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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/17/10

Sarah and the Spiraling Sewer of Regressive Deceit

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Why is McCain so testy about this? Why will he not comment on something he obviously knows about intimately? Why is he hiding behind three dead GIs to avoid the question? Why does he bully his interviewer? Why does the man who based his whole political life on his distant past refuse to talk about events from little more than a year ago?

The answer, of course, is Lie Number Seven, and it's a whopper. McCain won't talk because to do so would be for him to reveal that he committed an act of treason (and I choose my terms carefully here) in choosing Palin. The truth is, McCain willingly and knowingly endangered the country, purely for his own personal benefit. This man who never let up in reminding us all of the vital importance of national security issues put someone on his ticket who was so obscenely incompetent to run the country that she couldn't even pass a sixth grade history class, and he did it for one reason only: because he wanted the personal glory of being president, and he thought she could draw votes. If selling out your country for personal gain doesn't define treason, then I don't know what does. You don't get more obvious examples than this.

Ah, but it gets so much deeper as we descend through the regressive spiral of lies. Because what McCain did in this case is what regressives do all the time. Any honest assessment of contemporary American politics would immediately reveal that more or less everything the Republican Party (and now most of the Democrats as well) does today is treason of this sort. Lie Number Eight is that they actually care about security. Or freedom. Or religion. Or guns. Or who you get to sleep with or marry. The truth is that these are almost entirely diversionary ploys to make sure that you don't notice their real purpose, which is to abet the oligarchy in looting every dollar possible from America and Americans.

And these diversionary tactics of the regressive elite work so well because of Lie Number Nine regarding those they readily manipulate. All the nice folks on the right will claim that their shock troops are rationally deciding what's best for America in determining their allegiances and their votes, just like the Founders intended. But this is nonsense. Sarah Palin has shown herself to be a boob of first proportions, an even bigger one than George W. Bush. In both cases, however, their supporters love them even more for it. These politicians play perfectly to the insecurities of right-wing voters, who respond intensely to the emotional content of their rhetoric. This is the politics of resentment, and political figures who are (or can appear to be) exceptionally ordinary are only more revered, not less, for the big finger they supposedly send to so-called liberal elites.

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All of which continues to explain one of the biggest lies of our time, the notion that regressives/Republicans are serious about national security, while progressives/Democrats are not. Leave aside that WWI, WWII, the Korean War, The Vietnam War and the Cold War were all originally launched by Democratic presidents. Leave aside the fact the Barack Obama supposedly the great wimpy apologist for America abroad is massively increasing the American military presence in Afghanistan. And leave aside the crucial fact that belligerence does not necessarily equate to security in fact, it often produces quite the opposite effect. Even putting all of that to the side, the notion that someone whose mind is a complete blank slate on history and foreign policy to the extent that she didn't even know who her own son would be fighting in Iraq would be the right person to put in the White House is part of an enormous deceit that has been propagated for decades now. The latest regressive trope that there was never a terrorist attack on George W. Bush's watch recently articulated by Dana Perino, Mary Matalin and Rudy Giuliani is only the most recent and most astonishing part of this long-term big lie, Number Ten on the Hit Parade. The right will keep us safe. Except all the times it doesn't.

We could go on and on here. Palin said god wanted her to run for the vice-presidency, for example, just like Bush claimed that Ol' Big Beard told him to invade Iraq. My own conversations with Monsieur Yahweh are how should I put this? somewhat less frequent than are those of folks amongst the regressive ranks. But next time we chat, I'm definitely gonna ask him why he wrecks his own reputation by publicly backing such serious losers. After all, if Palin is right, her claim is that god wanted her to run for the vice-presidency ... and then lose. Well, at least Bush's Iraq adventure did less damage to the Big Guy's street cred, right? Oh, never mind.

The thing is, with the right, it's all lies, as deep as you go. It has to be, because, standing alone, each of these individual claims are nutty to the point of embarrassment. LOL!

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Sustain them with a whole litany of supporting lies, however, and they become merely absurd.

Bolster them with all manner of deceit, and they're reduced to being only dangerous.

So what if a President Palin wouldn't know the difference between North and South Korea? She'd be surrounded by a bunch of really good advisors who'd make sure she dropped the nukular bomb on the right Korea, wouldn't she?

Uh, well... Remember the last time we heard that one?

Hint: The advisors were named Cheney, Rumsfeld and Powell.

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David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York.  He is delighted to receive readers' reactions to his articles (, but regrets that time constraints do not always allow him to respond. His website is (more...)
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