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The Meme That Mean Built

I was watching Clint Eastwood’s train wreck last night, as it was happening and I had the same reaction that everyone else had; What the fuck? He looked like a crazy person. And as the cameras panned the crowd, I could see that some of them were running through the same what-the-fuck cycle I was running through.

And when I woke up this morning, and saw the #eastwooded memes, I laughed (a lot). But I also felt bad because he’s old, and maybe not as sharp as he once was. But the memes kept on coming, and I kept on laughing and feeling a little bad for him.

I’ve watched the speech two more times throughout the day, and a couple of things that didn’t occur to me last night (probably because I was dazed and confused) finally dawned on me. The first thing that I thought of is, why did he even agree to do the speech? He was eviscerated by the right for doing the “It’s half time in America” commercial for Chrysler. His party of patriots went thermonuclear on his ass, for having the gaul to be proud that an American company came back from the brink of disaster. His party is so fucking blinded by their own meanness, that they can’t even take pride in America anymore. Why the fuck would you want to have anything to do with these people anymore? And how do you not assess the situation exactly as I just did? So then I thought that maybe he truly believes that Mitt Romney is the right person to lead this country, despite their disagreement on the┬áChrysler situation. Remember, Romney wouldn’t have done anything to save them. But if that’s the case, why didn’t Eastwood just say that? Why didn’t he talk about being proud of┬áChrysler for coming back, while disagreeing (in hindsight, of course) with Mitt Romney about the handling of that one issue. He could have then gone on to talk about the issues in which he agrees with Romney and, I don’t know, maybe talked about why the views they share are better for the country.

That would have been a great speech. It would have been great for Eastwood, in repairing the ill will that republicans had for him, and it would have been great for Romney. But Clint decided to go mean. He decided that saying mean things about (or in his mind, to) Barack Obama. And if you watch the speech, he sounded lucid enough until he got mean. Once he got mean, he sounded like an addled brain old man.

I honestly believe that meanness has a corrosive effect on the soul. And that corrosive effect is what’s wrong with the republican party. That meanness is what makes them incapable of taking pride in goddamned anything about America anymore. They couldn’t take pride in the fact that we, before any European country much older than us, raced through enough racial issues that we elected a black president. I’m not saying that they should have embraced Obama. But they should have taken pride in that American accomplishment. I’ve never heard a republican espouse pride in America for that. They didn’t allow themselves to be proud of America when Osama Bin Laden was finally killed by an American bullet. And they refused to be proud when an American car company came back from nearly total oblivion to thrive.

Meanness is the thing that is corroding the republican party. Their whole convention was centered around being mean to the other guy, rather than praising their guy. Why? Because even they know they have nothing praiseworthy left anymore. Meanness causes blindness. Republicans should have figured out that they needed to completely revamp the party platform after the 2008 ass kicking. But they didn’t, because they’re blinded by meanness. They walked away from that election, thinking they lost because their nominee wasn’t conservative enough. Never mind the fact that there’s nothing conservative left about the republican party. They’ve lost conservatism because of their mean blindness. And I’m sad to say that the ass kicking that Romney is going to get in November, won’t lead them to reassess either. They’re just going to repeat the 2008 mantra of not having a conservative enough candidate.

I don’t feel bad for Clint Eastwood anymore. He’s just fucking mean, and he’s getting what he deserves. Part of me thinks that the GOP was still pissed at him when they booked him to speak. Think about it, the executive producer for the convention got that fucking empty chair for him. They knew what he was going to do. And no sane person could possibly think that was going to go over well. Maybe they wanted him to go out there and look like a jackass, as payback for “half time in America”. Maybe he got outmeaned.



I’m referring to the merry band of miscreants that we have to choose from this November. I don’t know about where you guys live (I’d love to hear your stories), but here in New York, we’re forced to vote for another crappy senator. It doesn’t matter who we vote for, they’re all crap.

Kirsten Gillibrand is very likely going to win the senate seat she currently holds because republicans have nothing, other than a former Chief economist for Bear Stearns. Yay for us! In one of the most liberal states in America, we get to pick between two conservative corporatists. Gillibrand has spent the past year trying to “left it up” in order to secure any votes in Manhattan, but she recently showed her hand by doing her part in eviscerating the financial reform bill. She’s getting a TON of money from Wall Street to fund her campaign, which means she takes marching orders from Lloyd Blankfein. She hasn’t even been elected to that seat yet, and she’s already made it clear that her interests trump those of New Yorkers and Americans at large. What is she going to turn into after she’s obtained six more years of job security?

The sad thing is that my situation in New York isn’t even the the worst of options that Americans must make. Poor Nevada has to choose between the very the ineffective pussy that is Harry Reid and the crazy chicken lady! Arizona gets to choose between the filthy, corrupt JD Hayworth and crazy, bitter John McCain. And let’s not forget California, another liberal bastion of America. You’ve got Meg Whitman, who somehow finds time to run a campaign between board meetings at Goldman Sachs and Carly Fiorina, who was paid $45M just to get the fuck out of Hewlett Packard.

Why is this happening to America? These are not candidates that anyone can get behind, regardless of party affiliation and political ideology. No true conservative can possibly find JD Hayworth palatable if they’re being honest with themselves. And Kirsten Gillibrand, the corporatist Annie Oakley should make any self respecting democrat wretch. If we voted our conscience and our real ideology, rather than being herded by our political affiliations, we would all see that none of these people are acceptable. None of them give a fuck about protecting our interests.

Both parties have completely gone to shit, and it’s not going to stop unless we stop it. Every time we vote for one of these assholes, we’re ensuring that the next wave of candidates that our party puts in front of us is going to be worse than the last.

I have found another Senatorial candidate to support here in New York. He doesn’t have a snowballs chance of getting the word out in the face of the big money that Gillibrand is getting from Wall Street, but I’m campaigning for him. If Jonathan Tasini can siphon off 10% (I know, that’s a lot) of the votes in the democratic primary, we can send a message to the DNC.

Sadly, I feel lucky to even have another option since that’s not the case in a lot of races across the country. My plan was to just go in and undervote, meaning that I will vote on everything else, while leaving my senatorial choice blank. Trust me, undervotes do not go unnoticed. Not voting at all is completely ineffective because it appears as if we just don’t give a damn.

I fundamentally believe that the only way to change the sad state of political affairs that we find ourselves in, it for us all to work for change within our own party. I don’t believe that democrats can fix the republican party or vice versa. But if democrats send a clear message to the DNC, they’ll listen. This will never be accomplished by holding you nose and voting for the piece of shit candidate that the party has put in front of you. It certainly won’t be achieved by drinking the party kool aid and convincing yourself that piece of shit isn’t a piece of shit, simply because they’re representing your party.

It’s our responsibility to find better candidates and to support them with our votes, our time, and our money. And if you can’t find another option, maybe you should run! I’m not kidding. But barring those two scenarios, I believe that an epidemic of undervoting would send a message to our parties. We have to stop tolerating the unacceptable.

I am never going to leave the voting booth with that feeling of needing to boil my body just to clean off the stink of what I was just forced to vote for again. Are you?

Please, feel free to share your crappy candidates! It’s hard for me to stay on top of local races across the country, but I an curious!