Nothing fries the circuits of the proud, ostensibly principled American progressive psyche to the same degree of fricassee as the Right (Troglodyte Division) in its fullest and finest bellow. From my safe, snowball throwing perch on the Canadian south coast, I read, mark, and inwardly digest the US presidential campaign detritus flung northward. I am constantly amazed at how readily Democrats rise to the bait cast so effortlessly by the baying conservative sportsmen. Rape ordained by God…tax cuts and cutbacks combined to further grind those iced from the American Dream….an even bigger, ballsier military to fight more unwinnable foreign wars in the name of national security… a re-forged, made in the USA, steel reinforced chastity belt fashioned from the legislative reversal of Roe v Wade … a ship of state with officers recruited from Ozzie and Harriet, or Andy of Mayberry. You wonder why we Canucks are just a touch smug about our little sliver of the globe, whenever we gaze southwards.
The election nears, the race is tighter than a dry county in Arkansas, the Dems desperate to hang on, its attack ads more strident – and it only gets worse. The unthinkable may happen – two GOP ciphers, hapless, witless, and hopelessly conflicted front men for the bile spewers who proclaim themselves the true citizens of your Great Republic – two blithe bozos winning a razor-thin victory, that wondrous surge of transformative hope Obama brought to Washington a memory, slowly dissolving into the ether.
Four months ago, as the Republican primaries revealed Romney as the most electable (and also entirely destructible) of the laughable yahoos that trolled for the party nomination, I predicted the Democrats would win the presidency by 20 points, maybe more. All one had to do to rebut the Republican sophistry ‘Ask youself, are you better off now than you were four years ago?’ was (depending where one lives) – Yes! Or where things remain strained, the practical rejoinder – how many nations have done better?
But logic rarely prevails when the collective superiority of the American national ego is stirred. A United States that continues to proclaim its ‘exceptionalism’ (and your citizens wonder why (gasp?) many in the world find your attitudes so maddenly insular and arrogant…), the idea that President Obama could merely do ‘OK’ when handed the amazing 10-high poker hand he was dealt by Georgie W, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Karl Rove is just wrong! We are the USA, dammit! Failure is unacceptable! And anything less than total victory on our terms is failure!
Guess what, America? Sometimes treading water while others sink is success. In the post-2007 global meltdown that your wondrous Wall Street financial gurus triggered in their unregulated greed – treading water is a decent result. The Democratic National Committee has lacked the guts — or maybe just the brains — to campaign on this ultimately simple, persuasive truth. I fear for you come next Tuesday.