Friday, October 24, 2008

Ratfuckery & the Fog of Lies

This is a picture of Barack Obama with his white grandpa, the man who was married to the woman he is visiting today on what could be her deathbed: his beloved grandma. You see him here, cavorting on the beach in Hawaii with the man who raised him, at about the age when he was supposedly "working closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers to bomb the US Capitol." This blog is my personal flyer to the Republican National Committee and its endless wash of lies: Barack Obama is not, never has been, and never will be, a terrorist. You guys need to stop your brazen lying before you totally destroy my country.

The last lies told by the Republican Party gave us the Iraq War, whose consequences have been "of high moment," as Jonathan Schell writes in this week's issue of The Nation: "thousands of American deaths, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths, one country smashed, another dishonored. Now in the last weeks of the presidential campaign, 'the gloves are off' again, fantasy and brutality are mixing in another context, and new streams of lies are being pumped into the public bloodstream from the campaign trail. What will the price be this time?"

I've received more of these ideologically offensive, invasive robocalls again this week. But it was the postal flyer that finally put me over the top. It came without a wrapper, and repeated the same brazen lie about Obama and terrorism. Deftly I put it into a brown envelope and today, while Barack sits at his grandmother's bedside, I mailed it back to the RNC. There was a message written on it from me. "I am returning this latest example of your ratfuckery (political sabotage or dirty tricks, as defined by Wikipedia). Please remove me from your mailing list. I do not want to receive this garbage."

Meanwhile McCain now claims, out on the campaign trail as he tries to salvage his moribund candidacy, referring to Barack Obama, "He'll say anything to get elected." A TV reporter in Missouri asked McCain about the flyer, and whether he was proud of it, to which McCain responded: "Totally." Many of McCain's supporters now believe Obama is a terrorist, and some of them at rallies have been seen to yell "Kill him."

Obama has said assassination is something he can't worry about, that there are too many serious problems he needs to focus on. He claims that what keeps him awake at night is not his personal safety, and it's not even the thought of losing the election. It is the idea of winning the election and then not being able to follow through with his promises.

Jonathan Schell calls Obama "a kind of Mozart of politics," and refers to him as a man of stature, even of greatness--a man who inhabits a degraded public realm with grace. But placed, as he now is, "at the center of the swamp that our political life has become, he has breathed deeply of the narcotic fumes that pervade it." I agree with Schell, however, that even if many of Obama's campaign promises should prove unrealizable in the compromised times he will inherit, his election is a necessity for any decent future for the United States.

People all over the globe are following this election closely, with their hearts in their mouths. As one anonymous blogger wrote from Australia, "The choice you Americans make this time will be felt around the world. Please make a good choice for the sake of all of us!" He clearly felt the best choice was Barack Obama!

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