TED RALL RESPONDS TO THE OBAMA SPEECH

18 03 2008

for the American political process, it was a pretty remarkable speech….that said, I think some intelligent criticism from the left is in order….from my mom’s star student Ted Rall:

OBAMA/DUKAKIS 2008
Dem Wimp Throws His Truth-Telling Preacher Under the BusNEW YORK–If Americans were represented by an animal, it wouldn’t be an eagle. It would be a tiny shrew, nervous and paranoid and living in constant terror of being attacked by predators.

Our national prey mentality doesn’t have much basis in reality. The last attack on U.S. soil took place two-thirds of a century ago; Hawaii wasn’t even a state at the time. Before that, you have to go back to 1846–and we provoked that one. Whatever the historical basis–or lack thereof–for this innate fearfulness, U.S. voters look to their president as a Father Protector figure–someone who, if threatened, will ferociously defend what is now called, stupidly and horribly, das Homeland.

Republican candidates win elections in years when national security is a top concern. In 2004, it didn’t matter that John Kerry volunteered for, fought in, and returned with medals from Vietnam. What mattered was that he turned the other cheek to the Swift Boat ads. He held his fire in the debates. If Kerry wasn’t willing to stand up for himself, voters reasoned, how would he protect them? Bush may have been a coward during Vietnam, but his “dead or alive” cowboy movie bravado, not to mention starting a couple of wars from scratch, conveyed a comforting, if imbecilic bellicosity. The monosyllabic tough-guy act soothed a savage, terrorized electorate.

Hillary Clinton has figured this out. Her policy actions–voting for war twice, the Patriot Act, keeping silent about torture and Guantánamo–have been engineered to project Republicanesque hawkishness. She dresses butch and talks like a female prick–i.e., bitch. You don’t like her. She doesn’t want you to. She wants you to think that she’s macho enough to deal with Them the next time They pick a fight at three in the morning.

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