Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Moldy Oldies

Turn on the TV or radio to politics and you'd swear a hole had been torn in the space/time continuum. The Republicans seem to find themselves with nothing and running hard on it. Try and name the decade these favorites belong in.

Pro-American/anti-American, heartland, god-fearing, tax and spend liberal, socialist, Marxist, soft on terror, win the war, surrender, cut and run, liberal media bias, elites, god-guns-gays-abortion, enemies, security, and finally and most importantly - "the other."

You could try to make the case that these are classics and that might even be reasonable if there was relevance. It isn't that there are big ideas boiled down to short snappy lines. There just isn't anything there.

Pro/anti-American might make some kind of sense if we were talking about, oh say, the Middle East, but in the USA? What in the hell?

Heartland means exactly what? Heart Land. If the heart is to be considered the central formative influence it isn't the rural farmland. People are the heart of the country - if the Constitution is the law, the brain - and that means you find the heartland where the people are. It is completely stupid and dishonest to tell rural America that it is the heart of the country. I live there and I know better, I know that where I live is the exception. Judas priest, that's why we chose to line here.

God fearing? In a country that professes to be Christian it is to be a good thing to be scared of god? So god is a mean vengeful SOB? OK, not my game, not a fight I want to get into.

Tax and spend liberal...well we've certainly had spend and top tax rates are at historical lows. Oh, and we're broke. I guess liberal holds some meaning, except maybe by what this means at any given historical time.

Socialist. This is a very odd charge to make while the Federal government takes over investment banks. Any tax program redistributes income, roads, fire departments, police, etc and etc are public interest programs paid for by taxes. A progressive tax system has been around since Teddy Roosevelt. Wealth takes the very largest benefit of the system funded by taxes, asking for something proportional to that is somehow wrong? Socialism is the governmental control of business and resources - not exactly something that has been proposed - well, excepting banks... In this case the profits were private and risk socialized.

Marxist - as Joe Biden asked, "Are you kidding?"

Soft on terror - on the basis of what? No candidate has suggested hugging and kissing, rather it all sounds pretty blood thirsty.

Win the war. Which war? I thought you just got done saying we've won.

Surrender - which war? The forgotten one where the terrorist were? Cut and run, same.

Liberal media bias? I could get it if it were called corporate bias. I could understand if McCain hadn't gotten a complete pass through the early stages as Obama struggled with Ayers, Wright, bitter, Muslim, etc, etc and McCain hadn't gotten essentially free advertising by running his past the media.

Elites. Seven houses, wealthy barbie doll wife, son and grandson of 4 star Admirals with a legacy Academy appointment calls elite? Single parent, college loans is elite? Sounds a lot more like ordinary- except for the level of success.

God, guns, gays, abortion. I'm not going to touch this one, the statements are there as is the record.

Enemies... I guess this one is about just how scared you are.

Security, guns and butter is better reversed, guns are real tough if there's no butter.

"The Other," is the big one. All the rest of this mess boils down to it, and there is the issue of middle names and skin tone and just plain exotic. Anything about a candidate that can be portrayed as out of the ordinary can make the candidate suspect amongst certain elements and played just right will carry quite a large segment. The Other has been used about as long as there has been history and regardless of the lack of democratic institutions. It features hugely in most wars, some of them with horrific surrounding events. Certainly you could reach out to the easy one - Nazis - and you'd be missing that their stuff was very late in the day and only another example of the technique. The Romans didn't refer to the barbarians to make them seem like Romans. The Spartans used the technique within their own ruling caste.

This isn't 1968 and nattering nabobs of negativism and damn hippies or Joe McCarthy's witchhunt, oddly enough this is 2008 with a campaign between a youthful black man and an old tired white guy with old tired themes - moldy oldies.

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