11 October, 2008

"When you're on the canvas searching for your mouthpiece wondering, How the fuck did I lose..."

I'm sure by now, you've all heard of the nasty turn that the McCain/Palin campaign has taken. They, and their most fervent supporters, clearly feel cornered and frustrated, like a team down by ten in the fourth that has run out of time outs.

I just want to say that I didn't expect this sort of thing from the conservative side. My experience has been (understandably, given our recent history) with liberals -- especially young liberals -- overreacting to defeat at the polls. The moving-to-Canada folks, the never-going-to-believe-again folks, who, like ten year olds, vow never to play the game again because their side lost. Conservatives, I always thought, perhaps because they tend to be older, understood that losing is part of the game and that a loss means putting your head down and working harder, organizing better, and playing dirtier, if thats what it takes. Not for them the liberal's naive shock at having been bested.

But it seems there is a small but significant bloc of the GOP that up until this point literally could not conceive of a President Obama. With Bama crushing in the polls and clock counting down, they are now being forced to realize that it is not only a possibility, but also a likelihood. And they can't take it. This is a bit like liberals who couldn't consider George W. Bush anything but a punchline until he won, except more serious: we thought W. was silly and incompetent, but these are people who believe that Obama literally sympathizes with terrorists, that he literally has no qualifications besides being black.

This is racist, yes. But its also pathetic that these people who I used to admire for their tenacity if nothing else can only deal with prospect of electoral defeat with reflexive and conspiratorial bigotry. Eight years under Bush has convinced them that the country is made out people just like them, and now they are awaking to the horror that, in fact, the country is nothing like them and that they were just used by the conservative movement at large. They are waking up to a country where marginally increasing tax progressivity is not treasonous and where a majority is on track to elect a black man named Barack Hussein Obama to the highest office of the land. To me, its Morning in America. To them, they have had the carpet pulled from underneath them in the most brutal way.


spencer said...

Scathing. In McCain's defense, I think the old codger is a bit disturbed at the hatred he has provoked. At his most recent town halls he's provoking boos from his own supporters by saying that Obama's a "decent person" and someone that they "shouldn't be scared to have as President."

Which just underscores how deep the problem actually is. These people aren't just following McCain's cues, they're drawing on much deeper resentments. And that's pretty scary.

Elliot said...

I also don't think that McCain understood the craziness that lay at the conservative heart of darkness, and I truly appreciate his most recent attempts to tone down the murderous inclinations of his rallies.

I really want to believe that McCain is better than this, but it seems that McCain is simply pushing the harsher rhetoric off to Palin, while he can repudiate the very excesses that she is stirring up.

Cassady said...

But isn't that the traditional role of the VP? I mean, that doesn't make it right, or make the double-standard any less ridiculous, but it wasn't exactly unexpected.

What I think is most revealing in this situation is the way people are talking to McCain at these rallies, the actual formulation of their sentences. Like the man who said "you need to start representing us" or something along those lines.

They feel that they are this good and gracious majority who has nevertheless been passed over with regards to politics. They choose that explaination rather than admit that it is their votes, their outrages, their prejudices, and their policies that have been peddled under the Republican brand for at least the last 8 years.