August 29, 2008

I Approve the Entertainment Value of This Campaign

I have to say that, considering the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates are both war criminals, this campaign is much more entertaining than I had expected. (I wasn't the one who said they're war criminals, not this time. Al Gore did. Of course, neither Gore nor anyone else seems to have realized that is what he said, which is in large part the subject of that post.) It's as if every demon in the American psyche has been let loose. Racism, sexism, classism, love of war and slaughter, general mayhem and madness -- hell, it's like an old movie ad that screamed, "HERE'S THE ONE THAT FINALLY HAS EVERYTHING!" Sure, it's variously horrifying, shocking, and sickening -- and it's obliteratingly stupid almost all the time -- but you gotta admit, that's entertainment! Laugh at the nightmare and the nightmare laughs back! Then it kills you.

So, Sarah Palin. In strategic political terms, it strikes me as a very smart choice. More on that in a mo. But speaking of choice, her convictions on crucial issues are appallingly awful:
A significant part of Palin's base of support lies among social and Christian conservatives. Her positions on social issues emerged slowly during the campaign: on abortion (should be banned for anything other than saving the life of the mother), stem cell research (opposed), physician-assisted suicide (opposed), creationism (should be discussed in schools), state health benefits for same-sex partners (opposed, and supports a constitutional amendment to bar them).


"Teach both [creationism and evolution]. You know, don't be afraid of information....Healthy debate is so important and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. And you know, I say this too as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject -- creationism and evolution. It's been a healthy foundation for me. But don't be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides."
Should creationists be hauled off to detention camps until they learn the difference between facts and faith, what evidence is, and how to think? Should they remain in the camps for the rest of their lives if they refuse to change their minds? I'm not sure. Let's have a healthy debate! C'mon, don't be afraid of information!

Gah. Palin is horribly wrong on every issue identified in the first paragraph excerpted above. Her positions are not only wrong, but unspeakably cruel in human terms. (See "Of Abortion, and Women as the Ultimate Source of Evil" for further discussion of that subject.) But at least with regard to state health benefits for same-sex partners, the story gets a little more interesting. Via the comments at Corrente here, I was directed to this story:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin vetoed a bill Thursday that sought to block the state from giving health benefits to the same-sex partners of public employees, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

In the first veto of her new administration, Palin said she rejected the bill as unconstitutional despite her disagreement with a state Supreme Court order that directed the state to offer the benefits.

"Signing this bill would be in direct violation of my oath of office," Palin said in a written statement Thursday night.

The anti-gay bill was passed by the Republican-controlled legislature during a special November session.

The state Supreme Court last year ordered Alaska to extend the benefits, finding that denying them violated the state's guarantee of equal protection for all Alaskans. Justices set a deadline of Jan. 1, 2007, for having the benefits in place.
This may not signify much; in light of Palin's support for a constitutional amendment to bar same-sex benefits, it almost certainly does not. She doesn't approve of same-sex benefits and only objects that this isn't the way to eliminate them. So the veto only indicates a kind of mindless obedience -- "We have to follow the roolz!" -- the way many people, including many liberals, shout, "The law! The law! We always have to follow the law!" What if the law is wrong? As I have discussed in some detail, even dictatorships have laws. Still, perhaps Palin's views and thus her likely actions are not completely horrible, just mostly horrible. Limbaugh and Hannity are consumed by delirious joy at the selection, a sign the devil is at work. The nightmare's gonna get you!

But it's smart politically. McCain immediately makes the major story of the day his story, even after Obama's speechifying last night. Honest to God, watching the media in this country is like watching an interminable stupid pet trick. Uh-oh, I'm writing about Palin, too. I'm a stupid pet! Oops. What the hell. Since I started, I may as well finish the trick. Where was I? Oh, yeah, smart politically. So McCain reaches out to women voters, perhaps especially to unhappy Clinton supporters of the independent variety. And Palin's arch-conservative beliefs solidify that bloc among probable McCain voters.

More interesting than all that to me is the generalized woman-bashing stirred up at certain Obamanoid sites, as noted in another Corrente thread. Some strategist working for McCain (and McCain himself perhaps) is one devious and crafty bastard. By selecting Palin, all the ugliness of the Democratic primary is dredged up again -- and this time it may both turn off some Democrats and redound to the Republicans' benefit. It's the devil again! So we can look forward to someone like Keith Olbermann telling us that Sarah Palin is just like that crazed woman played by Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction -- but this time, after she got religion. It'll be awful, but it's entertainment!

Should be a ton o' fun. I recommend stocking your liquor cabinet as if you were preparing for six months in some remote outpost. Make that a year. Doesn't have to be liquor, select your substance(s) of choice. Invite some friends over, the kind who are into, you know, experimentation and good times. Turn the nightmare into a bacchanale!

It all makes no never mind to me. As I said at the beginning -- and as Al Gore said! -- both major party candidates are war criminals. So it's this scenario for me. And since lots and lots of people seem eager to tear themselves and each other to bits, my political fantasy might be just that little bit closer to realization.

A boy can dream...

P.S. Hey, y'all. Next week, I may tell you a bit more about what happened this summer, and why I was absent from these parts for so long. Basically, it was an unrelievedly awful time. For over a month, I wasn't certain I would ever get back to writing, or to anything else at all. Yes, it was that bad. And yet, here I am. I'm not in good shape exactly; in fact, I still feel pretty lousy, but at least it's not as bad as it was. And I am enjoying the writing I'm doing now, and I hope you are, too.

Thanks to some very kind donors -- and thanks to several donors who have been outlandishly generous -- I was able to survive the summer even though I was immobilized most of the time. And thanks to some donations just this week, I can still eat and I have part of the September rent. Which is due next week. Ackety ack. I'm still short of about two-thirds of the rent, and I need to pay some overdue bills. And the cats need to eat too, of course. People sometimes tell me I should post pictures of my beautiful children, and then you'd all shower me with lots and lots of donations. Cat pity, ya know. Hard to resist. And I'd do it -- but I am very, very, very poor. No "luxuries" of any kind -- like teevee -- so I don't have a camera. Haven't had one for years. So no pictures. But my cats are the most gorgeous, the funniest, and the sweetest cats in the entire world. But you probably knew that.

So, if you have some money you'd care to throw in this direction, I would be deeply grateful as always. And Cyrano and Wendy say thanks, too. Given my health, I can't predict what next week might bring, but I'll keep up this writing streak as long as I can. I much prefer life when I'm able to write regularly, although that reality tends to fade away almost completely during the worst times. I hope this comparatively good time will be here for a minimum of several months, at least through the election. Who would want to miss all this fun and frivolity?!?

As always, many, many thanks for your time and consideration, and for your extraordinary generosity. Okay, Wendy, I'm almost done, so you can write to your friends in a few minutes. (They both write a lot of email. You wouldn't believe the friends they have, all over the world. It's true, I can show you emails they've written. A few of you out there have even received some of them. It's a battle for the computer every day. We need a mediator.) All right, finishing up right now, Wendy. Kids.