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September 10, 2008

I'm reading a lot of similar opinions this morning. People are agreeing that, no matter who wins, we're in for at least four years of hell.

It's interesting, because I've been thinking of this subject for the past few days.

McCain, in his overwhelming desire for office, is unloosing forces that are likely to make the country only barely governable no matter who wins.

(Kevin Drum)

This is the heart of the situation. McCain's lust for office is behind this slash-and-burn approach to the election. He wants to be President and by god he's going to be President, no matter if he has to bring the entire country down around our ears to do it. He's 72, he's had at least one heart attack, he's had multiple bouts with cancer, and this is his last chance.

In an eerie parallel to our current President's approach to the office--McCain knows he's not going to be around for that long, so consequences just don't matter.

Scenario A - Obama/Biden wins
The GOP goes mad, the same way they did after Clinton took the White House from Bush I. Instead of focusing on the serious business of "governing," the Republicans will spend the next four years in a screaming tantrum--making up lies and promulgating them relentlessly, throwing shit (mostly of their own creation), and spinning every Democratic inhale and exhale to make it clear that the Left is on a mission to destroy the world.

It will be Clinton all over again, but worse. The national media will be orgasmic at this continued drama. Conflict at the top is good for headlines and nightly news morsels.

There will be an increase in racial hate crimes in parts of the country as the rightwing, using barely coded racial slurs, incites the most hate-filled part of their "base" to action.

Obama, like most Presidents, will find himself unable to enact most of his most cherished programs.* The part of the public that actually votes tends to be the most partisan and Republican representatives are not going to risk endangering their own seats by cooperating with the Evil Left. (And, to be fair, most of them probably believe their own Party's propaganda.)

* On the other hand, should the "voters" continue to be vocal in support of Obama and his programs, most elected representatives will cave in, regardless. The most important thing for them is getting elected, and then getting elected again.

Scenario B - McCain/Palin wins
As it stands today, this could only happen by the narrowest of margins in an extremely tight race. The consequences on this one don't stop.

Congress is controlled by Democrats, at least for the next four years. Eight years of Reagan, during a number of which he had Alzheimer's. Four years of Bush 1. Eight years of watching Clinton get hammered to the wall on a regular basis, drowning in lies that no one seemed able to refute since the "media" was more interested in the drama of sex-themed headlines than the serious business of governing. And then eight years of watching Bush II destroy our economy, our standing in the world, and whatever fragile international "peace" we had been able to negotiate.

In between sniping and infighting, there are moments when this Democratic Congress will have to work with the White House. Budgets must be passed and, unlike the Right who are always willing to toss a hundred thousand or so workers out onto the streets just for the pleasure of pointing a finger at someone else and saying, "it's their fault," the Left is obligated to care. And I think Obama does actually care.

But only the most necessary business will be completed and the national media, always eager to suck up to the Right, will print endless stories about how it's the Democrats' fault for being sore losers. (Siding with the Left will not make the corporate owners and donors of the national media at all happy, so that's not gonna happen.)

There will be constant discussion of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the people tired of the slaughter and the lack of positive results demanding that we bring the troops home and McCain, clinging desperately to his one, perceived qualification for office, determined to keep his Commander-In-Chief role active.

Guantanamo will not be closed, nor will the prisoners be released. There will be a few cosmetic trials and even a few releases--and much publicity around how McCain is making it a kinder, gentler concentration camp. (Update: No, I might be wrong. He might continue business as usual in Guantanamo, since he approves of torture.)

And then there's the voting population. You have 49 or 49-1/2% of the voting public unhappy at four more years of Bush. These people, many of them employers and business owners, will continue to lack faith in the economy. Wall Street will stay volatile.

You have the new generation of voters, realizing that all of their energy, their passion, their donations, and their commitment were not enough to beat the entrenched political machine. Disillusioned, many of them disenfranchise themselves.

And then, the real nightmare scenario--McCain is gone and we're left with Palin. The woman is a small-minded, mean-spirited, unqualified bigot. She got elected as governor in Alaska because it just doesn't matter that much who is governor in Alaska. The state government is largely owned by and run for the convenience of the oil industry. That she's proven to be dishonest and fiscally irresponsible, prone to exaggerating her own accomplishments and tagging anyone who disagrees with her as evil isn't that relevant in Alaska.

Pondering what I know of her beliefs (that is, what she's actually done, as opposed to what she's been saying in speeches since the VP nomination), we're in trouble. Oil is king, only "my kind" of Christian is acceptable, people of color should be neither seen nor heard, barefoot and pregnant is good enough for most women, it's my right to control your information access, and it's okay to destroy your enemies, especially in a holy war.

From what I've read, she takes neither advice nor correction well. She has a relentless "all for me and none for you" approach to life.

I find it hard to believe I'm saying this, but I'm starting to see that we could have, in my lifetime, a president so horrific that we could find ourselves looking back on the current Administration with nostalgia.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:19 AM