Like that existentialists’ room with no doors or windows, we are now in what Jean-Paul Sartre called in his play No Exit, “the hell that is other people.” The month of January has begun, and the silly season that is the interminably long road of time stretching before us between now and the Republican National Convention in late summer is upon us.
I look forward to this year’s general election campaign like I do an invitation to a goat slaughter. Needless to say, like many of us here, I haven’t been able to get too worked up about this season’s Republican primaries, their candidates, last night’s primary in New Hampshire, or the 2012 election in general. It’s not like we were finally getting rid of George Bush and Dick Cheney in 2008. It’s not because I’m a Democrat and the President has pissed me off on more than a few occasions these last two years, or that it’s the Republicans’ turn to nominate a candidate. It’s not about whether or not I am for or against any one party or any one person — because all members of the elected parties have proverbial ‘stains on their dresses’. This is just what Washington has become.
It’s clear on the part of Republicans that the election of 2012, like most general elections in the last twenty years, is not about issues. In fact, its very hard to find that the issues we actually face — like poverty, joblessness, access to affordable health care, an increasingly diminishing environment — have any connection at all to the platforms of the Republicans campaigning for the presidential nomination. Unless of course, you live off a trust fund or you’re a fetus. A bizarre costume contest at masquerade ball in Versailles could be the more accurate summation of the Republicans’ race for the White House so far, coupled with mud-slinging, race-baiting and other egregious forms of pandering to the base.
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