Senator John McCain of Arizona got more coherent in the wake of a filibuster in which a Republican senator actually stood up on the Senate floor to talk for hours in a protest against the appointment of a Cabinet member. The senator in the spotlight was Rand Paul, who is trying to get attention as best he can in spite of the fact that everything he says is either offensive or crazy.
It was Paul's lying and fear-mongering that seemed to wake up McCain to the possibility that someone was encroaching on his territory, that of getting support with fear and lies. McCain probably remembers how he didn't stand in the way of his former running mate, half-term governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, who quit her job after the election. Palin, whose very first speech at the Republican Convention of 2008 gave every community organizer in the United States a gratuitous slap in the face, was McCain's anchor that he absent-mindedly left in the water when he shoved off for his campaign, and she dragged the team all the way to the casting of votes, when Barack Obama won the election.
Palin dragged McCain down with her continuous references to Obama "pallin' around with terrorists" and her racism, which kept being brought up in the media. The gentleman from Arizona didn't see fit to have anyone talk to her, but he woke up the other day long enough to point out the lies that were being told by Paul on the Senate floor.
One thing that Paul asserted in his earnest way was that "you could someday elect someone who is very evil," a warning that we should all take to heart since enduring the Bush-Cheney Unitary Executive, which was made up of one man who was incompetent and one man who was, in Paul's words, very evil. Paul seemed to miss that "very evil" team that put the United States into two wars on the credit card, for which they are now trying to avoid paying the bill.
Paul seems to be determined to compare America to the Wiemar Republic just before the rise of National Socialism, citing nonexistent social chaos that seems to be irrelevant to the soaring New York Stock Exchange, the shrinking deficit and the economic recovery that is proceeding despite Republican efforts to slow it down.
He also told scary fairy tales about people sitting in coffee shops being killed by weaponized drones in downtown Phoenix, or somewhere, wondering like a little boy if such a thing could happen in America.
This goes along with the chaos events that are described in lurid detail by people like Senator Lindsey Graham, who is convinced that every home in America needs a Bible and an assault rifle. Graham trembles before the threat of wandering gangs that he and his family will have to hold off with firepower, or perhaps he means the government that will be arriving any day now to subject the American people to tyranny. This fear-mongering is a natural outgrowth of the hatred and opportunism that we saw in the McCain-Palin campaign as audience members stood to ask McCain if Obama is "an arab" and McCain was forced to walk back some of the Palin rhetoric.
But just where did this scenario come from? This is "war in your face" and it began, I think, in the Viet Nam era when embedded journalists began to bring photos of the carnage right into our living rooms via our television stations and newspapers (not to mention the unfolding Civil Rights drama in the South). Many Americans my age have vivid memories of the photo of a Vietnamese girl who was running, naked and on fire, from the napalm drops over the village where she lived. We also remember the photo of a Vietnamese officer shooting a prisoner in the head without a qualm.
After the real war came the fake wars, in video games. Now we can give our little tots game equipment and they can entertain themselves for hours at a time pretending to blow people away. They can also program various scenarios of war and chaos, which have now graduated from the screen to the floor of Congress.
It is completely logical to fear the reality of war, but now war is used as an excuse for sedition as we see our politicians claiming that our lawfully-elected President is about to inflict it upon us. This is all sweeping over Americans, depending on which media outlets they choose to watch, and it is as credible as our educations permit us to understand the difference between fact and fantasy.
The Religious Right has long been hurling invective at the President, from trying to call him the Antichrist (and ignoring what it actually says in the Book of Revelation) to claiming that he is a Muslim, despite the fact that he was the only professed evangelical Christian in the recent Presidential election. Evangelicals made an uneasy peace with the Mormon candidate, only to drop it the moment that the election was lost to them.
Now the political machinations of the Right have painted them into a corner with a President that they have demonized to the point where they cannot cede their territory and cooperate with anyone. As the Sequester sets in, a howling has arisen from Phoenix as our Governor, who is the most graceless person to hold the office in America, is now protesting cuts in border security. May I ask what she expected?
Isn't the ultra-conservative nuthouse trying to drown the government in a bathtub? And what, then, do they propose that we do without it? My answer: get out while you can! If you like the idea of a government-free nation, check out Somalia.