October 03, 2012

The Hep Cat & The Bag Man

It occurs to me that in Portuguese, the native language of Brazil (I note for those of you unfortunate enough to have been educated in America's schools after about 1980 or so), that "BumBum" might well be pronounced "BoomBoom."  I don't know that for a fact; I just think it's a nice touch.  A less scrupulous man than myself might use such an intro to post another rearview photo, but I will refrain.

No, instead I turn to tonight's Presidential Debate.  I feel it is my responsibility, being a blogger who focuses on political, economic and, above all, philosophical questions.  The Debates are the major league baseball playoffs of American politics, although, it's true, the field has already been narrowed to the final two teams.  We will not see, for example, Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party or Gary Johnson of the Libertarians in tonight's contest.  The inclusion of such parties would knock the dyad all out of kilter, and introduce a lot of issues and viewpoints that would confound the media format.

No, we can't have Jim Lehrer talking to Dr. Stein about genetically modified foods or the relocalization of agriculture, or global warming, or any of these other irrelevant distractions. There are only a couple of issues that really matter to the American people: (1) When do I get my check?; and (2) Are we safe yet?

It will be very difficult for the corporate Bag Man, Mitt Romney, to outflank Barack Obama, the Hep Cat, to the O-Man's right.  How can you do that at this point?  Would Romney have killed bin Laden twice?  And you can't blame Obama for leaving Iraq, as Romney has nevertheless tried to do.  George W. Bush got snookered by the Ungrateful Nouri on that one.  Al-Maliki refused to give Bush the Status of Forces Agreement that would have allowed American servicemen to remain safely in Iraq, that is, to stay there without being subjected to the whimsical judgments of the mullahs in Islamic courts. So it's not Obama's fault that Obama had to bring to a close a war which Obama called a dumb war but then wanted to keep going because, as in the case of surging the troops in Afghanistan, it looked all Presidential and war-like, and thus bankable at election time.

Besides, it keeps us safe.  No, I'm not sure which parts of the preceding paragraph have to do with national security, but that's been true for eleven years now.  Thus turning us to domestic politics, that is, the Entitlements, Social Security and Medicare, since the federal government is an insurance company with an army and we've already covered the army part.  The Hep Cat won't touch the Entitlements now, of course, because it's election time and they're sacred.  Red or Blue, skinny or (far more likely) obese, Deep Southern or Yankee Northeast, everyone wants their check, and they need to be reassured that the federal budget (60% taxes, 40% borrowed) will be used to support the old folks (those so likely to vote, in Florida and Ohio, for example), and what isn't used for that can be sent to the weapons manufacturers and the Predator drone pilots.  Whatever the President wants, just give me my cut. Romney is in enough trouble with the "47%" so he's in zugzwang on that one, too (a chess term - see the games of Garry Kasparov).

It's simple really, this debate.  A simple agenda for a simple country.  A broke-ass country with its head up its broke-ass.  It should be riveting.

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