Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Global Village

Pretty Lady can feel you wondering if she's gone Right Off The Rails. Either that, or she's lazy; why else would she post all four of those tedious, boring O'Reilly videos, which she is positive that none of you watched? After all, it is a fast-paced world, and you can't skim video. Moreover, anybody who watches O'Reilly is unalterably opposed to Mr. Obama, and supporters of Mr. Obama simply cannot endure Mr. O'Reilly. What, indeed, was the point?

Well.

Pretty Lady, as she has occasionally mentioned, lived for a time in a Very Small Town. This town was so small that it was literally, physically impossible to avoid persons with whom one had a conflict. One's ex-spouse's ex-lover regularly appeared at the next table in the café. One's landlady could be tripped over, at the end of the alley, casually slandering you to the millionaire's wife. If you switched bars to avoid your ex-boyfriend, you ran into his cousin at the other one. There were no secrets, and No Getting Away.

Under these circumstances, a person has two choices. One may play draconian power games, hold personal vendettas, muster cliques, and generally engage in a game of unending strife, which rends the social fabric and forces every innocent bystander into the fray. Life becomes dramatic, exhilarating, and in the long run, unbearably miserable.

Or a person can reach out for understanding, tolerance, common ground, and eventual forgiveness.

What impressed Pretty Lady about Obama's interview with Mr. O'Reilly was how they ended it, joking amicably about basketball. Those of you familiar with Mr. O'Reilly's personal style and political views are well aware that this conclusion was not a given. Even on his best behavior, Bill cannot help behaving in a rude, dismissive, peremptory and aggressive fashion. Bless his little heart.

But if you dared to watch the tape, you saw that Mr. Obama neither allowed himself to be bullied and stampeded, nor to lose his temper. He answered every question with a clarity and precision which indicated his comfort and depth of knowledge; he deftly acknowledged their common perspectives (there were several!) while assertively pinpointing and defending points of disagreement. In short, he imposed a civilized debate upon a borderline uncivilized man, and did so without incurring visible resentment.

As the world grows smaller, due to complicated things like technology and economics, it grows more and more difficult to wrap oneself in a cocoon of like-minded, loyal cronies. One must Interact. One must Interact with borderline uncivilized persons who, moreover, have access to things like armies, artillery, and nuclear weapons. In such circumstances, temperament becomes a life-or-death matter. Do we want a leader who has shown a preternatural ability to befriend the opposition without compromising his principles? Or do we want a belligerent liar and a paranoid drama queen?




8 comments:

george said...

Pretty Lady

You had me going there, you really did, right up to the last sentence.

“Or do we want a belligerent liar and a paranoid drama queen?”

Now imagine if O'Reilly had started Obama’s interview with an equivalent dose of ungraciousness. I’m pretty sure Pretty Lady’s theory would be shot to hell and she’d have no videos to share with her readers.

Pretty Lady said...

Hey, Pretty Lady has made it very clear that she's not running for either President or Vice President. She has provided sufficient documentation for the McCain/Palin campaign's mendacity, penchant for belligerence, paranoia, and drama that she can conclude her essay in any way she likes. Certainly nobody from the McCain campaign is bothering to refute her charges.

Howlsatmoon said...

"that she can conclude her essay in any way she likes.".....most certainly.

It is Pretty Ladys Blog, and the wonders of truly Free Speech allow her to write just about any thing she wants.

Including tripe. So long and thanks for all the fish.

This ol' fellah has left the porch.

george said...

Pretty Lady

You have misconstrued my comment. Of course you may post anything you like in any tone you like and come to any conclusion you like. I was not criticizing you.

I was only trying to suggest that a sometimes rude and buffoonish O’Reilly is hardly a test of Obama’s sangfroid. Befriending (and sometimes charming) the opposition is a long time modus operandi of politicians, at least the successful ones. The problem (and test) comes when one faces not the “opposition” but the “enemy”. Someone looking to smear you, damage you, or destroy you. Now that would be impressive.

By the way, I of course knew whom you were referring to as “ belligerent liar” but the first thing that popped to mind re “drama queen” - Mr. Biden.

Carol Diehl said...

Bill O'Reilly is not looking to smear, damage, or destroy Obama? Could have fooled me. This is one of the nastiest campaigns ever, and everyone's on board. Dictators (ever seen an interview with Saddam Hussein? Putin?) are usually much more reserved and polite than O'Reilly, who is an emotional pinball machine. Obama handled his part of the interview perfectly. Sorry, but you can't fault him for that. His detractors are always saying,"Yeah, he handled that well, but can he handle such-and-such, and then such-and-such comes along and they say yeah, he handled that well but what if...." yet so far he has run a seamless campaign, and has not faltered. Anyone who can do that can run a country, maybe two.

Pretty Lady said...

What Carol said.

george said...

Ms Diehl and Pretty Lady

O’Reilly tried to destroy Obama!!! Here’s what I saw and a comparison.

O’Reilly/Obama: engaged each other face to face.
Gibson/Palin: Gibson peered over his glasses and down his nose.

O’Reilly/Obama: a civil and engaging a conversation – but O’R interrupts too much.
Gibson/Palin: Gibson throws Palin’s “exact words” at her. They weren’t.

O’Reilly/Obama: not one embarrassing Obama moment by way of tape edits.
Gibson/Palin: countless tape edits to embarrass Palin.

O’Reilly/Obama: No gotcha hunt.
Gibson/Palin: Gotcha hunt. It works – Gibson doesn’t know Bush Doctrine. Gotcha!!!

O’Reilly/Obama: O’R brings up Daily Kos attack against Obama to Obama’s advantage.
Gibson/Palin: Gibson seems to enjoys strolling with Palin.

O”Reilly/Obama: O’R says Obama hangs with bad people – adds “if that’s not fair, I’m sorry”.
Gibson/Palin: offers no apologies for edits, misquotes, quotes out of context.

O’Reilly/Obama: O’R to Obama: “ a pleasure… good luck in the campaign. A handshake.
Gibson/Palin: don’t know how they parted, didn’t see end of interview.

If O’Reilly was trying to destroy Obama then what were Gibson/ABC trying to do to Palin?

Pretty Lady said...

George, context is all.

In context: Obama has been campaigning for 19 months. In the course of that time, he has been subjected to viral email campaigns spreading ridiculous lies--that he is a terrorist, that he is a Muslim, that his wife is a black supremacist, that he is unpatriotic, on and on and on and on. There have been entire books published by major publishing houses which repeat these lies, distortions and smears. He's been attacked by his own party with some of these smears, during the primary campaign. When the Jeremiah Wright affair broke, many people assumed that his campaign was toast. Certainly many politicians have been destroyed over less.

O'Reilly has been a major part of the right-wing media which has gleefully participated in this garbage. He didn't trot it out during the interview, but his attitude was impatient, condescending and dismissive during much of it.

Palin has been sprung on the American public 60 days before the election. She was obviously hardly vetted at all. Then the McCain campaign refused to let her hold an unscripted interview for TWO WEEKS after the nomination. That is a quarter of the remaining time left before the election.

The Bush Doctrine question was hardly a 'gotcha,' given that the Bush Doctrine has defined American foreign policy for the last seven years, and is the ideology behind the debacle of the Iraq war. It is inexcusable that someone who could conceivably be President in five months had never heard of it, and couldn't even fudge a credible response when given a huge friggin' hint.

Some of Gibson's mannerisms were indeed a bit condescending. In my view they weren't any more condescending than O'Reilly's, but that's a subjective opinion.

What is certain is that Obama has endured thousands of times more aggregate smear, slime, scrutiny and deliberate defamation than Palin has, and has come out of it looking a hell of a lot better than Palin has.

This is not a game. It's serious business, potentially affecting the entire planet, to nominate a clueless, ignorant, hubristic person for VP at the last second, and attempt to cover up her inadequacies with misdirection and manipulation. Under those circumstances, accelerated hazing by the media and the citizenry is not merely acceptable, it is necessary.