Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's a Class War, Stupid (Matt Taibbi)

Election season will be packed with distractions, but the real issue is a matter of life and death

"I am a single mother with a 9-year-old boy. To stay warm at night my son and I would pull off all the pillows from the couch and pile them on the kitchen floor. I'd hang a blanket from the kitchen doorway and we'd sleep right there on the floor. By February we ran out of wood and I burned my mother's dining room furniture. I have no oil for hot water. We boil our water on the stove and pour it in the tub. I'd like to order one of your flags and hang it upside down at the capital building... we are certainly a country in distress."
— Letter from a single mother in a Vermont city, to Senator Bernie Sanders

The Republican and Democratic conventions are just around the corner, which means that we're at a critical time in our nation's history. For this is the moment when the country's political and media consensus finally settles on the line of bullshit it will be selling to the public as the "national debate" come fall.

If you pay close attention you can actually see the trial balloons whooshing overhead. There have been numerous articles of late of the Whither the Debate' genus in the country's major dailes and news mags, pieces like Patrick Healy's "Target: Barack Obama. Strategy: What Day is it'" in the New York Times. They ostensibly wonder aloud about what respective "plans of attack" Barack Obama and John McCain will choose to pursue against one another in the fall.

In these pieces we already see the candidates trying on, like shoes, the various storylines we might soon have hammered into our heads like wartime slogans. Most hilarious from my viewpoint is the increasingly real possibility that the Republicans will eventually decide that their best shot against Obama is to pull out the old "He's a flip-flopper" strategy — which would be pathetic, given that this was the same tired tactic they used against John Kerry four years ago, were it not for the damning fact that it might actually work again. (I'm actually not sure sometimes what is more repulsive: the bosh they trot out as campaign "issues," or the enthusiasm with which the public buys it.)...[Open in new window]


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