i’ve got a pocket full of pretty green

So the 700 billion dollar bail-out was passed. That is an absolutely incredible amount of money. Seems like even more considering nobody else has any. My own bank, Washington Mutual, went under – biggest bank to collapse in this country since the Great Depression. I loved the way that, when the House republicans voted down the bill, they actually blamed Nancy Pelosi and the democrats for making them vote that way. Incredible. But the bail-out has passed, though as Bush warns, we’re still up shit creek.  This economy, so long left to bailed outits own devices and unregulated, is in free fall. Thanks President Bush!! Thanks a lot!! Just when you thought the mess of Iraq would be your legacy, or your utter mishandling of Hurrican Katrina, your presiding over the biggest economic collapse in decades comes along and trumps everything. Well done! Probably another reason why a failed businessman should never have been put in charge of the country.

Even your own party’s candidates, though they show no sign of actually changing any of your policies or doing things any differently from you, are denying any knowledge of you. I actually felt a bit sorry for you during the VP debate the other night, the way Sarah Palin seemed to whitewash you, the way she shot down Joe Biden every time he dared mention the many mistakes of your administration – seriously, who on earth was she kidding with all that “you’re just looking backwards” and “say it aint so, Joe” bullshit?

Oh dear. We had one unqualified idiot run the country, now we have this vacuous Palin, one heartbeat and a stolen election away from the government. They are saying that, well, she didn’t lose the debate, because she didn’t make any ridiculous mistakes like she did in the interviews. (By the way, are we going to see a spate of ‘Palinisms’ desk-top calendars now?) Debate? She answered no questons, reeled off a series of monologues that had little or nothing to do with the topic at hand, droned on and on (the palin-drone) about her family as if the simple fact she comes from a family makes her electable (please! please! anybody can go onstage and say that folksy rubbish, it doesn’t mean they should hold executive power!), and threw out a few of those stupid ‘this will get talked about’ buzzwords such as ‘Joe sixpack’ (seriously, what on earth?), ‘doggone’ and the aforementioned ‘say it aint so, Joe’ which must have taken the republican campaign writers hours to come up with, only for her to fluff it. Fluff. So much fluff. And I’m sick of the constant decription of McCain as a Maverick, like it’s a good thing – you never know what irresponsible thing he’ll do net. She offered no substance whatsoever. Anyone or anything she didn’t like was dismissed as an ‘east coast elitist’, whatever the hell that is supposed to mean. She wants to change Washington? How exactly? She showed she has absolutely no regard for Senators, or the Senate – does she then have no regard for the American system of democracy? The talk of her ‘loyalty tests’ back in Alaska when she became governor, and even when she became mayor of Whassitcalled, are pretty bloody sinister if you ask me – will she insist we all take such loyalty tests? I tell you what, all of the things we hear about her, the troopergate inquiry, the links to that pro-Alaskan independence party, if any of this had been the case with the democratic candidates they would already have been blown out of the water by the media.  

Case in point: John McCain. First he says the fundamentals of the economy are strong, then says the opposite, then says he was talking about the American workforce (the businesses who ship jobs overseas don’t agree, and you made it clear in your acceptance speech that you support those businesses and their outsourcing practices when slagging off Obama for wanting to penalize them). Then he said he wasn’t going to attend the debate, and then he was. He said he was dead against the bail-out (probably because, being Bush’s idea, he should be against it, just because), then decided he was for the bail-out… why is the word “flip-flop” not being bandied around every time his name is mentioned? Because, during the last election, that was the word the media most commonly associated with John Kerry (rather than ‘war hero’), and it undermined his whole campaign. The McCain/Palin ticket appears to be made up of the cast of Rainbow (specifically Bungle and Zippy – we don’t talk about George any more), surely a campaign this bad cannot hope to win, and yet… Bush won the last two elections, didn’t he?

half-baked alaskan

So what have we learnt about the Republicans this week? Well they don’t mind throwing all of their hopes and dreams and ambitions and their beloved country behind a woman who a week ago they had never heard of. Oh, sorry, she’s the Veep, not the Presidential candidate- you would never have guessed it though. Palin’s speech, which I thought a little predictable, thoroughly wowed the babies-guns-and-jesus party (or is it guns-jesus-babies? Perhaps it’s the right-wing version of ‘paper-scissors-stone’), half-baked alaskanleading some to claim they’ve found their Maggie. And oh, she blasted her opponent – sorry, McCain’s opponent – Obama’s lack of governing experience, derising his time as a community organizer in Chicago (boo! hiss! stupid do-gooder!), while lauding her own considerable experience as governor of Alaska since as far back as 2006, mayor of a tiny town of 9,000, and of course her time on the Parent-Teacher Association of her children’s school. The PTA: now that’s real government experience for you, not the stupid gotta-get-elected-into Senate! The PTA. Of course she can run the country! You’ve organized one jumble sale, you’ve organized ’em all.

But for me, all of her ‘hockey mom’ doggerel and her parading of her now instantly famous offspring (who all have strange Addams Family names) was overshadowed by some very dark notions to slip through her saucy librarian demeanour. She made it clear that the civil rights upon which America bases its justice system do not extend to certain people if we are accusing them – just accusing them – of being terr’rists. And what is all this about her and her husband having formerly been part of an alaskan secessionist movement? “Country First” is the GOP’s slogan – which country, the US or Independent Alaska?

I tell you what though, she did love promoting the mall town over the big city. New York, city that doesn’t sleep? You should come to Wasilla, mate, we have sunlight for six months of the year, try sleeping through that!

...or is it clive anderson?As for McCain, well he claims he wants to change the politics of Washington, making out as if his party, and the president he has strongly supported in 95% of votes, haven’t been the ones in charge this past 8 years. Oh, democrats run the Senate! But not for most of Bush’s presidency; before 2006, Rove and friends gave King George a free reign. Change?

We’ve also learnt that if you are hoping to attack your opponent on his lack of experiecne, it’s a good idea to choose a VP with less experience. If you are hoping to attack your opponent for being a senator and never having been mayor of a village or governor of anywhere, it’s a good idea to have your main candidate who’s also a senator and also has no such executive experience. If your opponent is campaigning on a promise of change, you too have to promise change, but just pretend you weren’t part of making that situation happen. If you discredited the democratic candidate’s military record in Vietnam last time around, use being a celebrated Vietnam vet as the cornerstone of this year’s candidate. If you accused that same guy last time of being a flip-flop, change your own position to pretend you never agreed with Bush,  and be a flip-flop yourself! If you want to show the USA how much you love the USA, choose a VP who has strong affiliations with a secessionist Alaskan party. And don’t forget your friend Joe Liebermann, the Saruman of this tale.

So one thing we’ve learnt this week is that the Republican Party are pretty good at irony.