I made a commitment to myself last week, labouring as I was - and still am - beneath the combined weight of a handful of (temporary) declining health indicators, to the effect that I would not write, among other abstinences. Why wrack one's brain for blogging matter when one is already fatigued? Nonetheless, no commitment is made but that is soon put to the trial, and I fear I must announce the buckling of my resolve to despair quietly and retire early each evening. I'll endeavour to split the difference, writing something, but keeping it short; I'm only cheating a little.
All I want to state is the following: Obama's association with William Ayers, whatever its nature and duration, is relevant to this particular election, at this juncture of American history, if and only if an Obama administration is likely to be staffed with terrorist Commie retreads from the halcyon days of the New Left. Which it won't be. It will, should things come to that pass, be staffed by the policymaking elite of the center-left of the American establishment, which some might say assuredly would be worse than a McCain administration staffed by the policymaking elite of the center-right of the American establishment; but, in reality, the respective halves agree on 95% of the strategy and quibble - though we exaggerate the significance of these disputes, imagining them to be moments in a rolling Ragnarok between, say, McGovernite socialists and Defenders of the American Way - over 15% of the tactics. The dispute, to the extent that there even is a dispute, over Iraq is part of that miserable 15%, because both parties, and both candidates, are committed to an hegemonist view of the American position in geopolitics, each adding a slight inflection - not even a dialect - to the common tongue of Indispensable Nationhood. That is merely one example, and true to my half-hearted commitment, I'll not belabour the point.
Perhaps it will be argued that association with Ayers demonstrates a lack of sober judgment, or some such thing. Possibly, it does, and then again, as I am arguing, judgment is not a binary, on or off sort of thing. McCain, after all, is advised on policy by a recent paid shill for the government of a Georgian president who is everything to Georgia that Putin ostensibly is to Russia, and yet remains in our good graces merely because his raving, incendiary, authoritarian nationalism is directed against the Russians - and Russophobia is good business in the American establishment. Even so, the establishment right bids us trust McCain. The point is not that these situations are identical, or symmetrical; they are not really commensurable, such that we can state that one is manifestly worse, or more dangerous, than the other. Instead, they are reflective of the intrinsic compromises, the real beneath the pomp and circumstance of our celebrity politics, of the nation we have become: ideological, self-righteously missionary, imperious/al, and tragic. Any nation with the pretensions we indulge will have pols with shady associations like the ones our pols have.
The bottom line: focus, not upon the trivial disagreements the establishment has with itself from time to time, but upon those places where it acts concertedly, and brooks no dissent. Those things matter, and Ayers does not, except as an indication that the GOP has exhausted its stores of intellectual capital, and now hopes to get by on flim-flam: vote for us, not because we have any genuine ideas, save for a few adumbrations of simplifications learned by rote, but because the other guy has nasty friends. ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz.......