I am not the first blogger to note how depressingly appropriate is Padme Amidala’s line from the last Star Wars movie. So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause.” There are about 12,000 google hits on it, and probably not all of them are lamenting the (insert sarc tag here) depredations of the Bush administration in stealing elections, shredding our liberties, values, constitution, interfering in the internal affairs of other nations, crushing dissent, etc. (close sarc tag here) Probably a lot of them are looking ahead to the prospect of an Obama administration, and wondering if The One and his Democrat minions, allies and supporters are going to perform – for the good of us all, most assuredly – those very actions they have spent the last four years screeching about the Bush Administration doing.

Frankly, it’s depressing enough just looking at the current campaign season, never mind the fresh hells just around the corner, when the ‘Chicago way; of doing business and machine politics goes nationwide. It’s also depressing enough, considering how the major media has just about given up any pretense of even-handedness. Even Blondie, who is only lately come to take an interest in politics noticed how a local news anchor on the 10 PM news last night referred to Obama with his proper title of senator, but to John McCain with his name only, no mention of his title. I caught a few minutes of NPR discussion the Obama-McCain debate last week, and was struck by the fact that all the included sound bites were of Obama, sounding ever so presidential. Nothing from McCain; little things, to be sure, but the constant drip-drip-drip is very wearing. Adorable little moppets singing songs about him, teenagers chanting his name, crowds roaring applause call to mind all sorts of unsavory parallels, everything from Hitler Youth to Mao’s Little Red Book waved in every hand. ‘Change and Hope’ are vague and inspiring slogans. Too many eventual dictators surfed into office on a high tide of such offerings. Most of them were not dislodged as easily. Where did he really come from? What is his real resume and his solid accomplishments, who are the people and interested parties who got him were he is, this very day? We know who some of his friends are – the Reverent Wright, William Ayers – and some of the operatives like David Axelrod, the king of political Astroturf – and the ACORN organization. This intelligence is not the least bit reassuring. These sorts of questions are only being raised now, with three weeks to go. The mainstream media should have been dissecting him long since; so much for being the guardians, the unblinking eye upon the political process. Is the way for the One being paved with fraudulent voter registrations, smoothed by ballot-box stuffing on a grand scale in key districts and states? Is this what the grand plan is, to put him across the finish-line no matter what it takes? Stabbing our trust in the electoral process to the very heart, while the cheering section in the media shouts hosannas? While those of us with doubts are told brusquely to shut up and go along with the rest because we don’t want to be called racists, do we?

If there was anything that to me was the equal of the 60 Minutes fraudulent TANG memo story of the last presidential election cycle, it was the almost universal trashing of Sarah Palin, a whirlwind of loathing from the mainstream media which sprang up seemingly overnight, and the constant recycling of debunked stories – the rape kit one, the banning-of-library books one, the baby-isn’t-hers-but-her daughters one, the stupid-and-ignorant-redneck meme – on and on it goes. How horribly depressing all these memes are, especially mouthed by supposedly liberal and feminist types. Pointing out that she had better than 80% approval ratings in Alaska, was take-no-quarter reformer, with apparently no intent on shoving her personal pro-life inclinations down anyone’s throat, it’s like spitting into a hurricane. What decent person would want to go into politics after this, knowing that their family would be slimed by a complicit media – and their fellow-travelers in the intelligentsia -all in the name of hauling the One over the finish line and into the White House. The Chicago way, indeed.

Politics has always been dirty, but watching the mainstream media and the entertainment world become so very insanely partisan has been quite a startling thing to me, and I thought I was a cynic. Obviously, not cynical enough.

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