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Scott Thill Headshot

Keep Hope Alive. Literally.

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The McCain-Palin ticket is dead in the water, sundered by its allegiance to the Bush administration's disaster capitalism and foundering on a strategy basically designed to piss off rednecks and ignore everyone else. That's not a winning blueprint, and thank the Big Bang for that. Rather, it's political suicide and McCain and Palin's careers will be on life support come December.

But that's not to say that they will be gone.

As I wrote for AlterNet on our current financial and geopolitical clusterfuck, Barack Obama is often compared to game-changers like Kennedy, King and even Lincoln, without the added mention that all three were assassinated. And the way that McCain and Palin have been baiting their backwards audiences, it's beginning to look like assassination is an ancillary strand of their political strategy. The same goes for their baseless insinuations that Obama is a terrorist, or pals around with terrorists, or takes ski vacations with terrorists, or whatever. As long as the word "terrorist" can be used in any context, regardless of whether or not evidence or proof of these volatile accusations is at hand, McCain and Palin seem quite content to rile up the redneck base into a fit of unjustified rage.

And everyone knows what happens when rage is bottled up: It explodes. Into a mess of blood, violence and tragedy.

So as this ridiculous election season drags on interminably to the finish line, that finish line just keeps moving backwards. It's now no longer enough to hope for an Obama win come November, as that is beyond a sure thing. There is zero chance that McCain and Palin will win this election on their merits, or on the thin facades that pass as their economic, social and foreign policies.

They only chance they have of winning the White House is if something happens to Obama.

So while I am a godless man of science, I am nevertheless praying that Michael Chertoff's secret service details knows what it is doing, or that Obama spends his time worrying that they don't. I pray nightly that McCain or Palin go home at night, look in their cracked mirrors, and remind themselves that this isn't the 20th century, when it was socially normal to incite violence against people of color, the poor or those who would evolve American society forward. But I'm not stupid: They won't, they don't and, like the repugnant Bush/Cheney administration, they care only about power, and will do anything to get it.

This is a long, and frightening, way of saying that no one should get comfortable.

This election, for all intents and purposes and in spite of the obvious Republican attempts at votejacking, is over. Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States, and the only thing that is going to stop that is violence born of ignorance. Once he wins in November, the real work begins. That is when the Republican base, which is made up mostly of idiots or those looking to cash in on power and violence, will lose its collective mind, and do something stupid. Containing that contagion of stupidity will be our greatest challenge, because there is nothing in this warming world more dangerous than unchecked stupidity.

For the record, I'm no fan of Barack Obama. I think he's a middle-of-the-road Democrat, which is to say the worst kind. At least with hypocrites like Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman, you know you're getting a sellout from jump street. But like Bill Clinton, who capitulated so much to the right-wing fringe that they stole the election from right under Al Gore's nose and destroyed nearly every aspect of FDR's New Deal, middle-of-the-road Democrats think that working with morons is better than fighting them outright. And they couldn't be more wrong about that.

The only way to defeat ignorance and hatred is with a full-bore attack, using science, reason and a belligerent defense of what's right and what's best for everyone. Compromise has brought us to this momentous period of American history. Clinton's compromise and repeal of Glass-Steagall can be directly linked to our current financial implosion, in which privatized profits and socialized losses make sense to everyone in power, but no one in reality. The Democrats' compromise on civil liberties and habeas corpus have led to everything from the occupation of Iraq to the warrantless wiretapping and unlawful torture at Guantanamo.

Barack Obama had better wake up and realize this, or the rerun is just going to get worse. And while he's at it, he might want to watch his back. There's no telling when a dumbfuck nut might sneak up and sink a knife in it. Or when a supposed ally, like John McCain, might call him a terrorist behind it, and bait a so-called pro-lifer into doing his dirty work for him.

This may be the most meaningful election in American history. But it is also the most nauseating. I suggest we all turn off our TVs and wait until Election Day to worry about McCain and Palin, and the Republican machine behind their ridiculous campaign. Because that is when the shit will hit the fan. With ferocity.

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