Monday, July 14, 2008

Swiftboating 2008

When it comes to politics, us old timers like to refer to a shaking of the bones, old witches brews, gut instincts, experience and being out there on the front lines…..

We know that the republicans know how to use innuendo and unproven claims to hobble the opposition and they do a damned good job of it.

Over the last thirty five years, there has always been a dirty tricks contingent laying the mines and serving as the zappers of the castle…. And they are always good at it. It seems that politics has become entwined in everything else but the issues. “Who was your minister?” “Do you have the right values?” “Are you a patriot?” It’s almost as if the non-sequiters, per se, have taken over.

And it’s depressing that we have veered so far off the mark.

Nontheless, it has become republican tactic and strategy inasmuch as there are very few positives they can point to and the Atwater strategy was so effective at the time of nailing Dukakis, why not keep using it to death.

To accomplish the mission, the republicans pay to maintain a PR engine that knows no equal in the history of politics; an engine that mobilizes the media, advertising, direct marketers and PR specialists to hit on everything they can to raise questions and doubts about the democratic opposition.

At some point, men of good conscience, if there are any left, must come together to say enough is enough. And if the whole matter isn't ugly enough, new fuel is being added daily.

Now, the New Yorker, has come out with a cover that they claim satirizes Obama by picturing him as a Muslim and his wife as a militarist with the appropriate AK 47 on her shoulder. They call this satire; well, I tend to think of it as pandering to the lowest common denominator, and if I hadn’t already cancelled my subscription, I would do so again.

It’s bad enough that people tend to believe all of the bad and unjustified stories out there but for a legitimate and serious publisher to pick up that argument accomplishes nothing other than give credibility to all of those mindless bigots out there who mask their other agendas with biased claims . It is unfortunate, it is ugly and it panders to our darkest side. Again, yesterday, the McLaughlin Group, aggravated the potential schism between the old and the new, by claiming that the old-timers among black activists tend not to see the young inherit their mantle especially when they are viewed as an “Oreo.” This is race baiting of the worst kind and designed to pander to the lowest common denominator. Yet, it is what we are going to see a lot of right up until the Election.

McCain said he was going to run a completely different kind of election; to many of us, it seems like business as usual.

After thirty five years, it is time that well-intentioned democrats realize what is going on and fight fire with fire.

Les Aaron

The Armchair Curmudgeon

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