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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sorry, John, but WE understand.

First, let's dispense with the absurdity of who "won" the debate. A political debate is a huge ink blot. It is not a verbal combat to determine a winner--unless one of the debaters screws up in some colossal way. It is a forum in which the dominant purpose is for the candidates to define and support their stances. People project their own prejudices and pathologies onto the debate. When we hear assessments of such a debate, we hear nothing substantive about the candidates or the issues. We receive only a map of the minds of the people who presume to make such assessments. And those maps are seldom pretty. For the most part they are reflective of a culture that no longer can distinguish between self-absorption and applied intelligence.

Second, the debate was overshadowed by the financial crisis, which provided an occasion for the regressives to put on a display of the political game that so totally defines them: distraction, obstruction, and hate-based propaganda. Begin with the fact that no one wants a $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. The administration, as has people like Warren Buffet, have warned that a potential credit freeze could shut down the nation. (In fact, word circulating on the Internet is that the Bank of England told the Kremlin that Pres. Bush will declare an economic catastrophe the week of Oct. 5 and the election will be postponed indefinitely.) McCain and neo-fascists in the House are trying to make the bailout look like a Democrat scheme, rather than a bi-partisan effort to head off the total collapse of the country. Their first ploy was to refuse to send a representative to the House-Senate talks and then to disrupt the Thursday meeting for reviewing the progress of the plan by raising their objections with a shouting match--at a time when sound information and cool deliberation was essential. Although Obama had made the initial effort to organize a cooperative approach between the campaigns, McCain saw a chance to posture. He parachuted in to Washington, but contributed nothing that anyone could see. What we could see was him rushing around, cell phone to ear, in a flurry of staff claims that he was involved in the negotiations. No one, Democrat, Republican, Administration, or staff have been able to report anything that McCain contributed.

One thing did come through clearly at the debate. John McCain stood sullenly refusing to even look at Obama, repeating the phrase "Sen. Obama doesn't understand." Sorry, John, but WE understand.

After the Republican convention, McCain's campaign went from any pretense to addressing issues to a media propaganda offensive styled after propaganda blitzes of the old Soviet Union, Red China, and most totalitarian states who believe a repetition of lies and slanders are the essence of gaining and maintaining political power. The press has done its job of revealing the actuality of Sarah Palin and the deliberate misrepresentations the McCain-Palin campaign has made of Obama. McCain has become a devotee of the Karl Rove tactics used against him in the primary campaign of 2000. He must have become convinced of their efficacy. And coupled with the I-can-see-Russia-from-here statements as evidence of qualification, there aren't many brain cells that do not feel indignant about the insults to them.

The scheme being put forward by the intransigent regressives which McCain claims to have made possible is for Wall Street to buy insurance on the mortgages that it can purchase. Who would be the insurer? The government. The regressives say it would preserve the free market. The fact is that the market has not been free. The corporate fascists managed to evade any attempts at regulation that would have prevented the crisis. They managed to keep the market a closed entity from which the forces of a truly free market were systematically shut out. To make a market truly free, it must be regulated by rules that keep it open and free. The insurance scheme would merely provide a way for the people who caused the financial crisis to maintain control of the market. And John McCain jumped in to lead the charge to make a provision in the bailout scheme that would preserve the privileges of the corporate fascists, not open up and set the market free.

When McCain fully embraced the propaganda tactics of anti-democratic regimes, he defined himself quite clearly. His decisions during and since the Republican convention have made clear what factions and ideologies he represents. Sorry, John, but we do understand.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States