Since this post will go to press before I’ve had a chance to witness the dozenth or so “make or break” moment of this largely farcical Presidential campaign, I will attempt to steer clear of any advice/predictions for the contenders. I know that seems somewhat daring of me, if not a tad indifferent, but there it is. I’m not indifferent, of course, given the last time substantial portions of the American left decided there wasn’t a “dime’s worth of difference” between the Presidential candidates, dire unpleasantness quickly ensued. That doesn’t make it all exciting, though.
For liberals like myself, the President has been lame enough to qualify for a Medicare-funded Hoveround, and the fact that in the end he’ll most probably win despite his own and the horse race-obsessed media’s efforts to make the thing seem like a squeaker combine to make me want to look the other way. The goal seems to be, in the utter absence of any possible positive outcome, to make sure the other guy loses, just to show ‘em. Fortunately for my sanity, showing them something: say, the door, has moved up on my list of priorities, and there are a lot of less dispiriting chances to do so.
First off, there’s Joe Walsh. (Not the semi-cool rocker from way back, for those old enough to remember, but the Illinois Republican douchebag who, repeatedly, dissed his opponent’s military record, got scarily abusive on random people at town halls, and has made such an ignorant ass of himself that his own mother oughtn’t admit intending to vote for him.) A teabagger who, quite naturally, is overly fond of “personal responsibility” in others but nonetheless cheated his ex-wife out of years of child support for his own family, proudly went on TV to berate Tammy Duckworth, who lost both legs in Iraq, for picking out a dress for her appearance at the Democratic Convention, going so far as to hold up a picture of her doing so.
Duckworth, who was undoubtedly unprepared for such a bonkers and self-discrediting attack, calmly replied that sometimes she had to work on her wardrobe, given that her adult life was spent wearing one color, “camouflage.” Normal person: 1, Douchebag: 0. Everyone but Dick Morris expects Duckworth to wipe up the pavement with Walsh, and this exchange will only make the remaining film on the tarmac thinner.
Then there’s Sherrod Brown in Ohio, who is liberal enough that Rush Limbaugh, evidently distracted by Dominican hookers and too much bootlegged Viagra, once thought was black, but is quite ably sending the teenaged $20 million dollar Palin-with-a-Penis (Not even Sarah, more like Bristol), Josh Mandel, to the dustbin of history, where he will surely leave a greasy spot.
In Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin seems likely to send the oily and opportunistic Tommy Thompson back to K Street where he belongs, and in the process become the first (openly) gay US Senator in Washington. Speaking of Washington, this time the state, it looks as though full legalization of marijuana may become a reality, and Colorado may join it. Not medical, Baby, we’re talking wake and bake. Take that, prison industrial complex. Four states are voting on legalizing gay marriage, and at least two will probably pull it off. Take that, Jesus freaks. Douchebaggery, with a healthy dose of lying, works, until it doesn’t.
Toss in the pro-life, teabag-stuffed cracker from Tennessee who ordered one of his mistresses, on tape, to get an abortion of his (maybe) baby, and you have an election driven not by the virtue and promise of its likely victors, but the revoltingly hypocritical behavior of its opponents. Which, in the end, is better than nothing for those of us watching at home.
Tonight, millions of Americans will settle in for a debate between a fresh-faced prodigy from Middle America with a lot of Big Ideas (not to mention cat food hot dish recipes), go head to head with a tired Washington Insider with an admittedly undisciplined mouth. But only one of them is a douchebag, and he has a widow’s peak instead of those oft-discussed hair plugs.
Republicans have a formidable machine for winning elections; so formidable in fact, that running toxic, unstable, walking drinking games seems like plausible gamble, but this time it just doesn’t seem to be working out. Tonight, I’ll be drinking to that.