Why I Am Voting For Barack Obama

I’ve taken my potshots at John McCain and Sarah Palin lately.  Childish, but fun.  I don’t think anyone can really disagree with my assessment in their heart of hearts, that is to say “Ahahahahahahahahahaha”.

I don’t want to joke about that right now, though.  I’ve talked about Barack Obama before, I’ve got his link right over there, obviously I’m a fairly left-leaning person.  I don’t support him because of doctrine, though.  I don’t support him because of his policies or his character or his judgement, though I consider those all positives.

I support him because I didn’t think I could support anyone.  Sure, come November 7th, I’d walk into the voting booth and push the button for whoever the Democratic nominee was.  I’d vote for Governor Warner, help him get elected to the Senate, I’d vote for my congressman Jim Moran.  I’d do it not out of enthusiasm though, or support, but out of desparation.

I’ve grown up in the shadow of the Capital, something I’ve often said drives people insane, and I really think it does.  I’ve said before how in the sixth grade, children of 11 and 12 had to be physically separated during the final vote during the Clinton Impeachment trial.  I was one of about six people who didn’t want to see him thrown out of office, in a class of over thirty.  We sat quietly at the far side of the room.  We knew that Clinton wouldn’t be thrown out of office.  The rest of the class sat huddled around the TV in the corner, jeering at every vote against conviction, as my teacher valiantly tried to stay in control.

That’s what Washington does to you.  It puts you in a box and then ship you to one side or another of the political fence and try to stick you at the extremes.  Black and white.  No gradients, no shades of gray.  People go nuts.  If you’ve ever seen Lewis Black perform, and wonder why he’s so angry, I’ll tell you why.  He grew up in the suburbs of this place just like I did.  And like him, I can’t go a day without seeing something that just pisses me off, and is going on not twenty miles to the east.

So you become cynical.  You become jaded.  At the age of 13, before myself or any of my cohorts could vote, the debacle of the 2000 election unfolded.  Instead of doing what normal 13 year olds might do, play video games, listen to pop music, etc, almost everyone I knew became embattled in the fight.  I remember people making Sore/Loserman pins during art class, or worse, at home, printing them out and wearing them around.  I remember nearly getting in fistfights with some of those people, because thats what it did to me.  Finally, when I was 17, and George W. Bush was re-elected, or elected for the first time depending on who you ask, I watched the attacks, as I walked to a bus stop after school to catch a ride home, I was pretty into the political process.  I didn’t have a car, still don’t.  I wore a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker on my messenger bag.  As I walked, some people would honk and cheer.  Others would honk and jeer.  Still others would stop and sneer.  I’m not lying.  This is just what the place does to you.

Finally, I had enough.  I wasn’t even old enough to vote and I was tired of the whole thing.  I didn’t think anybody could restore the most basic levels of sanity to my city, let alone my country.  I didn’t think anyone could pierce that shell of cynicism, the malaise of the disaffected.  Then, as I watched the primary campaigns much as Jane Goodall might observe the chimps, I started to pay more attention to what Barack Obama was saying.  More specifically I started to pay attention to the people around him while he was speaking.  The crowds, the grizzled veterans of political wars past who sat behind him and smiled, smiles that said “He’s saying what I can’t put into words”.  I saw him go from town to town, city to city, and the people around him didn’t seem caught up in “Obamamania”.   They seemed to be proud of their country again.  They seemed to be free of that cynicism, if only for a moment.  They seemed to believe in him.  They put their trust in him.  Slowly I started to get that smile as I heard him speak.  I started to realize that the maniacs weren’t the ones ecstatically cheering his every rhetorical flourish, but the pundits who were supposed to know how everything works.  Their constant squabbling, infantile, pointless.

They were just as encased in cynicism as I was.  Some of them, even started to say what they really thought.  Hell, they said what they really thought and felt and got mocked for it by their co-workers.

For all his policy proposals and oratorical talent, I don’t support Barack Obama for that.  I support him because he can crack open even the most hardened of cynics.  He can make them feel love for their country, their country’s promise.  I’ve gone from someone who was ashamed to be an American to someone who will stand up and debate a total stranger if they talk down to my country.  Its that feeling that more of us need to have.

At the very least, I’d know I’m not the last sane man left in Washington anymore.

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Sorry, I just have to do this one more time.

Part 2 of the Atlanta story is on the way, there are a total of three parts, and when I tell the story its usually part of my spoken word routine, so I’m adapting it as I go.  I have to get something out of my system though.

MCCAIN/PALIN ’08 AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

John McCain… chooses Sarah Palin… a woman with less experience and intellect than his own stepford wife… as his running mate.

I’ve stopped gut-laughing long enough to provide you with this image on the future of the McCain/Palin America.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Media Blackout

The world needs a break from 24 hour news networks.  They’re poisonous, and not just Fox, which is intentionally poisonous.

Over the course of time, and more specifically this campaign season I’ve realized that what some might refer to as the Death of Journalism is not a willful disrespect, or bias, but rather a necessity of format.  24-hour news networks simply don’t have enough news to validate their existence, yet there are three major ones, with several financially-oriented offshoots.  CNN, Fox, and MSNBC all suffer the same problem: Lack of Substance.

There is barely enough newsworthy material in a day to fill the primetime news hours on network, let alone 24-7 coverage on a full three dedicated stations all vieing for supremacy.  Somewhere along the line, everyone realized this, and instead of doing the civil thing, that is saying on air “We, the people responsible for this network have made a terrible mistake, and in doing so cheapened one of the most important professions of the past 200 years, goodnight.” they found a way to serve not as news reporters and journalists, but as news makers and sensationalists.

Apart from Fox, none of the 24 hour networks have any notable bias, any percieved liberal bias is due to their competition with Fox, an unabashedly conservative organization.  Take this election for example.  It is my belief, that if John McCain received the kind of coverage given to Barack Obama, or was simply covered at all in any relatively even-handed way, the race would be over.  America would see a doddering old man, obviously suffering the mental affects of age, and leading a campaign that would frankly embarass even such fuckup luminaries as Michael Dukakis.

That’s a bad story though, the election over in the middle of July?  That’s terrible for ratings!  No, we, as the media, must keep this going by boosting one candidate, be it by polls with shoddy methodology (see: Likely Voters polls, wherein you can strike from the count anyone on the basis of “they probably won’t show up”) or endless “analysis” that does little more than parrot and debate talking points from one side or another.

There’s another business benefit to this, as well.  Its cheap.  Really cheap, I’m talking cable-access cheap.  If you don’t have to send a journalist out to find a story, research it, get their proverbial shit on the shelf, and present it, you save thousands of dollars and hundreds of man-hours right there.  By following the talking-head model of endless analysis and innuendo, you save money, and keep news cycles going indefinitely, long past their organic sell-by date.  It is essentially life-support for 24-hour news networks.

And if there isn’t something political, there’s usually something of horrific violence, or lewd sexuality, or please oh god please both.  You can then mold events ranging from school shootings, Elton John doing something and Hurricane Katrina into more than mere disasters, but political issues, thus feeding your machine, keeping it going.

Finally, when you’ve got nothing left to say, do not worry, because surely someone, somewhere will have called you on your bullshit, and you can then talk about yourselves for a week or two before something else happens.

What we need as a nation, and indeed as a civilization is a media blackout.  A voluntary media blackout.  Everyone should set up a time and date, and agree to not watch a single second of cable news for a month.  perhaps read the newspapers, or watch the nightly news, whatever you feel you need to do to keep current in world affairs.  I wonder if at the end of that month, when everyone returns to cable news they might see it a little differently.  They might view these shenanigans for what they are, and respond with the only proper response to such cynical abuse of the people.

Outrage.

I was right.

Well, I’m projected as right.

Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee are the clear winners of the Iowa Caucuses, however some of my other predictions are in a bit of murk right now.

John Edwards has come in second, beating Hillary Clinton by a narrow, though statistically significant margin.

McCain did not beat expectations, with roughly 12% of the vote, which still isn’t bad. However, his buddy Fred Thompson did beat expectations with a surprisingly strong third-place finish.

Clearly this is a sign of my predictive aptitude, general intelligence, star power, virility, penile size, and overall cocksmanship.

Commence lust, ladies. (Edit:  I should be clear, the lust is meant to be for me, not Barry or Teh Huckbeez.  Natch.)

Happy Bizzaro Day!

As with all self-respecting godless pinko left-wing heathens, there is a day I find more sacred than Christmas, more enjoyable than New Year’s, and filled with more orgasms than a good Valentine’s.  Yes, I’m talking about the Iowa Caucuses.

Every four years a magical thing happens, and this year, it happens earlier, which is the political equivalent of Jesus deciding to come back just to move TEH PRESENTS DAY up a few weeks (which any savior worth his salt would surely have done by now).  Today Iowa gets to pretend it is a real state, and part of a real country, by acting as de facto kingmaker for the next Presidential nominees.

As the media circus has already begun, as early as six AM eastern standard, many anchors will tell you that Iowa no longer means everything.  These people are filthy liars.  The fact is, that in a nation as impatient as this one, we simply cannot abide the wait to the super-duper-ultra-mega-tuesday on February 5, that will surely be just a formality for all those “other” states.  Me, my native home of Virginia continues to spoil my wonderful time with a painfully-irrelevant primary date of February 12.

But yes, on this most  auspicious of days the noble peoples of Iowa emerge from their mystical fields of corn, gathering at mysterious, mystical events known as Caucuses.  Caucus, which is probably Navajo for primary or some shit, will employ dark and forbidden magics to empower two men (ha, sorry Hillz) with the ancient power of the Gods, that they might engage in ritualistic mortal combat on Votnarok, November the Fourth.

The winner, upon beheading the other and receiving his quickening, ascends to the Great Throne of Skulls, hewn cold from the bones of  failed nominees past, to govern the lands for four to eight years depending on how badly they fuck everyone over.

My predictions for today’s Iowa Caucuses?

Barack Obama wins on the Democratic side, with over 35% of the vote.  Edwards squeaks past Hillary Clinton to claim a narrow second place, however Hillary claims second place regardless.

Mittens Romney is downed on the Republican side, with a significant number of supporters changing sides at the last minute to caucus for teh Huckbeez, who wins by a small margin.  McCain beats expectations, as well, effectively killing Romney’s campaign.

Now if you’ll excuse me, me and my throbbing hard-on are going to go watch MSNBC for ten hours straight. Kthx.