There is an adage that has never made much sense to me, that one can “catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.” Why anyone would want to catch a bee is beyond me. Nonetheless, someone should utter this phrase, perhaps with the addendum “or with a machete” attached, to the political campaign of Hank the Angry Presidential Candidate.
The surprising thing about the election that’s shaping up is that John McWeirdsmile isn’t going to lose because of his awful policies, or because he is indeed the sequel to The Current President, or because he wants the Untied States of America to occupy Iraq forever. No, John McWeirdsmile is going to lose because he’s an angry bitter horrible shitty little angry bitter shit of a person.
Having seen Debate II, it seems that John McWeirdsmile believes Obama to be neither a mere political opponent nor an esteemed colleague, but instead a member of an untouchable caste where mere eye contact or social exchange sucks out one’s soul and insides all at once. It is McWeirdsmile’s weird, psychopathic disdain of his opponent that will elect Barack Obama in a landslide. Because it is not playing in Peoria.
America in October 2008 is a grim-faced place. Calling the current economic situation merely “chaotic” would be putting too much a shine on it: it is, in fact, dismal. The war may be far away and out of mind, but vast American banks going under is difficult to ignore. The collapse of titanic Wall Street firms isn’t something that can be papered over or forgotten. The housing market, the credit market, the jobs market—these are miserable, unnerving days, in America, and there seems little to no chance that they will not expand into dismal months, and years. The Dow has been dropping like a stone, losing 500 points yesterday alone—and that, after a series of other bad days.
Given that, snippy little attack lines, one candidate towards another, seem petty. Speeches and debates peppered with half-truth laden pokes and contrived snipes seem, compared to an economic crisis that we just threw $700 billion at to apparently little effect, very nearly insulting to the audience. On one hand, we fear a Depression: on the other hand, we have time to play the same ridiculous, Rove-inspired smear mongering that has defined the politics of the last decade.
Inciting violent hecklers while hashing up so much happy horseshit that was already thoroughly vetted through the efforts of one Hillary “Monster Tweety” Clinton is not smart. Speeches from Hank the Angry Presidential Candidate and his buddy Prudence Palin have offered the past few days have incited hecklers to be downright violent, one screaming “Terrorist!” at the mention of Obama and/or William Ayers, another had reported yelled “Kill him!” regarding our guy. Culture of life my ass.
The thing is, there is a way to run against Obama, but I can’t think of a Republigoat who’s capable of it. Maybe Arnie Vinick. The hypothetical/fictional candidate would have to hoist himself up to join Obama on the high road next to the cool stream where Obama lives. He’d have to be able to calmly and authentcially explain how, despite his common party affiliation with the disaster that’s in the White House now, he’d be a true reformer. The thing is, though, he’d have to back that talk up with action concurrent to his campaign. He’d have to have made sweeping changes to the party platform at the Republigoat Convention so he could tout those changes as breakthrough examples of how his leadership would be different from W’s. I might also have him break tradition and start floating names for his cabinet, to show concretely that he’s not the crony kisser that W is. So you don’t answer Brokaw’s question about Treasury with a weird glib nonsequitur. You answer it sincerely and the answer had better not be “Phil Gramm.” Most important, though, you don’t splash around in the mud and you have to appear at least as if not more Fonzie-like and serious than Obama.
The fact is that America is not going to elect an angry bitter shitty dwarf to be President of the Untied States. They’re just not.
P.S. A special thanks to John McWeirdsmile and his baffling behavior for providing an excuse to use a photo of the late great Henry Joseph Nasiff Jr., known to Fans of The Show as Hank The Angry Drunken Dwarf. Quote: “I’m not a midget. I’m a dwarf, you asshole!” In truth, Hank was seven times the wit of the Republigoat nominee. But he provides a great analogy nonetheless. Thanks, Hank.