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Okay, maybe the Saturday Night Live people were kissing up to McCain last night, and I’m a huge Olbermann fan, but this Ben Affleck rendition is hilarious!
I suspect Olbermann himself will agree, and air it on his show tomorrow night. I’ll be looking forward to his comments.
I never did understand the turning head to another camera thing, and SNL makes a lot of hay out of it.
Basically because she’s a rancher and they believe the district is still conservative. No discussion of any of the issues in the endorsement.
Whether she beats Clif is a question of turnout.
As an apparent bone thrown to progressives, the TS also opposes proposition 8.
Lynden is a town in Whatcom County, which occupies the northwestern corner of the State of Washington. Lynden is a few miles north of Bellingham, just off the Guide Meridian and a few miles south of the Canadian border. It’s a Dutch colony of sorts, and very religious – churches everywhere (at one time holding the world record for churches per capita, the big one being the Dutch Reformed) and some very odd blue laws. A dairy town, they actually flourished during the Great Depression and interpreted their comparative affluence as favor from God for their piety. The town is very clean, nicknamed “Tidytown,” and in fact there is an ordnance which requires regular mowing. If you don’t mow often enough, the city will do it for you and bill you (nobody has ever challenged that one in court, or I suspect it would not be upheld).
There is an ordinance which disallows dancing at establishments which sell alcohol. Over the years students have come from Bellingham to test the legal definition of “dancing,” but nobody ever called the police on them.
An ordinance also bars the selling of alcohol on Sundays, although according to Wikipedia the law became ineffective just a few days ago.
Blue laws aside, there has traditionally been a very strong religious culture which frowned upon any sort of productive labor on Sunday. Some of the stores are closed on Sunday, and the dissenting stores have had pressure put on them in the past.
A couple of decades ago I lived in the area and made my living as a substitute teacher. I met a teacher’s aid who had moved from New York. She wasn’t liberal politically, but she wasn’t particularly religious either. So one Sunday morning when she was hanging laundry she was approached by a group of neighbors who asked her to cease and desist with the plea: “please respect our beliefs.” Her response, being a single mom, was to allow them to do her laundry for her on another day, Sunday being her day off. Their response was to point out that she had Saturday, and it didn’t faze them when she responded that for some people Saturday is the Sabath as well and she would be offending their beliefs. Those people weren’t in the neighborhood.
I subbed for Lynden High School on numerous occasions. At one point I helped a biology class review for a test and brought up the famous memory strategy for the classifications (to remember kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species you say “kings Phillips came over for good sex”), the next few moments were occupied by an awkward silence, a couple of giggles, and a quiet but clearly discernible voice towards the back saying “pervert.” Now, I couldn’t really complain as the particular designation wasn’t entirely inaccurate, but it was a definite “Toto-we’re-not-in-Oz-anymore” moment.
I read the Lynden Tribune regularly, and after an elderly woman submitted a letter to the editor in favor of the reinstatement of national prohibition based upon her very favorable memories of the 1920s, I drafted a very diplomatic letter suggesting to her that what worked for the high moral standards of her community wreaked havoc in other places such as Chicago. My elderly neighbor was a friend of hers who later informed me that she appreciated the tone of my letter.
Though I lived about 5 to 10 miles out of town, shortly after my letter’s publication I received a knock on my door. A youngish minister was on my doorstep, with a sincere smile, having “happened” in my neighborhood and wanted to invite me to his church. “No pressure.” Just a chance to “meet some people.” I was pretty young, but I’d already enough life experience to realize that one invitation leads to a follow-up, and the second nor third invitation would be any easier to reject. He parted repeating “no pressure,” and informed me that the invitation was “always open.”
The local joke among Bellingham’s progressives at the time was, and probably remains, that the reason the Netherlands is so liberal is that all of the country’s reactionaries moved to South Africa and Lynden. The community had been at odds with other parts of the county for decades, with some notable confrontations between the Dutch Protestant dairy farmers and the Slavic Catholic fishermen on the coast – the latter community probably being no less religious, but considerably less, for lack of a better term, ordered. Through the Sixties Bellingham was a favorite destination of hippies looking for rural areas to settle down and some of the politics resembled those of my current residence location of Humboldt County, California – that is to say polarized.
In addition to my substitute teaching, I worked for an afterschool program funded by the local Native American tribe, the Nooksack. Being fresh out of college and idealistic, I wanted to know about their traditions, including their religious practices. Every time I asked about them, the individual would politely change the subject, probably as the result of decades of visits much like the one I described above.
That was about the time of the World Expo in Vancouver, BC, which drew people from all over the country funnelled right through Whatcom County. They saw how beautiful it is there, and the county has grown exponentially ever since. Demographics are chaning, and while the vans and vanders used to make the “v” section of the telephone book the largest, even Lynden is running into some changes. Even when I was there, rap music was the favorite of many of the teenagers, and I don’t think the drug usage was any lower there than other parts of the county. Some of the kids were even into drugs. And many were not religious. I suspect it has changed even more since I left. Crime has increased, even a somewhat sensational story about a “drug tunnel” into Canada made national news a few years ago (a dumb stunt so soon after 911). As an activist for the Rainbow Coalition in the wake of the 1988 Jackson campaign, we had willing mailing list participants within the city limits.
But as the “Tidytown” link indicates, it’s still very conservative. McCain signs are all over the place, and Palin is probably even more popular (the poll on the paper’s website tells the story unless you’ve all freeped it before the latest reader gets there). The background is important to realize the significance of this remarkable endorsement from the Lynden Tribune.
For President, we reluctantly give the nod to Barack Obama. Both candidates’ campaign mantra is “change” and Obama is most qualified to deliver on this promise. It will not be easy to break the gridlock in Washington, but his effort in bringing together a divided Democratic Party to secure the nomination shows he is able.
This country is in a crisis, and Obama’s temperament, intelligence and judgment shown over the past 22 months give Americans a reason to hope and change.
Senator John McCain, an American hero in our eyes, would have gained our vote had he followed his maverick instincts and chosen Joe Lieberman as his running mate. Instead, he caved in to the far right pressure of the Republican Party and picked the Alaska governor, Sarah Palin. Her ratings may be very good in Alaska, but we don’t believe she is prepared to preside over the Senate or, more importantly, lead the country if something happened to McCain.
Now, there may be Hell to pay for this endorsement. It may be that the paper hired some out-of-town bigshot who doesn’t understand local values and all that. But it might also reflect the sentiments of the less ideologically inclined of this community. And you don’t get more “anytownish” than this town. This town would do well in western Pennsylvania. Or southern Ohio. Or suburban Kansas City. Check out the down ticket endorsements on the page linked above. Check out some of the past editorials. The editor is not liberal.
The bottom line – McCain may have lost the election on the morning of August 29, 2008.
The photo with the obvious clue as to the ethnicity of much of the city come from the Chamber of Commerce site.