As I keyboard the NYSE hasn’t opened yet this morning, but word is that stocks are dropping hard in Europe and Asia. Little Lulu is whiningWasn’t the bailout supposed to calm the financial markets? The magnitude of what’s happening in Economyland hasn’t sunk into her overheated little head.

The wingnuts are pushing the usual nonsense and trivia they use to derail elections. Little Green Footballs (to which I would rather not link) displays a photo of Bill Ayers standing on a flag that was taken in 2001, at a time that Barack Obama and Ayers were both serving on the board of the Woods Fund, a philanthropic organization in Chicago. This is the Right’s idea of a Serious Issue. (BTW, the photo, which was used with a feature on Ayers in the August 2001 issue of Chicago magazine, no doubt was a pose the magazine requested. That’s how these things usually work.)

For the remaining month of the campaign the names Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko and Rev. Wright will be chanted fervently on television and radio. They will slide into our email boxes and consume vast amounts of ink on newspaper op ed pages.

Oh, and taxes! liberal! boogaboogaboogabooga!!!!!

Even now top-level Republican strategists are meeting to discuss why Sarah Palin’s winks and “you betchas” are not moving the polls for McCain. It’ll be fun to see what they try next. Will they tone Palin down or ramp her up into an even more garish cartoon than she already is? Will Joe Lieberman be videoed crying real tears?

Michael Tomasky writes at The Guardian,

Pssst. Don’t spread it around too much, because there’s still a month to go and I don’t want to jinx things – but substance is in this year. …

… We are a country in decline. The decline is the result of the policies of the last eight years. Everyone outside of hardcore conservatives knows this. No candidate for president can utter the sentence “we are a country in decline”. America’s central myth about itself is that, unlike Rome or Austria-Hungary or (sorry) an earlier Britain, we are impervious to time’s vicissitudes and will always be numero uno. People now are worried that underneath that bravado, maybe we won’t be.

And so, substance matters. The public responses to the financial meltdown and the first two debates make this evident.

Howard Wolfson:

Why won’t the swiftboat tactics work this year?

Its easy to lose sight of it in the day to day coverage, but the collapse of Wall Street in the last weeks was a seminal event in the history of our nation and our politics. To put the crisis in perspective, Americans have lost a combined 1 trillion dollars in net worth in just the last four weeks alone. Just as President Bush’s failures in Iraq undermined his party’s historic advantage on national security issues, the financial calamity has shown the ruinous implications of the Republican mania for deregulation and slavish devotion to totally unfettered markets.

Republicans and Democrats have been arguing over the proper role of government for a century. In 1980 voters sided with Ronald Reagan and Republicans that government had become too big and intrusive. Then the economy worked in the Republicans’ favor. Today the pendulum has swung in our direction. Republican philosophies have been discredited by events. Voters understand this. This is a big election about big issues. McCain’s smallball will not work. This race will not be decided by lipsticked pigs. And John McCain can not escape that reality. The only unknowns are the size of the margin and the breadth of the Democratic advantage in the next Congress.

A lot can happen in a month, so it’s no time to get complacent. The election still will be closer than it ought to be because of racism. But over the next four weeks expect the Right to spin faster and further into utter irrelevance. They are starting to sound like a steward on the Titanic, shouting that if people don’t stop this nonsense about rowing out to sea in lifeboats they’ll miss out on dinner with the Captain.

See alsoRoger Cohen has a genuinely awesome column today.

9 thoughts on “Serious

  1. Thanx, maja, for that link.

    I have a pet peeve pertinent now because we can expect the tag ‘liberal’ to be filling any rightwing space available from now to election day. Liberals have to drop Progressives. Liberals are those who believe in fairness, equity and individual rights. (I have no idea what Progressives believe.) We should be shouting I’m a Liberal, not apologizing for it – and certainly not replacing it with the non-definable Progressive.

  2. Your Titanic simile is apt, with the Dow going down, down, down. (Did you see the movie on cable over the weekend? I did.) I expect Barack Obama to put McCain and this petty stuff in its place during this week’s debate. Let’s hope so, that it isn’t a rehash of familiar attack points and rebuttals – from both sides – heard during both of the last two debates.

    Prior to the first debate, one of the pundits (on CNN) enthused about the debate he witnessed in France last year between Sarkozy and his opponent. The two opponents faced each other at a table, with the moderator seated between them. The moderator introduced them, explained the rules of engagement, and mostly wasn’t heard from again. The two opponents exchanged points and counter points for two hours. I’m guessing this is a modern day version of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Why can’t we have that, really getting into the issues, the two leaders actually discussing things, instead of this superficial crap that passes for debates here?

    This is the one time that two political worldviews actually touch each other, in front of millions of people, but because of the debating rules both parties agree to, the quality of the discussion is severely limited. This is a rare and gigantic opportunity to begin to heal the red + blue rift that’s destroying this country, and it’s squandered. There isn’t much hope for us as a nation if we cannot seriously talk with each other in a meaningful way.

  3. Maha se: markets in Europe are: falling hard”…

    And on today’s opening, the Dow “Dropped like shit from a sick ox”, as my Daddy used to say…

  4. Moonbat,
    Some years ago I figured out that those “seminars” people were talking about were indeed “Sales Pitches’. I believe seminars are supposed to be educational gatherings.
    What passes for debates now days are really “presentations’. It has been said that Orwell missed by about 20 years, I agree.
    We are now blessed with “free speech zones”, usurous credit card rates while the prime rate is at rock bottom,military occupations called wars, something not very patriotic known as “the patriot act”
    Our politicians avoid the “R” word while we are careening toward the “D” word (depression).

  5. #1 Felicity, maybe we can embrace the term liberal and just say we would rather be liberal than ______ hmmm we need to think of a good phrase for a bunch of nuts that have damaged out country in every way for quite a while.

  6. Anyone else think it is laughable that McPain would bring up Ayes when Obama was 8, knowing that McPain has the Keating 5 when he was old enough to know better?

  7. #7 – s. It doesn’t have a catchy ring to it but ‘totalitarian’ is to the point. Repubs would prefer to live in a country where everyone is a Repub, government is Repub, there is one political party, Republican. That’s one of the first steps toward establishing a totalitarian state.

    #6 Radio/Clash. Some people are long-winded. I’m short-winded. Liberals have to stop calling themselves Progressives.

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