Inhuman Swill : Politics : Page 5

If you don't vote, you're a moron

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A long but worthwhile exhortation from Craig Ferguson to study the issues and listen to yourself when you vote. Long but very worthwhile.

(Via [info]parttimedriver.)

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The three wives of John McCain

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Here are a set of three very different articles, different in every way, one for each of the three beauty queens in John McCain's life:

The Daily Mail on Carol McCain:
"The Wife U.S. Republican John McCain Callously Left Behind" by Sharon Churcher

The New Yorker on Cindy McCain:
"The Lonesome Trail" by Ariel Levy

The Nation on Sarah Palin:
"Beauty and the Beast" by Joann Wypijewski

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What is "preemptive war," Alex?

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Sarah Palin doesn't know what the Bush Doctrine is, and her embarrassing attempts to weasel a clue out of Charles Gibson are not even worthy of a high-school forensics student:

Yes, Mrs. Palin, obviously you're ready to be President. I will sleep without nightmares knowing you will answer that three a.m. phone call with that blank deer-in-headlights stare. You make me pine for Dan Quayle.

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Voting with the gut

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NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered have begun a fascinating joint series that convenes a panel of voters from York, Pennsylvania, for a roundtable discussion of race and how it affects the 2008 election. (Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here.)

Sadly, some of the conclusions drawn seem to bear out what I was saying yesterday about voting with the gut. One white woman, after swearing that she was raised in a home utterly without prejudice, proceeded to accuse Obama of lying about not being a Muslim:

Leah Moreland, the woman who said she grew up sheltered from prejudice, plans to vote for McCain. Party loyalty is also part of her decision. But her cultural compass also comes into play. She says her gut tells her not to trust Obama.

"I look at Obama, and I have a question in my mind," she says. "Years ago, was he taken into the Muslim faith? And my concern is the only way you are no longer a Muslim is if you are dead, killed. So in my mind, he's still alive."

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The Rorschach test

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Seven years on, what does September 11th mean? Nothing.

Perhaps it would be less confrontational to say it means everything, or anything.

I had a terrible argument with a relative of mine during those bleak last months of 2001. I said something to the effect that a person's experience of September 11th was more valid if he or she was there, or at least that's how, in my clumsy way of speaking, my words came across. My relative took great offense at the idea that he wasn't as affected in Utah as I was in New York City. "You're telling me," he said, "that you wouldn't feel bad if someone blew up the Church Office Building in Salt Lake?"

"Of course I'd feel bad," I said. "But I wouldn't feel the same way as a person in Salt Lake. It would be more abstract for me."

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Is McCain out of his mind?

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I like the part in this Paul Begala editorial at CNN.com where he calls Lieberman McCain's "fellow Iraq Kool-Aid drinker."

Now I'm logging off. Really.

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In July Sarah Palin asked, facetiously, what it is the vice-president really does:

Granted, she seemed to be using levity to deflect the question of whether or not she would be a McCain VP pick, but she sounds pretty silly in the process. Maybe she should have read last year's Washington Post series on Dick Cheney's role in the Bush White House.

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Palin pick

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If this is true, McCain and the Republicans are going hard after disgruntled female Clinton supporters. Now I'm very afraid.

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Daydreaming by shunn, on Flickr
I would like to see someone create one of those quizzie thingies to help people tell whether their dog is a Democrat or a Republican. I'd do it myself but I don't have the bandwidth.

The question occurred to me this morning as I was getting Ella outfitted for her morning walk with Laura. (It's 5 degrees Fahrenheit here, with 16 mph winds, so even the dog gets a coat.) Here was our sweet little dog rolling on her back and making tiny grunting noises while I tried to get her harness on her, but she's also the animal who can't see her upstairs neighbor Bear without seizing his neck in her jaws and trying to put him on the ground.

Her brown eyes looked so alien flicking behind their screen of tawny fur that I suddenly found myself wondering, "My God, what if my dog is a Republican?!" I mean, who knows what her political views might be if should could express them? She's fiercely bonded to her family, of course, and tender with us, but the moment the Other shows up on her turf she's quick to put him in his place.

If Ella were a Republican, of course we would love her anyway, but she's made me wonder whether conservatism might be more a product of our biological animal natures and liberalism an expression of our civilized side. Probably not, but maybe the elephant and donkey aren't really all that distinct from each other as symbols.

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Texas steel

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The mere sound of Dubya's voice makes my skin crawl at the best of times: the petulance in it, the nervous laugh that always accompanies the dopey statements he thinks should be self-evident, the lack of any statesmanlike timbre whatsoever. Whenever he opens his mouth to address an audience, any audience, he sounds like a dull bully being called on the carpet and defending himself incompetently.

Hearing him yesterday on the news, though, I heard a chilling new steel in his voice. As he was chiding the House of Representatives for not rubber-stamping the Senate's wiretapping reauthorization bill, telling them they must do so immediately, I swear God it sounded like he was about to say, "That is why I have taken your congressmen hostage, and I will execute one representative every minute until this bill is passed. That gives you ... um, less than a week, heh heh, so let's hurry, people!"

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