Seemingly intent on proving every last word of my recent rant (Fear and Loathing in The Heartland: Republicans' Lovefest With Ignorance) to be true and factual, senior aides to John McCain have been leaking details about Sarah Palin and, man, are they ever doozies! If these reports are true, she's somehow even worse than she seemed in those Katie Couric interviews.
I must say, I fully appreciate these McCain aides backing up my theory about Republicans being completely infatuated, if not downright in love, with stupidity. However, I'm still a little confused by their motives.
Tears of Joy
Do you really need to hear one more person tell you that last night was a historic night? I think not. But I'm going to say it anyway, because how else can you describe such a monumental event as seeing a black man elected as president of the United States just 40 short years after civil rights workers were being beaten, tortured and murdered down in the Deep South.
I can tell you right now that I've never before shed tears while watching an election result. I did, most certainly, cry tears of joy when Nelson Mandela was finally freed from prison back in 1990, but I've never cried for some regular event like an election. Not until last night. But this, obviously, wasn't an ordinary election.
"Heard your songs of freedom and man forever stripped,
Acting out his folly while his back is being whipped.
Like a slave in orbit, he's beaten 'til he's tame,
All for a moment's glory and it's a dirty, rotten shame"
Bob Dylan, "Dirge"
If you want to read about someone pallin' around with actual terrorists, you need look no further than the new investigative piece by John Dinges in The Huffington Post. The article reveals, for the first time, John McCain's dirty little secret. That is, his friendly, private, undisclosed meeting back in 1985 with General Augusto Pinochet, the fascist military dictator of Chile.
What's especially remarkable is that McCain, a man who endured torture himself during his time as a P.O.W. in Vietnam, would go out of his way to meet with a dictator whose regime was known for one thing above all else: Torturing people to death.
The New French
You know how John McCain said he might not talk to the Spanish government if he's elected president? How, in an interview last month, he lumped Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero in with anti-American leaders such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and the Castro Brothers of Cuba?
Well, what I want to know is, does that make the Spanish the new French? And, if so, does that mean that this year all truly patriotic (i.e. idiotic) Americans will have to start calling their favorite aphrodisiac Freedom Fly, a la those Freedom Fries of French-hating days gone by? And, what I really want to know is this, will Freedom Fly still get you as horny as its American-hating cousin, Spanish Fly?
Uncle Ron and The Deregulators
Once upon a time, way back in the 1980s, some seemingly intelligent people (economics professors at the Chicago School of Economics, led by Milton Friedman, for instance) and some not particularly intelligent people (Ronald Reagan, for one) agreed something had to be done. Their nation was suffering under the chains of regulation and the tyranny of oversight and, like some sort of Charles Bronson-Chuck Norris deregulatory tag team, they were going to save it and they didn't care who got hurt in the process.
It seems that fifty years earlier, way way back in the 1930s, some socialists with funny sounding names like Keynes and Roosevelt had tried to fetter capitalism.
And, as everyone knows, to fetter capitalism is to fetter freedom. And to fetter freedom is to fetter the American way of life.
"Two faces have I
One that laughs one that cries
One says hello one says goodbye
One does things I don't understand
Makes me feel like half a man"
- Bruce Springsteen, "Two Faces"
Regardless of what Barack Obama may have said four years ago in that famous speech of his at the 2004 Democratic Convention, there definitely are two Americas - two diametrically opposed Americas. And I'm not just talking about Republicans and Democrats here, though that division largely mirrors the real divide.
A Hero In What Way Exactly?
Is it just me or is all this constant talk of John McCain as "The Great American Hero" more than just a little bit ridiculous? Not only did he do nothing to earn the title, he actually did things most people would consider to be the antithesis of heroic. I mean, seriously, since when did slaughtering civilians make you a great hero?
It's been a pretty inspiring few days this past week or so, what with Barack Obama wrapping up the nomination for the Democratic Party and all. And then Hillary Clinton finally - four days after it was over and in probably the best speech of her entire campaign - conceding defeat and vowing to do everything she can to help Obama win the White House. Hers, like Obama's, has been a historic and inspirational run and hopefully someday soon we'll see a woman as president. Just not this time. This time the more inspirational candidate won.