Jan 31, 2008

September 29, 2007: Republicans in Drag, The NRA in Bahgdad, You Don't Count the Dead

The presidential dog and pony show continues unabated. The Rescumlicans, short on issues and with a woeful track record, are beginning to gin up the slime machine depicting democrats as “feminine”. Never mind that the real romantics are the neo-cons who swoon over anything in a uniform and know in their heart of hearts that no one gets a date like a man in uniform, especially a man in uniform brandishing a swagger stick.

The Cons have known the sting of the wimp factor suffering severely when George H.W. Bush was running for re-election on a nearly equally dismal record. Called a ‘wimp’ for his feminine gestures, especially the hand and arm movements, Pappy quailed before Clinton and lost the election. A revealing interchange took place during the Republican National Convention. The convention, besot with rancor, invective and abuse had Pat Buchanan leading the charge against Hillary who had committed the cardinal sin of having a mind of her own. The next morning a reporter stopped Clinton on his way out of his hotel and asked him what he thought of the Republican savaging of Hillary. “If George wants to be first lady”, Clinton replied, “that’s o.k. with me, but he can’t live in the White House”. The attacks stopped, and Clinton cruised to victory.

It is always difficult to tell what the Neo-Cons are learning from any given historical experience. One can only be sure that they do not draw the same lessons as the rest of us. While the country drew from the experience of 1992 that America needed a change, that under the influence of Ross Perot the country awakened to the need to clean up its fiscal house, the Cons learned something else.

No it could not be that the country had grown weary of financing huge breaks for the rich at the cost of savaging the social safety net. No it could not be that the country recoiled at the sight of endless deficits. No it could not be that the country was sick of wading neck deep in a political cesspool designed to get Pappy re-elected; sick of being bombarded by pseudo-issues and political palaver. No it had to be the ‘wimp factor’ that cast Pappy from the tents of power.

The lesson was drawn that one of the keys to victory are hot buttons over sexuality. They tried to unhorse Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky nonsense but this only confirmed Bill’s macho status with the electorate. Clearly, in their twisted minds, something more perverse is needed to sway the electorate so as to get America to vote against its own interests and return the Cons to power. Enter the Rescumlican attempts to feminize the Democratic standard-bearer, in the historical context to do to the Democratic nominees what Pappy had so happily done to himself.

Eric Alterman in his essay “The Presidential Pageant” (The Nation Oct.1, 2007) points to the fixation with the pundits and the press over John Edwards’ haircuts, with his hair getting more media attention than his health care proposals. Ann Coulter, who has called Bill Clinton a “closet homosexual’ and Edwards a “faggot” leads a band of assailants like Maureen Dowd, Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough who, when referring to Edwards, “use the term ‘Breck Girl’.” Dowd is seemingly fixated with feminizing any man seeking the Democratic nomination complaining in 1999 that Gore “was ‘so feminized…he’s practically lactating.”’ Apparently Ms. Dowd reviles her own sex so much that she can think of no greater denigration of someone she disagrees with than to say that he is one of her own…

Recently Ms. Dowd has been directing her ire against Barach Obama accusing him “of preening like a ’46-year-old virgin’, demonstrating ‘loose’ body language and being ‘hung up on being seen as thoughtful,’ while secretly fearing ‘being seen as a dumb blonde’”. One would think that a party that makes so much of teaching abstinence, of lauding young girls for taking the virginity pledge, that makes so much of motherhood would not so disparage their political opponents—that is not unless they secretly revile women.

There was a splendid little picture in Time magazine published this spring in a long piece about Rudy Guilliani. Among the many photos of the Mayor posing at Times Square, on the campaign trail, as U.S. Attorney, was a lovely little photograph of Rudy in black hose and a dress, all dolled up for the New York Follies. Of course this little photo got no more play in the media and the Democrats, always prone to campaign on issues, will no doubt not give it any greater circulation. But you can rest assured that the Guilliani campaign, if he gets the nomination, will happily go down the mud slide to the neo-con cesspool and sling its contents at the Democratic nominee. If it is Edwards or Obama, Rudy will happily let the scum disparage the ‘manhood’ of these champions of reason and the middle class; if it is Hillary he will stand idly by whilst his minions spread rumors of her being lesbian. Meanwhile he’ll keep his splendid little outfit tucked away at some secret secure location—you know the same place they kept Congressman Mark Folley and Senator Larry Craig all those years.

Beware of Rescumlicans in drag.

The hunting season is nearly once again upon us. A comedian, whose identity escapes me, once said that hunting is the only sport where your opponent doesn’t know he’s playing. Funny yes but it’s always more serious than that. Now we have the fearless warrior dressed in full camouflage stalking with high-powered weapons the harmless herbivores during the mating season. For these brief weeks the hunter stops to feed the herd—bait so that he can have a stationary target while he fixes Bambi’s father in the crosshairs as the trophy stops for a momentary bite to eat while he looks for a piece of ass. To insure that he will bag his prey, the hunter plants doe scent about the bait trap. I know this because for years I worked at a retail store that always stocked a hefty supply of deer piss during hunting season. Deer piss containing the doe scent. One knows that one’s career is in the tank when one has to confess to one’s children that one sells deer piss for a living…Anyway setting out in full regalia, high powered weapons, and a respectable supply of piss, as on some deranged ‘search and destroy’ mission against North Vietnamese regulars, the mighty hunter makes his annual foray into the dense woods.

It has become a most uneven contest. The unarmed adversary, minding his own business, responding to deep biological needs finds itself in the crosshairs when he least expects it. It is not enough that the brave hunter is in full camouflage, armed to the teeth with high powered automatic weapons, hunting a beast that has no weapons—not even a decent set of claws—and cannot see well detecting mostly movement. It’s this baiting business, this preying upon the hunger for food and sex. If the roles were revered—imagine it! Man, minding his own business, looking for some poontang stumbles upon a hamburger stand. Then suddenly, out in the clearing the deer tosses out a huge tuna! Man cannot resist he must follow the scent…then bam! Perhaps I’ve become too jaded by the Rescumlican slime machine; perhaps it isn’t about gluttony or sex after all. Perhaps it was simple curiosity that led man into the crosshairs of the beast. After all, knowledge is Original Sin.

This is the pageant that transpires annually throughout America, the kind of ritual that gives Charlton Heston a woody and makes the NRA proud. I understand hunting; in not so recent times it was an important part of husbandry, part of the struggle to literally put meat on the table. But like nearly everything else in this society things have run seriously amok, become seriously dysfunctional, perhaps pathological.

What happens when the weekend warrior used to hunting his prey by such methods is suddenly uprooted and transported halfway around the world? Writing for the Associated Press, Pauline Jelinek and Robert Burns reported this week that U.S. snipers are accused of ‘baiting’ Iraqis. It appears that “army snipers hunting insurgents in Iraq were under orders to ‘bait’ targets with suspicious materials, such as detonation cords,” then kill whoever picks up the items. An attorney for two accused Ranger snipers indicated that “the Army has a classified program that encourages snipers to ‘bait’ potential targets and then kill whoever takes the bait. A sergeant and two others are accused of using ‘drop weapons’ to make killings appear justified. The Army on Monday declined to confirm such a program exists”…the classic nondenial denial.

The unsuspecting Iraqi, seeing a detonation cord or something else that gets his attention, lets his curiosity get the best of him. He walks over, picks it up, and bam!, another trophy in the World War on Terror.

“And you don’t count the dead
When God’s on your side”--Dylan

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