by James O'Donnell
In yesterday's blog I mentioned that Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama had their big moments on Day One of the Democratic National Convention (my tone, I must admit, was sort of condescendingly “whoop-de-frikkin'-doo”).
By the time I was done with that blog, I had also ripped into Nancy Pelosi a bit for not knowing her power (ironically) and for neglecting both her mandate and oath of office.
Before a lot of Dems get upset with me, I should clarify some things about my response to yesterday's event: Yes, it was poignant to see Teddy Kennedy appear on the stage and speak with passion about his and Senator Obama's values. It was emotionally powerful to see “the Lion of the Senate” refusing to go gentle into that good night...
And yes, Michelle Obama did indeed deliver a strong, personal, and pleasingly populist speech...
And yes, her story, like her husband's, is a genuinely inspirational American story.
We can concede all of those points. (Yes, we can!)
HOWEVER, I couldn't help thinking how SAD it was to see so much of the evening spent rebutting the Republican attack machine and the corporate media's personal attacks on the Obamas!
Talk about letting the other side frame the debate!
(Oh yes, we watch “The Brady Bunch” at our house, too! Like you, we also have parents and siblings who love us, and children whom we love! Please, White, middle-of-the-road America, consider the possibility that we, too, are human beings, worthy of the designation “Americans,” despite our propensity to give one another the occasional “terrorist fist bump” -- thank you, Fox News, for that ludicrously racist gem!)
But it is, after all, a presidential election year, and
(You know the drill): Aided by the Mainstream Media (MSM) echo chamber, the far right gets to frame the debate; the nominee representing the center-right party (the alleged “Democrat”) bends over backwards to gain the approval of the far right and the MSM; and the actual political center of the country and the progressive left are neglected entirely (sorry, centrists, Lefties, and peaceniks, say goodbye to Universal Health Care, hasta la vista to quality public education, transparent government, responsible regulation, free and fair elections, gay marriage, worker protections, sustainable energy, conservation...).
Think back: From CNN to Fox to Saturday Night Live, the corporate media spent the 2000 election season basically telling us that Al Gore was an “arrogant, elitist LIAR, consumed with ambition.” They conveniently overlooked the fact that Gore never actually came close to saying that he “invented the Internet.” They apparently didn't care that the other alleged “lies” involved some minor technical errors, but that the Vice President basically had his story straight in each case -- about his role in cleaning up a seriously polluted canal in New York, about touring disaster sites in Texas with FEMA, about Florida's overcrowded classrooms (right on all counts).
It was just so darn fun, repeating those silly Republican attacks... who cared about accuracy? What were the stakes, anyway? The country was prosperous and basically at peace (it would only be more prosperous with a Republican in charge, right?).
That same media simultaneously told us that third-generation obscenely wealthy and politically connected LEGACY presidential candidate George W. Bush was an “ordinary Joe,” a simple man of “faith and values” -- perhaps not so articulate (we could relate), perhaps not so up to speed on the issues... (again, we could relate).
They told us that we disliked Al Gore and that we wanted to “have a beer with” the “compassionate” Governor of Texas (the blithe executioner aspect they did NOT cover). They also FAILED to tell us about the Governor's inattention to the details of his policies or his tendency of letting ideologues and cronies run the show (for instance allowing his buddy, Ken Lay, to appoint the state official who would regulate his industry)... those trifling little details bore Americans to tears, they figured.
Four years later, the MSM told us that John Kerry was an “elitist flip-flopper who LIED about his military career” (that claim was itself a rather flimsy LIE concocted by some well-financed Republicans only superficially unconnected to the Bush campaign). Meanwhile the media conveniently overlooked the fact that President Bush actually had misrepresented his military service... not to mention the fact that he had committed several crimes while in office and knowingly taken America to war on a pack of lies (the proof was already available to the public, even back then).
And now this same corporate media is spending the 2008 campaign telling us that the Obamas are “elitist, possibly Muslim, un-patriots who aren't like YOU.”
(And they're STILL painting John McCain as a “maverick!” I'm sorry, but that “maverick” label has been obviated ever since 2004, when Mac began sucking up to George W. Bush, the same jerk whose sleazy campaign machine trashed him -- and his family -- in the 2000 primaries!)
Wake up, folks: media analysis of the past two presidential election cycles showed that George W. Bush got a pass for his lies, crimes, flip-flops, and crony-capitalist style of governance, while his Democratic opponents received disproportionately negative coverage -- not about their lousy policies (fair game, I'd say), but a bunch of claptrap generated by their political opponents about the supposedly nefarious “quality of their character” (like you couldn't do the same thing with the Bush family, with all of their nefarious connections and scandals, from Iran-Contra to Silverado to Harken to Enron to.... Only the media didn't want to damage their candidate of choice...).
What should really embarrass us as voters in a semi-democratic nation, is that it's always the same basic claptrap: The Democratic candidate is “Elitist,” “Arrogant,” and “not trustworthy” somehow...
The truth, my friends (brace yourselves), is there is no “liberal media,” despite the fact that the corporate media -- especially right-wing radio -- has so successfully created the impression that there is. (The only “liberal” media that exists in America resides in the margins, and most people in this country never even heard of some of the best journalists America has ever produced: Amy Goodman, Seymour Hersh, Ron Suskind, Naomi Klein, Antonia Juhasz, and more...).
The fake “liberals” who dominate the media are the Blitzers, Rathers, Brokaws, and such. Who among them, in the buildup to the Iraq war, give any real airtime to the many credible doubters of the case for war?
And what about the print media? Did the allegedly "liberal" New York Times do anything BUT sell the war? NO! Like the Washington Post, they buried the facts deep inside their newspaper, while giving front-page, bold headline play to the outrageously thin, clearly bogus claims known even THEN to be false (by virtually anyone who was paying attention), propaganda churned out by the Cheney-Curveball-Judy Miller cabal.
And yet, many Americans still cling to the notion that this media is “Liberal!”
(Hmmm, ever wonder why a “Liberal media” would complain so steadily about an alleged “Liberal bias” in the media? Did you ever ask yourself WHY our patently amoral -- sexist/racist/pornographic/homophobic/violence & war-loving/wealth-worshiping -- corporate media might tell us that? Hint: Maybe they want to vilify liberal/secular-humanist values and convince us that people who promote peace and justice are “kooky,” while inducing us to buy more and more worthless junk to the point that we're so in debt that we fail to notice that our democracy is going down the drain... Meanwhile they've promulgated so much fear and ignorance that most of us don't seem to mind that HALF of our nation's wealth is devoted every year to the “Defense” industry... to unproven weapons systems that threaten to spur new arms races and to arming our allies in the world... and our friends, the enemies of our allies...)
But we should ask ourselves: Are we really going to let one SNL skit, written by the same partisan hatchet man who landed body blow after body blow to Al Gore's viability in 2000 (with Gore's help, let's be fair) -- are we going to let one comedy writer, buttressed by the post-skit allegations of the Clinton camp he was assisting, tell us what to think about who is getting favorable coverage from the media this election season... rather than numerous studies conducted by independent media critics (CMPA, FAIR, Tyndall)?
But that's the new narrative which no one is allowed to contradict (Obama the “media darling”), regardless of the data -- the data which shows that nearly THREE-QUARTERS of Obama's news coverage has been negative, while roughly HALF of McCain's coverage has been negative... despite Mac's many gaffes.
(He doesn't call the media his “base” for nothing... my friends!).
The MSM played Reverend Jeremiah Wright (right out of context) on an endless loop for a month solid and decided, ultimately, to peddle the notion that Senator Clinton lost because she was the victim of a “sexist media campaign” (assisted by an allegedly sexist Obama campaign -- didn't they pull that one out of thin air?! But who cares, it damages the Democratic nominee!).
This is the same media that had all but crowned Sen. Clinton, the corporation-friendly, foreign policy hawk queen, the Democratic nominee well before the contest even began! This is the same media that overlooked Senator Clinton's Bosnia airfield LIE for weeks and weeks and barely mentioned her campaign's constant infighting, money mismanagement (stiffing their vendors), and their unsubtly racist smear campaign against Senator Obama -- conducted by surrogates Howard Wolfson, Mark Penn, Bill Shaheen, Bob (BET) Johnson, and BILL CLINTON.
Does no one else recall the angry defections from the Clinton camp, ex-supporters disappointed in their candidate's tactics, or the widespread reports emanating from the Clinton camp that this was actually a part of their strategy -- to damage Obama however they could, in order to make him appear “unelectable” -- even if it meant joining in the bigoted right-wing attacks against the party's likely nominee?
This was sheer desperation, from the candidate who knew she had blown it: Senator Obama is not a Muslim “as far as I know...” said Senator Clinton with a wink.
As conservatives have pointed out for years, in the game of politics there is no low to which the Clintons will not stoop -- and this is coming from the people that let Katherine Harris, Diebold, Ken Blackwell, and a few well-placed “loyal Bushies” rig elections for them -- the same folks who made Karl Rove “the architect” of their national campaigns over the past several years (so they know LOW... but don't take my word for it: Ask “unhinged” John McCain's “illegitimate black baby” or his “drug-addicted wife.” Dirty pool is the only game these folks know how to play.).
And STILL this media continues to spread the smears about the “secret Muslim, madrassah attending” candidate (and other unfounded nonsense -- this season's “Swift-boating”), while almost entirely neglecting the more serious issues one might legitimately take up with the candidate: Obama's ties to the nuclear industry or to scummy Mr. Rezko, Obama's support for that fake-panacea ethanol, his support for the death penalty, his moronic approach to Afghanistan (doubling down on a strategy that has backfired miserably), or countless other policy issues that Americans need to consider in weighing his candidacy.
Meanwhile, the MSM goes on ignoring the fact that Senator John McCain has his own ethics problems (past and present), and has consistently backed George Bush's agenda (his NUMBER ONE supporter in the Senate in 2007, voting with the president 95% of the time) and is himself a veritable gaffe MACHINE, leaving Joe Biden in the dust! Don't believe me? Check out the following links:
Yes, it's time for some correctives: Shall we talk character?
Senator McCain has LIED with abandon about the security situation in Baghdad, saying that he didn't even need a vest while touring the streets of Baghdad (photos and the U.S. military revealed that he needed a vest, a hundred troops, and some armored vehicles and helicopters).
Unfazed, McCain later claimed that General Petraeus traveled in an unarmored Humvee down the streets of Baghdad. (Gen. Petraeus immediately corrected the senator.) But hey, anything to sell the Surge on which he has pinned his candidacy... because apparently he would rather misrepresent a war than lose an election.
Not only that, but in order to further promote himself as the genius behind the Surge, he has revised the entire timeline of the Surge, in order to take credit for the Sunni “Awakening” that began MONTHS before the Surge began... or was even announced. (Self-serving AND inaccurate... niiice.)
And he gets to coast on the media's lazy willingness to revert to selling war in Iraq, hawking a Surge “success” that has been defined by nothing less than the ethno-sectarian cleansing of Baghdad -- the most deadly year of the entire war, for Iraqis and Americans (2007) -- coupled with the administration's cozying up to the Iranian Shi'ite faction in Iraq... while paying off virtually the entire Sunni insurgency (Fallujans and Baathists, too), giving some 90,000 of America's former enemies $300/month to stop fighting us, arming and training them (for the coming second round of Iraq's civil war), all in order to make it appear as if we have “won” ...at least until the 2008 election is over. That $300/month ought to work for a while longer... at least until it becomes clear that the central government is NEVER going to integrate the Sunnis into the national security apparatus (which is now almost entirely Shi'ite and Kurdish). Meanwhile, there has been NO political accommodation between the rival factions, no OIL law (signing away their oil rights -- Bush's criterion, not our military's), and less than 5% of Baghdad's ONE MILLION-plus recent refugees (of the country's FIVE MILLION total refugees) have returned to their Baghdad homes... because, unlike the American people (with our 1-3 minutes of Iraq coverage per week), IRAQIS know that Baghdad is still dangerous as hell.
Okay, we've talked about Mac's honesty... Shall we talk competency?
Nearly seven years into the Global War on Terror: McCain STILL can't get it straight that al Qaeda is a SUNNI, not a SHI'ITE organization, with NO presence in IRAN. He apparently thinks that Iraq and Afghanistan SHARE A BORDER (they don't)! He still backs the torture policy that our military, including General Petraeus, have rejected as immoral, unnecessary, and counterproductive.
Senator McCain still likes to make fun of Senator Obama's proposed Pakistan policy, apparently unaware that it MIRRORS EXACTLY the current policy of the Bush administration, to whit: With the proper intelligence, the U.S. will not hesitate to target al Qaeda leaders, including bin Laden, in Pakistan's tribal areas, with or without Islamabad's permission.
(Apparently he'll go “to the gates of Hell” to get bin Laden, but not without a permission slip from the state sponsor of the TALIBAN!)
Furthermore, John McCain recently made an enormous foreign policy blunder (not that the media has covered his role in the debacle):
McCain, his International Republican Institute (an unregulated, interventionist, soft-money slush fund for lobbyists, defeated Republicans, and military contractors) and Mac's chief foreign policy advisor, Mr. Scheunneman, ALL have extraordinarily close ties to Georgia's top political leadership and have been encouraging President Saakashvili for months to continue on his reckless path toward retaking by force the breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (ending a 16-year lull in major violence between Georgia and two regions which have long declared their desire for autonomy).
Now that the world has seen the catastrophic results of this bloody miscalculation, isn't it safe to say that that was a gross error of judgment on Mr. McCain's part?
With his close ties to the Bush administration couldn't McCain have consulted with President Cheney (ahem) before encouraging his pal Misha to go forward with his invasion of South Ossetia?
Widespread reports from Georgia indicate that most Georgians blame NOT the Russians but their own leadership and the American government for provoking a confrontation which they could not hope to win and then hanging them out to dry.
But the media continues to give John McCain a pass on Georgia, while hammering Obama for not condemning Russia in strong enough terms in his initial statement: a call for restraint by all parties (what a “gaffe!”).
Regarding other surprises we can expect from McCain's foreign policy: How about threatening to renew the Cold War even before this latest chapter, suggesting that he would expel Russia from the G-8? Not too smart, especially considering that a lot of America's strongest allies in Europe, including Germany and France, have strong, interdependent relationships with Russia, relationships that they're not about to compromise (especially not now, after George Bush has weakened America and damaged our reputation in the world beyond recognition); besides, Europe is dependent on Russia for one-quarter of their natural gas, something of which they are keenly aware.
Just how unstable is John McCain willing to make this world of ours? We've already turned the Middle East into a powder keg (and NO, it wasn't like that when we found it). Is it time to throw Eastern Europe into chaos?
Just how glib, reckless, and UNPRESIDENTIAL is this man? You'll never know by watching this media.
This media sure didn't play on an endless loop the footage of Mr. McCain (not his reverend, but McCain himself) singing “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran,” as if that were some kind of great, funny joke rather than a gravely serious possibility, the thought that America might end up bombing a nation of 70 million people, most of whom admire and love the U.S. (our culture, our people, our music and movies), 70% of whom are under the age of 30! Yeah, let's “BOMB, BOMB, BOMB” them and put our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan at even greater risk -- not to mention Israel! (Now if that doesn't sound like someone who ISN'T READY TO BE PRESIDENT, I don't know what would!)
Mac also said that selling cigarettes to the Iranians is a great idea (however immoral) because that will weaken them for the coming war... (How about those “values,” Pastor Rick!)
(EVIL, my friends, is where you find it. We all have it in us to perform evil acts. It is the humility to understand that simple truth that provides us with our moral conscience -- NOT our ability to point the finger at others, including whole nations, and declare them “evil” ...which is itself an EVIL act -- consider what George W. Bush's oversimplified view of the world has wrought: GAME ON for the CRUSADES, with hundreds of thousands of murdered Iraqis... and that's just the tip of the bloody iceberg. Look to Somalia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Gaza, and Pakistan to get an idea how much further this bloodstain runs...)
OF COURSE this faux-liberal media buried the clip where McCain badly stumbles trying to answer a simple question about why he opposed insurance coverage for birth-control while supporting coverage for Viagra!!! Just IMAGINE if that had been Obama's mistake... Whatever would the media's Hillary “feminists” make of that? (...not the actual feminists who supported Senator Clinton but the transparent “Rush Limbaugh in drag” variety.)
How would this media have reacted if the “al Qaeda in Iran” flub were Barack's... or if the “bomb bomb bomb, Iran” song were Senator Obama's joke?
This media would have had a field day ANNIHILATING Barack for such gaffes and improper displays of temperament for an aspiring President!
But this media ADORES the torture-endorsing torture survivor McCain SO much that they ignore the fact that he has become the all-time champion flip-flopper on everything from off-shore drilling to the G.I. Bill to George Bush's tax cuts to his craven embrace of those “agents of intolerance,” the evangelical Christo-fascists, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell -- those great “Christian” paragons, so like Christ (as a scorpion is to a butterfly) those pretend-saints in our time who said that God punished America on 9/11 for being a secular nation (these are the same folks who urge their followers to pray for certain Supreme Court Justices to DIE)!
According to Robertson and Falwell, America had 9/11 coming, because we're so liberal and tolerant (America's very strengths)!
Like al Qaeda's No.2, Dr. Ayman Zawahiri, Rev. Pat Robertson believes himself capable of JUDGING others, determining who should live and who should die... with no judicial process whatsoever. Robertson even suggested recently that America should simply assassinate ELECTED foreign leaders we don't care for! (He's even suggested some targets along those lines...)
Like Zawahiri, Robertson issues his own fatwas... against Supreme Court Justices and world leaders alike...
Now that's what I call a dangerously intolerant agent.
If the Global War on Terror were an honest endeavor, these people, religious extremists by any definition, would be locked up (except for Falwell, of course, who recently died and went to... well, you tell me where he went -- I can't say... that big Fat Camp in the Sky? Hypocrite Hell? Plain old six-feet under?).
These immensely powerful demagogues and their ilk are at least as dangerous to America as the bin Ladens of the world -- because they wield influence (demented, bigoted influence), over our nation's leaders... and for what it's worth, in my opinion, they're NOT remotely Christians... any more than Torquemada was a Christian.
Whereas Reverend Jeremiah Wright, formerly Barack Obama's pastor, was not positing, like some Robertsonian/Falwellian megalomaniac, the existence of a God that shares his hatred of other Americans and their ideology, but was actually quoting scripture saying that God will abandon and “DAMN” the state that abandons God...
In the best tradition of Liberation Theology, Rev. Wright was referring to America's support for dictators and terrorists in the world and our genocidal past... and to some degree, our present. All Jeremiah Wright did was say the same thing that the 9/11 Commission said (the same thing that many of America's top counter-terrorism officials have said), to whit: When America supports international criminals, dictators, and thugs, and backs their regimes, their terrorism and crimes in the world, such policies are apt to “BLOWBACK” to our shores. In the end, such policies make us LESS SAFE.
But don't hold your breath waiting for this media to tell you that. This media killed the messenger because they are complicit in the Policy; explaining why the right's assault on Rev. Wright didn't hold water would have threatened to expose such policies. It would have threatened their business interests. (The news organizations are conglomerates, these days, linked to the very military contractors whose products they constantly SELL. With these folks, JOURNALISM is NOT Job One... or Job Two, Three, or Four or Five or Six... it may not even be in their job description!)
And if Barack Obama weren't such a ninny, he would have stood up for his reverend, instead of throwing him -- and his church of twenty years -- under the proverbial bus.
But Barack is a “Democrat,” my friends, and it's an election year: the season for all good Dems to kowtow to the far right... like good Germans.
(Too strong a metaphor? Then answer me this: Why must all of the Muslims disappear from the camera shot behind Barack? Why is it that the mere suggestion that Barack Obama spent the first few years of his CHILDHOOD as a Muslim instills so many Americans with a sense of fear and distrust? Why is it that the right-wing smear machine can't get enough of that false rumor? How is it that America accepted the massive sweeps that resulted in the detentions of thousands of American Muslims -- on NO GROUNDS -- after September 11, 2001? Why was there no outrage when it turned out that NONE of the detained belonged to any organization hostile to America, let alone were members of terrorist cells? Why are so many Muslim organizations in America, including charities unconnected to terrorism, shut down for NO REASON? And why are virtually ALL Muslim Americans considered suspect, these days? Why is Dr. Sami Al-Arian STILL behind bars, despite the fact that he was tried and ACQUITTED, found by a jury of his peers to have NO connection to terrorism of any kind? Do not mistake the challenge America faces at this time; OUR NATION IS AT THE CROSSROADS... We must ask ourselves: Do we continue our casual drift toward fascism, state torture, indefinite detentions sans charges/attorneys/courts/HABEAS CORPUS... or do we self correct and recover the Founders' vision and the future of the United States of America?)
(We should recall the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin who warned that those who would trade Liberty for Security get NEITHER... That's yet another false choice this “liberal” media has been offering Americans since 9/11: Civil Liberties or Security? What incredibly dangerous nonsense that is! Without the former the latter is both unlikely and worthless.)
Let's review: The corporate media has spent the past several months using the politics of personal destruction to rip into the Obamas (ever since Senator Obama won far more states and delegates than Senator Clinton on “Super Tuesday,” way back in February -- this was something which the “Pro-Obama” media refused to acknowledge, calling “Super Tuesday” a “wash” or a “tie,” rather than what it was: a STUNNING UPSET by any measure).
Imagine if Senator Clinton had won several more states and delegates than Obama on February 5th and proceeded to blow away Obama on fundraising while dominating contest after contest over the next month (all of which Obama did). Had the situation been reversed, the pressure for Obama to quit would have been enormous, even insurmountable. I have no doubt whatsoever that he would have been forced to quit the race by party leaders, by public pressure, and especially by exhortations and searing criticism from the MSM... had the situation been reversed.
Not so with Senator Clinton.
Not so with the right wing and its media cheering on Senator Clinton as April wound into May, as she managed to barely keep her head above water, loaning her campaign MILLIONS of dollars to barely keep pace, LOSING the Texas battle for delegates, not that the media covered that little fact. (No, according to the “Obama loving” media, the Clinton camp “won” Texas... even though they hadn't! It was a repeat of the media's performance in the January contest in Nevada where Obama WON... except the media reported that Senator Clinton “won” -- even though she had won fewer delegates... and therefore LOST).
To this very day, the “pro-Obama” (Reverend Wright-looping, “madrassah” repeating) media refuses to acknowledge that Senator Obama got more votes than any other candidate in American history during the recent nominating season -- because, like the Clinton camp and the right-wing interests that they serve -- they're willing to write off every single American who voted in the nation's caucus states, from Iowa to Nevada to Wyoming to Idaho to Texas... because that serves their bogus narrative: “Obama can't win; he really isn't popular” (especially if you ignore the voters who gave him the nomination and the crowds of people that show up to see him speak); he just got lucky, that slick “Rock Star!”
Am I the only one who remembers that, previous to the “Rock Star/no substance” critique of Obama, the criticism was the exact opposite: Obama's “too wonky” (too focused on the details of his policies) and “too cerebral” -- Of course, that was back when the media had pronounced that Establishment-favorite Hillary was the “inevitable” nominee...
Haven't we seen this all before? Am I the only one who feels like he's experiencing a recurring nightmare?
Here's how it plays out: The right and the media relentlessly clobber the candidate slightly-to-the-left-of-the-far-right, the “Democrat,” who then experiences a slow motion meltdown while caving ever rightward, until he all but implodes in a paroxysm of morally, intellectually, and ideologically exhausted incoherence. Meanwhile, no one in the electorate is informed about anything (and all of the issues that I care about get neglected), and the enormous leadership vacuum in our country grows. The far right (radical, fiscally reckless, corporate -- NOT at all conservative) agenda wins, and America continues to resemble less and less the country I grew up in, with no respect for the Constitution, few civil liberties, shrinking sovereignty, deteriorating wealth, compassion, decency, values, education, infrastructure...
And I have to say that right now, especially after Day One of the DNC, it seems that I'm watching the same scenario play out yet again: Obama's already begun flip-flopping on key issues: FISA, Iraq, off-shore drilling... next thing we know, he'll be opening the door to privatizing Social Security.
Already he's begun to opt for cheap, meaningless demonstrations of “patriotism” -- the kind of “patriotism” that stops at ones lapel and dooms America to one foreign policy catastrophe after another (we might as well call it “Pravda Patriotism,” and we can see plenty of it on the 24-7 cable news programs).
On the plus side, Obama is smarter and seems to have more spirit and toughness than candidates Gore or Kerry... but it's been a bad few months, and I'm getting this profound and troubling sense of DEJA VU.
In a country that's more center-left than it has been in decades, our candidates keep on tacking right... right off the cliff, that is.
Wake up, Barack! You're losin' it!
Conversely: Come back to the center, Mac! You weren't always John Insane! (But if you pick that dipshMitt Romney for a running mate, you really have lost it, buddy...)
And you folks in the MSM? Gosh, how do I make my feelings clear?
You SUCK smelly old gym socks (I'm being polite), and you are absolutely, positively killing my country -- even with your phony little lapel pins on -- they just look like swastikas to me... because that's what you're reducing them to.
Please stop doing what you're doing (propaganda), and consider a career in JOURNALISM.