Canadamerican Politics: Pt II (EM was here first)

October 26, 2008 at 12:47 pm Leave a comment

Under the category Unlikeliest of Bedmates, here are people who are agreeing with Eccentric Muse (hehehe) since my post of yesterday:

David Frum, journalist, former speechwriter to George W. Bush, bordering-on-incoherent, neoconservative embarrasment-to-Canada (oh, oooops … get a filter, EM), actually provides an analysis that is pretty much spot on and a strategy that makes sense:

From The Washington Post, Oct 26:

There are many ways to lose a presidential election.  John McCain is losing in a way that threatens to take the entire Republican Party down with him. …

[Republican] resources are limited, and our message is failing. We cannot fight on all fronts. We are cannibalizing races that we must win and probably can win in order to help a national campaign that is almost certainly lost. In these final 10 days, our goal should be: senators first. A beaten party needs a base from which to recover. [boldface mine]

Then he gets really paranoid about a Democratic Senate and Congress going on to stifle dissent, muzzle the freedom of the press, and wield unchecked power to advance cronyism through the nationalization of financial institutions.

Ummmm, project much, David?

BUT:  I will give him this.  He’s right that the Republicans are eating their own innards and will have no vital organs left with which to regenerate the body politic when all is said and done.  And he’s right that a sound (the only) Republican strategy left–one that actually DOES put “country first” (you hypocritical, extremist assholes)–will be to give up the race for the Whitehouse, which at this point is virtually unwinnable (4.3% chance as of yesterday, so sayeth Nate Silver, the smartest pollster on the Web). 

The Repubs need to salvage their good, strong, capable, experienced, SANE Senators (yes, there are some)–who can provide the checks-and-balances that will be needed in a Whitehouse, Senate and Congress that is about to be overwhelmingly Democrat. From there, they can maybe, MAYBE, rein in the delusions-of-grandeur of the Palinists (and how freakin’ lovely that that rhymes, and resonates, with “Stalinists”…hmmmm??).

Extremism–on either side–is never a good thing politically or personally.  As my Grandma Flora used to say, “everything in moderation.”

And this, from the Anchorage Daily News in their endorsement today of Barack Obama (which is delicious in and of itself, but there is more deliciousness within).  Enjoy:

Sen. McCain describes himself as a maverick, by which he seems to mean that he spent 25 years trying unsuccessfully to persuade his own party to follow his bipartisan, centrist lead. Sadly, maverick John McCain didn’t show up for the campaign. Instead we have candidate McCain, who embraces the extreme Republican orthodoxy he once resisted and cynically asks Americans to buy for another four years.

…despite [Palin’s] formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.

If I ever read or hear that expression “a heartbeat away from the Presidency” or any variation thereof one more time I’m gonna stab whoever says it in the eye (even, yes, if it’s Anderson Cooper, my sweet). Nonetheless, they too are right. They didn’t actually come out and say that the first, most damning, most conclusive sign that McCain’s opportunism trumped his centrism was picking Palin herself, but they might as well have.

Finally, an international view (drawing heavily on Frum as a source), The London Telegraph’s headline says it all: Republican fears of historic Obama landslide unleash civil war for the future of the party.

Jim Nuzzo, a White House aide to the first President Bush … told The Sunday Telegraph: “There’s going to be a bloodbath. A lot of people are going to be excommunicated. David Brooks and David Frum and Peggy Noonan are dead people in the Republican Party. The litmus test will be: where did you stand on Palin?”

… [Nuzzo] said: “She emerges from this election as the probable frontrunner for the 2012 nomination. Her supporters vastly outnumber her critics. But it will be extremely difficult for her to win the presidency.”

On that last point, it will only be true if there are voices left on the right to challenge her ascendancy. In many circles, she is already being called “Queen Sarah”–and when evangelical zealots say that, you know they mean ‘ordained by God.’ Look at the language Nuzzo uses: this is a holy war, he says it specifically elsewhere in the article.

I’m no Christopher Hitchens, but if the thought of Queen Sarah achieving the Presidency doesn’t make you shudder, the fact that she and her supporters believe she is being led there by Divine Right surely ought to.

Listen to Hitchens on CNN last Thursday.  I was really happy to hear Hitchens come back to the issue of Palin’s scorn for research using fruitflies, which had been summarily dismissed as irrelevant and inconsequential–as “minutia,” said one (hehe)–by the two Republican pundits.  Bloody well right fruit flies are important.  Fruit flies reproduce every 24 hours. Changes in fruit fly physiology as a result of natural selection are therefore highly observable, making the study of genetics and other life sciences feasible in really important ways.  Hitchens gets the last word on the matter, which drew a direct parallel between Palin’s creationist beliefs and what would be, by logical extension, her lack of support for science/technology funding. (And he should have stopped there, but didn’t …. oh, well.) Now if only someone would tell me how to get them out of my house other than sucking them up one by one in the vacuum cleaner, I’d fund a study of that.

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Canadamerican Politics: An EM Theory Fright Night: An EM Hallowe’en Musing

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