One of the regular participants in my political discussion forum is a lawyer from California. The discussion on one of our threads involved dirty tricks. After his morning coffee Friday, in response to one of our Republican partisans, Mickey said:
"This is not an Obama thing, in my opinion. This is a right wing thing, a Republican thing. I'm not saying they're all like that, but the more serious Republican political operatives and wealthy partisans tend to feel that they are the only ones who deserve power and wealth, they tend to feel that the most important thing is protecting their excess wealth and to use power to get rich, and they tend to think that Dems are Commies who will try to take their excess wealth away from them.
"They set out to destroy the other side's leaders personally so they can get and have power and keep their money and get rich off contracts, etc. I'm reading about Watergate and that was certainly the feeling of Nixon and those around him. They destroyed Muskie through dirty tricks, and they tried to link McGovern to all sorts of anti-American activities through dirty tricks. They successfully made Carter look foolish and they set out to destroy Clinton from the outset and ultimately attempted unsatisfactorily to censure him.
"This is just what they do, it's the way they are. We should just let them have the deep South (with a grace period for those who want to move North to do it) and get it over with."
After a chuckle about the last sentence, I began to reflect about what I had seen in my own life, particularly as part of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, whom the Republicans had tried to tar McGovern with, in an operation that came to be known immortally as Watergate.
I was there in New Hampshire in the primaries winter of 1972 (with VVAW) when Muskie cried. I don't know if he had been dosed with LSD by the Repubs or not, but that was the legend at the time. I don't know if anyone actually has confessed to doing it. If there are any Democratic operatives who may be classed as dirty tricksters, they pale by comparison to the Republican TRADITION of them throughout our lifetimes.
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Atwater. Colson. Pasztor. Liddy. Rove.
Stone. Sproul. Even Fred (who seems positively benign now) Karger.
I'm forgetting a real important one, dammit. It's just the way Republicans do business, by cash, innuendo, cajoling, intimidation, and outright burglary if the less physical steps don't work.
In very short, the ethos of the Party is based on winning at all costs. Most Democrats are uneasy about such a steamroller.
I live in the Deep South, in the second solidest Red state in the country, because I can afford it (and because I really enjoy hot weather). Some 'a y'all with your reverse mortgages (hey, I know I'm not talking to anyone here stupid enough to sign one of those reverse mortgages Fred Thompson is pushing, I apologize for that crack) and high payments, but still holding some equity, ought to cut your losses and come down here and buy as nice a house as you had but pay it off free and clear with the difference between northern (or western) and southern real estate prices.
But given those basic benefits of living well south of Mason-Dixon, I must acknowledge that given my political views, I am virtually disenfranchised. If I thought my vote for president was going to make any difference, and I was a rabid enough supporter of the current form of democratic process, I would move to a battleground state. But as I said to many, my vote has devolved to local offices-- sheriff, school committee, DA.
I backed Clarksdale (Mississippi)'s now-mayor (white liberal, first time running for office) when he ran in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 2011, forced a runoff and then lost to the mayor of Hattiesburg (black moderate, career politician) who as expected lost to Haley Barbour's lieutenant governor and heir apparent Phil Bryant by about the same margin as Obama lost to Romney in the state.
I am offering 3-1 odds that if Hillary Clinton is nominated, she will be president. I have one $100 wager covered now. The Republicans will not be able to paint her black enough for any Republican candidate currently on the scene to come within 2 percent of in a general election, and the margin is likely to be much higher than that if either a McCain/Palin (warmonger with ignorant amateur) or Romney/Ryan (financial predator with Social Darwinist) type of candidacy is offered.
The greater evil of outright neocon PNAC-following coup-fomenting free-marketers scares people enough to vote for the only slightly lesser evil, neocon-lite "compassionate interventionist" tools of old-paradign market capitalism like Obama and Hillary Clinton have become.
It doesn't MATTER to OWNERS-- a defense contractor or an oil company CEO, let's use Rex Tillerson of Exxon who loves fracking unless it's in his back yard-- in the current capitalist paradigm whether the president is Democratic or Republican.
It practically doesn't matter to a Koch brother whether Congress is, as long as the representative numbers don't get too disparate, so that vetoes will not stick, and business-as-usual can be maintained, and as long as the real work of maintaining majorities at the state level so that at some point a Constitutional Convention can be called goes on successfully.
My name is William Perkins Homans the third, but probably more people know me as the bluesman (and artist) Watermelon Slim.
I've been in the fight against war, fascism, injustice and inhumanity for 40 years. I was at MayDay, and at the moratorium March the week before. I was one of the leaders of the Great New Jersey Turnpike Stall on my birthday, April 25, 1971.
I bear the scar on my left shin from a neoNazi jackboot, when I was one of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War who bounced the NSWPP from Flamingo Park at the Republican National Convention of 1972. My father fought the Nazis in the North Atlantic and Anzio, and I met their spawn in Miami.
My formal education has been first-rate. I wouldn't trade my degrees for Harvard ones. I was raised in the finest private Catholic and Episcopal high schools.
Elementary School: Gibbons Hall, Asheville, North Carolina
High Schools: Asheville School for Boys, Asheville Country Day, Lenox School for Boys. Graduated with honors 1968.
College: Middlebury College, 1968-DNG
1984-86: University of Oregon, B.A., Journalism and History, Departmental Honors in History, 1986.
I was also captain of the U of O bowling team, 1984-1986. High game 299.
1997-2000: Oklahoma State University. M.A., History, 2000, plus the school-teaching curriculum. Mentor: Dr. Ronald Petrin.
This was my second great self-reinvention attempt. In both, I got the degrees, but neither worked. After both, I went back to truckdriving and the blues. and now the latter makes my living. I just am not a button-down enough fellow ever to be a schoolteacher or general-purpose news reporter. But I think and analyze, and so I write...