it’s a desert because
because it’s a desert
—Rickie Lee Jones
In her $120-million campaign to not become governor of California, Meg Whitman continues to dine on her feet.
Last Tuesday Whitman told the editorial board of the San Jose Mercury News that the California city of Fresno “looks like Detroit—it’s awful.”
Two days later Whitman was flapping into Fresno itself, assuring everyone there, via Fresno’s hate-radio outlet KMJ, that “Fresno is a great town,” and that her previous assessment, which she admitted “didn’t go over well,” was meant to refer to the city’s unemployment rate, which she deemed “unacceptable.” She did not, she stressed, intend to condemn the city itself.
Whitman was born on Long Island, and attended Princeton and Harvard, preparing for life as a pencil-pusher. She first moved her graphite through Proctor & Gamble and Disney, then scribbled over to Hasbro, where she oversaw Mr. Potato Head, and was responsible for inflicting the Teletubbies on America. Finally she pushed her pencil to eBay, where she assaulted a coworker, and, after paying her off, decided she would like to buy the governor’s office. Whitman lives in Atherton, one of the most exclusive enclaves in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before she set out to purchase the governorship, Whitman had probably never been to the Central Valley in her life.
In comparing Fresno to Detroit, maybe Whitman meant there are too many people there with melanin. Detroit is 85% black, and Fresno is getting there—officially 50% black or brown, but in reality more than that, as people with melanin are notoriously undercounted in official surveys. The white people who founded and for decades ran the town are Scared: they know the Valley was once Mexican, and fear it will be again. Which it will. No doubt about it. It would make sense for Whitman to play to these fears, because the elections of 2010 are, at root, and throughout the country, all about fear of a black planet.
I regularly listen to Sean Klannity’s radio program, not because I am a winger, or a masochist, but because it is useful to monitor the enemy, and because Klannity is such a profoundly ignorant man that he does not always notice when truth pokes its fearsome little head above the otherwise ceaseless stream of his truthless propaganda.
Such a moment occurred several weeks ago, when Klannity was yammering with kept-pollsters John Zogby and Scott Rasmussen, and winger pundit Michael Barone.
The usual winger line is that the elections of 2010 are all about Normal Americans stampeding to the polls to “take their country back” from crytpo-socialist Democrats who are spending the nation into the poorhouse in order to burden us with such Outrages as health care. These same Democrats meanwhile appoint to the federal bench judges who use the Constitution as toilet paper, and blithely wave through customs terrorists bristling with bombs, and immigrant women swollen with children, vermin, and communicable diseases. All Of America, we are assured, is united against these horrors, and will speak as one in driving from office substantial numbers of these Democrats come November.
Klannity, Zogby, and Rasmussen were all dutifully reciting this line, when Barone sud-denly noted that in 2010 the majority of those going to the polls will be people who voted for John McCain in 2008, and who will be using the election as a second opportunity to vote against Barack Obama. The Three Stooges immediately overrode him, to repeat that all Americans oppose the Democrats, and that these Democrats who all the American people oppose are hardly cabined to Obama.
Too late. The truth was out. McCain voters are white people. And if it had been up to white people, John McCain would today be president—90% of the people who voted for McCain were white, 55% of all white voters cast ballots for McCain, with only 43% voting for Obama. With the out racism evident at McCain/Palin rallies, and with the racist filth that regularly dripped from the lips of Palin and phalanxes of Republican-campaign surrogates, it was not possible to cast a vote for the McCain/Palin ticket in 2008 without being either racist, or ignorant. The majority of those voting in 2010 then, per Barone, will be racists.
To remind us of the reality of that racist 2008 campaign, let us take a look back at what Colin Powell said, when that prominent Republican decided to both endorse Obama, and denounce his own party:
I’m also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, “Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.” Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian.
But the really right answer is: what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?
Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, “He’s a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists.” This is not the way we should be doing it in America.
I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son’s grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards—Purple Heart, Bronze Star—showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn’t have a Christian cross, it didn’t have the Star of David, it had a crescent and a star of the Islamic faith.
And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life.
Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourselves in this way.
We have two wars. We have economic problems. We have health problems. We have education problems. We have infrastructure problems. We have problems around the world with our allies. So those are the problems the American people wanted to hear about, not about Mr. Ayers, not about who’s a Muslim or who’s not a Muslim.
Those kinds of images going out on Al-Jazeera are killing us around the world. And we have got to say to the world, it doesn’t make any difference who you are or what you are, if you’re an Ameri-can, you’re an Amer-ican.
And this business, for example, of the con-gressman from Min-nesota who’s going around saying, “Let’s examine all congressmen to see who is pro-America or not pro-America”—we have got to stop this kind of nonsense, pull ourselves together and remember that our great strength is in our unity and in our diversity. And so, that really was driving me.
And to focus on people like Mr. Ayers and these trivial issues, for the purpose of suggesting that somehow Mr. Obama would have some kind of terrorist inclinations, I thought that was over the top. It was beyond just good political fighting back and forth. I think it went beyond.
And to sort of throw in this little Muslim connection, you know, “He’s a Muslim and, my goodness, he’s a terrorist”—it was taking root. And we can’t judge our people and we can’t hold our elections on that kind of basis.
Yet that is the kind of basis, as Barone indicated on the Klannity program, upon which we will be holding the 2010 elections. The majority of the voters going to the polls will be those very same voters who bought into the racist divisiveness and smears of the Republican 2008 campaign—and all the racist divisiveness and smears that have come after—and who are determined to cast ballots indicative of their bone-deep desire that the black man get the hell out of their White House.
I ran this notion by the folks at Daily Racist, and of course they would have none of it.
“Precisely the problem” is what was identified by winger analyst Michael Barone on Sean Klannity’s radio show the other day, before Klannity and Rasmussen and Zogby overrode him, because he was unwisely speaking the truth. And that is that the majority of the voters in 2010 will be McCain voters: that is, ignorant white racists motivated to go to the polls to vote against the black man, even though he is not on the ballot. Conversely, the people who propelled Obama and the Dems into office in 2008—the people whom Obama himself correctly identified, early in the 2010 cycle, as the people Dems needed to get to the polls: women, the poor, Latinos, etc.—are less motivated, because Obama is not on the ballot, but rather just the usual bunch of white folks.
To which was replied:
I’m sure this will come as a shock to you, but I disagree with you completely.
Of course. Such people are currently under the influence of something like The Third Great Narcissistic Awakening, in which they are completely convinced that the issues that happen to exercise them will be determinative in the 2010 elections. Since this sea-of-white pool of white-privileged dilettantes is no more reflective of the whole of America than is Sean Klannity, they are fooling themselves. Just because something causes them to set their hair on fire and ululate unto the dawn does not mean it ignites the rest of the nation.
But, as I said, they’re white-privileged dilettantes. And such people have historically believed that as they go, so goes the nation—nay, even the world. That may even have been true once, through force of capital and arms. But not anymore.
Still, old habits die hard. And thus some among them seem to be salivating for Democratic losses in November, almost as much as are the Klannitys. For, as I observed in early July, they already have their “fall lineup” all prepared:
I’ve seen the “fall line-up.” It’s ugly and stupid and supremely narcissistic.
It goes like this:
“The Democrats lost ____ seats! It’s because they didn’t do what I told them to!”
And it goes on day after day after day after day.
My sense is that both the Klannitys and the dilettantes will be disappointed: Democratic losses in 2010 will not match the apocalyptic forecasts so favored earlier this summer.
There will surely be some losses—historically, the governing party loses congressional seats in off-year elections. George II was the most recent potentate to overcome this history, and he required two new wars abroad and a populace paralyzed by fear at home to accomplish it.
Too, too many of the voters energized in 2008 by the promise of Barack Obama will not go to the polls. Obama will not be on the ballot; these voters will stay home.
We already saw this, early in the Obama presidency, when special elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, all states carried by Obama, resulted in Republican victories. The Democratic candidates were not Obama; they were the usual run of uninspired white people, and Democratic turnout was considerably lower than what it had been even but a few months before.
Rightly or wrongly, many people perceived Obama as a special, transformative figure, and they exercised the effort to go vote for him. They are not going to do the same in an off-year election offering the usual sea-of-white, blow-dried, air-brushed, and/or seamy, same-ol’ same-ol’.
The wave for Obama crested so high that it washed blue even the states of Virginia, Indiana, and North Carolina—and I know few political wizards, other than Alexa, who say that one coming. That wave has receded. Red is again red.
While the racist McCain voters of 2008 per-ceive the 2010 election as a referendum on Obama, and thus will stream to the polls to vote against the black man, the mass of Obama voters do not see it that way. There is simply not the same sense of urgency among Democrats as there is among the racists and retroverts of the Republican Party.
Also, voting is not easy. People consumed by the political process too easily forget this. In so many ways the process is deliberately made to be a pain, so as to discourage people from involving themselves in it. Though this is the country that advertises itself as the beacon of democracy, voting in this country is more of an obstacle course than in virtually any other nation purporting to be democratic.
In August we learned that, after years of deliberate neglect under the George II administration, the Obama Justice Department is now moving to enforce the nation’s voting laws, including those mandating that states offer voter-registration services at welfare and food-stamp offices.
GOoPers do not want such people to vote. They never have. They would prefer that voting be limited solely to those who were franchised at the nation’s founding: white, property-owning males. Sometimes they will even say that, or at least some variation of it: hate-radio hosts Bill Cunningham and Michael Savage have both mourned the fact that non-property owners are permitted to cast ballots, and Ann Coulter incessantly opines that it was a mistake to allow women to vote. Savage, who has the fourth highest-rated hate-talk show in the country, regularly demands that those receiving welfare benefits and food stamps be stripped of the right to vote. During the George II administration, federal laws designed to help bring such people to the polling places were ignored and even flouted, while the Justice Department meanwhile “devoted its attention to seeking out tiny examples of voter fraud and purging people from the rolls in swing states.”
Once election day actually arrives, too many people in this country will need to ask themselves, from experience, whether they are willing to leave off work and their families in order to stand in line for two to nine hours . . . this time to cast a vote for some well-off cookie-cutter white man so he can go sit in Congress. And a lot of them are going to say no.
Which is too bad.
Back in April, Obama himself noted that 15 million people went to the polls for the first time in 2008, and told DNC campaign workers, “[i]t will be up to each of you to make sure that the young people, African-Americans, Latinos and women, who powered our victory in 2008, stand together once again.”
Last night Obama was out there again, speaking to these first-time voters, urging them not to despair, to abandon the political process; this morning NBC polling reflected increasing interest among Democratic black and Latino voters, though young people are still unenthusiastically dragging their feet.
The prospect of such people continuing to cast ballots so infuriates the racists and retroverts of the Republican Party that their premier spokesman, Rush Limbaugh, was moved to thunder: “This is the regime at its racist best . . . He is asking young people, African-Americans, Latinos and women to reconnect, to fight who? Who is this fight against?”
Well, against you, Rush. You and every last damn “dittohead” in the country. And especially those who pull your strings.
Markos Moulitsas is no electoral dumbkopf, but earlier in the campaign season he was not quite seeing the picture.
Based on Gallup generic-ballot polling, he entered a little hair-on-fire period, burning there on the front-page with apocalyptic visions of “The Impending November Of Doom” for Democrats: “the Dems are headed toward crushing defeats this November”; “[i]t’s a slow motion car wreck in the works, and the best the White House and its allies can do is complain that we didn’t clap loudly enough.” Etc.
Then he seemed to be brought up short, by a September 2 piece in Polising, wherein it was noted “the media hyperventilates over any Gallup polling that finds the Democrats in despair. But when Gallup finds Barack Obama’s approval rating jumping a net 12 percentage points in two and a half weeks, with more approving than disapproving for two straight days—the first time that has been the case since mid-July—all we hear is . . . crickets. Interesting.”
To which kos added:
Well, Obama isn’t on the ballot in November, most of Congress is.
This was followed, ten days later, by a lucid piece from Chris Bowers, examining the “Ubiquitous Political Junkie Fallacy,” in which people who subsume themselves in political minutiae (meaning me and everyone else present on political blogs) presume that everyone else drowns in the stuff, too. And make their political prognostications and judgements accordingly. Which, consequently, are wildly inaccurate.
Such people ignore John Mellencamp’s First Law Of American Politics:
People are really involved, and rightfully so, in their own lives. You can’t say anything negative about people not being informed, because they don’t have time to be informed. It’s a hard world to get a break in.
(The fault, then, lies more with those who would inform . . . but I already recently gassed on about that at some length, so—here—no more.)
Or, as John Kerry correctly noted last Friday:
“I think a lot of the anger today—while it’s appropriate because Washington is broken—is not directed at the right people.”
“We have an electorate that doesn’t always pay that much attention to what’s going on, so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what’s happening,”
By September 21, Markos had returned to the “reality-based community,” proposing that “perhaps Dems aren’t so doomed in 2010.”
This came courtesy a conglomeration of polling data showing that the overall approval rating for GOoPers ranks below that of Congressional Democrats—much less that of the president—and that the “enthusiasm gap” has narrowed, meaning Democrats are becoming as “enthused” about voting for their people as have been the Republicans. This last is common in off-year elections, where voters inclined towards the governing party don’t move off the couch till closer to election day, when it appears that they might be imperiled, whereas those opposed have been raging up and down the avenues for months. Dems know how that is—not so long ago, that was them.
The Democratic legislative losses in 2010, then, will not be apocalyptic. They will not be terminal. The Republicans will not take the Senate, and it is doubtful that they will take the House. Democratic losses, in the end, may even be modest.
Still. Just as the Klannitys will spin whatever Democratic losses do occur as an overwhelming national mandate to return to that Golden Age when Knee-Grows rarely even voted, much less occupied the White House, so too will the navel-gazing narcissists interpret those losses as Clear Proof that, in order to save the Democratic Party, Obama’s presidency, and, yea, even the nation and the world, Barack Obama must forthwith and henceforth derive all national and international policy from the fever dreams that they post to a blog.
The most recent polling data out of California shows Senator Barbara Boxer giving the back of her hand to challenger Carly Fiorina. Which says to me that she will cruise comfortably to victory.
I have been amused for months, listening to the Klannitys excitedly ejaculate that Boxer is “in danger.” This has been said about her every time she runs for re-election. And always she pulls through. She’s just pulling through earlier this time, that’s all.
The people of California are not going to replace Boxer with Fiorina, just as they are not going to eschew Jerry Brown for Meg Whitman in the race of governor.
Because Arnold Schwarzenegger screwed the chances of both these women, real good.
Schwarzenegger sold himself as a “California Republican.” That is, as a fiscally conservative sort, who, socially, would indulgently allow Californians to follow their natural instincts to run wild in the streets. And he’s been a disaster. An embarrassment. Most people in this state try to forget that he’s even the governor, he’s so disappointed them. They want to disremember that they ever even put him into office. Fiorina and Whitman come across as Just Like Him—political noobs, who on the issues track Schwarzenegger, because they have to, because we won’t go anymore for out-wingers out here. And so, with Ah-nuld searingly in mind, the state’s voters are going to flush Fiorina and Whitman right down the dumper. The “I’m from business” gambit might work with naifs in places like New York City, but not here, not this year. Schwarzenegger “meant business,” too.
A very astute political cartoon was printed the morning after Ah-nuld was first elected governor. It depicted a woozy, nightgown-clad woman, holding her head, sitting on the side of her rumpled bed, the floor strewn with discarded clothing and empty booze bottles, an inert lump buried under the blankets behind her. In caption, she is saying, “I hope I didn’t do something last night that I’ll regret.”
Well, honey, you did just that. Twice. California has an em-barrassing penchant for elevating to political office entertainers without the sense that God gave a doorknob. George Murphy. Sonny Bono. Ronald Reagan. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fiorina and Whitman are not entertainers, but in other respects they’re too much like Him, too soon after Californians have remembered, and regretted, that they twice invited that goof into their bed.
Ironically, Meg Whitman is right—Fresno is “awful.” It’s an artificial city, built on transitory phenomena that will not survive, in anywhere near their current forms, the 21st Century: the automobile and huge thieving industrial water projects.
As a “city” Fresno is sprawl—mile after mile of the plastic and the seedy, navigated solely by the automobile. Fresno survives, as it always has, on water brought in from elsewhere. Back in 1871, before the town was even named, Anthony Easterby was digging canals to what is today downtown Fresno, because there wasn’t water enough there to grow wheat.
The whole of California’s Great Central Valley, of which Fresno is a part, offers some of the best land for agriculture in the world, because for millennia the rivers flowing through it each winter flooded their banks, depositing rich topsoil. When John Muir first crested the Sierra and gazed down upon the valley, it was a mass of spring wildflowers, 80 miles wide, 400 miles long.
But those rivers are dammed now, and the flooding occurs no more. The soil is being depleted by relentless overuse and rivers of toxic pesticides. Today millions of people insist on living year-round in an area that is just not habitable: the average July temperature is 95 degrees, and, because it doesn’t rain for something like six straight months, unless water is imported from elsewhere, there is simply not enough present to sustain human life. As I noted here, before white people arrived, the Sane People—that is, Indians and animals—moved from the valley into the foothills each year to wait out the Hell.
Meg Whitman is not going to address any of this. She won’t be given a chance to. Thank God. In her luckless campaign for governor, it seems that the more money Whitman spends, the more people don’t like her. And since she has an unlimited amount of money to spend, it is possible that she could shower so much moolah upon the voters that when election day at last arrives, she will have succeeded in driving down her vote total to 0.
Jerry Brown will address some of it. He always has. Although I imagine in a more masked fashion that when he first entered the Governor’s office, to announce we had reached “an era of limits.” We still have, but too many people don’t want to hear about it. Goaded by the GOoPers, they are in “the last throes” of American exceptionalism—all will always be ponies and rainbows, because that is what we have been promised, and so forever shall it be. They’ll continue to make deserts, eyes wide shut, and call them Paradise.
Such people could open a history book, and learn that, say, India was once heavily forested, and gifted with rich farmland, but the people there, and millennia ago, cut down all the trees, and exhausted the soil. But they won’t. Because history is for sissy Muslim Marxist elites, like Barack Obama, Americans ain’t no dern Indians, and anyway American Idol is coming on. And Apple is releasing a new toy.