Counterpunch, August & September 2008

August- Alexander Cockburn reviews Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland.  Cockburn has a lot of fun reminiscing about the 1964-1974 period, but denies Perlstein’s thesis that the American political scene hasn’t changed much since then.  “It’s a different, less strident, less violent, less creative time.”  He and Jeffrey St. Clair then offer “One cheer for Sarah Palin.”  “The liberal attacks on Sarah Palin are absurd to the point of lunacy… Given the highly experienced maniacs who have been destroying this country and the rest of the world decade after decade, one would have thought that the E word would be an immediate disqualification.”  They also point out that the three-point oil plan she introduced as governor of Alaska are now on display as the three-point oil plan of one B. Obama: “a windfall profits tax on the oil companies, an energy rebate tax, and the development of a transcontinental natural gas pipeline from Prudhoe Bay across Canada to the Midwest.”  They don’t mention that Obama has been a presidential candidate longer than Palin has been governor, so it’s not so clear who came up with the idea first. 

1-15 September- Promoted on the Counterpunch website as “The Timebomb Who Would Be President,” this issue features two front-page articles about Crazy John McCain.  In “McCain’s 14th Amendment Problem,” Douglas Valentine argues that since the 14th Amendment to the Constitution prohibits traitors from holding public office, the man the North Vietnamese codenamed “Songbird” while he was their prisoner is not eligible to be elected president.  Cockburn and St. Clair tell the story of Crazy John’s two marriages, including this: “According to two emergency room physicians in Phoenix, interviewed by Counterpunch and who tell us they don’t want their names used, it was at this time” [when Crazy John was under investigation for his ties to corrupt financier Charles Keating] “that Cindy McCain sought medical attention in the Phoenix area for injuries consistent with physical violence: bruises, contusions, and a black eye.  There were at least two more visits for medical attention in the Phoenix area by Cindy, with similar injuries, between 1988 and 1993.”  True?  Who knows?  But those who paid attention to the 2004 Illinois Senate race can’t help but remember the end of Blair Hull‘s campaign.

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