Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Quick Moment on Richard Milhous Nixon

“'There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white.” –President Richard Nixon.

Just… wow…

This was from a Nixon Tape that was just released yesterday. The comment was made to Charles Colson, and after saying that he added “Or a rape.” I can just imagine his expression as he realized he might need to modify the comment slightly. (Colson was involved in the Watergate scandal, in case anyone is interested.)

Nixon is a very odd person in the pantheon of American history. Up until his second term as President, his career was absolutely brilliant. No American before or after has served in the Executive branch as long as Nixon (he was Vice-President for two terms and President for two more), and he was debatably the most successful Republican politician ever (he won seven out of nine elections, and five of those elections were for national office).

He was also a crazy, paranoid, narcissistic bigot of a man. And as Ben Smith of Politico pointed out, President Obama, a product of an interracial coupling, was 11 at the time of this recording.

Just some thoughts on this, that’s all.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What The Hell Do People See In This Person, Anyway?

Ok, I already know I’m going to regret even bringing this up. I know that. But all this nonsense about the Late Show has brought back some of my serious questions and concerns from November. So I ask, in the sincerest way possible, what the hell do so many people see in Sarah Palin? I really and truly do not understand, and the only answers I can come up with I frankly don’t want to believe- I have more faith in humanity than that. But this obsession that so many people in this country seem to have for her strikes me as somewhere between weird and silly to flat out dangerous.

And please, understand, this is not a political attack. I know, I’m one of those pinko commie socialist bastards and all, but I swear, this isn’t about politics- it’s about intelligence and competence. I said last fall and I maintain now- John McCain made a serious error in choosing her for his VP, an error which frankly in my opinion made it impossible for him to get elected. If the benchmark for McCain really was that he needed a female VP, there were a host of far more qualified candidates out there: Senator Olympia Snowe, former Senator Elizabeth Dole (which would have been ironic as well, see 1996 elections), Senator Susan Collins, Representative Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (the highest ranking female Republican in the house, who also would have helped McCain win Florida, a state that frankly was far more important than Alaska), potentially former Representative Deborah Pryce (though she had some controversy towards the end of her tenure in the House), former Governor Christine Todd Whitman would have been a superb choice, et cetera. There was a whole field of high profile, potentially very sensible choices. Instead, the choice was made to pick an attractive woman who applied exclusively to the Christian Conservative base- a constituent that had always been a little vary of McCain, but who were never, ever going to pull for Obama.

Until September, even though I was always firmly in Obama’s camp, I was thrilled to know that whoever won the campaign, we’d have a presidential team that knew what they were doing and who would be up to the task of fixing the errors of the Bush-43 years.

And then Sarah Palin entered the picture.

It’s not that I think she’s crazy and evil. She’s not Ann Coulter by any means. I think she probably genuinely believes a lot of what she says (I still don’t buy it when she says she likes gay people though. I’ve seen her track record). I think most of the time she is genuinely very sincere in her efforts, and she really does think she knows what’s right for America. I also think the same could have been said for George W. Bush. But to be brunt, she’s not smart enough to be president. That doesn’t mean she won’t be- Dubya certainly wasn’t, and I guess the world didn’t end in a nuclear holocaust under his ‘leadership’- but it does mean she shouldn’t be. (And again this really isn’t a ‘hate Republicans’ speech, the idea of Jesse Jackson as president is scary to me too.)

Although Governor Palin isn’t smart enough to be president in my opinion, she is smart enough to manipulate morons. And there are a lot of morons out there. And she is very good at it. Manipulating morons isn’t overly difficult- I try my best to practice the art daily in my real job. All it takes is a very basic understanding of what makes people tick, and a distinct lack of guilt about the whole affair. Which brings us to the David Letterman thing.

Last week David Letterman made a joke about Sarah Palin’s visit to a Yankee’s game, saying that she had an ‘awkward moment’ because A-Rod had knocked up her daughter. Hey, I thought it was funny. It was topical- Palin’s New York trip was much publicized (for whatever reason), and Bristol Palin has gone out her way to be in the news almost as often as her mother. The girl probably wins this year’s Personification of Irony Award- “Hey kids! I got myself knocked up by a loser, and that’s why abstinence only sex ed works so well!” (what?)

Governor Palin, however, took offense, claiming Letterman was suggesting that it was funny to talk about raping her 14 year old daughter Willow. That’s not what Letterman meant, and Palin knew that. But Willow had been at the game (Letterman has said he didn’t realize any of Palin’s children actually attended the game) and Bristol hadn’t, something the governor has taken distinct advantage of.

Make no mistake- Sarah Palin has manipulated thousands of people through this non-existent incident into thinking she a martyr, the victim of anti-woman hate speech from that notorious bigot and pervert, David Letterman (to reiterate, what?). And within 48 hours, Letterman tried to clear the whole thing up, stating pointedly that that wasn’t what he had meant, and referred to his own track record to point out that he would never joke about statutory rape like that.

Palin, however, would never be satisfied with just that. And why should she be? She’s managed to be the number one headline in the country ever since she arranged to become outraged at her own invented victimization. She wants to be in the news, in her eyes she literally NEEDS it. Remember, she and a huge number of other people seem to be convinced that she should be president in 2012. Which is terrifying, by the way.

Of course, we, as a collect group of people, are the ones allowing this. America’s bizarre obsession with Sarah Palin and everything about her life is the only reason she was able to orchestrate this nonsense. Why is America in love with this manipulative woman who hates polar bears and thinks Russia will invade Alaska someday? Guys, she is NOT that hot. Ladies, she is NOT a good roll model for girls everywhere.

You want to know the secret of Sarah Palin? She’s self-centered and manipulative, to a point she probably doesn’t even realize herself. She’s an aging beauty queen who HAS to be in the spot light, because it’s the only way she feels whole. She doesn’t care about the country- not really, anyway- but she realized she could use her looks and her likability to get into a political office that, frankly, she didn’t deserve. She cares only about herself, her personal power, and her time as a media darling.

So why do people like her?

Ever since the joke about baseball stars and the governor’s daughter, a large number of her supporters have put together a campaign to get David Letterman kicked off of the Late Show. It’s ridiculous, but hey, they’ve managed to keep this story alive this long. Who the hell knows what other insanity the combined might of her followers might pull off? Maybe my faith in Americans is misplaced, and my initial answer, the one I’m so afraid of, was right after all. Maybe so many people like Sarah Palin because so many people are either stupid enough or apathetic enough to fall for her bullshit. Maybe we as a nation really are that stupid.

And if that’s the case, maybe Sarah Palin really is the president we all deserve after all. Isn’t that a terrifying concept?