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October 28, 2006

Oh My God! They Killed the Donkey!

What I’d like to do this week is write about South Park, but those damn Democrats keep working their way under my gums.

For a long time I criticized the Blues for their 2006 campaign strategy of doing nothing and letting the Republicans beat themselves up. I’ve got to admit their strategy worked for a while. But after months of deaths in Iraq, bombs in North Korea, sex scandals in Washington and breathtaking incompetence in the White House, things have died down. The Blue Tsunami subsided and control of the House and Senate is a 50-50 proposition; more so the Senate than the House, but the Reds are still within reach of keeping control of each.

The problem is, 51% of either chamber ain’t good enough. The Bushites have done so much damage in the past three years that we need a veto-proof majority. Stasis is not improvement.

Given the wonderful performance of the Republican Party the past six years (at least), that should have been a no-brainer. It could have happened, if only the Democrats actually ran a campaign. Contrary to the Republican hype, the Blues are not the tax-and-spend party, but nobody believes it. Contrary to Republican whining, the Democrats actually have ideas to offer and alternatives to propose, and they’ve done a damn good job keeping ‘em to themselves.

Most important, Americans believe the Reds look and act stronger than the Blues, and these are times that require the resources of strength. From the way the Democratic Party crawled around during Campaign ’06, you can’t fault voters for this impression.

Here’s a clue for you political novices: the purpose of “negative” campaigning is not to get people to vote for your candidate. The purpose is to get people to not vote for the other guy. That’s all it takes, and the Democrats still haven’t figured this out. They left the Republicans lots of opportunities, and if you don’t believe they know how to take advantage of such opportunities, you haven’t been paying attention these past seven years.

The Democrats might manage to snatch out some sort of Pyrrhic victory and no doubt they’ll dance and sing at what little they get. I can appreciate that; I feel good every October 2nd when the Chicago Cubs are still playing baseball. But this year the Democrats had a shot at a real victory, their best shot since 1964. According to Newsweek, for crying out loud, the 51% of Americans would like to see George W. Bush impeached.

Let me repeat that: 51% of Americans would like to see George W. Bush impeached. And the Democrats are still fighting the Republicans for 51% of either chamber. This betrays a level of incompetence that was heretofore only seen within the Bush Administration. Are the Blues any better?

Oh, yeah, as for South Park. It seems lots of people in Australia and England are up in arms about the current episode that, briefly, shows Steve Erwin in hell. They complained it was in bad taste – well, duhhh, it’s South Park; if you don’t like bad taste switch over to ToonDisney – and insensitive to Erwin’s family and fans. Steve Erwin. The idiot who last year used his baby as alligator bait. That Steve Erwin.

Get a life.

Posted by Mike Gold at 01:47 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

October 06, 2006

Bugger The Press

When it comes to covering their ass, it’s hard to find a group more entertaining than the great American Right. You can catch them in the most hypocritical of illicit actions and establish a trail of contradictions and cover-ups so distinct that even Ray Charles could follow it without a cane, and these guys are going to endlessly blame it all on the Democrats and the media.

Case in point: everybody’s favorite wrestling coach, Speaker of the House Denny “Mad Cow” Hastert. Accused by fellow Republicans of covering up the Foley Follies, he stood his ground against demands from the Right for his resignation. His response? We’re going to bust us the press and some Democrats.

If you think I’m kidding, here’s the entire exchange between a reporter and Mad Cow during Wednesday’s press conference:

REPORTER: Can we get the record straight on a couple of things. Tell us when you learned that there was more than a minor problem that this was truly something that had a predatory feel to it. And secondly, after you’ve answered that question, if you really did only learn a week or so ago, were you not let down by staff members who seem to have known much more and shouldn’t some of them have come from your own staff if not you personally?

HASTERT: I, first of all, learned of this last Friday, when we were about to leave Congress for, you know, the break to go out and campaign. And that’s the first time I heard of the explicit language. When it happened, Republicans acted and the guy’s gone. But the fact is, I don’t know who knew what, when.

We know there are reports of people that knew it and kind of fed it out or leaked it to the press. That’s why we’ve asked for investigation. So, let me just say, that’s why we’ve asked for an investigation – to find who that is. If it’s members of my staff, or they didn’t do the job, we will act appropriately. If it’s somebody else’s staff, they ought to act appropriately as well.

Excuse me, Representative Mad Cow? Who is it you’re investigating? Ex-Rep. Foley, who quit Congress and now, for some absurd reason, is in rehab? You know, the one who hit on those teenagers? Or the press who outed him? Or the Democrats who, as far as I can tell, are far less effective at playing these political games than your people have been?

Oh, and by the way. You said that you hadn’t heard of the explicit language until last Friday. O.K. Fine. But when did you hear about Foley’s chasing pages?

Whoever leaked this stuff out should get a medal, probably from the congressman who sponsored that recent legislation that was supposed to prevent this sort of thing.

Except that guy’s in rehab right now.

Posted by Mike Gold at 03:02 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

October 02, 2006

Repubicans Approve Underage Gay Sex!

Florida Representative Mark Foley resigned late last month for sending sexually provocative e-mails to “underage” boys who happened to be Congressional pages. They were 16 – the age of consent in the District of Columbia – but I won’t quibble with the phrase underage. It certainly meets my standard, as well as that of Mr. Foley as suggested in his work in support of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.

Immediately, the Republican Core trumped their Clinton card, saying it is hypocritical for the anti-Right to chastise Mr. Foley for wanting to do what Bill Clinton did with a 22 year-old woman. Since these pages were 16 year-old boys, the Republican Core has now come out (pun not initially intended) ipso facto in favor of underage gay sex.

That’s quite an event, and I trust the Washington Post is now conducting an investigation into contributions from NAMBLA members to Republican candidates.

Amusingly, House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert said he was told of the situation some six months previously. If one questions the seriousness of my claim – that the Republican Core has come out in favor of underage gay sex – please reconsider the previous sentence. The chief Republican in Congress was aware of Mr. Foley’s sexual harassment of underage boys who work as Congressional pages for most of 2006.

You may recall in 2000 the Republican Party campaigned on a very high moral platform. Of course, this was before we learned they stole that election as the first act in an endless series of dangerous and deadly lies. Last I checked, this sort of thing was in conflict with several of their vaunted Ten Commandments.

Keep this in mind when you vote next month. Maybe the Democrats are a bunch of lame wussies, but damn, they haven’t stooped this low.

Posted by Mike Gold at 02:45 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

October 01, 2006

That Growth Between Their Legs

I, among many others, have been bitching about how the Democratic Party just lies there and whimpers in the face of repeated assault and lies from the Right. They’re programmed to fail; they seem to enjoy being the whipped underdog. Most Democrats are nice folks in the way naïve children are sweet, but in fact they’re the Chicago Cubs of politics.

This is really a shame, because the Democratic Party is one of only two parties permitted under our institutionally imposed power structure. But maybe there’s hope.

In a Fox “News” interview that followed the week after Disney’s made-for-teevee lying hatchet job about the build-up to 9-11, Bill Clinton finally went on the attack, disclosing with appropriate fervor that when he was president he was trying to assassinate Osama bin Laden and that he failed. But in failing, at least he left detailed notes and reports for his successor, who promptly did absolutely nothing until the September following Clinton’s departure from office.

Within hours, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said no such reports were given to the Bush Administration. Her comments contradicted recorded history and testimony from those who were involved, some of whom Bush appointees. It was really, really cute. Secretary Rice put the entire weight of the Bush Administration’s credibility up against Bill Clinton’s.

Fox “News” honcho Roger Ailes said Clinton gave him “$100,000 worth of free publicity.” Big deal. $100,000 won’t even buy you a quarter-hour worth of advertising on Fox “News.” Ailes also said Clinton’s behavior was an insult to all journalists, putting him in a good position for the news media’s hypocrite of the year award. Ailes was G.H.W. Bush’s hatchet man and the person behind the live frontal assault on another journalist, CBS’s Dan Rather. Ailes’ comments were simply and completely asinine; they were also what you’d expect from George W. Bush’s pet Joseph Goebbels.

It is clear that Bill Clinton’s remarks inspired some Democrats to actually grow some balls and stand up and defend themselves, their politics, and the basic inhumanity of supporting an administration that would debate, let alone ramrod, the legality, the morality and the efficacy of torture. I hope it continues; maybe the Democrats will start to be viewed as a real alternative to the right-wing extremism and lies that boil out of the White House and fester inside of their fools and lackeys.

Like I said, maybe there’s hope. Yeah, right. And as we Chicago Cubs fans have been saying for 98 consecutive seasons, “wait ‘till next year.”

Posted by Mike Gold at 03:21 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack