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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Always look on the bright side of life ...

These presidential primaries have sure been riveting, don't you think? I, myself, can't wait for the next manu- factured race-based row, mindless "debate" or camera shot of glass-eyed, fervent and quite possibly clinically rabid supporters at a post-caucus rally. Can't you sense my enthusiasm whenever I catch word of one of these events as I run pell-mell to the bathroom to puke?

William Shakespeare had a line of some repute about that which was "Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Simon & Garfunkel's were more specific about "going to the candidates debate -- laugh about it, shout about it when you've got to choose, every way you look at it you lose." It's not that these lines-come-axioms ring entirely true, as there are a few lessons to be learned from this early election season, and it's nonetheless important to keep a wide eye on one's democracy whenever it's in action. Yet the single most pertinent and lasting impression one can take from the sound and fury of Iowa two weeks ago to the laughing and shouting of South Carolina and Nevada today is that we're careening toward a grim and brutal Giuliani presidency.

You wouldn't know this from reading the New York Times on Sunday. In the South Carolina wrap written by Michael Cooper and Megan Thee, the lone mention of the neo-cons chosen one is in this graf:

"The campaign now heads to Florida, where Mr. McCain faces another challenge: Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has been advertising heavily and campaigning nearly nonstop there. His campaign hopes a win there will rescue his faltering candidacy."

This is not to suggest the Times is unaware of Giuliani's strategy, to sit out the early, small-state primaries to concentrate on the big three of Florida, California and New York. Yet today's story is a classic example of what happens when you fail to employ proper context in journalism. John McCain's victory is ultimately less symbolic of his redemption in the state where he had been mauled by Karl Rove's sleazeball smear tactics eight years ago and more about a further muddled Republican field that has failed to produce a clear favorite in the early going and therefore created a gaping opportunity for the ascent of Giuliani, the latest darling of the very political machine that did in McCain in 2000.

The news from Nevada, where Hillary Clinton turned back Barack Obama yet again, leads to the same conclusion. Clinton is the torch bearer for the Democratic Leadership Committee, an arm of the Democratic Party that has as much grip, if not more so, on their party as the neocons have on the Republicans. As beloved as she is by the cowardly Blue Dog Democratic braintrust, she has long been reviled for a myriad of reasons by right-wingers of all stripes. There is no one for whom the Republican noise machine is more prepared. The same attacks that Rush Limbaugh, Rupert Murdoch and their like propagated against Bill Clinton, the endless mass-media screeds that brought about a needless impeachment for transgressions far less significant than those who had occupied the oval office 10 or 20 years earlier, or five years later, are once more in the quiver. The first name may have changed, but the Clinton name, and all its connections and all its achievements and all its embarrassments, for all it has meant to so many people, is back. And it's just what the Republicans have been waiting for. If they could impeach her husband on specious claims that pale in comparison to the unpunished high crimes and misdemeanors of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the Republicans can most certainly shove Giuliani, who is just as dangerous, just as petulant, just as ignorant and just as unfit for the presidency of the United States as Bush, past Hillary Clinton and into the White House.

And it is happening before our eyes, whether we choose to open them or not. As much as I'd like to cringe and squint them closed, I can only watch in dread and horror. And in realization that there is still a chance that I'm wrong. In realization that the people hold the power, and all government exists at the will of the people. In realization that the standard of life for most Americans, worsening progressively for 30 years now, must only go so low before even the most fatalistic amongst them will begin to wonder what can be done to take destiny into their own hands. As those who have hijacked the democracy become increasingly brazen in their audacity, the solution that is knowledge, thought and ultimately involvement will become ever more obvious.

That is apparent to me, and that is why I'm working on this campaign. Sure, the room that comes with the gig is nice, and necessary, but to contribute to that which I find vitally important for the well-being of my community, my culture, my society, my country, my planet and myself is the true passion and meaning of life.

By the way, now that I've discovered the meaning of life, do feel free to worship me as a deity. Hey, if it worked for Monty Python, why can't it work for me?

1 comment:

Cynthia said...

I worship you as a deity. ;)