Another celebrity ad, this one in favor of President Barack Obama. Girls creator, writer and star Lena Dunham compares voting for the first time with losing your virginity; the ad is clearly directed at younger audiences who may wonder why they should bother at all on November 6th. There’s nothing controversial in this ad; Dunham lays out the case in favor of Obama in clear terms. Still, surprisingly, the ad has caused quite a stir among right-wingers for various reasons, one of them apparently being the actual comparison between voting and sex. The reaction is kind of cute… until you pause and consider the fact that sex keeps coming up as an issue for these white men who vote and work for the GOP. This fall we’ve seen far too many examples of how they view women’s bodies and how they reason in issues that deal with sex and the right to choose. These men have power… and they don’t know anything, or are willing to ignore facts, about these issues. No wonder that Dunham irritates them.
Or, it’s quite possible that Republicans are just pissed because all they have in terms of celebrity endorsements is Meat Loaf and a bunch of other reactionary rockers and country singers.
Now for other recent media/election tidbits. The CNN clip above shows John Sununu doing what appears to be his job for the Romney campaign – attack as harshly as possible. The former New Hampshire Governor and White House Chief of Staff for Bush 41 has said a few outrageous things these past months and now he claimed, as expected, that Colin Powell only endorsed Obama because he’s black. Also as expected, he was heavily criticized by Newark Mayor Cory Booker on the same network. It is without a doubt a racist statement that ignores the fact that Powell is a very informed, experienced and intelligent voter who specifically named Romney’s flawed economic and foreign policies as reason why he couldn’t vote for him.
Still, if one empty-headed Republican opens his mouth you can be sure that he will find support. Senator John McCain, who apparently still resents Powell for supporting Obama over him in 2008, had the gall to point out that Powell “got us into Iraq”. That would be fine if those were the words of some leftist dove who had been right about Iraq all the time… but McCain staunchly supported Dubya’s war of choice and has no right to criticize Powell.
Finally, there’s Nate Silver, the guy who runs the FiveThirtyEight blog for the New York Times. Anything that’s affiliated with that paper has to earn scorn from conservatives obviously, and that has only grown in intensity as some polls are showing a Romney lead while the blog insists that Obama still has a 73 % chance of winning. A few days ago, conservative writer Dean Chambers embarrassed himself with an article about Silver that, for lack of anything substantial, made several jaw-droppingly cheap-shot statements:
- Apparently, only the “far left” would trust Silver. As if he’s not a phenomenon among liberals as a whole.
- Silver looks “effeminate and thin”. Gay, you mean?
- Fox News pundit Dick Morris is labeled as an analyst on the same level as Silver. Please.
- The article ends with Chambers dismissing Silver’s accuracy in predicting the 2008 results (even though he was eerily correct) and a conclusion that unless Silver changes his mind and predicts a Romney victory on November 6th, his credibility will be “greatly diminished”.
Well, you know what, Dean? We’ll just have to wait and see. In the clip above, taped at IBM’s Information on Demand event this year, Silver gives an earnest, scientific impression that is far above anything people like Morris would present. He was originally the creator of a system that forecasts the performance of Major League Baseball players (if you’re thinking Moneyball, you’re close)… and if you wanna use Dick Morris as a weapon against that, be my guest. But who knows, maybe 2008 was one lucky strike. We’ll know November 7th.