Thursday, October 14, 2004

A cheap and tawdry political trick

California voters: Although you will no doubt slavishly follow my recommendations, the SF Bay Guardian also always does a good job of describing the issues and candidates fairly, from a progressive standpoint--and then recommending that you vote for the lesser of 2 evils. But they’ll do it in such a way that you might start out reading their endorsement of, say, Barbara Boxer, planning to vote for her, and finish it convinced to vote for the Peace & Freedom candidate, as I just did.

Oh, and I hate do this to you, but they convinced me to vote against 1A, which I was always suspicious of.

Go Granny Go: In the Senate race in New Hampshire, former governor Judd Gregg was forced to debate the D candidate, 94-year-old Doris Haddock, famous for walking across the US at 90 in support of election reforms. He had initially refused, but she then challenged him to Scrabble, and he had to give in.

Which reminds me that I meant to criticize McNeil-Lehrer last week and yesterday because they keep running interviews with pollsters trying to predict the presidential election. Pointless, time-wasting segments, the reason, along with hurricanes and Fannie Mae stories, that I record the News Hour and watch it with one hand near the fast forward button. But there are 34 Senate races, 435 House races, and how many of them has the program bothered profiling?

Molly Ivins: “Character, says George Bush, is the issue. George Bush. Says character is the issue. ... What are George Bush’s principles, this man who accuses John Kerry of waffling.”

I’m afraid I altered that quote, which is from a column Molly wrote 12 years ago. It was George Bush the Elder accusing Clinton. Plus ca change, huh? More: “he has descended into rank McCarthyism with his unfounded charge that there was some impropriety about Clinton’s having visited Moscow...implying that it was unpatriotic to oppose the war in Vietnam.” Just what the Sinclair documentary says about Kerry. The column is in her new retrospective book, “Who Let the Dogs In? Incredible Political Animals I Have Known,” which I’m currently doling out to myself in little bits, as treats.

Speaking of “plus ca change, plus c’est la même chose,” the Indy has a counterpart to the NYT story I mentioned yesterday about Allawi bringing Baathists back into power: “Alleged war criminals [i.e., the warlords] are poised to take positions of power in Afghanistan’s new government”. As in Iraq, it’s just plain convenient to bring back the old shitheads, because they know how to make the trains/torture chambers/poppy trade run on time.

In the debate, Kerry referred in this wise to Mary Cheney: “I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney’s daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she’s being who she was. She’s being who she was born as.” That’s the sum total of what he had to say, but Lynne Cheney threw a tantrum, calling it “a cheap and tawdry political trick,” saying he “is not a good man” and generally letting her daughter know how truly ashamed she is of her sexual identity. Really will be a hell of an awkward Thanksgiving this year. Oh, and fuck you Lynne Cheney.

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