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Lauredhel is an Australian woman and mother with a disability. She blogs about disability and accessibility, social and reproductive justice, gender, freedom from violence, the uses and misuses of language, medical science, otters, gardening, and cooking.

31 Responses

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  1. Bene
    Bene at |

    I think you covered the salient points pretty well!

  2. Liz
    Liz at |

    I’m sad that Obama didn’t point out McCain’s own ties to ACORN. I wasn’t expecting him to bring up Liddy or Schenk but I hoped he’d make a gentle reminder to McCain that he’s supported ACORN too.

  3. earlgreyrooibos
    earlgreyrooibos at |

    Looking for video on this: McCain pooh-poohed a health/life exception on late-term abortion, and someone said he put “health of the mother” in air-scare-quotes. I was looking away from screen at the time.

    That moment made me just completely sick. I wanted to trash my TV. I can’t believe the level of condescension, of hatred for women, that he expressed in that moment.

  4. Liz
    Liz at |

    Otherwise, I loved the work Obama did up there.

  5. observer
    observer at |

    A question: the worm is split into men and women? Why? Do they do that at every debate at every election?

    Don’t recall stations doing that in Australia, although I could just be remembering wrong. I get that it provides demographic information but if you’re looking for votes from “people”, and are assuming that women and men are both people, it doesn’t seem entirely relevant. Is this something to do with the US electoral system? Why not let the candidates do their own demographic polling?

  6. fourthwave
    fourthwave at |

    Great summation.

    McCain smirked and look petulant and rolled his eyes. Obama was incredibly calm, and I like the substitution of “presidential” for “professorial,” which I never considered an insult until CNN pundits started flinging it around like one. Mind-boggling.

    My favorite moment? When Obama tried to take the high road by calmly explaining that no one wanted to hear them talk about their hurt feelings vis-a-vis campaign ads and that they should stick to the issues. McCain just made himself look like an ass as he kept harping on all the negative campaigning.

    And, yeah, the reaction shots were pretty great.

    fourthwaves last blog post..Debate Recap

  7. Quixotess
    Quixotess at |

    Why is no-one talking to Jane?

    Or Tyrone, or Daisuke, or Cho, or Xochitl?

  8. MsLaurie
    MsLaurie at |

    On a total sideline – I wonder why BO chose to wear a red tie, and JM chose to wear a blue one?

    I would have thought those colours would be considered a bit odd, given the political connotations, and for the other team as well! I wonder why not yellow or something? Strange.

  9. Beppie
    Beppie at |

    I wonder if the two campaign teams communicate with each other about things like tie colour and the way their families will be dressed, to avoid any embarrassing similarities in wardrobe?

  10. su
    su at |

    I think the use of “eloquent” may be yet another dog whistle – the phrase “eloquent liar” has been used quite a few times by Republicans to describe Obama. Totally in keeping with the rest of the thinly veiled nastiness.

  11. Rebekka
    Rebekka at |

    “A question: the worm is split into men and women? Why? Do they do that at every debate at every election?”

    It’s probably a lot more relevant in a US election than it would be in Australia. We have compulsary voting, so essentially everyone votes, and the overall percentages of who is going to vote for whom are all that counts. They don’t, and so they have complex information about *who* votes, as well as for whom they are likely to vote.

    In the 2004 US election, 60.1% of eligible women voted, as against only 56.3% of eligible men. So if you have an audience with a 50/50 gender balance and split them, you can then weight the results in terms of what they mean for actual voters more accurately.

    And of people who identify as Democrats, 58% are women. So it probably makes sense, really, in terms of trying to translate worm results to actual voting patterns – although of course the information still isn’t granular enough to give a really accurate picture.

  12. Quixotess
    Quixotess at |

    (Curious sideline: How heavily racially marked is “Tyrone” in the US?

    Heavily. Tyler is marked white for me too, by the way.

    On a total sideline – I wonder why BO chose to wear a red tie, and JM chose to wear a blue one?

    Red and blue are considered pretty strong colors, I think. Probably the patriotic undertones (a red and blue tie would be so very tacky.)

    Note that tonight, Cindy was wearing red and Michelle was wearing blue. For the last debate, though, it was the other way around. I’m left to think Beppie’s idea is right. Be a weird job, coordinating the outfits with the opposition.

  13. Amanda
    Amanda at |

    I agree with the outrage at the scare quotes thing on substance, but what I was struck by when it was happening was: why the hell is he playing solely to the the base like that? Is this the time? You picked Palin for them, you went after Ayres and Acorn for them — you need persuadable and independent women to vote for you! You can make the point — every one knows the fault line on abortion, nothing new there — in many ways. I guess their strategy really is just to hold the Bush states and forget about the swingers.

    On the undecided thing, I think they include in “undecided” people who will “probably” vote one way but indicate they could change their mind. I read a comment by the African-American man who asked the first or one of the first questions at the “town hall” debate and he said he told the people who rang him randomly he would be voting for Obama and when they asked if anything could change his mind he answered, “of course, anything’s possible.” And so he became undecided for these purposes. I presume that was the debate commission gathering those folks, and CNN gets the worm people (worm people, heh) but I imagine the same vague process goes on.

  14. theriomorph
    theriomorph at |

    - McCain lumped transplants and cosmetic surgery together as luxury health services only the rich should be allowed to have.

    This. Blew. My. Mind.

    I think I lost the next several sentences just trying to process the fact that he had just said that one.

    The man is unhinged. And again with the general look of profoundly ill health, utter lack of self-mastery so extreme it is impossible for me to even unleashing this man’s rage-tics, explosions, and juvenile behaviors onto a world stage, and relative unintelligibility next to Obama. The only thing keeping my pity in check is the very real danger he poses – and that’s not meant in a patronizing/dismissing way, but quite seriously. He is so f*cked up in so many ways it’s embarrassing.

  15. Theriomorph
    Theriomorph at |

    …’impossible for me to even imagine unleashing…’ that is. And this linky-ID. Sigh.

    Theriomorphs last blog post..The final debate.

  16. Renee
    Renee at |


    I had no idea that Australia has compulsory voting. After our recent pathetic turn out for the Canadian elections I think that might not be such a bad idea.

    As for the debate last night, to me Obama was the clear winner. When McCain went on about his hurt feelings after being compared to George Wallace I found it almost hilarious. Then he had the nerve to demand an apology. Yeah his supporters can say death threats while he and his running mate do nothing until forced to by the press but yeah he is no George Wallace.

    Renees last blog post..Tanglad On Microcredit

  17. Amanda
    Amanda at |

    I speculate that when he said “transplants” he meant “hair transplants”, since he also made that “joke” in the previous debate. But he screwed the gag up.

  18. observer
    observer at |

    Rebekka (and others) thanks for the detailed response, it makes more sense with that information. I was wondering why a geographic split wouldn’t make more sense, but with all that detail I understand now.

    On the wardrobe, all I’m thinking is red and blue are really good colours for TV – doesn’t matter what the background is, what the lighting’s like, they’re still strong, decisive colours and are very unlikely to clash with anything else.

    WRT compulsory voting in WA’s last election the turnout was the lowest since the 1930s, 89 per cent, if memory serves.

  19. Amanda
    Amanda at |

    Although technically it is not compulsory voting, but compulsory attendance at a polling place. You can go, get your name ticked off and leave without voting, if you want.

  20. Weekend News-Surfing « Sheffield Fems
    Weekend News-Surfing « Sheffield Fems at |

    […] From Hoyden About Town: Third Debate Thoughts, and Video of McCain’s air-scarequotes “health of the mother&#8221… […]

  21. “Health of the Mother”? | Feminism @ the Hathor Legacy

    […] making the rounds – over at Shakesville,The Curvature, Feministing, and Hoyden About Town – as it should be. Most of the sites I’ve linked to have the video of McCain puting […]

  22. wiggles
    wiggles at |

    McCain thinks that one of Palin’s qualifications to be President is “her husband’s a tough guy. Heh heh.” A definite Bush moment.

    What was that? He just threw it in there for no reason I could fathom. Then, when I started thinking about it, I figured he was probably apologizing for Jeff Palin’s not *wearing the pants in the family.* And I’ve noticed that they’ve been doing this with him. When I watch pro-Republican pundits talk about Sarah Palin, they often work in that Jeff Palin is a *laid-back guy* or the *strong, silent type* or something to that affect, to assure people that he performs masculinity in some dudely-sanctioned way even though his wife is in a more publicly powerful position.

  23. Linkfest: from steampunk to flamingos at Hoyden About Town

    […] have released a web video drawing attention to McCain’s sarcastic, sneering ” ‘health’ of the mother” air-quotes moment from the third presidential […]

  24. It’s Carnival Time! « Penguin unearthed

    […] And Lauredhel at Hoyden About Town pulls out John McCain’s air-quotes from the third debate about the “health of the mother” being a lame excuse for an abortion. Pre-eclampsia still is one of the leading causes of deaths of pregnant women in the first world (18% of US maternal deaths), as well as the third – Third Debate Thoughts, and Video of McCain’s air-scarequotes “health of the mother” . […]

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