And so, it begins.

This blog was basically borne out of both my already powerful political impulses and my desire to contribute them to the blog of a friend. He felt this clashed with his own blog’s overall theme, and encouraged me to create my own. Realizing I had a surfeit of both creative spark (if not fire) and writing skill, I figured what the hell. And thus came Blarg!, stop #39,428,073,983 on the internet’s grand tour of politics. I have no ambitions or illusions about becoming the next HuffPo or Drudge Report, but I now rule this corner of the nets and within it you belong to me.

If it hasn’t already been made abundantly clear, this be blog of politics, as viewed through my own horrifyingly twisted lens. I’ll also throw in personal entries as I see fit. Fear not as I won’t be inflicting any crying-into-your-shoulder tales of drama here. That’s what LJ and Facebook are for. I’ll be prettying this place up soon but for the next few weeks consider the visual-design angle to be a work in progress.

Now, onto the show. I have subtitled this blog Sound + Fury = Politics, and no story illustrates this better than what has transpired on the McCain side of the election over the last 24 hours. Fraught with the same panic that gripped their naturally skittish Democratic counterparts (myself largely included) in the days of Palinmania, the GOP seems to be in the process of trying to come to terms with the increasing possibility of an Obama victory, and they are not taking it well. At least two McCain rallies in the past 24 hours have involved attendees not only openly shouting threats and epithets against the democratic nominee, but shouting down their own candidate’s calls for respect in what can only be described as the dam bursting under a tide of what was already barely contained… contempt, is the best word I can come up with at the moment. GOP voters, never comfortable with McCain to begin with, have begun to openly point fingers and beg for more vitriol to be thrown as Obama continues to rise in the polls and many of the conservative high priests throw their support behind the Democrat. As for why this is occurring with what seems to be such ferocity, there are several key reasons:

The Honeymoon Is Over – Despite a post-convention bounce so powerful it had the democrats undergoing a similar wave of panic, McCain’s poll numbers are now being steamrolled under the advancing behemoth that is the economic crisis, hereafter referred to simply as The Reckoning. The Reckoning has sent voters screaming into the arms of the democrats and now the extent to which GOP voters, never enamored with McCain to begin with, are dissatisfied with their candidate has become fully evident. Even with the addition of the relatively far more conservative Palin, the base she was meant to energize seems to still view their choice as between an extremely liberal democrat and a republican three steps away from being a democrat. This has obviously left them somewhat hot and bothered, and now they’ve simply reached the breaking point.

You Reap What You Sow – Since the early days of the primaries, and especially since super tuesday, the GOP (and some say the Clinton Campaign) and their supporters have been circulating chain emails containing such outrageous claims as “Obama is a Muslim”, “Obama is a Terrorist”, and my personal favorite “Obama and Rev Wright plan to blow up every diner in America.” Whether the McCain campaign itself, the GOP at large, or simply splinter groups within it are primarily responsible can be debated, what is true now is that their efforts are bearing very overripe fruit. What was intended to keep the base energized in the Time Before Palin has done its job all too well, and now has left republicans with the sense that not only is their candidate losing, but losing to a man who is obviously a terrorist. As salt in the wound, the resulting outbursts are accelerating the job of tanking McCain’s poll numbers as moderates and independents decry what has by now crossed over into hate speech and do not wish to associate themselves with it.

Gaze Upon His Works, Ye GOP, and Despair – With only 3 weeks left to go until the day of judgement the electoral map is the stuff of republican nightmares, and it is making them not just scared but frantic. Between the Reckoning and McCain’s at least perceived mishandling thereof he’s now at risk of losing such previous bastions as Virginia, North Carolina, and even West Virginia. With McCain still unable to close the deal, the GOP sees the nuclear option as their only choice: hurl so much mud on Obama so hard and fast the American public won’t be able to help but see him for the terrorist scum he is. However as much as can be said for the allure of negative campaigning, there does come a point at which enough is enough. One needs to look only as far as the gubernatorial campaign of Jerry Kilgore to see that, once he decided it was a good idea to bring the actual, literal Hitler into the mix, the good people of Virginia were left with no choice but to almost literally invoke Godwin’s Law. McCain cannot go negative as such attacks would not be particularly effective in an electorate whose opinions about Obama have already crystallized after seeing the guy on TV for almost a year straight. Specifically, lifting his own ban on pursuing the Rev. Wright line of attack opens him up to counterattacks based on John Hagee, to say nothing of Palin’s own rather nebulous religious beliefs. Finally, even if such a tactic were to work it would almost immediately turn to ashes, as the Democrats are virtually certain to increase their control of the senate to some degree, and such a bitterly partisan victory would then make the task of governing nigh-impossible.

Now, being Liberal myself, all this would ordinarily leave me happily feeding off the IV of schadenfreude that sustained me nigh-continuously from Mid-March to Palinmania, but even I feel sorry for McCain right now. It’s one thing to see him legitimately down in the polls, to see this on top of him having to almost physically battle his own electorate is just sad. The man is already down, kicking is just unnecessary. I’m also worried to the extent that this would lead to increasing partisan embitterment in the event of an Obama victory, something the country desperately does not need and was one of my primary motives for not supporting Clinton in the primaries. The last thing we need now is another 4-8 years of all out culture war, and with his work cut out for him on so many levels as it is the next president does not need the added task of putting out the culture wars.

I think this particular entry has gone on long enough, but feel free to request clarification in the comments. All I ask is that the Golden Rule of the Internets be followed: Don’t Be A Dick.

We’re All In This Together.

For those who enjoy such things, I give you Sauce

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