Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Response to After Iowa

(See: Just Above Sunset: After Iowa)

If it's not one thing, it's another. First, you got your Republicans, and then your Democrats.

First, the Republicans:

As we started watching the goings-on in Iowa last night, my wife and I found ourselves rooting for Donald Trump to be the GOP nominee, figuring he's probably more beatable than the rest.

Still, we were glad to see somebody stop the unstoppable Trump, yet sorry to see that the somebody was Ted Cruz.

Then again, we're confident that Cruz will eventually lose steam, too -- but sorry to see it will probably be to Marco Rubio.

Yipes! Damn, this gets confusing. I thought I'd be glad to see the voting finally start -- and believe me, I am! -- but It's starting to occur to me that it's not going to be fun anymore.

Then, the Democrats:

I think the best observation I heard from a pundit last night came from someone I can't even remember, although I'm pretty sure it came from Jake Tapper on CNN, who said he heard from someone earlier in the evening who expected to eventually be voting for Hillary, but in the meantime was voting for Bernie, "just to annoy her."

That little tidbit not only summed up the whole absurdity of the day, it totally jibed with my own feelings.

Even though I know intellectually that she, of all the candidates of both parties, is the best qualified to be president, she just doesn't impress me. Yes, she's the best of the bunch, but let's face it, look who she's up against!

It has nothing to do with whether I can "trust" her or whatever we're supposed to feel from her behavior in those GOP-driven "issues" concerning "Benghazi" and her emails, it's really more about her always seeming to be trying too hard not to be seen as trying too hard.

For one thing, she smiles too much! Nobody walks around every day smiling that much, always seeming to be pleasantly surprised about something. And when she's not smiling, she always seems to be shouting something! I hope, if she's elected president, she learns how to tone all that down, and just goes ahead and does the goddam job.

Not that Bernie is perfect, of course. I got this email from him, sent out moments after midnight last night:
Rick -- Tonight we accomplished what the corporate media and political establishment once believed was impossible...
Never mind what we all accomplished, since you know what that was, but at the end, he signed off...
On to New Hampshire. 
In solidarity, 
Bernie Sanders 
Paid for by Bernie 2016  (not the billionaires)

Not to get nit-picky, by the way, but I half expected there to be an exclamation mark after "On to New Hampshire!", but the fact that there actually wasn't one pleased me, since it actually captures his spirit of understatement, unique among politicians, which is a large part of his charm.

And yes, the reason he's sending me emails is because, a while back, I actually sent some money to him -- partly just to "annoy" Hillary, who I think has been insufficiently attentive to the main issues that concern Bernie, which include what we have been calling "inequality" (although it's what I prefer to call "economy out of balance" -- which is bad for everybody, rich and poor) and campaign financing reform, and maybe even having another try at "Medicare For All" -- on that last one, figuring, the worst that can happen if it fails is we just keep Obamacare the way it is.

I guess my problem with Bernie is that he keeps sounding like an old-time out-of-touch I.F. Stone-type lefty from the 1950s, with workers standing "in solidarity" in a "revolution" against "the billionaires". That "In solidarity" conjures up images of posters showing heroic workers, all with their fists in the air. Sorry, I just don't relate.

But also, while much of his schtick is his ability to talk frankly, off the cuff and with refreshing candor, we also very quickly notice him then lapsing into that one-note-johnny humdrum of political stump-speech talk, reminding us once again that...

...in our country today, the top one-tenth of 1 percent own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent and when the 20 richest people own more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans ... the system is rigged when the average person is working longer hours for lower wages, while 58 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent.

And I'm thinking, "Wait. He says the top what percent own the bottom how much?" Not that I disagree or think it's unimportant, it's just that whenever my ears hear that, they tend to involuntarily glaze over. Still, at least he's not talking about carpet bombing illegal immigrants or whatever it is Carly Fiorina is always trying to say about the Sixth Fleet.

And for another thing, there's that swipe at "corporate media", which implies that mainstream-media journalists are phonies and hacks, toiling at serving their corporate masters, who are pushing the agenda of "the man".

Having spent much of my life working for "corporate media" -- at NBC and AP and CNN, among others -- I can tell you I saw it all up close, and I saw that the bosses would not get away with calling the shots on what news to cover or how to cover it in a way that would help the corporate owners, nor was there so-called "self-censorship" in the sense that editors and reporters "know what not to do" if they wanted to keep their jobs. In most cases, in fact, journalists being an overly-proud bunch, the bosses knew that if they had tried that, there would have been mass resignations.

But I guess I still plan on voting for Bernie in the March 1st Georgia primary -- although probably not if I suspect that a vote for Bernie will, in any way, damage the chances of Hillary, who really is, in the long run, I am loath to admit, the better man for the job.

No comments:

Post a Comment

(No trolls, please! As a rule of thumb, don't get any nastier in your comments than I do in my posts. Thanks.)