A brief political interlude

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.


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.


5 thoughts on “A brief political interlude

  1. darcyjavanne

    Amen. I blame The Apprentice and its stupid 11-week job interview shtick for this mentality that running for office should take two years.

    1. autojim Post author

      I don’t. Trump had nothing to do with this one. It’s been trending this way for several election cycles now, but this time it’s jumped waaaaaay ahead of itself. Hence my likening it to stores putting up Christmas decorations earlier and earlier each year — it’s a different manifestation of the same phenomenon.

  2. fakefrenchie

    This surprises you? It’s been going on for years. The media aids and abets the selection of a “front-runner” early on so that they can better shoot them down later on. None of the independent candidates get any air time. It’s disgusting all right, but doesn’t seem unduly surprising.

    1. autojim Post author

      No, it doesn’t surprise me. Very little involving political maneuvering does these days. And I’m not talking about the golden-boy designation at this point — the media is doing this with all the declared and potential candidates. No, it’s the whole thing: the early declarations, the coverage of said early declarations, the endless polls (“In this new national poll {which replaces yesterday’s equally-useless poll}, the American People {okay, a couple dozen Harvard Law School students} say they’d vote for Bill Clinton over all the currently-declared candidates in 2008 if he was not prohibited from entering the race by the Constitution.”) As far as “independent” candidates go, we don’t have any valid candidates so far. The marginal parties (Green, now-defunct Reform, Communist, Worker’s World, Libertarian (with a capital L), etc.) haven’t the support base to get on the ballot in every state, so while the Greens will undoubtably trot out Ralph Nader again, the rest of them are marginal for a reason: they are truly kooky, if not certifiably insane. I’d love to have a valid Libertarian candidate, but they keep throwing kooks up for office. It’s sad, to me, that they’ve managed to co-opt small-l-libertarian philosophy such that most folks equate libertarian with “nut bunnies”. It’s why I distiguish between small-l and capital-L when talking about libertarian ideas. So, basically, these folks are self-marginalizing. Some *shun* press coverage because of “unflattering” portrayals (and when you meet them in person, they’re even weirder than the interview suggested). When they start attracting people saner than an emu on acid, they’ll get attention. With the current collection of later-day Marxists, paranoid conspiracy theorists, racists, and the occasional genuine insane person, there’s not much point. All press coverage will do is reinforce their oddness. I wasn’t aware that ABC, NBC, CBS were broadcasting in France…

      1. fakefrenchie

        I should have said column space. I don’t know about air time, but I assume it’s the same. I read the Boston Globe on line every day. I personally like Dennis Kuchinich (whos name I never spell correctly). I don’t like the Libertarian candidates because they seem to all think that everyone would play nicely in the sand box without any rules and that strains my knowledge of human nature.

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