The old man and the seethe

Somewhere in the afterlife, Hunter S. Thompson is on his millionth bottle of Jack Daniels, drowning his sorrows because he didn’t hang on to see this presidential campaign. Fear and loathing appears to be eternal.

The GOP has P.T.A. President Palin out there playin’ the old fear card don’t ‘cha know. No, not fear of another 9/11 attack by foreign terrorists — but rather that American terrorist with the dosh gardnest foreigner name of Barack Hussein Obama.

Meanwhile, John McCain is a zealot perpetrating loathing as organized religion. He’ll do and say anything to zap the faith some people have in the opportunity to move forward — and by doing so willing to take the risk. “Saturday Night Live” wasn’t too far off when a member of the cast impersonating Joe Biden said McCain is “dangerously unbalanced.” At 72, McCain has become that mean and angry old man who wears his contempt like a flag pin. And through his forum, that contempt is being spread like an STD. It’s fair to attack your opponent on the issues and where you disagree. But it’s unbalanced to work a crowd into a frenzy by calling your opponent a terrorist. What’s next? Hordes of people carrying torches and demanding Obama be captured like he was Frankenstein’s monster? At a McCain rally Monday, the GOP candidate asked — rhetorically — who is the real Barack Obama? Someone in the crowd yelled “a terrorist.” Even McCain did a double-take.

There’s danger here. It doesn’t take much for some crackpot who listens to his dog long enough to figure out he has to take some kind of action. Unfortuantely, we’ve found out in the past that Travis Bickle from “Taxi Driver” ain’t just no movie creation. It’s one thing to rally the troops, it’s another to fuel their anger with seething contempt. Desperate times don’t call for desperate characters like McCain and Palin. Maybe the Arizona senator should lift a phrase from another guy from his state who ran for president. McCain can reword it: “Extremism in the defense of winning a campaign is no vice.”

So why is McCain trying to distract the public from the economic crisis? Well, as one of his aides put it: “If we keep talking about economic issues, we’re going to lose.” Hear that, Joe Six-Pack? A presidential candidate is going to avoid the major issue of our time because voters are beginning to realize that he’s too erratic to deal with it. Hey, Johnny Mac, whatever happened to “Country First?”

McCain said the gloves are going to come off in tonight’s debate. Makes sense, since his campaign in the last two weeks has been “rocky.” It’s high time Americans stopped listening to McCain and Palin’s raging bull.

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