Thursday, December 15, 2011

Interesting, at Least

However ridiculous the United States political process has become, and it does seem to me to have become ridiculous beyond belief, you have to admit it is interesting, in a kind of sick, nauseating kind of way. Consider the current situation: On the one hand you have Willard “Mitt” Romney, the candidate the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party can’t stand and refuses to support; on the other hand you have Newton Leroy Gingrich, the other leading candidate that the more conservative wing of the Republican Party (as it sort of still exists) cannot stand. The only other candidate in the lead at the moment is now exposed as a racist kind of Pa Kettle who would turn the clock back to the 19th century (maybe even the 18th). No one believes he has even a ghost of a chance of ever becoming President and the other two leading candidates are described merely as “average.”

This would seem to virtually guarantee that President Obama would be re-elected for a second term as even Republicans are dissatisfied with the slate of candidates they have. But once again, attempting to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Obama’s recent boneheaded decisions may well give these Republican dolts a chance. Obama, for whatever reason, decided to block women’s desires to have easy access to the so-called abortion pill. This has enraged women throughout the country and they are bitter about it. More importantly, he has now decided not to veto the Military Authorization Bill (or whatever it is called), which will give him and the military unprecedented powers to arrest, incarcerate, and presumably keep forever (or until the end of the terrorist threat, whichever comes first) even American citizens considered to either be or aid terrorists. They will be able to do this in the U.S. (for the first time) and merely on the grounds of suspicion, with no requirement for a trial. In other words, you could be arrested and locked up forever with no right to Habeas Corpus merely on the whim of whoever is President. Fascism has now arrived just in time for Christmas. Needless to say neither of these Presidential acts is pleasing to the Progressive base, nor should they be pleasing to anyone with a brain larger than a walnut.

President Obama seems to have an enormous amount of luck when it comes to his political career. He was elected to the Senate easily because he was running against one of the looniest of candidates for office ever, Alan Keyes, who did not even live in the state at the time. As I recall this was because his original opponent had to drop out of the race at the last minute. Now Obama’s luck may hold, not because he might not deserve defeat, but because his opponent, if he or she is one of the current Republican candidates, will be so dreadful Obama will be seen as the only conceivable choice. Romney probably would have the best chance, but he’s a Mormon (which shouldn’t matter but will), an almost pathological flip-flopper, and has neither personality, charisma, or connection to the ordinary voting public. Gingrich is regarded by those who know him as basically hopeless as a leader, egomaniacal, and a “walking hand grenade,” not exactly qualities likely to help him get either the nomination or elected to the office. And both Romney and Gingrich, along with the others still in the campaign, are apparently eager to start another war (with Iran) as soon as possible. Their appreciation of international relations seems to be on a par with Herman Cain’s statement to Barbara Walters that he would like to be Secretary of Defense.

It is interesting that they seem to have no understanding whatsoever about the Iranians. They keep repeating how it is that Iran is a “danger” to the U.S. and, indeed, the entire world. Iran should not be allowed to have a nuclear bomb (that presumably they would immediately drop on either Israel or the United States), and we must at all costs follow the dictates of Israel whatever the consequences. This is beyond even bizarre. First, there is no evidence Iran is developing a bomb; second, they would clearly not use it if they did have one; third, Iran has not attacked anyone for more than 200 years; fourth, these accusations are the most nonsensical since those against Iraq; fifth, the Iranians have offered to negotiate with the U.S. on numerous occasions only to be consistently rebuffed. This warmongering over Iran is absolute hogwash. The only threat is that Iran obviously might like to have some influence in their own neighborhood which would be a threat to U.S. and European hegemony in the region. But imagine that, a country might want to have some influence with what goes on with their neighbors and don’t see why a nation 8000 miles away should take precedence. Some are saying war with Iran is inevitable. We had certainly better hope not and those who are promoting one should be considered as likely candidates for the men in the white suits with nets, looking for crazies.

Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it's important.

Eugene McCarthy

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