Watching the miserable, disgusting, and shameless efforts of John McCain and Sarah Palin to win or steal the election, it’s really quite hard to imagine that the Republican Party was born of the Free Soil movement before the Civil War. That’s where the oft-repeated “Party of Lincoln” line comes from, but, this February being ol’ Abe’s bicentennial birthday, it’s pretty damn clear they’ve gone a long, long way from there, baby! Sure, in their otherwise lily-white conventions and neo-know-nothing nativist rallies, you’ll find a handful of African Americans who remain loyal to a great tradition, as if the GOP never morphed into the Southern Democrats in the toxic days of Dick Nixon, but they’re fantasists.
You’ll remember that the old Democrats were anchored by the “Solid South,” a place where the Party of Lincoln couldn’t get one of its own elected to dog-catcher during the century of American apartheid. The Southern Bourbons, as the rentier and industrialist elites were called, were represented in the Congress by Old Bulls like Stennis, Bilbo, & Russell, and were a permanent drag on the advance of liberalism and progress, a poisonous wrench in the New Deal (making sure southern blacks were kept out of safety net programs, for instance), and a dead head in the Senate until that slippery fox LBJ shafted them, bless his West Texas hill country heart.
But frankly, casting off these gargoyles also took the guts out of the Democrats. I’ve been voting for President since 1984, so I remember how Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, & Kerry all ran from liberalism, how they were all so mealy-mouthed and gutless (barring the horndog Clinton, who thought the way to win was to become a softer Republican, but even that wouldn’t have worked if Ross Perot hadn’t siphoned off enough of the reactionary white populists from Poppy Bush), hapless under the brutal sandbagging of the GOP thugs, fratboy brownshirts, & rat-fuckers. They’d forgotten what LBJ, JFK and FDR all knew: politics is a nasty struggle for very real goals. The massive transfer of wealth to a tiny elite, as anti-democratic as you can get, was one of those goals the winners ran with. Most of us can see the results of that corruption and looting now, although ideology still blinds millions of fools and tools to their masters. The assault on the Constitution that begun under Nixon blossomed a generation later as Cheney (who sharpened his baby-teeth under Nixon) ran his own secretive co-presidency. It’s nearly unending, the disasters of the Republicans have wrought.
Now, I’m no partisan for the Democrats, who have aided and abetted and enabled, serving as they do the same corporate masters. But the Republicans have debased the nation, called upon its worst impulses, betrayed its promises, and been such colossal hypocrites they must be smashed this November. Hose out the shit and slime from the Augean stables, even the so-called moderates. Hurl them from Congress, the statehouses, and the White House. Many deserve incarceration. Their leaders, and their lawyers, deserve international war crimes trials. I know that won’t happen, but at the least we must sweep them from power in an enormous mandate.
I believe that the election’s going to very close, even though more and more people are simply appalled by the ghastliness of the McPalin, and that under-30s, Hispanics, and African Americans are going to vote in record numbers, and a majority of them are voting Obama. But these votes must surpass the GOP’s tens of millions of white zombies, and their party’s desperate effort to steal the election any way they can, as they did in 2000, when the Democrats, winners of the popular vote, surrendered (and then blamed Ralph Nader!). I hope that the psychos and nutcases screaming “kill him” and “off with his head” and “terrorist,” that engage in the most disgusting racist acts, that claim we’re un-American (Jon Stewart nicely riposted Palin on this when he said, “fuck you”), finally, finally, finally show America that a hateful, lunatic fringe lurks in the GOP’s malignant heart. We’ve got to put a stake through it once and for all.