Let's rewind to last week and discuss the ABC debate debacle (alliteration points x4). In a way, the whole mess exemplified what exactly is wrong with politics in America today. For those of you who missed it, the majority of the "debate" (which I'm surrounding with quotation marks because it barely fit the definition) was, in the words of Philly Daily News columnist Will Bunch:
"focus[ed] on issues that were at best trivial wastes of valuable airtime and at worst restatements of right-wing falsehoods, punctuated by inane "issue" questions that in no way resembled the real world concerns of American voters....
You implied throughout the broadcast that you wanted to reflect the concerns of voters in Pennsylvania. Well, I'm a Pennsylvanian voter, and so are my neighbors and most of my friends and co-workers. You asked virtually nothing that reflected our everyday issues -- trying to fill our gas tanks and save for college at the same time, our crumbling bridges and inadequate mass transit, or the root causes of crime here in Philadelphia. In fact, there almost isn't enough space -- and this is cyberspace, where room is unlimited -- to list all the things you could have asked about but did not, from health care to climate change to alternative energy to our policy toward China to the deterioration of Afghanistan to veterans' benefits to improving education. You ignored virtually everything that just happened in what most historians agree is one of the worst presidencies in American history, including the condoning of torture and the trashing of the Constitution, although to be fair you also ignored the policy concerns of people on the right, like immigration issues.
You asked about gun control -- phrased to try for a "gotcha" in a state where that's such a divisive issue -- but not about what we really care about, which is how to reduce crime. You pressed and pressed on those capital gains taxes, but Senators Clinton and Obama were forced to bring up the housing crisis on their own initiative.
Instead, you wasted more than half of the debate -- a full hour -- on tabloid trivia that for the most part wasn't even that interesting, because most of it was infertile ground that has already been covered again and again and again. I'm not saying that Rev. Wright and Bosnia sniper fire and "bitter" were never newsworthy -- I myself wrote about all of these for the Philadelphia Daily News or my Attytood blog, back when they were more relevant -- but the questions were stale yet clearly intended to gin up controversy (they didn't, by the way, other than the controversy over you.) The final questions of that section, asking Obama whether he thought Rev. Wright "loved America" and then suggesting that Obama himself is somehow a hater of the American flag, or worse, were flat-out repulsive."Yup.
As the internet is wont to do, the "debate" was parodied by the folks over at the Obsidian Wings blog, put in context of the famous Lincoln/Douglas debate of 1858. Just a quick highlight, and you can click the link to get the rest:
"LINCOLN: Thank you very much, Charlie and George, and thanks to all in the audience and who are out there. I appear before you today for the purpose of discussing the leading political topics which now agitate the public mind.
We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m sorry to interrupt, but do you think Mr. Douglas loves America as much you do?
LINCOLN: Sure I do.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But who loves America more?
LINCOLN: I’d prefer to get on with my opening statement George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: If your love for America were eight apples, how many apples would Senator Douglas’s love be?
LINCOLN: In my opinion, slavery will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Excuse me, did an Elijah H. Johnson attend your church?
LINCOLN: When I was a boy in Illinois forty years ago, yes. I think he was a deacon.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you aware that he regularly called Kentucky “a land of swine and whores”?
LINCOLN: Sounds right -- his ex-wife was from Kentucky.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Why did you remain in the church after hearing those statements?
LINCOLN: I was eight.
DOUGLAS: This is an important question George -- it's an issue that certainly will be raised in the fall."And so on. Just read the rest.
Anyways, Hillary won Pennsylvania last night, despite the dream I had the night before about Obama winning and Hillary finally conceding. I don't want to get into that, so I won't.
Oh, but all the candidates made a guest appearance on WWE. Yes, that IS professional wrestling. This is what it's come to.
"Okay, America...just...alright?...America?" (It's not as funny without the proper inflection, but who cares.)
Someone found my blog by Googling the phrase "Why are people from Wisconsin so passive aggressive." I find that really, really hilarious. I'm digging through the Sitemeter stats, and have come to one conclusion - people from other countries really want to find Chuck Norris riddles. Yeah, I don't get it, either.
Finally, for your entertainment:
Kids are stupid. Over and out.