Monday, October 13, 2008

A Nation Divided

Carol and I watched our usual Friday night Bill Moyers Journal. It continues to be the most thoughtful program on TV. His guests were George Soros, who basically scared me, by reinforcing what I already believe—that we are witnessing another 1930 collapse, and our “leaders” are doing their best to exacerbate the basic problems. Every time I think of the writer who believes that history will rescue George Bush by discovering his "greatness", I gag, and then laugh. I assume, rather, that Shrub will sink like a heavy stone tossed into quicksand.
Moyers also discussed the election once again with Kathleen Hall Jamieson, one of the most thoughtful people in the country on this subject. She decried the foul play of both sides in this miserable campaign. Obama, she asserts, has played fast and loose with the truth about McCain, his relationship with the Keating scandal, and with his role in the collapse of the global economy. She believes that the McCain campaign, on the other hand, has been and continues to foul the air with its repeated assertions that Obama is basically a terrorist—guilt by dubious associations. Using Palin as the main attack dog, but weighing in himself routinely, the McCain campaign left the field of issues-based debate and has focused on character assassination for the past several weeks.
Because we do not watch commercial TV, I am spared these awful campaign ads, but because we read the newspapers, and we subscribe to various news outlets (BBC, NY Times, the Guardian) one cannot totally escape the fetid air of campaign rhetoric.
I keep wondering how the winner, no matter who that might be, will be able to manage the affairs of state after the campaign has run its ugly course. I had thought that no campaign could get uglier than the Karl Rove-inspired campaigns (forgetting of course Shrub’s daddy’s campaign manager—Lee Atwater, who practically defined the world of disgusting politics. But no, along comes the 2008 campaign, and we have a new bottom to this barrel of foul smelling wastage.
Our bottomless barrel theory is alive and well.
But how does one govern after such a debacle? And it isn’t exactly the case that Shrub is leaving a house intact, like Clinton did. After all, he managed to walk into this china shop of a Nation, smash everything in sight, empty the cash register and the ATM machine of any funds, piss off everyone we know, and many who do not really know us, and is now poised to stroll out the door, leaving the mess behind for the new guys to handle. And since the campaign has divided the country as never before, I wonder how we will ever manage to work together on solving the problems bequeathed to us by Shrub and his merry band of high-functioning imbeciles.
It will be interesting to watch.

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