Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Race to the Bottom

The campaign has become so degraded,  there is really nothing left to say.

The minions of the Republicans delineated the road down to Hell, in their “Swift Boat” campaign against Kerry.   Here we had -- remarkably -- a candidate who (unlike his opponent) saw combat in ‘Nam, and was a genuine war hero (one of his boat-mates, viewing the VN memorial in DC:  “If it hadn’t been for some of his decisions, we’d be among the names on that wall”);  and who -- a situation virtually unexampled in American history -- was an antiwar hero as well (he’d earned his spurs, and the right to criticize it):  yet the attack-dogs went after him for his war record.

You cannot argue with such stuff.  You can only fight fire with satire.

Accordingly, we were the first to break the news that Mittford Romney is in fact black.  And now we offer our startling revelations on Paul Ryan, fully expecting that it will be lifted from of its satiric context   and taken seriously by some segments.  This, by way of a “pre-emptive strike”, of the sort that Republicans directed against Iraq, and now are threatening to do against Iran.


Americans are only now waking up to the shocking revelations that Congressman Paul “Schutzstaffel” Ryan  commanded a Slow Boat for the Nazis in World War II, reporting directly to Goering.   The boat’s mission was to perform abortions on tiny baby pandas  and other cute winsome endangered species.    Gay Marriage was forbidden on that boat (for shame!);  yet, ironically, the captain, first mate, and the entire crew  were all actively practicing sodomites (“As all tough sailors do, when they’re far away at sea”).  Representative Ryan has not even tried to deny these fully documented allegations, offering merely the miserable excuse that he “Hates bunnies” and “was horny”.

[Update 15 August 2012]  Y-yep, right on schedule.
Background:   Bush lets UBL slip through our fingers;  Romney says What’s all the fuss, finding him isn’t all that important.  Then quietly, maintaining complete OPSEC prior to the raid, and debuting a stealthy new type of helo whose existence had successfully been kept under wraps, President Obama authorizes an astonishingly bold snatch, deep in denied territory -- not only of UBL, but of a trove of high-quality intel -- which is executed brilliantly.
So what do the Swift-Boat types attack him for?  Why, for that very op!

In a direct attack on one of President Obama’s political strengths, a group of former special operations and C.I.A. officers started a campaign Tuesday night accusing Mr. Obama of recklessly leaking information about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and other security matters to gain political advantage.

The new group, called the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund, using shorthand for “operational security,” describes itself as nonpartisan, but some of its leaders have been involved in Republican campaigns and Tea Party groups. A 22-minute video called “Dishonorable Disclosures” featured on its Web site appears to be aimed squarely at the president, echoing charges made previously by Mitt Romney and other Republicans.

The Obama campaign immediately compared the effort to the so-called Swift Boat advertisements against Senator John Kerry in the 2004 presidential campaign. Like that operation, which attacked Mr. Kerry’s military record in Vietnam, the Opsec site goes after Mr. Obama’s strong points on national security – specifically his role in overseeing the successful military-Central Intelligence Agency operation that killed Bin Laden, the founder of Al Qaeda, in May 2011.

In an effort to portray Mr. Obama as a braggart taking credit for the accomplishments of special forces and intelligence operatives, the video omits some of the president’s remarks in announcing Bin Laden’s killing. In that late-night televised address, Mr. Obama credited 10 years of “tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals,” but that is edited out.

In a CNN interview last month, Admiral William McRaven, who oversaw the raid as commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, said, “The president and his national security team – I’m not a political guy, but I will tell you, as – as an interested observer in this, they were magnificent in how they handled it start to finish.” He added: “At the end of the day, make no mistake about it, it was the president of the United States that shouldered the burden for this operation, that made the hard decisions, that was instrumental in the planning process, because I pitched every plan to him.”

These clowns are betting that voters are morons.  They might just win that bet.

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We now return you to your regularly scheduled essay.

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[Update 16 Aug 2012]  Ryan is the gift that keeps on giving.
Fact:  Obama made a bold and somewhat risky bet (I say only "somewhat" given the successful precedent of the Chrysler bailout many years before) and lent money to  General Motors, thus saving thousands of job.   Romney opposed this.  The gamble worked -- the guys are still at work, and General Motors has come roaring back to life.
So what does a TeaBagger do?  Carefully tiptoe around the whole issue?  No -- You use the Swift Boat strategy of heading straight into the target:  Ryan blasts Obama for a GM plant closure -- one that, mm, actually happened under Bush:  but the Repubicans are banking on your being too stupid to notice that.

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan inaccurately said Thursday that President Barack Obama "broke his promise" by failing to keep a General Motors plant open that closed in 2008 - before the Democrat took offfice.
Ryan, the House Budget committee chairman, recounted the decision by GM to shutter the Janesville Assembly plant in his hometown in June 2008. The last SUV rolled off the line in December 2008.
"I remember President Obama visiting it when he was first running, saying he'll keep that plant open," Ryan said at a campaign stop in Ohio Thursday, recounting the fact that his high school friends worked at the GM assembly plant. "One more broken promise. We used to build Tahoes and Suburbans. One of the reasons that plant got shut down was $4 gasoline. You see, this costs jobs. The president's terrible energy policies are costing us jobs."
In fact, Obama made no such promise and the plant halted production in December 2008, when President George W. Bush was in office.
GM cited the low demand for SUVs and high gas prices during the Bush administration as the reason for closing the plant, but Obama hadn't taken office.
Obama did speak at the plant in February 2008, and suggested that a government partnership with automakers could keep the plant open, but made no promises as Ryan suggested.

Incidentally:  The Swift-Boater tactic of not fleeing the enemy's strongpoint, but charging directly at it, may have been modeled on Kerry's own brilliant tactic as commander of the Swift Boat, when, coming under VC fire, instead of heading out to sea, he turned full throttle onto shore, wiping out the enemy nest and saving the lives of his crewmen.

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We now return you to your regularly scheduled essay.

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[Update 19 Aug 2012]  Now President Obama has himself bemusedly remarked on the oddity of Ryan -- of all people -- trying to use the issue of Medicare -- of all issues, to present himself as a hero of the elderly, and the President as their enemy, adding that the Republicans evidently figure that the best defense is a good offense (a.k.a., the bald-faced lie).  Since this aspect of our Society of the Spectacle is thus now sufficiently widely understood, I shall not comment further.

On the emprical side (as distinct from either logic or rhetoric) you might wish to consult this morning's fact-chocked articles in the Los Angeles Times:
"Gamble" is indeed le mot juste, for this race in which casino magnates (Adelson, Trump) figure so prominently.

(For more from this pen:


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