Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Mafiacans

I was a target. The Bush/Republican Cartel took a shot at me on election eve. Luckily, I was prepared…with knowledge. A man identifying himself as calling from the DNC caught me on Monday night and urged me to vote the next morning, chatting from the usual “get out the vote” script. He then said that based on my phone number, I should vote at a church I had never heard of. I said, wait a minute, I vote at the nearby YWCA and I hope you are more careful where you tell people to go vote tomorrow. He thanked me and hung up. It took a few minutes for the gears to engage, but I realized I had been the target of a Rethug dirty trick to send me to the wrong polling place on election day. I’d dodged a bullet. Others may not have been so fortunate.

Welcome to American politics in the 21st century.

Audacious? Anti-democratic? Wrong on every level imaginable? Yes, yes and yes. But—and here’s the scariest part of all—no one cares. The mainstream press doesn’t care. Frightened Democrats in congress don’t care. The current administration (the criminal cartel in question) certainly doesn’t care.

Strong evidence is emerging that the election was stolen right out from under our noses. Unless you spend more time than you should on the Internet, you would not know this. The facts and speculations are rumbling around out there, but you’ll only find them on obscure political Web sites and blogs kept alive by surfing bands of rabid news junkies. As expected, major media are dismissing it all as conspiracy theories run amuck. The message to us all is, “Stop worrying and learn to love the Bush.” Go back to sleep, my children, it’s over.

I try not to, but when I do reflect on this past election, I’m reminded of my favorite movie, The Godfather. Beyond the great performances and superb storytelling, The Godfather is a powerful portrayal of the real American Dream where the rules are defined not by what is right or wrong, but by what you can get away with and what you can’t. Family success is justification in and of itself. If you kill someone and get caught, you’re a schmuck, a loser. If you kill someone and get away with it, you’re a shrewd businessman or a great politician.

This is also the version of the American Dream embraced by Republicans. Hypocrisy is too kind a word for the Republican political mentality. Mirroring the devout Catholic Mafioso, Republicans, the self-proclaimed party of values and morals, put little trust in quaint notions of honesty and fair play, instead sticking with tried and true tactics of lying, cheating and stealing. For the Mafiacans, there is no such thing as morality when you are competing. You gotta whack someone, it’s just business. You need to trash fellow Republican war hero and former prisoner of war John McCain? Hey, nothing personal, John, you’re a great guy. It’s just business. Need to smear decorated Vietnam veteran John Kerry? He pulls out a knife, we pull out a gun. He pulls out a gun, we pull out a bazooka. It’s how things are done. It’s how you win.

It’s amazing to me that the Mafiacan dirty tricks trickled all the way down to little ole’ me in Minneapolis. My God, the effort must have been on a massive scale. Just as Michael Corleone stood piously watching the christening of his godchild at the same time he is having fellow mobsters executed, George Bush spent election night in a state of faux-obliviousness, practicing his acceptance speech and crossing out the big words, waiting for a subtle nod from Karl Rove that everything had been taken care of…except for that one clown in Minnesota.

We’ll get back to him later.

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