Blacktop & Kickball
Carla Marinucci of the San Francisco Chronicle describes the sickening debacle of modern American politics turned on full blast the last week as “political hunting season,” as if reality had somehow magically turned John McCain and Barack Obama into orange-vested stalkers, peering around trees with rifles, but by far the best description came from Kevin Drum of the Washington Monthly, who sneered that watching McCain ridiculing Obama and the electorate was “like watching a bunch of sixth graders crack themselves up telling fart jokes.”
Marinucci, of course, is an active player is this disgusting spectacle, so instead of performing her duty in calling out the ridiculing bullying going on by McCain rifles are somehow replaced with thrown mud or wrestling tactics, whatever, but John McCain and the Republicans are plainly bullying the dialogue of the landscape to de-legitimize the very presence and idea of Barack Obama, just like schoolyard days. In the American school of politics, however, there is no one to step in to stop it, Marinucci is supposed to with the truth but instead bleats out a lead of jumbled analogies and then actively helps McCain.
Marinucci is an American corporate “political writer,” her editor sees enabling as her job, so the grand spectacle of bloodying Obama’s nose before pulling his pants down with the pathetic ridicule of the Tire Gauge Gaffe goes completely unmentioned. McCain and the Republicans did hit to the groin, however, by floating the uppity gonna sleep with white women Negro meme by, incredulously, interjecting images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton into an attack ad.
The current set-to began late last month as Obama ended his media-event European trip, prompting Team McCain and the GOP to launch an aggressive media war to get voters' attention.
The truth is that Barack Obama was rapturously received by European crowds and leaders like the political rock star he is, especially when compared to the chump political corpse simultaneously displayed by John McCain, a “white haired guy” with a Party brand in tatters, an incumbent presidency loathed and in disgrace and an economy bludgeoning voters with high energy prices.
John McCain doesn’t even have a viable field operation for election 2008, so with absolutely nothing to offer the Republicans went for humiliation and loathing scorn “early” this year, there was never any doubt after Gore the Liar in 2000 and pink bandaids in 2004 they were going to do it, but if they hadn’t so desperately lashed out with the only attack left to them McCain would have been utterly buried to oblivion before the Olympics.
It is a grim, sad fact of our society that a Republican can so sleazily sling the lowest denominators of race into the election, the press won’t call for what it is and the Democrat, Barack Obama this time, has to pick himself up, somehow, and demonstrate he can ably fight back without using the same tactics. If Obama cannot he’ll lose, American politics is not an advanced intellectual activity, as we all know so well, if he can’t be an Alpha dignified leader in this dismaying American schoolyard with his pants around his ankles enough Americans won’t trust him, it really is that simple.
The Obama campaign momentarily “lost traction” and there was a noticeable dip in the daily polling, the not-liberal-new-politics-millennial candidate finally learning just what bipartisanship gets you, before hitting back hard and effectively with mocking ridicule of his own, yes indeed, Republicans like being ignorant when the press lets them and it wins them elections.
This hasn’t stopped endless instant speculation by worried Democrats on the ageless question of how to really stop bullies with no one around to intervene and disgusting weenies who give anonymous quotes about how brilliant all the sleaze is, 20 years of abuse always coughs up a Stockholm Syndrome case, Marinucci delighted to use it.
Gore and Kerry lost, of course, gleefully enabled by a corporate press that, precisely as Marinucci has done, refuses to state the truth, uses anonymous quotes, floats all possible Republican talking points and concludes with a stern warning that fighting back, “open warfare,” is a bad, bad idea, go ahead and be bullied, Obama, how do you think American got stuck with the odious felon as President now, anyway?
Not only would the bullying finally not work this time (Paris Hilton and America are utterly sick of Karl Rove) but Obama is effectively fighting back, enough to keep his dignity and earn trust. It’s a disgusting spectacle to watch, but at least the Democrat won’t lose this time.