As we enter the last two full weeks of campaigning, one thing has become clear: the Republicans are scraping the barrel so hard, they’ve actually managed to dig right through space/time, and tunnel back to the distant past.
Yes, though Sarah Palin doesn’t believe in Darwinism, her base is providing a unique example of evolution in reverse.
As Denise Velez points out in a poignant diary here Michelle Bachmann’s references to UnAmerican activities are a throwback to the McCarthyite 50s
Can you dog whistle half a century back?
Well, it seems McCain can do even better than that….
In a radio interview yesterday, McCain calls Obama a ‘socialist’ for wanting to reverse the Bush tax cuts to the hyper rich. Of course, in terms of Government spending, Bush has been a big government spender of more than European proportions. But to McCain, anyone who proposes a return to the Reaganite policies of progressive taxation (i.e. a smaller tax burden on the less well off) is a fellow traveller with our cold war Communist enemies.
I don’t know whether this spurious and ancient mud sticks with anyone but the base, but as Shaun Appleby points out, it means that the Republicans are basically eschewing progressive taxation, something they’ve supported since 1913.
As the republicans accelerate swiftly into the past (I’m half waiting for ‘The British are Coming’ to be the next dog whistle) Obama’s campaign has moved triumphantly into the future, and raised over $150 million in September, most of it in donations under $100.
UPDATE: the wires are crackling with MSNBC sources saying Powell has endorsed Obama after all.
Video link here
It’s a comprehensive and telling endorsement
Powell points out that he’s know McCain for 15 years, and Obama for the last two, and has said that he’s concerned about the move rightwards in the Republican party over the last two years. He says both Obama and McCain have taken a ‘final exam’ during the financial crisis, and he was concerned at McCain’s inconsistency, and the selection of Governor Palin. He doesn’t think she’s read to be the Vice President.
He admired Obama’s steadiness, intellectual curiosity and vigor, and his choice of Veep.
He complements Obama’s inclusiveness compared to McCain’s increasing narrowness in his campaign, especially on distracting issues like Bill Ayers, Robocalls that say Obama is some kind of terrorist.
He says he understands politics, but that McCain has gone too far. He is troubled by the Muslim smears, even though untrue:
“Is there something wrong with being Muslim in America?”
He then goes onto talk about Iraq and a woman mourning her son in Arlington cemetery, whose headstone had an Islamic crescent. A muslim American who gave his life for America.
He ends by saying what American needs – because of his inclusiveness, ‘his style and substance’ – Obama has met the test and is a transformation figure.
Personally, I think this is an eloquent and moving endorsement, and a devastating takedown of the McCain campaign by one of McCain’s friends and a senior Republican, leader of the armed forces, and former Secretary of State