How Do You Not Know Obama By Now?

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Unfortunately, it's morning again and that means that there is sunlight and political discussion to deal with, despite what one might generously term my long night. Latoya Peterson, though, has my back and yours and leads me gently through a discussion of voter turnout, voter boredom, Bretton Woods, Nicolas Sarkozy, Lucy the HR Coordinator and why is is that some people can still say they don't "know" Barack Obama that well.MEGAN: Holy hell, is it morning again? LATOYA: That it is. The theme for today is "King of Rock" by Run-DMC. Sucka emcees should call me sire! You can't see me, but I'm doing the wop at my desk MEGAN: I am sitting on the couch I woke up passed out on. Still. LATOYA: Ooooh — how was Happy Hour? MEGAN: It was the hours after the happy part that did me in. LATOYA: Ha — girl, know your limits. I'll join you next time, but I subscribe to the "drunk or sexy" school of thought. The goal is normally to either get fucked up, or sip and be pretty all night and I dress accordingly. I'm generally a sipper though, warning you now. Anyway, on to the news. The news has apparently caught on to the fact that we young'uns are bored with the election and just want it to end.

"By historical standards, the level of interest is extremely high across all ages. But those under 35 are much less likely to be tracking the election closely," Hawkeye Poll Director David Redlawsk said in a statement. "This suggests they're less engaged — and perhaps less likely to turn out, because those who pay attention are more likely to vote."


MEGAN: That's the ADD generation for you. They are not going to be happy if no one is declared the winner before Jon Stewart comes on. Also, I don't know that "not paying attention to the minutiae of the campaign" translates to "not going to vote." Maybe they're already decided and don't give a shit whether Sarah Palin spent $150 or $150,000 on her suits. Or, for that matter, how Obama is spending $150 million. LATOYA: What Hawkeye is missing though is that us young'uns are also early adopters — and most of us have been riding this election since '07. We're just tired. And last time I checked we were 2 to 1 Obama. We just want to vote and get it over with. Oh, and I second that — if there is no winner for Jon Stewart and Stephen Corbert to mock, I'm going to bed early. MEGAN: No one is more tired than me this morning. I need a vacation that lasts longer than intoxication, which is just a mini-vacation from Reality. LATOYA: Yeah, we don't care. (And you do need a vacation.) We have other things to worry about, like losing our jobs because the economy is in the toilet. Fuck Joe the Plumber, can I hear from Lucy the HR Coordinator? MEGAN: Lucy the HR Coordinator says update your resume and for God's sake spell-check the motherfucker. LATOYA: Word. MEGAN: Also, was there anything stupider to come out of anyone's mouth this week than to hear Sarah Palin say "Tito the Builder"? I don't know why I laughed so hard, but I did. LATOYA: I must have missed that one, but now I'm perplexed. What did she says about this alleged "Tito?" MEGAN: Tito got into a fight with a journalist at a campaign rally, but he might or might not still vote for Obama. Or McCain. He won't say, but he's mad as hell about Joe the Plumber. He might be a little crazy. LATOYA: Can we please put some sane people on TV? And when I say sane, I mean "people who act like they got some sense." MEGAN: Sane people don't make for good TV! Also, by the way, Tito's friend at the end thinks that an Obama win means Armageddon is coming. LATOYA: Yeah, what else is new? The Armageddon has been on the way since 999. You know what should be on the news? MEGAN: More Obama dancing? LATOYA: This discussion Michelle Singletary is hosting:

Personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary hosts an online discussion with Gary Weiss, author of "Wall Street Versus America: A Muckraking Look at the Thieves, Fakers, and Charlatans Who Are Ripping You Off," on Thursday, Oct. 23 at Noon ET.

MEGAN: Michelle's good, but she's so anti-debt she's against student loans and many mortgages, which is easy to say and FAR less easy to do. LATOYA: Well, she's justifiably anti-debt. Depression era Big Momma's probably aren't playing on that front. Either way, she still has sense. MEGAN: No, totally, I think her work is a good place to start, and I think the media on the financial crisis hasn't done a good job of communicating how it affects average Americans and what you can do to avoid ending up in a bad place. LATOYA: Nope, they haven't. I need to keep tabs on Dubya though. No one is paying attention but this bama is still technically in charge for a few more months. MEGAN: "Technically" is right. LATOYA: I found out through a BBC Feed Bush is inviting the world's leaders to come and chat about the crisis. Since life imitates high school, this one is VIP Only:

The summit would be the first of a series announced after talks between Mr Bush, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and EU Commission chief Manuel Barroso. But the agenda is unclear and differences are already emerging. Mr Bush said any plan must not undermine free markets. Mr Sarkozy said "hateful practices" must be abandoned.

Looks like Sarkozy is going to be banned from the cool kids table. And can we drop the free market bullshit? We don't have a free market if you can rig the game! MEGAN: Well, he did say last week that we should reconsider the Bretton Woods agreement, which is the underpinnings of the sort-of-free movement of capital and the intellectual start of the WTO which lowered tariffs. But, Bush is the guy who just nationalized our financial services industry. I think they'll still manage to find something to talk about. LATOYA: It's not nationalization when we do it. It's smart practices. When other nations do it, it's hindering the free market. sigh We need to switch topics, because I'll be on this for days. I'll start breaking out summary papers and abstracts. MEGAN: I'm there with you! But, we could talk about Obama's trip to see his grandma. He seems like he comes from a really nice family and I kind of completely want to hang with his sister. LATOYA: We could. His life just seems so damn normal. I don't understand how people keep saying "they can't relate" to the Obamas. I know that nonwhites have been completely otherized in this country, but I just can't see how after eighteen months of campaigning, pictures, photo ops, investigative articles, and the like, people keep saying crap like "I don't know him." It's not that you don't know him - you just don't want to see who he really is. MEGAN: I think it is about him being so "other." Like, I think it's sort of hilarious and fucked up that white people think that there is some kind of "being black" that is so intrinsic to the fundamental identity of African-Americans in this country in a way that "being white" is not that it trumps every other identity (husband, father, brother, grandson, Senator, candidate) that a given African-American person has — because, really, as an Official White Person, I really, really, really rarely think about "white" when thinking about my identity. And I think the white people who do believe it probably do add "white" into their identity and think about it more and think about how it separates them from The Others and not in a good, introspective way. LATOYA: I don't thinks whites think "white" — many of them think "normal" and that's what contributes to the othering. MEGAN: For the record, I don't think "normal" because most people I know are nearly as fucked up as I am. LATOYA: That's why you hear people say things like "I don't have race" or "I don't have a culture" — they do, it's just been normalized into the default, and everyone else has been pushed outside of this boundary. MEGAN: Normal people are "other" to me. But I also think that you're right about the idea that "white" is conflated with "normal." LATOYA: It is. And it's sad because now the Obama's have to go above and beyond to prove they are an All-American wholesome family when really, that's just what they are. MEGAN: Because, really, on some level, Obama is super-normal, and yet some people continue to see him and his intact nuclear family and 2-income household as somehow different from their experiences. The thing is that there is no All-American wholesome family, we're a society riddled with divorces, broken homes, step-parents and general dysfunctionality. Maybe that's why the Obamas seem so abnormal: they're the normal we're told is normal and everyone else is just fucked up.


Hortense Smith

I spoke to a 60-year old woman the other day who gave me the tired-ass line, "I would never vote for McCain and Palin, but Obama still scares me." I straight up asked her if it was because he was black. "No," she said, "it's because he's so young."

So either a. it IS because he's black and she didn't want to say it, which I think happens a lot

or b. It's a Boomer-ageism thing, which in this case, I think was highly likely. It's kind of like your parents shaking their heads and saying, "I just don't get you kids today, with your computers and your texting and your Facebooks and such" only on a massive Presidential level.

Ageism is still the -ism that is kind of getting overlooked in this campaign, methinks.