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Old 11-16-08, 03:11 AM   #181
Butterfly Man
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USA Chicago in '68 was never like this

The Last Election
by Paul Krassner

The McCain/Palin party line that Barack Obama was "palling around with terrorists" didn't work, athough some people believed it because then they wouldn't need a racist reason not to vote for Obama.

John McCain tried calling him a Social ist. That didn't work, either. Ironically, Social ist Party candidate Norman Thomas ran for president six times, never won, but every one of his platform planks were eventually adopted by Democrats and Republican administrations alike.

One of the factors in President-elect Obama's win was the confidence-destroying financial crisis, and now he faces a food chain of euphemisms. Hey, is this like the Great Depression? Nah, it's not a depression, it's only a recession. Wait, it's not a recession, it's just an economic downturn. No, it's not an economic downturn, it's a correction. Oops, it's not a corrrection, it's an adjustment.

Similarly, there's a food-chain of solutions to the problem. From the Troubled Asset Relief Program to the Bailout Bill to the Rescue Package to the Emergency Economic Stability Act to Alan Greenspan confessing, "My Bad" to Botox for Everybody.

Perhaps the most bizarre byproduct of the campaign began with an anonymous ad on Craigslist, headlined: "Need Sarah Palin Lookalike ASAP for Adult Film." The pay would be $3000 and, it was duly noted, "No anal required." This porn flick, it turned out, would be shot by Hustler Video, and no, Tina Fey did not apply for the job. The climactic scene was a threesome with Sarah Palin, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton, played by veteran porn star and sex educator Nina Hartley.

She told me that "The big hullabaloo over the movie is being generated by feminists from both the pro- and anti-porn sides. They're up in arms that 'women are being non-consensually satirized' by Big Evil Porn, and The Big Bad Larry Flynt.

Even some pro-porn feminists are upset at Palin being 'targeted' by Porn. They conveniently overlook the fact that most porn satirizes white men in power: politicians, police, professors.

*Nailin' Paylin* was ready for release before the election, as was an issue of the horror comic book *Tales From the Crypt,* which featured on the cover a painting of Sarah Palin swinging her hockey stick to disperse the Vault-Keeper and other ghoulish characters as she sneeringly asks, "Didn't we get rid of you guys in the '50s?"--a reference to the censorship problems faced decades ago by EC Comics, the original publisher of *Tales From the Crypt,* and concomitantly a criticism of Palin for her "rhetorical question" about removing objectionable books from library shelves.

An edition of *South Park*--broadcast the day after the election--took a risk with only one ending, which lampooned Obama's victory. Co-creator Trey Parker explained, "We're just going to make the Obama version, and if McCain somehow wins, we're basically just totally screwed.

Likewise, Garry Trudeau gambled that Obama would win, and his syndicated *Doonesbury* strip--published the day after the election--depicted three soldiers in Iraq watching the returns on TV as a reporter is saying, "And it's official--Barack Obama has won."

Some editors were undecided about whether to publish it. Trudeau encouraged them to choose hope over fear. "If I'm wrong," he told the *Los Angeles Times,* "it'll be my face that'll be covered with eggs, not theirs." *Times* editors had decided, in the interest of accuracy, to wait for the election results, and if Obama won, they would publish the strip on Thursday, but then they must have realized it was just a comic strip, not investigative journalism, and they published it on Wednesday after all.

Trudeau thought that newspapers should run the strip because "polling data gives McCain a 3.7% chance of victory." Indeed, a week after Obama's win, McCain himself admitted to Jay Leno, "I can read the polls--they tried to keep 'em from me."

There were dozens of polls, from ABC to Zogby, and, psychographic sophistication aside, they didn't always exactly agree. For example, in Nevada during the last week of October, one poll put Obama's lead at 12%, another at 7%, another at 5% and two others at 4%, which meant that, given the margin of sampling error, McCain could conceivably have been slightly ahead. This, then, was the last presidential election.

In the future, you'll only need to vote for the pollster that you trust the most.

During the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, I was among 10,000 protesters who had gathered in Grant Park for a rally when the police, triggered by the actions of one of their own provocateurs, attacked the demonstrators and sadistically beat as many as they could reach. It seemed impossible that we could ever work within the system.

But now, forty years later, there were 200,000 celebrants who had gathered in that same park, giddy with the excitement of Obama's victory. They had worked within the system. But was it possible that this event also signified the early tremors of a nonviolent revolution?

Meanwhile, the memorabilia business flourishes as millions of voters seek a variety of tangible items to remind them of the part they played in history. The only thing I saved was a full-page ad by the 99 Cents Only Stores, which included a "Joe the Plumber Special" plunger. There was no limit on how many I could buy.

Last edited by Butterfly Man; 11-16-08 at 03:21 AM.
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Old 11-24-08, 08:32 PM   #182
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USA we won?
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Old 11-25-08, 06:14 AM   #183
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Default Obamas First Decision

Obamas First Decision
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