Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Uber Tuesday


Yesterday, I had the strangest daydream. It involved the writer, Frank Rich. In my little dream, he never evolved into the brilliant political commentator he has become - but was still the same New York Times' theater critic that he had been for so many years. All of the hundreds of thousands of words he had written since 2001, criticizing the nightmare administration of George W. Bush, turned out to be merely an extended review for an overly long, extremely badly written play....

[sigh]
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On this Super Tuesday, it is difficult to get worked up to any real degree of excitement as to what the eventual outcome will be. It is a certainty that the Republicans will hand the nomination to John McCain - the man who is predicting a century long occupation of Iraq. Nice! Keep your eyes on the man McCain chooses as his running mate. If that man is Mike Huckabee (who is in the process of positioning himself to be just that), pack your bags and move to Canada. So desperate is he to mend fences with the half-witted right wing base of his party, there is every reason to believe that the Arizona Senator will choose a kook like Huckabee to be second on the ticket. As bad as that may be, given his age, there is a better than fifty percent chance that McCain will die during his first term. That may not be a very pleasant thought - it might not even be a nice thing to say - but it is an undeniable fact that everyone seems to be ignoring.
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"President Huckabee"....I used to live in Toronto. Lovely city - very clean.
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Another one who would like to run as Agnew to McCain's Nixon is poor, pathetic Joe Lieberman. The theory (incredible as it may seem) is that a McCain/Lieberman candidacy will be seen as some kind of "unity ticket". I'm not makin' this up! As if someone like Joe could even be marginally perceived as a Democrat. The really funny thing to watch in the next few months will be the stampede of people, desperate to get the GOP's vice presidential nomination. Watch Mitt Romney as he tries to make nice after the bitter fight in the primaries. If the Democrats are foolish enough to give the nomination to Hillary Clinton, the next president of the United States will be John McCain. If that happens it is more than probable that he will be succeeded by his V.P. These clowns are going to fall over themselves to get the number two spot. This is really going to be a laugh riot to watch. Dust off your knee slappers, kiddies!
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This should have been their year. Not since 1932 did the party of FDR have a better chance to take back the executive mansion. Leave it to these stupid, goddamned Democrats to turn caviar into donkey dung. They had extraordinary candidates on the block early on in the primaries - and they're all gone. What we're left with is the Queen of the focus groups and a freshman Senator from Illinois who speaks beautifully but is painfully naive in too many areas to even mention. All we can hope for at the moment is a deadlocked convention this summer that nominates John Edwards as a "compromise candidate". When was the last time that happened? 1920? Good luck.
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The next President of the United States will appoint a minimum of three Supreme Court Justices. That will mean a judiciary controlled by the far right for at least the next forty years if John McCain - or any other Republican for that matter - is elected next November. Call it a hunch but I really don't think we want to go there. PREDICTION: If the GOP retains control of the executive on January 20, 2009, the Dickensian institution of debtor prisons will return to this troubled nation within five years. Does that sound like a bit of a stretch? It isn't. They've already made it impossible for the average citizen to declare legal bankruptcy; Debtor's prison is the next logical step. Think about it.
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A victory for the Republican party nine months from now will mean a four year extension of the Bush White House. The fact that we'll have a new president won't mean a thing. The fact of the matter is that we'll be still living with the same, disastrous methods of governance that have all-but ruined a country that used to be a nice place in which to live - Business as usual. "He'll cut wasteful spending and keep taxes low". That's the message of the most recent McCain campaign ad. What must be understood is the fact that America's future depends on a huge tax increase. Our social and economic infrastructure has been nearly destroyed by twenty-eight years what can only be described as the reckless mismanagement of America's treasure. When they speak of "wasteful spending", what they're really talking about are the social safety nets that have assisted the poor and elderly for seventy-five years now. Since the dawn of the so-called "Reagan Revolution" on January 20, 1981, the plutocracy have been able to loot and plunder the American economy. That trend needs to be put in reverse immediately. It's payback time, baby!
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The blowhard mouth pieces of the far right - Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter (that crowd) - are positively beside themselves with woe with respect to a McCain candidacy. One has the vague hope that their fears are well founded and he is just talking the conservative talk in order to secure the nomination. Might he revert to the roll of the maverick that everyone used to perceive him to be? Might he tell his party to bugger off and emulate the behavior of his historical hero, Theodore Roosevelt? Again, it's only the vaguest of hopes but it's all we have.
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By tonight, we should have a much clearer, if not a decided picture of who will be named standard bearer of their respective parties. To be brutally frank, there's not a hell of a lot of reason to get excited by any of this. Sure, history is being made on the Democratic side: For the first time in history, an African American man and a woman have a shot at the nomination and, thus, the presidency. What so many Democrats insist on ignoring, though, is the inherent weaknesses of both of these candidates. While my heart is with Barack Obama, my intellect tells me that the Dems blew a good thing when they gave John Edwards the boot. What the hell is the matter with them?
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I never had much interest in sports. While the rest of the country was watching the Super Bowl, I was watching a re-run of Bill Moyers' Journal. Truth be told: I didn't even know what team New York was playing against until Monday morning. The Patriots - I get it now. When I was a kid some people suspected I was gay because of my total indifference to who would win the World Series. The fact that I loved figure skating only added to their suspicions. I never quite understood this. Watching a bunch of guys in tight fitting uniforms hopping around a field was never my idea of the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Those figure skaters, on the other hand, were gorgeous! My sport is the sport of politics. My Super Bowl Sunday is Super Duper Tuesday. One hundred years from today, the fact that the New York Giants won the Super Bowl on February 3, 2008 won't matter to anyone. No one will remember it or care. What happens on Election day 2008, on the other hand, will indeed matter to a whole lot of people a century from today. If you don't agree with that statement, consider this question: Do your parents or grandparents appreciate their monthly check from Social Security? They can thank the long-dead Franklin Delano Roosevelt for that. Had Herbert Hoover won re-election in 1932 we would be living in an entirely different world. 'Nuff said?
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This will probably be remembered as the most fateful election of our lifetime - maybe even in history. We're now at a crossroad. We can either take the course of progressive enlightenment or we can continue a repetition of the insane, voodoo economic policies that have ruined this country. The choice is as clear today as it was on Election Day 1932 when the American people decided that the time had come for a new deal. Conservative philosophy of governance has failed completely. We can go right or we can go left. The choice is still ours to make....I think.
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By the way, Montreal is a nice place, too.
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Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net
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AFTERTHOUGHT (7:00 PM):
It is days such as this one that I miss being a Democrat the most. The last primary I voted in was in 1996. I'd love to be a participant, but I can't. The Dems have a lot of fences to mend before I'll even consider coming back into the tent. So there!
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FLASH: THE POLLS JUST CLOSED IN GEORGIA. IT'S OBAMA! YES!!!

12 Comments:

At 11:13 AM, OpenID charemor said...

Hi Tom,

You are right on target again, especially about the VP if McCain wins the GOP nomination.

In the magnificent biography Truman by David McCullough, he points out how at the last convention at which Roosevelt was nominated, everyone was very aware that whoever got the VP nomination would end up as president as they realized that Roosevelt would never live out his term.

I agree with you, if McCain gets elected, he will not make it through four years and we are going to be in even deeper trouble if one of the other wing nuts in the GOP picks up the reins.

 
At 11:30 AM, Anonymous cmaciain said...

enjoy your comments and posts, Tom, but I still don't understand how you can love Obama so much. You know, the man who invoked Reagan? Personally, as a life long liberal progressive, I am so disgusted with people fawning all over Obama. Where is the deep scrutiny? Why isn't he being chewed apart for his statements like everyone else? The one about Pakistan makes me scared of what he'll do if he gets near the button and his actions regarding gays is disgusting to say the mildest, especially since he's a minority as well. How can people be so much for him and not say, wait a minute? Style and fluff matters most, certainly not honesty and substance.

 
At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the matter with you, Tom?
I advise you to watch "AMERICA: Freedom To Fascism. Aaron Russo Interview.".

 
At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, Tom, please have also a look at this:www.ihr.org/jhr/v12/v12p119_Stolley.html

 
At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OBAMA/EDWARDS 2008!!!!!

 
At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Montreal sa belle, mays je suis preferez la belle Quebec (City).
Quans le Huckleberry obtainez le presidencie, je declare le THEOCRACY, et partire les Etats Unis.
In English...if Fukleberry is allowed to bring his theocracy to the already fascist government that presently rules, I'm moving to Quebec City. Quite a lovely place it is!
Winters will be spent in northern Mexico. Si habla Esponol, and also je parlez Franscias (well, enough to get by). Happy landings USA, though the bottom will be comin' at you soon enough!

 
At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, I considered moving to Canada a few years ago, sometime during W's first term. I fell short by a couple of points--if I spoke French or had Canadian relatives, I might have squeaked in. Now I'm 5 years older, and I still don't speak French or have any Canadian relatives. I do speak a little high school Spanish, but I think Mexico is too hot for me. I'm thinking now about a nice obscure Greek island.

 
At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm moving to Toronto in June. I can't WAIT to get up there!

 
At 8:29 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

anonymous,

Look up my brother, Pete Degan! He lives there with his lady friend, Jill.

Tom Degan

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger Saltwater said...

Hi Tom, and good morning. I had an instinct that you would write a Super Tuesday piece, and I'm glad you did! I'm out in in (temporarily almost blue?) Kansas right next to Missouri and Colorado, states all won by Obama (which surprised me but of course this was just a primary, not the November election)
Missouri was so close it is really not clear who won.
Hey,I also wanted to mention I AM reading "What's the Matter With Kansas", at your suggestion, and it explains a lot to this transplanted Yankee (originally from Connecticut) about "red state" politics and economics and why my neighbors are the way they are and all sorts of things. Thanks.
Man. Super Fat Tornado Tuesday all on one day. I don't know how this will turn out.
Great comments about football vs. figure skating. I mean, if a guy is straight, wouldn't he rather watch pretty girls on ice than shiny-butted guys- some of them named "tight ends" and "wide receiver"- bending over, and hugging, and patting each other's bottoms? Not that there is anything WRONG with that, but compared to watching, say, Michelle Kwan or one of the other beauties on the ice rink....I know what >I< like best!

And as for political predictions- I am really pleased, strangely, with ALL the candidates today- temporarily, anyway. Most of them feel they won, or could win, and so all are being pretty gracious and generous with each other. For now, anyway. Last night I watched McCain's speech after the results were pretty well in, and was honestly impressed by the man. He didn't seem like a warmonger, or a bad guy, or a resentful nutcase, but as a good man. Seemed, anyway. In some wys I really do admire him, but cannot- CANNOT- accept his politics, or rather, his expected policies, especially cncerning the war(s). Well, he could afford to act generous to his opponents. Being kind when you are on top is not as hard as when you are losing.

But then I watched Barack speak. And it was different. There was a quality I can't define. He has, to use the hackneyed old saying from Star Wars, "The Force"- a force of someting GOOD- behind him. IMHO, I mean.
I think I have caught the Obama fever. I'm starting to believe that, whatever his flaws, he is our best bet to unite a big enough base to take him to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next year.
And If Hillary won, it would, I tell myself, still be better than Bush. I hope.
One on my correspodents predicts a very unlikely ultimate ticket: Hillary Clinton and John McCain as her Vice President. Of course, this correspondent has a subtle and strange sense of humor, so may be joking, or may be serious. Now THAT would be a really strange ticket. As for me, with Edwards and Kucinich gone, we have to make the best stone soup we can, and to me that means Barack. And I'd be proud to have Michelle Obama as our First Lady. She and Barack remind me of 1960 when it was Jackie and Jack and then it was called "Camelot", because it was a love story between the people and the Presidency. Barack is igniting the kind of hope and support not seen since the 1960 election, it seems, and it IS exciting.

 
At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Jano said...

I have to disagree with you Tom. I don't think Obama's a lightweight. True, he doesn't have a great deal of experience but then, who does who enters the Oval Office?

I think he's wrong on several issues: health care, in particular. But then, he's righht in terms of American's need for an image makeover aborad and a focus in those who are not rich.

How that translates is secondary to getting someone in a leadership position who has a little vision and maybe the will to see that it happens.

My problem is not with Hillary; it's with Bill. Yeah, she's tough but I still don't thibjk she can control him and the job she faces means undoing some of the stuff he did and knowing him as we do, he won't sit still for that. After all, he enacted most of Gingrich's agenda.

Besides, he can't keep his mouth shut and he'll never stop talking.

I'm not heading for Canada. I refuse to turn my country over to idiots without a battle.

McCain is a one trick pony whacko and the nutcase from Arkansas is worse. Put 'em on the same ticket and lets run against it. You'll see some new coalitions among the opposition including sane Christians.

No, I'm not as cynical nor do I feel hopeless. Better to have tried than to give in.

C'mon, Tom, lets go for it. No surrender to these bastards.

Jano

 
At 6:49 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Dear Jano,
Believe me, I don't think that Barack is a lightweight. I DO think he is naive on many issues but, at the very same time, there is indeed a potential for growth. I'll be as clear as I can: Obama is my man )platonically speakin , of course). I believe in him and think that he will be a president we can be proud of.

Cheers!
Tom Degan

 

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