Bourbon Cowboy

The adventures of an urbane bar-hopping transplant to New York.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I'm a storyteller in the New York area who is a regular on NPR's "This American Life" and at shows around the city. Moved to New York in 2006 and am working on selling a memoir of my years as a greeting card writer, and (as a personal, noncommercial obsession) a nonfiction book called "How to Love God Without Being a Jerk." My agent is Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. If you came here after hearing about my book on "This American Life" and Googling my name, the "How to Love God" book itself isn't in print yet, and may not even see print in its current form (I'm focusing on humorous memoir), but here's a sample I've posted in case you're curious anyway: Sample How To Love God Introduction, Pt. 1 of 3. Or just look through the archives for September 18, 2007.) The book you should be expecting is the greeting card book, about which more information is pending. Keep checking back!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Every Time You Go Tieless, The Terrorists Win

The professional right wing must be terrified of Barack Obama. First they began pointing out that his middle name is "Hussein," and now there's this utter idiocy. I swear to god, we need a new Godwin's Law that says, "If you compare your opponent to al-Qaeda, you get your mike cut off."

And yet---every time they do these obviously crazy and deesperate smears against a guy who's widely loved, aren't they really hurting themselves? Bush's approval rating is 30% and almost guaranteed to slide lower when people realize he's ignoring the Iraq Study Group---the last figleaf he had---and continuing our present course. (Tony Snow has done nothing all week except downplay the report's importance.) Approval for the Iraq war is 21% and also liable to plummet. So when the Republican Noise Machine tries to say "Barack Obama dresses like at least one known terrorist and has a scary Middle Eastern name!" I have a feeling they're just making themselves look very out of touch. That shit worked on Kerry---you could look at him and think, "God, he's uncomfortable. Is he hiding something?" But two years ahead of time, the Republican chattering class seems to be literally running this Presidential campaign (and the preemptive strikes against Dem opponents) as if The War on Terror = Iraq is still a winning sales pitch. It's idiotic, Colonial-era slander and innuendo, and I hope they fry for it.



Anonymous Eric Berlin said...

Those were some fantastic and profoundly weird comments Jeff Greenfield made. But don't they have to be repeated more than once, and by somebody else, before they get attributed to the entire right wing?

I read the National Review's blog "The Corner." The contributors there are definitely worried about Obama, and they have plenty of things to say about him. But not one of them has commented on his state of dress. They're focused, correctly, on his politics.

12/12/2006 8:14 AM  
Blogger Cowboy Dave Dickerson said...

I wasn't attempting to tar the entire right wing so much as the Noise Machine folks who are usually the first to float the potential talking points. I was hoping to bring it to light in the hope of nipping it in the bud. The Clinton-Murdered-Vince-Foster meme started the same way, and got way more traction than it deserved as a result. Ditto the Swift Boats.

Also, I feel I should point out that it's not just Jeff Greenfield---though he seems to be the most eager to repeat Obama-Osama connections he gets from elsewhere. And the move from "Hussein is his middle name" to "he dresses like a terrorist, too" (in an article that also mentions his middle name) suggests a snowballing that I find very troubling.

If this meme doesn't spread, and if it isn't enabled by CNN, ABC, and MSNBC, I'll happily retire the objection. But ever since I saw the baffling success of the Swift Boaters---who simply made shit up and were treated by the press as if they deserved 50% of the airtime--I no longer feel safe hoping that mean-spirited ideas will die a natural death.

And as I said, this sort of talk can't actually be helping the conservative cause. If someone at the Corner takes on Greenfield onthis basis, let me know.

12/12/2006 8:45 AM  

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