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.


  1. This is better [in addressing adulterous behaviour among politicians] but I don't see why Hillary supporting her husband is counted as a negative whereas McCain's first wife supporting his run for presidency is a positive.

    I don't even see why you're running so hard on this 'dumping your old hag wife' bit when you're a McCain supporter. Makes no sense whatsoever.

    The crucial questions are:
    who can fix the economy?
    how can you end the war?

    If that's McCain, fine (but it doesn't sound like it)

  2. Bill and Hillary publicly attacked the women Bill attacked sexually. That makes 'em both sick people without honor.

    And how many times are you going to judge McCain's marriage from the outside? She says she understands - and he's the guy to lead - who are you to say different? Were you a years-long prisoner of war whose wife was in a terrible car accident? No. You're the whiney liberal tree-hugger with a mean streak: maybe you'd understand better if you thought about human beings more.

    We've entered the era of globalization. You want to "fix the economy"? Then participate in it and get off this socialist crap.

    Fuck ending the war. It ends when the bad guys are dead or surrendered. Period. Wimp.

    And - sure, sure - much better to pass on McCain (who we know, love, and trust) and, instead, turn the most powerful office in the world over to a guy we've never heard of, who came out of nowhere, who hasn't done anything, and has a bunch of (to say the least) sketchy and untrustworthy friends - and all because of the "historic" color of his skin.

    Brilliant plan, Berko.

  3. I'm not judging McCain. I'm not the one judging people for their infidelities full stop. You are.

    I am, however, pointing out the inconsistency of your position.

    I'm using rational debate in unemotive language. You're calling me names. So who is it has the mean streak?!!

    I have no qualms with you supporting McCain for being a war veteran. Or dissing Obama because he's a new age flake. Fine. I just think there's perils in your position of pushing this infidelity business - especially when the Democrat candidate has no controversy surrounding his marriage.

    I'm sure McCain's ex is canny enough to know that if she criticised his credentials, it would look like sour grapes. So there really isn't anything to be gained by doing so.

    You mention 'critical thinking' a lot and you'll see the evidence of it in my comments. It isn't defined by calling someone a 'whiney liberal tree-hugger' I can tell you that much.

    I studied 'Critical Thinking'. Got a High Distinction. Means I can find the hole in anyone's argument. Makes me dangerous, certainly, but not mean.

    For the record, I'm not particularly a tree-hugger. I've bulldozed a few down when necessary. Not a liberal either. Anarchists are just as tough-minded in calling it how they see it as the biggest unreconstructed right-winger.

    Re: the economy. Don't you think fiscal conservatives would be alarmed at the rate at which the Bush administration has been spending their money? How much enterprise will be required to replace those billions they'll never see back? Be realistic.

    Re: the war. No, it's like the many-headed Hydra. If you couldn't win Vietnam, you have absolutely no chance of winning in Iraq using 'shock and awe'. You'll just make the enemy more determined and increase their recruiting drive. People who would have taken no active part in the war, are now motivated to do so thanks to the clumsy clueless 'force without finesse' that has defined this war.

    I'm not a wimp. Just someone blessed with intelligence enough to know a bad idea when I see one.

    Why would a suicide bomber surrender? Because you threaten to kill them? Brilliant plan, Crack Emcee.

  4. Berko, there's no in consistency here: McCain and his ex-wife dealt with a lot. She understands it, better than you or I will, so I'm not gonna call her on it. And I'm not going to make the assumption I know her mind enough to say she's being "canny" either. Face it: you've got no case, and your "new age flake" ain't safe no matter what the state of his family is: he's still a new age flake.

    Yes, I call names, because I've found it works well with NewAgers. They confuse niceness with weakness, so fuck 'em. But that doesn't make me "mean" (jesus, dude, you sound like a girl) just utilizing my freedom of speech. Call me whatever you want. I'm a big boy. I expect you to be as well.

    You're an anarchist? No wonder you found that Batman/Joker post disturbing. You are the bad guy.

    The economy: dude, this is America. Making money is what we do and troubled fiscal conservatives just have to come to grips with this wartime economy. I'm not worried about it. You are, though I have no idea why. Probably because you don't understand the dynamics of my country.

    The war: we didn't lose Vietnam. The same forces that are trying to drive us to give up on this war - who you identify with - are the same people who were determined to do the same then. But this ain't the 60's no more and we, too, know a bad idea when we hear one - like listening to the "wisdom" of anarchists.

    And nobody has to surrender to us: they will die for what they believe in.

    That is as it should be.

  5. re: the McCains. All I'm saying is that those are fine distinctions that may not be clear to the readers you're trying to convince.
    (and I presume your blog is trying to convince, otherwise you're just blowing smoke.)

    re: calling names. But I'm not a NewAger and I don't confuse niceness with weakness. So it's pretty much lost on me. You'd do better to stick to outgunning me with a well-constructed argument (which, to your credit, you're doing here).

    Maybe we're both a bit mean. Ornery at least.

    re: anarchism. Big education lesson: read Kropotkin, Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman, Bakunin, Bakhtin (or even a basic anarchism primer) then report back. On this point I can truly say "You don't know what you're talking about".
    The Joker is a nihilist, not an anarchist.
    And I'm more the good guy than a roomful of neocons and televangelists. Of that I have no doubt.

  6. You mention 'critical thinking' a lot and you'll see the evidence of it in my comments. It isn't defined by calling someone a 'whiney liberal tree-hugger' I can tell you that much.


    You're not the first person to try to explain to Crack what "critical thinking" is - I have posted links to (very brief) web-based introductions to Critical Thinking and the logical fallacies multiple times in the comments section of this blog.

    What I realized eventually is that Crack doesn't actually WANT to learn about critical thinking - what he wants to do instead is rant emotionally and then drop the phrase "critical thinking" in once in a while like its some kind of magical incantation that will make his arguments logical by association.

    So yeah, you shouldn't assume that just because Crack uses the phrase "critical thinking" that he understands what it means... he's really just throwing it around for effect and bluster.

  7. You dumbshit:

    If you showed me the thing, then it follows I read it, and guess what?

    I still want to call you a 'whiney liberal tree-hugger'!

    Who doesn't understand critical thinking?...

  8. Who doesn't understand critical thinking?...


    I'm quite sure that you think you understand "critical thinking," but it doesn't mean what you think it means.