Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thieves and Liars

I was going to write about the absolute idiots making their wads of cash on talk radio these days, but Courtney stole my thunder. Not sure how she read my mind to plagiarize me so thoroughly, but she did. Courtney, in the future, please use your supernatural powers for the greater good and not to make it more difficult for me to achieve my personal goals.

If you have any interest in what I have to say on the subject, click the above link and read my comment. I decided to punish her psychic thievery by putting up a comment longer than her original post. I'll show her not to steal from my brains and smear the contents on the internets as if those contents were her own.

My contents are pretty greasy and she's probably still washing her psychic hands.

I was going to just whine about Courtney being a butt and post a funny video, but in my morning reading I came across something interesting that sparked something I was thinking about last week. Thursday, I was watching either The Daily Show or the The Colbert Report and one of the guests came on and was voicing concern at the tone at some of the McCain rallies. He mentioned cries of "terrorist" and "kill him" when Obama was mentioned and even racial epithets being hurled at a black cameraman. I actually double checked that claim and it appears to hold weight. The funny thing is that I had thought I had heard similar shouts in the background on a couple of clips on the news recently, but since no one on TV mentioned them, I assumed I was hearing things. Those guys talk about all sorts of inane shit to fill airtime, I assumed that if I heard what I thought I had that they really would have jumped all over that. Turns out I was probably hearing what I thought I heard.

To be fair to McCain, he seems to get really uncomfortable at the angry tone of the crowds at some of his rallies and has even politely disagreed with some of the dumber comments (like the reference to a newspaper portrayal of Iraq mentioned in the article that spurred this line of thinking.) Palin doesn't seem to share her boss's reservations about the rabble massed in front of her and seems to get a bit of a kick by egging them own.

That loops me back into a portion of what I originally intended to post. I've actually wondered what the deal is with angry conservatives. I can't think of anyone other than Lewis Black who could be aptly described as an angry liberal, at least not since disco and cocaine washed away the revolutionary fervor of the '60s. And Lewis Black may just be playing out his shtick, so I'm not even sure he counts. I can't, however, think of a single conservative commentator who doesn't sound like a 9th-grade girl viciously slandering her former best friend every time they open their mouths. They seem to revel in the most petty of insults, and get worked up into a froth over virtually nothing. Bill O'Reilly. Rush Limbaugh. Neil Boortz. They're all raving nutjobs.

And I get that some of the anger and sillier stuff is simply an effort to get better ratings and also hold the attention of a less intelligent class of conservatives. After all, I can hardly imagine Colin Powell or the first George Bush sitting around listening to any of these radio and TV hosts. I'd like to think they're a better class of person than the borderline literates who call into these shows on a regular basis. Karl Rove is an evil genius, but he probably listens just to figure out how he can better control the unwashed masses.

But really, this election is making me a little sad when I think about McCain. I liked McCain the first time around, and I think we may have been better off if he'd beaten W the first time around. Which is exactly what makes this election so painful. You've got a guy knowing it's probably his last shot and knowing that the reason he lost last time is because he didn't excite the Republicans enough to make it out of the primaries. McCain was a media darling in 2000 and he would have done very well among moderates, I think. The problem was that he's too liberal on social issues for the Moral Majority types. To make up for that, McCain has spent the last four years sucking up to the Republican base and shifting his social stances further to the right to attract them enough to make it to the general election. Now you have a man who should have been president last time forced to limp along as a shell of his former political self having sold out his "maverick" status for one last shot and having to preside over shouting mobs of rednecks, racists, and knee-jerk anti-liberals.

Here's that funny video anyway.


Julie said...

Yeah. I remember studying the election while we were in college and thinking that I could vote McCain. Now? No way, no day.

Courtney said...

Well, your post pretty much covers the same topic as mine, so no harm no foul. It's pretty cool that I'm psychic, though.

I agree with pretty much everything you said. I used to really like McCain; in fact, I voted for him in the 2000 primary. I wouldn't be surprised if he's still a moderate at heart, but had to sell out (and pick a right-wing nutjob of a VP) to gain the support of the extreme right. I don't respect that. I wish he'd stuck to his guns and done what he thinks is best, not let the party dictate what he should do. Besides, the voters made him the Republican candidate, so the party should just fall in line behind that. What is the Moral Majority going to do about it? Vote for Obama?

I consider political pundits to be a blight on our society. All they do is appeal to people's competitive sensibilities and label the opposition stupid, no matter what the issue is. Rush Limbaugh would hurl insults at Jesus if Jesus came back as a Democrat. It's kind of like hating a sports team; there's no real reason for it, it's just what you think you're supposed to do. If that kind of punditry continues, the parties will be increasingly at odds and nothing will ever get done. A BLIGHT, I say.

There you go. A Jacob-sized comment from me.

Chris said...

I think Courtney makes a really good comparison, between people's support of politicians and sports teams --- or rather, political parties and sports teams. There's simply no logic or rationale to it, for many people, yet many a man would argue for his side until that vein just beside his temple exploded out of his head.

Meaghan has a colleague who says it pains her to watch the debates because Obama comes off sounding so much more intelligent than McCain, and yet she "just can't support a liberal." Meaghan doesn't press her on the question (she doesn't like to argue politics, and so would not be a good talk-radio host), but she tells me that she thinks the woman secretly wants to vote for Obama but won't let herself.

Why? I doubt she knows.

Jacob said...

Courtney: Hey, I had to add how much of a thief you are and my disappointment in McCain. After cutting out what you'd already written from my post, I was only left with a paragraph on political talk shows. As for the rest of your comment, just read Chris's and pretend that I wrote it.

Chris: Chris, now you're going and stealing my comments! First Courtney steals my post and then you steal my response to her comment to my post. Either that or she just made a really good comment and we both noticed. I almost said she didn't insult me for once, but she really did a little. I did really like the comparison to sports fans, although I fully support sports fans' right to irrationally support their teams and oppose their opponents. Not so much for politics.