Naomi Klein has lost her mind.
Reports confirmed my suspicions: Palin, not McCain, is the FrankenBarbie of the Rove-Cheney cabal. The strategy became clear. Time magazine reported that Rove is "dialed in" to the McCain campaign. Rove's protégé Steve Schmidt is now campaign manager. And Politico reported that Rove was heavily involved in McCain's vice presidential selection. Finally a new report shows that there are dozens of Bush and Rove operatives surrounding Sarah Palin and orchestrating her every move.Dozens of Bush and Rove "operatives." Baker's dozens! Scores! Bushels! Sarah Palin as Eva Peron as Adolph Hitler as Judas Iscariot, in earth tones, in the library, with a lead pipe. Where are you going, Col. Mustard? Come down here and eat chicken with me, beautiful. It's so dark.
What's the plan? It is this. McCain doesn't matter. Reputable dermatologists are discussing the fact that in simply actuarial terms, John McCain has a virulent and life-threatening form of skin cancer. It is the elephant in the room, but we must discuss the health of the candidates: doctors put survival rates for someone his age at two to four years. I believe the Rove-Cheney cabal is using Sarah Palin as a stalking horse, an Evita figure, to put a popular, populist face on the coming police state and be the talk show hostess for the end of elections as we know them. If McCain-Palin get in, this will be the last true American election. She will be working for Halliburton, KBR, Rove and Cheney into the foreseeable future -- for a decade perhaps -- a puppet "president" for the same people who have plundered our treasure, are now holding the US economy hostage and who murdered four thousand brave young men and women in a way of choice and lies.
How, you may ask, can I assert this? How can I argue, as I now do, that there is actually a war being ramped up against US citizens and our democracy and that Sarah Palin is the figurehead and muse for that war?
Look at the RNC. This is supposed to be McCain's America. But you see the unmistakable theatre of Rove's S and M imagery -- and you see stages eight, nine and ten of the steps to a dictatorship as I outlined them in The End of America. Preemptive arrest? Abusive arrest? "Newly released footage, which was buried to avoid confiscation, shows riot cops arresting and abusing a giant group of people for nothing."
Klein, let's face it, was never a particularly bright bulb. No Logo was embarrassingly shallow, a goo-goo tome the Whole-Foods, Ad-Busters set who wish to cast themselves in revolutionary sympathy with the window-smashers of the Seattle battle, who were themselves not much more than skim-milk crypto-rebels. The real face of true insurgent conviction is not a twenty-something getting arrested for throwing a poorly-made Molotov; it is Timothy McVeigh. That's not crass. Getting pepper-sprayed or tasered for destroying public property is one thing; launching an assault on your own tyrannical government and then going stonily to execution quite another. I don't approve of bombing buildings, needless to say, but I also don't claim to be a revolutionary. Say what you will, though, about the world's McVeighs or Mahdi Armies--they are serious. Anyway, Klein should have stuck to reportage, because as she moved into the land of Analysis she showed her limitations even more starkly, and by the time she published The Shock Doctrine she found herself in the deep end of the pool without her swimmies on. It is true that the intellectual loci of both the "Chicago School" of economics and American Neoconservativism were in the same university, but therein ends the similarity. Neoconservativism is a modern take on Wilsonian liberalism; it promotes democratization, direct foreign intervention, "National Greatness," and imperial uplift of mentored races. Neoconsrvativism has no particular economic program. While generally "capitalist," it hews to no particular orthodoxy, and the central tenet of Bush administration economics, to take the most recent example, has been the total absence of tenets. What Klein perceives as the application of Chicago-school economic ideas in Iraq was nothing of the sort; it was good, old-fashioned, imperial plunder, dressed up in standard American political boilerplate about free societies and free markets. The "Bush-Cheney" cabal, Friedmanite disaster capitalists in Klein's goofy estimation, have in the past six months nationalized and socialized huge segments of the American economy. Klein would likely respond that such socialization is really just opportunism in the service of protecting extant concentrations of wealth, and in fact, I agree, but laying that sort of public-private plunder at the feet of an orthodox ideology is, to say the least, a stretch.
Now she appears to believe that John McCain is just a harmless, terminal old coot whose battle-weary face is somehow necessary to push Sarah Palin into the presidency, and that Palin herself represents simply a palatable face for a corporate putsch, or . . . something. Her prose hyperventilates, and she seems to believe that the RNC represents the first time that police have ever arrested a gang of protesters. I too would like to erase Henry Clay Frick and the Pinkertons from the history books, but alas, no. American authoritarianism has roots both deep and broad, and every American leader from Washington to Lincoln to Slick Willy has arrogated to himself powers far beyond the supposed scope of his civil office in times of emergency or, frankly, annoyance. (See again: Seattle, the RNC, the DNC, etc.) Klein:
Sarah "Evita" Palin is Rove and Cheney's cosmetic rebranding of their fascist push: she will help to establish a true and irreversible "fear society" in this once free once proud nation. For God's sake, do not let her; do not let them.This once free and proud . . . Is she running for office? A chicken little in every pot. Cheney is a slick profiteer and Karl Rove is a mud-slinger of moderate ability (his deificationb by Progressives has got to be one of the most hilariously out-of-proportion elevations of middling ability to Genius I have ever witnessed), but neither of them is Hitler. Alas for all of us, the United States is not about to launch domestic pogroms and invade Russia in the wintertime; Palin and Todd aren't going to blow their brains out in a bunker. Whoever wins, our broke-ass empire will keep chugging along, graying and groaning into Soviet decrepitude, until at last, poof, we sell off the commemorative rubble and find twentysomething hipsters in Shanghai wearing American flags as statements of ironic nostalgia.
Update: Wolf! Damn.
Update II: Oh man, just to make this whole post even more hilariously embarrassing, here is the correct Naomi on that very same site just a very few days before. (Via Micha Ghertner in comments at Distributed Republic) What did we learn here today, kids, what did we learn.