Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Real vs. Fake America?

Palin's comments last week, when she referred to the "pro-America" places that she and McCain visit as the "real America, have touched off a rhetorical firestorm. In her comments at a fundraiser in Greensboro, North Carolina, she said that "We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation. This is where we find the kindness and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans. Those who are running our factories and teaching our kids and growing our food and are fighting our wars for us. Those who are protecting us in uniform. Those who are protecting the virtues of freedom." Apparently Palin thinks that big city folk do not possess the kindness and goodness of everyday Americans and that they do not fight in America's wars. In other words, the large cities (which, by no small coincidence, tend to lean democratic) are not pro-American.

Palin has since apologized for the comment, realizing how dumb it was to say. Of course, in the same interview she expressed how inexperienced Barack Obama was and rattled off her experience as being a mayor of Wasilla, Alaska as one reason she is more ready for the Oval Office than he is. Jon Stewart sent a correspondent to Wasilla to find out about its "realness" and also get an inside look into the mayor of Wasilla's duties:

No social services? Really? I guess they're too busy signing the checks over at Wasilla town hall.

But Sarah Palin is not the only one on the McCain campaign who sees different parts of America as "real" and other parts as "fake." Nancy Pfotenhauer, a McCain campaign adviser, dismissed an MSNBC anchor who, when discussing the state of Virginia and its vital importance to McCain come November 4, stated that the northern portion of the state, which tends to lean democratic, had recently strengthened in terms of its electoral power statewide. This was Pfotenhauer's response:

So it seems that anything liberal or sympathetic to the Democratic Party is not "real." Earlier this month McCain's brother Joe stated that northern Virginia was "communist country" while at one of the candidate's rallies. This pales in comparison to what North Carolina congressman Robin Hayes (R) said at a McCain rally in Concord, North Carolina. While first denying that he said it, Hayes finally admitted that he stated, "Liberals hate real Americans that work and achieve and believe in God."

It's clear what this is. The old "Us vs. Them" idiom. The only problem is that the "Us" and the "Them" are on the same side: they're both American. It is idiotic to try to divide this country at a time when we are at war with two nations and as soon as one war seems to go well, the other falls apart (Afghanistan to Iraq, then back to Afghanistan) and the stock market is in turmoil because neither party stepped up to the plate to try to regulate the Wall Street leviathan. Instead of talking about these issues, we talk about what parts of the country are real and which are not, Joe the Unlicensed Contractor who brought the tax debate to the forefront despite his own tax liens, and how liberals are not as patriotic as conservatives (a move straight from Karl Rove's dirty little book). One congresswoman, Michelle Bachmann (R - MN), has even suggested that the news media do a "penetrating expose" on anti-Americans in Congress because she feels that Barack Obama may not be the only one:

Somebody wake up Joe McCarthy from the dead and get the old HUAC hacks, apparently their job is not done because there are still liberals in the United States.

If I could describe the way that this race has been going the past couple of weeks, I would choose pathetic. The country's economy is in the shitter, we are fighting two wars, the Bush Administration has used the Constitution as toilet paper the past few years, and we're talking about "real" parts of America and small town "pro-America" (never mind that 9/11 happened in the biggest city in the nation), anti-Americanism in the halls of Congress, and BILL FUCKING AYERS. Bill Kristol said in his column on Monday that he did not think that anti-intellectualism was "rampant in the land." Given the way that the McCain campaign and a lot of others in the Washington elite have been acting lately (Robocalls are not exactly intellectually stimulating), I would have to say McCain and company are banking on Bill Kristol being wrong (yet again). Peace.

Photo - Sarah Palin (www.foxnews.com)

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