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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Palpable Sense of Dread

This is all the bigger I could get it, but here is the scariest image of MSNBC's Mike Viqueira I could find. I'm not a-scared of no Mike Va-queer-ya there (I actually have no idea who he is), but it sort of nicely underscores exactly how much in a bad mood everyone is, as we roll into the final debate of the season.

The Republican penchant for appealing to everyone's worst instincts seems to be coming back to bite it in the ass: folks are more or less calling for a lynching at their rallies. I've been saying it as long as I've had this blog: folks on the right talk about the physical elimination of their political opponents all the time, folks on the left rarely, if ever, do.
And now, since so many of us are completely sure that someone's at least going to take a shot at Obama -and maybe it'll hit- what then? Your republicans are already in a bloodthirsty mood, so what happens when the rest of us, who tend to keep riots from happening, decide that there's nothing left of democracy, and no need to bother being civil to other people who just happen to disagree with us?

Yes, assassination could happen, or another conveniently timed terrorist attack...Or "they find bin Laden", which I'm not sure why that would mean a victory for McCain, but okay...Then there's "The Bradley Effect"; I think it's entirely possible that lots of people would say they like the young black one to a pollster or reporter, then turn right around and vote for the old white one because he seems safer.

The Oregonian tends to run editorial cartoons of the brain-dead-moderate variety, but a couple days ago, they ran one from Glenn McCoy:

So you see, as is always the case with editorial cartooning, if you don't have a good idea, and can't use words so good, all you need to do is some shitty charicatures, helpfully labeled, in some sort of surreal misunderstanding of the term 'symbolism'.

It's stupid, sure, but it's only that: people who like Obama aren't going to have their minds changed by baby-talk of this sort, and those who hate Obama already feel like the characterization depicted here is true.

The loser, I suppose, would be Glenn McCoy, except that he gets paid for this shit, which encourages him, in his drunker moments, to think of himself as a political commentator. One could say that the word 'symbolism' loses pretty big here, but that'd be redundant. We all lose, in the continuing infantilization of our political discourse...But I still wouldn't call it "reprehensible", as a letter writer did this morning, to The O. Her name was Carol Radich, and her larger point was that "we don't need even more voters being swayed by hate rhetoric instead of by reason."
Too late, Carol. And of course, this (and far, far worse) has been the way politics is played since the beginning. I don't like it, but there's lots of things I don't like. This isn't a modern phenomenon, and...Sorry, but: still free speech!

So you know: stupid people are going to believe stupid things, and legislating it out of existence isn't going to change that at all. Wait for this election season to be over, and this same demographic will go back to shooting each other and molesting their children, as usual.

Which brings us to the debate itself. Not a lot to say there, but we came up with a pretty good scenario. I've known a fair amount of gay Republicans in my time (they tend to be the rich ones), and wouldn't it have been great if, instead of Joe The Plumber, we had...Terry the Hairdresser, and he dreams of one day buying the salon he works in...
I dunno. It would have caused some nice cognitive dissonance. Joe, by the way, strikes me as a McCain employee. In any case, he's a fucking crybaby: I'd love to make as much money as a plumber.

McCain sounded hysterical, and Obama was doing the dignified thing again. I can't fault it; it seems to be working, but still just once I'd like to see him look right at War Hero and say, "There you go again: you always do this." What he did instead was show how McCain always does what he does, and that appeals to nuanced n' educated people.
Now, McCain basically slathered a lot of happy fucking babytalk all over everyone else, which appeals to lots of people too.

It was noted last evening that if the election were only held among those Fifty and older, McCain'd easily win. Also, if the election were only held among those Forty and younger, Obama would win in numbers easily surpassing double digits. The Olds like to vote, The Kids often forget to, or are convinced that the whole thing doesn't apply to their lives anyway.
And hey: those are poll numbers, by the way, and I used to do that shit for a living, so believe me when I say that those numbers, for manifold reasons, could be completely wrong.

So go vote, and remember:

Big brother is watching you.



Blogger George Popham said...

"mummified corpse of Karl Marx???" I mention this over at my place, but it really is interesting to note that as they begin to go into total freefall the repubs have gone into a kind of time regression dementia that involves invoking a lot of worn out cold war rhetoric.

They just nationalized an insurance company, it isn't possible to spend more money than this. There is a tiny part of me that would love to see a republican administration try to make it through the next four years without raising anyone's taxes. but, of course, Saraswati willing, we won't get to see that.

11:59 AM  

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