The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Digest for October 14th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for October 14th from 16:04 to 16:32:

  • Truthdig – Reports – America’s Political Cannibalism – It is no longer our economy but our democracy that is in peril. It was the economic meltdown of Yugoslavia that gave us Slobodan Milosevic. It was the collapse of the Weimar Republic that vomited up Adolf Hitler. And it was the breakdown in czarist Russia that opened the door for Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Financial collapses lead to political extremism. The rage bubbling up from our impoverished and disenfranchised working class, glimpsed at John McCain rallies, presages a looming and dangerous right-wing backlash.
  • Truthdig – Reports – McCain’s Mob – Are we witnessing the re-emergence of the far right as a power in American politics? Has John McCain, inadvertently perhaps, become the midwife of a new movement built around fear, xenophobia, racism and anger?
  • Vote Obama. McCain lacks the character and temperament to be president. And Palin is simply a disgrace. – By Christopher Hitchens – Slate Magazine – The most insulting thing that a politician can do is to compel you to ask yourself: "What does he take me for?" Precisely this question is provoked by the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin. I wrote not long ago that it was not right to condescend to her just because of her provincial roots or her piety, let alone her slight flirtatiousness, but really her conduct since then has been a national disgrace. It turns out that none of her early claims to political courage was founded in fact, and it further turns out that some of the untested rumors about her—her vindictiveness in local quarrels, her bizarre religious and political affiliations—were very well-founded, indeed. Moreover, given the nasty and lowly task of stirring up the whack-job fringe of the party's right wing and of recycling patent falsehoods about Obama's position on Afghanistan, she has drawn upon the only talent that she apparently possesses. It therefore seems to me that the Republican Party has invited not just defeat but discredit this year, and that both its nominees for the highest offices in the land should be decisively repudiated, along with any senators, congressmen, and governors who endorse them.
  • Lionel Beehner: Please Stop With The Main Street-Versus-Wall Street Rhetoric – Bail us out. Raise our taxes. Do whatever. But politicians across America please stop casting the debate over this financial mess in such lame yin-and-yang prose. It's not about Main Street versus Wall Street. Get it out of your cliché-loving, lemming-like minds.
  • On Columbus Day, correcting Columbus’ legacy – There was a time in this country once when celebrating the feats of Columbus and his successors was less complicated. Only a generation ago, students did not learn the full extent of Columbus’ impact on the peoples who inhabited this continent. But let’s set the historical record straight.
  • Being an Arab is no slur – In his rebuke to his supporter, McCain counterposed being Arab with being a decent family man. That’s news to me, and to the legions of decent, Arab-American family men out there!
  • Op-Ed Columnist – The Terrorist Barack Hussein Obama – NYTimes.com – At McCain-Palin rallies, the raucous and insistent cries of “Treason!” and “Terrorist!” and “Kill him!” and “Off with his head!” as well as the uninhibited slinging of racial epithets, are actually something new in a campaign that has seen almost every conceivable twist. They are alarms. Doing nothing is not an option.

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