How “The West Wing” predicted the future

January 26, 2009

There’s a post from the social networking site digg.com from user “DaviDTC” that contrasted how the 2008 presidential elections seemed to mirror the 2006 The West Wing elections that closed out the final season of the show.

London’s Daily Telegraph reported the connection on Oct 29, but I wasn’t watching closely enough.  (Maybe I didn’t want to see.)

Slate Magazine also noticed the connection.  According to their video, The West Wing writers modeled their candidate on Obama’s Senate bid.  It’s a case of life imitating fiction imitating life.

West Wing => Matt Santos, a young, minority (Latino) democrat becomes the new president
Real Life => Obama, a young minority (black) democrat becomes the new president

West Wing => Santos rises from an underdog position and beats a more experienced candidate (current VP) in a long primary campaign
Real Life => Obama rises from an underdog position and beats Hillary, a more experienced candidate in a long primary campaign

West Wing => Santos runs against an aging maverick Republican (Vinick)
Real Life => Obama runs against an aging maverick Republican (McCain)

West Wing => Santos picks an old Washington insider as his running mate (McGerry)
Real Life => Obama picks an old Washington insider (Biden) as his running mate

West Wing => Vinick picks a conservative running mate to please the Republican base
Real life => McCain picks a conservative running mate (Palin)to please the Republican base

West Wing => Santos picks a major campaign opponent (Vinick) to be the new secretary of state<
Real Life => Obama picks a major campaign opponent (Hillary) to be the new secretary of state

West Wing => Santos picks a jewish, democratic hardliner to be his Chief of Staff (Josh Lyman)
Real Life => Obama picks a jewish, democratic hardliner to be his Chief of Staff (Rahm Emanuel)

Pretty freaky!

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Palin was Sabotaged

November 15, 2008

Right before the election, I wondered about what the Republican party was doing to itself.

I said that the party didn’t really want to be reformed.  It was as if they’d rather lose to a radical than win with a maverick.  Not McCain.  He knew how to take orders.  No the other Maverick.  Palin.

The party bosses made sure Palin failed.

According to a posting today from Women On the Web, Palin was shocked when she found out the price the handlers were paying to neuter her message.  She told Fox News’s Greta van Susteren that she had nothing to do with selecting the clothes and the hiring the hairdressers.

Former CBS News political analyst and McCain senior strategist, Nicolle Wallace, thought Palin’s style was too “outsider” and needed help.  (“Coming from Alaska, she needed a new look. She was a small-town girl who needed to look like a big-city girl.” )  A member of the media elite herself, she was out of touch with what made Palin special.  It was the message, not the packaging, that mattered to voters.

As for the clothes, they were provided by the stylists, who normally work for CBS  News.  They told her they were staging, and never told her the cost.  According to Palin, “they picked out some really nice clothes to borrow for a while there. But that was not anything that the Palin family would have chosen for ourselves. .. [I] did not order the clothes. Did not ask for the clothes. I would have been happy to wear my own clothes from day one.”

So you see, the Party lost on purpose.


False Teachers

November 1, 2008

According to the Bible, the little letter from Jude, the characteristics of a false teacher are clear, and we are warned against them. 

Jude’s verse 16 says that a false teacher will flatter you to get their own way.  They will tell you you are better than you are, or will blame your mistakes on some external circumstance.  They will say it over and over, reinforcing a single concept with various proofs.

Soon you buy into the idea that they like you and you’ve begun to tell yourself you like them.  Then, after you have come to believe their flattery, they will add some more direct lies.  For many people, they will by this time believe the lies to be truth, or trust truth told about the person to be lies, because they are emotionally invested in the person. 

(This is how people ignore symptoms of abusive behavior in a loved one, hoping they are wrong, or are emotionally unable to consider the consequences of truth.)

The wise will weigh the words against an unchanging standard of truth and assess any differences.  These people will be able to recognize what the person is doing and separate admiration for the person and the veracity of their words. 

The unwise, the immature and those bent toward destruction will ignore truth, even calling truth a lie and lies truth.  Jude 19 says this is the source of divisions. 

Jude 19 also suggests it is the intent of a false teacher to create divisions and to distort truth, and that the source of this desire is their sensual appetites, with the end goal of satisfying their own lusts.

As this political season draws to a close, I look at candidates who call the other negative even as they themselves provide 3x more negative pronoucements.


Why McCain?

October 24, 2008

As the election gets closer, the daily polls are swinging wider.  These are uncertain times.  Unlike past elections, where it looked close but all was goodness and policy difference, the politics of hate from outlets like Daily Kos and Huffington Post have poisoned the political well so that even honest opinion comes out looking like bile.

And so I go read Orson Scott Card’s commentaries.  He primarily a science fiction writer, but that makes him a student of contemporary culture and a futurist.  He sees what is and imagines what could be from it.

His column last week was insightful:

“the media have helped Obama sell the lie that he is the moderate who can bring us together; in fact, Obama is the most radically leftist candidate ever to run as a major party nominee, and he has never shown the slightest willingness to compromise on anything. His judicial appointees would be committed dictator-judges, without exception.

Card says we should elect a candidate who will “appoint and confirm judges who did not usurp power, and who would pass laws denying any state court the right to redefine” the established laws of the land, including the definition of marriage.

“Your ability to raise your children to believe in your religion is already under attack; the New Puritans are quite prepared to use force to take your children and propagandize them to believe the scientifically indefensible dogma that gay marriage is “just the same as” marriage.”

Anyone who doesn’t accept homosexual couplings as marriages will be called names and persecuted. Our children will be propagandized to accept “marriages” that we repudiate.”

His final warning is to “choose pro-Constitution candidates in the states” and “vote for state legislators who are likely to be willing, when it becomes necessary, to … correct these abuses. … We can prevail in restoring Constitutional government to America — if we have the courage to pay the price along the way.”


Kos Playbook for Obama

September 23, 2008

Seems like every social networking site I go to, if it’s a political discussion, within 2 or 3 posts, someone starts spouting lies, unverified rumors and namecalling (McBush, etc.)  And a third of the negative stories on web posts and blogs are from the same few political sites, all saying the same thing.

There’s a reason.

These are all coming from the same group of radical activists who have no moral reserves, but are willing to say anything to discredit the other side.  It doesn’t have to be true; it jsut has to be said, and repeated, until the mass population picks it up in their subconscious.

Seems it comes from Daily Kos, which had been rumored to be a legitimate news aggrigator (although I had my doubts).  It was posted on Sep 12, but is already gone.  You’ve got to get the Google cache version to read it. Here’s what it said:

Viral attacks are where it’s at in 2008.  Emails, blogs, online news sources.  Content flows upstream in today’s media environment.

We can be the gun.

Indeed, if Barack can’t or won’t do the dirty work, then we have to do it for him.  No excuses.  No more hand-wringing.

Let’s get to work.

How, you ask?  Simple.

It’s all about finding really damaging stuff–news stories, YouTubes, informative blog posts.  And then circulating those with the intent of having them work their way up the media stream.  Email it to your friends.  Email it to any journalists whose email you have.  Post it in diaries or blog comments.

See that?  Find damaging stuff from blog posts and YouTube.  Doesn’t have to be true.  Just have to be able to link to it.


Lies as Truth

September 12, 2008

We are in real trouble when truth is reported as lies and lies are reported as truth. That’s where we are right now, what Obama calls the “crazy period.”

McCain and Obama have a legitimate and distinct difference of opinion on how to reform the country and overcome the destruction of Cheney’s 8 years (Bush was a bystander).  Senators Obama and Biden urgently believe that society cannot be trusted to look out for itself, and like a perennially-immature child, must be watched over closely by the mother country.  Having fostered a dependent clientele, they dare not leave that citizenry in charge of the public treasury, but rather stand guard to pass out only enough candy to keep the kids in check.  Senator McCain and Governor Palin believe that the majority of Americans are good people who will usually choose to do the right thing, knowing it is in their own self-interest to make the country’s interest a priority.  McCain-Palin believe in limiting government to the barest minimum duties at the lowest reasonable cost, with the balance of any revenue being returned to those who generated the income in the first place.  (If you will not work, you have no right to a share of the rewards.)

The legitimate corrections of the nuances of one another’s points of view are being misrepresented by news media in an attempt to stir up trouble. The pundits especially will ignore what is clearly spoken and criticize the opponent for not addressed their candidate’s core values.  “Why won’t McCain tell us how he’s going to make the government provide health care for all Americans?” they ask, knowing full well the answer is that McCain does not believe the premise that the government should be in that business at all.  On the other side, they criticize Obama for not supporting a Republican view on meeting national energy needs.  And on it goes, stirring and churning, to sell more soap.

Meanwhile, ignorant bloggers continue to obscure legitimate discussion forums with unrelated and unsubstantiated rumors. Honest reporters and those with reasoned opinions open their columns up for thoughtful discussion and are bombarded with spurious lies and off-topic accusations that can’t be answered.  These are the “Molitov Coctails” of the radical fringes, bent on either absolute acquiescence or controlled anarchy.

No, it is not the candidates themselves who can’t work together.  It is those who claim to speak for them.


Political Machine is up and running

September 4, 2008

I got an email this morning from the GOP with Sarah Palin’s name on it.  Trouble is, is sounds like a new-style politician doing old-style politics.

First, it starts with campaign rhetoric:  “I am proud to run with John McCain and be a part of his campaign to build a safer, more prosperous future for America. … At a time when our nation is fighting a war to defeat radical Islamic extremism and our economy is at a crossroads, America needs John McCain and Reform Republicans who have the resolve, judgment and experience to lead.”

Then there’s the appeal to my ego:  “We will be relying on grassroots Republican activists like you, to help spread our message and make clear the stark differences between our agenda and the Obama-Biden Democrats’ left-wing designs for America.”

Half way down they get to the real reason for the email – money.

“Please help us get our message past the liberal media filter and directly to the voters by making a secure online contribution of $2,000, $1,000, $500, $250, $100, $50 or $25 to RNC Victory 2008 today.”

“In tight contests, voter turnout is absolutely critical.  The Obama Democrats and their liberal special interests allies are spending unprecedented amounts of money on get-out-the-vote drives.  We must counter this effort and the nearly $1 billion the Obama Democrats and their allies will spend to defeat John McCain and our Republican candidates at all levels.  And we need your help to succeed.”

And then again in the p.s.  “Please help the RNC Victory 2008 program as generously as you can by making a secure online contribution of $2,000, $1,000, $500, $250, $100, $50 or $25 to ensure all Republican candidates on the ballot have the campaign resources they need to win.”

Note that the first said I was important, and that my efforts in supporting voter turnout is critical.  But the best I can do is give them money so they can do traditional things like buy prime-time advertising attacking Obama-Biden.

The tone of the message is clear, and that is that the attacks by Mrs Palen on Washington insiders last night was spot on.  “Give me money and trust me to spend it for you.”

I understand she’s doing what she has to to make nice with the party leadership.  I just hope she shakes things up once she gets where she’s going.