Friday, October 31, 2008

Vote Against Florida Amendment 2: Because You're Not an Asshole

I put this in a Facebook note a few weeks ago and I'm reprinting it here just as a reminder. This also applies to the equally lame but more dangerous (since unlike Florida's version it can pass with only 50%) Prop 8 in California.

Early voting is open in Florida and I just got my absentee ballot and that's awesome. But I have a confession: if those of you who are Floridians vote this year for Amendment 2, the unfortunately named Florida Marriage Protection Amendment, I will think you're kind of an asshole.

Now, that's nothing personal, really. I respect your right to vote for Mr. McCain or Mr. Hussein Osama McBlackenstein or whatever they're calling him these days, I respect our differences of opinion and I will defend your right to the death to disagree etc. and so on. And I acknowledge that I have no right to tell you what you should do in what is supposed to be a supremely private civic duty, so try not to take this as me wagging my finger or anything.

Seriously though.

This amendment doesn't protect anything, despite the best efforts by highly paid right-wing PR consultants to convince you of such, because it's just frankly dumb to think that marriage faces some sort of existential crisis. Its effect is more like if I went up to my grandparents--okay, not my grandparents because they all got divorced, but you get the idea--and said "we don't recognize the way you feel about each other as valid." 'Cause unfortunately that's what this basically says to every loving and functional gay and lesbian couple in the state. (I don't think it's a particularly kind gesture to those not in a loving or functional couple, either.) And if you vote for this (and if I find out about it) I will assume you intend for that particular ideology to represent your own beliefs. And subconsciously, unintentionally, this will make me think that you are, in fact, an asshole, 'cause Amendment 2 is silly and wrong and I don't want to think the same of any of you.

So I hope you all vote, all of you in overwhelming numbers, for varying people and propositions in a manner according to your beliefs. But, sorry to say, despite the fact that you may be otherwise a perfectly decent person, I will think you are an asshole if you vote yes on 2. Please don't be an asshole and please don't vote for Amendment 2. Oh and also if those of you in FL-18 all wanted to vote for Annette Taddeo for Congress that would rock too.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining," or some other appropriate Judge Judy-ism

There's a certain glee that politicians get whenever they come up with a line or a strategy they think is just the hottest shit ever. A lot of times in these instances, no matter how dark or blatantly false the implication they're trying to make, the way they present the fresh new attack strategies that present their opponent as a total loser homo has the air of a guileless kindergartner presenting his parents with a macaroni picture.

Look! they say. Lookit what I did! Isn't it cool? I did that!

As you might expect, the current undisputed master of this demonstration of giggly self-congratulation (the more giggly, the better, since the idea is to downplay the mean-spiritedness) has to be Sarah Palin. From here:
“I’ve really gotta hand it to Joe the Plumber over there in Toledo,” Palin said at a rally today in Lancaster, Pa., referring to Joe Wurzelbacher, who was made famous by Sen. John McCain in Wednesday night’s final presidential debate. “Somehow he got Barack Obama to finally state his intentions in really plain language.”
Ooh! Ooh! That! Ooh! See? See what I did there? That was good, wasn't it? Oh yeah. He's not getting up from that. Look how cool that was!

Now obviously maintaining a healthy facade of self-delusion for the sake of the remains of your own dignity is essential in a nosediving campaign, which is why Palin chose not to bring up the fact that they're getting their asses handed to them, and why they continue the endless JtP drumbeat even though no one gives a shit. I understand that need, but there's a limit.

Palin is so good at playing the role of the precocious child looking for approval because that's the approximate level of intellectual complexity she brings to her every stump speech, but for the sake of fairness, I'll note she's not alone. Remember, back when Barack Abdul Omar al-Blackguy wasn't yet being called a one-man latter-day red menace, how we learned that John McCain had like a gajillion houses?
By the way, the answer is, John McCain has seven homes. There’s just a fundamental gap of understanding between John McCain’s world and what people are going through every single day here in America.
Translation: aw, snap.

Now I know I'm biased because I voted for Obama and all but I find it slightly funnier to prod McCain with this sort of thing, because old, cranky guys who you could easily see literally throwing you off their lawn. I think, if nothing else, that that explains the recent resurgence of prominent McCain supporter Wilford Brimley.

When people talk about "the tone in Washington" it's usually in the middle of a finger-wagging session about how Republicans and Democrats say mean things to each other sometimes. All that stuff about "sticking to the issues" and bipartanship and all that crap is fine, but as far as "tone" goes, I would happily settle for wannabe elected officials acting just slightly less pleased with themselves.