Thursday, October 09, 2008

McGovern v. Nixon - not quite

The parallels between the McGovern campaign and Obama's campaign have been pretty clear for a while now. Underdog no one expected to win wins the nomination, and suddenly becomes the 'establishment' even though his party isn't the incumbent one. Intellectual, low key individuals vs. jingoistic patriotism.

Then McCain picked Palin, and for a little while it looked like McCain had suddenly become McGovern - this looked like Eagleton for VP all over again.

But as has been the case for decades, scandals, gaffes and blunders that would sink a Democratic candidate are brushed off by Republicans amidst a rah-rah explosion of verbal confetti aimed at smearing red, white and blue all over any possible subject of a serious discussion.

Take the economy. I think we can all agree that things are worse than usual, on a global scale. What's happening systemically is the most significant upheaval to the basic nature of the free market that has been seen since the Great Depression. As such, it is even more significant, since it represents the failure of a system long touted as the Only Way, and imposed on emerging democracies the world over.

But what are we discussing in the American race for President? Whether Obama's connections to Bill Ayers, a man who while indeed a domestic terrorist at one point, was a University of Illinois-Chicago professor long past his terrorist days when Obama knew him, make him a friend to terrorists...

Seriously? I won't go so far as to call the Weathermen patriotic, but they certainly are rooted in American history in a way the application of the term 'terrorist' today is not - being anti-war is not the same as wanting the destruction of an entire society. So it's OK for Condoleeza Rice to hang out with Muammar Qadafi, but not OK for Obama to have a casual friendship with Bill Ayers. Good to know.

One thing I can say for sure - after 8 years of Bush, a collapsing economy, and ongoing wars on two fronts, the fact that so many American people can't rise above the rhetoric of hate and fear and see what has happened to our country tells me that the terrorists really did win.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Ayers is not at professor at the University of Chicago but is at the University of Illinois Chicago campus.

Interestingly, his undergraduate degree is from the University of Michigan.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Nixie said...

Oops. Thanks for that correction. My bad (now corrected in text).

11:07 AM  

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