Friday, November 02, 2007

They say he has grit. I wanted a man with grit.

I was trying to figure out why this debate over the democratic debate this week was leaving me so bummed-out. I've always considered that these sorts of arguments over the candidates are the very essence of democracy. That's certainly the first thing that drew me to the democratic party many years ago.

I guess the first thing that I find off-putting is the concentration on Clinton's gender as a point of contention for both sides. We should first ignore the fact that the fact that Clinton's a woman as a question of governance should really remain the province of the Republican party flat-earthers and not something progressives should be arguing about. Republicans are really the guys the miniature units that should be threatened by a female president. On this side of the aisle we shouldn't need to compensate.

With this in mind I find it more than a little offensive that any Clinton supporters would resort to gender framing to defend Clinton in her debate performance a couple of nights ago. In presidential politics the person leading in the polls is going to take the most hits in a debate with the other candidates. That's the simple political reality and has nothing to do with what position the candidate takes while peeing (I'm personally fond of the "leaning drunkenly against the wall of the police station position" myself.)

I don't want Hillary Clinton to be the democratic candidate for President. I've said it many times and remained more convinced of that position as the campaign has progressed. She's not alone, however, on the list of democrats I don't want to see nominated. All of the declared candidates are less than inspiring IMHO. Obama, Edwards, Dodd, Richardson, etc. leave me flat.

In 1984 when I was just a pup when it came to politics I went and saw Jesse Jackson on a campaign stop in his own run for the presidency. I'll never forget that speech. I remember distinctly how he started out slowly, speaking in an almost monotone voice. I was initially disappointed and wondered if Jackson was really the firebrand he'd been portrayed as on television.

Jackson slowly became more animated and changed his cadence until, by the end of the speech, he was essentially preaching to the crowd. We went nuts. We were on our feet screaming our agreement as he ticked of problem after problem that Ronald Reagan had failed to address and how we could do better. My favorite line was when he said he'd take "Franklin Roosevelt in his wheelchair over Ronald Reagan on his horse any day of the week." I left that rally exhilarated, full of hope and convinced that politics could be used to changed the world for the better.

What Americans are screaming for is this kind of leadership. The vast majority of us want the war in Iraq to be brought to an end. We want the the problems of health care and inequity to be addressed. We want action on global warming. We want America's role in the world, as a partner not a bully, restored. We want hope.

I don't give a rat's ass about the gender, race, sexual orientation, religious orientation or whatever the hell else even progressives seem to be debating as qualifications for the presidency. We have real problems. Until a candidate can give me that kind of hope I and millions of others crave then I refuse to give them my attention or my support.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

My last girlfriend was a feminist, vegan punk who broke up with me because she thought I was too angry.

Thank goodness Fred Phelps and his horrible Westboro Baptist church finally have to face the music. It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of bigoted, homophobic jerks.

Having said that I'm not personally sure that protesting at the funerals of soldiers, as reprehensible as it is, rises to the level of yelling fire in a crowded theater. I do think there are first amendment questions here that I'm not willing to ignore just because Phelps is an A-grade asshole. It appears to me that Phelps and his church do have a 1st Amendment argument.

Still, it's hard for rationale people not to be smugly satisified at this judgement. Besides gays Phelps has railed against jews, hate speech, patriotism, the Irish and even Swedes. Althhough it's hard to fault him for this last bit. Who would disagree that the world would be a better place with fewer lutefisk-eating death metal-listening Swedes to kick around?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.

Have fun tonight and remember to save the worst candy to trade with your little brother.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Everybody out of here, everybody out! The Air Force will take care of these babies now.

Rudy Giuliani; crazy neocon whack-job or simply crazy whack-job? That seems to be the only real question.

"Suppose Hillary Clinton and John Edwards' new position was their position back then, that it was a mistake to take him out," Giuliani said, referring to former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. "Wouldn't we be dealing with Saddam Hussein becoming nuclear right now?

Saddam would become nuclear? He's been watching too much "Heroes." Apparently crazy Rudy thinks Saddam would start glowing and then BOOM, he would turn into a giant thermonuclear explosion.

On Iran, Giuliani criticized Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., also a candidate for president, for saying they would engage in diplomatic relations with Iran.

Obama or Clinton would actually negotiate instead of just blowing stuff up? Clearly they are insane and must be stopped.

"This is the world we live in. It's not this happy, romantic-like world where we'll negotiate with this one, or we'll negotiate with that one and there will be no preconditions, and we'll invite (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad to the White House, we'll invite Osama (bin Laden) to the White House," Giuliani said.

No, it's the world YOU live in. It's a world where the President can sprinkle magic pixie dust on the economy and it can fly. It's a world where John Rambo could actually go back and win the Vietnam war. It's a world where bunnies talk, all food tastes like ice cream and a flat-out certifiable nut-job like Rudy Giuliani could actually be elected President of the United States.

(I was working my way up through the decades on horror flicks but had to jump back to War of the Worlds since today is the anniversary of Orson Welles supreme punking of the U.S.)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Surprise, Sidney.

Just left a rubber ducky on the chair of a coworker who happens to be a USC fan.

Bring on the Sundevils!