Monday, March 17, 2008

Red State Bar Banter

"Are you kidding me? John McCain is a lunatic. 'More wars.' Where, John? Who do you have in mind? Anyone in particular? Or is it just the war part that's important? And this 'hundred years' in Iraq business. 'Cause Iraq is just like Japan or Korea, which it of course isn't, but it only gets me thinking, 'yeah, why the hell are we still in Korea and Japan?' And this 'screw you' attitude toward people who disagree with him. I'm supposed to cower beneath his charges of bigotry because I don't share his view on immigration. And the press; don't get me started. This is beginning to get embarrassing. Turn a hose on them or they'll be out in the street all day like that."

"Hah.Yeah."

"I think the guy's been nuts ever since he was a POW. That's the ironic thing about John McCain. We're basically electing this guy because of his personal history in Vietnam. Because of his narrative of heroic suffering. But that same experience should actually make us more leery of this guy. I mean the same thing that made him a perversely stubborn bastard willing his way through his time in captivity may in fact make him an awful president."

"Good point. Alex, give this guy another round on me."

"Thanks. But it's all about this bullshit relationship he has with the press. I'll give him this much: he's figured it out. To get the press on your side humor the bastards night and day. Flatter them. Give them 'access' and they'll love you for it so much they won't ask you any tough questions. Give 'em access and they'll do nothing with it, lest they lose it. Brilliant. And all these middle-aged male reporters who took a deferment in college, having had to rely on the Persian Gulf I box-set on DVD, living vicariously through this old man's yarn that's probably a load of crap to begin with. Laughing at those awful one-liners like a bunch of ass-kissing employees. His whole line is 'I'm a crazy bad-ass. Vote for me.' He'll bankrupt us on war and import millions of poor people in the process. John McCain: Open Borders, Open Warfare.
"But the pride, the vindictiveness, the impatience with dissent and debate; it's positively pathological. And temperament is more important now than ever. Hell, these guys aren't experts on any particular policy question. The best we can hope for is a capable, measured personality commited to the constitution. He is the opposite of that. I think he might possibly be legally insane."

"Yeah, it's kind of a drag having to choose whether to vote Democrat or stay home."

"Are you crazy? And elect Clinton or Obama?"

...

"Oh no, that would be disaster. No, if it comes to that, if my state's in play, I'll bite the bullet and do what I have to."

...

"What are you staring at?"

"Hey Alex, gimme another. Double this time."

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thats about *exactly* how I feel about McCain.

I know Sailer would disagree with me on this, but I'd even prefer Obama. Very old people who know they will be dying sooner rather than later know they wont be around long enough to really have to endure their mistakes anyway. McCain really couldn't care less about how we think, and thats a problem.

If Im going to be stabbed in the back on the immigration issue in particular, I'd rather it be done by a Democrat than a Republican. The republicans could still run to the right on the issue (if they want to get elected). The GOP braintrust is counting that the Dem-electee will be so scary that the masses will still vote for McCain. It would be nice to show them they are wrong and we wont go for "Bush on Steroids". I wouldn't even be suprised if he actually looked at Cheney as his running mate........

Dennis Dale said...

I agree, and I'm not so sure Sailer wouldn't either. The range of critiques of Obama's essentially dishonest narrative he's riding all the way to the White House is so broad and vast one knows not where to start. My take is this: Obama is not understood as a black man but as an exceptionally ambitious white man realizing the potential of his African features.
But his philosophy, his class affectations, his history, even his mannerisms beneath the phony rustic tones of his speech, are all Caucasian (I recognize a typical Western U.S. upper middle class white guy quite of his, and my, generation).
Obama's youthful search for political identity (which he occasionally refers to tellingly as "power" in his memoir) resembles an anthropoligical expedition to Black America, and much of the puffed-up (as often as not comically) tension he opportunistically chalks up to white bigotry is actually the inner psychic tension resulting from his manufactured identity. Barack decided he would go native, before he even knew what native was. Of course, Barack cannot understand this himself just yet. There's too much to lose for that.

Obama is an unknown quantity, and beyond his much-discussed but little studied personal narrative, there is surprisingly little to grasp. There is no "there" there, as they say.
But the potential for disaster in a floundering and incapable, but above all politically-minded, Obama administration, is far preferable to the policy madness Sen. McCain promises.

Clinton is, well, Clinton, but she has no ideological commitment to the War on Terror as McCain and the neocons see it. She's more qualified than Obama (small boast) and may be the person best suited to rehabilitate the institutions thrashed by eight years of W's mendacity. Assuming you share my concern about the rise of surveillance and executive power, who do you think will be more reasonable and measured, McCain or Clinton (or, for that matter, Obama)? Clinton and Obama's liberalism are both more amenable to a restoration of basic constitutional rights than, well, than whatever McCain offers as a guiding philosophy.

But above all, for the immigration skeptic the presidency is irrelevant. Whoever sits there next will have to be brought to reason by the sort of grass-roots opposition that stopped "comprehensive immigration reform" last year. McCain will make the issue personal and will bludgeon all opposition within the Party, while Clinton/Obama will gladly trade a shot at a second term by fighting the good fight and then compromising on the issue (a very different sort of "compromise" from that disingenuously offered us last year, in that it's no compromise among elite factions but between the government and its people).
Conservatives need to shuck off this absurd fixation on Clinton. She is no more cunning and ruthlessly ambitious than the average politician. And she has reasons for running for president, whatever you think of her health care initiative, that go beyond just wanting to be president. In the era of GWB becoming president for little more than the fact that the opportunity presented itself, and Barack's demand that white America make the gesture of electing him to an office he has no business pretending to, I'd say Hillary is downright high-minded. God help me, but looking about I say this: Hillary ain't so bad.
Having "your" guy in the White House promises nothing; witness W. And the survival of the Republican Party means almost nothing. Change (yes, change) will come from popular will and mobilization. The presidency and senate will have to be dragged along into reason, using the bludgeon of the House of Representatives (consider it a reversal of the principle of the Senate tempering the emotion of the people as expressed through the House; the people now need to temper the greed and recklessness of the elite).

dearieme said...

"She's more qualified than Obama" is she really? She has brief experience in the US Senate. He has brief experience in the US and Illinois Senates. About even-steven I'd say.

C. Van Carter said...

The media go along with him because he's the 'maverick' (i.e. sells out the right), so in a race against a Democrat they will turn on him at an opportune moment.

Dennis Dale said...

dear dearieme,
Yes, Hillary's long service as a political operator on behalf of her husband and her parachuting into the senate, and furthermore her dubious record there, should all be issues. In a perfect world, she wouldn't be running either, and like Obama, her demographic circumstance has been a key part of her success (though at this stage, in a national election, they may in fact become ultimate liabilities--but, Hillary's vagina is far more a burden than Obama's melanin; Geraldine Ferraro said nothing that wasn't absurdly obvious--note that in today's speech Obama equates this with twenty years of Rev Wright's resentment-driven, and even Barry more or less admits criminally stupid, separatism).

But Obama's two years of service in the senate are a case study in political cowardice. His opposition to the war, which I find admirable, hasn't translated into much (though I expect I'm expecting a bit too much from any politician here). All hat, no cattle. Or, since any discussion of Sen. Obama should be accompanied by a "racist" gaffe: All pimp hat, no hoes.

And still, I say:
These are decent people, relatively earnest (if not always honest, but they have to, as Jake Gittes says in Chinatown, "swim in the same water we all do"), and far preferable to a man whose philosophy is a proven disaster and whose temperament is maniacal. The lesson of W is that pride is fatal in a president.

Of course, at this point I'm thinking homely Ralph Nader holds out the greatest promise of morning-after retention of self-respect.

non de guerre said...

Did you have to mention Hillary's vagina? Up until then, I was enjoying this discussion.

Dennis Dale said...

Looks like someone needs to submit to a session of The Vagina Monologues. Don't worry, that which does not kill us...

I propose we accept fully and frankly the realities of identity politics. Male politicians shall now be referred to as penises, of various colors.
Likewise females will be vaginas of various hues and ethnicities. Think of them, pardon me, as flavors if you will, like ethnic foods.

I envision a cheery and enlivened discourse as the vaginas and penises take on the inevitable adjectival common partners. Political spin will produce some evocative genital imagery (of genial genitalia).

Hillary's homespun midwestern vagina, a warm, embracing place of comfort. Or Hillary's greedy, angry vagina, vacuming up wealth and redistributing it to the poor and, yes, other vaginas.

I should probably get some sleep. Hopefully not to dream.
Signing off now.

nzconservative said...

It seems like choosing between the two main political parties in the US has become as pointless as in Australia and New Zealand (or Canada and the UK for that matter).

However, I guess if traditional Republican supporters vote democrat it would add an element of unpredicatability to the proceedings, and today's political parties don't deserve the cushion of predictability.

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