Thursday, July 31, 2008

Republican Mean Machine

Contrary to earlier hints otherwise, McCain has succumbed to the temptation of taking the low road against Obama. The Republican mean machine is already unleashing a barrage of nasty ads and accusations on the dirty low end of campaign tactics in the spirit of Lee Atwater, hoping that something will stick.

The aim is to challenge Obama's worthiness for high office, i. e., a mere celebrity with no experience or wisdom, all glitz and glamor but no gravitas, all hat no cattle, an unscrupulous politician who would risk losing a war to gain election, etc. -- the same old demagogic character assassination routines used successfully on Dukakis, Gore and Kerry, so gullible are large numbers of voters.

Apparently McCain has a personal dislike of Obama that approaches contempt, perhaps underlined by jealousy of the new kid on the block who is getting all the attention. The more time goes on the less respect I have for the war hero.

The news stations, with more time than substance to offer, aid and abet all this by playing the silly clips and talking about them ad nauseam, then further compounding the shallowness by an annoying parade of political strategists who mouth the party talking points and shed no light on anything important. To his credit, Barney Frank on Hardball nailed them to the wall for all this irrelevance and tried to shame them into discussing matters pertinent to future of the country.

But, heck, the TV media are not out to serve the public good but to make money for corporations, and they will do what they think gains viewers and thus ad revenue. Let's face it, how many people would want to listen to 40 minutes of serious discussion by knowledgeable analysts on the health proposals of the candidates when they can tune in to what is today's hot flash, controversial, emotional, visual, attention-grabbing, no matter how superficial or irrelevant to serious concerns. PBS has to beg for money for their more substantial coverage.

Ah, democracy in our time, but, alas, so it has always been. In fact, some attacks were even more scurrilous. Yet, knowing this, I am not comforted but all the more dismayed. Please pass the Alka-Seltzer.

Oh Lord, how I devoutly hope Obama wins this election.

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