Tuesday, October 7, 2008

#90 The Campaign Lately--Words That Haunt

My words, that is. I was hopeful back in mid-August (#48) that I could be everso proud of our candidates for national office, and show those "snooty Chinese" that the American system of government (in such profound contrast to theirs--despite their world-class Olympics) could produce world-class, would-be world-leaders from either party (or even one or two more--though Nader's a bit of a joke this time), and in either the Prez or VP position.

How have those hopes been dashed! I should sound the partisan-alert here, but I won't, because I think that, except for the most blinkered, evangelical Republicans, most everyone would agree that the campaign on both sides is plumbing toilet-flushing depths. But let the "blame-game" begin. (Divigation: I hate that facile term of denial, a smoke-screen glibly invoked by those most often blame-able. E.g: the Katrina aftermath, where the term became au courant--but come on, somebody's got to take responsibility for bad behavior.)

Who "started it"? By my lights, the drain started to clog with McCain's choice of running-mate. The standards for reasoned political debate were thereby axiomatically lowered. Sarah Palin = world-class leader? Ha, of course. But she was not even, as it turns out, a very good mayor of her tiny-toon town, or yet, in her short tenure, an exceptional state-governor. And could her administrative venues be any more on the primitive borderlands of American politics than they are? She can even see Siberia, wink-wink. I had some problems with Biden, but he has more than redeemed himself, in my opinion.

So now it's come down to the guilt-by-association and thinly-veiled race-baiting tactics--"Is he a person that Americans would want to vote for?" ... "Just who is Obama, anyway?" (or some such)--ask the McCain ads. Obviously, Barack HUSSEIN Obama is an unpatriotic, black-radical from the Sixties (the Ayers thing, when Obama was 8 years old!). Well, somebody recklessly let the dogs out. For now the past peccadilloes of Palin and especially McCain become "fair" game. SHE can be linked to the anti-American, secessionist Alaskan Independence Party, and HE to some right-wing, white-supremacist organization of long ago. And they deserve it.

But it's much worse than that for McCain. As I pointed out in my 9/5 post (#65), McCain couldn't very well bring up much more than Republican platitudes about domestic policy in his RNC acceptance speech, especially about the Economy, because it might remind people that he was directly involved in the "Keating 5"/Savings-and-Loan scandals (second only to the one of late) of the early 90s, which cost the taxpayers billions, and for which he and his four congressional co-conspirators got off way-too lightly. Infuriatingly so. It was out-and-out influence-peddling. All of this led to the huge (for its time) unprecedented (for its time) federal BAILOUT of 80 billion or so. Talk about cosmic convergence! McCain will be hoist by his own foul-smelling petard. He was even quoted at the time as saying that no matter how the thing came out, his gravestone would somehow have "Keating 5" etched upon it. How words can haunt.

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