Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Spinal Tap Presidency

The New York Times reports on the Obama campaign's excuse for their diminishing crowd sizes on the campaign trail.

Good crowds, especially compared with the hundreds that typically turn out to see Mitt Romney. But four years ago Mr. Obama often was drawing five-digit throngs, filling arenas’ nosebleed seats and overflow rooms and regularly requiring shutdown orders from the local fire marshals.

Which raises a couple of questions: Where are the crowds now? And what does it mean for the results in November?

“We have plenty of time for big rallies,” a campaign spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said between the rallies on Thursday. “Our focus right now is on exciting our supporters and winning over undecided voters and the smaller and medium-size events are the best venue to accomplish that because the president can closely engage with the crowd.”

I think I have heard a variation of this excuse before.  Oh yeah, the cult rock mocumentary classic, "This is Spinal Tap".

Marty: The last time Tap toured America, they where, uh, booked into 10,000 seat arenas, and 15,000 seat venues, and it seems that now, on their current tour they're being booked into 1,200 seat arenas, 1,500 seat arenas, and uh I was just wondering, does this mean uh...the popularity of the group is waning?

Ian: Oh, no, no, no, no, no,, no, not at all. I, I, I just think that the.. uh.. their appeal is becoming more selective.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Vigilante Justice?

OK, this is a bit old, but the more I think about this the more it pisses me off.  From a recent New York Times editorial on the Colorado Batman shootings:

What we do not need is more heedless rhetoric like we heard on Friday from Representative Louie Gohmert, the Texas Republican who drew a bizarre connection during a radio interview between the horror in Colorado and “ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs.”
Mr. Gohmert added: “It does make me wonder, you know, with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying? That could have stopped this guy more quickly?”
That sort of call to vigilante justice is sadly too familiar, and it may be the single most dangerous idea in the debate over gun ownership.

Alright, whether we should be arming ourselves or not is certainly a fair debate, although one I have rather strong opinions on, but since when is defending yourself from someone who is trying to kill you "vigilante justice"?  The right to defend yourself from harm is such a basic human right it hardly needs discussion.  It is not a right that we give up to the government.