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McCain/Palin Bizzaro World: What universe/film/book/television show have we entered?

Readers, I’m quite a busy girl these days, so I haven’t had as much time to offer my Bruised Muse musings as regularly as I had been doing.  Today I’m going to cheat a little, and offer a reader’s comment in this space, with only the following as a brief introduction.  People everywhere keep trying to come up with analogies from books and film and television to describe McCain/Palin world. 

I personally feel either I’ve entered “1984,” complete with double think and double speak, or perhaps as if I’m stuck in the room with crazy General Jack Ripper from “Dr. Strangelove” perseverating on those crazy Rooskies and our precious bodily fluids.   Matt Damon feels as if Sarah Palin potentially being President is like a bad Disney movie. On the Huffington Post, Jake Tapper of ABC News compared the whole McCain/Palin campaign to a Saturday Night Live routine.  Gail Collins wonders who the candidate of the week is, and compares whoever he is to “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”.  Bruised Muse Reader Michael wrote this:

Watching and listening to McCain/Palin reminds me of an old storyline I read as a kid in the Superman comics, of all things. Every once in a while, Superman would go to a planet called Htrae (earth backwards)where all actions and words were opposite of those on earth. Their version of Superman looked more like Frankenstein. What we considered good, they considered bad, and so forth. This planet was called, appropriately, Bizzaro World.

In order to keep a steady, sanity check in the midst of the constant stream of McCain/Palin lies and obvious disingenuousness, combined with the fact that certain people are actually swallowing this garbage, I can only chalk this up to the fact that Bizzaro World exists on our planet and in our country.

Dr. Strangelove.  1984.  Bad Disney Movie. Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  Saturday Night Live Skit. Superman Comics Bizzaro World.  Readers, let’s come up with some more bizzaro world analogies.  It won’t change anything, but it’ll make us feel better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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McCain/Palin: Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same old thing and expecting a different result.” With polls in recent days actually showing that Sarah Palin’s Vice Presidential candidacy may be moving people toward the Republican ticket, I’m beginning to wonder if our whole country has gone insane, or at least half of it, anyway. Could the country actually be on the verge of doing the same thing…again, and expecting a different result? How can even a small proportion of the eighty-two percent of Americans who think the country is going in the wrong direction buy the notion that McCain and Palin are going to take the country in a different direction, when McCain himself has voted with Bush 90% of the time? The only different direction in which McCain and Palin are going to take the country in is even further to the right, with a Vice President-in-waiting who apparently believes that global warming isn’t man made, creationism ought to be taught as science in schools, Iraq is a war from God, and books that don’t conform to her faith-based world view ought to be banned, and who might actually get to BE President, given McCain’s age? Yes, Washington is broken, but it’s not ONLY because of corruption, as McCain keeps saying over and over and over; it’s certainly because of policies, and on that, electing  McCain and Palin is doing the same thing.  Isn’t it insane to expect a different result? 

But it’s even worse than that.  I’m starting to worry about the sanity of the candidate himself.  John McCain has actually been touting the idea that Sarah Palin has foreign policy experience because Alaska is next to Russia.  And Palin, who crammed like a schoolgirl for the now infamous ABC interview with Charlie Gibson, echoed that bizarre absurdity by saying that her foreign policy bonafides include her vision: the fact that she can SEE Russia from Alaska.  Between all this, and  McCain’s perseveration on “We are all Georgians” rhetoric, on peculiar ideas like “Sarah is my soul mate,” and “She’s the most wonderful Vice Presidential candidate in history;” and his impulsive, cynical, irresponsible, politically-motivated pick of this extremist, unvetted, untested Vice Presidential candidate, I feel as if we’ve all landed in the movie Doctor Strangelove, and we’re stuck in the room with General Jack Ripper ranting and perseverating about those Commie Ruskies and our precious bodily fluids. I keep thinking about what a member of McCain’s own party, Thad Cochran, Republican of Mississippi, said once about Mr. McCain, “The thought of his being President send a cold chill up my spine.  He’s erratic, he loses his temper and he worries me.”  Me too, Thad.  Me too. Has anyone actually considered the longterm personality consequences of five years of torture?  Is it possible there’s PTSD here? 

But this isn’t Dr. Strangelove, after all, it’s 1984, and the Republicans seem to have so mastered the art of doublespeak that a sizeable number don’t even realize that we’re being had….again.  When McCain nominated Sarah Palin, I thought surely women, except the true religious right, weren’t going to buy her  just because she was a woman and “one of us?”  We did that already with Bush, who was judged by many as “someone you’d like to have a beer with.”  Are we about to do that again, and get the same result?  I’m sure John McCain is fun and likable in his own way, and Sarah Palin is a lot of fun on a moose-shooting expedition, but why don’t we try something new after eight years, maybe elect someone really smart to the highest office in the land?  After eight years of George Bush, underachiever, do we really want to elect someone who graduated near dead last from Annapolis?  Isn’t that doing the same thing and expecting a different result?  Isn’t that insane?  

I keep asking myself what can be responsible for this vulnerability of Americans to Swift-boat tactics instead of logic and common sense? Why are so many unable to look at a problem and figure out the right solution? Or at least a different solution than the one that hasn’t been working?  Is it a lack of education or critical thinking skills?  Identity politics?  Is that people have no memory? Is it that people can’t prioritize what’s important any more?  Is it that our consumer culture has made us so used to being bombarded with ads and sales pitches that we’re unable to go beyond sound bites and jingoistic phrases? Is it a media that simply isn’t doing its job?  Is it something in the water? Have we gone insane to even think for one moment that we’ll get a different result with McCain and Palin? 

They can call Obama an “elitist” and a “pervert” and whatever else their Rovian minions dream up, but the result will be the same.  While the world moves forward in science, technology, and medicine, we’ll be banning highly promising lines of medical research like stem cells, teaching Adam and Eve as science to our young people, and arguing over irrelevancies, like gay rights, which should be a given in this country. 

While the world burns and terrorists proliferate, to a great degree as a result of OUR policies, we’ll continue with our “tough talk and bad strategy,” to quote Senator Obama. 

While the planet sputters and begins to die, we’ll continue to prop up Petro-dictators in the most repressive, pre-modern, anti-woman countries on earth, countries in which the Church IS the state, and further erode our own separation of church and state in the process.  In the end, we’ll look more like them than they do like us.

While the rest of the world looks on in horror, we’ll continue down our current path, increasing our deficits, mortgaging our and the world’s future, adding to the world’s overpopulation by pushing abstinence only and restricting access to sex education, birth control and abortion, and doing nothing to stop the world from moving toward nuclear catastrophe. 

 

While the signs of global destruction mount all around us, from melting ice in the Artic to wild weather in the Americas, we’ll just continue along the same path we’ve been going for the last eight years, and expect a different result. And the Republicans will continue to live in their fantasy world, insisting that America is still and always will be the world’s “leader,” and calling anyone who would dare speak truth unpatriotic.

 

Bush calls us the “angry left,” but I’m not angry.  I’m horrified that the country has gone insane. I’m grieving. I grieve because we’ll be electing a war monger who will not only keep us in the unnecessary, disgraceful war we’re already in in Iraq, but is going to get us into another war with his bellicose “We are all Georgians” rhetoric. 

 

I grieve for the demise of this country and this planet.  But instead of fighting as we go down, some of us will be chanting insanely “Drill Baby Drill.”  Maybe it’s something in our precious bodily fluids.  Or maybe its in the oil

 

On going green, Tom Friedman calls John McCain “bloody dishonest.”

Yesterday on NPR, in an interview with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, Tom Friedman, Pulitzer Prize winning NYTimes columnist, told it like it is on the absolute necessity to go green. Although I definitely disagreed with him on the lead up to the Iraq war (which I always thought not only incredibly stupid but a strategic and moral catastrophe, and he originally supported), Friedman remains among the most brilliant commentators we have in this country. Friedman ought to be required reading (or listening) for every American. Here are a few memorable (approximated) quotes from that interview that drill down (you should pardon the pun) the problem with electing John McCain:

When I heard Rudi Guiliani lead that crowd (at the Repub convention) in chanting “Drill Baby Drill,” I thought, what planet are these people inhabiting? It’s as if on the eve of the advent of computer technology, the Republicans were out there saying “Let’s stick with the IBM Selectric Typewriter.” Type baby type. Type. Type. Type.

If the Petro-dictators–the leaders of the world’s most repressive, anti-modern, anti-woman regimes like Saudi Arabia, which we’re supporting by our addiction to oil, either foreign OR domestic–were up in the bleachers at that convention, they would have been giving each other high fives! They WANT us to remain focused on fossil fuels.

We ought to be promoting fuels from Heaven (wind, solar, etc) rather than fuels from hell (fossil based)

John McCain, whom I used to respect, has been ‘bloody dishonest.’ He’s making people stupid, and it’s frankly disgusting.

John McCain’s support for lifting the federal gas tax for a summer giveaway was absurd and misleading.

We ought to have 100000 innovators working in 100000 garages.

The current tax and production credits for wind and solar energy expire on December 31. A bill to extend them has been brought up in Congress eight times and John McCain didn’t show up to vote eight times. Obama showed up three times and voted to extend. So now, at this crucial time, the solar and wind innovators in this country are at a dead stop, frozen. Nobody is starting new projects. This makes no sense at all.

President Bush claimed we have an addiction to oil, but do you think he invited all these senators, Republican’s and Democrats, to Camp David and said, “Let’s work it out.” Do you think he lifted one little finger, one pinky to help?

Remember when Ronald Reagan pulled Jimmy Carter’s solar panels off the White House?

When Reagan canceled Carter’s tax credits for wind, Denmark bought the top American wind company and now has the largest wind company in the world.

Now WHICH party and WHICH Candidate are green? George Bush (and John McCain, his twin) don’t want to work it out because the Republican party (of which John McCain is a bonafide member, matter how much they try to distract you with their lipsticked Pitbull and claims of being energy savvy mavericks and change agents), is completely in the pocket of the big oil companies. Make no mistake. The only change they’re going to give you is to move even farther to the right than even George Bush. It’s amazing: Here we have a candidate John McCain who’s made a completely irresponsible pick for Vice President, and in addition has picked just possibly the most anti-green person he could have found. Apparently, in addition to her extremist views on religion, book banning, teaching creationism in school as science, her belief that you can turn gay people straight, and so much else, Sarah Palin also apparently believes global warming isn’t man made. Great. While the rest of the world is moving forward in science and technology and medicine, we’ll be increasing our deficits as Republicans always do; restricting the most promising line of medical research, stem cells; continuing to consume oil at a planet-killing rate; teaching Adam and Eve as science to our young people; arguing over gays; adding to the world’s overpopulation in a resource limited world by pushing abstinence only and restricting access to sex education, birth control and abortion. Now that would be a catastrophe. And the Republicans continue to live in a fantasy world and insist that America is still and always will be the world’s “leader,” and call anyone who would dare speak truth unpatriotic.

To hear the whole Fresh Air interview here’s the link on NPR

Be afraid, people. Be very afraid. Bush calls us the angry left? But I’m not angry, I’m mostly just sad. I grieve for the demise of this country and this planet. But instead of fighting as we go down, some of us will be chanting “Drill Baby Drill.”

Psychologists for TRUTH: Is McCain decompensating?

On this glorious Sunday afternoon, the Bruised Muse would like to follow up on my last post, in which I gave the “Bubblehead of the Year” Award to Cindy McCain for saying that Alaska’s proximity to Russia gives Sarah Palin foreign policy bonafides, and, while I’m at it, respond to Bruised Muse reader Preston, who said, “Completely agree, that was a stupid comment! Have not heard it repeated, so they must’ve told her “don’t go there!”.

Far from telling beautiful Cindy not to go there, the Republicans have made this an ACTUAL TALKING POINT, and we have John McCain himself actually repeating it, as in this interview with Charlie Gibson:

GIBSON: Can you honestly say you feel confident having someone who hasn’t traveled outside the United States until last year, dealing with an insurgent Russia, with an Iran with nuclear ambitions, with an unstable Pakistan, not to mention the war on terror?

MCCAIN: Sure. And one of the key elements of America’s national security requirements are energy. She understands the energy issues better than anybody I know in Washington, D.C., and she understands. Alaska is right next to Russia. She understands that.

If Sarah Palin understands that, why doesn’t she sling up that baby and her gun and march back up to Alaska to negotiate with and slay those pesky Rooskies and the moose they’re riding in on, presumably from Cape Dezhnev through the Bering Strait? (And then she can gut and skin and eat the moose too.) Do moose swim? Or is it mooses?

But seriously, Bruised Musers, according to the Introductory Textbook of Psychiatry by Andreason and Black, psychotic disorders are characterized by (among other things) disorganized, derailed speech in which, “The patient tends to skip from topic to topic without warning, to be distracted by events in the environment, to join words together because they are semantically or phonologically alike, even though they make no sense, or to ignore the question asked and answer another.”

Between the disorganized, tangential, illogical speech demonstrated in the Gibson/McCain exchange above; McCain’s constant repetition of irrelevancies and false slogans such as Drill Here and Drill Now (perseveration?); his bizarre switched on/switched off smile (inappropriate affect?); his apparent belief that we’re going to buy him as the “change” agent the country needs (delusion?); his offering of such peculiar comments as “Sarah is my soulmate,” and “She’s best Vice Presidential candidate in history,” (grandiosity?); his bellicose “We are All Georgians” rhetoric (paranoia?); and his obviously impulsive, last minute pick of an extremist, unvetted, unqualified VP, the Bruised Muse is really starting to worry about his sanity.

Senator Barack Obama actually DOES have the right temperament for the Presidency. A more impulsive, bellicose, and erratic man (say Senator John McCain) would surely have lost his temper in the face of the stream of stupidity, bald faced lies, and simplistic nonsense emerging from John McCain and the Republicans.  But Senator Obama laughs amiably and says, with admirably restrained sarcasm, “They must think you’re stupid.”

Delusional is more like it. Good for you, Senator Obama. If I were on the stump right now, my head would be exploding.

I’d like to suggest other psychological types contact me so we can start a group called “Psychologists for Truth.” Now I know Americans don’t like to hear the Truth, and prefer a prettied-up, romanticized version of life, but seriously folks: What are the long term personality consequences of a person enduring torture for five years? As Republican Thad Cochran of Mississippi said, “The thought of McCain being President sends a cold child up my spine.” Me too, Thad. And it’s getting colder by the moment.

Be afraid, reader. Be very afraid. This guy is going to get us into another war.

Cindy McCain wins “Bubblehead of the Year” award

If the Bruised Muse hadn’t seen it with her own eyes, she wouldn’t have believed it. Consider for a moment Cindy McCain’s amazing comment about the foreign policy credentials of would-be-VP-in-waiting, Sarah Palin. On Sunday, on ABC’s This Week, beautiful Cindy said:

“You know, the experience that she comes from is, what she has done in government — and remember that Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia.”

The Bruised Muse is absolutely certain that this comment couldn’t be an official Repub talking point, but rather is an example of Cindy McCain striking out boldly on her own, having watched Fox News, where commentator Steve Doocy testified to Sarah Palin’s national security experience on Friday by saying that her state, Alaska, was so close to Russia.

The Bruised Muse, for once, is speechless!

Rove has to eat his words as Palin asks what the VP does

Following up on my previous post on the cynical choice of Sarah Palin as VP, the Bruised Muse would like to invite Karl Rove to a word eating party. On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” a few weeks ago Rove said that Obama was “going to make a ‘political’ choice rather than a ‘governing’ choice, and offered Tim Kaine as an example of such an intensely political and bad choice, one that would help Obama win but not govern. Karl Rove should know about these things because he presided over an Administration in which the entire workings of government took a back seat to politics in every single area. But he was wrong about Senator Obama, who made a very wise, non-political choice in Joe Biden, and showed great “judgment.”

Well. It turns out that it’s actually John McCain who’s made a “political” choice rather than a “governing” choice. Isn’t the VP supposed to 1) help the President govern, and 2) be the person best qualified to take over. Surely McCain doesn’t think this former mayor of a town of 6700 with less than two years of experience as Governor of Alaska is the best qualified person to take over, should he not be able to serve? What are we to make of his judgment when he picks someone with no foreign policy experience after he’s spent the last few months trying to sell us on the idea that Senator Obama is unqualified because he has no foreign policy experience? At least Senator Obama is self-reflective enough to recognize a potential gap in experience and chose a foreign policy expert like Joe Biden, who might actually help him govern, and who WOULD be qualified to take over. Perhaps the old warrior McCain feels he’s invincible. Doesn’t he realize that he’s 72 years old? We’ve had enough of a President with no capacity for realistic self-reflection.

You have to wonder if they even vetted this woman. Wow. For a real scare (or laugh, depending on your mood), watch Sarah Palin on youtube, asking the key question of our age:

What exactly does the Vice President do on a daily basis?”

Lady, with all due respect, let’s hope you never get to find out. John McCain puts America First? I don’t think so.

McCain chooses Sarah Palin: A remarkably cynical VP pick

After Senator Obama’s triumph last night, this morning we have the distressing spectacle of John McCain trying to steal the spotlight with a pick for VP so odd that we can’t help but pay attention.
But my goodness, in the end, what a mistake, and what a cynical choice. So much for McCain and his “country first” patriotism. First it’s obvious McCain is pandering here to his right wing. And second, he probably figures he can also get the so called disaffected Hillary supporters with this choice, odd as it is. I do hope Senator Clinton puts a stop to that idea right away, and that the so called “disaffected” Hillary supporters don’t fall for it. Does McCain think that Hillary’s diehards are so stupid they think anyone woman will do, just because she’s a women, even if this particular women is on the opposite side of every single issue to which Hillary has devoted her life? (As an aside, I love the way clever Kate on her blog, Evolution of Kate, put it: “McCain panders to Americans with Vaginas. ) Personally, I think it’s possible that many of the so called disaffected Hillary supporters are Repub plants, anyway.
But most important, in the end, isn’t the choice of Veep supposed to be about 1) the person best qualified to take over, should the candidate not be able to serve, and 2) helping the candidate govern? He’s complaining that Obama is unqualified? What does it say about McCain’s judgment when he picks this women, when there really is a question of whether he will be able to serve a full term, given his age. What narcissism. What self-regard. What a lack of capability for self-reflection.
Palin’s primary qualifications seem to be that she spent ten years as the major of a town of 6000, and almost two years as Governor of Alaska. She is also apparently qualified because she has five children (with the oddest names, I might add), including one born with Down’s Syndrome whom she didn’t abort (as opposed to liberals who would have); believes in drilling in the Alaska Wildlife Sanctuary (which fits with McCains “drill here and drill now” mantra); is a rabid NRA member, and is staunchly anti-choice. According to Wikipedia, she also supports the teaching of creationism in schools. Hmmm. I wonder what her views on contraception are?
Doesn’t McCain realize he’s 72 years old? Does he really think this is a qualified person? Does he think he can survive forever because he survived the Vietcong? Wow. The Republicans constantly amaze me.