By Ari Rutenberg
McCain is turning into his own caricature. While watching his stump speech today I lost it. It so goddamn desperate and devoid of actual content that I couldn't contain the laughter anymore. Is this a serious campaign? Do they really expect McCain's agressive and deeply unfunny, and untruthful, one-liner stand-up tour to actually turn people on to him? They're not even good at fear-mongering or slandering. Apparently, Rick Davis (McCain's campaign manager) even thought they had a chance in California!? These guys are either blindingly arrogant, appallingly stupid and myopic, or smoking some serious shit. I mean, how paranoid do you have to be to believe we're supposed to be scared that Obama has wanted to "share the wealth for a long time, my friends." In the calculus of "scary shit from the Presidential candidates" I think the bomb Iran song, and calling his wife a "cunt" in public, in front of national press, makes McCain the dick of the campaign. And as for Joe the Plumber...what the fuck does he know about tax policy?
To be honest, its not that I'm elitist, but I wouldn't tell Joe how to install a dishwasher, snake a drain or lay the pipework in a new house because it is his area of expertise. And I would seriously doubt that Joe knows how our national infrastructure is funded, how much it costs to pay the interest on our debt, or the level of income inequality and relative tax burden in America. So why don't Joe, and Senator McCain, just allow people who know what they're talking about to discuss the appropriate marginal tax rates?
And while we're at it, I wish that we could just agree that all professions are worthwhile endeavors. Plumbing is serious graft, important to the functioning of our society, and deserves to be respected. So is social science. Though not always a crystal ball, social scientists, and all sorts of intellectuals, are no less or more deserving of respect that plumbers. But each should be allowed to engage in his profession without being demeaned or impugned. So Joe the Plumber, and John McCain, give people like Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman a little credit and stop all that jibba-jabba about 'socialism.'
And for the millionth time, socialism is when government owns all the buinesses, tells them what and how much to make, and then sets the prices and wages to be paid. Obama wants to raise the top marginal income tax rate from 36% to 39%. Can any rational person actually assert any sort of equivalence between those two things? There are a lot of smart people in the media who are without question aware of this fact, yet they allow the red-baiting to continue unchallenged.