THOLOS OF ATHENA

Friday, September 05, 2008

McCAIN & PALIN: GOD, GUNS, AND COUNTRY

The Republicans in Minneapolis were sending up a shout of "George Won!...George Won!" to greet the most craven president to ever hold office in this country; and this was only the beginning. The characters seen at the 2008 GOP convention hark back to those who nominated Spiro Agnew and Richard Nixon. The same breed cheered, this week, for the fascist tour de force that was Mitt Romney's speech. They knew what was really important: that feeling of safety which trumps having legal rights. Mitt wasn't worried about habeas corpus or how prisoners in custody are treated.

Republicans are tragically inattentive when it comes to history; and they take this tragic incomprehension as far as it can go, obliterating events that took place a few months, or a few weeks ago. The party's base has put its distaste for John McCain aside, as a man who was not considered one of them; and now they embrace him like a long-lost father. And it's a legitimate concern that Sarah Palin, as McCain's Vice President, might be a projection of the power of this base, the religious right. She might consider it her duty to make us see our War on Terror as a War for Christianity.

It looks like Election 2000 was too long ago, and people can't remember that presidential candidate McCain staunchly spoke out against the class of religious extremists that would include Rev. Dobson. He counts on the support of this base now; and the profoundly crazy Rev. Dobson, who looked upon McCain with a jaundiced eye a few weeks ago, is now one-hundred-percent behind him. And the criteria of McCain's success is that culture warrior, that "pistol-packing" Hockey Mom, Sarah Palin.

The biggest cheers were saved for McCain, as he accepted the nomination for president. But he went too far after accusing opponent, Barack Obama, of seeking the high office as a narcissistic "journey of personal discovery". McCain used the emotional appeal himself, to argue through humility that he, and not Obama, was the selfless public servant that the nation ought to have. In a figurative way, McCain showed us his wounds. But we have to put aside the idea that he was shot down as he was bombing Vietnamese civilians. We have to forget the immoral and unjust reality of the US war against Vietnam, in order to consider him a hero within the narrow framework he provides. McCain's journey of personal discovery, as a POW, as touching as may be, could have been told by a veteran of almost any army in history.

"I Once Had A Comrade", goes the lyric of a poignant German war tune.

Republican delegates were, as always, an ugly and brainwashed collective, shouting "USA...USA...USA" to blot out brief moments of protest, and crying "Drill, Baby, Drill" on cue, whenever their Real Overlords pulled their chain. They are ready of course for the militarist agenda. They have forgotten the million Iraqis killed outright or purged by ethnic cleansing. They have performed their own absolution, disconnecting their personalities from the unjust, criminal pursuit of world hegemony and absolute power. They don't care if they tend to be corrupted or not, or if it is revealed that the greatest corruption is to raise a cheer when someone has humiliated the helpless or plotted a crime against peace.

Responding to America's televised 2008 Republicans, my friend r'giap writes:
it was & remains so macabre. so macabre that it gives you chills with all the old lines returning out of the mouths of madmen & madwomen. you know they have no connection to reality nor want one. i work here with asylums - & there is a kind of patient who prefers the irreality of the institution. healing is beside the point for these people because in a way they cultivate madness as a metier but it is a madness not borne of suffering nor is it ecstatic. it is if you will a mediocre madness

& what i witnessed at the conventions is a microcosm of that mediocre madness - where other people have to suffer because these people are unable to change, to take risks or even to be responsible
From this vantage point, the whole Palin fiasco is like some bizarre work of science fiction, that incorporates speaking in tongues, Pentecostal glossolalia, safaris to shoot wolves from helicopters, lending pristine wilderness to oil men, all personified by an annoying, almost intolerable speaking voice. The republicans themselves are caught playing with the Book of Revelation, like strung-out meth heads cooking up more product in a trailer in back of the RNC:

Robocops. Teen pregnancy and fundie hypocrisy. Fascism with undercurrents of oddball religion. Historical amnesia slouching toward Bethlehem, and the New American Century inventing Big Brother anew, probably as a hybrid of Elmer Gantry and Augusto Pinochet.

We would have to be a mad country, slipping into some narrative introduced by Rod Serling; but maybe this strategy (so damaging to our inner defenses) will yet unravel before the horrified eyes of the nation, and all this will backfire on the authoritarians, and send McCain and his handlers down to defeat.

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