Fucked-Update: Politicians are Assholes

Written by  //  February 21, 2008  //  Fucked-Update, Politics  //  20 Comments


It’s all the same shit…no matter who you vote for.

This week has been a strange one for me, so this week’s fucked-update is going to be a little different than usual. Instead of giving you a few news stories to ponder, I’m just gonna take a look at one of the big political problems right now. You guess it. The fucking election. I’ve been trying to avoid all the drama in the Democratic party for the last few months, but the closer we get to picking a nominee, the more I realize I need to figure out what I’m going to do on election day. Since I know I’m not the only person who can’t make up their mind about who to support, I decided to suck it up and devote an entire Fucked-Update to all this bullshit (well, not all of it, but I’ll try to cover as much as I can stomach this morning). Personally, this stuff makes me a little tense, so you might want to follow my lead and take a Xanax before delving into all the fucketry.

Now that the GOP has its candidate for November and primary season is winding down with Senators Clinton and Obama in a heated race, it seems that Democratic voters are getting a little testy. Shortly after Super Tuesday, DNC chairman Howard Dean started making plans to name a nominee before August in the hopes of avoiding a brokered convention. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but people are already getting a little nervous that the folks at Recreate 68 could be successful in turning the Democratic National Convention into a circus. The problem is, we may not be able to prevent a brokered convention at this point and that’s just gonna piss off the protesters even more. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about the anti-convention demonstrations–they should be a lot of fun–but we’re building up the kind of political climate where things can get out of hand pretty easily. Nobody wants a riot.*

Until recently, I thought this “split” in the Democratic party that I kept hearing about had more to do with the party leadership than the voters. After all, most people I had talked to said they would gladly support whichever candidate gets the nomination. But public sentiment seems to be changing and I’m not sure the party will get it together in time for the general election. What happened to begin the shift among progressive voters? My guess is, people have started thinking again. It’s always dangerous to think too hard in an election season. The closer we get to November, the more apparent it is that no matter who gets elected, we’re totally fucked.

Matt Taibbi has an article in Rolling Stone discussing how the Democrats took control of Congress on the basis of an anti-war stance and then proceeded to fail miserably at moving us closer to an end to our troubles in Iraq. Sure, they put on a good show trying to block war funding and stuff, but in the end they totally caved. All the promises about ending the war turned out to be more meaningless propaganda to persuade people to vote Democratic. And we did. And it hasn’t done us any fucking good. Now, it’s not entirely fair to blame them for not accomplishing everything they promised. After all, there are still plenty of Republicans in Congress who are determined to block the Democratic leadership whenever they can. And then, of course, there’s President Loves-to-Veto. But they could’ve tried just a little harder. They could’ve held out just a little longer. And because they didn’t, I have to wonder if they ever really cared about ending the war in the first place.

It wasn’t long ago that I was talking about Republicans hating on Mike Huckabee for his populist politics. For a while, it seemed as though Huckabee could be a genuine threat to the Republican party. The problem was they spent so much time convincing evangelical Christians that Jesus is a Republican, that when a man with Christian values ran for President, the Republican base went nuts over him, despite the fact that his economic policies (which, let’s face it, are the only important thing to the Republican leadership) weren’t particularly conservative.

The Democrats have done the same thing to the progressive anti-war community. They’ve told us that the Democratic party is our party. The Democratic party wants to end this silly War on Terra. The Democratic party will reverse the damage done by the Bush administration. The Democratic party is the party of change. But is any of that really true? Or is the party just manipulating progressives like the Republicans manipulated those wacky fundamentalist Christians?

The other issue here is that the Democrats seem to think they’re unbeatable in November. Now, it’s not completely deluded to think they could easily take back the White House. President Bush’s approval rating is currently at 19%. So sure, the Democrats have a pretty solid chance of winning. To those who say the Dems can’t lose, I have two words for you: John Kerry. Remember him? Remember how many people were out in the streets campaigning for him? Remember how sure people were that he could defeat Bush after his first 4 years of bullshit? And then he didn’t. He lost. Clinton and Obama would both make stronger candidates than John Kerry did, but that doesn’t mean this is locked up. Especially with Clinton and Obama both acting like giant douches.

There has been so much racist and sexist crap in this primary season, that I can hardly stand to look at either Clinton or Obama anymore. In all fairness to Senator Clinton, most of the racist comments made by her campaign haven’t come from her, but from her husband (which just goes to show he’s doing more harm than good by campaigning with her all the time). Still, they shouldn’t have happened. She should’ve apologized. And there’s Obama, who can’t stop talking about Clinton’s feelings, just to remind us that she’s a big girly girl who can’t control her emotions. Then there’s the problem of their politics. The Democratic nomination is either going to a candidate with policy ideas that I don’t like who has been given tons of money by defense contractors (never a good sign) or a candidate who never actually talks about his policy ideas, has a history of voting “present” on controversial bills to further confuse people about what he really thinks and on top of all that has somehow convinced millions of Americans to drink the Obama kool-aid and vote for him despite the fact that no one actually knows much about what he’s going to do to create all this “change”. It’s gonna come down to a potential war-mongerer or a dude with a sketchy past and a Messiah complex. Both of those choices scare me.

And unfortunately the only thing that scares me more is John “I was against torture before I was for it” McCain–a man who says he refuses to pander for conservative support and then proceeds to vote against a bill to ban waterboarding despite the fact he was adamantly opposed to the practice just 4 months ago. In addition to him being a smug, self-righteous, asswipe, it’s almost certain that the next President will get at least one Supreme Court nomination and McCain will most definitely nominate a justice who opposes abortion, thus putting the fate of Roe v. Wade in the hands of a blatantly conservative court. Not. Good.

A year ago, I was really looking forward to Bush leaving office and a new (and hopefully improved) administration. Now, I’m not sure there’s much hope. The Democrats have turned out to be completely useless in ending the war, Obama and Clinton are acting like idiots, and John Fucking McCain is gonna have the Republican nomination, which just makes the Democrats less motivated to behave because they know most liberals would rather vote for a Turd Sandwich than vote for John McCain.

All this leaves progressives debating whether or not they should vote for a candidate from one of the minor parties or just stay home on election day and refuse to vote at all. It’s certainly a tough call. Vote for a candidate that you know won’t win? Vote for the Democratic nominee that you hate, because it’s better than risking an administration run by Arizona’s favorite Grandpa? Stay home and sew anarchy symbols onto all of your hoodies?

Sigh….

I have no fucking clue.

*If you plan on getting involved in any of the protests during the convention, I recommend you get in touch with Denver CopWatch and get some info from them about police conduct. I’m pretty sure the last Columbus Day protest is a sign that the police are cracking down on demonstrations (especially ones that make Denver look bad on TV). So make sure you know your rights before you hit the streets.

About the Author

Cap'n Colleen

Cap'n Colleen is Donnybrook's political columnist and militant, dangerous, international activist.

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20 Comments on "Fucked-Update: Politicians are Assholes"

  1. klaus runternorton February 21, 2008 at 10:27 am · Reply

    The road to hell is paved with chocolate treats
    And candy corn is sown at the side of the streets
    Every morsel promises to make you satisfied
    But every wrapper carries another lie
    The road to hell winds through a gingerbread town
    It looks real good, tastes real good
    But truth be told, it leads straight down

    And every ounce tells, when every pound kills
    And every loose tooth betrays another wrong move
    In the diet of denial.

    Denial.

    Denial.

    -Nation of Ulysses

  2. Col. Hector Bravado February 21, 2008 at 10:31 am · Reply

    Cap’n:
    You draw an important parallel between the anti-war liberals and the Democrats; and the social conservatives and the GOP. The hard-nosed pragmatists who helm either party are only too glad to throw red meat to either of these easily-inflamed groups to get votes, then once in office, give only lip service to moral agendas while they get back to the real business of government: passing legislation economically favorable to their major campaign contributors.
    What we see in Huckabee is the “values voters” rage at realizing they don’t really have a seat at the table when the chips are down. There was a parallel spasm on the left a few years ago from angry lefties: his name was Howard Dean, and if you ever wanted to know where Huckabee’s campaign was headed, you only needed to revisit the Dean campaign arc. The base will flirt with an outspoken maverick during primaries, but when it’s time to marry, the establishment candidate carries the day.
    Anyway, the lack of progress on the war boils down to some sad, hard facts that I’m sure every moderate and center-left Democrat has resigned him or herself to behind closed doors, notwithstanding any shows of outrage from the lectern: the horse is out of the barn. The bullet has left the barrel. We’re in Iraq and we’re not going anywhere. For a long time. Iraq’s oil reserves are huge, and they’re among the most accessible in the world. National economies run on oil: China’s, Russia’s, India’s and ours. We just built the world’s largest, most lavishly fortified embassy in the world in Baghdad. If you want a model for the U.S. and Iraq, look to the Korean peninsula’s DMZ, where 37,000 or so American troops have been perched in perpetuity, watching over South and North Korea’s 50-year ceasefire (they’re still technically at war).
    The candidate who gets my vote is the one who can discuss, bravely and candidly, what our choices in Iraq mean, given these tragic immovables. Bush forced the Dem’s hand in 2003 and he won. We’re there. It’s time to be grownups and make the best of it. The candidate who makes that speech gets my vote. I’m not holding my breath.
    CHB
    P.S. I like the word “fucketry.” It makes me think of “puppetry,” except with more fucking.

  3. A. Tom Collins February 21, 2008 at 1:38 pm · Reply

    Ok that’s it, I have to say something, I have continued to read your “Fucked Update” in Donnybrook for some time now. I enjoy the majority of the writers and features, and appreciate both the content and style of the vast amount of the content of the site. However, “Cap ‘N Colleen” is the most incendiary, immature, and quite honestly idiotic writer that I have come across in quite some time, and that’s saying something with the copious amounts of half-wit scribes on the internet pontificating there preposterous bull shit all over the web.
    Sweet Jesus where to start? First of all the naming a political blog the “Fucked Update” is a sign of the nihilistic mentality that we as liberal-progressives have been using as a cop out for the last three decades. This attitude gets us nowhere, which is accentuated by the short-buss riding, trigger happy, man-child that we currently have as president. Furthermore, this mentality is no longer even valid. This is the first chance any one under the age of 45 has had to vote for a truly liberal-progressive candidate, and we have two of them! I understand that neither Sen. Clinton or Sen. Obama are perfect candidates, but democracy is about compromise, especially for those of us on the ideological fringes. Either one of them will be an historical figure that we should be proud of electing. They both have a fundamental difference to both McCain, and the backward foreign policy that this county has seemed to been stuck in for decades. I have a opinion of who is a better candidate, but that is not what this comment is about, it is about the dilapidated adage of “woe is us” that inhibit what could be the greatest leap forward for liberals in…forever. People are showing up in record numbers, we are working out our nominee in primary sates that have never mattered before. This is an exciting time to be politically active, there is a real movement to get involved, for the first time in a while our voice matters. This is our country, and as fucked as it may be, it is still ours. I for one am not willing to throw the towel in just yet.
    Rather than kicking ourselves in the balls we should be working to get as many other progressives elected to the House and Senate, so that the promises of these two nominees can be realized. The idea that a political writer would suggest non-voting as a viable option is both sickening and an embarrassing, it is goofball pundits like Cap ‘N Colleen that are just as ridiculous and harmful as right wing radio talk show host. How about we grow up a bit, and take every inch we can get toward a better future. Cap ‘N Colleen got one thing right, she has “…no fucking clue”.

  4. Cap'n Colleen
    Capn Colleen February 21, 2008 at 2:01 pm · Reply

    Wow.

    My first hater.

    Huh.

    I would respond more fully, but I wouldn’t want it to seem like I’m just being petty due to being called “incendiary, immature, and idiotic”.

  5. Bang Tango'ed February 21, 2008 at 2:04 pm · Reply

    Come on I hate on you all the time.

  6. Cap'n Colleen
    Capn Colleen February 21, 2008 at 2:09 pm · Reply

    True.

    But I think the name-calling puts A. Tom Collins in a different category of haters.

  7. Bang Tango'ed February 21, 2008 at 2:10 pm · Reply

    Bitch

  8. klaus runternorton February 21, 2008 at 2:11 pm · Reply

    Yeah! Shame on you for expressing your frustration with politics, Cap’N. How dare you. Don’t you know you are just supposed to paint on a smile and skip giddily into the bright, bright future? While you spend the next week restyling your platform, I would like to recommend some new names for your progressive political blog:
    1) Pollyannic Poly-Sci
    2) The shit-gobbler
    3) Gliberal
    4) Freshman Lesbian
    5) Gleaming The Rube
    6) Give Up! Give In? Don’t you want to win?

  9. Cap'n Colleen
    Capn Colleen February 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm · Reply

    That’s the spirit, Bang Tango’ed!

    and Klaus, I totally love your blog title suggestions. Although, I feel like Freshman Lesbian would become a different kind of blog altogether….

  10. Team Donnybrook
    godonnybrook February 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm · Reply

    re: A. Tom Collins
    Thanks for reading.

  11. Anonymous February 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm · Reply

    I don’t see giving the Democratic candidates a realistic, sober look is at all immature or idiotic. I think it’s tough, especially in exciting times such as these, to not just give in and follow with less information. If we’re electing someone simply because they’re black, or female, we’re still descriminating.

  12. Col. Hector Bravado February 21, 2008 at 3:50 pm · Reply

    Yeah, if you lop off the ad hominem assaults at the beginning and end of A. Tom Collins’ post, you’ve got a reasonably good retort.
    Too bad.
    Anyway…

  13. Lady Z February 21, 2008 at 4:09 pm · Reply

    First of all, Cap’N Colleen is one of the most whip-smart writers at Donnybrook, and we will stand behind her, regardless of haters. However, today’s post infuriated me for several reasons, and I am going to express them, without hating on the Cap’N. All of my thoughts are directed at the readers, not the brilliant writer of the Fucked-Update.
    To begin, the idea that people are so caught up in the whirlwind of this totally fascinating political race that they would actually “refuse” to vote makes me want to fucking scream, although I know it is a possibility and a reality. Secondly, a warning not to “think too hard,” is fucking lame as well. Just because there are village idiots who take an idea and run with it eight times around the globe doesn’t mean smart people are in danger of over-thinking the most important sociopolitical movement of our times. Thirdly, I agree with most of what the Col. (Hector) has to say about the Iraqi war dilemma, so I won’t feel it necessary to reiterate those assertions.
    Let me please just say–it is not that hard to fucking vote. You know, I don’t even know anyone who voted in Denver! NO ONE I know in the Denver area took the time, or did what it took, to vote in the primary caucuses, and NO ONE I know has the self-respect to own up to it. Not knowing what you have to do, what paperwork to fill out, phone calls to make, letters to send, in order to vote in the primary, no matter what state or by what rules, is not the problem here. Laziness is the problem. And not voting out of fucking spite is childish and pitiful. When are people going to stop playing the victims of bureaucracy and the media and fucking say, “I know better. I’m grown. I can read through the lines.”
    Not voting for a democrat because Congress didn’t succeed in stopping the war in Iraq is like saying you aren’t going to vote for Hillary because her healthcare campaign didn’t work in the 90s. And on the subject of Hillary, when I need some inspiration to be resilient, I look to her., and I don’t believe for one second that she is a war-mongorer, just like I don’t believe for one second that Obama is going to get into office and sit idly. Not voting for a candidate because of the fear that said candidate will not win in November is why we lost Howard Dean. Not getting the answers you need to make a decision from the media is a fucking cop-out. Call the campaign offices, email, write letters to find out what you want to know. There are NO excuses!
    And the people who yammer, “we elect the president we deserve,” are sniveling idiots too, who are obsessed with finding cop-outs to explain their irresponsible, ignorant, and lazy actions, or lack-of, I should say.
    Like Sid Pink said- this is for really real, people. Its not that hard to make a decision, and the world will not end if you change your mind in the process either. The world WILL fucking end if people decide to be ignorant and lazy and refuse to vote out of spite for the system, or if people don’t vote because they’re “victimized” into “believing” they can’t make an informed opinion.

  14. Taco Lips February 21, 2008 at 4:33 pm · Reply

    Bravado, you meth-addled drifter, where’s your sense of pastoral adventure? What says fun in a resource-starved tail-end-of-empire kind of way more than milking a goat? Get you some chickens, and when they stop a-layin’, cut they heads off and stew ‘em. The kids love to see ‘em running around, spouting blood up from their neck.

    Man up for The Long Emergency or put your money where your mouth is, and enlist.

  15. Col. Hector Bravado February 21, 2008 at 6:55 pm · Reply

    Taco Lips:
    On an amusing note, I actually have milked a goat before. It was weird. It was one of our goats, and it was still weird. Anyway.
    To your other point: I’m sorry if you mistook my bleak acknowledgment of the facts as an endorsement of the policies that created them. The fact is, sadly, our choices are limited now, and neither Obama nor Hilary or anybody else is going to “Bring the Troops Home!” Not anytime soon. And I don’t see how simply pointing it out obliges me to pick up a rifle. I did put my money where my mouth was — into the Dean campaign, when we still had a Democratic candidate who unequivocally opposed this sorry venture with every fiber of his being. It didn’t play in Poughkeepsie. Oh, well.
    The question remains: what is the constructive way forward? I still want to hear a candidate, from either side of the fence, discuss it honestly and treat his/her audience like adults. I dream sometimes.
    And you can come over for chicken stew anytime.
    Cheers.
    CHB

  16. Lady Z February 21, 2008 at 7:36 pm · Reply

    Taco Lips: Don’t ever challenge a Donnybrookite to a battle of pastoral adventure. We fucking invented pastoral adventure.

  17. Scott February 22, 2008 at 5:12 am · Reply

    dumb. stop being clever and start being relevant. with facts even! imagine the potential! or just go back to talking about which denver front man you’d rather bang. protests? fuck off. this isn’t ’68 and this isn’t chicago. i imagine a sea of vegans and ‘one less car’ political voyeurs to throw rocks at the moon like it matters… sure there will be arrests and maybe the Westword will do a write-up… but who gives two shits about a scattered group of people who bicker too much to organize? i learned more about the election at the colorado caucus. you have a small indifferent audience… but an audience nonetheless. do something with it. lame.

  18. Scott February 22, 2008 at 5:14 am · Reply

    oh…

    talk more about taibbi.

    sure… he writes for playboy, rolling stone and umm… adbusters?

    but if you just directed half of the people who wander here to his archive at alternet.org…

    well, they’d learn more about… anything… then they got through this diatribe.

  19. Cap'n Colleen February 22, 2008 at 9:27 am · Reply

    At this point, this thread has gotten so long that it would be virtually impossible to respond to everything I’d like to, so I’ll just pick one thing–voting.

    First of all, I probably should’ve explained the whole not voting thing a little better. I’ve always voted. Hell, I used to work voter registration drives. I’ve canvassed for political campaigns and I’ve spent many an election day holding signs, driving people to polling places and various other voting-related shit. Even for city council elections. I’ve always been a big proponent of voting.

    But I also spend a lot of time reading progressive blogs and a lot of politically active progressives are talking about not voting as if somehow that sends a message to Washington that the people are unhappy with the state of American politics. There are a lot of reasons why that’s a completely ridiculous idea–but only because they think people will actually notice if they don’t vote. I’ve also noticed a lot of progressives who were Clinton or Obama supporters a few months ago, now talking about voting for Cynthia McKinney, despite the fact that a Green Party candidate doesn’t have a chance in hell.

    In the end, I think we all have to make a choice that we can feel good about. And sometimes that’s complicated for people. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with voting in every election even if there’s never a candidate that you actually like. But I also defend a person’s right not to vote if they don’t feel like it’s a system they want to be a part of. I understand the desire to disengage from the entire process.

    I think Lady Z is absolutely right to speak out against people who don’t vote purely out of laziness and apathy.But not showing up to vote because you don’t feel like standing in line or you haven’t paid enough attention to know where to go or who is running or what’s on the ballot is very different from weighing all your options and considering the possible outcomes and deciding you’d rather have nothing to do with the process.

    I’m not saying that’s the right choice, but I think it’s a valid choice.

    Oh, and for the record, I also agree with Col. Hector about the future of Iraq. And I think it would be fantastic if one of the candidates just stood up and gave us a plan. I think the Democratic candidates hesitate to do that because they know they’ll upset people if they admit that it’s not realistic to get out of Iraq in the next few years.

  20. Angora February 26, 2008 at 4:10 pm · Reply

    I voted in my pajamas with a beer in my hand once. Yes, it’s that easy. It’s called an “Absentee Ballot,” and even I figured it out!

    I agree with everything Colleen says in this comment. She’s great, in’t she?

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