Online Journal
Front Page 
 Special Reports
 News Media
 Elections & Voting
 Social Security
 Editors' Blog
 Reclaiming America
 The Splendid Failure of Occupation
 The Lighter Side
 The Mailbag
 Online Journal Stores
 Official Merchandise
 Join Mailing List

Elections & Voting Last Updated: Sep 30th, 2008 - 00:51:32

Barack Obunny and Elmer McFudd
By Michael Hasty
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Sep 29, 2008, 00:08

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

The thought had occurred to me before, perhaps from something that I�d read, but the image was so striking as soon as they walked out on stage to shake hands with the moderator that I wasn�t able to shake it through the whole debate: Barack Obama, long, lean and debonair, looked just like Bugs Bunny, and John McCain, the hunched-over and stumpy old man, made a perfect Elmer Fudd.

I�d also never noticed before how much McCain sounded like Elmer Fudd (without the speech impediment). His voice has the same kind of high-pitched, sing-songy raspiness as Elmer�s; and he telegraphs his plans to trap Barack with the same kind of evil glints in his eye that Elmer displayed when he was cooking up a plan for the Wascally Wabbit.

McCain is more Nixonesque than Fudd, however, something else I�d never really noticed before. I hadn�t watched the Republican primary debates at any length, but in those, McCain�s essential creepiness just made him one of the crowd. You didn�t have the focus you did in Friday night�s debate. I also appreciated the split screen broadcast that let us watch the reactions of the candidates when the other one was speaking.

Obama usually looked like he was standing on the outside of the garden fence, holding a bunch of carrots. McCain was either deviously calculating when he was going to spring his next pre-planned talking point, nervously chuckling at his own jokes, or frantically fuming as his plans blew up in his face, and he�s watching Bugs Obunny escape again -- just like Elmer.

It wasn�t all a cartoon, though. At times I felt like I was watching one of the best presidential debates since Kennedy and Nixon (it�s heartbreaking to listen to those debates today, and hear them trying to outdo each other in how they are going to help the poor). Obama was his usual cool and highly prepared self, unflappably handsome and intelligent. You could really see the impressive young man who made so many early admirers think of him as a future president. Obama, for all his faults, has the real potential to be one of those transformative American presidents whose name is left on an historical era.

To give McCain his due, he was also better prepared than I expected, and he showed up to fight. Earlier in the day, I had written to my niece -- who was confused why McCain pulled the lamebrain stunt of trying to cancel the debate -- that I thought McCain really, in his heart of hearts, wants to lose the election and retire to his houses and cars in sunny, dry Arizona. He�s an old man.

But after watching last night, I no longer think that. This was an old man who was putting up a fight, a cantankerous old codger with an inbred sense of supreme privilege -- he�s owed for all those years he spent tortured in prison, the son of an admiral, no less -- and on transparent display throughout the debate was the boy his schoolmates, in their childish frankness, nicknamed �McNasty.� The reason McCain pulled the debate stunt is because he�s still the same person he always was, the guy investigator Cliff Schecter calls �the Real McCain:� the Naval Academy fuckup who couldn�t keep a plane in the air, even before he was shot down.

Senator, I knew Elmer Fudd. You�re no Elmer Fudd.

Michael Hasty lives on a farm in West Virginia, where he wrote a column for seven years for the Hampshire Review, the state�s oldest newspaper. In 2000, it was named best column by the West Virginia Press Association. His writing has appeared in the Charleston Gazette, Online Journal, Common Dreams, Buzzflash, Tikkun and many other websites. He publishes the blog, Radical Pantheist. He plays guitar and harmonica with the folk/gospel trio, the Time Travelers. Email:. radicalpantheist(at)gmail (dot) com.

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor

Top of Page

Elections & Voting
Latest Headlines
The GOP attack on democracy continues in Ohio
Election protection in Ohio (and America) isn�t over
A new political party is needed
The last ride on the Straight Talk Express
A day of rejoicing for the empire
�Let us shed tears of gratitude for this moment of grace. It will be brief.�
Will President Obama feel the pressure? (LOL)
An American awakening
From Bush to Obama: What a difference from 2000
Is it over for the neocons or for the American people?
Can the grassroots Internet-based election protection movement win the White House?
How business can help insure a smooth election
Report from the front
The sounds of voting -- and check writing
The racism of McCain . . . and Obama . . . and the media
DOJ�s internal watchdogs probing leak of ACORN investigation
Beware the twin towers of electronic election theft
Vote independent or boycott the elections
How would our silent soldiers cast their final ballot?