S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Riffing on The Reaction

Liberalism waxed unbound regarding Republicans yesterday at The Reaction. Our little writers' group did not lack for opinions about party prospects for victory in November, the party convention, and about evening's featured speaker, its nominee for Vice-President, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. While I, too was preoccupied with Palin, my mind persisted in visualizing what was going on outside of the convention in the Minneapolis streets. That led to visualizing what a Palin presidency might look like. Today my post riffs off of what my co-bloggers contributed during yesterday's big bountiful liberal dialogue, carrying each idea to possibilities presented for the future with Sarah Palin as the POTUS.

Foresee a a fear mongering administration that politicizes, lies and obfuscates, covers up its ineptitude, coddles cronies, punishes domestic enemies, and breaks the law, all in the name of protecting America. Libby Spencer correctly predicted yesterday that, to quote:

Sarah Palin will give a great speech. She will lie her face off.

The GOP base will go wild and proclaim that this proves she is a true reformer who is ready to lead.

They will not see the irony in that they have been accusing Obama of being a candidate who only makes great speeches but is too inexperienced to lead.

The punderati will declare this brilliant stroke a gamechanger.

. . . Somewhere, in an undisclosed location, Karl Rove will be chortling and popping a bottle of champagne.

It is not beyond the realm of possibility to visualize that a Vice-President Palin could be called upon to become the U.S. President. One in three Vice-Presidents have done so in the past. Palin's aggressive personality, Right Wing reactionary beliefs, unstable leadership style, and thin knowledge base would almost certainly guarantee permanent crisis mode for the country. To some it might feel like "the end times." Think about it. The Reaction's editor, Michael J.W. Stickings, revisiting Palin tonight after the speech -- and predictable pundit commentary -- asked,

Seriously, this person -- I'd say "woman," but the Republicans are so quick to throw around the sexism charge -- is on a national ticket and could be the next vice president? Are you kidding me?

The Supreme Court could decide in a close election, as they did in 2000. Theoretically, in a free and fair election, each vote cast counts just one. The Electoral College will decide the outcome of the election, however, based on which party's nominees win each state. But an election could be stolen, with voter intimidation, electronic voting problems, or unfair campaign advertising. Under certain circumstances Palin is not that far from the presidency. Neither daily tracking polls nor national popularity polls can predict with certainty that Obama and Biden will prevail. My co-blogger, Carl did an excellent electoral vote analysis about "How McCain could win," ending it with cautious optimism, however. To quote:

If McCain can hold onto the states currently at least leaning his way, and recapture Iowa, then the election will basically come down to Virginia. I suspect Nevada is less in play than pollsters think (again, that "guns" thing comes into play). Obama does well in the urban and college towns, but if you look at the primary map, the counties that Clinton took west of the Shenandoah are largely Republican.

This is not good news for Obama. Again, guns and religion. Working class folks. Obama will have to make the case over the next months that he's not the scary liberal black man that the Republicans will paint him as, that he's an average American, at least as average as Sarah Palin, with an interesting life story and a rugged upbringing. He has to show he learned something, some common sense.

If he can do that, he will win the election, but it will not be the landslide many are predicting.

The United States of America is on the verge of becoming a theocracy. The current Bush administration is the model upon which the Republican base is building its case. Ever since the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01, Republicans have governed using the naturally resulting fears of citizens. And Governor Sarah Palin was chosen in order to solidify the continuation of right wing evangelical government, for the on-going benefit of the rich and powerful. Is it not hard to image "Commander in Chief" Palin, upon becoming President, developing the strategies for leading the mighty U.S. military and maintaining successful foreign relations around the world? Just look at this nominee and look at the last 8 years of our current president. You have all the information necessary. Nothing would change because Palin would be the next Bush. Capt. Fogg posted "Thy will be done" for The Reaction yesterday. To quote the opening and closing graphs:

Thou shalt not take the name of YHWH thy God in Vain.
"I think God's will has to be done," said Sarah Palin.
. . . We quibble about her experience. We pretend she's intelligent and honest and moral. We pretend the press which never asks embarrassing questions or investigates any claim is giving her a hard time -- because they're liberal.

I no longer ask how insane things have to get before anybody notices. I no longer ask how a democracy gives its consent to tyranny. I know the answer, we're living the answer.

Based on her past limited record, visualizing a Palin administration that deeply respects the Constitution, routinely protects civil liberties and adheres to the rule of law is difficult. Palin is currently being investigated for ethics violations, if the probe is allowed to go forward, which is doubtful. Palin's police were, allegedly, seen by her as tools to be used for personal purposes. And I venture to guess that a President Palin would view the Bible as trumping the Constitution in a close call. Quoting my own post at The Reaction yesterday, "Reflections On an Emerging Election Process,"

Regarding protest and the police state in Minnesota, the news about the health of the U.S. Constitution is not good. Professor Marjorie Cohn, President of the National Lawyers Guild, posted this full analysis today at Dandelion Salad: "Police State Methods: Preemptive Strikes Against Protest at the Republican National Convention." It is not clear that the Constitution is even on life support, according to Glenn Greenwald's full and updated expose of the government's involvement at Pam's House Blend (9/2/08) reported "Donna Brazile pepper sprayed,"* and Greg Palast (on 9/1/08) headlined "Amy Goodman arrested."* Lindsay Beyerstein reported today at firedoglake/CampaignSilo that, "Police Gas Docile Crowd Outside the RNC." The ACLU reports, "More from the RNC."

Visualizing Governor Sarah Palin as the President of the United States is important to a rational and realistic election process. One's imagination does not need to be stretched very much because the current events can yield good clues. My co-bloggers contributions reinforce the vision I have tried to present in the light of today. Think about ranks of police in riot gear, arresting journalists for conspiracy to riot. Think about the gap between rich and poor widening. Believe that drilling for oil in Alaska will bring down gasoline prices. Give up your belief in evolution. Be willing to let go of your woman's right to choose what happens to your own body. Understand that "reform" would be a cruel illusion. And be very aware that most voters cast their presidential votes using gut instinct. Obama, Biden, McCain and Palin should be vetted by visualizing voters. The four candidates have just two months to vie for the leadership of the free world. The outcome will be either a continuation of the current corporatocracy or a true change of direction.

View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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