Barack Needs Our Help
About a week and a half ago, I told you about my positively un-American, younger brother, Jeffrey Rudd Degan ("Rudd" was my maternal great-grandmother's maiden name). He's the one who lives in Germany who married a French woman. You get the idea. This morning, I received an e-mail from the little commie thug, imploring me - threatening me - to make a donation to the Barack Obama/Joe Biden campaign.
"HA!", I replied with much, smug self-satisfaction, "Beat'cha to the punch by over a month! I sent him a check in early August."
But, noooo!!! That wasn't enough for Jeff. Was I only going to send him one measly little check? Wasn't I going to urge the readers of "The Rant" to do as much??? To make a long story short, he's not going to stop bugging me until I devote an entire column to making an appeal for the Obama campaign fund. Said he:
"Tell your readers that if they have not given yet, give now! I want to see a post about giving to Senator Obama - and I want to hear you say that you have sent out an e-mail to everyone on your mailing list, asking them to donate to the campaign today. Do it now. I am not going to stop harassing you. I know where you live."
Fine, Jeff. If it'll make you happy, I'll do it (pain in the neck)....
Here is a nasty fact of political life: it costs a hell of a lot of money in order to run for the office of president of the United States. The biggest cash killer is broadcast time. Buying air time costs a bloody fortune. This is a situation which should not exist on We the People's airwaves. The next president and congress should see to it that federal legislation is passed that will demand that every four years, all television stations across the country will be obliged - by law - to cover a certain amount of time every day to balanced coverage of the presidential election. Paid political advertising should be made illegal. Nothing is more responsible for the deplorable state America's knowledge (or lack thereof) of electoral politics and affairs of state. Nothing.
Just consider for a minute what is at stake. Here are ten, damned good reasons why electing John McCain would be a monumentally stupid idea:
1. The Supreme Court is on the verge of a complete mental breakdown. What you have at the moment are four right wing extremists against five moderates. The next president will make - at the very least - two appointments (possibly three). John McCain has already said, more than once, that as president he would appoint activist Conservatives to the bench. Read that to mean: REACTIONARY KOOKS (ala Scalia and Uncle Thomas).
2. John McCain is seventy-two years old and (let us face some serious facts here, kiddies) not in the best of shape. This might seem to many to be a cruel thing to say but if this situation calls for anything, it is brutal frankness: The law of averages absolutely forbids his not passing away between now and January 20, 2012. Keep saying it to yourself, over and over again: "President Sarah Palin". I can just picture the movie marquee. "GIDGET GOES TO WASHINGTON". Neat idea, huh? No, I didn't think so either.
3. No question about it, most of us are sick of the GOP. The 111th Congress is going to be overwhelmingly Democratic in both houses. If the American people are silly enough to elect the ticket of McCain/Palin to head the executive branch of their government, they can expect four years of stagnation and stalemate.
4. Today's Republican talking point is the word, "maverick". A senator who has voted a full ninety percent of the time on the side of the worst president in the history of this country can and should be called many things (I can think of one or two choice words myself) but "maverick" is not one of them. Yesterday, David Broder made the absurd statement that John McCain is "an anti-establishment reformer" and his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate only proves it. Have another sip, Dave. A generation ago, Broder was one of the best political writers out there; it almost seems as if he has sold his soul. McCain is pure Washington Beltway and David Broder knows it. Anti establishment? John McCain? Sarah Palin?? I need a drink.
5. McCain has seized the mantra of "CHANGE". How in the hell are we expected to believe that the Republican party is going to clean up the mess that they have made? The very idea of these people in charge of the military for another four years, after the catastrophic mistakes of the last seven-and-a-half-years, is too depressing to even contemplate. And don't forget that Senator McCain thought that invading Iraq - the worst military blunder in American history - was a perfectly fine idea. He has yet to admit his error. In December of 2002, a full three months before the invasion, Barck Obama was already on the record as being against it. And the Republicans want to talk about judgement?
6. This is my own theory but after years of careful study I believe I am onto something here: What has been going on for the last seven years is that the extreme right wing is purposely trying to bankrupt the American economy so they will have an excuse to do away with the social safety nets so many of our fellow Americans depend on, some of which have been in place for over seventy years ("See? Big government doesn't work!") Four more years of Republican "rule" (it's hard to refer to it as "leadership") might very well sound the death knell for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid - and Lord only knows what else. If you or a parent or grandparent depend on a monthly check from the government - from funds you have paying into your entire lives - you should be seriously alarmed. If you're not, you're not paying attention.
7. Forgive me for being repetitive but I just can't help myself: PRESIDENT SARAH PALIN???
8. Again, it might sound cruel to some but it must be said. John McCain, I don't believe, has the psychological temperament to be president. His explosive temper toward his colleagues (including threats of physical violence) is legendary. There have been times during this campaign when he has seemed to be on the verge of senility. And this is the guy we want negotiating with Vladamir Putin? The hell with the drink, I need some heroin.
9. Six words: SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY PHIL GRAMM!!! 'Nuff said?
10. Seriously folks! Look what the Bush Mob has done to this country! John McCain has said repeatedly that he has every intention of continuing their policies. How is it going to look to the rest of the world if we go down this road again? We're gonna look like a bunch of assholes!
As I've said more times than I can count, not since 1932 has the need for this nutty country to go in a new direction been as pitifully obvious as it is in this political year. Not to do so will be nothing more than a case of mass suicide.
Way the hell back on February 23, 2007, shortly after Senator Obama announced his candidacy, I suggested on this site that he adopt as his own, Bobby Kennedy's unofficial theme song from his ill-fated 1968 campaign, The Impossible Dream. Sung by the late Richard Kiley in the Broadway classic, Man of La Mancha, it was a beautiful piece of music that no one, it seems, even remembers anymore:
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
This is my quest to follow that star
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
To fight for the right - without question or pause
To be willing to march into hell for a Heavenly cause
And I know if I only be true to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I'm laid to my rest
Alright. Maybe "glorious quest" is a tad over-the-top. But it cannot be denied that the man has one hell of an uphill battle ahead of him. As was once said, "Money is the mother's milk of politics". The Obama campaign will only be successful if they raise money - lots of it. Please give as generously as you possibly can. Our great grandchildren - who will never even know our names - are depending on us.
There, Jeff. Are you happy now? You're a creep, you know that?
Here is a link to make a donation to Obama/Biden '08:
Rady Ananda is one of the finest young progressive writers currently walking among us. Here is a link to her excellent blog:
America's Economic Crisis and the Power of a
by Robert Kuttner
There are one-hundred and thirty-two days to go until George W. Bush is gone from our lives forever!