Is So Pathetic

…in the face of the Republican political steam roller of death. Today’s email — subject: “disgusting” (oh my, but such strong language!) — hopes to enrage us with the news that “John McCain and Sarah Palin are repeatedly deceiving, manipulating, and flat-out lying.” Yawn. Whining about the other side playing dirty doesn’t win elections.

Today’s response from Obama: “Enough is enough.” Oh really? Are you sure about that? Mr. Obama, I beg you: it’s time to unleash your angry inner Mark Morford:

“Aww, just look at you. You seem a little upset. A mite peeved, even. 

“Heck on a hot pancake, I’d even go so far as to say you were downright angry, given how I can see the ripples of general upsettedness and waves of appalledosity coursing through your hot liberal body like fresh biodiesel through a converted VW van. Really now, that can’t be good for your chakras, can it?

“What’s wrong, buttercup? Right-wing politics got you down? RNC ’08 making you gag? Toxic and inexcusable events of the past eight years make you deeply sick to your stomach, spleen, heart, mind, spirit and even your kneecaps? Or is it the wretched notion that the bizarro-world McCain-Palin agenda wants to continue more of the same?

“Or maybe it’s this: Maybe it’s all this terrifying new evidence that there still seems to be this huge pile of Americans who aren’t all that concerned with — or even aware of — just how violently the GOP continues to dump all over their very heads. Is that what’s making your blood boil? Aww, there, there, now.

“Really, I have to say, what nerve you libs have, daring to be angry at a time like this. This is a time of optimism and change! This is a time of true, red-blooded American mavericks, of hot Alaskan redneck babes and giant phallic guns and military fetishism and zero birth control, of teen pregnancy and God and freshly slaughtered moose on the dinner table!

“Can’t you sense the patriotism? Hell, McCain-Palin is so damn American it might as well be a McDonald’s McRib sandwich dipped in Crisco and cooked over a Chevy Tahoe’s exhaust pipe at a tailgate party in Kid Rock’s bowels. Feel the jingoism, hippie!

“You know what you should do, angry lefty? You should take a page from the Republican Convention. Just look how perky they all are, doing that incredible dance of the true blind American, completely blocking out the pain and misprision of their party’s leadership — the failed war, the fiscal disaster, the least popular president in a lifetime, the secrecy and scandal and historic ineptitude — much in the same way an insane cat lady blocks out the all the cold lumps of fur piling up in the freezer. Really, why can’t you be more like that?”

15 Responses to “ Is So Pathetic”

  1. Tony

    Did you get a little liquored up before you wrote this post, Dan?

  2. dorian gray

    Best post in awhile. I had to explain to co-workers the public doesn’t like smart people in office which is something the dems will need to figure out. They also need to learn we’re not electing a V.P. so focus on the issues -she’ll implode eventually. At some point she’ll have to give an interview on her speech and the lies she told.

  3. Matt the Engineer

    //the public doesn’t like smart people in office//

    Clinton was pretty sharp. Despite appearances, I’d say the same goes for Regan and Carter. I think you’re generalizing based on our current president.

    I think our real problem is that it doesn’t take a huge amount of effort or education to check one of the two boxes on a ballot. Our direct form of democracy is easily controlled by the same marketing tricks that try to move people from Coke to Pepsi. If we’re lucky, both sides are just as good at this marketing, the easily swayed voters cancel themselves out, and the few percent that think independently decide the election. But I don’t think we’ve ever been that lucky.

  4. old timer

    I think the real amusement comes from all who think this charade has any meaning beyond circus.
    They ALL dance to the tune played by Wall Street, Big Pharma, and Big Business; written and directed by the “True Rulers”.
    No matter who wins, there will be more war, more big business bailouts, more restrictions on civil liberties, more homeless, more unrest, and all the rest of the corporate/fascist trappings.
    The solutions to our problems start when we discard the idea that the political system we have is of any value.

  5. BrianK

    Then grab your gun, old timer! Best “solution” ever invented for changing an entire political system that has been de-valued. OK, for real, I’m not sure how I could act upon your comment if I decided to accept it – it’s too rant-y and unspecific.

    As for the “it doesn’t matter who wins” hoo-hah, are we still flopping that tired thing around? I disagree that President Al Gore would have invaded Iraq. But I’m all ears to be see evidence that would convinve me otherwise.

  6. BrianK

    Obama should hire Jon Stewart as campaign media director. He is doing what no one else in the media seems willing to do. As an example, here he displays the right-winger’s flagrant hypocrisy so clearly even a five-year-old could understand it:

  7. Dan Staley

    I agree with old timer and that nothing major will change until we change the corporatocracy and worship of capital in this country (quick, everyone: how much did the DOW go up today?).

    We will have incremental change and occasional larger change (as long as the bottom line can be maintained), but Ike’s military-industrial complex has hold of the media and information dissemination. I’m listening to NPR now and here’s this white woman saying Obama is a Muslim. Sheesh. We just had a large firing here of a bunch of Somalis. Unbelievable.

    When the people lead, the leaders will follow, is what old timer is saying. Change the entire system, not the suits that sit in the well-upholstered chairs that the system provides. Listen to some Rage Against The Machine.

  8. joshuadf

    Obama can win this the same way he won the primary: talk to youth. He doesn’t have more ideas than Gore or Kerry, but he’ll get the big turnout if he just talks about things the 18-30 demographic cares about.

    By the way, eight years ago I thought Bush was harmless and only moderately preferred Gore to Nader, so we can all be wrong. No one saw 9/11 (and with it the PATRIOT Act) coming. But McCain is a madman who’s picking fights with Iran and Russia. On the other hand, I just read Suess’ _The Butter Battle_ to my daughter and that gives some perspective. I guess at least he’s not proposing to put a nuclear arsenal in space.

  9. Joshua

    Ok, I’ve got to call Dan and Old Timer out on this one. Change the system into… what? I’m all open ears on this one. I keep hearing (and saying) that we need to change the underlying system. But what do we change to? I’ve got a few ideas for, say, zoning, but when it comes to our “corporatocracy”, I’m at a loss. Anyone got a proposal?

    Let me provide a thought: perhaps we don’t really want change. John Forrester from Cornell has pointed out rather pointedly in his research that protesting community groups are often most threatened when solutions are offered to that which they are challenging. Takes away their identity, their reason to exist. If we change, would we be robbed of our arguments, our kvetching, our angst… our BLOGS? Who would we be then?

  10. joshuadf

    Here’s a start:

    1. No money from lobbyists or PACs
    2. Vote to end earmarks
    3. Support reform to increase Congressional transparency
    4. Support publicly-financed campaigns

    I’m not claiming it’s anything more than a baby step, but wouldn’t that be better than a hail-mary new constitution movement?

  11. Dan Staley

    Joshua, I’d be happy to change our system into a representative democracy where corporations are not a person – repealing Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific RR.

    This results in making our country something similar to the Jeffersonian democratic model, albeit with fewer people being yeoperson farmers (due to lack of arable land). Is it too late to return to what our Founding Fathers sought to make? I don’t know – is it? We see what happens when national leaders try to give land back to original owners from the landed gentry.

  12. old timer

    There is a lot that could be done to start the return of individual liberty.
    1. We individuals are the ones granted inalienable rights by our creator, not Exxon, nor Goldman Sachs. Corporations should not have the same rights as individuals.
    A corporation has no mind nor mouth. Corporations are not entitled to ‘free speech’.
    A corporation has no death, save bankruptcy, and therefore has no moral perspective or limits to it’s actions, save those that will rapaciously add to it’s ability to grow.
    A corporation should be a second class legal entity below that of human.

    2. Reform of campaign finance. No one gets to the race unless they pass the gatekeepers who are those with the money.

    3. Develop a true multi-party political system. We have one party now, with two illusory segments.

    But nothing will be done until there is a general recognition of the fact that the political system we have boxed ourselves into is now merely a tool for those with access to take from those who do not.
    The system is dysfunctional.
    It’s broken.
    Until we all call it, it will remain so.
    Too many are invested with the ‘race’ and do not see that the fix is already in.

    We were given a great gift by our founding fathers, but the system they gave us has become encrusted with the dried slobber of greedy interpretation.
    We need to look to the real meaning of the words that are the contract we Americans have with our government, and we need to enforce that contract.

  13. Joshua

    Thanks, all. Agreed, overall. Some thoughts, though:

    joshuadf: Which lobbyists are you referring to? I imagine it’s the oil or HMOs, right? Couldn’t agree more. But what about the ones that got the ADA passed? Or the ones that try to argue for passing welfare reform? I kind of like their causes, so… As your website says, though, “Congresspeople should be beholden to citizens.” What does that really mean? Aren’t they already? They are voted in and out of office by their citizenry every few years. So are you saying that beyond the popular vote, they should also hold a referendum for every decision they make? That’s sounding suspiciously like the Seattle way, which has been much bemoaned on this very blog. Isn’t the public’s endorsement already implicit in the office itself? Here’s my thought: it’s people who vote dumbasses into office, and its people that need to be held accountable. Blaming the system is like me blaming Jack Daniels for my drinking problem… tempting, but there are probably other issues I need to look at… ummmm… ok, later.

    Jeffersonlian democracy and the Founding Fathers: Dan, I totally respect that you want to bring it back to the roots. You’re one of the few people I know that actually walks the talk. I like the Jeffersonian model for its staunch belief that everyone should be educated (which will bring me to my final point). But I don’t agree that we should be strictly bound to the U.S. constitution (um, Scalia anyone?), nor do I believe that we should revert back to an agrarian culture. It’s not possible, and it’s not desirable. States rights? Maybe, but I happen to be writing this in Sweden, where the “federal government” is as strong as it gets, and all is much better than where I call home.

    For me, the end result is this: there are issues with our democracy, there are things the absolutely need to be dealt with. But before we tear down the system, I’d recommend some more education and national dialogue. An educated citizenry is the best antidote to stupid government. Conversely, a stupid citizenry will undermine any government, whether Jeffersonian, socialist, or corporatocratic.

  14. Dan Staley

    Send some cool pix of Malmö, Joshua.

    at any rate:

    But before we tear down the system, I’d recommend some more education and national dialogue.

    In my view, giving the public a decent education won’t happen until the system is torn down. The system is the reason for the education issues we have now. And the national bifurcated dialogue is a result of a generation of PR from one side (divide and conquer) plus poor public education; plus, certainly our living standards have made us soft (I agree with the ‘nation of whiners’) which contribute to the lack of hunger or curiosity. And perhaps this condition helps too.


    Speaking of talking the talk, I’m speaking at state APA tomorrow (Saturday) – and its a CM credit session. WTF?!? Me? CM credits? Don’t these people know I’m anti-establishment?! Anyway, I’m throwing in Palmer and maybe I can get a sentence in about someone relaxing in Sverige…

  15. joshuadf

    Good questions of course. I recommend the “10 minutes on two ideas for change” interview with Larry Lessig, from the Economist (I appreciate their semi-outsider perspective in the Democracy in America blog/podcast):

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