The tenor of this election is really, really ugly. It's obvious that Republicans hate losing much more than Democrats, and they're willing to say and do anything to stay in power, not least of which is framing the debate so that you are either an American (Republican) or a socialist terrorist.
I think when this is all said and done, and John McCain has time to reflect on his loss, he will be ashamed of his behavior. Perhaps this, rather than the Keating 5 scandal, will be the worst moment of his life.
I am hearing stories now of tires getting slashed on cars with Obama stickers, and early voters getting heckled as "cheaters" in polling places. I don't think this is a matter of one side hating to lose more than the other, I think it is a question of one side actually disapproving the very notion of democracy.
This sort of comment is all too apt to be dismissed as simply an ad hominem smear, I know -- but it really is true that there are any number of ways of organizing a polity and one senses that much of the anger of McCain's base comes from such a place of extreme rejection of the American way of life as it is actually constituted.
It seems to me that to accuse fellow citizens of "cheating" in exercising their legal right to vote implies a disapproval that this is a legal right, rather than competitiveness trumping principle.
This more extreme repudiation (in the name of a fantasy of a more "truly American" Christianist theocracy or in the service of certain incumbent powers paranoiacally imagining themselves under threat) extends as well to the arrant double standard of actually perpetuating massively disenfranchising voter fraud through a trumped up scandal about voter registration fraud in the case of Acorn involving at most a negligible threat to the integrity of the voting system, and the flabbergasting sanctimony with which Republican operatives are spreading unbelievably scurrilous claims about Obama, whomping up the worst kinds of racism, and Red-baiting, and Know-Nothingism, and rabble-rousing while accusing Obama and Democrats of "playing the race card" and indulging in "elitism" simply by recognizing the facts of what the Republicans are doing in plain sight!
I am expressing these views in a tone of no small amount of perplexity and even fearfulness, I should add. I'm not sure what exactly is going on here.
As for McCain's shame, I was never one of his big boosters back in the day (I always found him to be worrisomely militarist and anti-choice, just for starters), but I'll admit I never once imagined he was the sort of person who would stoop to this sort of thing or countenance it.
I don't know what to think of all this anymore, I find myself contemplating dark fantasies of a Rovian cabal shepherding another Bush-lite cipher (Palin) through the sausage machine of a dying Republic to maintain their corporate-militarist hegemony.
When all is said and done I simply can't believe that is true -- and if it were, I am pleased to say I do believe that these killer clowns are going down in an epic defeat.
Still, this ugly mean-spirited stinking consummation of Nixon/Reagan/Gingrich/Bush Movement Republicanism (nested within the larger Hayek/Friedman/Rand/Reagan/Thatcher/Pinochet/Deng neoliberal epoch) is a fittingly dumb small shitty end to a constellation of catastrophically murderously idiotic ideas.
Here's hoping a progressive sustainable technodevelopmental epoch of p2p democratization has more to offer for the next thirty years, and here's hoping we all remain in good enough health to enjoy and facilitate them, peer to peer.