Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Getting Serious About Our Political Maturity

"Why is everybody so squeamish about this story? Because it ruins the 2008 campaign narrative, which is all about the grizzled old war veteran vs. the hopeful young star. Because, if true, it is a tawdry and tragic ending to a political love story that was just an embarrassing media performance.

It reminds us that John McCain left his wife, after she was disfigured in a car accident, so he could chase women in bars until he met the beer heiress of his congressional-district dreams.

It reminds us that Bill Clinton squandered a successful second term in a prosperous, peaceful America by shaming his family and the country with his dumb redneck inability to keep his pants on, and it reminds Hillary supporters that she would likely be the Democratic nominee today if Bill wasn't such a self-centered jackass.

It reminds us that the last Agent of Change in Washington was an ambitious young legislator named Newt Gingrich, whose divorced his first wife while
she was fighting cancer, and left his second wife after she was stricken with multiple sclerosis, and carried on an adulterous affair with a young congressional aide -- now his third wife -- while leading the charge to impeach Bill Clinton for having "sexual relations" with Monica Lewinsky.

It even reminds us that Barack Obama and his picture-perfect wife and kids on the cover of People magazine are not "normal" at all. They are the imaginary American family, successful and attractive, somehow rising from modest backgrounds and all the American prejudices against single parents, minorities and mixed-race kids.

It reminds us that politicians in Washington are creeps and weirdos, and whether they're Senator Larry Craig cruising for gay sex in an airport bathroom or ex-Senator John Edwards hiding from tabloid reporters in a Beverly Hills hotel bathroom, they are twisted little Caligulas pretending to be statesmen, on your dime."

-- Ken Layne, the editor of Wonkette, getting pretty close to the edit - and I applaud him for that - but still missing the mark, in the New York Times

I like this one - finally: the fresh air of something like reality - so let's get down to the real nitty-gritty:

John McCain's ex-wife, Carol, whatever the circumstances, says she's rooting for him to be president. Until she says different, I'm willing to accept her word on what they (both) have been through, and think it's unfair for us to judge otherwise.

This piece reminds me that Hillary joined "the war room" against Bill's accusers and what's up with that? Doesn't she, also, belong in this Hall of Horrors? (As far as I know, she's never spoken of, or apologized for, her role in betraying those women.) I don't know why anyone would want to see her as "the Democratic nominee today" considering what we know about her.

I've never been a Newt fan, though I didn't know all this. The man disgusts me. I once even did an album called "Newt Hates Me." I didn't have a tag for him until now because I don't follow or write about him. He's a horse's ass. A very smart horse's ass.

And let's not continue with the sugar-coating of the Obama story: that "picture-perfect wife" is an angry controlling bitch, nursing various resentments, and more than comfortable delivering hectoring rhetoric like: “Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation. … Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.” Please - lady - you and Barack go inform Oprah and her quacks and gurus about all that. It'll be a change I can believe in.

And when has Barack Obama started making sense? I know incoherence isn't as big of a crime as adultery but why do Barack Obama's negatives, collectively, pass the ethical taste test? He's lied, evaded, shown extreme arrogance, a love for socialism, and, at times, his speeches have hit me with the force of a full-blown acid trip. Why shouldn't I be looking askance at him when considering the most powerful office in the land?

I thought this was a great piece - the kind of clock-cleaning I'd like to see more of - and we can go further. And ought to.

We've wandered in the dark too long.