Tag Archives: imperialism

On the late, not-great John McCain

The late U.S. Sen. John McCain has been lionized over the past week — when you die, you become a saint, even though everyone dies, just as everyone shits and pisses and farts — and I’ve yet to say anything about it. I don’t want to say all that much; he has received too much postmortem attention as it is.

John McCain, who was “my” senator (when I lived in the God-awful state of Arizona) from 1987 to 1998 (when I finally left Arizona), was not a great guy. He staunchly believed in American exceptionalism and imperialism and militarism and white-collar gangster capitalism. While perhaps McCain was not overtly racist, as American exceptionalism and imperialism and militarism and white-collar gangster capitalism always have vastly disproportionately benefited white Americans, there you go.

When I lived in Arizona I remember McCain’s television campaign ads. He used the Vietnam POW story endlessly. What’s the good in being a POW if you can’t exploit it for personal and political gain later? (He did ease off on the POW thing in his failed 2008 presidential run, but then again, the POW thing had gotten him that far.)

McCain left his first wife of about 15 years, Carol (she’s now 80), with whom he had a daughter (and he adopted her two existing children), to marry the younger, apparently much more attractive, and, perhaps most of all, quite rich Cindy (who now is 64), who had been a blonde cheerleaderAccording to Wikipedia, McCain’s first marriage “falter[ed] due to [McCain’s] partying away from home and extra-marital affairs.” (That link is to the reliable Arizona Republic, by the way.)

In his very first term in the U.S. Senate, McCain survived the savings and loan scandal (he was one of “the Keating Five”), which should have been the end of his political career. But: Arizona.

McCain was not a moderate. McCain was not bipartisan, even if that were a good thing. He was a Dr.-Strangelove-level fucking wingnut, replete with his chilling refrain of “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.”

McCain only pretended to be above it all. That made him only a sanctimonious prick, because what he actually stood for was quite dark. He knew that he himself, being an over-privileged white man whose lifelong opportunism had served him quite well, never would have to suffer the consequences of his own horrible actions and decisions. He ensured that he himself always would be quite safe and much more than comfortable.

No brand of Repugnican is good for the United States of America, be it the smug, Goldwater-style Repugnican that largely if not wholly died with McCain, or be it the openly craven, Pussygrabber-style of Repugnican that we see today. The two types differ only in style, not in substance.

I have two words for John McCain: Good riddance.

P.S. It always has struck me that McCain’s opposition to Pussygrabber was more out of sour grapes than out of anything like principle. McCain had wanted to be president for years, and lost in 2000 and in 2008, and then here comes the likes of Pussygrabber — not a Vietnam POW but a Vietnam draft dodger — to become “president.”

That drove McCain insane, methinks. He viewed it as a colossal injustice, I am confident.

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‘Tea party’ traitors call Obama illegitimate

The wingnuts’ new meme (new to me, anyway) is that Barack Obama is an “imperial president.”

House weasel Darrell Issa, who’s always on a jihad against some big-name Democrat, reportedly in New Hampshire “urged his party [today] to unite against Obama’s ‘imperial presidency.'”

A writer for Salon.com recently quoted Ted Cruz’s use of the phrase “imperial presidency,” so very apparently all of the fucktards on the far right got the same memo.

The Salon.com article is titled “Ted Cruz’s Imperialist Fantasy: Why His Latest Anti-Obama Epithet Is So Dangerous,” but the article doesn’t deliver on its headline. The article mostly explains why literally calling Barack Obama imperial(ist) — a la an actual emperor, such as from the Roman days of yore — is inaccurate, since of course we don’t have that system of government. (Duh.)

And the writer reminds us that of course the United States, possessing the most powerful military (omni?)presence on the planet, more or less constitutes a (the…) modern (Romanesque) empire, so to bash Obama as “imperial(ist)” could appear to be bashing, also, the very idea of American empire (such as the American empire is these days) — and the Repugnican (Tea) Party historically has supported empire, as long as it’s the United States’ empire.

But when wingnutty slimebags like Cruz and Issa call Obama an “imperial(ist)” president, what they are getting at, I am confident, is that they are asserting that Obama does not have legitimacy in our so-called democracy — that Obama is no more legitimate as our (so-called) democratic nation’s leader than would be an unelected emperor, a dictator.

Of course, Obama has been many things, but one thing that Obama never has been — entirely unlike George W. Bush, whose presidency was much, much more “imperial(ist)” than Obama’s ever has been (recall that for a long, long time “Doonesbury” creator Garry Trudeau depicted then-“President” Gee Dubya only as a deteriorating Roman military helmet)  — is unelected.

You don’t have to like Obama, but you don’t get to assert that the results of presidential elections are illegitimate because you don’t like those results.

“I believe this president is dangerous to our democracy,” Darrell Issa proclaimed of the “imperial” President Obama in New Hampshire today.

Our democracy is in deep shit, I acknowledge without hesitation, but I blame the influence of Gargantuan Money on campaigns and elections far more than I blame Barack Obama, the individual himself. (On that note, Issa is the second-wealthiest member of Congress [yes, that includes the 435-member House of Representatives and the 1oo-member Senate].) 

There is plenty about Obama that I don’t like, such as his gleeful use of killer drones (despite his too-premature receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize…), his defense of pervasive government spying (I love his apparent assertion that if a corporation [instead of the federal government] stores all of this mega-data [which the feds most likely could access at will], then the collection of the mega-data itself magically no longer is unconstitutional, so problem “solved”!), and his overall sluggishness to altogether fairly nonexistent action on such issues as combatting climate change (including working seriously to get us off of Big Oil) and significantly reversing unemployment (and underemployment) and poverty. Even his “signature” “accomplishment” of “Obamacare,” I understand, is nothing that the wealth-care — er, health-care — lobbyists didn’t endorse.

Obama has been a post-Bush-disaster caretaker president, at best — not the progressive president we’d hoped we’d elected in 2008.

But we did elect him. Twice.

And so while treasonous slimebags like Darrell Issa foam at the fangs about Obama supposedly being “dangerous to our democracy,” what is much more dangerous to our (so-called) democracy than Obama is the belief of those afflicted with delusions of right-wing, white-male entitlement — like Darrell Issa and Ted Cruz are — that they can shit and piss over the will of the majority of the voters and declare the duly democratically elected president of the United States of America* to be illegitimate — which is exactly what they mean when they call him an “imperial(ist) president,” because, to them and their listeners, “imperial(ist) president” = illegitimate president.

For members of a political party to declare, directly or indirectly, that a duly elected (that is, the individual candidate who truly won the most votes) president (or other elected official) is “illegitimate” because he or she is of the/an opposing party (and/or for any other reason, such as the race of the duly elected individual) constitutes treason.

It constitutes treason because it constitutes the refusal to recognize the will of the majority of the voters and the attempt to substitute one’s own, minority political will for the political will of the majority of the voters.

And I can’t think of a worse crime against a (so-called) democracy, because when the will of the majority of voters simply can be disregarded by the sore losers of the elections, it no longer is a democracy — a government of the majority of the people — at all.

*Note than in 2008, Obama won the popular vote by between 9 million and 10 million votes over his Repugnican opponent John McCainosaurus, and that Obama was re-elected in 2012 by almost 5 million popular votes over his Repugnican opponent Mittens Romney — and note that in 2000, George W. Bush lost the popular vote to Democrat Al Gore by almost 544,000 votes.

While I voted for Ralph Nader for president in 2000, I fully recognized at that time, and I still recognize now, that Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election, fair and square. And while I voted for Obama in 2008 but could not vote for him again in 2012 (I voted for the Green Party candidate instead), I fully recognize that although Obama didn’t, in my eyes, deserve a second term, the majority of the nation’s voters disagreed with me on that point at the ballot box.

A true patriot in a true democracy accepts the outcomes of elections, even when (perhaps especially when) the outcomes do not go his or her way.

There is no other way — except for the tyranny that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors apparently wish to impose on all of us, against our wishes and against our will.

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