Thursday, October 9, 2008

Markets Plunge, McCain-Palin Sink Even Lower

The stock market continued its stunning collapse today, with the Dow plummeting more that 678 points to finish the day below 8600. The equity markets have now lost some 38% of their total value in the last twelve months. Millions of individual small investors have seen trillions of dollars in retirement accounts, college funds and nest-egg savings evaporate. Ordinary people are worried and - frankly - very scared by what they are seeing.  Average folks are looking for reassurance and realistic plans from their leaders.  So how are the Presidential candidates reacting to this catastrophe?

Incredibly, as the economy falls apart like a cheap suit, the Republican ticket of McCain-Palin is obsessed with some sixties-era radical named Ayers. They have made the activities of Mr. Ayers forty years ago the new focal point of their increasingly desperate campaign. If it weren't so utterly pathetic - and downright dangerous - it would be laughable. But laughable it's not. They are serious. The Republican Party apparently believes that it can hold on to the White House by attempting to smear Senator Obama with an association that is paper-thin at best. 

And that's not all. The Republican candidates are suggesting - more and more openly - that Obama is somehow unpatriotic and downright un-American. The Republican appeal to racist sentiment is becoming less and less subtle. It's disgusting and very far from the best traditions of their own party. While the US faces its most serious economic crisis in 75 years, these latter-day Herbert Hoovers are engaging in electioneering tactics that would appall the decent, but incompetent, 31st President.

Thankfully, Senators Obama and Biden have retained their cool and their laser-like focus on solving America's economic woes. They are calm, confident and reassuring. They have a plan and the will to execute it. They will not be cowed by hate-speech and the undisguised efforts of McCain and Palin to incite extremists in the Republican base to chants of 'treason' and 'terrorist' at campaign rallies.

It is increasingly apparent that the current leadership (if I can call it that) of the Republican Party is isolated, angry and desperate. One must wonder, as Bob Cesca does in a brilliant piece written for The Huffington Post today, if the Republicans really deserve to be considered a serious political party at all. Their own failed policies and ever more radical fringe tactics have very nearly put them in the class with Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney and Bob Barr: mildly interesting (maybe), possibly dangerous and thoroughly unfit to govern.

Come November 4th, I'm confident the American people will utterly reject the Republicans' politics of smear and fear. Hope - and real change - are surely on the way. 

No comments: