Sep 12, 2010

It's difficult to tell clowns apart

I really hate election seasons. I mean, I’ve long since stopped being surprised, but rather I suppose I am reminded of why I hate them.

I watched the debate, live via the intertubes, between Sen. Blanche “Branch” Lincoln and Rep. John “The Booze Man” Boozeman (apparently their first official one since winning their respective primaries?) and it was a complete waste of time. I learned nothing new about either candidate, except to confirm existing opinions. There’s so many more important things in the local news than their debate (and I couldn’t care less about them either).

Some observations:

Lincoln is a skilled politician. I mean, I already knew that. The majority of my knowledge of her I get from reading. Actually watching her live I am continually impressed by her skill at playing the political game. Those of you who did a double-take at my complimenting her must understand this is a compliment in the same way as telling a murderer that they are a skilled eviscerator is a compliment.

Her choice of specific words, the way she presents herself, how she always remembers to thank everyone graciously, how she always hammers home the same points no matter what the format, question, or topic… it’s awe-inspiring, really.

This is, however, exactly why I hate politics. She’s good only because she knows how to play the game. And I hate that it is a game that can be gamed. I hate that getting elected involves so much phoniness and superficialities. None of the topics are ever discussed that deeply or specifically, nor could they be expected to be. It would take the entire hour and a half to have a real intelligent discussion on one topic and even then you’d only be scratching the surface. You’d need hours and days and weeks. Which is why most of the real debate happens in print, where individuals can expand in more detail on a topic. Articles can highlight a specific point in a fair amount of detail. Books can go much deeper or broadly. It takes a lot of effort from a lot of man-hours.

An hour and a half is about enough time for both candidates to deliver a few important sound bites and that’s exactly what the good ones learn to do. It’s a waste of everyone’s time. If you wanted that, you can go to either candidate’s campaign site and read the bullet points they have their under “policies” or “issues” and feel really good ‘cuz you just saved yourself an hour and twenty minutes.

Argh. Moving on.

Booze Man’s rhetoric sure sounds good at times. I’m not foolish enough to believe it, though. I know he’s in “campaign mode” so he’ll gravitate back to giving lip service to the same tired conservative lines. One of the questions leveled at him during the debate nailed him on this. It basically asked why anyone should expect things to be different if we elected him and other Repubs to the Senate/Congress over the Dems since the Repubs were the ones approving the Bush budget expansions and growth. It nailed him on the problem all Repubs face this election season: do any of us really have any reason to believe alcoholics when they swear to us this time they are clean, no more drinking, honest?

Fiscally speaking, Obama is the worst president we’ve ever had… since Bush. So, yeah, I can't help but scoff and say "Suuuuure" whenever I hear Republitards talk about fiscal responsibility/restraint/discipline or whatever. Bush busted the budget year after fucking year and is only rivaled by his successor for omens of budgepocalypse.

Well, to get back to the point, John didn’t have a good answer. In fact, he didn’t really answer at all (since he couldn’t easily lie about this one). He just talked until it basically sort of sounded like an answer, but at no point did he acknowledge his role in supporting those budgets nor deny it. Just sort of kept talking about reducing spending.

I could go on, but I think I’ll end by simply saying that I’m not voting for either Tweedledee or Tweedledum. I’m constantly disgusted by the crap Lincoln shovels out every week, but I honestly can’t imagine Booze Man would be substantially different. If anything, he might be a few measly points better, but I dislike being offered shit and slightly-less-smelly shit and being told to pick one.

Omake bonus: I’m delighted to hear someone, anyone, even mentioning support for discussing something like the FairTax from Booze Man. Granted, he’s not officially supporting it, just wanting to put it on the table to talk about, but Christ that’s better than you normally get from most politicians. I’ll give him credit for that. Expect to hear me talk about the analogous Arkansas state version of that in the future as we get closer to November. That and this ridiculous hunting amendment bullshit.

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