It’s the stupid Boomers that just might sink Obama

I’ve got a serious blog-crush on Lisa Chamberlain, author of the recently published Slackonomics. Shit! How could I not, the way she bitch slaps around the Baby Boomers for their seeming willingness to sink Obama just because he isn’t one of them and openly, and proudly, proclaims it.

Chamberlain takes Hillraisers to task for likely taking on the roll that Nader supporters did in 2000:

But ya’ll are flirting dangerously with becoming this election’s Naderites — that is to say, political suicide bombers. It’s not just your bras that are going to be on fire, ladies. It’s going to be planet earth. Hyperbole? Think back to the 2000 election when Naderites argued there was little difference between Bush and Gore, and even if Bush won, it would be by such a narrow margin he would have to govern from the center. Really. Think. About. That.

Yeah. They’re too consumed with feeling disappointed and unappreciated blah blah blah to think.

But make no mistake this is a generational conflict at work here, as Chamberlian points out, quoting Charlie Cook, a political analyst that I’ve never heard of (but what do I know, right) but which she admire a great deal:

“It finally dawned on me that white Baby Boomers are the group that is really hurting Barack Obama,” Cook wrote in his National Journal column. “Of all people, the generation that brought us the Vietnam War protests and the Summer of Love is proving to be a very tough nut for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to crack.” Cook pointed out that among whites between 50 to 64, Obama is losing by a whopping 18 points, 51 percent to 33 percent. I don’t know if the numbers have moved much since June, but that was after Hillary “suspended” her campaign.

Doesn’t surprise me one fucking bit. In fact, it is pretty much what I expected out of that generation of jerk offs.

Cook calls this lack of support from Boomers a burden. Yeah, no shit. And the burden that they are is only going to grow.

Chamberlain concludes thusly:

I can forgive the misguided Naderites who were too young to know better – hell, I’ll admit to having been one. But when it comes to boomers, age does not seem to equal wisdom. It’s like a Dennis Hopper retirement commercial writ large, as The Onion brilliantly satirized: “Retirement planning means a lot of decision making, and thank God I have the soothing presence of that amyl nitrite–huffing, obscenity-screaming, psychosexual lunatic from Blue Velvet to guide me through it.” Substitute “retirement planning” for “voting,” and that approximates how I’m starting to feel about Election 2008, thanks to the soothing presence of bra-burning, man-hating, post-menopausal ‘feminists’ to guide me through it.

I won’t admit to being a Naderite in 2000. because I wasn’t. I voted Gore. And not because he was the lesser of two evils. I believed then, and I am more convinced now, that Gore would have made a more competent President than Clinton ever was, if for no other reason than he had far less severe Boomer psychodrama to live out on the world stage. Gore just wanted to live up to his Daddy’s expectations. Where as Clinton had (and may still have) to keep convincing himself that he wasn’t the poor little daddy-less fat kid by rutting with (or at least diddling with a cigar) every unfortunate female creature who’s scent he happened to latch onto.

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11 responses to “It’s the stupid Boomers that just might sink Obama

  1. I have to tell you, I get your point, but I think you might be overlooking one aspect. Within the boomer age group, there are demographics to consider. I find that those of us who are over 50, but educated, and, as such, more open minded culturally and ethnically, we are strongly in support of Obama. I find that there are plenty of people in the crowds visually that are supporting Obama in the boomer group. We tend to be highly educated, as in my case I hold a doctoral degree, and we have a comfort level with cultural diversity and the benefit of living in a pluralistic society. Those who are not in support of Obama, are either staunch Republicans, or Democrats that are coming from a very conservative or narrow perspective. I find it hard to believe anyone being honest with his or herself would not admit that Obama has much more to offer and is by far the candidate with the best plans to better our country and world. Good job with your challenging writing and hard hitting analysis.

  2. Please correct the line that says “Those who are in support of Obama are either…” to read “Those who are not in support of Obama are…”

    I apologize for the error. Thanks again. Citizen1955

  3. Point taken, Citizen 1955. And suggested change made.

    Still, as a GenXer, I have a difficult time letting myself become too optimistic, especially when it comes to relying on Boomers as a generation. Perhaps that is too much of a generalization, but still that is one way in which we look at these matters. At least, I do. And it seems to me so do many, if not most, people.

    I do not deny the existence of the subgroup within the Boomers of which you speak. However, one has to wonder just how large this subgroup is? Does it offset disappointed Hilary supporters? These numbers are difficult to pin down, I’m sure you would agree.

    I would venture that Obama pulls down the majority of highly educated people (ie those with masters or higher, perhaps excluding MBAs and a significant portion of Law Degrees) of all generations. But I can’t help thinking that this appeal of Obama’s works against him with the white, male, blue-collar demographic, which you can’t deny is significant. Why this should be always confuses me, but there it is.

    Like you, Citizen, “I find it hard to believe anyone being honest with his or herself would not admit that Obama has much more to offer and is by far the candidate with the best plans to better our country and world.” And yet my experienec, such as it is, suggests that people often are not honest with themseleves, are often drawn to a candidate for very narrow emotional reasons which defy logic and reason. It boggles the mind at times.

    In the end I am more optimistic now than I was before the Democratic Convention and since McCain made his reckless, reactionary, and even perhaps hysterical VP selection. Even so, I’m not holding my breath. After Obama is inaugerated (sp), I’ll celebrate a little, knowing that it will soon be a hard battle from then on as well. Nothing is going to come easy for the man as president, but I believe he is up for the task.

  4. Excellent post. See – I maintain that Gen Xers, who grew up without segregation, are more taken with Obama for his relative youth (compared wtih geezers) than his race. I really think his race is not a salient point with Xers, except in the regard that so many Xers are resentful of the cultural root of their disconent: the white male Baby Boomer boss – even if they themselves are white.

  5. Re: your comment on my site

    You should check out http://www.andrewhalcro.com

    Good info on issues regarding Palin, including the “dirty laundry” minus the personal family drama.

    I’m not a Palin fan (related to her work on a gas pipeline issue), but tend to think that some of the scandals surounding her are not that big of a deal to me. Troopergate? Eh, we’ll see what the investigation shows. I suspect there will be some evidence that Palin’s husband got out there and put some pressure on, though I doubt there were threats. The bro-in-law in question probably should have been fired long ago for the actions he took (drunk driving in a patrol car, using a taser on his son, among other things)…gotta love the good ol’ boys network, protecting one of their own.

    She really hasn’t been hard core as far as the traditional conservative social issues. She passed up two opportunities to take action on pro-life legislation. She *vetoed a bill that would have denied benefits to the same sex partners of state employees, stating that she thought it was unconstitutional. No push for abstinence-only education in our state, though I keep hearing that she’s a big fan of the concept.

    It’s fascinating to me to hear her portrayed as a right-wing religious zealot, because in AK, it’s the far right that hates her. The left kind of digs the woman, lol. 😉 She’s not been one to wear her social conservatism on her sleeve; she’s quite…reasonable, actually.

    As far as the personal stuff, well, I think they are just a normal family. The husband’s a blue collar kind of guy. He’s done some crazy stuff in his youth, I’m sure…so has my currently sedate 40-something husband, lol. Obviously the kids aren’t kept locked up 😉 I don’t know. None of that stuff really bothers me. But I find it interesting to see the furor and the reactions from the various sides of the arena.

    Stephanie

  6. Thanks for the response, Stephanie. Interesting stuff. And it is good to hear from someone from AK, who probably knows a heck of a lot better than the blovators on the cable news channels and blogs that really are not “in the know.”

    I’m with you. Most of the personal stuff doesn’t bother me. The trying to cover it up, if that’s what is going on here, does though. But I suppose that’s what politicians do. They aren’t about to change to statisfy lil’ ol’ me.

    Ultimately, I find the choice to be rather reactionary, if not hysterical. McCain is NOT running his campaign. Everything he does is in reaction to Obama, which is cool by me because I take that as a good sign that Obama is doing well, and likelty to win.

    Still. What if McCain does win? And what if something happens to him? There is his age to consider. Not to mention people die, Presidents included. Palin does not seem prepared to step into his shoes, and she needs to be from day one. Hell, she got herself caught on tape saying she does not even know what the VP does really. That kind of ignorance or even joking irks me. This is serious stuff here.

    In any case, your inights are appreciated.

    Thanks.

  7. Thank you for posting my comments. To be specific about your analysis, I agree completely that there is a much greater potential, and evidence to the same, that the GenXers are a major reason for Barack’s successful campaign to date. Actually, I believe that the youth (those between 18 and 30) are the key to our successful outlook. I am concerned that the college and young adult crowd will need to maintain their enthusiasm and show up at the polls in order to win this thing outright. I keep telling my four kids that are between 20 and 26, that they need to get all of their age-mates to enthusiastically make the polls on election day. With them, plus the GenXers, I am enthused about the probable victory. The age group I am in is a transition group, but tends to be too set on the past. We have to think in a new global manner and consider the needs of Americans, to be sure, but more than that, the global community is our concern as well. You have your finger to the pulse in your observations. Go Obama and may Palin show her true inexperienced colors tonight!

  8. To be sure American your children’s ages, aka Millennials, aka, Generation Y, will be a significant factor in this election. In the past, young people, mostly us GenXers, have been hung with the apathetic label, especially when it comes to politics, and not without reason. Of course, our lack of participation comes from some serious disillusionment in our leaders. As I, and plenty of other GenXers, like to say, Turning away in disgust is not the same as not caring. We give a shit. It would jut be nice to have a candidate worth giving a shit about. Finally, I think we have that in Obama. As much as that is possible.

    Anyhoo… my point was supposed to be that Millennials, who outnumber Generation X by almost double, have shown themselves to be quite involved and enthusiastic about this election. I hope that enthusiasm translates into votes at the polls come November. Obama is going to need them.

    For more on the subject of Millennials in this particular election, not to mention their possible role in future civic leadership, plus some stuff on other generation, Xer’s, Boomers, etc, check out the book Millennials Makeover. Good stuff.

  9. Hell the frick yes to everything. I am a bit passionate at the moment, so forgive me (hormones?).
    Love that you’ve set up your blog and have enjoyed your writings.

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