Thursday, September 25, 2008


Remember the guy in the chicken suit who shamed Poppa Doc Bush into debating? Where is he now that we need him?

Suddenly, John McCain, the most AWOL Senator in Washington, discovered that the economic crisis, of which he knew nothing less than two weeks ago, is so grave that he must suspend his campaign -- and, of course, miss the first debate (where his doddering, off-the-wall performance would likely convince anyone with eyes and ears, not just George Will, that the man is manifestly unfit for much of anything) – to return to the Senate to help steer the ship of state to a “bipartisan” consensus. Last night, McCain got “help” from the man he’s been desperately trying to distance himself from, the despised and despicable Bush boy, the lamest of all possible ducks. Bush appeared on television, reading a speech designed to boost Treasury Secretary (and Goldman-Sachs mole) Paulson’s sales position by encouraging panic. Thus, in capping off the worst presidency ever, Bush will go down as the anti-FDR. It’s the “War on Terror,” on Afghanistan, on Iraq all over again – but ratcheted up. “Nothing to fear, but fear itself” – No way! Instead, get really scared! Has there ever been a more unpresidential, more unseemly address to the nation? But not to worry since the time is long past that anyone, including Republican legislators, take much notice of what the Bush boy says.

The Democrats, including Obama, still show signs of developing a backbone; at least they haven’t yet given in to the extortionists. Of course, later today or tomorrow they may well capitulate (“compromise”). But they do have a golden opportunity, if they seize it. Whether or not the Maverick shows up for the debate tomorrow night in Oxford, Mississippi, the event is bound to work for the Democrats’ good. Moreover, if Obama remains cool and resolute, if he rises to the occasion, it should strengthen the Democrats’ resolve not to cave entirely. That’s a big “if,” of course, but maybe the sheer symbolism of the event’s location will force him to be resolute. In 1962, a year after Obama was born, Oxford was the site of deadly riots when James Meredith became the first black student to enroll at Ole’ Miss. Now, forty-six years later, an African American will be welcomed there to deliver what could be a decisive blow in the race for President of the United States!

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How bizarre this race has become, especially since the stupendously unqualified Sarah Palin exploded upon the scene! On the eve of debate #1, we ought to be deriding the organizers for shutting out dissenting voices – Ralph Nader’s, Cynthia McKinney’s, even Bob Barr’s. With the debate scheduled to be about foreign policy, we ought to be criticizing Obama and, especially, Joe Biden for their god awful, quasi-neocon views on the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. Of course, it’s typical that, as election days draw near, the temptation to circle the wagons around Democrats becomes overwhelming. This time, it’s happening with a vengeance – because it’s looking more and more like a McCain-Palin presidency would be even worse than a third Bush-Cheney term; worse, in other words, than the worst of the worst. McCain is more bellicose even than Cheney, and Palin is more theocratic (and whacky and ignorant) than anyone in public life. The two of them are at least as disdainful of civil liberties and Constitutional restraints as the miscreants they would succeed. It puts (small-d) democrats in a bind.

Of course, the debates should be opened up; of course, the Democrats are reprehensible. But the first order of business, it is increasingly seeming, is to smash the very prospect that that out of control non-maverick Maverick might park himself in the Oval Office, while a nothing from nowhere waits in the wings. Chicken suit man, find McCain and start clucking! But don’t look for him in Washington just yet. He and la Sarah will be visiting with his pal Bill Clinton this afternoon. Evidently, it’s only around debate time tomorrow night that his presence in Washington becomes indispensable.

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