Monday, November 3, 2008
Barack Obama for President
Vote for Barack Obama.
But first, let's turn back the clock four years.
On September 8th, 2004 I wrote my wrap-up piece on the just concluded GOP Convention.
You’ve gotta love those fun-lovin' Greedy Old Partiers at the Republican National Circus in occupied New York. It was the best alternate-universe show on the tube, and poisoned politics at its best.
You have to admit that their supercilious festival in New York was a clear clash of cultures. You have those who actually work for a living and make little money, and those who don't and make a ton of it. Since the race is too close to call, and half the people in this country wake up every morning with the intent of screwing the other half out of everything they own, it's pretty easy to figure out the side the GOP represents. What they don't realize is how hard it is for the working stiffs to get ahead when the big contributors to the GOP keep cutting in line in front of us. Decision-makers are constantly exposed to the possibility of graft and corruption, since their work puts them in contact with influence peddlers, most of whom have more money than they do. In the real world it's called a payoff. In the GOP, it's called a political contribution.
George W. Bush's September 2004 in New York looks an awful like George Bush I's August 1992 in Houston. The polls may favor W, but with an economy riddled with debt and job losses, it's only a matter of time before he won't be able to hide behind his snake-oil rhetoric. Of course, the Greedy Old Party claims the rising oil prices that will cripple poor families this winter have absolutely nothing to do with the war Bush declared on Iraq. Those refinery bombings throughout Iraq that reduced the overall output of oil don't count in Bush's worldview. Instead, they sheepishly blame China and its increased energy dependence. I can't disagree with the GOP on that one, considering all the U.S. jobs Bush sent over there. Their middle class is growing as fast as ours is shrinking. What destroyed his father could very well destroy little W, too. It's spelled e-c-o-n-o-m-y. These days, you can't swing a dead elephant anywhere in Cleveland without hitting someone who's unemployed.
For the last four years, we've been ridden hard and put away wet. If we're stuck with four more years, we'll have to become feral to survive. A polarized country is also a manic-depressive country. When Bush says he's created more jobs, he's a few words shy of completing the sentence. He forgot to add, “in China, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Mexico and other low-wage, no-human-rights sweatshop countries.”
Not so surprisingly, there was no mention at the RNC of Alan “Mumbles” Greenspan's pre-convention natter to Congress. He haughtily stated that current and future generations shouldn't expect the same support level from Medicare and Social Security that their parents received. We get screwed because Bush squandered a boom economy and turned a budget surplus into the largest deficit in history.
What does all of this have to do with media? Everything. It's where we got our news and information on the GOP hoedown. The trick is mastering the art of seeing and reading between the lines. Watching this convention on TV was like observing pedigreed cats marking territory. I can't argue with White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who has covered every U.S. president since John F. Kennedy, when she called Bush, “the worst president in all of American history.” He proved her right again last week.
On September 29, 2004 I wrote this follow-up.
In it, I made it clear that I wasn’t voting for Kerry as much as I was voting against four more years of George W. Bush.
Sure, (John) Kerry sees two or more sides of a one-sided issue, but unlike Bush's flip-floppers John McCain and Zell Miller, it goes beyond just wanting to be on the side that's winning. All McCain and Zellzy proved is that they can be bought by the highest bidder. I'll take Kerry changing his opinion on issues as more details are made available over Bush's obstinate refusal to believe that there's more than one side to an issue. Bush is a dangerous man who knows no discretion. Kerry won't undo the four-year damage done by Bush. We need him to keep our country from getting worse. De duobus malis, minus est semper eligendum: Of two evils, the lesser must always be chosen.
Four more years means four more years of conservatives, cons for short, like Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Rice and Rove. Four more years means further control of what you see, hear and read. Four more years and we'll be convinced that crime does pay. Just ask Kenny Lay. Just ask anyone at Halliburton. The Greedy Old Party has a rich history of cozying up to liars, deceivers and professional white-collar criminals.
An administration must be judged on how it cares for its young, old and poor. Bush fails in all three. In four years, Bush turned our surplus into a record deficit. Four more years and we'll suffer added job losses with health-care costs out of reach for most Americans. Medicare? Social Security? Ha! Maybe that's Bush's way of thinning the herd. Feed the young poor to the war and let 'em die if they're old and sick. Four more years means a Supreme Court that could become a religious-right version of the Taliban. Their first decree? Your body's on loan from God.
Four more years means a United States without diplomacy. Since Bush invaded Iraq, worldwide terrorism has quadrupled. He handed Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations all the material they need to further their cause. We didn't find those WMDs but managed to bring Iraq to the brink of civil war. History will record the Iraq incursion as Bush's Pyrrhic victory. Four more years and we'll see the return of the draft and be one step closer to a world war when we invade Iran. That's when, not if. Four more years and our country will be weakened to the point where China will become the leading world economic power, well within our lifetime. Our only handle on trade is the U.S. dollar, which is already critically overvalued against China's currency, thanks to the Bush-whacked economy.
Was I right?
Both The New Deal era and the Reagan Revolution followed failed the failed administrations of Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter.
Now, add George W. Bush to that list.
Yes, we need change. Not radical change – just thorough change.
And in this election we have a real choice.
Vote for Barack Obama.
And enjoy this little sing-a-long, too.