I use hands to help my fellow man / I use hands to help with what I can / But when I face an unjust injury / Then I change my hand into FIST OF FURY

2008 Political Conventions

Wow, I’m looking back at my column archives, it’s like a logbook of political burnout. For a while there in the early 2000s I couldn’t stop raging about the latest headlines. By last year I only wrote 2 columns including the one on January 1st. I guess that’s the power of Bush and friends, you start looking at what they’re doing you either turn crazy or turn away.

But now it’s election time, the Ewok celebration song is cued up so the needle can drop the second Bush shuts the door behind him, and I’m getting excited enough to follow politics a little more than I was last year. As usual I’m not an expert, I’m just some dude, and I could be wrong. These are just some impressions from the parts I watched and read about the two political conventions.

By the way, I never been to one of these conventions, or to a comic book convention. But I read about them so much I started to wonder if they’re the same. Do people dress up as their favorite politicians? I’m not sure. Did either of the conventions show exclusive footage from Tron 2? Probaly the republican one. Shine up a rehash of the crappy ’80s and call it CHANGE.

OBAMA’S DNC ACCEPTANCE SPEECH

Well, it won’t surprise anybody (including me) that I liked Obama’s speech. He’s a good speaker, he seems very sincere, he emphasizes the positive but also takes some strong swipes at McCain’s policies.

I liked when he said “America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.” And not only because addressing us as “America” reminds me of the late Bernie Mac. Republicans love to accuse those of us on the left of hating America or not being patriotic. They claim the flag as their party’s exclusive trademark, as a militaristic symbol, they do everything they can to make it unappealing and then accuse us of being anti-American for not draping ourselves in it. One obvious politician response is to overcompensate, wear a big American flag pin, put American flags on everything you can, throw in three extra “God bless America”s for every one sincere one.

I don’t see Obama doing much of that phony bullshit. Many politicians speak to people who get riled up by the symbols, he’s speaking to a guy like me who gets riled up by the meaning behind the symbols. There are people who think any criticism (besides their own) or any fight for progress is anti-American. But the America I know is not some sissy that’s gonna throw a tantrum or start crying if you don’t walk on eggshells around it. My America can take the heat. It’s a tough-as-nails set of ideas that can be questioned but shouldn’t be betrayed.

My America lives by a code of honor created by The Founding Fathers. This code doesn’t include a “you know what, let’s just start torturing, see how that works out” possibility. It doesn’t have a high tolerance for “is there any way we could work this so the Constitution is not against wiretapping everybody?” When somebody says they are “Proud To Be An American” they might just mean that they are proud to have been born on this particular land mass within the borders that were drawn on the map, but I would like to think they are talking about that code. They’re proud to be part of a Democratic society that tries for freedom and equality. They believe in our system. I do, so it bothers me when I feel elections are rigged, that the leaders are not following the will of the people, that they are deliberately manipulating and terrorizing us into getting their way, and that they have rigged the system in order to not be accountable for what they’ve done. That’s not hating America, that’s loving America and not wanting some dumb assholes to fuck up this good thing Ben Franklin and the boys had going.

To me the last 8 years have been anti-American, so a line like Obama’s riles the patriotism in a guy like me. These years have been demoralizing and I know alot of people who have already given up and assume McCain will win, that this is the shithole we’re stuck in and we’re never gonna climb out. But for some of us Obama gives us hope. I know that word has been overused to the point of undeniable corniness, but fuck it. It’s true.

Of all the discouraging things that have happened during the Bush years the one that shocked me the most was the complete failure to handle Katrina. I know people have a million excuses for what happened there and I can’t agree with them on those things but it’s kind of irrelevant anyway. The point is that I never would’ve thought our government would not be able to handle a situation like that. Corrupt – yes, incompetent – yes, that incompetent – I didn’t think so. So Obama’s talking to someone like me when he says we don’t need to have a government “that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.” That we can do better. God damn, we better be able to. That sucked.

And I liked the section that was basically asking for political discussions to not be as moronic as usual:

“Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other’s character and patriotism. The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain.”

And then he went on to list some things that most people should be able to agree on despite different politics, for example both pro and anti choice people should agree that we should do what we can to cut down on unwanted pregnancies.

As good as the speech was, it was hard not to watch without being distracted by the HISTORICNESS of it all. The speech was held, not coincidentally, on the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. It says something about our world that in 45 years we have gone from King’s dream floating over a segregated country to a very real possibility of a black man becoming the president of the United States. But sadly I gotta note that while King’s speech was made on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial – our nation’s tribute to the president who fought a war (and died) for the end of slavery – Obama’s was at a place called “Invesco Field.” So we have progress, and we have, uh, other things too.

SORRY BUT I GOTTA GO ON A TANGENT ABOUT MUSIC NOW

Anyway it was a good speech, and it was a good idea to take him out of the usual convention setting and put him in a giant stadium where more people could see it. I didn’t see what was going on throughout the day but I did tune in about an hour before the speech, so I have a question for the Democrats.

MICHAEL MCFUCKINGDONALD? THAT’S REALLY HOW YOU PLAN TO INSTILL HOPE IN AMERICA? MICHAEL MCGODDAMNDONALD?

Yes, in the hour before what was expected to be one of the most historic American speeches in decades, they thought they would get a guy to play “America the Beautiful,” and the guy they chose was Michael McDonald. And after the speech they played a song called “Only In America” by the modern country duo Brooks & Dunn.

Okay, I know there must be some kind of thinking behind this that I’m not privy to, but let me rant a little bit. As some people have no doubt noticed, Obama is an African-American. African-Americans happen to have created all the greatest music of the modern age. They created jazz, blues, rock and roll, hip hop. They created funk and soul. Of course Obama is not a musician, it is not his responsibility to recognize those particular contributions to the world.

But come on, this had to have been intentional. You can’t tell me given the choice Obama wanted the same horrible white people shit every other politician always wants to use. What kind of thinking goes into ending such an inspirational speech with the same cornball bullshit that George W. Bush used as his campaign song for his tragic 2004 re-election? I looked it up, he used the same song. What does that tell us?

Somebody chose that song, I want to know why. Is it a sampling or pirating philosophy, stealing Bush’s horrible garbagey music and claiming its lyrics for our own? Kind of ballsy, kind of funny, like that scene from Top Gun where he flies upside down and flips a guy off?

Or was it genuine pandering? Obama makes this truly inspiring speech and we believe in it but just in case they throw some bullshit out there thinking “rednecks love this shit, they’ll eat it up”? Isn’t that a dishonorable note to end on?

Attention panderers: just as there are some people who enjoy that music, there are many people who hate it. You know how certain segments of society think rap music is just “noise” and “talking”? There is an equal or greater segment of society who hears any modern country music and imagines some dudes driving around in NASCAR with pinups of farm animals on the dashboard. I personally don’t think those redneck stereotypes are fair, but I do happen to have an allergic reaction to any and all modern country music, and especially when it’s a patriotic one like that my instinctive reaction is that whichever politician is playing it is insincere.

By the way, Johnny Cash you can get away with, everybody likes Johnny Cash, but I’m not sure we should be talking about shooting our wives after that speech. So good call not using him I guess.

But let’s go back to that “I Have a Dream” speech. I’m not sure if they played music after it. Bob Dylan played before it. Not soulful, but at least good. The Civil Rights movement did not associate itself with Brooks & Dunn. You know who Martin Luther King’s favorite singer was? Curtis Mayfield. You want to give people goosebumps, end the speech with “People Get Ready”! I guess it has spiritual connotations, but so did the speech. I just think when you have a speech that signifies a major landmark in American history, that promises a change, that hopes to inspire and move people who have had trouble with the last 8 years and want to believe in America again, you have to find a song that matches that feeling. Not a crappy leftover from Bush, the same asshole we’re getting rid of.

It’s not like I’m asking you to play “Mighty Mighty Spade and Whitey.” Or “Fight the Power” or “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” for that matter. This is not a threatening song or a protest. It’s not gonna menace anybody. If anything I bet it is enjoyable to a wider audience than the country song and musically offensive to a much, much, much smaller group. How many people can’t stand Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions?

Michael McDonald, if you’re not familiar with him, was in the fucking Doobie Brothers. He co-wrote songs with Kenny Loggins. I believe some of his songs have been used in truck commercials. They call him “blue eyed soul” but it’s hard to trace where the soul part comes from. To be fair his rendition of “America the Beautiful” was fine, it was not as awful as I associate with the guy. But where is the “change” and “hope” in the same old pandering to the most middlebrow, inoffensive mainstream old white people music? I thank you for not choosing Kenny G, but come on.

All I could think when they introduced him was “Are you telling me Stevie Wonder wouldn’t do it? You could get anybody!” I thought of Stevie because personally I consider him pretty much the greatest of all time. I literally do believe that Songs In the Key of Life is the greatest album ever recorded. He has more songs that make me a little misty-eyed than anybody. He’s funky and soulful as hell but don’t worry consultants, he doesn’t scare white people. And I don’t think he’s a wifebeater like James. Stevie’s a god damn saint, everybody loves him. As long as you stay out of his ’80s stuff his music is pretty much universally appealing. He loves Obama, he sings and preaches about many of the same themes, and he’s even relevant to this historic date because his campaign (and great song “Happy Birthday”) made Martin Luther King Day a national holiday.

Of course, I later found out that Stevie was actually there, they had him play earlier. Warming up for Michael McDonald.

Just think about it, Democrats. This is a perfect opportunity to inject a little soul into campaign music. Stevie, Al Green, Marvin Gaye… their words stir us like those country music ones are meant to, but their sounds do the job too. The best music is not just about words, the sounds move you too. Shit, at least get Wynton Marsalis or somebody out there. Or is jazz too “elitist”? All I’m saying is America, we can do better than Brooks & Dunn.

THE RNC

I didn’t get to watch as much of the RNC coverage as I wanted to, but it was pretty interesting to see what went down. For example it’s nice to see after 8 years of a Republican administration that it’s so unanimously agreed to be disastrous that even the Republican Convention was trying to distance itself. And cancelling their plans because of a hurricane – well, we at least know that they understand that it looked bad last time. That’s progress of some kind.

From the parts of speeches I saw one of the themes that really pissed me off was this anti-city bullshit. Sarah Palin was the mayor of a town in Alaska. (According to the 2000 census there were 32 black people there. The Wu-Tang Clan alone has almost a third as big a population of African-Americans as Wasilla.) So the idea is to set up this phony battle between “Small Town Values” and what Rudy Giuliani called in his speech “cosmopolitan” values. (That’s weird, I could’ve sworn Giuliani was associated with some sort of large American city… I have this memory of him saying “greatest city in the world” every time he opens his mouth… can’t think of where it would’ve been though. He’s a small town guy. Must be thinking of some other mayor.)

I guess these politicians don’t know this, but big cities by definition have more people in them than small towns. People who sometimes vote and shit. So especially since you are obviously pulling this shit out of your ass to pander to these people you’ve never met, who you picture looking all noble in their farmer outfits, you might want to cut that shit out or face our wrath. Yes, people in small towns contribute to the world, as do people in large cities. We also help the environment and the traffic by not living out in the suburbs and then driving into the city every day to work. In Seattle we pay most of the taxes and then have to send them out to the rest of the state so they can build their projects while our transportation system continues to be fucked. We’re pretty cool, we deserve some respect.

THE CONTRADICTIONS OF SARAH PALIN

Well, nobody saw this coming. McCain couldn’t get people excited even passing out free iPhones wearing an Obama mask. But his vice presidential candidate did it. People liked her speech. If you really look at it though, and at the other messages coming out of the campaign, there’s alot of contradictions there.

They tell us both that Obama is inexperienced and that he is “a Washington DC insider.” McCain has been in Washington for more than 25 years, but apparently has not made many connections there yet, it sounds like, still a real outsider. But experienced.

They tell us that Obama has been twiddling his thumbs for four years, which implies that McCain has been legislating six ways to Sunday. But they also say it’s not gonna be “business as usual” anymore and it’s gonna be “change” and that we have to change everything in Washington, which I guess must mean that all that incredibly awesome legislation he’s been doing is at risk. He did amazing things, but now it’s time to throw that shit out. Palin refers to “the do-nothing Senate” – does she know that her running mate is a Senator? Isn’t she polite enough to at least say “present company excluded”?

One of the ones that pissed me off the most was the people at the convention holding up signs saying “SERVICE!” while every one of the speakers laughs and belittles Obama for his community service. That Rudy Giuliani prick especially. This is a pretty clear representation of the true face of some of these assholes. The word “service” doesn’t mean anything to them, it’s just a cool slogan. What kind of a worthless shitbag makes fun of a guy for spending his mid-twenties driving around in a Honda Civic organizing 20 churches to try to improve their troubled neighborhoods? It’s exactly the kind of thing that all of us believe in and very few of us do or would even know how to do. And that smarmy piece of shit says it like some school bully calling everybody “faggot.” Palin also had a sarcastic community organizer line in her speech trying to brush it off as small potatoes compared to her being Mayor of a tiny Alaskan town (which by the way sounds like it could’ve used Obama’s help – I read that it’s considered “the meth capital of Alaska”).

They say that although it may appear based on reading about her experience that Palin is much less experienced than the guy they have been telling us for months and months is too inexperienced, actually she has the only experience that is important, “executive experience.” Governors technically make “executive decisions” which is not only a pretty good movie but apparently more important than being in the do-nothing Senate. And it goes without saying that John McCain would’ve been governor a long time ago but nobody told him about the whole executive experience thing because they were too shy to approach him because he is a war hero. Also because he’s a Washington outsider, they could never find him. They would look for him in the inner circle but he was always out doing maverick shit in the DC outskirts.

THE PALINS: SEASON 1

When I first read about Palin I thought McCain had lost his god damn mind (or as that dumbass Diddy put it, he was “buggin the fuck out”). But as it’s playing out I’m starting to think it’s demented, cynical brilliance. The Palin family – with it’s silly names, teen pregnancies and outrageous imagery (gun–packing moms, redneck hockey players putting on suits and hugging John McCain at the airport) – is a reality TV show waiting to happen. You can picture the opening montage already with Alaskan scenery, some mooses, Governor Palin bustin off shots from an AK-47, babies crawling around in the governor’s mansion, hubby going off a jump in a snowmobile, stylized portraits of each family member sliding across the screen with their first names (Piper, Track, Trig, etc.) written in glitter. In less than a week they were already replacing the Britneys and friends for gossip headlines. Apparently the daughter’s boyfriend got a new tattoo! I was gonna say something about how despite what Palin said in her speech Obama’s tax plan actually lowers taxes more than McCain’s for 95% of the country, but fuck that, let’s find out about this tattoo!

At first it seemed like they chose Palin as clueless pandering to Clinton voters, not understanding that most of them are not stupid enough to vote for a candidate who stands for the exact opposite of everything they believe. But actually they are pandering to the low quality and sick obsessions of the pathetic media culture we currently live in. Columnists and bloggers like to columnblog about troubled young girls who are famous only for being related to someone who’s famous. It’s even easy to call them by their first names because they got weird ass first names. What better way to get attention in 2008 than to appeal to the grown men who make a living being high school gossips?

And then there’s the matter of the trap. The whole thing is a trap.

Obama is right to take “The Obama High Road.” I think he’s completely genuine about not wanting family gossip to enter into a campaign. He doesn’t want his daughters ending up in some gossip rag shit or having their lives put under a microscope because of him. And he doesn’t want people to do it to Palin’s family either. And as he pointed out his own mother gave birth to him at 18. There have been many great teen mothers and it sucks to treat their lives as scandal or sleaze.

But that’s the sinister brilliance of it, because the hypocrisy is so god damn blatant that there’s no way everyone on Obama’s side can resist it. It’s a huge fuckin brick of gouda sitting on a rat trap. How can you not point out that Sarah Palin promotes abstinence only education, which clearly her daughter did not follow? That she beams about her daughter’s “choice” in a press release and yet is against you and your family having a choice? That she herself slashed funding for helping teenage mothers like her daughter? I don’t want her poor daughter to have to get dragged through the media and yet how can you not point out hey lady, fucking look, right then in your god damn house is exactly why you are dead wrong about all of these things? These are policies that affect actual human beings, people you know and love, and the respect and privacy you correctly are asking us to give your family is the exact same respect and privacy we are asking you to give ours. Except we really want it, it’s not just a campaign gimmick, and you won’t give it to us. If one of your kids wants to get gay married you’re gonna say that’s her decision too even though for our family you think it’s not.

And since Obama correctly said that he wants no part in criticizing the family, and since he said he will fire people in his campaign if they do it, of course the Republicans will make those things the issues. Abstinence education, contraception, abortion – let’s discuss these issues but HOW DARE YOU mention that they affect my family, have you no SHAME? Are you a MONSTER? Of course someone on Obama’s campaing will slip-up and say something that the Republican pundits will feign outrage at and they will either be fired or Obama will be criticized for not firing them.

And God forgive me for even mentioning this one but I know they’re going to be waving around that story about her newborn baby with Down’s Syndrome. When I heard about that I thought about how hard that would be and that anyone who can do that is a strong and admirable person. But then I thought, wait a minute… isn’t she, like, running for vice president? Flying around the world making speeches every day, doing interviews, having meetings, also being governor of Alaska I imagine, and possibly hunting mooses? And if so doesn’t that mean that, um, somebody else is, uh, raising the… well, never mind.

I mentioned this to somebody who pointed out that if it was a man running for office when his baby is only 5 months old he wouldn’t be criticized. Which is true. But shouldn’t he be criticized? I mean what kind of father or mother are you if you aren’t home when your baby is a god damn baby? You only get one infancy. It just seems like you either have a baby or run for president, not both. And if you run for president while your baby is at home you don’t use the baby as a selling point for your candidacy.

When she said in her speech that she would look out for families with special needs I thought that was good, that is a good thing. But on the other hand, Dick Cheney didn’t look out for families of lesbians. And veterans groups don’t seem to think McCain looks out for veterans. So I guess if it comes down to it we’ll see if she means it or not.

NEGATIVE FEEDBACK ON EBAY

Even aside from her supporting cast, the Sarah Palin persona of her speeches, the Governor Who Plays By Her Own Rules, is a fictional character. In her speeches she tries to blow your mind with boasts about her Dirty Harry style Stickin It To The Man governing. I’m sure you’ve already read about how saying “no thanks” to the “Bridge to Nowhere” actually means she supported it, defended it, said she wouldn’t back down on it, then eventually cancelled it after it became a national scandal, but never actually gave the money back. (whoops.) And built a road to the empty beach where the bridge would’ve gone. The Road to the Bridge That Would’ve Gone to Nowhere. Bragging about that one is a whopper, but another great example of her phoniness is the “jet on eBay” story.

In her acceptance speech (and since repeated in many other speeches) Palin talks about becoming governor and thinking the taxpayers were paying too much for her luxury. “That luxury jet that came with the office? I put it on eBay!” McCain has also told this story, saying she sold it on eBay for a profit.

The truth is more complicated. I guess Palin is right to brag that she didn’t want the jet, but the eBay story is clearly designed to promote this idea of a Maverick Governor who comes up with crazy plans… and they work! People love these kinds of stories. The redneck sherriff who carried around a 2×4 to intimidate organized crime, the inner city principal who carried a baseball bat to keep gang members out of his school. You hear about the unorthodox methods and you’re hooked.

But in this case the unorthodox methods weren’t Palin’s – Alaska already had been selling off expensive items, including two other aircraft, on eBay. More importantly it didn’t work – nobody ever gave the minimum bid so they eventually had to end the auction and bring the jet to a broker who sold it at a loss.

So if you’re serious and want to talk about your accomplishments you don’t bring up this story. If you’re trying to build a fictional persona though you bring it up every time there’s a microphone nearby.

THE PALIN VOTER

The other day I was going to the grocery store and I was stopped by a volunteer for the ACLU. He mentioned torture and spying, but obviously he didn’t have to sell me on anything. I already support the ACLU in spirit. I don’t have the money to be contributing every month, but I thought about that movie AN AMERICAN CAROL and how it apparently shows ACLU lawyers helping terrorists get weapons through airport security.

Few things get my blood boiling like the dickheads who wrap themselves in the word FREEDOM and then turn around and belittle civil liberties – i.e. ‘freedom’ – as some silly liberal bullshit. They call us traitors and America haters and then turn around and openly ridicule the actual American system and the values it was founded upon. Palin even had a line in her speech, “Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America … he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights?” Well, no, I don’t remember Obama ever worrying about that, but yes, we do have laws and we do follow them and that’s why we’re fucking Americans. Because we have civil liberties, we have rights, we have a system that we try to follow so that SUSPECTS can get a FAIR TRIAL because we FOUNDED OUR GOD DAMNED COUNTRY on this idea. And then if this hypothetical terrorism suspect is guilty then he goes to jail and we don’t have to admit we railroaded him and then let him out. Have you learned nothing from Freddy Krueger?

And why is it always the people who don’t believe in America pointing fingers at us?

They say we do nothing but criticize our country, then criticize us for standing up for our country. They say we hate America for not plastering flags on everything but then they openly hate the very things that the flag actually stands for. The ACLU are so scrupulous about their belief they even defended Rush Limbaugh after decades of ACLU-bashing when they thought his privacy was being violated.

I thought about that and I realized I want to be one of those “Card Carrying Members of the ACLU” Limbaugh and whichever Zucker brother it is like to complain about. So I gave the guy what little cash I had and signed up. And maybe I’ll send them a check when that movie comes out.

Anyway the volunteer talked to me about his kids and how they make fun of him, they say it’s his fault because he voted for Bush. Twice. To me it was a great bonding moment because I cannot imagine anything dumber than voting for Bush that second time. I could never even picture who these people were who would do that. But here was one of them, and he seemed like a nice guy, and he had thought about it and not only decided he had made a mistake, but was out there spending his afternoons trying to do something about it.

After Sarah Palin’s speech I think she represents the other road for the people who voted for Bush. Convince yourself it wasn’t a mistake, it was somebody else’s fault besides the people in charge. Continue voting against your own interests.

We’re used to politicians who send other people’s kids to fight unjust wars, here’s one proud to send her own. In at least one interview she promoted drilling in Alaska as an alternative to a war that’s “in many [ways]… over energy sources” and now she brags about her son being deployed. She brags that he’s being deployed on September 11th (actually not true, he had a ceremony today and gets deployed later), and I’m sure we will later discuss how it never occurred to her that she was making a connection between the September 11th attacks and the Iraq War – oh my goodness, no, that is just the date he happens to be deployed on, it never occurred to me or my speechwriters that anyone would read any meaning into it.

She stands for abstinence only education even though her own daughter has proven scientifically that it doesn’t work. She talks about reform and standing up to politics as usual and all this shit, and moments later says she wants to hand over her precious Alaska to oil companies. Take THAT, status quo! I guess she’s made executive decisions, but not on deadly ground.

THE HECKLER

As for McCain’s speech, I didn’t see the whole thing and from the clips it seemed kind of sad. That part at the end, he pretends to rev up the crowd, they pretend to clap and then he pretends to smile. Oh well, it is possible that you could be a terrible speaker and still be a good president. Hard to lead though if nobody pays attention to anything you say.

One interesting moment was when the Iraq veteran held up the sign that said “MCCAIN VOTES AGAINST VETERANS” and “YOU CAN’T WIN AN OCCUPATION.” He wasn’t a leftie, but a Ron Paul supporter who was there legitimately on a guest pass from a Ron Paul alternate delegate. The crowd drowned out his point by chanting “USA! USA!” In other words, they suppress disagreement the same way you used to welcome “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan to the ring. So that was a highlight I guess.

DIRTY POLITICS

But now that I’ve finished this column the conventions have been mostly forgotten. Now it’s all about what is the new ad and what is the response to the new ad. It’s too early in this part of the game to know how it will go, but so far I’ve been impressed by Obama’s ability to keep his dignity. As I write this the big “controversy” is that Obama described McCain’s “change” platform as “putting lipstick on a pig,” and the McCain campaign made a moronic ad pretending to think he was referring to Palin as a pig and to be offended at this outrageous sexism.

Obama’s response:

“They’d much rather have the story — this is the McCain campaign — would much rather have the story about phony and foolish diversions than about the future. This happens every election cycle. Every four years. This is what we do. We’ve got an energy crisis. We have an education system that is not working for too many of our children and making us less competitive. We have an economy that is creating hardship for families all across America. We’ve got two wars going on, veterans coming home not being cared for — and this is what they want to talk about! This is what they want to spend two of the last 55 days talking about.

You know who ends up losing at the end of the day? It’s not the Democratic candidate, it’s not the Republican candidate. It’s you, the American people. Because then we go another year or another four years or another eight years without addressing the issues that matter to you. Enough.

I don’t care what they say about me, but I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and swift-boat politics. Enough is enough.”

I mean, that sounds like one of my columns after you cut out the “god damns” and the “fuckin”s and improve some of the grammar. Obama is taking the bold step of treating Americans like they are not morons. He’s calling bullshit when necessary (which is every day, sadly) and so far not stooping to the current state of politics. This is why I believe in the guy.

Some of my friends have been saying that Obama needs to fight back, he needs to play dirty too or he’s gonna lose. I’m not sure I buy that. Because when has anybody ever tried not doing that? What if somebody really did try to have an honorable campaign? How do we really know it doesn’t work?

I like what he’s doing. Maybe my buddies are right, maybe it doesn’t play to the cheap seats or something. But from where I’m standing it looks like he’s winning this by staying on track with an occasional aside to point out that the McCain people are not treating this seriously or respecting your intelligence.

Well, there I go again. Months and months with no column and then I gotta write one that nobody’s gonna read in one sitting. So I better cut this one off. But thanks for reading.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 11th, 2008 at 4:41 pm and is filed under Vern Tells It Like It Is. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “2008 Political Conventions”

  1. “a reality TV show waiting to happen”

    Now Vern, that’s uncalled for.

    Oh wait, I’m writing from the future where Sarah Palin’s primary employment is as a reality TV star. Well done.

  2. I think you can give Michael McDonald a break now, Vern.

    -Writing from a future where Obama let Buddy Guy play in the White House, and sung some bars of “Sweet Home Chicago” with him.

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