Can We Talk – Honestly?

(Or How My Rather Lame Photos of the Obama Kick-off Rally Actually Became Meaningful)

At late middle-aged and a bit heavier than I would like to be, unsolicited affection doesn’t come easy.  Gone are the days of multiple interested ladies – unless you count those glorious weekends when my wife needs help in the yard, and the dear doggie wants a ride in the truck.

But there is one class of people who still love me, and who pursue me with youthful vigor.

Politicians.

You see, I’m an independent voter in a swing state.  Not only am I not loyal to a party – I’m promiscuous with my political love.  I actually think that both Barack Obama and Sarah Palin are awesome.  In fact, if those two lovable people could somehow manage to get onto the same ticket, I would vote for it in a heartbeat.  You may not see the connection, but if you drop all the stuff that you’re supposed to think about right and left, and up and down, and simply start thinking for yourself about politics, you’ll see why these two characters actually have more in common than they have separating them.

But that’s not what I want to talk about.

I want to lament the passing of Andrew Breitbart.  Why?  Because if he were still running things, we would most likely not be seeing THIS.

I love Breitbart’s site.  With most of the media smugly and stealthily supporting Obama and the Democrats, balance needs all the help it can get.  It’s nice to know that Fox News isn’t the only tared weight on the “other” side of Dear Libra, bringing a little more justice to the sadly skewed world of American journalism.  Oh yeah.  I like to call myself a “Fox News Liberal”, even though I’m probably more of a moderate.  But I like to make up my own mind, thank you – and if the second side of a question is always relegated to the second-rate treatment that it gets on the “lamestream” media, then – by George the Third – I’ll just have to have me a reporting revolution and a television tea party.  Breitbart doesn’t exactly have the resources that NBC does, but I can generally count on it to have a whopping amount of fresh news that NBC – oh – so – inadvertently – swept under one or more rugs.

Now Andrew Breitbart did have himself a little issue with Shirley Sherrod, but I never really blamed him for that one.  We all screwed up on that.  Sometimes it just pays to wait until things have cooled a bit on the internet, and the whole story has come out, before taking action.  Between Breitbart hosting the clipped video, the administration firing her, and my own initial anger at her for what she didn’t actually say, I figure there’s plenty of blame to go around on that one.

But what about this?

Lies, Damn Lies, and Selective, Early, Slanted Photography

Proof that the photographer was there – and found the absolute worst angle and time to take a picture.  At least – worst from Obama’s point of view.

Well, that’s not actually the story.  The story is this:

Obama Columbus Rally a la Breitbart

Obama’s Kick-Off Columbus Rally a la Breitbart

And this:

Obama Columbus Kick-Off Rally a la Drudge

Obama Columbus Kick-Off Rally a la Drudge

Oh, really?

At least my hero Matt Drudge converted it into a question.  And, as a question – well – it begs an answer!

And the answer to that question would be…..

No.

You see, I may not have been defending freedom on the beaches of Normandy, or defending justice on the sidewalks of Selma and Birmingham, but I was – unknowingly – defending basic truth and decency in the Schottenstein Arena today.

So here you go – my rather lame but very real pictures of the place, including one that shows the “edge” of emptiness in the upper deck.  Note that I was sitting right in the part that they filled up – behind the podium.

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The Obama people basically  filled up the bottom, plus the mosh pit on the floor, and over half of the upper deck.  The place looked to be at least 3/4 filled – and that’s being “conservative” in more ways than one.  The Democrats called it 14,000 out of 20,000 – and I would say that has to be very close to the mark, if not a wee bit under-counting it.  The seemingly larger bottom tier was filled to capacity.  My wife and I actually had to sit in separate rows, and we got there fairly early.

Now – while we’re being honest – I have to admit that the Dems did a very efficient and very obvious job of stacking the place to look good on TV.  Well, I pretty much figure that everybody does that nowadays.  They filled the bottom tier first, and they did it behind the podium first, with all TV cameras pointing toward the people.  After they filled the bottom tier, THEN they started on the upper one, which could have been kept dark in the event of a “true” empty arena.  The Obama campaign clearly wasn’t taking  chances.  But it wasn’t – by any means – some kind of sad distortion of reality.  The sad distortion of reality was the picture on Breitbart – a picture that came from a camera pointed toward the emptiest wall of the place, and most likely pointed there during the earliest part of the crowd admission process.  Yes, there was a big empty spot, but pointing it out as indicative of some kind of failure is really, really disingenuous.

Was it the most boisterous crowd of supporters I’ve ever seen?  No.  However, it was pretty damn enthusiastic.  In fact, my first impression upon leaving was that Romney has his work cut out for him.  This will not be the easy election that many opponents of this president hoped it might be.  Obama makes a very convincing case that the bad side of the economy after 2008 is not only not his fault, but most likely the result of repeated and sustained Republican executive negligence.  The more Obama was talking, the more this particular independent got to thinking that divided government – as in a solidly Republican congress and Obama in the White House – would not be such a bad idea this time.

Without even saying it, there is a chilling message – particularly for Republicans – which seeps out of Obama’s talking points, and which becomes more and more obvious as this campaign goes on.  It is the horrifying possibility that our economic doldrums are the simple and predictable result of unsustainable “phoned-in” wars (Argentina, anybody?) and our rather stupidly outsourced manufacturing base.  Every time Obama defends the decision to keep the American auto sector alive, it seems more reasonable than the last.  Yes, the American manufacturers are sending most of their cars to China.  But the alternative would be that Chinese companies would be building them – and doing so right now.  Meanwhile, the Republican money boys would most likely be trying to figure out how to make a buck on that particular configuration, oblivious to even the old saw that what’s good for GM is good for America.  In fact, I can just see some Wall Street lamebrain trying to make the old mantra work for Guangdong Motors, by way of Fidelity Investments.

No – Obama has winner tortoise written all over him.  The slow but certain recovery happening under Obama, bearing various and assorted hallmarks of authenticity – such as not being easy – suddenly seems much less risky than anything which even remotely smacks of the magic money-making, dizzying defense deficits, and outsourcing orgies which happened under the Republicans.

Hard work makes sense – and Obama’s rhetoric is oozing it.

So – anyway – let’s have a bit more substantial opposition to President Obama than badly aimed cameras.  I call upon my fellow Drudgies and Breitbartians to NOT lower themselves to CNNish obfuscation and NBCish trickery.  If you want to convince me that Mitt Romney is going to do a better job than Barack Obama, then you had better bring on some convincing evidence.

‘Cause otherwise, I’ve got my own.

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