    "Are you aware that Claude Pepper is known all over Washington as a shameless extrovert? Not only that, but this man is reliably reported to practice nepotism with his sister-in-law, and he has a sister who was once a thespian in wicked New York. Worst of all, it is an established fact that Mr. Pepper before his marriage habitually practiced celibacy."

    Smathers did not accuse Pepper, even in fiction, of having been a Muslim.

  5. Cult of personality.

  6. I love JD's comment. NPR was doing a piece a couple weeks ago on the so-called black/hispanic divide and interviewed an hispanic guy in L.A. who said, "I don't have a problem with him being black, but I'm not sure, what with our war in Iraq and everything, that it's a good time for a Muslim president." To which the interviewer said, "Uh, Barack Obama's not Muslim."

    "Really? I didn't know that."

    Then, of course, my father-in-law said pretty much the same thing, saying Obama was going to give the oath of office on the Koran.

    I'm so glad we live in a well-informed voluntary democracy, where people study up on the issues and the candidates so they can make educated decisions based on facts. I find it very comforting to know these important decisions like who will lead us are given a lot of thought by the general public.

  7. Jeff Not-Shelby: Just look at where all these "serious, experienced" people have gotten us.

    And as for not saying anything: well, if you didn't hear the message in there, if "We're all one country" doesn't register as anything but noise with you, then that's just said.

    As I wrote on my own blog a few weeks ago:

    The real "central front" in the War on Terror is not Iraq or even Afghanistan. It's the human mind. For the terrorists, blowing up train stations or destroying tall buildings is a means to an end. Destruction and murder are tools, they are not the goal. Their goal is to change the way we think. They want us to be afraid of freedom. They want us afraid, not just of them, but of each other. They want us to think, "we have to sacrifice American ideals to save our lives." And the last few years have been one long capitulation in that war. Idealism is not our enemy; it's our secret weapon.

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  9. Oh, I heard the "message" all right. "We're all one country". But just like flag waving, it's true, it sounds good but means nothing substantive. Words without actions are just that, words. Don't listen to what they say, listen to what they do.

    As far as the rest...sorry, no reason for me to be obnoxious.

  10. When you have chosen a country, as opposed to being landed with it by virtue of your birth, I think you hold it to a higher standard (it's a bit like going out to a restaurant - why would you pay to eat food if it isn't better than you might eat at home). I wasn't sure about Obama when he and Hilary began taking snipes at each other - they both annoyed me because they deflected attention from the real issues that face this country, and it must be noted that they are both now echoing John Edwards, who was the real trailblazer on so many of these messages. However, this footage in particular has brought me to tears, because I do love this country of my choosing, and I want the very best for it - and I think Obama is the best bet we have right now. I could swear allegiance to the Stars and Stripes with a huge portrait of this man next to it.

    Thank you, Paul.

    Now of course, I want someone to define the "coverage" they refer to when speaking of healthcare coverage.

    And I'm thinking a bit of inexperience might do us very well - we've certainly taken a dive under the weight of experience in the current administration (hmmm, remember the FEMA guy who had experience managing some sort of Arab horse association, or whatever it was?).

  11. We're happy to have you here on our shores, Jacqueline.

  12. Paul-

    Looks like your friends in Wisconsin heard you.

    You must have friends in Hawaii, too.

  13. Well, Jeff, were you one of twenty thousand in Dallas?

    Thank you, Paul. My husband and I went to see him on his book tour months before he declared, and we've been supporters ever since.

    Yes, we can!