1968 or 2008?
Well, here we are at Day One of the Democratic National Convention. Many of our associates are headed to Denver to participate in this historic event; we’ll watch it on TV, like all the other schleps. That’s cool — I’d hate to get mauled by a vicious PUMA.
Did you read Frank Rich‘s Op-Ed in last Sunday’s New York Times? Here’s a snippet:
"What we have learned this summer is this: McCain’s trigger-happy
temperament and reactionary policies offer worse than no change. He is
an unstable bridge back not just to Bush policies but to an
increasingly distant 20th-century America that is still fighting Red
China in Vietnam and the Soviet Union in the cold war."
Rich goes on to say that Barack needs to "rekindle the fierce urgency of now," and spend less time combating accusations of elitism and instead point to a future for America where "educational, energy and health-care mobilization" trump misguided foreign military adventures and tax rewards for megacorporations. Rich also urges Obama to "fill in the gaps" in McCain’s past, and make explicit the distortions, lies and half-truths promulgated by GOP snake-oil salesmen about McCain’s personal and policy record.
Here’s the go-for-the-throat paragraph:
"Is a man who is just discovering the Internet qualified to lead a
restoration of America’s economic and educational infrastructures? Is
the leader of a virtually all-white political party America’s best
salesman and moral avatar in the age of globalization? Does a bellicose
Vietnam veteran who rushed to hitch his star to the self-immolating
overreaches of Ahmad Chalabi, Pervez Musharraf and Mikheil Saakashvili have the judgment to keep America safe?"
Another great read is Jacob Weisberg‘s recent piece in Slate, which fearlessly examines the role racism might play in November’s elections. Here’s a key excerpt:
"Many have discoursed on what an Obama victory could mean for America.
We would finally be able to see our legacy of slavery, segregation, and
racism in the rearview mirror. Our kids would grow up thinking of
prejudice as a nonfactor in their lives. The rest of the world would
embrace a less fearful and more open post-post-9/11 America. But does
it not follow that an Obama defeat would signify the opposite? If Obama
loses, our children will grow up thinking of equal opportunity as a
myth. His defeat would say that when handed a perfect opportunity to
put the worst part of our history behind us, we chose not to. In this
event, the world’s judgment will be severe and inescapable: The United
States had its day but, in the end, couldn’t put its own self-interest
ahead of its crazy irrationality over race."
Couldn’t have said it better myself. But if someone wants to pay me, I’ll try.
Since we heard from the pros, let’s check in with the peanut gallery. This comment at Politico points out the absurdity of those Clinton supporters who are considering voting for McCain:
"I agree with the Hillary supporters. I have voted Republican since Gary Hart didn’t get the nomination. Its because of my fierce loyalty to Gary Hart that I will never vote for a Democrat again. I became so happy when George HW Bush became president in 1988 just to show those Democrats that because Hart didn’t get the nomination, they wouldn’t get my vote then or forever. When 2000 came around, even though I believe in global warming, a woman’s right to choose, science, mathematics, education, alternative fuels, the separation of church and state, a responsible justice department and Supreme Court justices, I had to vote for George W. Bush because of what happened to my champion Gary Hart. In 2004, when the Iraq war turned out to be as predicted, a sham and perhaps a $3,000,000,000,000 quagmire for our country, the attack on science in our classrooms, the Patriot Act tearing apart our constitution, I couldn’t vote for John Kerry because I made an allegiance to vote against myself interests because of Gary Hart. Now, in 2008, when perhaps the very soul of our country is at stake, I will once again vote for Senator McCain and take great rejoice in it because of my fierce allegiance to Gary Hart. Hillary supporters can finally feel my pain from what happened to my candidate back in ’88. Why don’t the Hillary supporters, all 18,000,000 of them mail her a check for $1.22 so she can pay off her debt, $11,000,000 of which is from her own bank accounts. You Hillary supporters are the biggest bunch of stone cold losers imaginable."
And now, for some levity. Our pal MGP sent me this link to these lovely "Obama Dragon and McCain Gargoyle Election Year Campaign Collectible Sculptures" from Design Toscano — everyone’s favorite gothic/medieval/Egyptian home decor outlet.