Out of Control
The mind reels, the normally unflappable Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly wrote last week, this time over sickening Republican voter suppression tactics with a cruel twist: if you’ve lost your house to foreclosure your address can’t be valid, so purge those lousy Americans from voter lists via foreclosure publications.
Many American souls stagger under the realization that not only has John McCain sold out any American principle he once espoused, often in nauseating fashion, but he’ll do it by lying baldly and repeatedly, right in your face, time after time, even though the lies have been widely reported just hours before. Americans are used to being lied to with nuance and statistics, but this total breakdown of human character from a Republican presidential candidate is something very rudely new.
McCain and Rove are sure they can get away with it, yes (that outcome is not written in stone yet, not hardly, and we may—however unlikely--be witnessing a tipping point in American media propaganda) but the galactic risk taken by McCain here still must be noted, for if the Always Lying McCain1 narrative takes hold McCain is utterly finished, a written off loser well before the first debate is ever held.
The evolution is so stupid and arrogant one could easily assume McCain and Rove are supremely confident not only of the cowed American propaganda media outlets to ignore and enable heinous behavior yet again, but that they must have another tactic up their sleeves, some suppression tactic in a crucial swing state or perhaps the Supreme Court at the ready to steal another election for them.
Don’t scoff in the least, if McCain is willing to become a horrifying embarrassment to whole country by lying like a carpet, what else are he, Rove and the Republicans willing to do? Four years ago Paul Krugman wrote in The Great Unraveling that modern Republicans are in fact “revolutionary powers” with no regard in any sense for the current political legitimacy of the United States.
There was ample evidence to support the thesis at the time, but just consider a few events of the last few weeks in viewing how extreme and out of control from American legitimacy Republican governance has become:
Peaceful protestors at the Republican convention with no more radical a cause than food not bombs had their groups infiltrated, their homes invaded, arrested and detained without cause or warrant, and when they did make it on the streets were brutally crushed with violence and chemicals. The right to peaceably assemble is part of the 1st amendment, but the Republicans have chucked it into the political trash can of history (the blithe appalling acceptance of it is a separate element, but the fact remains the Republicans still did it).
As Melissa McEwan of Shakesville and Matt Damon keep pointing out, the selection of Palin is in itself a rejection of American political legitimacy, she isn’t qualified in any sense to be a possible president, were she to in fact become president the American political system would quickly fail. Well, that’s the point, revolutionary powers desire failure of the current system, they’ll still be in power for whatever brutally repressive system emerges.
Another dismaying element to the Palin selection is the massively disciplined groupthink of the Republican constituent base, nothing was known about her and what has since come to light is extremely bad (Palin, incredibly, is claiming executive privilege to squash a horribly sordid Alaskan investigation of her conduct as governor, after she cc’d her quack secessionist husband on Yahoo account in the matter, my God, just when you think they can’t possibly go any lower…) yet approximately 30% of the population turned on a dime and snapped those arms out in total salute, anything is accepted to uphold the Republican Party.
The incredible behavior of lying McCain and Palin isn’t just derived from character akin to a pig sty or arrogance and ego few ordinary Americans could ever imagine employing in their own lives, it also comes from a supporting citizen base that’s frightening in its discipline to blindly follow whatever the revolutionaries deem necessary. Coupled with extremely powerful corporate and media interests baffled and bewildered Americans, incredulous that McCain and Palin could so baldly lie right in their faces day after day, might begin to comprehend how McCain is so sure he can get away with it.
This has always been an ugly, frightening thesis, its support stemming not only from a rabid constituency but also denial on the part of the opposition, Democrats simply don’t want to believe Republicans and McCain could be so un-American, so opposed to what is precious to the rest of us. Election 2008 has been classified as a media test (if a total liar is elected American media is a 100% total failure), but it can also be seen as a citizen/democracy test, if McCain loses at last there will be evidence that the revolutionary power dreams of the Republicans have been rejected. To the enormous detriment of us all, in the last eight years there’s been very little of that.
 Journalists and many readers no doubt reject the correct propaganda label of the American media, but it was only eight years ago an entire election was frothed and ranted about Al Gore The Liar, a good decent honest man who hadn’t lied, and often had lies fabricated for him.
The internet is here. There is no memory hole. Americans do not forget. Election 2008 can been seen as a citizen test, yes, but already it is irrevocably set in stone as a media propaganda test, if Al Gore the Liar can consume an election over pure fabrications yet John McCain get away with his current lying the American “journalism” corps is defined as propaganda, now and forever.