Saturday, October 04, 2008

Bombings, History, McCain, Ayres and all that...

from the New York Times, October 3, 2008:

"In a televised interview last spring, Senator John McCain, Mr. Obama’s Republican rival, asked, 'How can you countenance someone who was engaged in bombings that could have or did kill innocent people?'

Of course, at the time he was referring to William Ayres, a founder of the Weather Underground nearly forty years ago, now a long time Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Hmmm. Let's see. "Someone who was engaged in bombings that could have or did kill innocent people." Does Bill Ayres fit that profile? Yes. Undoubtedly. Though exactly which bombings he actually participated in is something known only by Professor Ayres himself and likely a handful of others, the likelihood that he was involved in bombings that had the possibility of killing innocents is at least reasonable.

Strangely, though, the exact same phrase describes one of the candidates for president as well. After all, what exactly was John McCain doing in the summer of 1967? Say what you will about the intentions of the war in Vietnam, the Cold War and everything else; looking at it through the lens of history is not my intention here. Still, given his commentary, there's an obvious question: What, after all, is the likelihood that, in his twenty three bombing missions over North Vietnam, no innocent was killed?

Monday, September 29, 2008

What have they done with John McCain?

Back in the day, though it was clear that he "played for the wrong team," John McCain at least seemed to have a basic integrity. Yes, he was always clearly a Reaganite (not even remotely a compliment in my book), but he was also more than willing to buck the Republican base orthodoxy when conditions required it. In the 2000 primary campaign he was viciously pilloried for that lack of orthodoxy.

Then it happened. He decided that, as an old man, he wanted to add "POTUS" to his resume. And the only way to do that in the world of the GOP was to kiss the rings of those who comprise the darkest of the dark side. And kiss he has.

In watching a campaign appearance just now, there he was, spewing lies and half-truths, giving a speech that seemed to come directly from the Rovian playbook (page 27, I believe). When in doubt, as the playbook goes, go directly to the fear card. Truth is secondary. Say it often, say it loud.

In referring to Barack Obama, the following tidbits (all paraphrased):

"He's naive. He doesn't understand the world stage!" (As if the realpolitik/neocon bunch have been so amazingly successful.)

"He's going to raise your taxes!" (Well, yes, if your income is over $250,000 -- in other words, if you're among those who have benefitted most from the gutting of the middle class during the current administration -- you're going to pay more to assist in getting our national finances back in order. Since this was not a fund raising gathering of what President Bush used to refer to as "his base", I suspect a suitably small percentage of those present fall into that category.)

Who is the "man behind the curtain" to whom we are to pay no attention, anyway?