God Bless The Poor Man Institute

Brian Cook

For preachin' it like they feelin' it: My first reaction [to McCain's latest vile smear against Obama] was to shake my fist and demand that the media not let McCain get away with this filth. Call him out on this shit, and tie it into a broader narrative of a man so panting, so sweaty, so desperate to win the White House that he will switch any position, kiss any ring, fluff any nutter, say, literally, anything about his opponent. A man without a shred of integrity. But then I remembered that Bush and Rove have been getting away with this same routine for decades. Why would the media get a clue now? “Because,” you might respond, “the very infrastructure of our nation is falling apart, the middle class is shrinking, Americans are suffering without health insurance while their homes are being foreclosed, our standing in the world is diminishing daily, global warming is raging out of control threatening the longevity of the human race, income disparity is approaching Gilded Age levels, etc. The media surely recognize the stakes are too high this time to get caught up in the frivolous bullshit and tip-toe around lies for fear of angering some faction or other.” You are so naive. That shit doesn’t matter. What matters is that Sarah Palin is sassy. She wears glasses and has a funny hairdo. She’s just like you and me - not too smart, not too competent, not too nice - just right! It sells as well as bad TV: She shoots guns! He doesn’t play by the rules! Think Hart to Hart, but instead of two rich bon vivants solving crimes, the codger and the mean girl start pointless wars, transfer massive amounts of wealth from working Americans to the Paris Hilton set and continue to run government into the ground by appointing lobbyists and cronies to the most important offices. Read the whole thing.

Brian Cook was an editor at In These Times from 2003 to 2009. He now works on the editorial staff of Playboy magazine.
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