Saturday, June 21, 2008

Good news--well, kinda sorta. Maybe. Ah, who knows?

MPR Polinaut reports that the Independence Party will be meeting in Bloomington for their endorsing convention on Saturday. Geez, that's today, isn't it?

The news angle here is that the IP may not endorse any of their own Senate wannabees. They may do a "no endorsement" until Ventura announces whether he's going to enter the race.

But we will be watching the result anyway, because of the Bachmann angle:

...Convention delegates are also thinking about endorsing DFLer Elwyn Tinklenberg in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District. He's running against GOP incumbent Michele Bachmann...

Here's why that's important. The 6th Congressional District of Minnesota includes a number of IP voters. In 2006, the IP ran John Binkowski as their candidate against the DFL's Patty Wetterling and the GOP's Michele Bachmann. Binkowski lost but he took a small percentage of the vote with him at the polls.

Now if the IP endorses DFL'r Tinklenberg (former transportation commissioner for the Ventura administration) and deliver the same percentage for the his candidacy against Bachmann--that could be a difference that makes a difference, this time around.

MPR Polinaut link.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

GOP Prez Candidate Campaign Songs Are Here!

We used to have good campaign songs; before I was born the Dem’s theme song was “Happy Days Are Here Again.” They’d sing it at the convention:

Happy days
Are here again
The skies above
Are clear again
Let us sing a song
Of cheer again!
Happy days are here again!

Great song, got the crowd going.

The absolute worst attempt at a campaign song was by the Dole campaign; the year he ran against Clinton and lost. Some bright mind at his campaign thought it might be a great idea to change the words of Sam and Dave’s “I’m A Soul Man” to “I’m a Dole Man.”

I’m a Doooole Man... (da-da-da, d-da-da-da)
I’m a Doooole Man... (da-da-da, d-da-da-da)

It was that--plus the dead deer in front of the campaign bus, the fact that he told bigots they were not welcome in the GOP, and the fact that he actually tried to beg Perot for votes--that did him in. The prospect of watching a convention full of overwhelmingly white Republicans trying to “get down” to “I’m a Dole Man” was too much for Americans to face; they did the right thing and Clinton was re-elected.

Where are the campaign songs for the current GOP crop of losers, you ask? Why, they’re right here:

“Romney Egg Man”
(sing this one to the Beatles’ “I Am the Egg Man.” This one’s kind of abstract, like Romney’s campaign, lately.)

Huckabee has you (not me) cause Huck has made it
All about religion
See how he runs like God’s only son
See how he climbs
I’m dyin’—

Kissing up to cornheads
Can’t believe that they’re so dumb
Wasted all my bankroll--stupid bloody Christians
They will pick the nominee
I feel my face grow long

Romney Egg Man
Romney Egg Man
Romney Mormon

Mister pretty Christian, voting--
“Voting Christians, I’m a Christian, too-oo-oo!”
(“Ho-ho-ho, hee-hee-hee, ha-ha-ha!”)
See how they run like they think I’m done, see how fly
I’m dyin’
I’m dyyyy-ing
I’m dyin’
I’m diiiiiiiiii---ying!

“Giuliani Dance”
(sing this to “Do You Wanna Dance,” an old fifties favorite covered by the Ramones, I think. Very romantic, like Rudy:)

Giuliani dance
And hold their hands
Tell the right you’re their lover man
Oh baby,
Giuliani dance.

Giuliani dance
Under the spotlight
Yell “nine-eleven” all day and night
Oh baby,
Giuliani, dance

Giuli-giuli-giuli, Giuliani dance!
Giuli-giuli-giuli, Giuliani dance!
Oh baby
Giuliani da-ance.

Giuliani dance
To be the nominee
Avoid your mistresses and fam-i-ly,
Oh baby
Giuliani, dance.

(Here’s John McCain’s—another Beatles’ hit—“She Came In Through The Bathroom Window.”)

McCain is through, the bathshit weirdo
Rejected, finished, none too soon.
And now he sucks his thumb and wonders
Why “more war” didn’t make us swoon.

He said he shunned evasive answers
He fundraised 15 bucks a day
His pro-war message sold like cancer--
We all knew that it would not play.

Didn’t anybody tell him?
Didn’t anybody see?
Money’s only goin’ til Sunday,
Tuesday—into bankruptcy.
Oh, yeah...

(Mike Huckabee? He’s goin’ like gangbusters, so naturally he went with a hot Elvis tune:
“And Marie’s the Name (Of His Latest Flame)”:)

A very old scam
Worked fine today
'Cause we been calling everyone in town
To spread religious hatred round
Huckabee’s my name, bigotry’s my game.

Mitt talked and talked
and I heard him say
That he was Christian through and through
But my guys said it wasn’t true
Huckabee’s my name, bigotry’s my game.

Though he smiled the tears inside were a-burning
I wished him luck and then I said goodbye
Now he’s gone with no chance of returning
Guess we were smart to mention plural wives.

Would you believe
that yesterday
My name was dogshit in the GOP
Now I’ll be the nominee
Huckabee’s the name, bigotry’s my game


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Phony Chinese Art Scam A Pain In German Balls

How low can you go?

China slams German "warriors" show as fake
Thu Dec 13, 9:59 AM ET

BEIJING (Reuters) - Supposedly ancient Chinese terracotta warriors on show at a German museum are fakes, China confirmed Thursday, condemning the organizers for cheating the public...

..."All the items on show in Hamburg are reproductions," (a Chinese cultural) administration said in a strongly worded statement on its Web site...

The Hamburg Museum of Ethnology has offered refunds to about 10,000 visitors who have already viewed the "Power in Death" exhibition since it opened on November 25 as police probed the authenticity of the warriors.

The display of eight clay warrior figures, two horses and 60 smaller objects has remained open, with a sign stating that its authenticity was in dispute.

--Oh, mama, I yam zo exzited. Today is der day ve go to to zee der Chinese terra cotta varriors eggzibit at der Museum.
--Ja, papa, iz zertainly eine gloriouz day. All your schveet life you hast bin moaning about how grrrrreat it vould be der Chinese terra cotta varriors, “oh, if ve could only afford ze trip to China to zee de famous Chinese terra cotta varriors,” “I’d giff my fockink right arm to zee dose amazingk Chinese terra cotta varriors”—und now here are der original, chenuine Chinese terra cotta varriors, hright here at de Hamboorg Ethnologikal Museum!”
--Ja, dot’s pieze of luck, alrrrright! Normally you vouldn’t ketch me dead at der Hamboorg Ethnologikalmuseum, I vouldn’t pfork over a pfenning to zee de museum-piece third vurld Kunst dey got on dishplay over dere. But diz Chinese terra-cotta varrior eggzibit is a different shtory, liebschen! Look, I got der tickets for der kids and for der grandkiddies, too! Ve are going to make a whole day out it, I even flew my ninety year olt Great-Onkel Oskar into town from der Obergammerau Home for Der Dekrepit to see dis egg-zibit, bekoss he tells me ven I yam eine young shprout—“Hans! If dere is one ting I vould like to do before I die, it is zee der chenuine Chinese terra-cotta varriors! Not zum cheesy knock-off terra cotta varriors, but der real McCoy! If I could chust zee dat vunce, mein life vould not haff been in vain.”
--So you flew him down, even do it’s goink to break ush at ze bank. Dot is vhy you are a nize man, papa. Now, here is der hamper, mitt all de Cherman delicacies vot I haff been up all night cookingk so dot zeeing de chenuine Chinese terra cotta varriors vill be de perfect ekshperience dot our ekshtended family vill neber forget. I got der wienerschnitzel, der sauerbraten, der spaetzel, der hred kebbage, der white kebbage, der green kebbage, der kebbagebraten, der wienerkebbage—
--Vow, mama, you did a lot of kookink.
--I chure did, I disemboweled a lot of liveshtock and shpent our life shavings on kebbeges, but it’s all vort it for dis unforgeddable “zeeing der chenuine terra cotta varriors ekshperience.
--Cheez, mama, I hope ve are not “over-zelling” dis ting to ourselves and der kids. But let’s go, der museum ist openink.

(Later at the museum:)
--Vell, mama, iz diz “chenuine Chinese terra cotta varriors” egg-zibit all I promised du it vould be?
--Oh, papa, it shor ist! Dis is fontastik, der kiddies und der grrand-kiddies and our moribund Great-Onkle Oskar are zo exshited, zey are pointink and hreadink der interestingk facts on de eggzibit labels und marveling at ze audenticity of der egg-zibit—look at dis vun hright here, izn’t zis a fine shpecimen of a chenuine Chinese terra cotta varrior—

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

--Oh, ja, he ist a gut vun, mama. Vell, it cost us a bundle to get everyvun here, and I shpent all my money und all my life tryink to make zis drrream come trrrrue, but I must zay it voss vurth it to see the chenuine Chinese terra cotta varriors—
--Vot is vot? Vhy hast du turned all pale like eine uncooked knockwurst all of der sudden?
--Look dere! Look at vot it says on dis Chinese terra cotta varrior’s shkirt!
--Yes, “shkirt,” look at der bottom of his “shkirt,” it zays zumething at der bottom dere:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

--GOTT IN FOKINGK HIMMEL! VAS IST LOSS, or vords to dot effect, I’m zo upset I can’t remember “le mot juste” in Deutsche! DIS FOCKINGK EGG-ZIBIT IST NOTHINGK BUT A BUNCH OF FOCKINGK CHINESE TERRA COTTA VARRIOR KNOCKOFFS! Vot kind uf badger game are dese EthnologikalMuseumMutterfokkers tryingk to put over on der public? For der lieb of Gott, don’t let Great-Onkel Oskar see dat or he’ll—
--Mein Gott, Hans! He *hast* seen it! He ist habbing eine shtroke!
--ACH DU LIEBER, call nine-vun-vun! Dis is the vurst ekshperience in our eckshtended family’s history, us und our kinder und our grand-kinder heff gone through every last cent ve haff to shpend de last dree hourz looking at a bunch off PHONY ORIENTAL KUNST! I’m zooing, do you hear me? I um goingk to zoo this choke of a museum fer der Fraude!
--Und dot ist not de only bed news, papa! Look at der headline in dis American newshpaper, vot is choost lyin’ around here—
--(looks at headline) Oh, MEIN GOTT! (reads:)

Bush Justice Department Tells Congress To Stay Out of Destroyed CIA Tapes Investigation


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What if they really are "that stupid" at the White House?

Where was this woman educated?

Perino's 'Missile Crisis' Confession

...Appearing on National Public Radio's light-hearted quiz show "Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me," which aired over the weekend, (White House Press Secretary Dana) Perino got into the spirit of things and told a story about herself that she had previously shared only in private: During a White House briefing, a reporter referred to the Cuban Missile Crisis -- and she didn't know what it was.
"I was panicked a bit because I really don't know about . . . the Cuban Missile Crisis," said Perino, who at 35 was born about a decade after the 1962 U.S.-Soviet nuclear showdown. "It had to do with Cuba and missiles, I'm pretty sure."

So she consulted her best source. "I came home and I asked my husband," she recalled. "I said, 'Wasn't that like the Bay of Pigs thing?' And he said, 'Oh, Dana.' "

This explains a lot. What if they’re not *evil* motherfuckers? They may just be wildly *ignorant* motherfuckers. For example:

Reporter: Mr. Cheney, do you think your argument for a unitary executive is consistent with the Constitution?
Cheney: The what?
Reporter: The Constitution, Mr. Vice President. The legal charter that sets out the limits of law and government in the United States.
Cheney: (thinks for moment) I’m sorry, I’m gettin’ nothin’ here, the Consti-what?
Reporter: Surely you’ve heard of the Constitution, Mr. Cheney.
Cheney: No I haven’t. I’ve heard of “Shirley—“—she’s one of Giuliani’s girlfriends, isn’t she?
Reporter: Jesus Christ—
Cheney: Or is she one of his ex-wives? I can’t keep all that shit straight—You know what? Go fuck yourself, how’s that for an answer.

Chinese Ambassador: Naturally we are concerned with our image on human rights, Mr. President. The last thing we want to have is another Tiananmen Square—
Bush: Oh, yeah. My doctor told me to lay off those, too.
Chinese Ambassador: I beg your pardon, Mr. President?
Bush: Those whatchamacallit squares, those, uh, cookies you guys make out of marshmallow and rice krispies. Doc says I gotta lay off those. (pats stomach) Waist line.
Chinese Ambassador: Mr. President, I have no idea of what you are talking about.
Bush: (stares him down, then winks) Okay, I getcha. “State secret,” huh? “Ancient Chinese secret,” about the cookie industry. Don’t worry, I won’t blow the whistle on you and your Teeny Weenie Squares—but in return, you gotta let us dump some Fords over there in your vast, untapped automobile retail market. International trade goes two ways, get me?
Chinese Ambassador: (stares at President impassively, even stoically.)
Bush: Caught you by surprise there, didn’t I? Didn’t think I knew about your Tinnamon Squares, didja? (taps side of head) It’s *aaaalllll* up here, my oriental friend. The only thing I couldn’t figure out is how to get my “fortune” out of one of those thing—they’re all sticky inside, you know? So how am I supposed to get my fortune out, without tearing the little paper? Hell, I probably ate all my fortunes in (suddenly angry, yells at ambassador) What do they say? What do my fortunes say? Tell me or I’ll send nuclear arms to Taiwan!

Moral of the story: we have to give this administration the benefit of a doubt. They may not be getting tens of thousands killed every year because they’re sociopathic power junkies; they may be taking all these lives because they’re incredibly fucking stupid.

Or possibly some combination of the two. I’ve given up trying to decide.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Candidates: "The worst job I ever had was..."

The candidates for the presidency were asked what the worst job they ever had was.

Mike Huckabee had a job wiping people's fingerprints off the glass doors and windows at Penney's. Hillary Clinton had one of those horrible "gutting fish" jobs in Alaska and got yelled at when she didn't do it fast enough. Mitt Romney was rich, but he cut sewer pipe while summering at a family ranch. (Do you know what that can do to your hair?)

John McCain couldn't remember. Fred Thompson; well, he's an actor, he'll do anything for buck. He was a bouncer at drag strip (what the hell do you have to do to get thrown out of a drag strip?) Bill Richardson got minimum wage to pitch in a no-name baseball league.

Edwards mopped out the grease at a textile mill. Obama hated his job at Baskin Robbins because he ate too much ice cream (can you imagine Obama being eloquent at Baskin Robbins in one of those paper hats?)

But nobody asked "the man" himself, George W. Bush, what his worst job ever was. If he was asked, I think his answer would go...something like this...

The candidates for the presidency were asked what the worst job they ever had was.

Mike Huckabee had a job wiping people's fingerprints off the glass doors and windows at Penney's. Hillary Clinton had one of those horrible "gutting fish" jobs in Alaska and got yelled at when she didn't do it fast enough. Mitt Romney was rich, but he cut sewer pipe while summering at a family ranch. (Do you know what that can do to your hair?)

John McCain couldn't remember. Fred Thompson; well, he's an actor, he'll do anything for buck. He was a bouncer at drag strip (what the hell do you have to do to get thrown out of a drag strip?) Bill Richardson got minimum wage to pitch in a no-name baseball league.

Edwards mopped out the grease at a textile mill. Obama hated his job at Baskin Robbins because he ate too much ice cream (can you imagine Obama being eloquent at Baskin Robbins in one of those paper hats?)

But nobody asked "the man" himself, George W. Bush, what his worst job ever was. If he was asked, I think his answer would go...something like this...


Worst job? Definitely President of the United States. See, I’m basically a happy-go-lucky kind of guy. And for years now, everybody’s so serious, “there’s a war on, you can't go around laughin' and smilin' in public, blah, blah, blah.” The year that nine-eleven happened, I got up in public and said "All in all, it's been a great year for Laura and me" and of course the press picked that up, and Dick and Karl said, "Mr. President, you can't say shit like that in public, you can't be actin' all happy when there's three thousand Americans killed and the Pentagon all blown up!" So I had to reign it in. Couldn't be myself.

Being Governor of Texas was great. Governor of Texas doesn't really have to do anything, the State House is where it all happens. And I got to execute people! Al Gonzales got the review time I had to spend on each appeal down to half an hour.

Karla Faye Tucker—that execution made me, careerwise. Folks callin’ in to thank me for havin’ the courage to kill her, sayin’ prayers for me, sendin’ pizzas--God I miss that. Big points for that in the polls, and it was a no-brainer.

Now all I can really do--in public--is the Guantanamo stuff, incarcerating people with no right of appeal, no writ of habeas maximus, or whatever you call it. It’s just not the same.

I mean, I still have the power, the power to kill, the vast...power...of life and death-—but it’s mostly exercised over out-of-state foreigners these days. And that’s not as gratifying. I could kill thousands of innocent foreigners every month and not get the “charge” I got outta killing one Karla Faye Tucker. Cause, you know, she was guilty, and most of these people gettin' killed over in Iraq weren’t. They’re collateral, Karla Faye was—I don’t know, what is the word, “lateral?”

And Karla Faye was an American citizen. The only way I can get Americans killed now is if they volunteer to die for their country, and that strikes me as kind of sad sometimes. Sometimes they don’t die, sometimes they come back missing their legs. I don’t know what happens to the legs, I don’t know whether they ship the legs home, too. I figure it’s insensitive to ask. If I really had to know I could pick up the phone here and someone would tell me in five minutes. But I don’t see how it’s relevant to the question. I really don’t.

And I don’t know why they do it, to tell you the truth. Volunteering for combat, I mean. I could never see any percentage in that, myself. (pause) What was I talking about?

Oh, yeah, worst job. Definitely, being President of the United States. Being in business was a lot better than being President, too. You got to understand, I was in kind of a special situation there—I could fuck up and run the whole business into the ground (I did, too, heh, heh) and everybody would still like me, because I was, you know, politically connected and they were kind of scared of being cut out for bitchin' about me. And *I* made money—the secret is being first to get out before the thing collapses, like they did with Enron.

That’s what I did, and I miss it. People treated me with respect, not like this White House shit. Now people are always criticizing every little thing I say, if I get a name wrong or don’t know where a country is or how Social Security works—that makes the front page of the papers. In business, you can be a real idiot and it never makes the papers unless there’s an actual indictment. And you get all that money.

And you could dream big—when I was in business, people used to kiss my ass all the time, tell me that some day I could be President of the United States. Made me feel good, because I didn’t know what being President was really all about. Now I do, and I realize I had a, a child’s view of what being President of the United States was all about. I thought it was gonna be like Reagan—makin’ jokes, getting your picture taken with folks, being popular, sayin’ “Go ahead, make my day” to Democrats, that kind of stuff. Don't piss off the base by raising taxes on the rich people, get your picture taken, talk about what it means to be a leader--

Turns out that’s only a real small part of the job. That should teach the young people readin’ this interview a valuable lesson—careful what you wish for—you might get it! I thought I wanted to be president. So I went out and got the job, I got the four hundred million bucks together and I got myself the job, I’m President of the United States. And now look what happened. So be careful what you wish for, kids—it might happen!

I started out doin’ that all that Reagan photo-op stuff, but then that nine-eleven thing happened, and people would get all mad if I acted like myself—so Dick and Karl said I had to act all serious after that or they’d quit. Except at GOP events, they said I could cut loose a little at those, cut up a bit. Those people used to like me no matter what I said or did.

But with everybody else—gravitas, Dick said. And it’s been gravitas for six years. Even that thing where I landed the jet on the aircraft carrier—well, I was in the jet—that was a really cool, a lot of good video. But it turned out I shouldn’a told everybody that major combat operations were over—cause as it turned out--they weren’t! Who knew, I sure didn’t. That’s what they told me to say.

But four years later those pictures sure make me look like a smacked ass. Wrecked my gravitas. We had to Photoshop out the "Mission Accomplished" banner on the White House home page. I said, hey, where's the "Mission Accomplished" banner, they said "we Photoshop'd that out, Mr. President." Damn.

Can't say I blame. We stepped in shit that time, doin’ a big national photo op celebrating victory and the end of the war when it turned out it was just starting. Made me look like a smacked ass...still trying to live that down, four years later. Been tryin’ to get my gravitas back ever since. That’s Latin, did you know that? Everbody’s all serious all the time, this Latin shit...

I sure miss business. We had some fun back then. Flyin' a fighter jet when I had a little buzz goin' was pretty cool, too. Not everybody can do it, though. You got to have reflexes that can counter the liquor. Counter the liquor...


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I talk to Karl Rove on Fox News Sunday

O-right, as we say in Jersey: here’s me cutting myself into the Sunday news talk shows again. This time it's Fox News Sunday, and I'm talking with Karl Rove.

A weekly roundup of the buzz from the Sunday talk shows
Monday, December 3, 2007; Page A02

Karl Rove defended his recent assertion that Democrats in Congress pushed the country to war with Iraq faster than the White House wanted.

Fox News Sunday: Mr. Rove, you lovable rascal, would you care to defend your recent assertion that Democrats in Congress pushed the country to war with Iraq faster than the White House wanted?
Me: What kind of fucking asshole would say something as ridiculously untrue as that? Oh—here is he is right here, sitting next to me on the panel—
Rove: "The general conventional wisdom is that the president was the only person pushing the Congress to vote on the war resolution before the November election."
Me: That’s another fucking lie. A different lie to avoid explaining the first lie. There was no shortage of bloodthirsty right wing bullshit artists who were pushing the Congress to vote on the war resolution before the November election. No one is claiming that “the president was the only person” pushing that, there were tens of thousands of assistant shitheels helping him do that, including you and the owner of this bullshit propaganda network.
Rove: “And that's simply not true. [Former Senate majority leader] Tom Daschle in June [of 2002] said there's broad support for regime change in Iraq."
Me: I don’t know if that’s true or not, if Karl Rove announces it’s sunny outside, I take an umbrella on the strength of his word. He’s a fuckin’ liar by profession, ladies and gentlemen, and everybody knows it, including the irresponsible jerkoffs who ask him to appear on these shows as “an expert on politics.” Anyway--it doesn’t fucking matter what Daschle fucking thought. The president is responsible for making the case for war or peace to the country and the Congress, and you turd-slingers lied your asses off about the degree of the threat from Iraq so that people like Daschle would back you in this sorry fucking historical debacle. And you’re still lying about it. And none of the bullshit you offered here today actually answers the challenge you were given: to “defend your recent assertion that Democrats in Congress pushed the country to war with Iraq faster than the White House wanted.”
Your answers are non-responsive bullshit, strike them. And now we’re going to a commercial about a new kind of douche bag or something, which will probably do a better job of defending the lying charge about “Democrats in Congress pushed the country to war with Iraq” than this old douche bag here did.

Commercial: (soft acoustic guitar plays a Bach canticle in the background as we see a longshot of a woman walking across a sunny field of wildflowers on a breezy day.)
Woman’s voice over: Sometimes a woman doesn’t feel as fresh as she should (etc. etc.)
(Oddly enough, the commercial turns out to be for snow tires. So don't write me about that.)

Me: We’re back with Fox News Sunday. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, do you have a question for this unrepentant life-long liar that we’ve invited on the air again so he can lie to us all again, as if that was a valuable use of airtime and of value to the American political discourse?
Van Hollen: Yes. Mr. Rove, what about this Washington Post report that quoted former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer as saying it was "definitely" the administration that "set . . . in motion and determined the timing" of the war resolution?
Rove: Ari Fleischer was "not aware of and was not privileged" to all the information he needed to make the most accurate assessment.
Me: Neither was your MOTHER, Rove. Neither were you, neither was I, neither was the kid who brings in the donuts. Neither was the fucking President of the United States! Even if they gave him all the information he needed to make the most accurate assessment—he couldn’t understand it and he wasn’t interested in it. He’d already decided to go to war in Iraq whether there was a threat from WMDs or not. Ari Fleischer is just telling the truth for once in his life, and it’s no defense for you to argue that your own White House Press Secretary had no idea of what was going on. You drove this fucking thing, Rove, you were in charge of selling the public on the idea of going to war—and now you’re here trying to deny that that even happened? What the fuck are you, Pravda or something? Why don’t you tell us about how you torpedo’d your own political party in just seven years, cost it the Congress with these fucking lies you’re still telling? If Bush had just sat on his hands in the Oval Office with his mouth zipped shut, he could have been re-elected, but no—you couldn’t resist you power-mad obsession with lying to the American public. You set out to build a permanent conservative majority and instead you turned the party to shit with your crazy lies—and here’s Fox presenting you as a “big political expert.” My ass is a better political expert than you are, and the noises that come out of *it* are more trustworthy than *you.*
(to camera) Anyway—that’s all we have time for this morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you, and best wishes for a good week from... roll that computer graphic, boys... Fox News Sunday.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Analogy That Explains Your Role In American Politics

Look at this picture. This is how you see yourself, relative to the Democratic Party, if you're one of these idiots like me who does political blogging on progressive issues.

So many of the Dem candidate partisans keep writing about how Obama’s two-faced or Hillary’s a sell-out from the get-go or Edwards is a non-starter or "I'm gonna walk if this one’s the nominee, because I can’t support that."

I’ve tried to explain this to them, over and over, but they just reject the explanation, over and over. You see—our side is not nearly as strong as they think it is. The conservatives have been in trouble this last few years, but they’ll be back—regaining seats and maybe even the White House—as early as 2008 if the activists don’t cut out this "I demand this or I’m out" shit and get with the program.

It looks like I have to take an analogy and beat it to death to get this across to you. So here it is. There are these two restaurants, see? Only two viable restaurants in the whole town, get me? There’s "Chez GOP" and "L’Asino" (That means "The Donkey," that’s the Democratic restaurant.) They are the only two viable places to eat in town, if one goes out of business you have to eat at the other. Get me so far?

Okay. At Chez GOP, they serve shit. No, not shit as in "bad food"—they serve actual shit, as food, and their clientele pays for it. How can they stay in business doing that? Great advertising. Control of the local media. They give their shit a fancy name, and they keep advertising how fabulous it is, and they got a twenty four/seven media campaign going on that says their stuff is great and anyone who’d eat at any other restaurant is some kind of a commie homo simpleton—and that works, for thirty per cent of available customers, decade after decade. This thirty per cent of available customers have actually developed a taste for shit, as a result of this incessant advertising and media campaign. These customers have reached a point where they refuse to eat anything else!

Okay, how about the other restaurant? "L’Asino," a more romantic atmosphere. There’s a lot on the menu there that you and I would like. It’s not shit. It’s a good menu—look, you got health care, you got some identity politics there (feminism, gay rights, protection of civil rights), environmental regulations that actually mean something, a realistic economic policy that isn’t just aimed at making rich people richer, an expressed commitment to end the war rather than expand it. There’s a lot of good stuff on this menu. The problem is that you can’t depend on them to give you anything particular on the menu. You may get it, you may not.

You know where you want to eat, given these two choices, right? I mean, these are the only two going concerns--there’s always talk of opening a third joint, "El Tercer Fiesta" (the third party), but no one can ever find the necessary capital to make a go of it, they can’t get enough customers--fuck, they can’t even afford the silverware or the tablecloths unless Chez GOP gives them a little dough just to shave off the number of clientele at "L’Asino."

So okay. That’s the present reality; only two viable restaurants to eat at. If you’re in here at the Kos every week yelling about "Obama’s a this" or "Hillary’s a that" or "Edwards is God" or "Reid and Pelosi are assholes and we will punish them for that"—you don’t understand your role in this restaurant analogy! You’re talking like you think you’re the customer at "L’Asino!" You think your relationship to the party is this:

See? Look at that; that’s how you see yourself. You think you’re the angry, irate customer who’s entitled to scream about the bad service (and it is bad), and about how if you don’t get what you ordered, right away—"I’m gonna walk out of here and never come back again, because you assholes running this joint are incompetent nincompoops!"

But that’s not who you are! You’re not the fucking customer! Before I tell you who you really are—let me tell you who the other characters in the drawing are. You see that waiter? He’s Tonio, he’s a Dem organizer. He actually rounds up the votes, he goes running around doing GOTV, locking up the unions, the educators, the core constituencies, charming the swing voters. He’s apologizing to the angry customer because the angry customer ordered "End the War This Year," and they don’t have it. They don’t have it for him, because the management is convinced that if they served him that dish tonight, when he wanted it, when he needed it—there wouldn’t be a "L’Asino" restaurant next year in 2008; the whole place would go out of business and we’d all end up having to eat shit at Chez GOP—including their "Endless War Daily Shit Special."

The maitre d’? That’s Gianni; he represents the most powerful elected Dems in the party. The fat guy on the right, watching nervously as you bitch and moan? That’s Marcello, one of the owners. He owns a share in this friggin’ restaurant—he represents the party management and the funding people, the guys who put up the big money that keeps this place open. He puts up the millions and millions to keep this place going and make it viable competition for Chez GOP. He pays the guys who came up with the polling data, to tell the restaurant what will and will not sell to the electorate, what policy positions/menu items will keep "L’Asino" in business, and what policy positions/menu items will drive it out of business—leaving us all to eat shit at Chez GOP.

The chef, where is he? The one who actually turn out the food (ie, the policy?) He doesn’t matter, because if he doesn’t do what the owners tell him, he’s fired. You can always get another chef, and you can always get another policy wonk or academic; chefs and academics are as common as prostitutes. Marcello and the other owners are the ones that make the final decision about what goes on the menu, taking into account what will attract the most customers and taking into account that they refuse to serve absolute shit like Chez GOP. Because they do have some small principles; they think that serving shit up like food is wrong. (At Chez GOP, the owners have no such principles.)

And in this next cartoon, you can see who you really are, God help you:

That’s right—you’re Finucchio--the bus boy! If you’re a grass roots activist, a net roots activist, whatever the hell you call yourself—you are a bus boy. If you don’t have the millions necessary to be one of the owners—you’re not entitled to get angry and complain about the service, you’re not entitled to demand that this issue or that issue be "our special for today!" You eat here, because the bus boys eat at the restaurants they work at, but you get whatever they put on the fuckin’ menu that night—not what you may happen to "feel like eating!" If you want to be one of the guys who decide what actually is on the menu—you damn well better put up a million dollars of your own, Finucchio! (Or deliver a million more customers. Either delivery will entitle you to decide one dish on the menu, Finook.)

But if you can’t deliver either of those, the million bucks or the million new votes—well, chief, you better face the fact that you’re a bus boy who can’t do that! And the management already thinks you’re an asshole, but they don’t even respect you enough to tell you that. You know why? Because bus boys who work as cheap as you are hard to get, it’s hard to get a bus boy who works as cheap as you. They’ll tolerate you and even flatter you because even with all your bitching and moaning it’s better than having no bus boys at all.

But if you don’t acknowledge you’re a bus boy and you keep acting like an unhappy customer and you keep bitching and moaning about this restaurant and how lousy it is—you’ll start to drive the real customers out (i.e. the part of the electorate that is up for grabs.) By sitting down at the table with them and telling them how lousy this restaurant is and how there’s really no difference between this restaurant and Chez GOP. (That’s a lie, by the way; they serve shit over at Chez GOP—here, you may not get what you want when you order it, but at least they don’t serve up actual shit and call it food.) If you keep pretending you’re a customer and telling people this is just as crappy a restaurant as Chez GOP-- this restaurant will go out of business--and we’ll all end up eating shit at Chez GOP! Again!

That’s why the waiters and the maitre d’ and the owners think you’re an asshole, for acting the way you act, complaining and pretending you’re a customer. This business is in a competition-to-the-death with Chez GOP—and here are the busboys sitting down at the table and acting like they’re customers all of a sudden? What kind of crazy fucked-up idiocy is that? How does that help?

Who is that pinhead sitting at the table with the fork in his cheek? That is the uncommitted voters, the customers we need to attract to keep this place open. They don’t know what is going on, they just want to get something good to eat that’s not shit. (These pinheads—about fifty per cent of the electorate—may not know much about politics, but they know a pile of shit when they see it, and they won’t eat that unless they’re conned into doing so. The thirty per cent of the pinheads who have already been conned into eating shit and paying for the privilege are already the regular customers at Chez GOP.)

Who represents the candidates in these pictures? It’s that silly fuck on the guitar playing mood music, the guitar idiot. He (or she, as the case may be) is actually one of the least important people in the restaurant! If there wasn’t a restaurant, or if the restaurant went out of business, that silly shit would be the first guy out of a job! That’s how much this "who the candidate is" shit matters: if the restaurant goes out of business because you won’t shut up and bus the tables and because you’re a bus boy who is suffering a bizarre delusion that he is the customer and not a busboy—we all end up eating shit at Chez GOP, and your beloved candidate is out of a job and they certainly won’t hire him at Chez GOP either, because that crowd hates the kind of songs he sings. You understand what I’m saying here?

If "L’Asino" goes out of business next year, there won’t be anything on the menu for us at all. No identity politics, no civil liberties protections, no economic turnaround for working people, no protecting pro-choice, no protecting the environment. All of that, and more--"off the menu!" It’s not that you can get anything you want on our menu if "L’Asino" stays open—it’s that you will have to eat shit at Chez GOP if "L’Asino" closes!

So for God’s sake shut up and start bussing some of these tables again. What do I mean by "bussing the tables," in this analogy? That stands for contributing money to the party, talking up the Dem candidates instead of character assassination, badmouthing the GOP instead of the Dem leadership, by telling the sordid truth about the shit they serve. We have got to get some more customers in here and win this competition against Chez GOP! They already have thirty per cent of the available customers, even though they serve shit! We cannot hope to win this thing if you spend fifty per cent your time here bitching about the management, bus boy!

Christ, I hope you guys start understanding this real soon. Because if you don’t start understanding this real soon—you and me and everybody else are going to spend the next four years eating shit at Chez GOP—again!