Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

Taking Debate

No, I didn't watch the debates, and hopefully you didn't either. Even the few spare post-mortems I did skim offered nothing of value, per expectations.

If we accept the basic premise that the media are gaslighting us as much or more as Trump or anyone else, then what exactly would we expect the result to be from packing in candidates -- more than half of whom are wasting everyone's time and have no business being there -- ten at a time, to field framed questions from principals of that very same ongoing system of corporate gaslighting? In other words, what value to the political process in general, or your decision-making process in particular, is provided by having Jake Tapper lob some bullshit provocation at Kamala Harris or Jay Inslee or whoever?

Most of these idjits will have dropped by Labor Day, if they have any sense. That's not necessarily an assessment of their fitness for the office -- obviously, even a Russian stooge like Tulsi Gabbard would be preferable to the walking-burlap-sack-with-dollar-sign-and-mayonnaise-stain currently defiling the office. But it shouldn't even have to be pointed out to the Hickenlooper and Delaney types that if you have no name recognition and no plan to break through and build momentum, you need to stop now.

"Fair" has nothing to do with it. I thought Kirsten Gillibrand would have been more of a contender, and no, it's not because I want to hit that. (Although to be honest, I would like to hit that. Sorry.) She's presented a lot of solid ideas with a consistent level of clarity for some years now, has a history of bringing non-liberals around, and should have gotten off to a better start. But the field is overcrowded, and she apparently annoyed a lot of key people with her seeming eagerness to defenestrate Al Franken.

(I don't think I've mentioned anything about the whole Gillibrand-Franken thing at all, probably because I am resolutely neutral on the subject. At the time Franken got embroiled in his own list of sexual harassment allegations, the whole MeToo thing was breaking wide open, the gruesome tales of that rapey walrus Harvey Weinstein clogging the news pipeline, and it's reasonable to see how other leading Democrats thought it wise to get out in front of the situation. Gillibrand may have been the most visible declaimer of Franken's supposed misdeeds, but there were plenty of other Democratic Senators right beside her. But it stuck to her, the idea that she pushed Franken out.

(There is probably no daylight between how Tina Smith has voted and how Franken would have voted. Franken might have made a presidential run, but maybe not, and even if he did, look at this fucking mess they have right now. And right or wrong, the accusations would have been thrown up during the Kavanaugh hearings.

(However, if you read Giant of the Senate, you find quickly that Franken's real strength as a senator was his understanding that mastery of procedure and process is critical to countering the shenanigans of the #MoscowMitch and #LeningradLindsey types. And with the Kavanaugh hearings, the whole reason it turned into the sordid mess it did is because #MoscowMitch decided to subvert the review procedure for Kavanaugh's record, in order to get the vote in before the midterm elections he was afraid he'd lose -- the reverse of the theft of Merrick Garland's seat. There's an outside chance that Franken might have figured out a procedural way to force full review of Kavanaugh's entire record, instead of the ten percent they were allowed to review. Franken might also have been able to grandstand on the more curious issues of Kavanaugh's janky-to-high-hell finances. But that's all a big maybe.

(In the end, what galled me somewhat about the quickness of Franken's resignation was that they didn't even try to brass it out. They fell for it again earlier this year, and tried to push Ralph Northam out. Northam told them to pack sand, toughed it out, and guess what? Virginia still has a Democratic governor. Jesus Christ, how many rape and sexual harassment accusations does Trump have against him? Two Republican House reps have been under indictment for months. Right or wrong, when only one side has the stones to push through these scandals, it creates a serious imbalance of power.)

Anyway, the debates. They're just a cheap, half-assed way for CNN and the rest of them to sell more boner pills, and maybe grab a few sound bites to throw back in the faces of whichever candidates manage to move forward in this miserable process. But nothing of value gets discussed in a useful way -- climate change, health care, the ongoing illegality and open racism of the current junta, etc. Everything is framed so as not to annoy corporate sponsors or Republican assholes. It's worse than useless, it's harmful.

Hearing that Tom Perez, supposedly the leader of this half-assed political party, opened up the show by doing a couple bars of Old McDonald, substituting McConnell's name in there, pretty much sums it up. Think about who really runs this country and its for-rent political process -- the ultra-wealthy. On the Republicon side, you have a laundry list of psychotic billionaires:  the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Foster Friess, Robert Mercer, and plenty more who stay off the media radar but shovel money to the lowest-brow turd-suckers they can find. All they do is write checks and get out of the fucking way.

Who do the Democrats have? George Soros, who is roughly one hundred fifty years old, and now this grandstanding asshole Tom Steyer, who was not in the debate but who has promised to spend $100M of his own money running a completely futile campaign.

If Tom Perez were a real party leader, he'd approach Steyer, remind him that if the Republicons retain the Senate then the presidency doesn't really matter, and get him to give $50M to Amy McGrath and $50M to Jaime Harrison, and get Mitch and Lindsey outta there, once and for all. Whatever cabinet post or ambassadorship Steyer wants would be his, only stop with this useless showboating, and put his money where it can actually do some real good.

Tell Steve Bullock and Beto O'Rourke and John Hickenlooper to run for the winnable Senate seats in their respective states, again with the rationale that without the Senate, no Democratic president will be able to get anything done. This is what the chairman of a political party -- especially a party that is on the ropes -- needs to do, first privately, then out in the open if these knuckleheads fail to listen.

People have had four months to read the Mueller Report, and very few people have gotten past the executive summary. So they've counted on a series of increasingly desperate gambits by the Democrats to trot Mueller out, over and over again, to reiterate what he said that they were all too lazy to read in the first place. In this context, it makes sense that the debate format would consist of several hours of senseless questions and non-sequitur answers, all designed to provoke some sort of sound-bite or volatile reaction for the media to sell tickets to the freak show -- that again, no one watched in full, but managed to bat around whatever talking points the mediots provided.

So you get a day or two of these overpaid assholes braying that Marianne Williamson, who literally presided over the wedding of Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky, had useful points to contribute to the political discussion. Williamson believes that most ailments, apparently including AIDS and cancer, can be treated or countered by meditation and right thought. She is such a huckster, she almost makes Trump look like a legit bidnessman. (Almost.) But that's a talking point that even New York Times columnists were touting.

We do not have a responsible corporate media presence anymore, and haven't for years. We have notable individual exceptions in a fetid ecosystem badly in need of draining. The dog-and-phony shows of the last couple days have made that clearer than ever. It's not that they hate America, they just don't give a shit.

This post first appeared on Hammer Of The Blogs, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

Taking Debate


Subscribe to Hammer Of The Blogs

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription