Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Mills of the Gods

As one McCain aide put it: "We either get Hillary's voters and we win, or we don't. It's not a mystery."
McCain's decision prompts one important question: Huh?

Of course this is a cynical ploy to pick up women voters. The uniquely Republican twist is the way they always choose someone who has no experience or expertise. Because to do otherwise would imply that someone who is not a rich white guy might have intelligence and skills and contributions to make. Thus, the Republican devotion to tokenism.

The impetus is in the quote above. I suspected it, and now it's confirmed.

They have fallen for their own spin, and they don't know it.

The right-wing's reshaping of the media discourse to their own ends has now come full circle. The feverishly faxed talking points about "Democratic disunity" and the "hard core Hillary supporters are going for McCain" have led to this choice. They have acted on their own lies as though they are true.

Those who dwell in a hall of mirrors shouldn't throw stones.

Just as the religious right's prayers for rain during the big outdoor Democratic convention rally has led to a hurricane disrupting the Republican convention. Haven't they learned that vindictive prayers boomerang back on the vicious supplicant?

Probably not, since that is a Wiccan concept. Meanness is an essential component of these faux Christians.

I see this move as an indication that the Republicans, always susceptible to living in worlds that do not exist outside of their pointed heads, have given up harsh reality altogether and have started believing their own lies. Did they forget that this "disunity" talking point was their own creation? That the usual primary hurly-burly of their opponents was only supposed to be spun that way for their own purposes?

Seemingly so.

The Greek philosopher Sextus Empiricus wrote "Though the mills of the gods grind slowly, Yet they grind exceeding small." I have held to this truth these past eight years, more tightly than I had imagined when this wild ride began. There were times when I worried that I would not be around to see that fine grind being sacked up and brewed.

But this karmic cup is steeping just fine, and I look forward to the creamy moment when McCain gets Mondaled. His own most potent talking point for the low-info voter, the claim that Obama doesn't have the experience for the job, has been deeply undercut by his own choice for vice president. And the "heartbeat away" in question has never been so old, unhealthy, and cranky.

Because in making what, for Republicans, is a historic and atypical choice of a woman running mate, they have validated the ability of a woman to run for high office. Not this woman, certainly, because her education, accomplishments, and experience, taken together, is sadly lacking.

But the concept has been planted in the pointy heads. And that's another unexpected consequence they aren't thinking about.

I suppose if John McCain thinks women should leave the kitchen, put on shoes, and stand by to be our President, that's an indication that Republicans think women are capable of the same kind of decisions and responsibility previously only conferred upon rich white guys.

Though, knowing McCain's previously stated position on equal pay for equal work, Palin's vice presidential salary will only be $170,247.

So there.

(Techie note: This post was created and published through the Firefox Add-on Scribefire, a multi-blog publishing tool I highly recommend.)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Cold Calculus of Republican Rule

One of the things I hold most against the Republicans is the way they have contaminated the culture; the hive mind, if you will.

Civilized behavior is held together by the thinnest, yet strongest, of threads. What is expected of us is often indefinable, only occasionally overt, but exerts its influence in thousands of ways.

The Republicans have lobotomized our public discourse and given aid and comfort to the most hateful and unhinged elements of our society. Still, some of its greatest crimes have crept up on us, unnoticed, until we find ourselves hostage to that greatest of Republican gods: mammon.

The Republicans allow corporations to do whatever they want.

And so, they do.

Just today, I was made aware of the terrible ordeal of the lab mix, Chai. His person gave him a Pimple Ball with bell, made by Four Paws. He wound up having to have his tongue amputated, and is now permanently maimed.

It took a boycott to get the company to recall this product, even though Chai was not the only dog injured by the defective toy. Even though they had vet records. Only this morning did the recall notice go out, even though Chai had been injured June 22, 2008.

Well, at least the defective toy is off the market, right?

Yes, it is. But the company knew the toy was defective earlier. It had so injured Cole, another lab mix, that he had to be euthanized.

In July of 2005.

For three years they left this still-defective toy on the market. They didn't fix it. They didn't recall it. They just told Cole's owner it was a freak accident.

And that was all they did.

Perhaps it seems a bit much to blame Karl Rove and the Bush Administration for this. But I do. Because they have encouraged corporations to feel they are not only above the law, but above any standards of corporate responsibility.

Sending our troops into battle without proper equipment? Giving prescription drugs a fast track to approval, even if they have deadly side effects? Letting our produce be contaminated with deadly bacteria? Letting our toddlers chew on lead? Letting our pets die from contaminated food, and, now, defective toys?

Well, see, it's just too expensive to prevent these kinds of things. Money is for beachfront condos and fabulous outfits and shooting penned birds and yachts.

Money is for taking from us.

And killing those who cannot afford to live.

Outraged by Chai's story? Good! Visit my Action Page.

And for a sad look at the wildlife policy of McCain's new vice president choice, see here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Listen to McCain

As beautifully summed up by Frank Rich, "McCain increasingly resembles those mad Japanese soldiers who remained at war on remote Pacific islands years after Hiroshima."

But what about the people who don't see McCain that way? Who are scared of change? Who want the "old days" back?

That nostalgia for the old days isn't because the old days were so good. In older people, it's increasingly a stand in for what they used to be, and no longer are.

So we can't reach people who are clinging to McCain the way they used to cling to their blankie.

But people who, despite the odds stacked against them with the TV Talking Heads and the overwhelmingly negative coverage of Obama, are still trying to find something that will help them choose a candidate they feel comfortable with: They should listen to McCain.

He's outright telling people what he's going to do. Is it stuff they want?

Bringing back the draft? McCain was enthused about a woman's suggestion that the draft is the only way to keep all these wars going. He loves the idea of more warm bodies for his foreign policy, which is:

Fighting an endless series of wars? His plan is to fight wars for oil, wars for other countries who disagree with us, wars as the solution to any foreign policy problem.

Increase the national debt? McCain's economic policy does nothing to address our staggering debt. In fact, he'll increase it, because:

Tax cuts for everyone, only the rich get most of it?
Under his tax plan, the middle class, which he defines as anyone not making $5 million a year, will get tiny cuts, while the rich, like him, get massive cuts. He's not worried about pumping his own gas, because his energy plan:

Energy policy that will offer only psychological relief? Yes, let's drill everywhere. Even though he admits it won't bring gas prices down. But people who already have a lot of money, like Exxon, will make more that way. He doesn't care when prices for gas and food are high, because he says:

People who struggle to make their bills are whiners. The man in charge of his economic policy called anyone in difficulties "whiners" whose money problems were because they were in a "mental recession."

Keeping our present health care system to make insurance companies rich? That's what his tax breaks for health insurance scheme is. We get a tax break to pay rich insurance companies for junk insurance, and our taxes then go to profit, not anything we can use to make our lives better. Does he suggest legislation to make sure the insurance companies actually insure people and pay up when these people need health care? Not that I've heard.

Skip all his talk of honor and change and experience. What he promises to do is right there in his words.

A country racked by debt and economic turmoil, where people are poor and desperate enough to sign up for more war, all the time, with a draft for the slackers and no help for those who aren't of any use to his crazed chess game with lives.

That's what he's promising. Listen to what he'll actually say he'll do.

And decide if that's something you want.