News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 29, 2008

FLASHPOINT: Palin selection reveals flaw in McCain’s ‘Country First’ slogan

I’m really beginning to appreciate the Palin selection for VP. No seriously. It could very well turn out to be the best thing to happen to this country for some time.

Allow me to explain.

For years now I, and countless others, have been attempting to warn our fellow countrymen that the people running the Republican Party right now are not who they want you to think they are. This ain’t your granddad’s GOP, and it hasn’t been for some time. The Neo-Republican charlatans in control have only one thing on their mind — amassing wealth and political/global power (in order to amass even more wealth). Everything else is just theater, and secondary to those goals.

So how have they managed to keep so many — including rank and file Republicans — believing they have the best interest of the country at heart, even as they proceed, step by step, to demolish the middle class, with their “smash and dash” economic policies?

Lies, deception, smears, meaningless distractions (lapel pins. pigs with lipstick), phony catch phrases (McCain’s campaign slogan “Country First”), war, terrorism, fear … basically anything they can come up with to keep you from focusing on what truly matters to the future of this country, or your own personal well being.

They’ve become a party dominated by a Dobson/Robertson/Hagee brand of religious extremism (working feverishly to bring about the end of the world and the Rapture), and those who are so overcome by a compulsive need to have it all — and I mean all — that it entirely overwhelms any sense of personal integrity and societal responsibility, making them completely antithetical to a democratic republic.

John McCain and Sarah Palin represent both sides of this spectrum perfectly, and are therefore a Neo-Republican match made in heaven.

Which brings me back to McCain’s “decision” (it wasn’t really his decision you know) that Palin be the one to assume the Presidency if something were to happen to him.

Let me ask a simple, semi-theoretical, question.

Does anyone reading this (other than that 30 percent unflappable right-wing base) really and truly and sincerely believe Sarah Palin should be our next president? That she is the best, most qualified candidate, out of all the people in this country, for that job?

No, of course not. No one in their right mind, outside of that “base”, who puts any thought at all into the matter, would think that.

But this is exactly what you’re contemplating when you say “I’m leaning McCain” or “I haven’t quite made up my mind.”

McCain is 72, with a history of recurring cancer, and some kind of weird “tick” that causes him to fiddle with his wedding band obsessively (early signs?). This is not a gamble we in this country can afford right now. We’re not talking about someone who would step in if the mayor of Wasilla was incapacitated; this is president of the United States, at one of the most crucial phases in our nation’s history!

And that’s why I like the pick of Sarah Palin for VP.

Because it lays bare — stark naked in broad daylight — the ruse that is “Country First”.

This cynical and irresponsible choice did more in one fell swoop to expose the Neo-Republicans for who they are, and where their priorities lie, than folks like me have been able to accomplish in 10 years.

If McCain is elected, and the final stages of this conquest (they’ll refer to it as “reform”) are successful, you will not recognize this country in five-six years (maybe a lot sooner). This neocon crew has every intention of dismantling what’s left of the middle class, simultaneously shredding whatever safety net there is (including Social Security), leaving the vast majority of us to fight like dogs over the scraps (under the watchful eye of a privatized “police state”), while they sneer contemptuously from behind their gated and guarded walls.

This election is going to come right down to the wire. McCain already has 45 percent of the vote in the bag — that 30 percent base and another 15 percent (in addition to the base) who will not vote for Obama, under any circumstances, because he’s half black. And, if necessary, they can snag an additional 2-3 percent via electronic vote manipulation and voter suppression tactics they’ve honed the past eight years.

Which means McCain and Palin could be caught red handed, on live video, doing weird things with farm animals, and they would still have 47-48 percent of the vote locked up!

So it all comes down to you — the moderate or traditional Republicans, Independents, and those who are still pondering whether that glass is half black or half white, or if it should even matter.

Sure, it’s a lot of pressure … the future of the country and the rest of the world — including untold millions of people’s lives — all riding on you. But you can handle it. I know you can. If you’ve read this far, I know you have all the “tools” necessary, in the upstairs attic, to make the right decision. Even without seeing that video.

It’s time to actually put “country” first.

— Kerry Tomasi