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Crossing the Mara-Mara Again

Every decision is liberating, even if it leads to disaster. Otherwise, why do so many people walk upright and with open eyes into their misfortune? –Elias Canetti

A friend wrote, "Canetti might have written that of wildebeests as they gleefully jump into the Mara-Mara on the their annual migration across the plains of Africa and often into the waiting jaws of a Nile crocodile."

Canetti might also have written that of the so-called progressives, who, blinded by their hatred of Barack Obama, have gleefully jumped into the Republican Party on their delusional migration from sanity to insanity.

I certainly understand their reservations with Barack Obama; I share many of them. I can even understand if they choose to support Ralph Nader, or another progressive candidate. But John McCain and his fundamentalist sidekick Sarah Palin, give me a break.

Now some of them will claim that they are not for either of the mainstream candidates, but by their fruits you shall know them, and those fruits are plain to see.

It is painful to watch the machinations they go through trying to avoid the cognitive dissonance they are surely suffering from. They are trying to convince themselves that there is no 'real' difference between McCain and Obama, but just comparing the two candidates views on healthcare should dispel that.

It is unlikely it will however since their journey is not based on reason, but is an emotional one, much like the Obamabots they ridiculed before.

Here's what I'd like them to do. Imagine they are sitting across the table from Hillary Clinton and explain to her exactly why it is that they are supporting John McCain and Sarah Palin, because supporting them they are.



Many of those supporting HIllary Clinton were ever bit as emotional as those supporting Obama. That should be perfectly clear at this point in time.

The question is what was the one defining reason for this emotional support?

Sometimes I think people are really stupid. How else can you explain the consistent tendency to vote AGAINST their own self interests.

How else can you explain the consistent tendency to vote AGAINST their own self interests.

In this case, I think we all know what the 3000-pound elephant in the room is.

It's about race. I think lots of people are "progressive" until their so-called enlightened attitude is truly tested.

Was Hillary subjected to a tremendous amount of misogynistic hatred during the primary season? Most definitely.

Was Obama was subjected to an equal or greater amount of racism? Definitely.

Let's stop fucking avoiding these very real truths just for once.

What we learned is that perhaps "liberal" and "progressive" Democrats are as racist and misogynistic as these very same liberal and progressive Democrats love to call conservatives on matters of race and gender. In theory we'd love to think we're above such petty prejudices, but many really are not.

Any liberal or progressive who would vote for John McCain and four more years of this right-wing warmongering bullshit is either crazy or so blinded by racial hatred that maybe they are not nearly as "liberal" or "progressive" as they love to fancy themselves.

Because let's face it: no matter what reservations all of us may have about Barack Obama, he's not even in the same universe of sleaziness and utter depravity as George W. Bush or John McCain. Are you fucking kidding me?

Just yesterday, a very liberal Manhattanite who works in the fashion industry told me on a photo shoot that we could listen to any music but hip-hop. Said that there'd be enough angry black people yelling at him after November.

That about sums up the vote against Obama.

On the other hand, today I had a cab driver from Nigeria tell me that the US is getting so bad both economically and politically that he's considering moving back........

That really depressed me. The guy is so disillusioned with the US that Nigeria is actually better for him.

How far we have fallen.

it might be about race primarily, but race doesn't account for Gore losing in 2000 (well maybe Lieberman's religion/race) nor does it account for Kerry's loss in 2004.

Conservatives don't agree with liberals at a very base level. The same way that Lakoff discusses Framing, we have another academic using the definition of "moral" individual or social to distinguish the two.

What I don't understand is how anyone can make the "they're just the same" attitude even from an emotional stance. "They're both politicians, they're both liars and full of it..."

Maybe, but a vote for McCain means you support the physical torture of a fellow human being and the suppression of Habeas Corpus.

As pissed as I am that Obama gave the telcos a pass, and as big of a blow to justice as that was, it's not even in the same ball park as McCain and Palin literally mocking the idea that these things are important.

Regarding telecoms, if Obama's own words on the subject are any clue as to how he would behave, I think we're likely to see a full revisiting and auditing of major Bush decisions if Obama gets elected, particularly if charges are brought against higher-ups in the Bush administration.

I think people largely fail to recognize how problematic it is to impeach or prosecute a wartime president (or his staff) while he's still in office -- even if the war resulted from the administration's malfeasance -- because of the political damage it would do to the nation on the world stage. It can only be done to any great degree on the sidelines afterwards, to save face. And deals will be cut, which will excuse individuals for heinous acts, as we've seen all to often before. But rather than personal political favors or cash handoffs, I think such deals would probably be geared toward enacting legitimate reforms.

I'm feeling very optimistic, both about Obama's chances of being elected, and about what he will do if he is.

Hillary Clinton herself has never been more popular in the U.S., according to polls I've seen recently (for myself, I've never liked her more than I do now). That makes it easier for Palin to pander to her voters. Perhaps some Hillary people (a fraction) are in fact conservatives who might like Palin just as much. But people should be under no illusions that the GOP has more hate for Hillary Clinton than you could generate in a hundred years of Obama campaigns. You can imagine what Palin would be saying if HRC were the nominee at the top or the bottom of the ticket.

I've been freaked out by McCain, and I disagree with most of his views. But Palin puts it all in perspective. I can't imagine a political figure whose personality is more like Bush. And yet Palin is now the driving force in the McCain campaign. This is the richest political irony I can remember. In an election when hating Bush is the one and only universally recognized truth, McCain is getting his first real break by nominating another Bush. Big Palin fan Ross Douhtat (no great fan of Bush), admitted as much:

I really don't think race is an as big an issue in this election as people make it out to be.

Personally, I don't like Obama or McCain because I really don't see the difference. McCain cant remember how many houses he owned, Obama doesn't wear a flag pin. Obama Fist bumped his wife at a speech. McCain was celebrating a birthday during Katrina.

Now, both sides will argues as to why those points should mean something. I simply don't. The stuff the media talks about means almost nothing. No one talks about policy. I actually did like Obama until his FISA vote, but then it was sealed for me. Its going to be business as usual in washington regardless of who gets in. Its a duopoly between the two parties, and neither one gives a flying shit about the little guy. We're going to get screwed either way, its just a matter of what hole its going in...


Whether you're kidding or not, methinks you're a wee bit nutty.

C'mon now - this "they're the same" meme is ridiculous.

McCain has explicitly stated his support for the Bush doctrine of "preventive" war – which is nothing else but a euphemism for declaring the United States' intention to engage in wars of aggression against any nation that McCain's government decides might be a future threat. Obama has rejected Bush's radically imperialist doctrine.

As Norm has stated, on no issue is the contrast between the candidates starker than health care. McCain's health care policies will worsen the American health care system and destroy individuals' power to obtain affordable health care by putting insurance providers in total control of the system. Anyone claiming that Obama and McCain are "the same" on this issue hasn't read anything about it.

McCain has committed to continuing Bush's financially ruinous tax policies - Obama's tax policies will shift the tax burden toward wealthier taxpayers. Bush's changes in the tax code disproportionately aided the only income/wealth group that has prospered for the 8 years - those in the top few percent in income - at a time that income disparities between those at the top and middle and bottom have grown to levels not seen since the 1920s. This doesn't even mention the steadily rising Federal debt that is steadily robbing us and future taxpayers by committing an ever increasing fraction of our taxes to paying interest.

McCain and Obama are certain to nominate Supreme court justices with very different views - to say that they will be "the same" is ridiculous.

Get serious and look at these and other issues - the refusal to distinguish between the candidates is inexcusable.

I think the reason is clear. The enemy of my enemy is my friend—Obama is the enemy because he prevented a woman from being nominated for president or he's the enemy because he is black, or he's the enemy because . . .

Right, and if Hillary Clinton had been the Democratic nominee, she would have been the enemy because she prevented a black from being nominated for president or because she was a woman, or because..


Sigh indeed, it's so simple and so irrational.


The VP Pick was the first 'real' presidential decision made by either candidate. The truth is, Obama proved he would make decisions for the good of the country.

Both candidates have a high risk of death in the first 4 years of their presidency. McCain is old, and could die... no shocker there. But Obama is also going to have several attempts on his life as president. This is the elephant in the room. He will be a magnet for crazy religious people (who think he's a Muslim mole), crazy racist, and crazy anti-gov types that think he's a raging socialist/new world order shill. (And of course there are just the plain crazy people.)

So what we are really looking at are two candidates that have a significant chance of dying during their presidency.

Obama chose someone for VP that will help him govern as well as be a decent leader if he is killed. McCain chose someone who will help him win the election but who will be a piss-poor leader if he dies in office.


Palin is proof that McCain would rather win an election than do what's right for America.

Biden is proof that Obama is taking on the responsibilities of the presidency, even at the risk of loosing the election.

The question is what was the one defining reason for this emotional support?

The oldest game, the turning of minority groups against each other. Women and GLBT folk feel like they got passed over. It actually reminds me of the McCain POW story, where they would only accept their release in the order of their capture.

This is why Women, GLBT , and poor whites have had these strands of hatred for Obama and Latinos got over the divide very quickly. Those groups feel they were kept down longer and therefore deserve "release" first.

The Emotional and irrational arguments of these folks have been nurtured by Hillary, the press, and now the Republicans.

I don't blame Hillary for trying, but she took it too far and created a monster.

She should do an ad and kill the beast.


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