[This is almost exactly, with minor changes, my actual email to Ms. Lopez, editor of the National Review. Although it makes me sad that people can write what she did, I’m almost glad I read that piece of idiocy, as it’s been a long time since I’ve written here. Ah, inspiration, you fickle puppy.]

Ms. Lopez,

You wrote in a blog post today that “For Barack Obama, democracy appears to be a distraction. He really does seem to view himself as a Caesar.” And also: “Shortly after taking office, Obama held a meeting with governors. At the time, one person in the room relayed Obama’s request that critics and skeptics of the stimulus plan keep their concerns to themselves. Just let me do it, was his attitude. He got pushback and he wasn’t happy. He wanted democratically elected state governors to shut up so he could do as he pleased. He knows better and we should respect that, seems to be the attitude.”

Boy, Barack Obama sure sounds like a mean guy when you put it that way.

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t many conservatives, among them your fellow NR columnist Bill Bennett, claim that after Bush was reelected in 2004, he had a mandate? (They did; he did.)

Do you know what a mandate is? I’m sure you do. But I’m going to quote Wikipedia on this anyway, just so you’re clear: “In politics, a mandate is the authority granted by an constituency to act as its representative. … Elections, especially ones with a large margin of victory, are often said to give the newly elected government or elected official a mandate to implement certain policies.

So I would say that if George Bush, who edged out a 50.7% to 48.3% win over John Kerry, had a mandate, then Barack Obama, who destroyed John McCain 52.9% to 45.7%, while collecting had almost 80 more electoral votes than Bush did, has what I can only term a “super-mandate.”

So when Obama says that he was elected to office by a large margin to implement his policies, I take that as him saying, hey, look, I’ve got a mandate from the American people and I think I know how to get us out of this rut, so either participate or get out of the way. You, somehow, take it as him essentially declaring himself dictator of America — even though I’m sure your protests were nonexistent when Bush claimed a mandate.

I hope you take greater care with the accusations you make from now on. Barack Obama is an honorable man and — need I remind you — the duly elected president of our United States. People like you need to stop getting in the way of him doing his job.

This is a beautiful day.

We have elected an impressive man to lead us, the sort of man that doesn’t just come along every day or every four years. We have elected a man who promises to go down in history not just for the barrier he has broken, but also for the work he will do.

America’s involvement in this political process has been nothing short of outstanding. More than 117 million people turned out to vote. By and large, they gave thought to real issues and made informed decisions. This is a great thing, too.

But if I can ask you anything, from one American to another, let it be this: Don’t stop here.

Political engagement doesn’t end with the election. When George Bush was elected, we were all either so appalled or so comfortable that we collectively closed our eyes and allowed events in Washington to proceed without involving ourselves or paying attention. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this attitude landed us in such a mess.

If Barack Obama has proven anything, it’s not that racism is dead in this country, because it’s certainly not, and it’s not that the American dream still exists, because it does for some and it doesn’t for others. What he’s proven is that if regular people who are just trying to make it through the week manage to find some time to get informed on what’s going on in our country, and get involved in the political process, they can make a difference. What he’s proven is that you don’t have to be a rich corporation to make a difference in this country’s political process.

You just have to be an American.

And so I ask you, America, and I wish more people would read this because this message needs to be heard: Stay involved. Keep on top of the news — and not just your local news, not just national news, not just news about Washington, but the much-neglected international news as well. America loves to close its eyes and hope that things will work themselves out. It’s the easy thing to do.

But if we want to make this country the beacon of hope and freedom that it’s supposed to be, we need to stay involved. The elections may be over, but neither we nor Washington should ever forget that the politicians still answer to us.

YES. WE. DID.

November 5, 2008

Barack Obama is the next president of the United States.

By golly, it’s enough to make me believe in my countrymen again.

Thank you, America. Thank you for giving Barack Obama the chance to fix our country.

I could cry right now.

On the eve of the election.

November 4, 2008

In these early moments of Election Day 2008, I’d like to offer some thoughts, perhaps some soothing to my fellow Democrats.

Most polls show Obama comfortably ahead, and we all know we can’t get comfortable, but there’s room for optimism.

Dixville Notch, N.H., population 75, is the first place to announce polling results in the United States. Dixville Notch hasn’t gone for a Democrat since ’68. Tonight, it went for Barack Obama, 15-6.

My friends (as John McCain would say), today is the day to believe in America. Today is the day to throw off the heavy cloak of racism that still haunts this country. Don’t be afraid, fellow liberals, of this “Bradley effect.” Believe in the power of the American people to correct the mistakes of the past eight years. Barack Obama is the last, best hope we have to fix this country, and no matter what attacks the Republicans throw at him, I think the American people know who’s gonna fight for them and who’s gonna just fight for power.

Barack Obama is the truth. Barack Obama is the future. Barack Obama is America. And so are you.

GET OUT AND VOTE.

First there was Sarah Palin with “Joe Sixpack,” an apparently extraordinarily fit ordinary American.

Now it’s John McCain with “Joe the Plumber,” who I guess from what was said is really wealthy, but John McCain really doesn’t want to let you figure that out.

It is absolutely laughable for John McCain to blast Barack Obama for negative campaigning, considering that I have NEVER, NOT ONE TIME seen a positive campaign ad put out by John McCain, and I’ve seen a lot of them. The “negative” ads that Obama puts out criticize McCain’s stances on issues such as healthcare and taxation. The McCain ads consistently assault Obama’s character.

John McCain is a stone-cold hypocrite, and that’s something that any Joe Sixpack should be able to see.

This thing I wrote!

October 13, 2008

I dunno if you guys noticed, but I do write things now and again. This weekend, I attended an Obama rally and the Flyers home opener, and wrote this article about it:

http://youthvote.washingtonpost.com/2008/10/12/obama_palin_fight_for_philly/

Yeah, the Washington Post (online). I am SO cool.

And John McCain is still a dirtbag.

Not since George Bush swift boated John McCain in 2000 have I seen a politician stoop to the depths that McCain has in this campaign.

The senator from Arizona is duping the American people into forgetting that he is a liar who has turned on every principle he used to have in the course of this campaign.

Here’s what Mr. McCain said on video after becoming the presumptive Republican nominee:

“The one thing I in all my travels hear, Americans want a respectful campaign. They want it.  Now, people say negative ads move numbers. They may. But do we have to go to the lowest common denominator? I don’t think so.”

And this: “You know, I respect Senator Obama and I admire his success and I will conduct a respectful campaign.”

Ah, yes, the straight-talk express, now making a stop at Doubletalk Ave. Next stop: Rove Street!

But anyone familiar with John McCain knows how he’s lied and lied and lied to get where he is today.

Yep, John McCain will say just about anything, and it doesn’t really matter if it’s true. In the latter video, he contradicts himself on gay marriage within the span of 11 minutes.

Watch these videos.

Watch them, and cry.

This man is running for president of your country. Worse yet, some people think he’s actually qualified for the job.

What’s an issue you like? I know an issue I like. It’s offshore drilling. Let’s see what McCain had to say about oil company profits and alternative energy at a June 2007 Republican debate:

MR. BLITZER: Senator McCain, do you have a problem at this time with these oil companies making these huge profits?

SEN. MCCAIN: Sure, I think we all do. And they ought to be reinvesting it. And one of the areas that they ought to be involved in is nuclear power. Nuclear power is safe, nuclear power is green — does not green — emit greenhouse gases. Nuclear power is used on Navy ships which have sailed around the world for 60 years without an accident. And of course we ought to be investing in alternate energy sources.

Recently there was a group of retired military officers who said that climate change an energy independence is a national security issue. It is. We’ve got to reduce our dependence on imported oil. We can do it through a wide variety of alternative fuels. But we have to be serious about it, and we’re going to have to go places where we have never gone before. And nuclear power is one of the major issues, but also all kinds of ethanol as well, so.

Anyone notice what he doesn’t mention? At all?

That’s right. No offshore drilling. Why? Is it because sometime between the middle of last year and now someone was like, “Well, gee golly gosh, we can drill offshore, can’t we?” You know and I know that’s not what happened. What happened is that John McCain was all about alternative energy sources — even nuclear power, which some people are afraid of but I personally support — and offshore drilling did not count as “places where we have never gone before.” He didn’t even consider it.

The fact of the matter is that offshore drilling is yet another issue that has been invented, made from whole cloth by the Republican propaganda machine, and McCain’s using it to slam Obama in a disgusting attack ad campaign that he stated — repeatedly — he would never engage in.

Obama needs to fight back. It’s well and good to play the nice guy, but in American politics, nice guys finish last. Look at Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel. They weren’t willing to play the game like Obama is. Well, if you’re Obama, you can’t play the game halfway. He’s going to come after you with negative ads, and unless you come back with ads that expose McCain for the sort of man he is, he’s going to beat you. There’ll be plenty of time for you to be the bigger man and take the high road when you’re the president, Barack. For now, you need to not just show America that you’re a good candidate — and you certainly are — but also that your opponent is a bad candidate. In fact, I’d say there might never have been a worse candidate, but Bush still takes that particular cake.

John McCain is a liar and an outright villain, and you, Barack, are the only thing standing between him and the presidency.

Step up.

John McCain’s campaign, fresh off putting out yet another idiotic ad that criticizes Barack Obama for being too popular (as though that’s not the goal of every politician, ever), was forced (I guess) to put out a response today to Mike Myers objecting to usage of footage from “Wayne’s World” — you know, the whole “We’re not worthy!” shtick.

Here’s what ol’ (real ol’) Johnny M’s campaign had to say:

Obama’s celebrity friends are bringing their considerable resources to bear in this election, hosting fundraisers at their estates in Geneva, offering advice on Middle East policy, and now threatening this campaign with legal action over our latest ad, “Fan Club.” The ad features kids talking about how “dreamy” Senator Obama is, how he brought a crowd to Taco Bell despite inclement weather, and how he is no less of an international superstar than U2 frontman Bono. Unfortunately, the final clip of Mike Myers and Dana Carvey doing their ‘we’re not worthy’ bit from Wayne’s World has spurred a celebrity backlash. Myers had his people call the campaign to demand that the video be removed from YouTube for copyright violation. Apparently, we are not, in fact, worthy.

Let’s just take a moment to hash this out.

The McCain campaign creates yet another nasty, sarcastic attack ad that takes aim at Obama supporters (you know… the American people) almost more than at Obama himself. The campaign uses, without authorization, footage of Mike Myers (not a McCain supporter according to anything I have heard), and Mike Myers says, hey, I don’t really want to have footage of myself in an ad for a candidate I don’t support. Somehow, the McCain campaign turns that into Myers “bringing [his] considerable resources to bear.”

Really?

So if, for example, Planned Parenthood decided to run a pro-abortion ad, and they used old footage of John McCain saying something to the effect of “we have to do what’s right for our families” in some totally different context, you (that is, the McCain campaign) are telling me that you would have nothing to say about it. You’d just let that ad run, making it look like you support something that you’re actually against.

Of course you wouldn’t. You’d be all over that. You’d cry nice and loud about how this election would be way fairer if people didn’t put words in your mouth, and how Planned Parenthood used this footage irresponsibly.

The McCain campaign at this point is just insanely out of touch with the American people — not to mention with reality.

But I’ll give them one thing: The statement they put out has one thing in it that’s absolutely true.

They’re not worthy.

You may have heard about this ad, in which John McCain compares Barack Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, and also claims once again that Obama refuses to allow offshore drilling for oil, hence increasing (somehow?) our dependency on foreign oil.

Now, if you’re Obama, how do you respond to this? I know what you’re thinking: Put out an ad of my own that responds to McCain’s ad with real facts instead of the out-and-out lies of which McCain is so fond.

But why would he want to do something like that, something so intelligent and logical, something that would make him look like a guy taking a stand for doing the right thing, when he can instead just change his position and look like a jackass?

Now, I understand that politics in this country are largely about compromise, and I also understand that it’s very possible that Obama is just saying that we could drill offshore because the majority of Americans are of that opinion. But these people who have been polled and say we should drill offshore aren’t economists or oil men, they’re just people who have been told, here, there is a solution to gas prices: We can destroy nature by opening up more of our offshore real estate for oil drilling.

If you’re Barack Obama, if you’re selling yourself to us as a man of principle and a man of character, you have to stick with your guns. These people have been told that offshore drilling is the answer; you need to tell them that it’s not, and why. Instead, you come off as a pandering inside-Washington type who will do anything to get elected — and we saw how well that worked out for Hillary Clinton, now didn’t we?

You’ve still got my vote, Barack, but I hope that I’m voting for someone who’s not afraid to do the right thing, even if it’s not the popular thing.

The rapper Nas has lately joined the protest against Fox News for what he and other African Americans view as negative portrayal of their people. I think it’s great that Nas and a precious few other people (like Keith Olbermann, for example) are willing to take Fox News on for its regular use of inaccuracies, lies and out-and-out slander.

Last I checked, we’re out of the ’40s, when the media and the propaganda machine were one and the same. Our news channels should be running news, not propaganda to suit the agenda of whatever political party has enough clout and money.

Our country has forgotten entirely about the Fairness Doctrine. Yes, the regulation that required nothing more of broadcasters than that they offer balanced and honest viewpoints on controversial issues was assaulted and killed by conservatives in the ’80s. Ah, the conservative definitions of freedom are so wonderfully loose sometimes, aren’t they? Americans should be free to push whatever lies they want on television, should be free from taxation, should be free to engage in whatever manner of unregulated business they wish, even if that business is monopolizing (energy, for example) and gouging consumers who want nothing more than electricity for their homes and gas for their cars — but they damn well can’t be free to have abortions, to marry people of the same gender, to have guaranteed health care, to be sufficiently informed of their country’s reasoning for war before it goes to war. Ah, freedom, how open to redefinition you are.

But we were talking about Fox News.

How does Fox News get away with seeing Barack Obama do a fist pound with his wife — a greeting or sign of congratulations that any young person in this country can tell you has absolutely no negative implications — a “terrorist fist jab” is pure insanity. My question is, why doesn’t Barack Obama sue them? If it’s not slander to call someone a terrorist, please tell me what is. On top of that, they insinuate not-so-subtly that Obama is a Muslim, while simultaneously lambasting him over comments by his reverend. How do they get away with this? How do the American people let them get away with this? How does Fox News not get WAY more flak for calling Michelle Obama “Barack Obama’s Baby Mama?” There’s a small protest, sure, but where’s the nationwide outrage, like there was against Don Imus for his “nappy-headed hoes” joke? At least Imus was trying to make a joke, if a bad one, and wasn’t supposed to be presenting news. Fox “News” is supposed to be a news channel, and it needs to be held to the same standards as anyone else.

But look at them.

“Fox News believes in all protesters exercising their right to free speech, including Nas, who has an album to promote,” a Fox News spokesperson said, according to a Billboard.com article.

Fox News has no remorse. If you tell them that they’re doing something wrong, they respond by not admitting they’re doing something wrong and hinting that you have a hidden agenda. Does anyone really think that Nas needs to promote his new album? It debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts and sold over 180,000 copies in its first week. I think it’s doing pretty well on his own. Maybe Nas is just a little bit upset that Fox News is notoriously racist in its coverage of Obama, not to mention other people — Democrats and people who are anti-war, primarily.

What can we do? What can we do against such a deeply entrenched machine that has the eyes and ears of a huge portion of the American public and feeds them misinformation that they eat right up? We can’t start our own channel, is for sure, because we’d only be preaching to the choir, while Fox News continues to use “liberal” as a bad word.

Here are some excerpts from the definition of “liberal,” according to Merriam-Webster: “marked by generosity”; “not literal or strict”; “broad-minded; especially: not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms.”

I think Fox News could use a lot more liberalism. But don’t tell them that, ’cause they won’t listen.

Who will?