Thursday, October 23, 2008

Will the "real" America please stand up?

Rosa Brooks

According to Sarah Palin, she and John McCain "believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hardworking, very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation."

Um, very, um. ... Yeah.

The GOP code isn't hard to crack: There's the America that might vote for Obama (a suspect America populated by people with liberal notions, big-city ways and, no doubt, dark skin), and then there's the "real" America, where people live in small towns, believe in God and country, and are ... well ... white.

About 80% of Americans live in metropolitan areas, not small towns. A third of us are ethnic and racial minorities, but that's changing: Already,nearly 45% of children under 5 are minorities. Although 88% of us believe in God, 70% think that religions other than our own are equally valid routes to truth. And while 59% of us think that wearing an American flag pin is a decent way to show patriotism, even more of us (66%) think that protesting U.S. policies we oppose is a good way to show patriotism. These days, more than half of us say we prefer the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

Given this, why do McCain, Palin and their team keep pushing the message that the America where most of the electorate lives isn't "real"?

The GOP hasn't been the party of reality-based thinking for some time now. "When we act, we create our own reality," a "senior Bush advisor" (assumed to be Karl Rove) told journalist Ron Suskind in 2002, and this became the administration's version of a game plan. Thus Donald Rumsfeld's conviction -- shared by McCain -- that we would be "greeted as liberators" in Iraq. For GOP leaders, the Iraq that erupted into a violent insurgency just wasn't the "real" Iraq.

We're now seeing the same pathology at work in the McCain-Palin campaign. McCain and Palin look at America and see what they wish was there, rather than what's actually there: an America in which they'll be greeted as liberators and rightful heirs to the mantle of leadership. America, after all, has been led by white Anglo-Saxons for the last two-plus centuries and, for the last 40 years, mostly by Republicans. For that to change is almost unthinkable. And so Team McCain just edits out the inconvenient America that doesn't seem likely to vote GOP. That America's not real. It just can't be.

Ah, but it is.

I for one am thankful that McCain and his cohorts are the last to see that their 'reality' of America is no more if it ever was. Even the normal American is starting to wise up after eight years of an insane president and his failed ideology and policies.

I'm thankful that McCain is using Rovian tactics and personnel. It's all he's got. You can fool Americans pretty easy if they're not really watching what's going on. You can fool them twice just as easily. You could probably fool them this time as well if it weren't for the fact that some of them have noticed they've been burned bad over the last eight years. Lies, lies, and more lies with horrid results across the board.

I said right after the '04 election, and no I'm not going to go look it up but you may if you wish, that getting Bush foisted on us for a second term may have actually been a good thing in the long run because it meant he would dig a hole deep enough that the Repugs would be out of power for a generation. It looks like such may come to pass. It may take a generation to dig the country out of what they have done to it, but it can't be helped. Looking at the sky instead of into the abyss will be a huge improvement.

All it's going to take is just enough of us to realize what's going on to kick the dark clowns out. 'Just enough' meaning that our next President (with a capital 'P' again, I hope) and Congress need to win by a large enough margin that the Repugs can't steal it again.

I am totally glad that McFuckup and Moosebreath are doing the things they're doing the way they're doing them. I'm actually starting to think things are going to go our way.

Then we can take a deep breath and a sigh of relief and hit the deck runnin' to deal with the Democrats. We've been tested by the worst imaginable long enough. It'll be a pleasure.

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