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Tag Team Terrorism: The Bush, McCain, Palin Soap Opera

10/07/2008 04:04 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Be afraid. Be ver-r-r-ry afraid.

Barack Hussein Obama does not see the same 99 44/100% pure Ivory Soap America you and I know and love. Really. The McCain/Palin America is pristine; its shiny neo-conservative principles fit neatly in the palm of your hand. It never sinks. Ever. It floats.

There's a reason Barack Obama can't see that floating moral American certitude (or stop harping on the sinking of the USS Economy along with the working- and middle-classes): He's too busy "palling around with domestic terrorists." And he's not like you and me; he doesn't love America enough. And he's a liar. Boo! He is one dangerous dude.

Prior to their freshly frenetic pursuit of the White House, John McCain swore he had the corner on the Truth, Honor and the American Way market. Palin? She had the Cute, Sassy Six-Pack 'n' Soccer Mom market sewed up tighter than a tick on a hound's back. It just wasn't enough. So they've sunk to whipping up a foaming anti-Obama rage on the stump and they're trying to tell us it's soap.

Not everything that foams is Ivory, honey. Sometimes it's nothing more than that stinking stuff we see bubbling from the mouth of a dying, rabid dog. We'd be well advised to learn to tell the difference.

Be afraid. Be very afraid. This is the GOP sales-pitch we've been buying ever since "Hunt him down, smoke him out!" Dubya & Co. declared Osama bin Laden's Afghanistan-based al Qaeda wasn't nearly as scary as Saddam's Iraq. Those damned nationalized oil fields...all that wealth...cheap gas...the notion of establishing a permanent, menacing American military presence in the Middle East... We had to get over there and clean up! Surely a mushroom cloud was headed for the American heartland. Or for D.C. Or Altanta, Tampa, Dallas, Fargo, Cheyenne, Boise...Yourtown, USA was next. The meme? No doubt. No questions. No criticism. Invade Iraq or die.

By Campaign 2004, the fear factor meme was more of the same -- with a nifty twist: "Vote GOP or die." When Vietnam War hero John Kerry appeared to be a threat, the GOP swift boated him right to the bottom of the political pond. It's hard to stay afloat when you're weighted down with all that bubbling slime.

John McCain decried such tactics then. He was one clean military guy/statesman, a product of Ivory Soap America. He was 99 44/100% pure and he'd never sink to a smear and fear campaign. Not like George W. v. Kerry. Not like that. Never like the rabid filth-mongering Dubya campaign that crushed McCain in South Carolina. John Sidney McCain was too honest for that. Too honorable.

Until now. Until the going gets tough, the issues and the public's confidence aren't falling his way. Joe Biden was absolutely right when, during the vice presidential debate, he said: "The past is prologue."

We have an eight-year-long past of domestic terrorism in America. The Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld cabal have successfully terrorized an entire nation into silence. Into voting as we're told.

Terror of all Muslims, of any nation or culture which isn't wholly "on our side".

Terror of a fair, affordable health care program for every American.

Terror of immigrants.

Terror of gay and lesbian human rights.

Terror of women's reproductive rights.

Terror of real diplomacy.

Terror of admitting errors or correcting our course.

Terror of speaking out for fear of being labeled "unpatriotic".

Terror of the truth when it belies our squeaky clean self-image.

We hardly need to worry overmuch about imported terrorism. Like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, we have created our own monsters. They are our very own home-grown domestic terrorists. We have elected too many of them to seats of power and have allowed them to scare us into submission.

John McCain and Sarah Palin are the new GOP Tag Team Terrorists. It's the George W. Bush Fear Game all over again.

If we've got a lick of sense left, a scintilla of decency, we'll rise up and tell these folks a simple truth about their methods: This time it just won't wash.