1979 Reruns

Remember the two most important rules of space travel according to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy? Don’t Panic. Bring a towel. Makes sense to me.

For a while now I’ve felt like I was living through a 1979 rerun, so I decided to check out PBS’ American Experience documentaries (on Netflix, natch) on Jimmy Carter and Ronald Regan. I was barely conscious for 1979, being just 8 years old, but I do remember loving Reagan by the time I was 10 or 11 and hating him by the time I was 15. Anyway, I figured a brush up was in order so I could explore my intuitive feelings on this matter. I’m halfway through the nearly four hours on Carter and have watched the intro on Reagan. Most notable is how freakishly parallel the Carter/Obama phenomenons really are. Both spent some time in the state senate and had limited national exposure before running and winning their respective presidential elections.

Carter was a one-term governor who ran a pretty crooked campaign to win that gubernatorial election; he was even on the radio campaigning as a segregationist who would not cater to “blahk voters.” He campaigned hard as a segregationist and then gave a flowery speech about equality on racial matters at his inauguration, then proceeded to run Georgia with an iron fist, and with much hubris and arrogance, the combination of which cost him the next election.

For his presidential election, he enjoyed the same dynamics Obama did; GOP fatigue and a carefully constructed personal narrative that was barely half-true. Makes you wonder. I’ve always known him under his modern image of Saint Jimmy, so this was news to me, but every bit of it is reported by insiders who knew and were there. I’ve yet to get to the Reagan documentary, and I’m sure it will be just as enlightening.

But I’m not the only one who’s feeling the 1979 vibe. Check out Wayne Allyn Root, the former VP candidate for the Libertarian Party and according to his wiki, quite the handicapper. He’s a favorite on the Tea Party trail, of course, and a Ron Paul fan, so he really doesn’t have a dog in the Romney-Obama fight, but he still thinks Romney will win in a landslide (h/t Denise). First he suggests ignoring the polls, which I’d already started to tune out once they switched to the ridiculous “poll averaging.” Then he lays out some of his (admittedly also intuitive) reasons pretty convincingly:

Here is my gut instinct. Not one American who voted for McCain 4 years ago will switch to Obama. Not one in all the land. But many millions of people who voted for an unknown Obama 4 years ago are angry, disillusioned, turned off, or scared about the future. Voters know Obama now- and that is a bad harbinger.

He goes on to break it down according to voting blocks, which is definitely worth the read, especially in light of all the attempts to hype demographics. He predicts 88% black support for Obama in 2012. We’ll see. For my money, the most interesting blocks he covered were youth voters, small business owners, and military vets:

*Youth voters. Obama’s biggest and most enthusiastic believers from 4 years ago have graduated into a job market from hell. Young people are disillusioned, frightened, and broke- a bad combination. The enthusiasm is long gone. Turnout will be much lower among young voters, as will actual voting percentages. This not good news for Obama.


*Small Business owners. Because I ran for Vice President last time around, and I’m a small businessman myself, I know literally thousands of small business owners. At least 40% of them in my circle of friends, fans and supporters voted for Obama 4 years ago to “give someone different a chance.” … Four years later, I can’t find one person in my circle of small business owner friends voting for Obama. Not one. This is not good news for Obama.


*Military Veterans. McCain won this group by 10 points. Romney is winning by 24 points. The more our military vets got to see of Obama, the more they disliked him. This is not good news for Obama.

Did you get that? Vets like Romney 14 points more than they liked the actual POW survivor. That’s a lot of capital blown on Obama’s part. Here’s what he ends with:

Forget the polls. My gut instincts as a Vegas oddsmaker and common sense small businessman tell me this will be a historic landslide and a world-class repudiation of Obama’s radical and risky socialist agenda. It’s Reagan-Carter all over again.

Bolding mine. Now obviously conservatives of all stripes need a lesson in the difference between socialism and fascist neoliberalism, but other than that socialist remark, he’s pretty much hit the mark.

I suspect the answer is going to be 42 again. As in 42% is the percentage of votes that Obama will likely pull on November 6, 2012. That’s my gut instinct right now, anyway, though that could change. Did I mention that The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was first published in 1979? Don’t panic, friends, and bring a towel. We may need to hitch a ride off this planet either way.

About Woke Lola

Bitch, please.
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60 Responses to 1979 Reruns

  1. myiq2xu says:

    In 1979 I worked for Jimmy. In 1980 I voted for the first time. I voted for Reagan. (Then a few years later I became a Democrat.)

    Back then it seemed to me that Jimmy was a nice guy who was in way over his head. These days my opinion of him is far less charitable.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I still have my gold peanut necklace from ’76. Carter was definitely the anti-Nixon hopeychangey guy, and by ’80, I sure missed Nixon.

      Obama may have an easier time since he didn’t have a Teddy Kennedy to beat him up in the primary and all the way to the convention floor. I would have liked that.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      He is turning out to be another lie I bought, watching this documentary. I always thought he was a nice little So. Baptist peanut farmer from Georgia who took a perilous political ride and then became Saint Jimmy, defender of the poor.

      There’s a story in the documentary when he lost his first try for Governor in GA and they tell the story of him going for a walk with his sister, Ruth, who was the charismatic healer. He asks her what the difference was between him and her, and she gave an answer about belonging totally to Jesus yadda, yadda, yadda. He wanted to be like her. You get the sense that he really wanted to have a deeper relationship, but like most people it took a stinging defeat to bring him to his knees.

      In the next segment, they discuss his winning campaign for governor and his MO is all off, and that’s when he runs as a segregationist. I knew right then that his “relationship with God” was him seeking enough spiritual approval to allow him to win what he wanted, which even then was the presidency. You don’t develop a deeper relationship with a diety, only to spit in its face by sinning in the most public way imaginable unless you think that God has approved. And that’s a sick approach to religion if you ask me.

      Remember when he said he wouldn’t lie so emphatically over and over? That’s because he had lied, to God and everybody, and people knew it.

      • votermom says:

        I didn’t know that about Carter. Ugh.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          I know, right? Granted he has done a lot of making up for it since then, but still. But it’s stuff just like this that lets you know how you have to take this thing this year. You can’t look at anything straight on. You have fuzz up your vision and look for the parts that come into focus in that state. The closest analogy I can think of right now is that scene in Mockingjay (third book of the Hunger Games) where Nuts & Volts show Katniss the fuzzy part in the force field and call it “the chink in the armor.” It’s the weakness that shows the lie.

      • imusthavepie says:

        I just watched that documentary too. I would not say that he ran as a “segregationist”. It was more like he said things that segregationists wanted to hear and they interpreted the way that they wanted. You could say it was a sin of omission in that Carter did not do anything to correct their interpretation. Or you could even say it was deliberate misleading. He “came clean” as it were in his inaugural address and it’s clear he’s anything but a segregationist if you read it.

        Click to access inaugural_address.pdf

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          How can you gloss over his radio ads where he explicitly says he would not cater to “blahk voters”? That came from a campaign staffer.

          FTR, I didn’t say he was a segregationist, I said he ran as one. That’s a pretty callous, opportunistic thing to do, IMO.

        • imusthavepie says:

          Yes, and I disagreed that he RAN as one. I won’t repeat what I wrote in my first comment, but I am disagreeing with you. I didn’t gloss over anything.

        • wmcb says:

          He catered to racial tensions, for sure. But I have to agree with imusthavepie that that’s not quite the same thing as “segregationist”. Segregation has a very specific meaning. Carter cynically played on race issues, but I don’t think he ever even hinted at a return to segregation.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          Alright. We can split hairs all day long on this issue, but catering to racial tensions and trash talking black voters on radio is not any better than running as a segregationist as far as I’m concerned.

        • wmcb says:

          We can disagree on that minor quibble, Lola. 😀 Your point remains that Saint Jimmy ( and many many other Dems) are not so free of racial sin as they have long touted.

          The more I research, the more I see what a bill of goods we’ve been sold re: the parties and race. Anything slightly” racial” on the part of an R is memorialized and touted as proof of their racism, forever after. All manner of outright racial filth on the part of many Dems goes conveniently down the memory hole and is NEVER anything other than a regrettable faux pas. It has been going on for decades, I just didn’t see it, because the media has their narrative. There is NO evidence that R’s are any more racist than D’s. None whatsoever.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          Exactly. During the 50s & 60s, Reagan routinely gave speeches that espoused racial equality, well before many Dems embraced the idea. But anything he ever did that was pro-racial harmony was swept away by the place he announced his campaign for presidency, touted as a racist dog whistle to this day.

        • leslie says:

          I haven’t yet seen the documentary. (I plan to do so tomorrow night.) I would have a difficult time thinking of Carter as a segregationist. But it is also hard to think of him as cynically using racism – and judging from comments, he was just as slimy as most other pols. What I do see now, that I didn’t see before 2008, is that MSM is a real mouthpiece for the D’s – at least for now. I say that because I don’t recall many protests r/t the Iraq war or other matters of the GWBush administration.
          When there were protests (and there were many and some were HUGE), I called the newspapers and radio/teevee stations myself to get them to cover those protests. And,when they were covered, I had to call to protest the very way the coverage was slanted against the protest and the protesters.
          It is has been clear that MSM were in the pocket of Obama from the time he set foot on the Chicago soil. If not for that support of the media – the media that unlocked the sealed divorce records that “gave us” Senator BHO, we most likely would have a Senator Blair Hull and a President Hillary Rodham Clinton.

  2. myiq2xu says:

    WaPo/ABC poll shows a dead heat …

    In 2008, Barack Obama won the national popular vote by seven points in a turnout where Democrats outvoted Republicans by … seven points. According to a new poll by the Washington Post and ABC News, if Democrats could beat Republicans by nine points in voter turnout this year, Obama might just tie Mitt Romney

    • Mary says:

      Read the fine print, though. According to Hot Air , this poll has a plus 7 Democratic sample.

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        The Walker Margin lives again.

      • angienc says:

        Mary, I don’t think you read that correctly — the quote contains the fact that the poll oversampled Dems — by 9 points, not 7.
        In 2008, Dems had a 7% higher turnout than Republicans — and Obama won by slighter less than 7% of the vote. This poll is saying that if Dem turnout in 2012 is 9% higher than Republican turnout, then Obama *ties* with Romney. But a 9% higher Dem to Rep turnout is extremely unlikely. So the poll is *crap* as far as looking at the 47 to 47 “tie” it is showing, but it does show some very bad news for Obama, unless he can get a 13% higher Dem turnout v. Rep in November.

        • Mary says:

          You’re correct….it was plus 9 , not plus 7.

          You’re also correct that it means the poll is total crap. 🙂

      • foxyladi14 says:

        I didn’t know that 🙂

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      Whoa, check out the pictures of the two on that article. That tells you something right there. Obama is the one who looks like crap, and kinda freakish. Romney looks almost presidential. Has the media been given marching orders?

      • leslie says:

        Whoa is right. I’ve been thinking about those marching orders for a while, especially when I see pictures of the them online and in the papers. So many of the photos of Romney seem to enhance his presence. His graying hair is flattering and he seems calm and in control. The obama photos I’ve seen of late have him looking like a old, sometimes angry, man.

      • FembotsForObama says:

        You’re right. Obama looks nearly freakish.

  3. votermom says:

    Not one American who voted for McCain 4 years ago will switch to Obama. Not one in all the land.

    Obviously he hasn’t been to skyhating & the confluzzed blogs.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      Did RD vote for McCain? Did Dakinat? A lot of PUMA returned to the progressive borg, but most of those folks didn’t vote for McCain. And most of them won’t vote for Obama ths year. They will go third party, ironically mostly to the white man’s wasteland that is the Green Party.

      • votermom says:

        Oh, good point – I forgot that a lot of them voted 3rd party.

      • Mary says:

        Let em! The more former Dems who vote 3rd party, the more The One’s chances of losing increase.
        Franklly, I think a lot will just stay home.

      • DeniseVB says:

        I always felt it was more an Anti-Palin vote by those groups who were still mourning the Clinton defeat. They were also buying into the “Sarah is so dumb…” crapola.

        • elliesmom says:

          I probably would have not voted for anyone for president if McCain hadn’t chosen Palin. McCain only got my vote because he was along for the ride.

        • DeniseVB says:

          Those rat bastids on Team McCain blamed Sarah for the loss too. Sure opened my eyes to both parties being evil equals. Sarah saved McCain from an even bigger loss.

        • leslie says:

          I agree with both elliesmom and DeniseVB. If is hadn’t been for Palin I would’ve voted Green Party. And McCain’s people were just covering their asses by blaming Palin. She WAS the campaign. Even the obama ppl knew that. Otherwise they wouldn’e campaigned against McCain and not Palin.

      • carol haka says:

        RD voted for Palin. She tries to spin as a protest vote now. Yeah Right!

        • elliesmom says:

          But I don’t think she’ll be voting for Obama or Romney in the fall. I think she’ll do the 3rd party thing this time. Unless OWS decides to go all out for The Once. Then she’ll do what they do. Right now she’s buying into working for a corporation is selling out unless the corporation is within walking distance of your house or they let you work long distance. Something about not buying into being a corporate hamster on a wheel. Have I ever said how much I hate whining? Unless it’s the “wining and dining” thing. Then I’m all for it.

        • angienc says:

          Ha! elliesmom, does RD count working for BigPharma as working for a corporation? (I don’t go over to RD’s site anymore).

        • elliesmom says:

          She’s been whining about how the bean counters have taken over big pharma and how all the jobs have moved to evil Cambridge, Massachusetts. While she says she’s willing to relocate to get a new job, she’s not willing to go where the jobs are. Supposedly, the paychecks in MA companies don’t allow workers to live here. She says she was pulling down a six figure income before she was laid off. I live 20- 25 minutes west of Cambridge. I can walk to public transportation that will take me right to Harvard Square. A six figure income will buy you a nice little house in my town, and most scientists and engineers are paid very well here. If she was making that much in New Jersey, she’d make it here easily. But it’s not fair that she should have to move away from her family to get a good job, and it’s all the fault of the 1%. If I was in my 50’s like she is, and I had been unemployed for 2 years, I’d be willing to move some where that’s close enough to be able to see my family (who she regularly trashes) anytime I had a long weekend. But she’s bought into OWS hook, line, and sinker.

        • angienc says:

          Thanks for the update. And yeah, what’s up with the sudden love for family? She *loathes* her mother.
          I conclude that she hasn’t been offered a job — not in *evil* Cambridge, MA or anywhere else for that matter.

      • gxm17 says:

        Whoa. Wait a minute. Jill Stein is the first Green Party member to achieve federal matching funds goals. It’s not such a wasteland anymore. We’re getting a lot of people who have finally realized that the two-party system is a con game.

        Yes, I sent Cynthia McKinney money in 2008 and I’m still a fan girl. But 2012 feels different. Green supporters aren’t worrying about “throwing their vote away.” The vibe is much more that we’re making our vote count.

    • FembotsForObama says:

      Wasn’t it also estimated that something like 20,000-50,000 voters who voted for the Shrub either stayed home or didn’t vote for POTUS in 2008? So, wouldn’t we need to account for those “returning” voters?

      • votermom says:

        Yup. A lot of the Tea Party who were considering staying home because they don’t consider Mitt conservative just got a fire lit under their behinds by the SCOTUS decision. They will turn out to vote against Obamacare if nothing else.

  4. elliesmom says:

    “Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      “How better to disguise their real natures, and how better to guide your thinking. Suddenly running down a maze the wrong way, eating the wrong bit of cheese, unexpectedly dropping dead of myxomatosis, – if it’s finely calculated the cumulative effect is enormous.”

      Basically my political strategy anymore.

  5. yttik says:

    I think I became a centrist during Reagan’s presidency and I developed an allergy to hyperbole and hysteria. I remember the attempt on his life, which interrupted some activity I was looking forward to. Some people were celebrating and some people where sobbing hysterically, both responses which I found disturbing and inappropriate. Not much has changed, people still either demonize Reagan or view him as a saint.

    • elliesmom says:

      No, some of us just have a pragmatic view of the Reagan presidency. We know that he cut a deal with the Iranians to bring the hostages home when he would get the credit, but it brought them home. We wanted and got an end to the gas rationing and long lines. Those of us who were trying to buy our first home appreciated mortgage rates below 14%. Ketchup isn’t and never will be a vegetable, but it opened our eyes to the real purpose of the school lunch program, which isn’t to feed poor children. He wasn’t a saint, but he wasn’t the devil incarnate either. I came to grips with why I respected Reagan, while not agreeing with him on much of anything, when I read about his relationship with Tip O’Neill. I learned about the value of having a “loyal opposition”.

  6. Bill Clinton was president # 42.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      I wish I could thumb this up 25 times. Of course! Should have included that. 🙂

  7. yttik says:

    Speaking of President Clinton, Obama has been trying to exploit the crap out of his name for his re-election campaign. Clinton just said he thought we should extend the Bush tax cuts, Obama has been saying we need to end them and bring them back to the levels we had during Clinton’s presidency. But Obama lies, because in spite of right wing memes, Clinton actually lowered taxes on the working poor, on capital gains. He gave us the small business office deduction, he expanded earned income credit, he created the daycare deduction. Clinton’s tax cuts were smart, they stimulated the economy. Even though the rate on capital gains was lower, more people started selling and earning, so more taxes got paid.

  8. angienc says:

    Carter was a US Naval officer which puts him way, way ahead of Obama on the experience front. (Not that I’m defending Jimmy or disagreeing with your post).

    I agree there is a lot of shades of 1980 this year. I also think there are shades of 1972 Nixon v. McGovern in this race too, except for the incumbent/challenger spots of Obama v.Romney. First, the Dems are being just as loud & aggressive as in 1972, thinking they control the narrative & refusing to even consider that the other side might appeal to anyone (the whole “How did Nixon win? I don’t know anyone who voted for him!” thing — that’s pretty much how they are acting when it comes to Obama v. Romney right now). Second, all these b.s. polls showing how “high” Obama’s likabilities are — I don’t buy it & get the feeling people are just not saying anything, not because, as I’ve actually read/heard from pundits that they are “disengaged” because they don’t believe electing POTUS’s can really *do* anything, but because they are intimidated about being labeled r*cist. But like the silent majority showed up at the polls in 1972 to re-elect Nixon, I get the feeling the silent majority will be showing up at the poll in November to get rid of Obama.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      I agree, 1979/1980 is not the perfect analogy and I also see shades of 1972. I’ve been using the term New Silent Majority for months now. But the Dem denial of 1972 and 1980 is palpable right now. They really don’t see it coming. I feel sorry for a small smattering of people, but I am looking forward to the satisfying feeling of revenge realized this November. Harsh, maybe, but a lesson that needs to be learned. Again, apparently.

      • FembotsForObama says:

        Yes, I agree as well. We are seeing a New Silent Majority, those centrists who don’t want to be labeled as racist. More friends are admitting that they are voting for Romney because Obama has been an abysmal failure. These friends own antique stores and other on-the-side businesses.

        Another point as to why I feel that Romney will win in a landslide. Root’s comment about young voters was reflected in the WI recall election. Walker made huge gains in college educated voters. And on other campuses besides Madison, there has been a groundswell of students joining the College Republicans. The tide has definitely turned here.

  9. wmcb says:

    Excellent piece, Lola. I think that many of us lately have been evolving towards looking at the political process, both past and present, with new eyes. You’ve touched on so many things here that I agree with.

    I think a lot of it is realizing that it’s up to us. No political savior is going to fix our country. Joining the correct “tribe” is not going to do it. All of them are marginally good, bad, or indifferent. It’s US. With our likenesses and differences, with our everyday Americanness, who have a shot at turning the tide. Not them. There is a piece currently up at Hotair that dovetails nicely with your piece here:

    The point here is not that it doesn’t matter who the president is; the point is that in sending saviors to Washington, the people have effectively minimized and relinquished their own role in the stewardship of America.  We have come to think of our main obligation as electing a president, who will then do all the important work while Congress roils around being, incorrigibly, Congress: annoying, posturing, legislatively incontinent.

    The Founding Fathers didn’t see it that way – and indeed, it hasn’t turned out to be a very good idea.  Now the political turning point in 2012 rests squarely with the people.  There is no “champion” – no savior – running for president in either party.  It’s down to us now.

    What is our character?  Can we see through demagoguery and even outright lies?  Do we acknowledge our responsibility for a government that today sees us alternately as lab rats and pack mules, and is currently spending our great-great-grandchildren’s earnings?  Are we willing to take responsibility for ourselves and our families?  Are we willing to help those in need ourselves, rather than handing the government an open-ended charter to remake us all?

    What is our view of government?  What is government supposed to do?  What does it mean to elect someone to public office?  What are our responsibilities for self-government?  How well do we understand the competing philosophical justifications for small government and big?  What do we really think of them?


    That’s one of the biggest reasons why there is so little resonance with our spirits in this year’s election campaign.  The Obama campaign’s attacks on Romney are just noise in this season, but even Romney’s proclamations don’t matter all that much.  In 2012, the governing dynamic is the American people talking to ourselves, deciding who we really are and what we really believe.  Romney isn’t, at any point, going to intrude on that dialogue.  In an important sense, Obama is irrelevant to it, except as an example of the extremes to which our century-long practice of seeking saviors can take us.

    The dialogue will continue for years after November 2012.  The dialogue is what matters, and if a sleeping giant is awakening, it will take some time for it to educate itself.  The need for the people to educate and improve ourselves, as self-governing citizens, is actually a good thing, in my view.  If we had another Reagan to elect this fall, we would remain passive, waiting for the president to try to do what only we can do.  It is good for the people to have to step up to our responsibilities, which start with character and knowledge.


    • Lola-at-Large says:

      That was Reagan’s message, ftr. I watched the first hour and a half of his doc last night. His evolution on politics from the 1950s to the 1970s in many ways parallels our own evolution. Some people aren’t going to like hearing that, but it’s true.

  10. myiq2xu says:

    Actually Debbie, the law doesn’t require Mitt to release any of his tax returns. Just like you don’t.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      Saw that yesterday. Perfect! She’s got her talking points down, but she still gets flustered delivering them.

  11. myiq2xu says:


    Sometime this week we will be passing the 1 million hit mark. There will be a clothing-optional party afterwards.

    Free cheese doodles.

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