Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been noticing a reoccurring phrase from the talking heads in the US media.
This election is a referendum on Obama.
Give me a break! If this was a referendum on Obama it would be suggesting that all of those dumb white lazy Americans were actually thinking about voting for Obama instead of cleaning guns and beating the women folk with their bibles.
Reality is that white Americans are not dumb, the majority are not cleaning their guns, only a very small percentage are beating their womenfolk, and this election is not a referendum. However, looking at the situation from the media perspective, they do need a narrative that will last out the election season, and we have some of the ducks lined up. Obama is representing a substantially new series of policies and an attitudinal shift, he is popular, knows how to motivate an audience, knows how to construct sentences, and according to people who know him a lot better than we do, actually knows how to speak with a lot more depth than he chooses to deliver on the campaign trail. McCain in contrast is building on a familiar landscape, a national reverence for anything and anyone military, and an somewhat old-boy, beer on the balcony, best mate persona, his foreign affairs acumen established as a prisoner of war, and that ‘Rodger RamJet: Hero of our Nation’ thing.
Roger Ramjet is a patriotic and highly moral but not too bright superhero (kind of a jet age Dudley Do-Right), who is typically out to save the world, with help from his Proton Energy Pills (“PEP”), which give him “the strength of twenty atom bombs for a period of twenty seconds”. The World is invariably saved by dispensing violence towards the various recurring criminals who are traditional characters in this form of entertainment.
But, it gets worse … doesn’t the following quote sound a lot like General Petraeus, John McCain, and the McCain Campaign crew?
On government missions assigned by General G.I. Brassbottom, Ramjet encounters various nemeses during his missions. Typically he is caught, and must be rescued by his crew of sidekicks, the American Eagles (named Yank, Doodle, Dan and Dee – a play on “Yankee Doodle Dandy”.) Although his Eagles appear to be children, each of them, except for Dee, flies his own individual ramjet aircraft expertly, along with being obviously much more savvy than their leader.
I’m going out on a limb here and I’m suggesting that the media have already figured out that a ‘national referendum on Obama’ is just what is needed to create a multitude of interesting talking points, and justify a media bias to cover attention of the more interesting candidate. Think of the alternative – repeats of a kid’s TV animation series from the 1960s? After all, there are still 24 days to the Convention, 95 days (or 2,280 of those 24×7 media hours) to fill before this election is done and dusted (excluding recounts and associated supreme court rulings) and 173 days until the Inauguration.
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Content referencing Roger RamJet courtesy of Wikipedia.