Saturday, November 08, 2008

The "Center-Right" Myth

This seems to be the new talking point. The US is "center-right." I know what that is--it's George W. Bush calling himself a "uniter, not a divider." We all know how that worked out.

Perhaps, for those who toss out this concept, it's a consolation prize or something. Still, I don't recall any "center-left" talk after W. and his cronies stole the 2000 election (in his brother's state, with the help of his Daddy's court). Did they steal Ohio in 04, or was it just one of those things when residents of Democratic districts had to wait ten hours in the rain just to cast their votes?

We'll never know for sure. But here's what we do know--throughout Bill Clinton's tenure, the extreme right, the ones now trying to identify with the center, focused on non-issues, nonsense, and idiotic personal attacks. Bill Clinton having sex while smoking a cigar, eating pizza, and talking to a senator. Bill Clinton getting a haircut. Meanwhile, eight years of peace and prosperity are roundly ignored. This guy got a haircut, and invested in Whitewater, whatever the hell that was. Folks like Joe the Plumber in Sarah Palin's "real America" were firmly persuaded.

And what about the last eight years? A war in Afgnanistan that never catches the architect of 9/11, and now faces a resurgent Taliban. Never mind that Bushies ignored warnings that may have precluded 9/11. And there's another war predicated on WMDs that didn't exist, on ties to 9/11 that didn't exist. Sure, it continues to bankrupt the country, but it was good for Haliburton and Blackwater. Never mind that W. declared victory five years ago. Let's talk about Barack Obama's ex-preacher. That's the real issue facing American today.

And now these demagogues, trying to shore up the troglodyte vote, are criticizing the choice of Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff. Why can't Obama pick a centrist, like Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly? It's particularly ironic since one of McCain's guys was on CNN a few weeks ago complaining that Obama was affiliated with anti-Semites. Never mind that he couldn't name them. Never mind that McCain funded the guy they wanted to use to smear Obama with. Never mind that his first appointment happens to be an Orthodox Jew, rather than one of the terrorists he supposedly pals around with.

Why don't we simply ignore the economic meltdown caused by years of deregulatory policies, pointless endless war, and indifference to the middle class? Let's talk about gay marriage. Let's talk about how Barack Obama is a Muslim. Let's talk about how he's a liberal, or an anti-Semite, or a terrorist.

Let's just pretend the last eight years never happened, and pretend that Fox News and the New York Post are center-right. Let's pretend most Americans don't want health care for all, and that they want the ultra-rich to be the beneficiaries of our tax policies. Let's continue to screw the poor, screw the middle class, allow catastrophic medical emergency to be the number one cause of bankruptcy. Let's continue allowing credit-card companies to write their own bankruptcy laws.

After all, we're "center-right." That's why we elected the guy the "center-right" alternately labeled a socialist, a terrorist, the most liberal Senator in the country over the guy who, despite assertions otherwise, firmly supported the status quo in this country. You know--the "center-right" guy.

Obama, like our country, is not "center-right." And he's not socialist or terrorist, or even the most liberal person in the country. He is who he is--our next President. And it's important to note he became President the old-fashioned way--by getting more votes than his opponent.

Related: Media Matters weighs in
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