Sunday, January 13, 2008

I Hold These Truths...

It's refreshing to see Las Vegas in the electoral mix. Usually, our elections are like a wedding, and big cities like L.A., San Francisco, Vegas, New York and Chicago are like the father of the bride. We get sent to pay the caterer and bandleader and tip the bartenders, and by the time we get back, the reception's over and the buffet has been picked clean by freeloading rubes.

But hey, that's the way America works. I work in Hollywood... so I pay outlandish taxes to prop up ludicrous farm subsidies and keep unnecessary factories open, and then watch candidates compete to see who can call me a bigger enemy of Heartland American Values.

Still I hold on to certain beliefs. One of those is that the truth has some value. So in that spirit, let me just remind y'all of some truths -- as I see them and IMHO. Because after a year of watching political coverage on TV I fear I'll lose my mind unless I say them out loud.


HILLARY CLINTON IS NOT THE "EXPERIENCED" CANDIDATE

If she is, then what did that make Bill Richardson and Joe Biden and John McCain? Founding Fathers?

She's been in the Senate for seven years. Seven rather unpleasant years, if you ask me. During which time I did not see her wielding her "experience" to make things better. I saw her trying to ban video games and flag-burning, and taking money from Rupert Murdoch. Anyone else see that?


JOHN MCCAIN IS NOT A MAVERICK STRAIGHT-TALKER

He used to be, and I loved him for it. A few years ago he became a whore. Sorry but you know it's true.


AMERICA IS NOT A DEMOCRACY

I can't vote for my guy. End of story.

Besides, weren't we all determined to end the war? Didn't we overwhelmingly make our voices heard? Where are the anti-war candidates? We're fucked.

But we keep hearing how nothing can be changed because "we don't have the votes." If Mr. Smith Goes to Washington were made today, Jeff Smith would abandon the whole camp idea. After all, the votes aren't there. So why bother? The End.


THE SURGE DID NOT WORK

Nuh uh. It was supposed to bring peace and stability to Baghdad, not Anbar. We're in bed with the enemies of the government -- the very warlords who blew up our troops with IED's -- in order to whack a very small set of moles and give the illusion of progress. Meanwhile, Southern Iraq has become Iran: The Sequel, with all the fundamentalist trappings. In a poll last week, 3% of Southern Iraqis said their life was better now than under Saddam. And these are the Shia!

So if you hear a candidate say the surge worked, that candidate is lying or stupid. Speaking of which:


REPUBLICANS HATE DOGS

Mitt Romney tied his dog to the roof of a car for a twelve-hour drive, ferchrissake. He had to pull over to hose the poor dog's diarrhea off the windshield. He told this story, as an amusing anecdote. He thought it showed off his problem-solving skills! He's completely unqualified to be a leader on that basis alone.

Mike Huckabee's son was fired from his job as a camp counselor because he hanged a dog. Until this year, I never even knew anyone could think of such a thing... Now between Michael Vick and Dumb Young Fuck Huckabee, I know of two people who've done it!

Where is the outrage? And speaking of Huckabee and outrage:


MIKE HUCKABEE IS NOT STUPID

What kind of a candidate flies two thousand miles from Iowa the night before the Iowa caucus? No candidate. And what kind of candidate does so to cross a picket line? That's insane. Literally, clinically insane.

But Mike Huckabee flew all that way to do The Tonight Show, and said he didn't realize the WGA strike was still going on.

Bullshit. He also said he hadn't studied the NIE, and all kinds of other folksy, "Oh, gosh, I'm just regular folk with no book larnin'" kind of crap.

Huckabee is playing Reagan. He's pretending to be an idiot. He knows people would rather hang with the jocks than the nerds. And a lot of Americans will never vote for the "smart" candidate. So Huckabee pretends to be stupid. To get votes.

We're so fucked.


A UFO IS NOT THE SAME AS A FLYING SAUCER

Dennis Kucinich saw a UFO. Not the same thing as little grey men. And asking that question of him in the final seconds of a debate was scummy and unnecessary and cost him any momentum he might have had. Low blow.

Speaking of debates...


THOSE ARE NOT DEBATES

You know how Fox News takes something stupid, like the War on Christmas, and hammers away at it until people believe it's a real thing? Can't we do that with something important, like debates? This Tuesday's debate will at least feature some cross-talk, but hear me out...

A debate should go like this: the candidates sit at a round table in a TV studio. No audience. No rules. Begin.

And no moderator.

A President shouldn't need "moderation." He should provide his own.

If the candidate cannot hold his temper at a table with his opponents, how will he do when foreign leaders are at the table? We need to know how the candidates will react when discussions get heated. So let's see some heat, and force our candidates to give us substantive answers, even if they take longer than thirty seconds.

There is no reason why the most substantive debate I've ever seen should have been between Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda.


THE SPIN ROOM IS SPIN... SO WHY BOTHER?

So here's a room where everyone says predictable, untrue stuff. Why would the media go there at all? Is there any reason, after a debate, to spend hours asking each candidate and his/her campaign staff how the candidate did? We know the answer: your guy won.

Wouldn't that time be better spent with reasoned analysis and truth policing? And by the way, memo to truth police segment producers: if one candidate lies more than the others, say that. Don't pick one lie from each in the interest of "fairness." That distorts reality. And that's Fox's job.


IMMIGRATION IS NOT A CRISIS

It's one of the few things we do better than most countries. We only screw it up when we try to fix it. Until a couple of years ago, you couldn't find the word immigration in a newspaper. So don't let anyone convince you it's our number one problem. Our real immigration problem is shipping containers, not people.


RUDY GIULIANI IS A SOULLESS PIECE OF SHIT

But we all know that by now, don't we?


THE MEDIA ARE TOM HANKS

I mean Tom Hanks on SNL when he used to play Mr. Short Term Memory. Remember how surprised and baffled and delighted Mr. STM was every time he turned around and found something he himself had just done?

That's the political media. They give a week of glowing coverage to Obama, then turn around and say, "Oh my god! How can one explain Obama's sudden rise in the polls?!" Huckabee gets a week-long tongue bath, then it's, "Where is this Huckabee momentum coming from?"

I mentioned Mr. Smith Goes to Washington earlier. In this campaign we had something we've not had in a long time: an actual Mr. Smith moment, in the form of Chris Dodd's principled filibuster. The media could have spotlighted his integrity. It would have been a nice lesson for young people about what government and public service are supposed to be. But it was ignored. Why? What was more important that day? Who remembers?

Someday the media will be asked to justify why Biden and Dodd and Edwards never got that treatment. And how different America would be if they had.


THE PROCESS IS UNINSPIRING AND CYNICAL

Barack Obama experimented with drugs when he was a teenager. He quickly turned his life around and soared to unbelievable heights of achievement. Hillary Clinton's campaign "suggested" his past would make him unelectable. The Republicans will surely do the same if he's the nominee.

Now imagine you're a teenager, and you've been experimenting with drugs. You are making the decision, inspired by Barack Obama, to quit and devote your life to public service. And you are told again and again, by Hillary Clinton, by the media, by the Republicans, that your drug use will haunt you. No matter how much good you do for the next thirty years, eventually it will disqualify you from consideration. So, really, why quit?

Inspiring message.


No comments: