It’s not like I don’t understand the appeal of the Republican party, at least in terms of “smaller government.” More freedom, lower taxes, the myth of “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” all sounds really great. BUT.

Why is it that Republicans aspiring to the presidency are so goddamn sleazy? I wasn’t likely to agree with any of McCain’s political positions anyway, because I like the benefits (like roads, libraries, museums, public works in general) higher taxes give us, and also because “smaller government” is so constantly paired with “socially conservative” and “crazily religious.” BUT BUT BUT. That didn’t mean McCain was a candidate I had to loath.

But then all this hideous stuff comes about about his condoning and perpetuating the lie that all the POWs came back from Vietnam, and he picks Palin as his running mate – which sanctions of all her appalling political stances even when they are not professed as his, he bases his campaigns on barefaced lies, and he hires people who are corrupt.

I guess it would be one thing if he didn’t know they were corrupt. But he does have a duty to vet the people he hires, and he has a duty to be honest about their corruption rather than sweeping it under a rug, and GODDAMN IT why can’t Obama just be in office already?

Edited to Add: There are two articles I’m fond of right now. Sorkin’s imaginary conversation between Obama and Bartlett, and Newsweek’s indictment of Sarah Palin’s general ignorance and religious fervor. The bit that stuck with me most was that both articles assert a need to reclaim the word “elite” from ignominy. Sorkin says it more punchily, as he usually does, but Sam Harris of Newsweek is a little more sweeping:

Ask yourself: how has “elitism” become a bad word in American politics? There is simply no other walk of life in which extraordinary talent and rigorous training are denigrated. We want elite pilots to fly our planes, elite troops to undertake our most critical missions, elite athletes to represent us in competition and elite scientists to devote the most productive years of their lives to curing our diseases. And yet, when it comes time to vest people with even greater responsibilities, we consider it a virtue to shun any and all standards of excellence. When it comes to choosing the people whose thoughts and actions will decide the fates of millions, then we suddenly want someone just like us, someone fit to have a beer with, someone down-to-earth-in fact, almost anyone, provided that he or she doesn’t seem too intelligent or well educated.

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