Elections


Saw my first pro-bachmann bumper sticker today.

Also my posts these days are so short I’d probabaly be better off tweeting

As part of the poetry class I’m taking, I was looking at various books of poetry I have on my bookshelves and stumbled across this piece by Marge Piercy, which seems to fit the times, although it was published in 1991.

I admire those bloggers whom I read that do all the deep research into the wingers – whether it be delving deep into the rightwing blog cesspool or actually sitting through the newscast of the GOP convention.  I read transcripts, but somehow listening to it or watching it makes me ill. 

Which means that I end up not doing many political posts because by the time I’ve read about something its usually been covered fairly well.  In fact, one of my friends at bookgroup last night was mocking me for my lack of first hand experience of some of the more outrageous moments.

Oh well, I guess I will always be a neophyte when it comes to political blogging, which is only one area of interest anyway.  But many, many thanks to those of you who do dig in, and provide links, and even better, transcripts of those speeches too painful to listen to.

[updates below] 

So I was happy to hear that Hillary won NH.  Not so much because she’s my favorite candidate (she’s not), but because I was so incredibly irritated by the media coverage of Obama’s win in Iowa.  Not so much with respect to Obama directly, but with respect to Edwards & Hillary.

First, in interviews they seemed to be suggesting that Edwards should just drop out and that, somehow, it was all over for Hillary, too.  This became the paradigm for coverage for the four days between IA and NH, and I’m sure played into the whole ‘Hillary’s getting emotional, blah, blah, blah.”

So, I was happily surprised that the media had not managed to create a self-fulfilling prophecy that would have had the whole nomination race over before it barely began.  I was, however, extremely amused to see that today’s spin of Hillary’s “comeback” had, in the words of an NPR reporter this morning, ‘proved wrong the obituaries for Hillary’s campaign.’  This statement, of course, was made without any acknowledgment of NPR’s own involvement in reporting such quasi-obits themselves, such as when they asked Edwards in an interview the other day whether he was willing to be VP.

Media people, please, only two tiny states have voted — a close race through at least several more weeks is not only in the interests of the people (in my opinion anyway) but in your ratings interest, so stop trying to declare it over.

And another thing, can we stop calling the speeches of the 2d and 3d place finishers “concession” speeches and having these comments about whether they were “concessionary enough”.   I have less of an issue with calling the first place candidate’s speech a “victory” speech, which may be inconsistent on my part, but a 2d or 3d place finish, in the first few (of 50, lets remember) primaries is not a “loss” and there is no need to “concede” (okay, apologies for all these scare quotes).  Holy frijoles people, give it a rest, let them make a speech to continue to rally their supporters, there is absolutely nothing to concede!

And another thing, I’ve noticed everyone doing, including myself – its Hillary, Obama, and Edwards.  Now, there are other Johns in the race (at least on the other side of the aisle) so it makes sense for identification in a way, but curious how the woman and the black guy get called by their first names, whereas pretty much everyone else (i.e., the white guys)  gets their last names most of the time.  I’ll have to check out the more political blogs to see if anyone has some analysis on this.

Oh, and finally, media, in the coverage of this, can we do smaller snippets of election coverage mixed in with, oh, the rest of the world and what’s happening with this country.  If you do a full 15 minutes-straight segment the day before NH primaries on nothing but the horserace and what various campaigns will need to do if the fail to do well, then that’s my news for the night, with a full-time office job and two kids, I don’t have the luxury of hour-long segments and I’m sure there is other news out there.

More peeves to come as the primary season moves forward . . .

Update: By the way, I haven’t covered my irritation with the blatant sexism voiced against Hillary in the last few days (and further back as well, and the racism that sneaks in here and there during this campaign) because the topic has been well covered elsewhere.  This is always my difficulty in discussing ‘big’ issues – by the time I figure out what I want to say, it seems as if its already been well-covered.  I definitely have to get over that.

Update 2: Oh, and on that asinine op-ed by Gloria Steinem comparing racism and sexism, see SharkFu’s take on it – a good take down of why the op-ed is asinine.

So I was reading this story by Shakes Sis, which instantly brought to mind a similar experience I had as a teen, only I failed to demonstrate similar wit or fighting ability, alas.

Back in high school when I still thought I might go into politics*, I interned afternoons after school for our local congressman.   My job mainly consisted of taking constituent calls & directing them to the appropriate constituent service person in our local office (not bad, actually, for a high school gig, albeit, unpaid).

Anyway, I and the other local interns were invited to attend a local fundraiser.  It was a mid-term one, just keeping the coffers steady as it were.  So it’s this local place with long tables, with catered bbq or some such and somehow in this table where I’m sitting surrounded by donors and their wives the topic came up of people who could wiggle their ears (I swear I didn’t raise the topic).  Well, I can wiggle my ears, so I demonstrated.  I then also demonstrated my amazing ability to lift one eyebrow at a time (I can do both sides; I am SO talented).  At which point the middle-aged man across the table from me grabbed his pecs and said, “Well, can you wiggle these?”

I died, I died, I died a thousand deaths.  His wife smacked him in the arm, and squealed “Harry!” or whatever his name was in that shocked-embarrasment-horror that only some women can do when confronted with a mate’s utter slimeballness.  I slunk away from the table in a haze of pink embarrassment and buried the memory by following a fellow intern’s suggestion to try the mudslides being served back at the bar & slinking out with said fellow intern for a massive make-out session in the parking lot.

As horrible as it made me feel at the time, it did cure me (mostly) of any desire to show off my fabulous ears and eyebrows. 

* I honestly have no idea what happened to my desire to get involved in politics.  Perhaps when I studied political science in college and it sapped all the juice out.   Now I just read the papers and political blogs and vent. 

votes-for-women-cartoon.jpg 

(click on pic to enlarge) The Library of Congress has a great collection of photographs, cartoons, etc. from the Suffrage Campaign.  Check it out.