Saturday, November 01, 2008

Channeling Hunter S. Thompson

The McCain campaign, in its last throes, has proven itself to be nothing more than the last stinking gasp of the Right for power.

McCain has no message. He simply has people onstage ranting about "the gay" and dropping Muslim names in the vain hope that one will stick enough to carry him into the White House on a tide of fear, blood, and KKK robes. He has cobbled together a campaign from the worst bits of the Bush folks and the lobbyists who he claims to shun, picked a running mate out of a hat because she had a vagina, a special needs baby, and looked good chanting "Drill, baby, drill" in front of a crowd.

He's latched onto Joe the Plumber, a guy so grasping that he's already got a PR agent and is standing McCain up at rallies, to buy him some desperately needed working class cred after forgetting how many homes he had and after his party spent twice as much as most people make in a year on his running mate's wardrobe. Yet Joe the Plumber is just as phony as McCain.

McCain's doing worse than Bush for three reasons. One is obvious. The economy is crashing around us, and there's been a Republican in the White House for the past 8 years. Hell, McCain was running ahead of his brand for a while, until the real crisis hit.

Two is that during the debates, when Obama's numbers really started to rise, McCain looked petulant and sounded condescending and even rude. Americans might want a president they can relate to, but they damn sure don't want one who talks to 'em like they're stupid.

Three is, of course, that McCain has no message. He sold his soul, the one that used to win grudging respect from even the hardest lefties, in the past four years, caving on torture, on troops, on taxes. He has gone from being a soft-line pro-lifer to holding up Justice Alito as a paragon of virtue, gone from a man who lost a primary himself because of race-baiting and fear to a man who uses it and defends it.

I can't even begin to imagine what a McCain administration would actually look like, other than a full-on charge of all the worst elements in the Republican party--because even more so than Bush, that'll be who got him elected. The man that many Americans used to respect for standing up to his party will owe more to the racists, the homophobes, the Islamophobes, the pro-birth crowd, than any administration before him.

Nixon claimed that he governed because of a "silent majority." Reagan won over Democrats left and right with his charm. Even George W. Bush promised to be a "compassionate conservative" (though even now he's trying to sneak through more deregulation while our backs are turned).

McCain has promised us no such thing. He's shown us the America that he thinks he governs, and it's full of people who will lie about being assaulted by a black man, people who think having an Arabic middle name is reason to be lynched, and people who will never see a terrorist attack but who are more afraid of one than of what will happen when they can't afford health insurance because they've suddenly got to pay taxes on it.

Obama has run ad after ad based on his plan, including the other night's 30 minute ad buy. You might not agree with all of it, but it is out there for you to hear, for you to read. He has offered a vision of a country where we don't divide ourselves by red and blue, and he has won over states that no Democrat has dreamed of in decades. He has had no ethical scandals, no personal scandals, no steps out of line. He won all three debates.

Let's face it, if you vote for McCain now, you deserve what you get.

And it might feel like getting fucked with chainsaws.


Also, I wrote something about the Obama infomercial for GlobalComment, if you're interested.