Tag Archives: Newt Gingrich

5 Things I Hate About 2012 Politics

In advance of the punditry sure to bubble up and over in the next several months, I’ve gone ahead and drawn my line in the sand. What follows below are issues that will likely play a significant role in the 2012 election. I loathe them, and I thought you ought to know about it.

Apathy

You’re “disappointed” with politics. You’re sick of selecting “the lesser of two evils.” You feel like government is “corrupt” with a gang of “career politicians.”

You know who’s to blame? You are. Because Citizens United is barely a toddler, and all the high-office offenses which guide your disaffection with politics, are remedied by you –your political consciousness, your political presence, and your political action. Action via apathy in this regard is inertia. It’s spinning your wheels and chasing your tail; it’s a way to get you nowhere fast. In other words, let it be known for all time that closed mouths don’t get fed. It would behoove you to speak up.

Voter Disenfranchisement Tactics.

…particularly those voting-day- switch-a-roos. I’m convinced they prey upon the weakest among us. You don’t have to know why American elections are held on Tuesdays, but you should know that our elections are generally held on Tuesdays. We musn’t be so easily disenfranchisable. A asshole patriot puts up a scrawled, misspelled note announcing Election Day has been postponed to Friday the 13th to dupe test the waters, and some sucker falls for it. Ignorance aint no ways bliss, policy-wise.

“The American People”

In every election cycle, the pandering politician will defer to the sage, rational psyche of “The American People.” The American People know what they want…the American People are tired of…the American People are smart enough to…. No they don’t, and no they aren’t. Collectively, the “American People” is a C student who struggles with separating fantasy from reality. We are consumers for whom happiness is measured in things.  And for whom consciousness is, you know, nerd shit. And through it all, we feel entitled to be outraged when irrationality and irreverence begin to pervade our politics.    Indeed, deferring to us is a tremendous, albeit unavoidable, risk. We were once worthy of such a grand vote of confidence, weren’t we?  …we are who we elect.

The “Taking Advantage of the Black Vote” Meme

I bristle at the assertion that Black people should vote Republican simply because Black people have historically voted for Democrats, and because Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. (presumably God and Jesus, respectively, to Black Americans) number among their ranks. To string together the philosophies of “the party of Lincoln” with those of the Republican party that exists today is to completely misconstrue history and to undervalue the evolution of Republican/Conservative ideology. The phrase, “40 acres and a mule,” was commentary on the failure of Reconstruction efforts to redress Black economic underdevelopment resulting from slavery. Not to be outclassed by General William Tecumseh Sherman, Andrew Jackson, Lincoln’s successor, rescinded Sherman’s Special Field Orders, No. 15 (the military order which actually secured for free Blacks 4o0,000 acres of land around South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida).  As a result, them 40 acres, and the opportunities for economic parity that came with them, went back to the previous white owners.  I’m not suggesting that Black Americans should never vote Republican; a good idea is a good idea no matter the camp from which it emerges. What I demand is that the GOP work for the Black vote, and “…but you always vote Democrat” isn’t convincing enough. Al Sharpton colorfully stated a few years ago that, “We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres. We didn’t get the mule. So we decided we’d ride this donkey as far as it would take us.” Given the party representatives vying for executive office in 2012, I agree with Reverend Al completely.

Independents

I think it was Bill Maher who first drew my attention to these perpetual and farcical fence-riders. These cats aren’t carefully deliberating their political choices. Instead, it seems they feed off the attention of pandering partisans. The Independent beats his chest extolling the virtues of military might while watching carefully to ensure that his Medicare and Social Security checks make it to the mailbox on time. In 21st century politics, you can’t have it both ways. Ideologically, you’re either realist-progressive, or a nostalgic conservative, seeking desperately to turn back the clock on social and cultural progress while quietly concentrating opportunity in your hands, and yours only. Andrew Bacevich writes in The Limits of Power that “When it came to ensuring … every American should get a fair shake, the contribution of modern conservatism has been essentially nil.” One more time for the slow kids in the back: You cannot have it both ways. And the choice couldn’t be clearer. Grab your balls and Pick a side.

Like it or not, election season is upon us. Choose wisely, ladies and gentlemen.

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*Insert Weiner Joke Here*

Chyle please...

So the so-called “beltway media” and congressional democrats are all aflutter over New York congressman Anthony Weiner sexting his  junk to all of twitter.  As a result, Weiner is now under investigation for congressional ethics violations, and there has been quiet but persistent rancor calling for Weiner’s resignation.  If you’ve ever seen Representative Weiner do his thing, you know he probably won’t resign (which has been his stance so far), and if he does, he definitely won’t go quietly.

I read recently that Weiner called former president, Clinton, to … get some … advice(?) on how an elected official goes about repairing his image after being caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  Or, in Weiner’s case, tweeting a d*ck pic to said cookie jar.  I imagine Clinton gave him sage advice, something akin to, “be straight with the American people, Weiner.  And do your job so well that this unfortunate incident quickly becomes part of your past.  But most importantly, make sure your professional accomplishments speak more prominently than your personal mistakes.”  I imagine that was the conversation on the record.

Off the record, Clinton’s voice is my own.  And the conversation would start more like this:  Word, Weiner?!  You really out here dm’ing pictures of you in your underwear to your twitter followers?!  Son.  SON!

I’d deride him endlessly about the thirstiness of his actions.  The grossness of perusing your tweedeck interface and coming across Anthony Weiner’s stiffness in his lil underroos in your direct messages is not to be understated.  Shit is unsavory, man.  Unsavory.

But then we’d talk.  The way I like to talk to my friends.  I’d say with all the power in me that:  Weiner, you better not fucking resign.  Work on repairing, if necessary and possible, your relationship with your wife and then get back to the business of doing your job.

Because in America, we live in a land of make-believe.  On some level, we still think we share a common thread with the Puritan ass Pilgrims that arrived at Plymouth Rock eleventymillion years ago.  We stay smashed up somewhere trying with all our might to not be the people we are; to not see our reflection in society’s mirror.

Collectively, we turn our noses up at innately human behaviors because, collectively, we’re a nation of prudes — but only in public though.  How many of you would let me into your internet browser or credit card history from the last six months?  I wouldn’t tell nobody your lil secrets.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I’d find you more interesting now that I know your dirty business dealings.   Moreover, I wonder how many of us logon to porn.whatever for a morning, afternoon, and/or evening fix.  I bet it’s more of us than we’d suspect.

Because in public, we pretend that the only sexual activity we know, like, or accept is that which we (individually) know, like, or accept. Anything else is condemned as a “perversion” for which you must submit to public judgement, feel sufficiently ashamed, and apologize profusely.  Fuck that.  To what and to whom, and to what degree you “owe” in this life is for you to decide.

In college, I participated in a debate about whether one’s private life (and private “perversions”) should preclude one from participating in leadership positions, i.e. running for president, serving as Miss University X, or leading a people to their respective promised land. I’ll never forget the boy with the lisp saying, “well, what if Miss Tuskegee was a skrippa? What about that?” I remember thinking that the chicks that was strippin to pay tuition, then, might finally feel some camaraderie out this mug.

I’m not saying all private “perversions” can be as innocuous as stripping or sending salacious text messages.  To be sure, there are some that are outright disqualifications for any meaningful position leading anything or anybody.  And if the ideological positions one espouses on a frequent basis are in direct opposition to the way one lives his or her private life, then that’s the shit to be ashamed of.  I’d be much more upset with Anthony Weiner if he was on a soapbox crusade against inappropriate twitter behaviors or declared himself a steward of family values.  And then once his hypocrisy had been revealed,we also found out he screwing his lil district all the way up.

Unlike previous politicians (mostly conservative-leaning ones) caught with their pants down, tongues wagging, and tail between their legs, this isn’t the case for Rep. Weiner.  I really couldn’t care less about who he sends pics of himself to.  I do care, for example, if he mishandles New York’s tax dollars to cover up some shit that’s not our business anyway.  I also care that he lied so easily about what happened.  And now it just feels smarmy and gross.  I now like the guy less because he handled his situation like a bitchass — lying and shit about being hacked.  And then cryin and carryin on when he felt the uncomfortable and incessant throb of conscience.  Ugh.

I don’t think he should resign because he can stand on professional principle; the  people he represents seem perfectly fine with his performance thus far.   And if they aren’t, then they get to register their discontent at the voting booth.  He shouldn’t be railroaded out because of a personal and private decision.  Albeit stupid and ill-advised, Weiner’s crime is victim-less in the scope of his actual job.  That wife situation though?  That’s gon’ require some explaining, Sir.

I really loathe the passive aggressive judgement many of us get off on.  It’s like judgement is our national porn, and we make sure we log into it for a fix multiple times daily.  We hold regular ass human beings to ridiculous standards that many of us, ourselves, can’t live up to. And we’re so audacious about it.  Newt Gingrich had the nerve to be bombast in his disappointment about Clinton’s Lewinsky affair at the same time that he was stoking his own extramarital affair.  The hypocrisy is at once astounding and laughable.

As for Representative Weiner, I believe he’ll weather this storm and come out on the other side just as beautifully flawed as the rest of us.  Besides, surely there’s a closeted gay conservative somewhere tempting fate each time he calls up the discreet male escort service.  Sooner or later, he’ll get caught up soliciting an undercover cop in an airport men’s room and try to play his “I’m a member of Congress card.”  And when that moment comes, I plan to fully tap into our national porn.  I definitely wanna watch that guy squirm.  I wanna rewind it, and slow mo it.  And then watch it again.