Monday, January 23, 2017

Time to be honest about Election 2016

Now the inauguration is done and we are now actually into a Trump presidency a wee bit I think it is time for some pithy thoughts. Failing that, I will give you what I got.
I think we can be brutally honest at this point about that supposedly deep, talented field of Republican candidates. By and large? It really sucked. As far as those not named Trump the field basically boiled down to Jeb!, Cruz, and Kasich (maybe only in his mind but okay). Yes, Jeb! folded early, but that is because he was the front runner, the elite fave, and because of that he was the first Trump victim. Had Trump not taken him down he would have waddled to the top and you all know it. His destruction was what your English lit teacher would call foreshadowing. A hint of what was to come.
While there is plenty of suck here to talk about I really don't have the inclination to tackle it. Nor would you have the time to read it. I will therefore restrain myself to how they were unelectable. None of these clowns would have beaten Hillary regardless of her own black hole epic levels of suck. They sucked more. Remember, I am talking electability, not ability. Those are two entirely different things. I will tackle this list in order of ascending suck.
John Kasich: Kasich sucked for a lot of reasons but in the end they all come down to this. He is a weird little man, virtually unknown outside of Ohio, with a really weird looking mouth. What the hell is he doing with his lips when he talks? He always looks like he is ready to start sucking on a milk shake. It makes everything he has to say look dumb. Since most people don't really listen anyway that pretty much was the end of him.
Jeb!: Being a Bush is not a plus, okay? We all know this. Besides which he was about as exciting as a mushroom with no hallucinogenic properties. Above that, he looked and deported himself like a fat, incompetent mayor from an obscure 70's sitcom. I believe it has to do with his block like head and slightly expanded under chin. I mean, look at the picture! Do I really have to say more? Hillary would have left him all under chin quivering in the dust.
Ted Cruz: What can I say about Ted? Besides being nearly universally hated by everyone, beyond his goofy, slightly over weight Gomer Pyle Face, and his annoyingly nasal voice that is. Ted comes off as being over intellectual, holier than thou, and a bunch of other stuff. Yet, none of that really nails why Hillary would have spanked him like a bad puppy. It all boils down to one moment in time where he had the Senate shut down, and by extension supposedly the entire US government, reading Green Eggs and Ham on the senate floor. I am not saying it wasn't a brilliant display of political showmanship, because it wasn't. It just looked dumb. In a Hillary Vs Ted match up we would have been regaled with endless hours of commercial showing him reading Dr. Souse will Washington burned and Vets died at the VA for lack of funding. He should have had hours of material available to talk about what he was fighting against and what he was fighting for. Sorry, that was a bone headed move Ted. Let's call it a photo op for the opposition.
Which leads me to the meat of this. I really am being honest here. Think about all these after election and after inauguration protests in light of Ted Cruz. How many Green Eggs and Ham moments have these people given their opposition? The answer is a lot. Protesters burning stuff, breaking windows, and attacking others will provide hours of commercial fodder of course, but that is not really what I am talking about. Think about Madonna seemingly threatening to blow up the white house. Think about Ashley Judd talking like a deranged crazy woman from one of her movies. Ever seen the movie Bug? Watch her speech and then watch that movie and you may conclude she wasn't acting. Think about all the cussing and vagina costumes. Think about how all this is going to play to rural America, Evangelicals, Blacks and Hispanics, and others who voted not for Trump but against Hillary or who decided to stay home because they found both candidates disgusting. Sorry, but acting like a crazed or violent radical isn't going to win you any votes there. It won't be those making reasoned, intelligent arguments and protesting respectfully without vulgarity who will make those Election 2018 or 2020 commercials.
Look, protesting someone who just won the votes of half the country and won the election decisively is your right and more power to you. It doesn't make it smart. Acting like a lunatic, talking irrationally, and generally being a vulgar douche is your right too I guess. That doesn't make it not stupid. It is stupid. Because ugly, vulgar, irrational, violent, and yes dumbass tends to not bring people to your side. If your goal is what it should be, to win the next election, then you are not doing this right. Not at all.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


Okay, okay, I am shamelessly using click bait tactics to grab attention. I was just curious......did it work?
Anyway, I am watching cable news right now. There was just a segment on Obamacare. They interviewed two different people about the law. One of the interviews was pretty respectful. The questions were asked and the answers were given. No interruptions. No contradicting points of view were offered. No contradicting evidence of any kind presented. However.....
The very next interview was completely different. The reporter asked and even before the answer was given began talking and contradicting. The person being interviewed got, on average, about three seconds to answer before being interrupted. The segment featured the reporter talking over the person being interviewed for at least half the time.In fact, the longest period of uninterrupted time this person got was the thank you for having me part.
As a viewer, as the audience supposedly benefitting from the services I am purchasing by proxy from this network via my cable subscription and by being a consumer who buys stuff, the end result of watching two interviews was not acceptable and did not serve my interests. It served their interests and their views. Not exactly impartial.
This is not news, this is not fair reporting. This is BS, a waste of time, and quite frankly it angers me. I am capable of listening to the two different sides, listening to the positions, and deciding for myself. I do not need or want a cable news network deciding for me which side I need to hear.
This is just one of many ways news organizations fail us. Let me be completely honest. I am on one side of this particular debate. My views on the subject are very strong and I believe well considered. However, I believe there are valid arguments and concerns that contradict both sides. What I believe would constitute good reporting, good journalism, in covering this story is far different from what I just saw.
If I were to be given the trust of a paying audience, and believe me you do pay for this service, I would approach the task of doing that job for you completely differently. Most of the work involved would be off screen. I would strive to be impartial, I would strive to gather facts. I would educate myself on the positions of both sides. Most importantly, if I were to interview someone I would do the viewer the courtesy of allowing them to hear that person present their case. It would not be my job to argue with them. I seriously doubt any reporter is ever going to deliver an epiphany. A reporter is not Jesus, the politician is not Paul, and television is not the Damascus road. My job, as a reporter, would be to serve the viewers by giving them access to the differing sides to hear what they have to say and then to present verifiable facts and valid concerns which may or may not support what either side is saying.
Just in case you are wondering the cable network I am watching is Fox. The person who was so heavily interrupted was a Republican supporting repealing Obamacare. The person whose position I was allowed to hear was a Democrat speaking in favor of Obamacare.
Does that surprise you?
It really shouldn't. Our news media is not doing the job we deserve folks. It is not doing the job we are paying for. Often times a veiled bias does far more damage than a blatant lie.
We deserve better.