"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Monday, October 20, 2008

Don't cry for me Arizona

(in which I analyze, predict and offer sage advice on the U.S. political scene)

I don't want to jinx anything, but the Obama campaign seems to be an unstoppable juggernaut - anytime a Democratic presidential nominee can draw back-to-back crowds of 100,000 and 75,000 in Missouri, you have to figure the Republicans are going to get worried, especially when they are drawing far smaller, far crazier crowds.

Like I said, I don't want to jinx anything and I probably won't relax until about Obama's third State of the Union address, but the Republicans appear to be giving up on McCain -- pundit rats are leaving the sinking ship and the right wing nuts are about to go all Viet Cong on the rest of the country, skulking off into their spiderholes stocked with canned Cheetos and ammunition to write dogwhistle screeds for New Republic, the Washington Times and Regnery calling for decent, Jesus-loving, white Americans to rise up against their socialist oppressors before the black helicopters arrive with the UN occupation troops.

Newt Gingrich is already setting the narrative for his attempt to renew his Contract on with America in 2012. The new Republican narrative is going to go like this: "Filthy liberal terrorist fellow traveller Barack Obama ( who is a black African "mask Muslim" negro) stole the 2008 election from (white) Maverick POW War Hero John McCain, an all-American (white) War Hero who was a Maverick hero military pilot and POW (and a WASPy white Christian) with the help of the terrorist-loving liberal Mainstream media, pointy-headed intellectuals who graduated from elitist secular liberal colleges, liberal secular elitist universities and public high schools, socialist James Bond villain gazillionaire George Soros and trashy, liberal, elitists coughJewscough in Sodom and Gomorrah Hollyweird. ACORN stole all the votes everywhere we lost. It was fixed. We was robbed. Obama isn't really the president, he's not even an American."

Assuming that some knuckledragging goniff doesn't lurch forward from among the great unwashed and murder the president on the orders of Jesus (and who wouldn't like to have the contract to supply the Secret Service with Depends now that every bald guy in a ski vest on the ropeline is going to look like a skinhead suicide bomber at first glance) Newt or Skeeter or Jeb or whoever will spend the next four year trying to convince Americans that the Democrats are responsible for losing Iraq ("If it hadn't been for those damned dirty hippies, John McCain would have won that war and gas would be 50 cents a gallon") raising taxes on hard-working American oil executives and corporate vice presidents ("He's redistributing wealth, that's class warfare - you know who else engaged in class warfare? Stalin!") and allowing swarthy foreigners to steal jobs.

The economy will just be emerging from the current disaster (which everyone knows was the Democrats fault) and because of the cost of the bailout and wars the Democrats won't be able to afford to do anything about education or health care -- they will be lucky to balance the budget by 2020 at this point, which of course will prove how financially irresponsible they are. ("They nationalized the banks! You know who else nationalized the banks? Mao!")

Now, none of this works if the McCain-Palin ticket gets elected and further screws things up. You thought Iraq was a gigantic clusterfuck? Wait until McCain invades Iran, Syria, Jordan and Spain. They will drop the country from the frying pan into the fire and throw gasoline on the fire and then nuke the fire from an orbital war satellite. You think I'm being pessimistic ? Wait until they start saying the pledge of allegiance at sporting events and requiring Muslims, gays and liberal arts degree holders to attend mandatory bible classes. Wait until they privatize the departments of the interior, education, health and human corporate services and put Rush Limbaugh in charge of the FCC.

But none of this is going to happen.

John McCain is not going to win.

He is a sacrificial jackass. The Republican pundits know it. The Republican money men know it. The RNC knows it. The Democrats are starting to figure it out, hell even John McCain is starting to figure it out. How else do you explain his appearance on Fox New Sunday this week? You can smell the fear just reading the transcript on the internet. He must have had a case of flop sweat that left salt stains under his arm pits. After yammering himself into an apoplectic froth for ten minutes about how he didn't care about William Ayers and Barack Obama possibly being gay lovers or cannibals or something, whatever, he doesn't care, he's not interested in slinging mud at that terrorist-loving secret muslim socialist, it's not an issue -- McCain had this to say about the possibility of not winning:

WALLACE: As we said at the beginning of this interview, you are behind in this race, but you are a fighter. You have been your whole life.
Have you considered — have you even dealt in your mind with the possibility that you could lose, and could you live with that?
MCCAIN: Oh, sure. I mean, I don't dwell on it. But look. I've had a wonderful life. I have to go back and live in Arizona, and be in the United States Senate representing them, and with a wonderful family, and daughters and sons that I'm so proud of, and a — and a life that's been blessed.
I'm the luckiest guy you have ever interviewed and will ever interview. I'm the most fortunate man on earth, and I thank God for it every single day.
WALLACE: So if the world turns an unfortunate way on November 4th, don't feel sorry for John McCain?
MCCAIN: Don't feel sorry for John McCain, and John McCain will be concentrating on not feeling sorry for himself.
WALLACE: And you might just be president.
MCCAIN: You never know.

It isn't quite a concession, because, hey, you never know, those Diebold machines might come through yet.

In order to beat the Republicans in 2012 and 2016 -- because it is going to take that long to fix the scorched, salted earth the Republican neo-cons are leaving behind --Obama is going to have to work very hard just to get the shit to shoe level. He doesn't just have eight years of Dubya to fix, he has 12 years of Reagan's dumbassery to repair as well. Expectations will be high and when he fails to fix everything overnight the knives will be out, even among his own party. 2010 is going to be a hard year for Democrats running in the midterm election. The wars will not be over yet, the economy will still be a smoking ruin and it is extremely unlikely that the health care or education or environmental issues will have been addressed to anyone's satisfaction. There will be a whole lot of "I told you so" and "Hilary would have done it better" going around.

But there is a way to beat that. First, Obama has to win by a landslide and the Democrats need 60 or more seats in the Senate and a large majority in the house. They also need to win some state governments over as well so as to control the election referees the way the Republicans have so successfully for the last 20 years. Then Obama has to appoint a serious badass to run the Justice Department, someone like Patrick Fitzgerald, who will investigate the outright fuckery of the last eight years and put some of these people in jail. Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Alberto Gonzales, Scooter Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, Douglas Feith, Monica Goodling -- all the political hatchet men and campaign ratfuckers, all the torturers and liars -- screw the pardons Bush is gonna write for all of them, subpeona these people and when, like Karl Rove has done this year, they refuse to appear, send the federal marshals to their country club to slap the cuffs on them right there on the 14th green and jail their sorry asses for contempt. Do the same with some of the Wall Street moneymen who got platinum parachutes while their companies burned down the whole neighborhood. Americans will forget they don't have jobs if they can watch these bastards being put in the dock and sent to Levenworth for a couple of years.

While the public is watching the bloodletting, use the time and the majority to get stuff done. Reregulate the financial industry. Pass your tax plan to give the middle class a break and make the rich pay their share. Pull 50,000 troops out of Iraq and send them to Afghanistan to find Bin Laden and then bring them the hell home and demobilize them. Cut the defense budget in half, the USA will still outspend the rest of the world. Bring back the fairness doctrine and give the FCC some teeth. Conservatives will scream. So what? Let them, they made the mess and they wanna cry while Obama cleans it up? It will be great campaign fodder for 2012.

The other positive working in the Democrats favour is time. The time it takes to clean up the mess is also time that will pass and put some past events in better perspective. Like the enormity of the mistake made in invading Iraq. Like the fact that the 9/11 attacks, while tragic, were not the apocalypse. The luster of Reagan will fade some more, and the stench of the corpse of conservatism will grow. The shadow will start to lift. Plus, within eight years a good quarter of the people who are voting for John McCain this year will be dead from old age, apoplexy, hunting accidents, carnival ride mishaps, cirrhosis and lead poisoning (all those years of eating paint chips will eventually catch up with the people who phone call-in talk radio shows).

My friends, that is change we can believe in.

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