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Monday, October 20, 2008



just sixteen days left, and near-certain collapse for the thousand-year reich "permanent republican majority" is predictably bringing out the very worst in all things republican.

first the national review:

"Obama professes a love for this country. One needn’t doubt his sincerity to grasp that what he loves is a vision of America, not America as she is. The object of his affection is not our Unum, the glorious inheritance we Many cherish through generations past, present, and (one prays) future. For The One, that One earns only disdain. Eroding it has been his life’s work.

Move through Obama’s career as a community organizer, his embrace of ACORN, his radical associations: the common denominator is a purpose to break down the Unum at its foundations, what he calls the “grass-roots.” For America, he plans an atom bomb.

Or, to be precise, an atoms bomb: countless communities in cities and towns across the land, organized along the Marxist principles of Saul Alinsky into socialist enclaves. Each atom smothers the individual freedom and enterprise that have defined the American character, replacing them with welfare states that prize dysfunction and reward the rabble-rousers. To be sure, there is an Unum that Obama sees. It is in his mind’s eye — clearer on the horizon now than when he began his project 23 years ago. It will arrive when the atoms reach critical mass and finally devour the hollowing carcass of our present society ..."

such mindless ranting won't bear the weight of commentary. and a doozy from the self-appointed jean-paul marat of neoconservatism (or is that krauthammer?), rush limbaugh, on colin powell's support of obama.

"I thought it should be about race," he said. "I thought you liberals thought this was a historic candidacy because finally we are going to elect a black guy…why hide behind this, why act like it's not about race?"

"This was all about Powell and race, nothing about the nation and its welfare," Limbaugh added.

because apparently, as andrew sullivan also notes, from the perspective of those who put party and power before country, you cannot be a thoughtful conservative and vote for The Other Party regardless of how pitiful the state of the GOP or its candidates may be. the unfortunate likes of limbaugh and coulter will not find gratification short of inciting civil violence, a possibility that they are either too narrowminded to grasp or immoral enough not to care about. let us all hope it does not come to that, in spite of the incendiary sociopolitical conditions.

in case there was doubt, degeneracy isn't limited to the media flacks -- read this interview with mccain campaign director mark salter, who blames impending failure on that liberal media.

JG: We've talked in the past about narratives, and what narrative the press is looking for with McCain --

MS: Look, Obama is blaming the "deregulators," George Bush and John McCain, for creating this whole mess, when everyone knows how this mess got started: people pushing sub-prime loans on people who can't afford to pay them back. That's how it got started. Which party is more culpable for that phenomenon? The Democrats! The Democrats are. We say, if you want to pin political blame pin it on the Democrats for the Community Reinvestment Act and all the things they did protecting Fannie and Freddie, a position Barack Obama wholly shared. But what do we get in the media? That Rick Davis lobbied for Fannie Mae. We get no competing narrative.

as regards the credit crisis, it either hasn't struck salter that he's wrong or he's simply hewing to the only explanation that has tested well in focus groups to let the republican party off the hook for their heavy share of culpability regarding the origins of the financial crisis -- of which trouble at the GSEs is merely a symptom -- or both.

anyway, the vitriol and mendacity will be over soon, or at least will subside to its pre-election background level. i'm certain it would be similarly insufferable were the party roles reversed, but to observe the final flailing days of any national campaign somehow never fails to disappoint even the lowest expectation -- and thereby reaffirm my lack of faith in demotic politics.


here's another one for the time capsule -- first-term representative bachmann is what politico is too kind to call a media whore. and in that she is obviously not alone, including members on both sides of the aisle. but if any significant proportion of the republican party leadership really subscribes to the view that plenty of democratic congresspeople and senators are anti-american, the grand old party can truly have nothing better happen to it that twenty years in the political wilderness.

one would like to believe that the citizens of the sixth district of minnesota would be wise enough to find themselves better representation. more from crooks and liars, which documents the visceral response of the obviously anti-american katrina vandenheuvel:

Chris, I fear for my country. I think what we just heard is a congresswoman channeling Joe McCarthy, channeling a politics of fear and loathing and demonization and division and distraction. Not a single issue mentioned. This is a politics at a moment of extreme economic pain in this country that is incendiary, that is so debased, that I'm almost having a hard time breathing, because I think it's very scary. Because this is a country I love, and this woman had no sense of the history of this nation, which is one of struggle, of trying to fulfill the great ideals of this nation, of movements that have brought about the civilizing advances of this country, and she doesn't even know who Saul Alinsky is -- a community organizer who channeled the views of the people from below.

I think Barack Obama is going to win, and he's going to have a lot of work because there is an extremism unleashed in this nation which you just heard on this program, which could lead to violence, and hatred, and toxicity. And against the backdrop of the Great Depression we're living through, it could lead -- and I don't use this word lightly -- to a kind of American fascism, which is against the great values of this nation, and which people like that are fomenting.

i couldn't agree more -- and it is indeed frightening when the elected officials of the republican party are so convincingly fascistic as to align my views with those of the editor of the nation.


Whenever two candidates are racially different, you can allege that every vote cast for either is "about race": how could such an allegation be disproved?

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it cannot, and that is the seed of doubt upon which limbaugh launches his exploitation.

but what makes it scandalous is not that he imputes race as a motive -- he makes it the motive, as though there could be no other. and this is clearly designed to discount not just powell's decision but him as a political or intellectual figure -- casting him as a racist, irrational and of The Other.

i won't go so far as to say that limbaugh is a racist -- indeed, i doubt he means to imply that every black man's opinion of any other black man is more or less solely motivated by race.

but this does exposes (again) limbaugh for what he is -- as marat was, a shameless exploiter of weaker men's silly fears.

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