Thursday, September 11, 2008

Theater of the Absurd

While riding our Vespas around northern Italy, we were able to pick up snippets of the presidential (and vice) selection process on the TV. No indepth coverage (perhaps mercifully) but enough to witness theater of the absurd unfold before our very eyes.

We arrived home late last night, and in this morning's IHT, found two very appropriate pieces. Reporting from Lake Woebegon, Garrison Keillor hits the nail right on the head (or is it "hits the finger right on the nail"?) when he describes the state of affairs as "Forget the past - it's only history". From the very start of the John and Sarah show, my mind drifted back to the days when Abe Beame ran for mayor of New York City on a platform of cleaning up the fiscal disaster the city was suffering. Bill Buckley, one of his opponents, wisely noted that Beame was, for all intents and purposes, running against his own record, as his was the sitting Comptroller of the city, and had previously served as budget director for several years.

Now, we have a couple of GOP "mavericks" running for office against, make that stridently against, the record and actions of their own party over the past 10 years or so. And thousands of convention supporters cheered them on. Not one seemed to realize that the mess they are screaming to clean up is not only of their own making, but rooted in the very ideals of their party. A good summary of the past seven years of GOP wonderment was also provided in the IHT this AM as well.

And then there is the new approach to "Family Values" we find. Now, a high school junior who becomes pregnant out of wedlock is a national role model because she is "going to keep the baby". Apparently abstinence is unnecessary as long as you decide to keep the child. Wasn't it just a few years ago when a sitting president's extra-marital BJs were condemned for the "horrible example" it set for America's youth? While the sins of the children should not be visited upon the mother, isn't it a bit absurd that this unwed, pregnant child has been elevated to role model super star? Hell, what I wouldn't have done for a role model like that when I was in high school. All those girls who held onto their virginity out of fear of pregnancy would have easily fallen to my charms if they were presented with the stardom of the GOP's current day moral standards.

I wonder who the McCain/Palin pair would be willing to identify as the top 20 GOP Pork Barrel violators? I also wonder if they would be maverick enough to tell their constituents to throw those 20 out of office this Nov? Indeed, while serving as Gov, Palin's Alaska received more pork $$$ per capita from the US than any other state. Virtually all with Palin's support or by her request.

Oh, well, we Americans must be bringing it upon ourselves. We are a new country with no sense of history and a corresponding lack of memory.

But then, even if it's Theater of the Absurd, at least it's theater.



Charles Gittings said...

This is just one more example of the Republicans manufacturing reality: as I've said many times before, the only thing they are really any good at is lying. Like all pathological liars, they begin and end by lying to themselves.

It's up to the voters to wise up or suffer the consequences. The Palin nomination is pretty instructive though: the fat cats dont care anything about her "qualifications" (tee hee), what they care about is whipping up the religious fruit-cakes. In the event Palin ever comes into office, she can and will be managed.

mike said...

Welcome back Al. Concur with your outlining of the apparent Alzheimer's at the GOP Convention.

Hope you are staying out of the tourist traps there in Northern Italy. Did you wade in the Rubicon yet? And don't forget to check out Garibaldi's birthplace across the border in Nice (Nizza as the Italians called it). Garibaldi could be considered a homeboy of yours as he spent a few years in Staten Island.

Aviator47 said...

Actually, selecting Palin was inspired. Go too rough on her and you are a sexist pig. All the GOP has to do is limit her exposure to questions so that she won't get exposed for the lightweight that she is. But then, the party of "let's dismantle the government" doesn't need heavyweights in office. Look at the current bozo.

And as far is her record - there really isn't one, so you can't attack her performance in that regard. Wasn't governor long enough to do anything that can be evaluated in the long run. She's the perfect "is nothing" in the "Know nothing" party. Why would the vice president have to know what the "Bush Doctrine" is? After all, Bush goes out of office in a few months.

seydlitz89 said...


Great post!

To me Palin'll always be the "slutty librarian of 2008" . . .

FDChief said...

And yet...the geezer and the slutty librarian are in a dead heat with the Democratic candidates.

McSame's campaign manager was on record several weeks ago saying, in effect, we're going to make this about personalities and not issues. Which is just as well, since if any of these morons whistling and cheering for the GOP slate thought about this for a nanosecond thay'd realize that the notion of these two running on "change" makes as much sense as the local Mafia don claiming an interest in "reforming" the "criminal element" in town.

I thought that 2004 had done a good job of exposing the intellectual black hole that is the inside of the average American voter's head, but this year may be even more revealing.

Aviator47 said...

It is interesting that in times of economic and budgetary crisis, Palin is hyped as having governed Alaska, a state that draws 86% of its revenue from oil taxes and licensing. No income or sales tax at the state level. In short, it would take a hard working idiot, working overtime, to cause budgetary problems in the state. Alaska is more budgetarily similar to Middle Eastern oil countries than any other governmental entity in the US.

But, just for fun, here's some federal data on Alaska as compared to the rest of the states:

State dollar GDP is 45th

State per capita GDP is 6th.

Infant mortality is 4th highest.

per capita energy consumption - 1st

per capita federal aid to state and local government- 1st

Violent crime - 12th

Physicians per capita 39th

home ownership - 38th

Performance on SAT 29th
Performance on ACT 34th

So, Mrs "no earmarks" presided over the highest per capita federally aided state in the union.

Mrs "Pro-Life" presided over a state where infant mortality was 4th highest in the nation.

With all that oil money, she presided over a state that ranks in the bottom half on virtually every quality of life and preservation of life measure.

Or am I just being picky??