Sunday, October 10, 2004


Blowing a woman's head off is good viewing for children, but Gawd forbid that puppets get a blowjob.

I can't be alone in thinking that art has once more mirrored life. The rightwhingers made hay out of one president's lying about, yes, a gam, and think it is quite all right for another to have lied about WMDs and the reason for invading Iraq.

I watched the second debate. It's a bit like car-crash telly. A step up from Big Brother or Survivor, but not a huge step. Neither actually "debated" anything. Both hammered away at their party line. Bush seemed angry. I'm not sure why but something made him angry enough to yell. He managed not to stumble too badly over his words but he rarely answered the question (Kerry, to his credit, did at least answer the questions posed, although usually one question too late!). Bush repeated over and over the set of messages his campaign people have told him to and he didn't fuck up his lines this time.

The trouble is that if you didn't think it through, Bush's line seems coherent. You start thinking, yes, we did invade Iraq to remove Saddam. Saddam was a real threat, blah de blah, he'd make weapons if he had the chance, and fuck it, he has al-Zarqawi in his country. But that wasn't why we did it. We said he actually had the weapons and was imminently going to use them -- so imminently that we could no longer try diplomacy. Al-Zarqawi was of course not in any area of Iraq that Saddam controlled and anyway, if we invaded everywhere that harbours terrorists, there'd barely be a country on earth that wasn't filled with marines. Including the UK, favourite stopping place of Islamic militants, Germany, where the Atta cell plotted 9/11, and France, chockers with bad boys.

Three things of interest, I think. First, Bush gloated about Kyoto. It wasn't popular in some European capitals, he smirked. As if that were a good thing! As if we haven't been saying, but the reason the bad boys attacked your buildings was that the world hates you. Not being popular is not actually a praiseworthy goal for a leader. It didn't work for Saddam. Second, the repugnicunts seemed to think Kerry had blundered by allowing there to be the suggestion that his path would not have removed Saddam. Well, so what? If he has no WMDs and he's not actually stirring up terrorists, then he's just another horrible cunt in some godforsaken backwater. The world's full of them and we don't much care about it. So. Containment would have done just as well and if Saddam was still there, never mind. There'd probably be a lot fewer dead Iraqis and the streets would be safe for people to walk in.

Third thing is that when he was asked to state three decisions he had got wrong, Bush actually said that he had got everything right. Oh, I made some bad appointments, he said (Rumsfeld and Cheney spring to mind but I'll bet that's not who he was thinking of!), but otherwise, I got everything right. I can believe he does think that. Part of the "unwavering" nature of Bush is his belief in the absolute rectitude of what he does. He can't change his mind because that would be to admit he was wrong. Since God is advising him directly (go look it up, he truly thinks so), this is tantamount to suggesting God can get things wrong.

I wasn't impressed by his argument that Kerry wasn't "credible" on tax. The RWCs have lied about how much Kerry plans to spend, distorted his record on voting for tax (they include things like improving the efficiency of the IRS as tax-raising, and voting for tax plans in the budget -- because presidents juggle many taxes in their plans, even a budget that overall lowers taxes might raise dozens of little imposts). A good example is the money for body armour.

The RWCs lie an awful lot about Kerry. Sadly, that will probably win them the election. Here in Australia, the Liberals won a crushing victory yesterday. How? How can a party whose first item on their agenda is to make it easier for bosses to sack workers win the votes of the working class? How can a party who have shifted the tax burden onto the poorer percentiles, whose ill-judged handling of the housing market have made it impossible for young people to buy a house (although of course the enormous rises in prices have impressed those who already have houses), how can they win?

Easy. They ran two TV ads in nearly every commercial break on TV, particularly in the footy finals and during big-ticket shows such as American Idol. One lied about Mark Latham's record as leader of a council, suggesting he was incompetent to run the economy (ignoring, of course, that the prime minister does not run the economy anyway but his chancellor does -- Labor's chancellor is thought to be highly competent, and Labor's plans were all costed and solid). The other pointed out that on a $200,000 mortgage, which is about average I suppose, a 6% raise would see you paying $1000 a month more.

The people tripped over themselves on the way to the polling booths to make sure Latham didn't get the chance.


The papers are calling the second debate a draw. You might despair of this world when you hear that. One guy set out his policies, his ideas and his dissensions from the incumbent. The other guy assassinated his opponent's character with a pack of lies from one end of the debate to the other. One looked like a fundamentally shy man, uncomfortable with the public arena, trying to reach out to the audience; the other reminded me of the ringleader of the playground bullies, egging on his gang: strutting, the head bobbing forcefully...

You know, sometimes the world dislikes you because you are right and it is wrong, that's true. It was mostly true of the French Revolution and in its place, it was true of the Russian Revolution (where most of the Imperialist world tried to suppress a revolution whose aim, at first at least, was to free people from a shocking oppression).

But sometimes you're not popular because you're wrong, because you're a bully, because you lie, cheat and steal. Is that what they want to be? It's what they're being asked to vote for and they seem to be buying it.


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