Thursday, October 19, 2006


I don’t usually resort to cancelling my subscription to publications over their editorial stances or election picks, especially ones that purport to be news outlets (and ones with such enlightened columnists as Mark Morford and Jon Carroll). But the Chron’s editorial endorsing Schwarzengger for 4 more years made me gag up my breakfast oatmeal and had me all but reaching for the phone to so I could say “Stop the presses, cancel my subscription and go F*** yourselves!”

It wasn’t the endorsement so much as the headline accompanying it. Arnold to “Stay and the Course.”

"Stay the Course?” Has that insidious Bushism about the continuing the disastrous Iraq policy made its way so deeply into the lexicon of American press that they use it almost cavalierly to tout endorsements? Or is there something more venal at work?

In this week’s New Yorker there’s a telling article about conspiracy theories, how they start and why they find such currency among true believers. I’ve always tried to stay away from them, but this is too much. Is “Stay the Course” dropped into a headline supporting the popular body building champ turned politician a not so subtle signal that the Chronicle supports the present administration and its Iraq War?

Sure Angelides has been a big disappointment. No, his handlers have; they represent everything that is old and tired and wrong about the Democratic Party (Hey, I’m old and tired, but I like to think mostly right about political strategy.)

Like the Reps, the Dems “stay the course” in their lackluster campaigns. Kerry did it, ignoring his progressive base and the “practical aspirations of the American people” to borrow a phrase from Dennis Kucinich, one of the few Presidential hopefuls who chose a different course in his campaign – taking the message to the people and eschewing the hackneyed play-to-the-middle strategy of his peers. You say he didn’t get very far, but that’s because all the course-stayers and their moneyed friends hogged the resources and scared the public the same way the Bushies did over who can keep you safer.

Kerry bristled at being called “Bush lite” by some of his progressive supporters. But after the campaign, it was that accusation that stuck.

Why can’t the Democrats be more like Democrats? This year they have the chance and still, amidst all the anger and frustration and grief over the failed Bush Iraq war, scandals in Congress and policies that threaten our very existence on the planet, “Stay the Course” is the phrase of the hour.

Could it really be that Stay the Course means nothing more than “Take the path of least resistance?”

I will continue to read the Chronicle; because the path of least resistance is to cancel my subscription, throw my hands in the air and give up. They’re not going to get me to do that, just yet.