Fucked-Update: Partisan Shmartisan
I don’t know about you kids, but I’m suffering from election dysphoria with acute apathetic tendencies. Election coverage was exciting at first. There were a whole lot interesting candidates, nobody had pissed me off yet, and best of all, election news symbolized the end of the Bush era. That was before I remembered that I don’t like Sen. Clinton, before Obama broke my heart, before I realized how fucking terrifying the Republican candidates are, and before it became blatantly obvious that American politics is still all about power and money and none of the candidates give a shit about the country as long as they get to be in charge of it.
And yet, I persevere, I read the paper and watch the news and wade through all the bullshit so I can provide you with a weekly report on the state of the nation. So, here’s the Fucked-Update–from the confusing to the ridiculous.
Clinton’s Bipartisan Road Trip
Uniting our oh-so-divided country is a hot campaign issue for the ’08 election cycle, and understandably so. Many candidates have pontificated about how their administration will work to break down party loyalties and unite us as one country. It’s no secret that Democrats have had their panties in a twist for the last 7 years due to the Bush administration’s extremely partisan politics. So all this makes sense.
What doesn’t make sense is that Senator Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she hopes to tour the country with Colin Powell if/when she wins the election. She’s been talking about this political tour for a while, but she didn’t drop Colin Powell’s name until this week. In some ways, it makes sense. After all, many Republicans–hell, many Americans–really respect Colin Powell. If Powell goes along with this, it could be a great way to show Republicans (who will undoubtedly be pissy if she’s the next President) that she’s willing to work together to find solutions in Iraq. It’s a nice idea if you stopped paying attention to American politics in 2003. Due to her vote in support of the Iraq war, Sen. Clinton has been criticized by anti-war Democrats. So is it really wise to appear side-by-side with a man who was instrumental in getting us involved in the war in the first place? Probably not. This is especially troubling considering Sen. Clinton has gotten more campaign money from defense contractors than any other candidate. That’s right folks, even more than the republican candidates. I try not to hold the initial vote for the Iraq war against anyone…after all, a lot of people were wrong about that…but considering she voted for the war and gets campaign donations from companies who profit from war, I don’t think it’s poor logic to assume she’s not the candidate to solve our problems in Iraq. And as for inviting Colin Powell to speak with her after the election, if she really wants to use this little road trip to show Americans that "bipartisan foreign policy is back", she should probably pick a different man to help her do it.
Speaking of confusing political alliances….
Kucinich Names Ron Paul as Possible Running Mate
Last weekend, Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich suggested that if he wins the nomination (and let’s be honest, people, that’s a BIG if) he’s considering Ron Paul as his Vice President. I think this is the perfect example of betraying your party and calling it "bipartisanship". Personally, I would love for the Democrats and Republicans to play nice…maybe they’d accomplish something once in a while if they did, but Kucinich and Paul? That’s just confusing. I mean, what do they really have in common? They’re both old, white men that come off a little crazy in the debates. They both want out of the war in Iraq and think it was a bad idea in the first place. They both claim the Constitution is their BFF. They both…oh wait…uh….hmmm….nope. I got nothing. The similarities end there.
Now, in an ideal America, the Constitution would be all we need our politicians to agree on. But this is not an ideal America. Kucinich and Paul may both really love the Constitution, but they seem to interpret it in very different ways. When a liberal Democrat starts making nice with a dangerously conservative Republican, I start to get a little nauseous. Fortunately for both my up-chuck reflex and the American people, it’ll never happen.
Screw Bipartisanship. Let’s go for Super-partisanship.
In a fabulous show of paranoia, the Virginia Republican party has decided that anyone who votes in the Virginia GOP primary must swear a loyalty oath. Why? Because they’re scared Democrats will sabotage the Republican primary. Apparently, the best way to stop that is to make voters sign a statement saying they’ll vote for the Republican nominee in the national election. Now, dear reader, I know what you’re thinking. Can they enforce this? Of course not. Is it even legal? Ha. No. So what’s the point? Sigh…isn’t that always the question these days?
In truth, there is no point. I suppose there could be some voters who would abide by the loyalty oath. There are two basic kinds of people in the world: those who would take this seriously and abide by it, and those who wouldn’t. Those who don’t give a flying fuck about signing a loyalty oath will still vote for whoever they want in the general election. I think people who do take the oath seriously, but are not strict Republicans and don’t support all the Republican candidates would be likely to skip the primary all together to prevent having to violate the oath later. So basically, the Republicans who vote in the primary in Virginia will be the kind who follow their party no matter what happens, and would vote for the worst Republican candidate over than the best Democrat.
If the Virginia GOP is really this paranoid about liberal voters infiltrating their primaries, they should just require voters to register with a party. Then you can only let people vote in the primary of the party with which they’re registered. That’s perfectly legal, easily enforceable, and much less laughable.