Obama Challenges Charlie Brown, Christmas, For the Spotlight

Photo used under a Creatives Commons license by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/" target="_blank">kevindooley</a>

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For many Americans, December 1 was a night to crowd around the fireplace, drink hot cider, and treat themselves to a once-a-year viewing of A Charlie Brown Christmas. But that very same night also featured a major policy speech by President Obama on the war in Afghanistan. Coincidence?

Arlington, Tenn. mayor Russell Wiseman doesn’t think so. Taking out his channel-surfing frustrations on (where else?) Facebook, Wiseman saw the speech’s timing as a carefully crafted ploy to blur the true meaning of Christmas:

“Ok, so, this is total crap, we sit the kids down to watch ‘The Charlie Brown Christmas Special’ and our muslim president is there, what a load…..try to convince me that wasn’t done on purpose” [sic].

As tends to happen, Wiseman issued a not-so-apologetic apology yesterday, calling his Facebook note “a poor attempt at tongue-in-cheek humor amongst friends.” Since when do politicians with social networking pages assume that what they post is just among friends? It’s not all bad news for the mayor, though. In fact, he seems well on his way to becoming the next Joe Wilson: The Memphis Commerical-Appeal notes that the statement has already inspired calls for a Palin-Wiseman ticket in 2012. His supporters have even crafted a can’t-lose campaign slogan: “We support Russell Wiseman and Sarah Palin because they stand up for liberty, Charlie Brown, and Christmas.”

If Obama’s plan is to drown out popular movies with policy speeches, he’d better buy Jon Favreau a fresh case of Sparks and start thinking seriously about tort reform and farm subsidies: ABC Family is currently on day 8 of its programming spectacular “25 days of Christmas” (mark your calendars: The Santa Clause 2 airs December 11).

So, dear readers, which Christmas special would you most like Obama to drown out next? And what should he talk about?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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