Saturday, October 11, 2008

Crazy White People

Does it get any better than this?

The only thing that Johnny and Gidget have to run on at this stage in the game is the issue (or non-issue, really) of the character of Barack Obama. Watching the people at the Reichstag....I mean, rallies....will be remembered as classic moments in the history of unintentional comedy; a virtual treasure trove example of the jaw-dropping stupidity of the American people:

"I ain't votin' fer no nigger A-Rab!"

Nice! No, it doesn't get any weirder than that. It really doesn't!

But there is something which is also very disturbing and deeply ominous about the McCain/Palin events - the visceral shouts from the crowd, implying threatened violence:

"Kill him!"
"Off with his head!"
"Bomb Obama!"

All of these choice nuggets of electoral discourse were captured by the microphones of MSNBC this week. In an interview a few days ago with CNN's Anderson Cooper, David Gergen said:

"There is this free floating sort of whipping around anger that could really lead to some violence. I think we're not far from that. I really worry when we get....the kind of rhetoric that you're getting at these rallies. I think it's really imperative that the candidates try to calm people down."

The typical McCain/Palin rally has all the look and feeling - not of your average campaign event - but of an out-of-control lynch mob! It seems that much of Middle America, as mythologized by Thornton Wilder in his literary masterpiece, Our Town, has lost it's fucking mind.

There is the malignant cancer of racism which affects the American body politic that Camp McCain is willing and eager to exploit. How else can you explain Sarah Palin's constant, suggestive inquiry, "Just who is Barack Obama"? All last week she has been trying to transform Senator Obama's casual acquaintance with former sixties radical William Ayers into a full fledged plot to blow up America.

Her desperation is quite touching, really. She is loyally following the tried and true Lee Attwater/Karl Rove playbook - the three D's: Divide, Distort and Distract. She is trying to hoodwink the American people into foolishly swallowing the fiction that the Republican party is the party of traditional middle class goals and values. That won't work any longer. Sure it will always work with the type of idiotic Nazi wannabes they were able to dredge up for their rallies in Wisconsin and Florida last week - but the grand old party is over. The era of half-witted, right wing ideological perversity which has polluted America's national political dialogue for nearly three decades is over.

The pendulum has swung - with a vengeance, baby!

I've been waiting for this moment since the day I picked up Dick Gregory's autobiography from the shelf of my high school's library one afternoon in the spring of 1974. I knew that an African American would make it to the White House in my lifetime. I can't explain to you how I knew it - it was just a feeling I had. Call it intuition; call it prophecy; call it Degan's dumb Irish luck - But I knew it, Buster!

The irony is that I always thought that the first black man to live in the White House would be a centrist Republican (Let's face facts: Middle America would never have sent a black woman to the White House at this point in time, no matter how bad things are). Even a slightly left-of-center black Democrat traditionally scares the shit out of Middle America. A Black Democrat in the White House? It'll never happen, I thought.

But these are not ordinary times and President Obama....Sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself....Senator Obama is no ordinary politician. Forgive me for flipping the switch of my cliche` machine but I just can't help myself: This is the dawn of a new era in America. Four centuries of struggle and hardship for our African American brothers and sisters have led to this moment. Barack Obama is not an historical accident - he is an historic inevitability. Wake up and face the dawn.

In the early days of his campaign, the expected musical question was raised in some quarters:

"Is America ready for an African American president?"

Oh, get a freakin' life, huh? As I said on this very site on January 6, the morning after Barack won the Iowa primaries (Yeah! Yeah! I know! It's immodest to quote one's self. So sue me!):

America has been ready for a black president since the day Shirley Chisholm announced her candidacy in 1972.

America has been ready for a black president since Martin Luther King declared, "I have a dream" in August of 1963.

America has been ready for a black president since the day in 1957 when federal troops had to escort nine children into a public school in Little Rock, Arkansas.

America has been ready for a black president since late in the afternoon of December 5, 1955, when a tired and fed-up Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man.

America has been ready for a black president since the Supreme Court of Earl Warren ruled on Brown vs. the Topeka, Kansas Board of Education in 1954.

America has been ready for a black president since Harry S Truman desegregated the armed forces on July 28, 1948.

America has been ready for a black president since the Brooklyn Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson on April 15, 1947.

America has been ready for a black president since that day in 1939 when African American contralto Marion Anderson sang "My Country 'Tis Of Thee" on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial after having been refused the opportunity to sing before the Daughters of the America Revolution because of the color of her skin.

America has been ready for a black president since the night of October 16, 1901 when President Theodore Roosevelt invited George Washington Carver to dine at the White House in the face of southern political outrage.

America has been ready for a black president since January 1, 1863 when Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation became the law of the land.

America has been ready for a black president since Frederick Douglas put pen to paper and wrote, "The life of the nation is secure only while that nation is honest, truthful and virtuous."
America has been ready for a Black president since March 5, 1770. That was the day a man by the name of Crispus Attucks - A BLACK GUY - became the first human being to give his life for this country.
Yeah, America has been ready for a black president for a very, very long time. Three cheers to Barack Obama for waking us up to this fact.
Bearing all of these historical facts in mind, the case against an Obama White House is starting to look pathetically thin. Senator McCain's latest argument du juor is that Barack has never stood up to the leadership of his party and that he, John McCain, has stood up to his. There's no argument to that statement. There have been more than a few times throughout the years where McCain bravely challenged the assholes who comprise the "leadership" of the senate Republicans. But think about it for a minute: Although the Democrats are far from perfect, there are far less reasons to stand up to their leadership than there are to challenge the insane and corrupt positions of the GOP. It's almost like Satan criticizing Gabriel for not standing up to his leadership. A silly argument any way you slice it or dice it.
My message to my fellow honkies who may have trepidations at the thought of an Obama administration would be this. His will not be the first black family to live in the White House. His will be the first black family that did not live in the servant's quarters of the White House. There's nothing to be afraid of. The world will not come to an end when this happens. Big rocks won't be falling from the sky. The sun won't refuse to rise in the morning. As a matter of fact, the world might even improve a little bit - maybe even a whole heck of a lot! Certainly, it cannot be argued that the way the rest of the planet perceives the United States will improve dramatically if President Barack Obama is inaugurated as our 44th president on January 20, 2009. If we continue down this twisted road of Conservative lunacy, we're going to look like a bunch of knuckleheads, don'cha think?
The piece I wrote on January 6, which was called "Making History in Iowa" ended this way:
"You know, I was just thinking: This son-of-a-bitch just might be able to pull this thing off! Wow!"
Wow indeed!
Dear Lord, keep him safe.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
Parting The Waters
by Taylor Branch
In one-hundred days, George W. Bush will be out of the executive mansion forever. Someone, please pinch me, I must be dreaming!


At 10:49 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

This behavior shows the mentality of these unenlightened racist idiots. The fact that the Repugs condoned this display of ignorance and stupidity ( with rah rah Palin encouraging and instigating it ) shows what ethically bankrupt people the Repugs are. They aren't worthy of being in charge of a dog kennel let alone a once great nation. Too bad McShithead didn't die in Viet Nam, we all would be better off today and that war would have then served a purpose....ridding us of sick, evil people like the " Songbird " !!

At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, your observations over the past year have been prophetic. As a resident of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, I am hoping that the 6000 crazies at this week's rally is the limit of the stupidity here, but who knows for sure? I do know that my family has 4 strong supporters for McCain's opposition, and we have 5 grandchildren who see color as no barrier to the White House. We, the people, have been ready for a leader like Sen. Obama for a long long time.

All that being said, it is the last sentence of today's rant that stikes a chord deep in my heart. "Dear Lord, keep him safe." If anything happens to this man, I think that it would be a blow from which we, as a nation, would not recover. We have had 8 years of President Bush and suffered through it without doing him harm. I think the other side should allow us the opportunity to try it our way.

At 3:23 PM, Blogger HAPPY IN NEVADA said...

Tom, you speak the HEART OF MILLIONS - and of all 'colors'.

Each day I worry for this man's safety; each day I fear for some news that he or his wife, will encounter some type of a threat or an attempt on either of their lives.

Thanks to the evil actions of both McCain and Palin, they know full well they've planted a 'thought' - they've been planting; who knows, they might even be plotting and to me I would NOT put it past McCain to even PAY for someone to inflict harm on Obama or his wife.

I will cheer the day McCain has died in his sleep or from a long bout with cancer...he is a demon indeed!

Thank you for a wonderful post.

At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't recall who said this,perhaps the PA Governor, and so I'll paraphrase...
Imagine that you are in deep water in the middle of a river, and you're DROWNING. You are in way over your head and desperate to be rescued before you die.
Suddenly, an person appears on the shore with a life ring in his hand.
Do you look to see if he's red, orange, black, brown, white, purple, or pink before you call to him to toss it to you?
Do you care in that circumstance?
Maybe, some of the racist idiots would refuse the life ring if it was tossed by a black man.
I know I wouldn't. The others deserve to drown.

At 3:50 PM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

I live in Brandon, Manitoba CANADA; about 2 hours drive north of the border.

I work a midnight shift as a cashier at a gas station on weekends. The guys laying a pipeline for natural gas from Alberta to Ontario come in for their morning coffee and newspaper to take to read on the job site, when it rains or things get back-up in the process; they read the headlines and say something frightening that THE WORLD BELIEVES about the USA:

To quote one from this morning,
Obama is going to get a JFK haircut.

Even the cab drivers that take me to work all say that some nutbar will take him out before he is even inaugurated.

If this is what the USA's LARGEST TRADING PARTNER and LARGEST SUPPLIER OF OIL, ELECTRICITY AND NATUAL GAS THINK, what do you think the rest of the world thinks about American politics and "DEMOCRACY?

Nauseating and beyond the pale.

How about the spin job they are "playing" on Palin breeching ethics while in office? "The Obama Campaign orchestrated it!" Say what?

I seem to remember Alaska Barbie had this written into her "chronicles" prior to her "pick" by McCain (chortle) as his VP.

Palin was elected long after the divorce was settled and still she and Todd harrassed the State of Alaska's Public Service Commissioner to fire the ex-bro-in-law. What kind of "payback" would have satisfied them? Blood.

I watch the rallies and listen to her espouse her "Christin faith and virtues." Oh, really? What part of anything you have said since entering this campaign would you be willing to utter to "your Lord and personal savior, Jesus Christ?

20)And then [Jesus] added,
"It is the thought-life that defiles you. 21)For from within, out of a person's heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, eagerness for lustful pleasure, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23)All these vile things come from within, they are what defile you and make you UNACCEPTABLE to God."

Mark 7: 20-23

Perhaps the chance wouldn't be afforded her to meet with Jesus; he did throw the Money Changers from the Temple. He also said, "Render unto Caeser what is Caeser's; that means TAXES.

She and McCain (although not vocal about it) practice a strange religion but it is NOT based on the word of Jesus and his final commandment that covered everything we are, as Christians, called to do: Do unto your brother as you would have them do unto you.

At least Obama practices his Christianity in public by demonstration and, as in the Beatitudes, takes the time to challenge.

The USA is a SECULAR nation, so it should remain, however, if you are going to "play the Christian card" you better walk the walk and talk the talk.

At 8:30 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Tom, this is really one of your best Rants yet. The hatred that McCain/Palin are stirring up is not only unbelievable, but unforgivable. If something happens to Obama,either before or after the election, it will be on their heads.

The sad thing is that I think it is finally beginning to sink in (if anything can) to McCain that this is getting out of control, but as some other writer stated Palin is totally clueless; she thinks that she is the birthday girl at the party and she can do and say anything she wants to with no concern or responsibility for consequences. The thing that scares the hell out of me is that this bimbo really gets off on this shit! She could be the hell spawn of Cheney! May they both rot in hell.

At 10:48 PM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

Let's remember who GAVE McCain/Palin their playbook of association and "Bobby Kennedy wasn't killed until June"; HILLARY CLINTON.

When was the last time they covered her or Bill doing an Obama campaign rally? For them? It is a "Campaign Stop." That would give "she who feels entitled" her 2012 chance to run her playbook on the next "competition" who deigns challenge her for "her destiny."

Everything David Gergen said during the Primaries about Hillary giving the Republicans their Presidential Campaign playbook has come to pass.

If OBAMA doesn't win? Think of Hillary.

Tom, I still have my money for the money for the 527 you start up to kick her out of the Senate; I've up the donation amount--->$50.


At 12:45 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Hey prarie waif,

I've got to say one thing in her defence (Tom Degan? Defending HILLARY CLINTON??? - What the heck, the primaries are over): Her speech the other day imploring people to vote for Barack Obama was passionate and seemed sincere. Bill, also, seems to be getting with the program. Time will tell.

All the best,
Tom Degan

At 1:35 PM, Blogger Saltwater said...

Very good "rant", and very powerful comments.
I wanted to bring up a topic for the other readers (wrote to Tom about it already) which is basically about the other day when the woman at a McCain rally said Obama was an Arab, and McCain wisely, and I suppose honorably, denied it, and then said that Obama was a good family man.
However, Senator McCain did not take the opportunity to tell his followers that not only is Obama not an Arab, and not only is he a good family man, but he is also not a Muslim, and in fact he is a Christian.
McCain's people won't ever believe that unless he tells them over and over. Maybe.
McCain had the opportunity to slip that in, and either decided not to, or was caught off guard and just did the best he could.
However, the false notion that Obama is a Muslim is far more pervasive, and contagious, than the false notion that he is an Arab or a terrorist.
Yet McCain has allowed this false notion- this lie- to continue, and Governor Palin, (if not Senator McCain himself), has definitely said things to encourage all these false notions, even to help them flourish.
McCain and Palin's rhetoric, and their campaign ads, are putting Obama's life at greater risk. McCain and Palin have a responsibility to not only not encourage, but to actively discourage, any lies about Obama that could lead to some right-wing nutjob acting out.
I would start to respect McCain just a tiny bit, maybe, if he went very public with a statement that Obama is neither a Muslim nor a terrorist, and that he is, in fact, a Christian.
Well, at least we now know Obama is not an Arab. Big deal. An Arab? Who cares about Arabs? What does that have to do with anything?
Answer: Unfortunately, to many people, "Arab" implies "haji" and "sand ni**er", "camel jockey" and "raghead", "insurgent" and "terrorist" . And most of all, "Arab" implies "Muslim"; and "Muslim" implies anti-Christian and terrorist, on and on in a vicious circle that foments hate against all so-called "people of color" unless they are "born again in Jesus".

Racism and religious fanaticism are a terrible mix. A Crusader mentality pervades McCain's Republican "Christian" base.
I grew up a Connecticut Yankee, but have lived in the Bible Belt for 31 years. It is definitely different from New England out here. I have seen and heard, many times, from the good "Christians" of the American Midwest, the old racist attitudes that are still so strong, as well as the ill-reasoned, war-loving "patriotism" of the Republican rednecks.
I've seen that too many citizens of the "heartland" of our country have angry, bitter, hating hearts, but cloak that hate in Bizarro-world "patriotism" and evangelistic "Christianity." Sorry for all the quotation marks, but I can't in good conscience call these people Christians or patriots without putting the words in quotes.

Not to mention the fanaticism of End-Times/holy war "Christians" who follow religious nuts such as Pastor Hagee.
THAT is why it is important for McCain to tell his people, tell the world, that Obama is not a Muslim, etc.
But I'm not counting on that happening; it would require McCain being truly honorable and moral, and he doesn't seem to be able to do that (if he ever could), and also run for President.
God bless you all and may good prevail in November- meaning we elect Obama.

At 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been emailing to my colleages ever since Obama's poll numbers have gone up that he should watch his back, Wellstone, Missouri's Mel Carnahan and JFK Jr as examples.
These crooks and criminals will stop and NOTHING to achieve their ends which is to rule the world.

At 1:58 AM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

Why OBAMA is *THE* Pro-LIFE Candidate <---Hotlink, click on it!

I finally got around to writing a blog. I have had enough of the Anti-Choice nutbars spreading lies that McCain is "Pro-LIFE

I take on the REAL PRO-LIFE stance from an Irish Roman Catholics view

I explain why Catholics or anyone who wants to claim to be "Pro-LIFE" cannot possibly vote McCain/Palin.

At 4:14 AM, Blogger larkrise said...

Great Rant, Tom. (I finally got more RAM.) Frank Rich wrote a column in the NYT about Palin. He seemed to imply that her "handlers" were responsible for the woman's extremely irresponsible and vicious behavior. I assume she can say the word "NO" ? As a young nurse , I was ordered by a doctor to give a deep, IM injection to a Hemophiliac. Not a good idea. In fact, it is verboten. So, I refused. I told him he could do so if he wished, but I was not going to disable the young man. The doctor decided to switch to oral medication. You see, one can say "NO"; when asked to do that which is quite inadvisable.Of course, Sarah Palin seems to be short on good judgement, short on ethics, and short on decency. She does not need "handlers" to point her in the wrong direction. She seems to relish going that way on her own volition. Her smirks, her sarcasm, her innuendos, indeed, her out and out lies would indicate a woman who seldom has pricks of conscience. Her raw ambition overrides all sense of right and wrong. "Any means to an end of advancing Sarah" is her mantra. It fits nicely with the Republican tradition that we have seen from Nixon to The Ever-Dubious Dubya. Her role models are Deadeye Dick and KKKarl Rove. If her behavior would bring about tragedy, she would simply spin it away. After all, even though she was found to be in violation of ethics in Alaska, she says she was found totally innocent! Black is white, and white is black in Sarahland.Lies come as easily to this woman as the next breath. There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; Sarah is pure as the driven snow; pigs fly; and leprechauns are leaping over the rainbow.

At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


It is a good thing we have good Christians like McCain and able, they know that Ayers should have been crucified and never been allowed to become a college professor. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Every good Christian knows that blacks are descended from Ham and are cursed by God. “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men our created equal”. Vote McCain and able because they will fight and kill for you, “blessed are the peacemakers”.

At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious about the fact that people seem to forget that Obama is *not* black--he's biracial, as in half-white. I'd like to see this stressed more in hopes that it would give those uncomfortable with voting for a black a basis to
rationalize that they're voting for his white side.

That said, I remember all too well 22 November 1968, 4 April 1968, 6 June 1968, and 15 May 1972. I am terrified that this unconscionable, vicious rage will result in another national tragedy and rob us of our future. I'm not sure that I (or our country) could bear it.

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tom:
I will worry if/ after Barack gets elected. Always the inspiring ones get assassinated. It is amazibng though,these palinites. Spoon feed them anything, they would drink bleach if told it was holy water.

Here in Canada, I am going to the polls today. I will try my part, to get Canada further away from a Harper majority- which I don't think will happen now.

On Nov. 4, 2008, I will be getting drunk- in a good way. Keep up these great posts Tom- only 98 more days providing they don't attempt something, I would'nt putit past them, itching for a terrorist attack.

Bush. Worst ever.

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Dear Blaine,

You and me both, Buster! This difference between you and I is that I don'd need a Democratic victory as an excuse to get good 'n' loaded. My excuse yesterday? It was the 83rd Anniversary of the birth of Lenny Bruce. My excuse this evening? I'm working on it.

I agree with you. George W. Bush is desperate that the Dems are not in charge of the Departmant of Justice come January 20. He knows damned good and well that if that happens, he, Dick Cheney and a whole hell of a lot of others will be going away to federal prison for a very long time.

These hideous bastards and bitches (Hi, Condi!) are so corrupt, they're not half an inch above letting some "incident" transpire - even something that gets a couple of thousand people killed.

Don't put it past them.

Tom Degan

At 3:21 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Do you REALLY think Obama will go after the Repug criminals ?? More likely they'll get a pass. As much as I like Barack Obama keep in mind he is STILL the lesser of the evils. Obama is still establishment and the establishment is still evil. Obama is an intelligent guy but he needs to rid himself of the bullshit he was taught at Columbia and Harvard. Maybe had he gone to Cal Berkeley in the 1960s he would see things a little differently ??

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

We'll have to see what happens, ellis....I have to believe that once Barack is securely in place in the Oval Office, he'll do the right thing.

Time will tell....

Tom Degan


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