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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Anti toxin

There's a hunger in the air.

It's understandable. Over here on the left, we've had eight solid years of being bitch slapped around from every direction -- the moderates, the far right, and, much of the time, from the mainstream media they seem to have so deeply in their pockets.

We are the few, the proud, the marginalized. We are deeply out of touch with how decent, hard working, God fearing Americans think, and what they want . We're extremists. We can't understand. We're elitists. We live in ivory towers. We just don't get it. We aren't Serious. We don't live in the real world. We're silly. We're foolish. Our expectations are ridiculous. We need to Get Real.

You can be friends with us, maybe, if you speak to us as if we were children and keep the conversation entirely attuned to casual pleasantries until we're safely out of earshot.

But we can never, under any circumstances, be allowed to govern.

We've heard that shit and we've HEARD that shit and WE'VE HEARD THAT SHIT for the last decade... longer, actually, given that Clinton was the least liberal/progressive Democratic President since WWI... and we're sick to death of it. The Serious People, moderate and grown up and realistic and down to earth and mainstream and decent and hardworking and God fearing... all those fabulous people have screwed things up so hard, so bad, for so long that there seems no end to the shit we're going to have to shovel once we get back into power. And they don't want to let us back into power. They're digging in, they're fighting tooth and nail. They're still telling us, at the top of their lungs while they look around frantically for anything heavy they can throw at us, that we're no good, that we can't be trusted, that we're not serious, that we're out of touch, that we're idealistic daydreamers and crackbrained sky pilots and under no circumstances can we be trusted in power.

So it's perfectly understandable. We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it any more, by the Jesus -- and when the people who have been insulting and abusing us for nearly as long as any of us can remember show us their soft white underbellies, well, we're going for the throat, dammit.

But we have to find the character within ourselves to resist this powerful, nearly overwhelming temptation.

Have to. HAVE TO.

We cannot personalize this ridiculous VP pick of McCain's. We cannot do it. We must not do it. Because, yes, it's all blatant political tactics and he's just throwing out red meat, yes he is... but not to his base. He's throwing the great big T-bones right into our laps... and the meat is poisoned, baby. We need to drop the chalupa and back away slowly.

If we take the bait... if we bite down hard, if we swallow it all hook, line and sinker... then McCain is going to win in November.


The Palin pick has already, to some extent, galvanized the religious conservative base. They don't care if Palin is competent or qualified to be Chief Executive, all they care about is, she's stridently, screamingly pro life. So with this pick, McCain's got them. He didn't have them before and wouldn't ever have had them if he'd put Romney on the ticket, but he's got them now.

But the far right Jesus huggers can't win the election for McCain by themselves. And the rage deranged Hillary dead enders won't put McCain over the top, either.

What will win him the election, though, is all the moderates and undecideds who are going to watch as we on the far left turn into 12 year olds in our exultant joy over McCain's 'misstep'.

Yes, indeed. The world is watching, folks. And every time some so called 'progressive' puts a post on the Internet calling Sarah Palin stupid, dumb, moronic, shallow, trailer trash, a bitch, a bimbo, a (derogatory slang term for the female genitalia), the world is going to hear about it... on Fox news, and CNN, and MSNBC, and through the larynx of every right wing dingdong with a talk radio beatdown gig. They will hear about it, and they will read about it on the New York Times and Washington Post and Wall Street Journal op ed pages, and many of them will be disgusted by our loutish, despicable, reprehensible behavior.

And they will associate our immaturity, our unprofessionalism, the sadistic glee with which we cruelly photoshop Sarah Palin's head onto the body of bikini wearing bimbos posing with machine guns... they will associate this with all progressives.

With all liberals.

With all Democrats.

With, y'know, that guy Obama, whom a lot of them are already inclined not to like anyway.

A lot of moderates and undecideds are just looking for a reason not to vote for Obama. Maybe they can't bring themselves to vote for McCain, but they do us nearly as much damage if they just stay home in November.

Plus, all those Christian conservatives we've been counting on to stay away from the polls out of disgust with Republican excesses during the Bush Administration? Ain't gonna happen, cap'n. A lot of those people are already back in the boat... for Sarah.

We start punching her in the face, over and over again, all over the Internet (and therefore, all over TV and talk radio and the editorial pages) and they will come riding to her rescue. Millions of 'em. Rolling in like thunder, full of righteous indignation, not just ready to vote for Sarah, but to volunteer for Sarah, to organize for Sarah, to phone bank for Sarah, to go door to door for Sarah, to march for Sarah, to blog for Sarah, to write op eds for Sarah, to donate money to Sarah.

We can talk about Governor Palin's lack of experience. We can talk about McCain's hypocrisy, about how she's nothing but a politically opportunistic pick on his part, about how it won't be good for America if she ends up taking one of those red phone calls at 3 AM, about how she's already mixed up in a corruption investigation and even at this moment she's scrambling to evade further due process on it until after the election.

We can shine a big light on why we feel she isn't qualified to be Vice President. All her political stuff is certainly fair game.

But we need to be professional. We need to show respect. We need to not attack her on the grounds of gender, of sexuality, of her parenting skills. We need to lay off her family and her kids. We need, especially, to not call names, to not hoot and cat call like freshman frat boys, to not sexualize her.

Make no mistake. McCain's pick is craftier than it looks, on the surface. Sarah Palin is no Thomas Eagleton, no matter how fervently we may wish otherwise, and she isn't going anywhere. She's a way for McCain to cement the support of his far right lunatic fringe base... but she's also bait. She's blood in the water. And right now, Karl Rove is sitting back and watching the feeding frenzy, and smiling, and smiling, and smiling.

Millions of crazy Jesus huggers were looking for a reason to vote for McCain, and he just gave them one.

Millions more moderates and undecideds wouldn't at all mind a reason not to vote for Obama.

Let's not serve one up on a platter... even a platter as tempting as Sarah Palin.


At 6:10 PM , Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

Brilliant. Although I only write for an audience that I can count on one hand, I will try to be more careful.

And I hope those with more eyeballs and more listeners will be careful as well. We cannot rise to this bait.

It makes me sad, as a person of the female gender, that this is happening, that essentially McCain is using her for bait. And people like Geraldine Ferraro are dangerous. One of the Hillary disaffected, she told NPR that she is still "considering" her vote. And I'm afraid that many women will follow. Women like Ferraro and Hillary ought to be raging ripshit about this pick -- a woman plucked out of nowhere when they have been paying their dues for years.

It also pisses me off that now the Obama camp's hands are tied. In the debates, no one can look like they're beating up on Sarah. if they use the inexperience tactic, their own only gets thrown back in their faces.

But no matter what we say, there are legions of liberal bloggers who will pour out just what the Republicans want. And I don't know that there's any way to stop them, you know, with that genie out of the bottle and all. I share your fears and your anger and hope that some measure of wisdom will be applied.

At 7:54 PM , Anonymous gil mann said...

Y'know what? It's my fault. I've been one of those people screaming "grow a spine" at the Dems for years, but I didn't realize that when you spontaneously generate a backbone it pokes right into your brain and makes you do unbelievably stupid shit like criticize a woman's decision to assume a position of power instead of staying home with her baby.

Now everyone's calmed down. They're all Fact-checking and "calling bullshit" on Palin's hate aria like good little tweedy liberals, as though even Republicans actually mistake that shit for the truth. Yep, now we're back to bringing a peer-reviewed study on handgun violence to a gunfight, and God is in His heavens.

If Democrats were bears, a decent bowl of porridge'd be damned hard to come by.

Sorry to blow pff steam here twice in as many days. I just can't believe we're headed for a three-peat.

At 3:40 AM , Blogger Doc Nebula said...


Thanks for nearly single handedly blowing the cobwebs out of my comment threads lately. I really appreciate it.


Please drop by to fume any time.

I don't think things are as gloomy for us you seem to. McCain has indeed energized his base with the Palin pick, but stop for a moment and take in exactly what this means. Up until now, the people behind his campaign have been trying to formulate some strategy that would let them swing undecideds and moderates to McCain's side, because it looked as if the truly crazy far right evangelical crowd was going to stay home in November in disgust over Larry Craig, Mark Foley, etc. Everything McCain has done to date has been about breaking off little hunks of Democrat demographics, while always, always, always targeting the undecideds, mostly by running up Obama's negatives to make up for the fact that McCain really has no positives at all.

By choosing Palin, and by emphasizing the things that make her appeal to the far right lunatic fringe, they've abandoned that strategy. She's brought the nut jobs back into the fold, but McCain has just ceded the moderates and many of the undecideds to Obama. In other words, he's embraced the same old Republican/Rove strategy that worked for them in two past Presidential elections -- get 47-48% of the vote, steal the other 2-3% you need.

But that strategy didn't work in 2006 and I don't think it will work in 2008. People really ARE fed up with the Republicans. Obama is a positive choice; he actually has something to offer an American electorate that is starved for substance. McCain is the same old, same old. Until now they've been desperately trying to hide that fact, but with Palin's pick, they've pretty much embraced it.

I would like to see more aggression from the Democratic Party in general... not on the Palin front (although keeping troopergate and similar things front and center in the media has to help) but I would like to see various Obama surrogates finding ways to constantly work names like Mark Foley and Larry Craig into every media appearance they make. Not to mention names like George Bush and Dick Cheney. I think if Obama hits the trail and starts doing what he does better than anyone else -- inspiring people -- and his surrogates strategically remind people every chance they get just why they are so goddam sick of the Republican brand name -- we've got this election in a walk.

Palin is a formidable pick for many reasons -- for all her essential intellectual shallowness, she seems to have an instinctive, near-genius level talent for political presentation. But she's flawed in many other ways, coming wrapped up in various different scandals and self evident hypocrisies that can be exploited by the press. (If evidence actually emerges to substantiate the recent rumor that she had a casual affair with one of her husband's business partners, then forget it -- she and McCain are dead in the water.) I can see why Rove would pick her; she's got everything McCain lacks (and I can see why a womanizer like McCain wouldn't mind having her close to him, either). But she's dangerous to them.

I also wonder if there isn't some kind of ticking bomb there in Cindy McCain. I have to figure that she isn't happy at all about Palin being on the ticket... although I suppose I could be wrong, given McCain's serial philandering to date that she seems to have tolerated.

Lastly, I have to presume that Palin is meant as window dressing only, and when it comes time for the people in power to discuss real policy, she'll be politely nudged towards the kitchen, to get snacks. That's how the Republican Party works. And I don't feature Sarah Palin as being the sort who will go along quietly with that. She's avariciously ambitious, and obviously very power hungry. Once McCain gets in, he is, of course, meant to be little more than a figurehead for the real Men of Power... and she, even more so than he. But while McCain will settle for the big office and a guaranteed place in history, I think Sarah will dig her heels in and buck for much, much more.

Not that the thought is enough to make me do anything but shudder at the thought of a McCain win in November. Still, I really don't think he has much of a chance. Obama is much MUCH more charismatic than he is, and as a general rule, in modern elections, charisma, especially electronic charisma, is the most important factor.

At 2:28 PM , Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

Palin also "bullet proofs" any attempt by Joe Biden to attack her in the debates. Just remember Rick Lazio debating Hillary Clinton and how she cried sexism when he stepped into her "personal space." I just hope Biden has sense enough to...well, I'm not sure how he's going to debate her.


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