Monthly Archives: May 2008

Don’t blame this mess on Hillary

As I write this, the Democratic Party Rules Committee is meeting to figure out what to do about the primaries they botched in Florida and Michigan. It’s a situation that everyone on the committee admits has no great solution. I keep hearing these seasoned politicos — some of the country’s finest know-it-alls — saying, “I really don’t know what’s the best thing to do here”; or “If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have voted to unseat those delegates.”

It just burns me when people say that Hillary Clinton is destroying party unity by doing what she said she was going to do — completing the primary process. Now, I know it’s unusual for politicians of any stripe to do what they say they’re going to do, but the current mess is not her fault. Anyone notice how quiet Howard Dean has been lately?

The tragedy here is that lots of good people voted in those primaries, and their votes now may not count. In Florida, there was actually twice the usual turnout, even though the voters knew that their delegates were, in all likelihood, not going to be seated.

What kind of a democracy is it if not every vote counts? I say it’s the quitters — not Hillary — who disenfranchise us. When someone drops out after a few disappointments in the early primaries, he wastes the votes that were cast for him. Worse, if he turns his delegates over to someone else, he completely perverts the intentions of their voters. How is that any better than Hillary’s giving all primary voters the chance to vote for her if they so choose? They’re still free to vote for Obama if they want to…where’s the harm? I would submit it’s the quitters who are disenfranchising us. More often than not, by the time my home state’s primary rolls around, the person I want has dropped out, taking away my freedom to choose.

How is what Hillary’s doing worse than what Richardson did — drop out and then endorse Obama knowing full well that Hillary was probably most of his supporters’ second choice? Gee, thanks, Bill. Then you go and grow that flattering facial hair and start working out again, just so I can’t be as mad at you as I want to be.

Another thing that really burns me is how, in Florida anyway, this is the Republicans’ fault. That’s right. The Democrats in the Florida legislature wanted to pass a law requiring a paper trail for all votes cast. It was the Republicans who dominate the Florida legislature who insisted upon inserting the line item about moving the primary earlier, leaving the Democrats with the Cornelian dilemma* of risking another election like 2000 or jeopardizing the primary process.

Oh, and you’re not off the hook, NARAL. I’ll get to you later.

* I know I may not be using this term correctly. Just be grateful I didn’t say “Hobson’s choice” or “Catch-22,” neither of which it is, either.

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I didn’t name this blog “nansense” for nothin’, ya know…

Trying to shake my Memorial Day depression…thinking about war, death, valor, family, bravery, hospitals, parades, loneliness, and love all day long will do that.

I know 3 sets of alternate lyrics to the “Colonel Bogey March.” I bet most Americans know some variation of these. But I wonder if there are any others. Oddly, the song doesn’t seem to have any original lyrics. If there were, I think I’d like to know them.

Anyway:

I.
Hitler, he only has one ball
Göering has two, but rather small
Himmler has something similar
But poor old Goebbels has no balls at all

II.
Comet, it makes your teeth turn green
Comet, it tastes like gasoline
Comet, it makes you vomit
So get your Comet, and vomit, today

I don’t know what’s more unbelievable…that I blogged this, or that there’s a Wikipedia entry about it, complete with illustration…in case you Googled for the song but don’t know what a can of Comet looks like, of course.

III.
Skippies, they make your feet feel fine
Skippies, they cost a nickel and a dime
Skippies, they’re made for hippies
So get your skippies, for hippies, today

“Skippies” is a term for cheap sneakers. If someone sings this song to you, you’re wearing the wrong shoes. I’m sure there are regional variations depending on the local slang term for cheap sneakers. I never actually heard sneakers called “skippies” except in this song.

And if you hum this tune and ask the name of the song, I’m pretty sure most Americans would say “Comet,” or maybe “Bridge on the River Kwai,” or “the Getty commercial theme,” depending on age. So I’m actually doing a public service here.

It’s the “Colonel Bogey March.” It was written in 1914, but the movie “Bridge on the River Kwai” made it famous in the late 1950s.

(If you’re a word nerd, read the article about the original song to find out how the word “bogey” got into the title!)

This didn’t work. I’m still depressed, but now I’m depressed and embarrassed.

I think I’ll go clean the sink. Maybe that will help.

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You Know You Want To

Take the Stephen Colbert Puppet Challenge

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It can now be said…

…there’s a Flickr group for everything.

 

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Go girl

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Can You Say “Opportunist,” Boys and Girls?

Tonight Barack Obama said, “On my first night campaigning in Michigan, I’m not going to do the same old thing. I’m going to do something different. I’m going to introduce you to one of the greatest leaders in the Democratic party, Mr. John Edwards.” 

Signs saying “Change” are everywhere. It’s clear the running mate is being selected. 

Oh, my God. When did Hillary Clinton become “the same old thing”? When did John Edwards become “change”? Hasn’t he already been the losing running mate before? I’m pretty sure that’s the very definition of the same old thing. 

Oh, my God again. Not only did Edwards step on the heels of Hillary’s victory in West Virginia and her recommitment to not being a quitter, he let Obama use his ill wife as a symbol for universal health care. Something Hillary tried to do 15 years ago. Hillary’s health care policy is more universal than Obama’s, and Obama is exploiting a woman with breast cancer. And her husband is letting him do it. 

(written live while watching Obama’s speech accepting Edwards’ endorsement on CNN)

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The Other F Word

Two bloggers I read regularly, Andy Ihnatko and Wil Wheaton, have joined the popular media in declaring Barack Obama the 2008 Democratic nominee. Ihnatko characterizes Hillary Clinton as a “vanity candidate” because she’s lent millions of her own dollars to her campaign, like an author who uses a vanity press because no real publisher wants her book. Wheaton likens Hillary to “a psycho ex-girlfriend” who doesn’t know when to stop calling.

Very funny, guys.

These bloggers have also joined the Obama chorus singing the tired refrain that Hillary must drop out immediately before she irreparably damages the Democratic party, nay, the Democratic process itself.

Oh, please. If the Democratic party were of sound body and mind to begin with, then George W. would have lost in 2004 (too). Oh, and what does this whole Michigan/Florida thing say about the organizational soundness of the Democratic party?

They’re perplexed, flummoxed! Why doesn’t she just give it up! Why can’t she be more like Al Gore? Ihnatko wonders. Why can’t she concede the race for the nomination the way Gore conceded the race for president in 2000:

Gore had every logical reason to continue the fight, and plenty of legal justification. History may never decide whether or not it was correct for the Supreme Court to hand down a decision that in so many words chose the next President.

But Gore conceded. He conceded an election that he had probably won, fair and square.

Why? Because he had the makings of a great President: he put the needs of his country ahead of his own needs or those of his Party.

Fighting the Supreme Court decision would have dragged on the process for months…and there had to be an inauguration on January 21, 2001. An orderly transfer of executive power on that date was more important than any other issue or factor. It sure as hell was more important than Al Gore’s ego. It was a close approximation of the classic King Solomon decision. Q: To whom did the Presidency rightly belong? A: The petitioner who would rather give it up than see the baby harmed.

(News flash: If there’s an heir to the Clinton/Gore legacy in this race, it’s Hillary, not Obama. Shame on you, Bill Richardson, shame on you! But I digress.)

No need to be perplexed, fellows. I’ll tell you why Al Gore could drop out and Hillary can’t: Al Gore’s a guy.

Do you really expect the first woman who’s a viable presidential candidate to drop out? To give up? To accept the pat on the head: “You did your best, kiddo. Now take your dolls and go home.”

Do you really think Hillary is doing this only for herself? Do you think she’s not thinking if she drops out, what that will say about women? What will that do to the next woman who runs for president?

Now, I’m not the same generation as Hillary. But I was born before 1970. Let me tell you a few things about women born before 1970.

We’re the reason girls can play Little League. We’re the reason girls can sing in the choir and serve on the altar. We’re the reason women can be ministers and astronauts and CEOs. We’re the reason women can wear pants in restaurants. We’re the reason schools and colleges have to, albeit grudgingly, spend money on women’s sports. We’re the reason people figured out it’s possible to have your first child after age 30 (hey, somebody had to be the first one to try it). We’re the reason women can own millions of dollars to lend to their own presidential campaigns.

And we hate, hate, HATE being told to take our dolls and go home.

Women like me cheered when Shannon Faulkner walked through The Citadel’s gates. And our jaws dropped when, barely a week later, she took her dolls and went home, citing physical pain and psychological abuse.

The day she dropped out, the male cadets streamed onto the campus green and celebrated.

Shannon was born after 1970. She didn’t get it. Neither do today’s athletes who say, “I’m doing this for myself. If you don’t like the way I live, tell your kids to ignore me. I’m not a role model.”

Yeah, you are. Hillary is, too.

Reporters admit that Hillary Clinton’s campaign is more media-friendly. She hangs out with the reporters in the back of the plane, which Obama can’t be bothered to do. A presidential campaign is nothing if not physical pain and psychological abuse. Bring it on, Hillary’s probably saying to herself. Bring it on.

Ihnatko closes his argument by saying:

Withdrawing from the race and committing her supporters and resources to Obama wouldn’t have been as conceding an election that she had already actually won by popular vote, but it still would have been hot stuff. She could have come back in eight years, even stronger than before.

In eight years Hillary will be 68. Let’s be real here. Hillary’s MILF-factor will never again be as high as it is now. And a woman needs MILF-factor to get elected. Don’t shoot me; you know I’m right.

These days, you can’t say the N-word. Or the L-word. But long before that, people stopped using the F-word — Feminism. Maybe it’s time to bring it back.

And never, ever, take your dolls and go home.

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