2016

2016


I’ve already written about the 2016 Presidential election, and Chris Christie, who already appears to be signaling that he’d very much like to be president after Obama.

Charming. Maybe, if Chris Christie is a good boy, we’ll look him over and kick his tires and see if he’s the man for the job, so long as we’re all still alive in 2016.

But, as I wrote in my previous entry: please God, don’t subject us to this yet!

I am one of those people who just want elected politicians to govern. I want them to state their goals, and work toward them, and compromise (as necessary) until those goals (or some form of them) are achieved. I don’t want it to be all about us/them, for at least two years, and preferably for at least four years.

But there are political junkies who are really only excited by the competition, by the us/them. Sadly, some of our best political commentators are among them. Chris Matthews is talking about 2016 almost every night; he’s already talking about the facedown between Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie, and what a great race it’s going to be.

You’d think that a man as smart as Matthews is supposed to be would realize that a lot of things can happen in four years. The parties often alternate the Presidency, for one thing. Also, the economy (while just beginning to show signs of recovery) isn’t quite well yet, and Europe is still teetering, which could bring trouble to the USA also.

Chris Todd on NBC is another one; he’s not as bad as Chris Matthews, but he becomes visibly excited when he starts talking about the chances of one side versus another. The late Tim Russert, with his little handheld whiteboard on which he wrote numbers and vote counts, was another. They all love the struggle, and the numbers, and the victory.

The rest of us get tired easily, and just want to know that our rights are being protected, and our retirement and health care aren’t in jeopardy. We don’t care so much who’s in office, so long as the right things are being done. We mostly understand that things keep inching forward. The War on Drugs is showing (very belated) signs of dying, or transforming into something more realistic – not a war on potheads, but an attempt to keep cocaine and meth off the streets, the really dangerous drugs. Gay identity and gay marriage are both becoming less of an issue and more of a reality. And, as the most recent election mostly demonstrated, while people in general deplore abortion, it’s a fact of life, and a necessity. Theology (AKA “personhood of the fetus”) can’t be used to determine public policy; if a woman doesn’t want to be pregnant, it’s her choice, and no one else’s.

The old world dies, and we are born into the new world.

The birth pangs are painful.

Let’s not relive them, or pretend how they’re going to feel in four years’ time.

Let’s just try to get things done.

Okay?


Chris Matthews: our very own left-wing babbling idiot


I’ve written before about right-wing radio and TV hosts whose political rantings drive me up the wall. I know I’ve mentioned Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

Want to know a surprise? We have a few idiots like that on the left too.

I like to watch Chris Matthews’s show “Hardball.” His guests are often interesting, and Chris’s politics are close to mine, so I find him easy to watch.

But, kids, Chris is often unbearable.

He’s loud and rude. He asks his guests endless “questions” which aren’t questions at all, but long speeches; then, if his guests speak for more than fifteen seconds, he cuts them off. His comments are often pointless. He repeats himself endlessly. He’s very self-congratulatory: recently, when a guest referenced a movie, Matthews cut him/her off to go on and on about the movie, and how he liked it. Who cares, Chris?

On a recent show, Chris presented Kegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, co-writers and performers on their own show, “Key and Peele,” who do a very funny Obama routine: Peele as the cool rational Obama, Key as his “anger translator” Luther. It was meant to be a friendly encounter, but Chris kept messing up. He called Obama “cool,” which – coming from an aging white man – sounds like an adjective you’d apply to Miles Davis. He kept referencing the fact that both Key and Peele are biracial, like President Obama, and saying that this enabled them to say things other people can’t say.  Really?

But the worst moment came when Chris asked Key about his routines about football players with funny names. “Well,” Key said (I paraphrase), “lots of people were given funny names, because their mothers wanted to give them unique names. I’ve got a funny name. And you got it wrong, Chris, when you called me Michael. But that’s okay, because my parents gave me a funny name.”

Chris suddenly realized that he was being called out – which he hates – and blustered back: “Why? What did I call you?”

“Michael,” Key replied calmly.

“And what should I have called you?” Chris bellowed defiantly.

“Well, my family calls me Kegan,” Key said, still calmly.

Chris made drowning noises for a few seconds, then calmed down.

Chris, as a Democrat, was trying to be down with the homies, you see. Except that he had no idea what he was doing, or what he was saying.

Ah well.

At least he’s not as bad as Rush, or Glenn, or Sean Hannity.

(Sigh.)


The 2016 Presidential election

 


With what joy did I greet the day after the Presidential election! No more shrill television advertisements telling me that this candidate was a criminal and that candidate was a liar!

There was a very cute Facebook meme circulating that day and the next: a picture of a box full of kittens, with the caption: “Okay, Facebook! The election’s over! Time to get out the pictures of cute kittens!”

But it wasn’t more than a few days until we were told that Marco Rubio was visiting Iowa (for a friend’s birthday, naturally).

And Chris Matthews was talking about Hillary Clinton, and how she’s going to spend the next few years preparing for the 2016 election.

And then there was Fox News, which immediately began talking about the 2016 GOP hopefuls. (Stephen Colbert, drinking a cup of chamomile tea, did a wonderful spit-take over this, but I can’t find a clip of it.)

Well, who do you think (apart from Marco Rubio) would make a good GOP candidate?

Hmm. Someone tough-talking. Maybe a Northeasterner, which would (hopefully) screw up the Democratic lock on New England and the Northeast. Someone nationally known.

Who but New Jersey governor Chris Christie?

Yeah, I know. He doesn’t scare me much either. He’s a local flavor: he plays well in the Northeast, but maybe not so much in the South and West. He’s too noisy and angry, which aren’t really presidential traits.

But he would love love LOVE to be President.

Last week, when Hostess went out of business, he was asked about this. He blustered about it endlessly. Imagine, he said, what Saturday Night Live would make of it! Imagine how many laughs they’d get out of the fat Governor of New Jersey making comments about Cupcakes and Ding Dongs!

“You know,” Partner said prophetically, “he went on too long about it. He wants SNL to do something about it.”

 

 

And was Partner right?

 

 

In a big way.

Not only did Christie get mentioned on SNL, he appeared on SNL. (I wish I could show you the clip, but NBC is very proprietary. Follow this link to Hulu, and you’ll get there.)

Christie was very cute: funny and natural (more natural than some of their recent guests and hosts).

If I were a Republican, and the 2016 Presidential election were today, I’d vote for him.

But – geez – a lot of things can happen in four years.

So let’s just wait a bit, and enjoy our Facebook kittens and our cup of chamomile tea, shall we, kids?


The Mitt Romney video


Pretty much everyone in the universe has seen or heard of Mitt Romney’s magic video by now. I’m not a pundit, but, as Chris Matthews said on Tuesday evening, I find the whole thing “delicious,” and just want to underline the following points:

  1. Mitt was comfortable with his audience. One of his sticking points throughout this campaign, and his abortive 2008 campaign, has been his awkwardness with audiences. Well, now we know why: he hasn’t felt comfortable. The video was taken at a $50K/plate dinner, and Mitt was in his element, and speaking to his peers.

  2. Explaining the video later, he said something like he hadn’t expressed himself elegantly. I disagree. He was very elegant. He believes, very frankly, that many poor Americans are moochers, and said so straightforwardly.

  3. Mitt has not been very forthcoming about his plan to shrink the government budget. From this video, I think we can extrapolate some of the areas he’d shrink: anything benefiting the less affluent classes. They really need to work harder, don’t they? We don’t want to empower them. They need to be put in their place.

  4. Mitt said that he didn’t rise from privilege, he didn’t inherit money, he earned everything he has. Is he deluded, or is he just telling the same lie that all wealthy heirs tell themselves? Of course he inherited money from his CEO/governor father. He’s turned it into billions, of course, and good for him. But, Mitt, don’t tell us that you were born in a log cabin, okay?

  5. There was some garbled nonsense about being born a Mexican. I will leave that alone. He said he was joking, but then again, he took it back and said (very seriously) he’d have a better chance for the Presidency if he were Latino. Meaning: “Stupid people just love voting for those damned minorities.”

  6. I haven’t even read the whole transcript yet. (I can’t stand to watch the video; his voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.) It is, however, the gift that keeps on giving. Today it was noticed that he said (a few months ago) that, if there were any foreign-policy difficulties overseas, he’d try to capitalize on the opportunity. Remember last week, when he ranted about how the Obama administration “sympathized with the attackers” rather than condemning the attacks in Egypt and Libya? Huh.

  7. Rarely have I seen such cynicism freely expressed. The whole video boils down to Mitt saying to his wealthy audience: “Between you and me, I’ll say and do whatever I have to say and do to get elected. And once I’m in there, I’ll do what’s necessary to advance our agenda.”

  8. Vote for Obama.

  9. Vote for Obama.

  10.  Vote for Obama.


Gay marriage, Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney

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So many thoughts swirling round in my head right now on this topic. Let me see if I can cough up some bullet points:

 

 

        Good for Joe Biden, and President Obama, for speaking up on the subject of gay marriage. It’s about time. But they were brave enough to say the right thing. All the pundits (including Chris Matthews on “Hardball” the other night) were saying: oh, Joe, you blew it. Let Obama get elected, and then let him bring up the issue in 2013. Well, Chris, you know what? Phffft.

        You know another thing? Obama may lose the election on this issue. But (if I were him) I’d rather take a stand on an important issue, so long as I know I’m right, even if it means I’m going to lose. Because it means I’m going to win in the long run.

        Some other Democratic politicians are following the President. Stalwart Jack Reed, our senior Rhode Island senator, came out immediately after the President’s statement to voice his agreement. God bless you, Jack; you can count on my vote next time you’re up for election.

        Even some Republicans are warning that declaring war on this subject may be a non-starter. Republicans run a very real risk of being painted as dinosaurs and bigots, behind the curve.

        (No, Partner and I are not getting married anytime soon. But it’s nice to know we could get married if we wanted to. I hate thinking of the nightmare scenarios: being forbidden hospital visits, things like that. This is an important issue.)

 

 

And then there’s Mitt Romney.

 

 

Mitt Romney has spent the last couple of days squealing and quacking about gay marriage, and civil unions in general. They’re just un-American. Households are just one man and one woman! And I love the way he expressed this: “I have the same view I’ve had since, well, running for office.”

 

 

Now, just for a little spice, please look at this link from a 1994 issue of the New England gay newspaper Bay Windows, headlined: “Romney: I’ll be better than Ted [Kennedy] for gay rights”!

 

 

Is the top of your head steaming right now? Mine is.

 

 

Let’s continue, shall we? Mitt Romney is a Mormon. He has stated unequivocally (to Piers Morgan!) that he is not a spokesman for the Mormon church, and I accept that. However: can you think of any unusual stances on marriage that the Mormon church has taken over the past hundred years? Well, for one thing, Mitt’s great-grandfather had five wives.

 

 

Mitt has (magnanimously) stated that his Mormonism is not that of his ancestors. Certainly he has had fewer wives than his recent political rivals (Gingrich, for example, who has been married three times – serially, of course – although his sexual relationships with partners #1, #2, and #3 appear to have run concurrently in some cases).

 

 

I don’t know. Maybe we need a new definition of “marriage”: two adults who agree to set up a household partnership with each other, sharing all assets, etc. No mention of gender. (I know, this allows incest. I’m not sure how much of an issue this might be, as I have never once wanted to marry any of my relatives, and I don’t know many people who like their relatives well enough to marry them. Naturally there will be exceptions to this rule. We’ll have to work on that.)

 

 

This is a work in progress, kids. Stay tuned.

 

 

And vote Obama.



 

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