Matt Taibbi and John McCain's "Gimmick"
Maybe it's homo-erotic, but I love Matt Taibbi. I just don't see any media figure (maybe Bill Marr or Bill Moyers, albeit from different venues and to different audiences) swinging for the bleachers the way he does.
Thus I am waiting like a child for Christmas to hear and read Taibbi weigh-in on McCain's cynical, Nth-degree-focus-group, secure-the-base-at-all-cost, gimmick VP Sarah Palin.
To that end, these are MoveOn's Sarah Palin talking points, fresh from my inbox:
- She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.1
- Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.2
- She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000. 3
- Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4
- She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5
- She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.6
- How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.7
And having just now spent an hour or two coursing YouTube for Taibbi snippets, poring over reviews of The Great Derangement, and rereading his Rolling Stone blogs, I find myself, at least momentarily, spiritually renewed by Mr. Taibbi's humanity, authenticity and integrity in documenting the current plight of average Americans.
I may be wrong, but I like to think that, like me, a switch flipped inside Taibbi with the 2004 Bush reelection. At least that's when I really started paying attention to American polity, compelled to know what has gone so terribly wrong with my country. And after Iraq, after the Bush reelection, after Katrina, suddenly there they were: Taibbi, Krugman, Maher, Oberman, Moyers, et al. -- new heroes for a New Left for a new Me.
I see now that Taibbi's Derangement thesis is essentially correct! To quote Elton John lyrics, "We've all gone crazy lately..." Like millions of Americans, I have become disillusioned, disenfranchised, anxiety-ridden -- basically crazy -- just like America's far left (911 was an inside job) or its extreme right (blindly supporting Israel in preparation for Biblical Armageddon). In short, the status quo proves that any singular perspective, no matter how seemingly righteous or inspired, is best not taken to extremes. After reading Taibbi, I struggle with basic questions like: How much change can anyone really effect calling Americans idiots? Or if 911 was an inside job, why couldn't our neocon puppet masters keep Katrina off the front page?
So where to go from here? All I know is that, today, this is my credo:
- War and murder are synonymous. I would defend myself, my family, perhaps even this country -- if forced. But I would never choose a war.
- Economic profit and loss are mostly synonymous with luck. And good luck, good ideas and good will are best shared within any healthy society.
- Unregulated corporatism and crony capitalism has given rise to a corrupt socio-political-economic aristocracy that has unjustly profited at the expense of 98 or 99 percent of the world's population by suppressing wages and restricting upward mobility through narrow social, political and academic pedigree.
Obama understands the predicament better than McCain. Obama is less, or at least more recently, a member of the corrupt class. I will vote for Obama and for all matter of egalitarian change in general.
1. "Sarah Palin," Wikipedia, Accessed August 29, 2008
2. "McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate," NARAL Pro-Choice America, August 29, 2008
3. "Sarah Palin, Buchananite," The Nation, August 29, 2008
4. "'Creation science' enters the race," Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2006
5. "Palin buys climate denial PR spin—ignores science," Huffington Post, August 29, 2008
6. "McCain VP Pick Completes Shift to Bush Energy Policy," Sierra Club, August 29, 2008
"Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past," League of Conservation Voters, August 29, 2008
"Protecting polar bears gets in way of drilling for oil, says governor," The Times of London, May 23, 2008
7 "McCain met Palin once before yesterday," MSNBC, August 29, 2008