Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

The B.S.P. Campaign Glory Days

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And now here I was a few weeks ago, sick of the candidates’ canonization of school teachers and bus drivers, annoyed at their pandering about “our jobs going overseas.” Oh, sad, silly me—little did I know how good I had it then. Man, was I tired of the arguments over health care, the trotting out of the saddest of sad sacks—the lady who had cancer, lost her home and lived through a tsunami all while raising orphaned autistic children and still couldn’t make ends meet, or was uninsured—who were supposed to prove some kind of point about government-sponsored health care, or not having government-sponsored healthcare, or something; the tired old tropes about liberals and taxes; the blah blah blah about gas prices and energy independence and the housing crisis and The Economy. But-oh!-how I should have shuddered with joy every time I heard the word ‘economic;’ how I should have broke into spontaneous song at the very utterance of “health care” or “taxes.” Because now—oh, now, my poor doomed friends—now we are faced with something so infinitely worse, so at once maddeningly stupid and definitively evil, so (oh! How quick 2004 was erased from my memory!): The Culture Wars.

There is a real war on, people! A war that, granted, most of us rarely think about except when it makes a convenient political metaphor, sure, but a war nonetheless. And not just a real war, but possibly the return of a cold one, too, and as much as it sounds kinda sexy in theory to those of us born after 1980, it’s probably not. And then there is all that stuff about the economy, and I think I heard something about a little problem called climate change, and, okay, let’s face it, we are all totally screwed, in just about every way possible, so it’s just kind of all-encompassingly infuriating to see the McCain camp trotting out an ad accusing Barack Obama of wanting to teach sex-ed to kindergarteners, an ad so deliriously over-the-top one could only pray, if one were the sort that prayed, that this is really just satire, that this is really just pastiche of a 2004 campaign ad, because haven’t we moved past this, isn’t that what both candidates keep saying?

Only Obama keeps saying it and his campaign (for the most part) follows suit; McCain keeps saying it while his campaign does the exact opposite and hopes he can pull a pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain. And it’s ludicrous, and I don’t care if this isn’t the campaign McCain wants to run, if McCain is personally better than this, if it’s all just the Roveian puppet-masters insisting, because at some point it does not matter. Even if it is true (and I’m skeptical), it does not matter any more.

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Written by Elizabeth

September 11, 2008 at 2:54 pm

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