Judging a Magazine By its Cover
This is what we're doing. Without even knowing what the cover story of the July 21st edition of the New Yorker will say.
And this is what we're reduced to, because mere words aren't enough because we're too distracted by reality TV and our Blackberries and iPods to actually parse words. Because we can't properly visualize and parse something such as the lies, distortions, fabrications and innuendos regarding Senator and Mrs. Obama unless it's rubbed in our faces in the form of cartoons and caricatures. Sort of like the cartoons presented by Colin Powell at the UN Security Council in February, 2003 purporting to show mobile weapons labs. Only then did we all go "oooh" and "aaah."
We're likewise too distracted by the serious issues (even though we're distressed by the tanking economy and the recession into which we're slipping and the inflation that makes our dollars practically worthless) to concentrate on what the candidates ought to and ought not expend their mental energy. This is why we jump into the fray when Rev. Wright or Gen. Clark open their mouths or when John McCain says something stupid like killing Iranians with lung cancer or shipping bottles of hot water to dehydrated babies.
The New Yorker Magazine cover depicting many of the lies about Senator and Mrs. Obama that have gotten the most traction is a piece of humorless satire, satire to which they've been reduced because we haven't done enough as a supposedly educated populace to wave away with laughter and derision these very same lies.
But, just to play Devil's advocate for a minute, whatever we've had to endure from the right wing's Mighty Wurlitzer in the form of said lies, distortions, fabrications and innuendos regarding Senator and Mrs. Obama, we've done the same thing to a lesser degree regarding John McCain. The only reason it looks as if only the right wing is engaging in deadcatting is because their own pack of lies is actually gaining traction and picked up by an MSM that have come one degree shy of turning Barack Obama into supermarket tabloid fodder. They, in turn, couldn't care less what senile idiocy dribbles out of McCain's mouth.
We're not blameless. Don't think I haven't been listening. I've heard all the memes about John McCain.
He's too old. He's too susceptible to cancer.
He set fire to the USS Forrestal.
He made a deal with the Vietcong to get released early from the Hanoi Hilton.
He called his wife a cunt.
Ronald Reagan turned 78 years of age mere weeks after leaving office in 1989. Even though he had perhaps the softest schedule of any modern president, Reagan was still able to assume the crushing burden of the presidency up until the age of 77. McCain is 71, will be 72 on August 29th and his history with cancer is paralleled by Reagan's own history with the disease. And people age at different rates. What proof do we have a 100 year-old man can't run the country? McCain's age and medical history are certainly of legitimate concern to the US voter but do they in and of themselves disqualify him to run our nation? Please.
While we know that McCain was on the deck of the USS Forrestal when all Hell broke loose, a naval investigation of the disaster could never conclusively prove that McCain's "wet-firing" his jet caused the accident.
The Vietcong gave McCain an out when they realized that his father was a high-ranking admiral. Deliver the propaganda we want to you to put out and you can go home. McCain told them to fuck themselves and he stayed with his men. If McCain was itching to make a deal with Charley, that was his one shot.
I am not going to vote for a man based on whether or not he called his wife a cunt, even if she is. Even if she's a beer heiress worth $100,000,000. It's no sin in itself to be rich.
However, Obama and McCain both possess grave weaknesses on which we ought to be focusing. When Barack Obama clinched the nomination, it's notable that he quickly began sucking up to "the center" (meaning the right wing establishment, if we adjust for Overton's window). I have a big enough attitude problem about him sucking up to AIPAC, claiming that Iran needs to be harshly dealt with, endorsing telecom immunity in the FISA bill and claiming Social Security is in a state of crisis. I have an even bigger attitude problem with him insulting our intelligence by saying that he's not, indeed, sucking up to the right wing and moving toward the center.
Consequently, I am genuinely frightened when I see that the only man in America, it seems, who can keep the Straight Talk Express from veering off the road is, of all people, Traitor Joe Lieberman. The sight of watching Joe Lieberman whisper in McCain's ear correcting him about something that a 5th grader should know much less a major presidential contender and senior United States senator is enough to give me cold sweats.
Both these men have serious, and I mean serious defects in their fitness to lead this country. Both men flip flop, both men lack moral courage (or has it been lost on you all in your Obamamania how ready, willing and able Obama is to throw under the wheels of his own version of the Straight Talk Express anyone who says something that gets the right wing establishment in a lather?) and neither, in my estimation, is fit to lead because they both, to one degree or another, pander to the Cujo faction of the right wing establishment.
But the lies and distortions that have been told about Obama have gone so ignored on a national level that we can't appreciate how evil and petty they are until we're drawn funny little pictures depicting them. And even when that gets our attention, we still misconstrue it.
The blunt satire of the New Yorker isn't just an indictment on the right wing spin machine: It's an indictment of 99% of the nation.