Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Progressives Paint McCain as Angry American Warmonger

Desperation is building on the far-left at the realization that Barack Obama's nomination is turning out to be an unmitigated disaster for the Democratic Party's chances in November.

Note first the letdown among "
progressives" at the dreadful polling numbers for the Obama-Biden ticket this week. Chris Bowers and Tremayne, at the radical portal Open Left, express their frustration and helplessness at the fading likelihood of a post-convention bounce following this week's events in Denver. As Bowers laments:

I am feeling really frustrated today. I am sensing that something is wrong with this convention, and that there will be no bounce. I don't know exactly what we need to do to get a bounce, but I do know that we haven't done it yet.
Both bloggers search for explanations for declining Democratic fortunes (blaming, for example, an insufficient "populist message" or the inattention of the "traditional media" to the events).

Neither, naturally, engage is the kind of introspective analysis that might lead to the conclusion that Americans are burned out on "Obamania" and they're getting hip to "The One" and his oppositional combination of fringe extremism and mainstream policy superficiality.

Thus, it's no surprise that other "progressives" want to quit pussy-footing around and hit back at "Chimpy" and "McSame" with all they've got. For example, check out
Ilan Goldenberg at Democracy Arsenal:

John McCain has an ad up trying to scare the American people about Iran and saying Obama doesn't take the threat seriously enough. I think it's time to take the gloves off and paint McCain as the reckless and dangerous overeager warrior that he is.
Goldenberg continues with some unhinged anti-neocon conspiracy theorizing suggesting that McCain's "paranoia" will elevate every international event to another "Thirteen Days."

And then we have
Cernig at Newshoggers to top it all off with a deconstruction of "McCain's inner Ugly American":

It never was true of all Americans, but it certainly was true of some. But more and more, the phrase has come to be associated abroad with the mindset exemplified by the Bush administration these last eight years. Not just loud and pretentious about lands beyong American shores, oblivious to local nuance and complexities of culture - but pugnacious and belligerent about it too. And it doesn’t matter whether these Ugly Americans are home or abroad, their underlying attitude doesn’t change. (I write this as a European living in the U.S. - I’ve seen the Ugly American both at home and abroad.)

Bush, Rumsfield, Bremer, Bolton, the entire Kagan family, Podhoretz - Cheney, of course - and a slew of hard right pundits and bloggers. The right is filled with Ugly Americans right now, who simultaneously want to dictate how non-Americans will behave and to insist that only American interests matter, only what they want matters. It’s a mindset rooted in the ideology of American exceptionalism, with a hefty dose of Divine Mandate (code for “The White Man’s Burden” reset as a uniquely American one), leavened with fear of “the other”, but to perpetuate it requires ignorance, arrogance and a belief that all problems can be solved by using a bigger hammer.

Out of all the Ugly Americans of the modern hard Right, John McCain is rising as the star. His entire worldview is based not just upon American exceptionalism but upon McCain exceptionalism - “
Verb, Noun, P.O.W.
All of this impotence comes when the Democrats are supposed to be strolling to victory in the November election.

But it's not just frustration with the GOP or John McCain. This is the outrage of an anti-establishment radicalism, which evinces a loathing in a search for scapegoats: The "lamestream" media or the evil of "BusHitler," Halliburton, and the neocons!

The problem, of course, is not John McCain or any of the other usual suspects identified throughout these threads. The problem is Barack Obama and the Democrats' abject ideological bankruptcy that's preventing the party from offering anything remotely acceptable to the broad swath of the American electorate.

For example,
signs of progress in Iraq have left the progressives boxed-in and confused in a funk of surrender. The failure of the economy to collapse into deep recession removes from the Democrats a powerful economic cudgel with which to hammer GOP "incompetence." And polls show that Americans prefer health care simplification and reduced costs in medical provision, not the program of single-payer nationalization that the left envisions under an Obama administration.

But most of all, Americans tell pollsters that
Barack Obama does not share their values, that he's too risky and inexperienced for the office of President of the United States.

All of these facts force a paralysis on the leftists. They can't think outside of the neat boxes of demonization they've concocted for their enemies.

Barack Obama's one of them. He'll negotiate unconditionally with the enemies of the United States, and those of our allies. He'll seek denuclearization to weaken American national security, and he'll promote a postmodern sensibility on the country that will leave innocent babies to die in soiled-linen closets and one that befriends unrepentant domestic terrorists who now "teach" our children.

When that's all you've got, I suppose the desperation of pulling out the stops by painting the GOP candidate as an angry and reckless warmonger actually makes some sense.