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CSotD: Most of the People Most of the Time
There were a boatload of primaries the other day and now it’s on to November, and, as Dave Granlund says, we’ll be anxiously covering the mud slinging as part of what in media parlance is called “Horserace Coverage.”
We won’t talk about policies or plans, because that’s boring. Besides, nobody cares. They just want to brag about having voted for the winner.
There was a time when each party would craft a platform and then select the best candidate to carry it forward, but at some point, they switched to picking the best candidate to win a horserace on a muddy field and then tacked on some sort of bland platform that wouldn’t slow things down.
Rick Scott (R-FL) actually wrote up a platform for the GOP that includes things like taxing the poor, no longer tracking race, forbidding people to be transexual (ask him, I’ve no idea), and requiring Congress to renew programs including Social Security and Medicare every five years.
It includes so many proposals voters would clearly hate that his fellow Republicans rushed to explain that Scott was just pretending and that they’d never heard of him anyway.
This is not unlike 2013, when rising star Bobby Jindal begged a pummeled GOP to get a grip, in an electrifying speech:
Which was the end of Bobby Jindal, because the party not only disappeared him but threw his blueprint into reverse and gave us President Donald Trump.
Though, to be fair, they required the help of the Democrats, who choked off their Presidential Primary and, force-fed their voters instead a qualified candidate whose only slight flaw was that she had been attacked and lied about for more than 20 years in a “vast rightwing conspiracy,” giving her strong negatives among swing voters.
Though wotthell anyway. When they nominated a war hero, the mudslingers trotted out a conspiracy to blatantly lie about his record.
And the time before that, the media had joyfully leapt in with late-night comedians to laugh over partisan lies that the Democratic candidate had claimed to invent the Internet and discover pollution in the Love Canal.
What is truth and who cares?
It worked so well that, by today, even numbers no longer count, as seen in the last election, which a significant proportion of voters believe was stolen despite repeated recounts and investigations proving it wasn’t.
There are numbers yet to be counted in this week’s primaries, but, as Ann Telnaes Points out, the loser of that last presidential race is urging his favorite self-promoting quack carpetbagger to simply declare victory and to hell with the vote count.
Which would be pretty funny if said self-promoting quack carpetbagger hadn’t secured enough votes to put the race into a dead heat.
As I was setting up this morning’s coffeemaker last night, I saw a guy on TV drawing on a map of Pennsylvania and going on about the numbers here and the numbers there and where this guy needed more numbers and where that guy needed more numbers.
It seemed futile, given our current situation, and reminded me of when Dear Leader simply took a Sharpie and drew on the Weather Service map to show where he wanted a hurricane to go rather than where meteorologists expected it to go.
Which, in turn, reminded me of how the 2000 Presidential Election fell to a deadlocked Florida, where, as David Horsey pointed out then, the Secretary of State responsible for the count was co-chair of George W. Bush’s campaign in that state, and loaned her Sharpie to the Supreme Court so they could draw their own conclusions.
Which, in turn, brings to mind how we had all laughed when the GOP nominated W, who seemed like such an unelectable, fumblemouthed dimwit, and who promptly announced that he would let Dick Cheney conduct a search for his VP candidate, which Cheney accomplished by gazing into his bathroom mirror.
Sorry, wrong slide.
Here we go. Yes, we all laughed, but damned if he didn’t win the election and what followed was a bizarre scenario satirized by Adam Felberin which Cheney took command, a respected military leader was flummoxed into playing fall guy and little Georgie charmed the crowd while apparently having no grip on WTF “his” administration was doing.
Nor did a majority of us, since, as Telnaes noted, the media, in the wake of 9/11, festooned its lapels with flags and put ratings and pleasing the public ahead of hard-edged reporting, playing along with the Cheney Administration’s plans for revenge on a nation that had nothing to do with the attacks.
Little Georgie is apparently just beginning to grasp his legacy, but his loyal fans still laugh at his comical blunders.
Meanwhile, in another universe …
The original Iraqi War had attracted a wide coalition, but when the Cheney Administration went for a second bite of the apple, few nations joined in, and Herbjørn Skogstad mocked Tony Blair for having drawn the UK into this tragic farce.
The difference being, as Steve Bell pointed out, Blair later played a heavy price for his gullibility and willingness to put British lives on the block.
As it turns out, the British public is apparently not nearly so gullible as the Yanks, as they are not only repudiated Blair’s part in the war, but are having second thoughts about Margaret Thatcher, egging Lady Thatcher’s new statue, as Dr. MacLeod points out. (Yes, it’s shameful!)
And Matt Pritchett joins in the laughter, but disputes MacLeod by suggesting that, no, they can’t afford eggs now, either.
Thatcher was ridiculed as “Milk Snatcher Thatcher” for her proposal, as Edward Heath’s education secretary, to help balance Britain’s budget by eliminating free milk in schools as seen in this 1971 Trog cartoon in Punch.
The chant followed her for the rest of her career, and was brought back after her death, though I haven’t heard of anyone squirting milk on her statue.
However, it’s an excellent segue for returning to the original topic, since the Republicans, who have been badgering Joe Biden over the current shortage of infant formula, just voted 192-12 in the House against helping to solve the problem.
Let them drink lead-tainted water.
The Brits, bless’em, still remember a half a century later. Will Yanks have forgotten by November?