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Triage 101

By       Message Jayne Lyn Stahl       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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In the last gasp of their campaign for the presidency, and to save their stranglehood on Congress, the controlling fringe of the Republican party has been practicing the kind of triage we haven't seen since World War I with McCain/Palin working their way around the country turning embattled red states into so many wounded soldiers to be sorted out for treatment based on medical necessity.

But if the way John McCain has waged his campaign for the White House is any indication of how he would wage war, you can bet we'll spend another 100 years in Iraq.

And, while I sat transfixed earlier today watching footage of a television anchorwoman in Orlando, Florida quote Marx to Joe Biden, insisting that the quote provides further evidence that Obama is a "socialist," it was hard to forget which party gave us progressive income taxes, as well as the earned income credit.

It is hard to forget, too, whose idea it was to nationalize the banks, which party has given us record deficits, and the greatest income disparity since the 1920's. It's hard to imagine a candidate who probably thinks Karl Marx is "the one with the curly hair" twisting Economics 101 such that Obama is the one who raises taxes, not McCain.

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Well, read my lips----if elected, John McCain will raise taxes, and not on the folks earning more than $250,000 a year, like Obama plans to do, but on the 98% who make less.

Somehow, I suspect that suggesting to Sarah Palin that she bone up on economic theory would be like telling Napoleon to take a water pill.

But, make no mistake, the Republican party has it all wrong this year if they think that they can win the White House, and the Senate race, by triage in key states. It is the issues that they need to triage, not the states. It is the values that folks like John McCain are running on that are in are in need of urgent care---the illusion that the former prisoner of war's policies will ensure that returning veterans will be better off in four years from now than they are today; the illusion that his sidekick, the Alaska governor, is a proponent of ethics reform, and a maverick.

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Palin's attempts to usurp her power as governor to fire her brother-in-law were in violation of law, and ethics. Charging the state of Alaska for five days in a New York hotel for her daughters when she attended a four hour conference isn't my idea of ethics reform.

Tell me, what kind of maverick suggests that her opposition is a socialist, un-American, and consorts with "domestic terrorists?" If that kind of rhetoric qualifies one to be a "maverick," then Joe McCarthy got there first. More importantly, with this kind of fear and hate-mongering, is it any surprise that the feds stopped today what was the third plot to assassinate Barack Obama ?

So, what needs triage here? The red states that are hanging in balance for McCain, or the ugly truth that race is still a four letter word in America, and the one that is insulating itself with terms like "socialist," and "un-American." Yes, we not only have racism, in this country, we have career racism. We have people who have devoted their lives to seeing to it that diversity is something that happens behind closed doors.

Anyone who thinks, for a minute, that questioning Obama's patriotism has anything to do with Bill Ayers, or the Reverend Wright, is kidding themselves. It's about race, plain and simple. The irony, of course, is that it's not like we don't have prominent African-Americans a heartbeat away from the presidency----Condoleezza Rice, and Colin Powell.

Nobody ever questioned Powell or Rice's worthiness to be third after the vice president in the line of succession. While many may have found their position on key issues like weapons of mass destruction, and detainee interrogation techniques to be less than wholesome, nobody ever questioned their policies based on the color of their skin. But, then, of course, they were Bush appointees.

No one, for that matter, brought up race as an issue when Powell and Rice were nominated. Why would anyone want to make it an issue now?

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Is it more acceptable to citizens of a country that has survived not merely the bombing of the World Trade Center, but slavery, lynch mobs, and segregation before that, to have a person of color as secretary of state than as commander-in-chief? Remember, too, that in addition to giving us progressive taxes, a Republican administration gave us our first black secretary of state, and these are the folks playing the race card to get elected?

But, now the party of Abraham Lincoln has stumbled on a major fault line. The party that has pulled off the biggest bloodless coup since Stalin took the reins in Moscow has been blind sided into devoting its limited resources into trying to resuscitate the neo-conservative agenda, as well as trying to secure those states that once waved the confederate flag, only to find that the flag proudly displayed throughout the south, the midwest, to the north, and the east, has been triaged, and no longer exists in black or white any more than it consists, as Barack Obama says, of red states or blue states, but only the United States.


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Widely published, poet, playwright, essayist, and screenwriter; member of PEN American Center, and PEN USA. Jayne Lyn Stahl is a Huffington Post blogger.

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