Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yeah, basically.

Josh Marshall on McCain's attempt to postpone the debate in the name of (go on, you can say it with a straight face) putting the good of the nation over partisan politics.

Occasionally..., in a perverse kind of private entertainment, I've found myself imagining what would happen if I pawned off on someone just the ballsiest, most inane excuse for flaking on some commitment. And not something that people might buy -- nothing entertaining about that -- but just something completely off the wall and nonsensical. What would people's reaction be? Speechless, laughter, tearing me limb from limb? Would they ever speak to me again?

So, let's see, I can't moderate the panel because I've been called to Washington to give a special briefing on guerilla tactics to be used against the Taliban?

Or maybe, I want to be at the meeting, but as weird as this sounds, all the bridges and tunnels out of Manhattan have been shut for the day. Some counter-terrorism thing probably. I tried renting a helicopter but they're all booked by people at the UN.

Isn't this pretty much what John McCain tried to pull today? But actually really did it? And on a national stage? He wants to cancel the debate? And maybe also Palin's debate. Are you kidding? Why not cancel the election too? And because he has to go back to DC to solve the financial crisis? Really? The topic he knows nothing about and after he's shown up less in the senate in the last two years than anyone but Tim Johnson, the guy who had the stroke? Which of my employees is going to call from home tomorrow and say they can't come to work because of the financial crisis?

What gutted me was, the first I read of this, the article was making like saying "um, how about no" was going to put Obama in a bad light, which, I can't even look at the latest spin/etc., but, really:

--oh, the same yahoo link now goes to an update. Before Obama's response it was something like, it puts Obama in a bind, because if he says "yes" it looks like he's following McCain's lead and thus not, you know, leading; but if he says "no" it looks like he's rejecting McCain's noble, selfless call to put the good of the country first and that makes him, Obama that is, look bad...

thankfully, his response was only a slight elaboration on the answer that was going through my brain like a CNN news ticker as I rode the J-line right after reading that yesterday ("Betch, please.")

"It's my belief that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who, in approximately 40 days, will be responsible for dealing with this mess," Obama said at a news conference in Clearwater, Fla. "It's going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once."

Honestly, I have to say, if he -hadn't- responded with something like that, I'd have probably written him off for good, because part of the president's or rather any effective politician's job is -also- to smack down such transparently bullshit manipulations as that as clearly and succinctly as possible.

I mean, it took chutzpah, I'll give him that, McCain. Sadly, all too often over the past umpty years, that's been enough to carry the fuckheads in charge through. Spit and chutzpah. "The Big Lie." Please Deity that -might- finally be coming to an end. -Please.-

and um yeah, hopefully a bit more will be said, come the day, on oh maybe -why- we're in this fucking meltdown in the first place.

I mean, not that I in any way suspect ulterior motives to McCain's wish to "cease campaigning" much less (!!) CANCEL THE DEBATE right about now, and particularly put the kibosh on any heated arguments over the IMMINENT ECONOMIC FUCKING CRISIS MY DOG WE NEVER SAW THAT COMING LO ALL THESE MONTHS AND YEARS, not in the light of say news tidbits like this:

Source: McCain aide's firm paid by Freddie Mac
By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer Wed Sep 24, 7:09 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Almost up until the time it was taken over by the government in the nation's financial crisis, one of two housing giants paid $15,000 a month to the lobbying firm of John McCain's campaign manager, a person familiar with the financial arrangement says.

The money from Freddie Mac to the firm of Rick Davis is on top of more than $30,000 a month that went directly to Davis for five years starting in 2000.

The $30,000 a month came from both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the other housing entity now under government control because of the nation's financial crisis.

Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, reported early Tuesday evening that Davis' lobbying firm remained on the Freddie Mac payroll. The New York Times reported all the payments, posting an article on its Web site Tuesday night revealing the $15,000 a month to the firm of Davis Manafort. The newspaper quoted two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

On Wednesday, the campaign of McCain's Democratic presidential rival, Barack Obama, accused Davis and McCain's campaign of not telling the truth about Davis' continuing financial relationship with Freddie Mac.

Campaign spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said it was troubling that Davis' firm "continued to be compensated by Freddie Mac until as recently as last month, but that the firm did little work and apparently was being paid simply to provide access to the McCain campaign."

McCain' vice presidential running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, said her understanding was that Davis had recused himself from the firm's business.

"I don't know how long ago, a year or two ago that he's not benefiting from that," she said when questioned about the payments during an interview Wednesday with "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric. "And you know, I was ... I would hope that's not the case..."

Wouldn't you just.

But I mean, yeah, fuck knows, let's all come together and solve this problem, let's not point any fingers of blame, what's done is done, (just like Iraq, it's not like anyone's to BLAME for that being a fuckup, it just HAPPENED, let's move on, you know, let's not be ANGRY or anything)-- let's all just sing Kumbaya for six weeks until the election which is actually going to happen regardless, I didn't see any call for postponing the ELECTION, mind you, not even o somehow trying to get it on a weekend, as long as we're changing Big Shit at the very last minute, and hey maybe some more of the voters who aren't -yet- unemployed from the fallout of Big Fucking Greedy Institutional Bastards Who Overate And Have National Indigestion Now can actually go and fucking vote...

I mean, let's not get carried -away- or anything. Let's be, you know, -reasonable.- Noble, selfless, concerned for the nation's wellbeing as opposed to one's personal career and/or sorry ass, etc. etc. etc.

you MAVERICK, you.

ETA: oh dear, looks like the Dems really aren't feelin' the bipartisan luv. I'm surprised and saddened, I really am:

Democrats think that Republicans were backing away from a compromise many of them agreed to earlier Thursday — without McCain's involvement — in order to give McCain time to play a role and perhaps appear as a rescuer.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he believed the breakdown was simply an effort to allow McCain to miss Friday night's scheduled debate with Obama.

Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, seconded that belief. "I think McCain was hurting politically," Frank said. "I think this was a campaign ploy."

When McCain arrived in Washington to discover that an agreement was near, Frank said, it became necessary to upset it so that McCain could later be seen to have played a role. "He's making it harder to get things done," Frank said.

...fuck it, I keep saying I'm not paying attention to this shit, but it's time, I guess: tis now and truly the season. and hey, if everything burns down around our ears at least it makes the popcorn pop more better. Pass it over here.

-chomp chomp chomp-


Anthony Kennerson said...

What kills me, Belle, after all that posturing about postponing the debate and "suspending" his campaign (yeah, right, Senator McBush; try that new one on us), he then gets submarined by his party's hard right wing (who attempts to substitute a different version of the "bailout" bill (one that mostly passes the buck to the next administration)...and then promply "declares a victory and ejects" and debates Obama after all.

And after all that...he still manages nothing more than at best a wash, and at worse, he looks like a bitter, washed up, old man....while the supposedly "inexperienced" Obama looks his usual calm, cool, and collected.

Two weeks ago, this looked like this election was going to be close enough for the GOP to steal. After tonight and the past week, the only thing seperating a close Obama win from an absolute Obama rout is how Sarah Quayle Palin handles the white hot lights of the press and Joe Biden. That is, if McCain's handlers even allow her to speak again....or if she even makes it to that debate before McBush decides to give her the "vote of confidence" then boot her for Mitt Romney.

Of course, he can still save himself if he heeds his own advice and picks Hillary...just kidding.


Nick said...

When a politician talks about putting your country first, it's usually a bad sign. The speeches of fascist leaders and ideologues always speak of service to the national or some other tightly connected collective volk without regard to individual desire.

To quote The Doctrine of Fascism:

" Anti-individualistic, the Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State, which stands for the conscience and the universal, will of man as a historic entity (11). It is opposed to classical liberalism which arose as a reaction to absolutism and exhausted its historical function when the State became the expression of the conscience and will of the people. Liberalism denied the State in the name of the individual; Fascism reasserts"

I am not saying Obama or McCain is the exact replica of or reincarnation of Hitler. My point is that America has developed a kind of neo-fascism that mixes some surviving liberalistic constitutional elements with extreme subordination to state authority or mandatory economic self-sacrifice for co-opted powerful elements of society dependent on state power. The promise to bail out extremely wealthy and powerful financial institutions on the collective taxpayer's dime is an example of the latter. The War on Drugs and anti-sex worker policing in the name of protecting the "moral order" of society at the expense of individual rights is an example of the extreme subordination to state authority.

In statist politician speak: you can pretty much be certain that nation, society, and state are interchangeable. Claiming to do something on behalf of all three tends to translate into increased power for them.

Nationalism and freedom have trouble truly coexisting. I suspect both McCain's and Obama's service rhetoric foreshadow things like the military draft or compulsory national service. It depends on the political-cultural-economic context. A new front in the War on Terror might do it or an even more complete economic collapse.

Just to dispel any notions of me as a heartless scrooge: I must add that there's a very real difference between a liberty friendly Food Not Bombs meet-up to feed the homeless and power trip rhetoric about mandatory sacrifice to vaguely defined collective entities. It's not generosity I criticize. I just dislike the conventional dualism between selfishness and selflessness. I suspect people use selflessness and charitableness interchangeably, but it's possible to have a sense of self that passionately drives you towards social justice. Egoism is not necessarily atomistic and asocial.

By the way, where are you studying in San Francisco? I love it there! I need to take third trip there when I have a job again. I am a poor student right now.