The Pit Bull’s New Clothes

The Republicans seem to be finding out the truth of Abraham Lincoln’s sage remark, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

But the impact of their party’s waning influence has yet to hit home in some of the thicker Republican skulls. I’m talking about the large minority who are well and truly snookered by McCain/Palin and their desperate diversionary tactics.

Try as they might to disguise and deny it, truth keeps resurfacing almost every day in various ways. The latest and funniest was the fluffy-bunny revelation that Ms. Palin got an expensive new wardrobe and makeover after her nomination. The media suddenly noticed this — at least some of them did — and to defend itself, the McCain campaign is claiming that this fuss about Palin’s wardrobe is a diversionary tactic to keep our focus off the economy.

Why yes, it is. But not for the reasons McCain/Palin would like you to believe.

It seems like nearly 96% of everything that’s come out of Ms. Palin’s lipsticked mouth in the last month has been a diversionary tactic. The rest of it has been just plain stupid. Hell, she herself is a diversionary tactic.

And that’s to say nothing of McCain, who by now has changed his positions so many times that his brain must be bent into a pretzel — that is, if it hasn’t melted down completely.

Anyway, the majority of people haven’t been fooled, and it’s starting to become more apparent every day, as witnessed by the Republicans’ latest round of attempted vote fraud in various states. They do it legally enough, by disqualifying as many of the “wrong kind” of voters as they can for various reasons. But they do it. And they do it far more successfully than the woefully wonky ACORN. (I am not a fan of ACORN; someday I’ll tell you why.)

Think of it this way: if they hadn’t done it, there’s no way George W. Bush would have been elected President even once, let alone twice. One can argue that the Republicans’ legal election-stealing has not only torn apart the admittedly slightly moldy fabric of their own party, but also the fabric of a democracy, as well as the fabric of at least 3,000 lives and the lives of their loved ones on September 11, 2001, the fabric of Iraq, the fabric of a city (New Orleans, parts of which are still in ruins 3 years after Katrina), the fabric of an economy, and the mental fabric of at least three billion of the approximately five billion people currently living. I’d hazard a guess that this administration is even causing the planet to have a nervous breakdown, if only such a thing were possible.

ACORN, by comparison, looks as puny, wonky and pathetic as it really is. But there’s a small-town newspaper columnist, Morgan Dubiel, who is claiming that ACORN single-handedly caused the mortgage crisis that morphed into an international financial meltdown. I think this poor addled dear probably got the idea from McCain and his lipsticked pit bull, who have been jabbing fingers hysterically in ACORN’s direction and shouting, “LOOKEEE LOOKEEEE!!!”

At what? I think we’re done looking up every time a Republican, wide-eyed, points up and says, “look at THAT,” because they do it so often — and too often nothing is there, and we’ve wasted time looking up at nothing only to realize that an actual, growling bear has been right in front of us the whole time.

In this case, could it be that they were hoping no one would notice that the supposedly populist pit bull was wearing expensive off-the-rack designer duds all of a sudden? If so, the scheme has stopped working the way they want it to. The pit bull built her image on being a distraction — she was, after all, supposed to be the fanged bully-dog of the working class who would waste lots of media time telling off the big bad elites and taking our minds off the real issues. If all this hubub about her clothes is a distraction on top of a distraction, that just makes her more distracting. (Edit, later in the same week: Palin whined that the clothing issue was based in “gender bias;” it was just what we needed to hear about on the same day the stock market once again had a migraine.)

Distraction is what this campaign wanted. Sometimes, just like Grandma probably told you, you have to be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. And the McCain campaign has got Sarah Palin, their own personal lip-sticky supposedly-populist pit bull wearing $2,500 jackets. She can say she’s going to give them away, she can claim she didn’t want them, and she can whine — rather ironically — about how all those nasty left-wingers are being meeeeeean to her (those sexist-pig liberals!). But the fact is that she has been wearing some awfully expensive clothes bought with donated money, and paying a lot to have her hair and makeup done. The world as we know it may be falling apart, but down at her level, clothes and magazine covers matter most. She can’t seem to grasp much more than that.

The Democrats, spooked by nearly 30 years of failure, are too scared to declare victory in this small matter. And so am I, because the large matter of the election is still at hand. It seems that every time the Republicans have offered up something completely unacceptable, they have managed not only to get it elected/passed/sneaked in, but they have also managed to make those of us who see whatever it is as completely unacceptable feel nuts for being able to see that it is completely unacceptable.

The Republican party has been bullying the U.S. this way since the Reagan era, and it also attempted to do it much earlier, during the Nixon administration (I know there have been similar eras for the Democrats, but my historical memory only goes back to the day John F. Kennedy was shot, and of course a little kid would not have been paying any attention to the Johnson/Goldwater contest).

It has only been during the the last week that, for the first time in almost my entire adult life, I have finally gotten the feeling that the Era of the Bully, a.k.a. the Age of Stupid, may be collapsing as quickly as did the Iron Curtain. I got this feeling because all of a sudden the old tricks aren’t working anymore, at least not on the majority of people in the U.S. In fact, every attempted deception, distraction, and plain old dirty trick has seemed to multiply itself and come screaming right back at the Republicans, kind of like the Wiccan Threefold Law. It’s almost as if there is magic in the air, just in time for Halloween.

But shhhhhhh…’s not over not just yet. Not until Election Day is over, and maybe not even then since we still won’t know the outcome until the Republicans quit whining about foul play, which won’t be for some time after that if they don’t manage to steal the election, which they are clearly already trying to do. But you aren’t supposed to know that because, you know, they’re fooling you — kind of like a toddler playing peek-a-boo.