Friday, September 5, 2008

The Boring Is Back

Even before Saint Paul turns back into whatever it was before the RNC turned it into a police state, the boring came back. The good people of the Twin Cities are relieved. But will the Xcell center ever be purged of the foul and hellish vapors it contained?

Boring as McCain’s acceptance speech was, it didn’t quite rise to the level of torture. But for those who couldn’t face it to the end, I can tell you what it said -- or rather what it said about how the Maverick’s handlers view the campaign. They think that thanks to the non-entity from nowhere, the useful idiots are on board, and that it’s now time to reach out to the “independents” – people dumb enough or uninterested enough or both to still be “undecided” about John McCain.

[Note: I too am “undecided,” but not between the lesser and the much greater evil. I still can’t decide whether to vote for Cynthia McKinney (for the sake of party building, though the Greens are going nowhere) or Ralph Nader.]

Tuesday and Wednesday were surreal – as the most odious Know Nothings in the Land of the Free were introduced to Dick Cheney’s and George Bush’s comrade from the North. Thus there was a certain buzz after Sarah Palin’s Wednesday speech, and not just because she’s a borderline hottie, as if those geezers in the funny hats would even know. For the benefit of a TV audience almost as large as Obama’s, she was made to keep her weirdest views under wraps, as she read the speech Bush’s speech writers gave her. She did it with pep and zing; no wonder she rose to the top of her PTA.

If the Democrats play it right, they would emphasize not only the obvious, that she’s a fly weight who is in way over her head, but also her weirdness. What kind of moose killer names children Track and Willow and the like? Check out her pastor, Ed Kalnis, too. The Republicans cast Obama as too “exotic” for people making under fifty grand a year, as if they care about people like that. But they do care about how they vote -- and promoting Obama’s “weirdness” is their way of getting them to vote wrongly for barely disguised racist reasons or, what comes to the same thing, for reviving the Willy Horton strategy of Papa Doc Bush. Of course, in the real world, the true outlier was ensconced up there in “Northern Exposure” land until Maverick McCain made a celebrity of her.

[Would that young Bristol and her dropout, hockey playing stud sell their stories to the tabloids. They plainly have it in them. And, if not them, Wassila, Alaska must be full of biddies eager for their fifteen minutes.]

McCain broke the mood. He gave a lackluster, “bipartisan” speech, tapped off by yet another account of his “character building” POW days. If only the Democrats would stop their prattle about what a hero he is (or was). The man volunteered to bomb and drop napalm on Vietnamese women and children; he fought on the wrong side. The U.S. has never quite came to terms with what it did to Vietnam, which is why the likes of John McCain are able to afflict our political culture to this day. In this respect, having been defeated more soundly, Germany and Japan were more fortunate.

This is why we must not let Democrats forget about the crimes of the past eight years when they take over. It’s the Democratic way to make peace with criminal miscreants “across the aisle.” Jimmy Carter did it in the glory days of the Vietnam Syndrome, and so did Bill Clinton after Iran-Contra. Were we to recognize that we have been defeated abjectly in Bush’s wars, it would help enormously in the years to come. But Obama et. al. will never quite admit defeat; they’re imperialist doves, not principled anti-imperialists, and it is not in the empire’s interest to appear defeated. Yesterday, Obama went so far as to concede to Bill O’Reilly (yes, him!) on Fox News (yes, there!) that the “surge” had worked, sort of. Of course, the surge hasn’t worked, and Obama knows it. This is a portent of things to come after the specter of McCain-Palin is defeated. It bodes ill.

There is however another tack, and it should be at the forefront of efforts to prevent the Obama administration from “surging” even further to the right. We must insist to those who went so far as to take impeachment “off the table,” that Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Rice and the rest of them, including the top brass at the so-called Justice Department, be brought to justice. A few days ago, in Florida, Joe Biden indicated that, at least for those in Justice, this is not out of the question. I never thought I’d say it, but – Bravo Joe! I’m afraid, however, that this is the last we’ll here of such matters unless we force the Pelosiites to deal with the issue.

If prosecutions are impossible here, then the malefactors should be turned over to competent international tribunals. But there is only one reason why that would be necessary – the pusillanimity, disguised as “niceness,” for which Democrats are famous. Now that the boring is back on the other side, it’s time to stop making nice and to ratchet up the pressure instead. Last night’s speech notwithstanding, McCain-Palin will be playing dirty for the next two months. Obama and Biden should hit them back twice as hard. More important, though, is what those of us on their left do. At the same time that we join in the struggle against a third Bush term (or worse), we should go after Carterian-Clintonian-Pelosiite niceness with equal or greater diligence and force. The Democrats will always be lesser evils, but they can be much less evil than they would otherwise be – if, but only if, we make them.

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