Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The Joe "The Plumber" McCarthy Tour
So it's come to this. Desperate and panicked, the former Bush operatives now surrounding Sarah Palin have sent her out to stoke the mob by quoting Karl Marx. Initially, Palin thought Karl was the fifth Marx Brother after Zeppo, but she can see remnants of Marxism from her official state sponsored trips to the Bering Strait with the "First Dude," so she seemed a natural at calling Obama a Communist. Nodding agreement was added to her quoting of the Communist Manifesto by the gravitas of her chief surrogate of the day, Hank Williams, Jr., who was standing next to her in cowboy hat and customary shades. I always take sociological advice from a country singer who once sang he was, "Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound."
Just like the other day, when Palin appeared with the vapid Elizabeth Hasslebeck. Who better to introduce a candidate who acts like a game show host than a "celebrity" who's claim to fame was being a game show contestant? But Hasslebeck should spare her lectures on Dialectic Materialism for The View, where she can be debated by a real authority, Whoopie Goldberg. Should McCain/Palin lose the election, I'd like to pitch the networks a reality show where Hasselbeck, Palin, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and Laura Ingraham can sit around a table and excoriate those abortion loving, liberal, women feminists types. We'll call it "Mean Girls." Better yet, allow the gun worshippers and abortion zealots to follow Sarah, Todd, Trigg, Track, Piper, Willow, Levi, Bristol and the baby back to Alaska to wait for the Rapture. There's tons of room and some oil too, whose revenues Palin "redistributes" among her constituents. The Mormons have a state; the Jews have a state; The Catholics have a whole country; let's give Seward's Folly to the right-wing Christians and survivalists, and call it Evangelaska.
Palin's red-baiting and accusations of un-Americanism bring back chilling memories of Republican Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin, who went on a Communist "Witch Hunt" in the fifties that ruined people's lives, reputations, and livelihoods. For young people who don't remember, McCarthy was a bellicose, hawkish, former pilot, super-patriot who, along with his overtly Jewish sidekick Roy Cohn, slandered all those he considered sympathetic to the country's enemies. Sort of like John McCain and Joe Lieberman today, minus the charm. But since the military was one of McCarthy's targets, John McCain should have known better than to unleash this lowest and most dangerous of attacks. Sarah Palin, having no knowledge of history, has no problems slinging around venom like this, but McCain is old enough to know that there are still people alive today, especially in the creative arts, who suffered irreparably from the unspoken "Blacklists" that resulted from McCarthy's inquisitions. It worked for old Joe awhile, but McCarthy's name is forever associated with disgrace and zealotry. This is dangerous stuff for a V.P. candidate who believes that she's the future of the Republican Party to be spouting.
Speaking of Joe, I still can't understand how McCain's entire economic plan is encapsulated in "Joe the Plumber." In fact, if he refers to "JTP" one more time, I'm going to need a plumber. It was bad enough until JTP started showing up at Palin rallies and offering opinions on everything from Socialism to how a vote for Obama assures the "Death of Israel." And to cap it off, country singer Aaron Tippen has signed JTP to a management contract for a future album project. I guess I didn't make it big as a country songwriter because I was too honest. I stood in a room full of Nashville writers who were in my same publishing stable and expressed the opinion that, "Country Music is a celebration of poverty and ignorance." At least that's what Nashville turns out, so Joe The Plumber will not only fit right in, he'll be treated like visiting royalty. There's already a Larry the Cable Guy, so why not?
McCain chose Palin in a fit of pique when the Bush/Rove boys that manage his campaign, refused to let him pick Joe Lieberman. McCain, himself, won the nomination by default, because no one could appease the beast. First, Rudy was a shoo-in until he refused to campaign and began accepting calls from his wife in the middle of important speeches. Then it was Mitt Romney until his magic underwear failed him. Huckabee was too Huckleberry and he didn't believe in evolution, and Fred Thompson was so bloated and gaseous it made you wonder how his trophy wife endured the excessive belching. It was McCain by elimination, and Palin in order to throw the lions to the Christians. That's why at McCain/Palin rallies, you hear a lot of boos, while they are cheering at Obama/Biden events. The Democrats present initiatives and plans, the GOP offers invective and poison.
I am not sorry watching the patchwork Republican majority of free-marketeers, right wing Evangelicals, rich people who hate capital gains and inheritance taxes, anti-abortionists, and xenophobes that has existed for 30 years begin to implode. But it's not enough to merely defeat a party. The philosophy of Gingrich and DeLay, Dobson and Robertson, Limbaugh and Hannity, and Cheney and Bush must be crushed absolutely with a wooden stake driven through it's cold, shrivelled heart. I watched the Democratic Party completely unravel over an unpopular war and ominously repressed societal problems. An Obama victory is not guaranteed, but should the Democrats win, the ultimate irony is that the President-elect will address the nation from Chicago, where exactly 40 years ago, blood ran in the streets and the old Democratic cooalition was trampled and scattered after the brutality and chaos of the 1968 Convention. The mayor then, as now, was named Richard J. Daley. Only this time the candidate is Barack Obama, and he has a clarion call to unity.
"Power concedes nothing without a fight" Barack Obama 10/29/08