“Where lipstick is concerned, the important thing is not color, but to accept God's final word on where your lips end.”—Jerry SeinfeldOh, the odiferous presidential campaign. Is there anything more in need of a Dr. Scholl's Odor Destroyer than a crotchety, finger-pulling geezer smugly gazing out of a twitching slit of an eye at his new Beauty Queen of Convenience as she gratingly gets all worldly knowing two weeks out of the Alaskan tundra? And by gratingly I mean 40-grit sandpaper, extra coarse, strip-the-paint-off-a-tank, skin-off-the-bone jarring.
Don't get me wrong, ladies. You have a crucial place in my World of Politics, but the entry fee to my globe is some real-world knowledge and experience—you know, a real-world representative for the frickin' mucked-up real-world stage.
Now, I'm no big fan of Deepak Chopra, guru to whomever will buy his overpriced feel-good / get-rich books, but he's hit on something about what Sarah Palin is selling to the American people, and it seems more appropriate for 1808 than 2008. Here's what Chopra wrote recently:
“Look at what she stands for:
Small town values—a nostalgic return to simpler times disguises a denial of America's global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism.
Ignorance of world affairs—a repudiation of the need to repair America's image abroad.
Family values—a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don't need to be heeded.
Rigid stands on guns and abortion—a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree.Patriotism—the usual fallback in a failed war.
‘Reform'—an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn't fit your ideology.”
Yes, Deepak, you may have inspired / consulted on one of the year's worst movies (the short-maligning, orifice-obsessed The Love Guru), but you've wrapped up the Palin Prognosis neatly in disposable, fish-moistened newsprint. Let the small minds of the world protest, but I, for one, think our country—in the deepest financial shithole since the Great Depression—deserves better than moose-stained bromides and smarmy gratings from a self-proclaimed lipstick-spattered pit bull, which is an affront, frankly, to pit bulls.
Belittling community organizers, as Palin did in her snotty VP acceptance speech a day before John McCain, in his speech, urged Americans to “fight for justice and opportunity for all,” only served to muddy the waters of what this country represents.
Not surprisingly, community organizers nationwide were quick to note the irony of such attacks on their work. (YouTube testimonials have sprouted up, noting that Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr. were community organizers and that Pontius Pilate was a governor—priceless!)
John Raskin, founder of Community Organizers of America, set up a website that drew hundreds of comments after Palin's condescending speech. “The last thing we need,” he wrote, “is for Republican officials to mock us on television when we're trying to rebuild the neighborhoods they have destroyed. Maybe if everyone had more houses than they can count, we wouldn't need community organizers.”
Locally, Bishop Roy Dixon of the San Diego Organizing Project noted in a statement: “We see the fruits of community organizing in safer streets, new parks and new affordable housing. It's the spirit of democracy for people to have a say and we need more of it.”
Imagine Jan Goldsmith mocking opponent Mike Aguirre for his past community pro-bono work in representing farm workers, or April Boling shredding Marti Emerald for her past role as a local television consumer advocate.
Sure, the candidates running locally have their differences, but, to their credit, they seem to be sticking to arguing over issues and allegiances, not who can tear down the other in small-minded personal attacks.
And yet, the McCain / Palin juggernaut rolls along, spawned unfortunately by ratings-chasing 24-hour talking heads.
At a candidates forum in Hillcrest last week, attendees applauded politely as District 3 City Council competitors Todd Gloria and Stephen Whitburn staked out their positions and laid out their ideas for bringing San Diego back from the brink of financial collapse. Afterward, Spin Cycle came upon two audience members—one young, one old—standing outside lamenting the lowbrow state of the presidential campaign.
Surprisingly, they both agreed that “the presidential race is over. McCain's going to win.” Spin Cycle asked why the certainty when debates still loom. Even though some 30 years separated them, they both sighed that the McPalin strategy is appealing to the baser instincts in voters—fear of the unknown, fear of the future, fear, fear, fear—while Obama sticks to the assumption that the electorate craves an intelligent discussion of issues critical to restoring this country's integrity and true maverick intuition.
“At least I'll be dead when the walls cave in,” the elderly man said.
You're not serious, Spin Cycle responded.
“Oh, if McCain wins, I'll want to be dead. I don't want to be around for the collapse.”
No, he wasn't joking.
It's interesting to note that Mayor Jerry Sanders was an early supporter of McCain—endorsed him even before McCain officially threw his hat in the ring.
Sanders admits he's a caretaker, not a Great Idea Machine. Too bad for us. While he and the mainstream media seem obsessed with the small-minded, selfish antics at SEDC and having Carolyn Smith's head on a plate, the bigger fish who fell for the Florida Barracuda, Nancy Graham, seem Teflon-coated, oblivious to the potential of widespread poisoning of Downtown redevelopment from her tainted fingerprints. In both cases, it seems our Caretaker was on a coffee break.
This seems far-removed from the 2005 model of Sanders sold to voters. When Sanders announced his decision to run for municipal top dog back then, he barked about our need for “someone who will tell the people the truth, someone who will make tough decisions, someone who is committed to fundamental change and someone who will accept responsibility for the outcome.”
In the coming months, we'll see if Graham's taint is limited to the project at Seventh and Market and how The Caretaker responds to a potentially wider stink of influence. Unfortunately, Sanders only seems interested in slapping lipstick (i.e., a new prez) on the redevelopment pig.
For our sake, let's hope it's not someone with McPalin-esque credentials on economics. Now that's really something to fear.
Got a thought? Slap some lipstick on it and send it to email@example.com.