There is a perfectly plausible reason that all of us in the blogosphere are so very worried these days. John Feehery pointed it out in his terrific piece today at Politico.com: “Beware the ‘down time’ of August.” To quote (including author’s links):
Beware the false promise of a slow August! It can often be smashed by one of three things: An international crisis, a sex scandal or a weather emergency. And every four years, August is interrupted by the Olympics and the presidential nominating conventions.
This year, we have had an almost perfect storm. A sex scandal revealed (John Edwards), an international crisis (Russia invades Georgia), the drama of the Olympics and the promise of the political conventions.
For the leading presidential campaigns, August is no time to take a break. While John McCain has learned that lesson, the Obama campaign decided to take time off, with the Democratic nominee escaping to Hawaii for some rest and relaxation.
This Hawaii vacation decision by the candidate caused one of the members at Forum: Lucidity to ask the question, “Where is Obama?” Our ensuing worried discussion at Lucidity is similar in tone to much of the current thinking. It reminded me of several recent similar ones with others with whom I keep contact around the blogosphere. A few examples:
- The Future Was Yesterday:
I worry about ever being able to predict Bush. I really do, because if I’m ever right, that means I’m ready for the loony tunes bin!! But I don’t think Betmo was far from the mark. Given Bush’s favorite bedtime story, The Gipper and his so insightful[sic] “The Evil Empire” about Soviet/American relations, and the prospect of some major league oil, and God only knows what the First Moron is capable of, and I don’t think God really gives a damn. Apathy was our #1 choice for President for decades, so we finally got what we wanted – the closest possible human approximation to apathy!!
And he loves war. Any war. Anywhere. That’s nothing but bad news for the world, not just us.
- Sirens Chronicles comments (9) thread amongst us about “Investigating in the Middle East,” linked to my concluding comment, about this one from Fran:
I have no Pollyanna love affair with my State so-called representatives. there are people who say we have a democrat seated so that HAS to be good. Well, maybe in theory, but these politicians have done nothing BUT disappoint…. especially on the big issues like the war. . . How many people are dying because of their inability to truly represent?
. . . When I say it is a bloody mess, sadly, I mean it quite literally & figuratively.
The Media, like many of us in the blogosphere, seems unable to relax about Senator Obama’s chances of winning the election. This (8/11/08) article, “7 worrisome signs for Obama,” is by Glenn Thrush from Politico.com The author’s list of things about which to worry includes race, questions about strength in Virginia, MCCain’s strength in Michigan, concern that “bad times could be good for McCain,” Libertarian Bob Barr siphoning off votes, the recent history of white Southerners winning the Democratic presidency, and speculation that Americans “may want divided government.”
Big business, as in the past, makes sure it does not have to worry about gaining access to any new president. This is an excellent article by Matt Taibbi, of RollingStone.com sent to me by my friend, Jon: Alternet‘s “Big Business Is Making Sure It Wins the Presidency,” posted August 9, 2008. To quote:
It’s the same old story: Money talks, and bullshit walks. And don’t be surprised if we’re the ones still walking after November.
Miscellaneous items of concern were sent to me by my blog friend “betmo” who writes “life’s journey.”
- The Bilerico Project — Are We Doing Enough to Stop Bullying at School? Filed by: Patricia Nell Warren, February 29, 2008 8:58 PM
- Prison Planet by Paul Joseph Wilson, 6/11/08 — “Secret Plan To Kill Internet By 2012 Leaked?” — Some question if report that pay-per-view system to be introduced is a hoax, but wider march to regulate the web is documented — ” To quote further:
Whether the report is accurate or merely a crude hoax, there is a very real agenda to restrict, regulate and suffocate the free use of the Internet and we have been documenting its progression for years.
. . . Over the past few years, a chorus of propaganda intended to demonize the Internet and further lead it down a path of strict control has spewed forth from numerous establishment organs: [bullets follow in Wilson’s linked article]
- Latina Lista: “For the nation’s migrant farmworkers, high temps creating a “Black Summer.” 8/7/08.
Were I to go to a therapist about my worries, the advice might include some of these ideas. Avoid thoughts that over-generalize, cast the problem in too permanent terms, or make the problem bigger than it actually is. I might also hear that it would be a good idea to take regular “news breaks,” as short or long as necessary to regain perspective. The therapist’s concluding assurance to me might sound something like this quote from Jon Hassler about healing, “He’d begun to wake up in the morning with something besides dread in his heart. Not happiness exactly, not eagerness for the new day, but a kind of urge to be eager, a longing to be happy.”
View my current slide show about the Bush years — “Millennium” — at the bottom of this column.
(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)
My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.