On other people’s LJs and NGs, I’ve gotten in the habit of not being terribly political under most circumstances — not all, as sometimes I just gotta open my mouth — largely because I find it straining to have to re-explain continuously the idea that someone can simultaneously be socially-progressive, fiscally-conservative, a hawk on national defense, and a whole lot of small-l-libertarian, all at the same time without any internal conflict.
But this is *my* spot, so I reserve the right to cut loose when the need arises, and the need has arisen this week with the disclosure of the 2008 US presidential candidate’s campaign war chests. And I will start by saying this is the single most masturbatory thing I have ever seen in my 38 odd (and I can see the nodding of heads at the use of the word “odd” for myself) years on this planet.
IT’S APRIL 2007! THE ELECTION IS IN NOVEMBER 2008! THAT’S NINETEEN (19) MONTHS AWAY! EVEN THE FIRST PRIMARIES ARE NINE MONTHS AWAY!
This extremely early start is functionally-equivalent to putting out all the Christmas displays in the stores on Easter morning. And it’s wrong. It’s way too early.
Some of the players have stated publicly that the whole carefully-orchestrated dance — speculation, rumors, more speculation, a press release that the senator/congress(wo)man/governor/mayor/radio host is “thinking about the possibility of exploring his/her options”, then “…is exploring options”, then “considering forming an exploratory committee”, then forming the exploratory committee, then the preliminary/unofficial announcement, then the formal announcement, the ass-kissing for fund$, the ass-kissing for vote$, the announcements and comparisons on fund-rai$ing, and the spin when the inevitable fecal matter hits the rotating axial-flow air movement device — is done with a wink-and-a-nod between the politico and the press. The politico gets lots of free publicity, the press gets more juicy stories to get more rating$ and adverti$ing dollar$, more so if one or more of those steps are done as an “exclusive” on one network or the other.
What it amounts to is that we’re all getting gamed by the candidates (no surprise there) *and* the press are active participants in the game instead of being objective reporters of facts.
They’re all passing the lotion, Kleenex, and fleshbot.com links around amongst themselves, and using their free hand to pat each other on the back and say how clever they all are.
It disgusts me.