by Emmett R Smith
As Andrew Sinclair demonstrates in The Available Man, his 1965 account of the W G Harding presidency, what goes around in American politics comes around.
In 1920, the senior Republican Senator from Ohio was put over on Americans as the protagonist of a “return to normalcy.”
Greatly to his advantage, of course, was the fact that Gazette Editor Warren G Harding of Marion, Ohio, believed sincerely in his own slush. The dark horse Harding was nominated to break the deadlock between General L Wood and F M Lowden, and Harding manager Harry Daugherty’s phrase about “…a deal made in a smoke-filled room” entered Americans’ political vocabulary.
The upshot was that President Harding was elected to office in a middling landslide, and in the first American election in a century in which less than fifty percent of eligible voters cast their ballot; among newly enfranchised American women in 1920 only a third voted.
Still, W G Harding polled 16,143,407 of the popular vote, to Democrat J M Cox’s 9,130,328. The issues were different of course, eighty-eight years ago, and arguably Americans after the bloodbath of World War One followed a basically healthy instinct, in not rushing to embrace the unknown potential of the then-new League of Nations. There were, and today there remain, important constitutional issues of national sovereignty vis a vis international law and governance.
In that context, the main objection one has is that in our contemporary NeoCon swindle a certain objective isolationism (this was the essence once of a particular kind of constitutional American conservatism, seemingly now as dead as Lindbergh) has wickedly been transmogrified into “unilateralist” thudding and banging around in the world — again to the detriment of our own American liberty.
The floundering everywhere abroad that has ensued from NeoCon “thought” most certainly is not conservative in any meaningful sense, and the Republican Senator from Arizona equally certainly does not show any evidence of having taken much thought at all of his own about any of this, except that he is necessarily romantic about Israel.
Instead, in an intuitive and jumpy, “maverick,” throw of the dice, Mr Arizona Republican Senator J McCain has had named for him by GOP managers (but, with his all-important approving grin as seen on Tee Vee!) for his VP candidate, Mrs Alaska Republican Governoress Todd Palin.
Now of course GOP party managers no more than other Republicans, or Democrats generally, may be reproved for an excess of constitutional knowledge. However, Republican political instincts remain altogether just as sure as Ohio Senator Harding’s, eighty-eight years ago:
Through their Scotch Irish catspaw McCain — who quite evidently believes every bit as much as did President Harding, in his stuff today — the Republicans are showing themselves yet again masterful hands at deceitful identification, with the interests and passions of ordinary Americanos. In their political skills therefore the students of K Rove far exceed the Democrat Party leadership. Democrat managers, credentialed professionalists all, still contend that Americans merely want the efforts of the nonproductive class redirected “on their behalf” away from foreign social engineering experiments, and back home into such eleemosynary cheery conundra as universal healthcare.
On the other hand, the retired Naval Aviator McCain is a bon fide war hero, something every ordinary American man imagines he, himself, could become also if he would just give up oogling YouPorn in his computer for five minutes or so. El McCain is the American white male’s image of the ideally normal man needed in these abnormal times, if one may paraphrase Mr Sinclair.
And now the scabby, leering old icon from under his southwestern musky rock in the gila monstrous desert has named Mrs Todd Palin Of The North as his “wife,” a delightful move subliminal with the adulterous fantasy of many, if not most, postsexual Americans of the promiscuous, or 1946-64, or pre-nursinghome, generation….
This is (im!)pure normalcy for a fact, whether or not Mr McCain may have read the dirtier bits of Updike while in the Navy forty years ago, and as Mr Sinclair points out in his book it is as well “…primitive Democratic doctrine, based on the thinking of William Jennings Bryan and the South, that anybody could govern, that leadership was dangerous, and that excellence was somehow un-American.” Thus, once again, the GOP although mooing around in its drought-shattered stockyards for great leaders has chosen as nominee another “mere regent” from the Senate. And, that Senator has in time honored fashion turned around and made off with a neighbor man’s spouse!
This is the “glory of the normal” with a vengeance.
Against all of this utter ordinariness, against the sheer numbers of baked flat reptiles all pressed dead into the tarry roadway to retirement, and the gaunt horned American baby boom bull market cattle all dying upright now, hard pushed and parched in wads against barbwire fences, against all of that undiluted and unretiring, waterless, Americanism, none of the sagging lawyerly credentials in the world of not-so-old Democrat ingenue and Harvard graduate B H Obama stand today even the chance of a crow in Hell. Not even his brave lifelong striving thirsty for success with an inferiority complex with the best will in the world is any longer any good. Not with the vinegary Mrs Todd Palin on her snowmobile now in the unspeakable fight and flailing away with Jesus on His cross, like a battleaxe.
Christ crucified now for once and for all, forever and ever even the bootleg Chicago Democrat party machine daily will be hard put henceforward, to avail the choking doomed Candidate Obama so much as a sheer drip of refreshment any more. This is good prohibitive news too, in some quarters deeper into our moral desert anyway. At least it is so for the dry taciturn GOP managers of the Rove-Wyoming Screw Fly School, that wholly not-christian occult academy today up to no good, not for any American man or woman or little child.
[Emmett R Smith all rights reserved 30 September 2008]