Monday, September 01, 2008

Best In Show

Bob Barr (L). John McCain (R). Cynthia McKinney (G). Barack Obama (D).
Man. Even the "alternative parties" are fronting candidates from the hypocritical Washington establishment! It must be the Year of Experience!

The remaining four candidates are all worthy of consideration, and not just because I refuse to grant the Republican and Democratic parties exclusive rights to my vote. (I am willing to pretend we live in something like a democracy, but acquiescing to two-party rule is too much even for my imagination. Especially when the two parties concerned are so lousy.) Both the Greens and the Libertarians have nominated well-known former members of the United States Congress, all of whom have federal experience outweighing that of Sarah Palin.

But this isn't an election about "experience" any more than it is a race about issues. It's about look and personality. Even those who vote entirely on ideology are frustrated this year. We might skip the debates and instead have a human dog show, where the candidates run and jump and catch a biscuit (tossed by their major corporate donors of course), are rated by judges, and the highest score wins the office. Spare us the charade and let's just have a presidential dog show, award Best In Show, and go on praying for the Republic.

Let's have a look at the homely personalities who would be our next president. One of them will win, you know that?

Bob Barr is best known for being the subject of a real-life political farce. He was a leader of the partisan Congressional team that impeached President Bill Clinton in 1998. The impeachment was perceived as being about Clinton's marital infidelity, if you remember, which is why we had a good laugh in 1999 when Barr himself was 'outed' for marital infidelity and branded with a lacey "H." For this reason, I still smirk at the mention of his name, but Barr is interesting for another reason.

Barr was an author of the PATRIOT Act of 2001, and later regretted the legislation for giving government too much power and for the way it was abused. Which makes me wonder how he could have been so naive. Government taking advantage of power and exceeding its mandate to use it? Gramercy, since when?? The Libertarians are not naive about this - but they need a candidate with name recognition, and Barr is an experienced candidate.

McCain is a long-time Senator who has run for President before. In 2000 he got steamrolled by some ugly smear politics. In 2008, McCain has hired the people who smeared him - and their acolytes - to make him President. Being 72 years old and a cancer survivor, his choice of running mate is significant, and he chose a right-wing ideologue with an impressive personal story yet a resume even shorter than Barack Obama's. McCain purports to be ready from day one, but in the event of a God-forbid, would President Palin be ready and what, then, would she do?

If any left-winger resorts to rumor-mongering about McCain's temper, be sure to ask them about Cynthia McKinney, the latest celebrity candidate embraced by the Green Party. McKinney was a Democratic Congresswoman representing Georgia who sadly upstaged her accomplishments by slugging a cop in 2006, denying it, and then apologizing for it. She is now using the Green Party to give her political career a little more life, and the Green Party is unaccountably desperate to participate in presidential politics and thus we have her candidacy. I wonder if she can recite the Ten Key Values without consulting her palm pilot? Oh, let's not be naive. Both she and the party stand to benefit and hey, if we're going to talk about experience, compare her resume to Sarah Palin's.

Barack Obama, legal scholar, civic activist, state senator from Illinois, United States Senator, renowned orator and, to look at his voting record, a play-it-safe "centrist" (on a map that has been pushed to the right) Democrat. A guy who swore he would filibuster any bill that included retroactive immunity for telecoms who helped our government spy on us; and weeks later threw his support behind a bill that did exactly that, and endorsed expanded surveillance powers for an abusive administration. I don't think he has the courage of his rhetorical convictions.

Trot them out like dogs at a show, folks, and hold up your score cards. Their political handlers have them on leashes and they are trotting them around for our polite applause. Someone cue the national anthem.


Darlene said...


What about Ralph Nader?!

"There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship toward 'a new birth of freedom." — Ralph Nader

BTW, did Gabriel open his gifts?

Algernon said...

Ralph Nader is crazy. I'm not even watching his campaigns anymore.

Algernon said...

Oh, and thank you very much for the beautiful gift! Gabriel hasn't gotten around to doing his paw prints yet...