Sunday, September 13, 2009


I'm not a great big fan of Bill Maher. But sometimes it's not the messenger, it's the message.

And this clip from "Real Time" pretty much sums up how I feel about this country, this Administration and this moment in history right now. It's time to stop kidding ourselves; 30% of our "fellow Americans" are totally gonzo, batshit, rubber-room-dwelling crazy and to listen to their foam-flecked ranting is to make public policy based of the insane hallucinations of a piss-smelling wino who's cooked his brain with too much sterno.

We're supposed to be a democracy. Why not take the opportunity to start acting like one?

Otherwise we should have just gone ahead and elected "that old guy and Carrie's mom", forchrissakes.


  1. Never been a huge Maher fan either, but he's 100% right on this one. Time to go the full Asshole and start screaming as much as the rage-filled morons at the Town Halls. It's the only thing they understand and they interpret reason as weakness. No, it's not very Zen, but my problem with pacifism has always been that it requires reasonable people on both sides to be effective, and the dead-ender 30% of raving lunatics are anything BUT reasonable. The Dems are too afraid of offending these utterly offensive people and I am sick of it. Grow a pair, indeed.

  2. While Maher's suggestion is understandable, meeting screaming idiocy with more screaming is better suited to starting a civil war than it is to running a country.

  3. Well, trying to be reasonable hasn't done anything for the dems but make the rep's believe they are weak. What's your suggestion?

  4. If you've read my comments in any length, you already know that I can't find a solution to this problem.

    Since I have a few spare moments, I'll lay out the situation as I see it.

    The D's are splintered to the point where the only thing the members can agree on is that they aren't R's. There is no party discipline, no training or promotion from within, no ability to develop consensus within the party before revealing it to the rest of the world.

    You can see all of this in the fact that the D's two most recent successful candidates were relative unknowns who used the national D's only as a springboard to leap to the national stage.

    The R's have completely different problem. Yes they've got the organization, the discipline (oh, do those bad boys like whips), the ability to build a consensus of steel behind the scenes and carry the votes to pass legislation or any sort. But they've gone stark raving insane to such a degree that they are now essentially lead by a corrupt entertainer for his own personal gain.

    It appears that the R's have understood that they are the only real political party for some time now and they became so complacent by 2006 that they thought of themselves as the government and ruled essentially by fiat.

    Their outrage at the D's successfully harnessing public outrage in the 2008 elections is so palpable that I fear what will happen if they get back into power in the next 20 years.

    Let's try a model to illustrate my point. Say we've got two men in a lifeboat, if they work together on the oars they can row to safety. One man is a good hard working man but easily confused and keeps changing his mind as to what he wants, constantly pulling to boat off course to pursue mirages.

    The other man is physically much smaller but mentally more agile and is a bully who is openly contemptuous of the first man.

    The obvious solution is for the second man to help keep the first on course but he quickly grows tired of this and puts himself in the position of manager, frequently heaping scorn and abuse on the other man if he perceives any deviation from the desired course.

    The first man becomes angry at this behavior but isn't sure what to do and so politely endures it until eventually he surprises both of them by slugging the other man in the mouth.

    Both men are reminded that the first man is much bigger and stronger. But the first man knows his mental weaknesses and dithers, trying to decide on the best course to reach safety. Meanwhile the second man becomes even more scornful, successfully undercutting the first man's confidence in every way possible to reassert his own control. But the boat is drifting hopelessly while the two men argue and neither man now knows the way to dry land anymore.

    This is a no-win situation. The rowboat will go around in circles unless the men cooperate but one of them is bent on destroying the other man regardless of the cost to himself.

    The sole piece of good news is that the lifeboat is large and was strongly built at one time but it has been damaged by the fighting between the two men and is further damaged by the collateral damage of every blow they swing at each other.

    There's no telling how much long the lifeboat will last but speaking as one of the many rats on board, it makes sense to start looking for a different way to get to safety because these two look like they aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

  5. I wish I could find something in your tale to argue with. This new way to safety remains obscured by our faith in the notion that the way we do things is the only way they can be done.

  6. Clearly, a breakdown of the two party system is required (and indeed is well advanced).

    What replaces it is unclear.

  7. Ael -

    I have to disagree with your last statement, the replacement is slowly becoming clear and I don't like it very much.

    The President is slowly becoming an elected absolute monarch who, at least temporarily, is above the laws of the land. He is still currently somewhat constrained by Congress and the Supreme Court but those controls are weakening quickly, in large part due to Rove and Cheney who recognized the trend before other people and took full advantage of it.

    The problem with absolute monarchy is that it takes a long time to train the monarch before he assumes his duties and then EVERYTHING hangs on how well the monarch handles the unforeseen events that always come up.

    Electing an absolute monarch is probably the worst of all possible ways to run a country as the monarch is selected according to the momentary whim of the common people from a pool of people who, by definition, must be more ambitious than intelligent (or they'd have selected a less difficult path to the power and prestige they desire).

    If you take a look at recent electoral history, you'll see that Americans have favored outsiders who are unknowns but promise to reform Washington. I believe that this indicates that most people in the US seem to be pretty sure that something is rotten in Washington but they aren't sure what it is or how it can be eliminated and they most definitely DON'T want to be involved in cleaning it up.

    After all, isn't that what we elect politicians for? Elected officials handle petty details like how trillions of dollars are spent each year, deciding the fate of the world, and other mundane issues. But whatever happens, the people shouldn't be bothered, they're too busy voting on the next American Idol.