Things happen fast in this business. I had spent some time yesterday, mulling over the different facets of the presidential primaries – this run for the convention, this horse race of childish antics and outrageous accusations. In doing so I was prepared to call these primaries done and over with. It seemed so easy.
And I will still do this. Later in this post, in fact, so keep reading. But I feel compelled to inform you that much has changed (overnight, no less) and my original reasoning, while sound, will have to stand up and face the recent developments that happened last night, not the least of which are Giuliani and Edwards’ withdrawal from the show.
So let’s get into the meat of the matter: I’m going to call the elections right now. Just get it over with. I’m tired of all the brouhaha and I’d like to get on with my day and if the networks have the results, maybe they’ll go away and bring us back some useful reporting. Or maybe they’ll just go away, which is fine with me too.
I’ll do the republicans first because they’re easier, especially now that John McCain’s buddy-buddy, the cross-dressing-for-money, Donald Trump-kissing Rudy Giuliani has “stepped aside” and made way for the stronger, less divorce-laden, less insane-stare-giving of the two renegades. There is little more to Giuliani’s departure than this. He lost big in Florida and many times before that. His lot was shaky at best, and they never even looked their best. He played a better card than Fred Thompson, that’s true, but that’s only as good as saying that Rob Schneider is better than Billy Crystal because he had a better director. They’re both still the same crap.
And while we’re on Giuliani, the only candidate the south ever favored without being able to spell, let’s talk about that hack, Chris Matthews.
Ever the loud-mouth for no reason at all and laying softies on anything that leans his way, Matthews lost some big ground this week when Giuliani fell out of the race, or tossed himself out, depending on how well-informed you are. And let’s talk about what that means because this journalism thing… it’s not pleasant or forgiving… and neither am I.
Let me make something clear: Matthews is not a lying hack because he leaned and rubbed against the wrong candidate and lost. Hell, you take risks in this business and no one gets it perfectly all the time. Even HST thought George McGovern had a sporting chance in the ‘72 race against Nixon, that Carter would smoke out Regan and that Vice President Bush would never make it out of the White House without handcuffs and that he would win in Aspen under the banner of freak power. But the old GOP boys were one step ahead of him with a move hat despite all previous signs and signals, no one expected: flat out cheating in the very face of the authority of the law, unprecedented incompetence at the caucus level, all out corruption and now as a result of the last 40 years of impotent chimps running the White House and at the climax of our time, a clinically retarded American Public. Which is not what we’re talking about here. Christ.
Matthews is a dishonest hack because he tried to hide his mistake, sweep it under the carpet of the complacency of the audience. He relied on the fact that no one watched him in the first place, so no one would notice his flip-flop. He backtracked on Giuliani the same exact moment that Giuliani announced he was throwing in his towel. He contradicted everything he’s said as a journalist for the past few weeks (at least) and all without a single apology or acknowledgment of his mistake. This is unacceptable journalism.
Having once touted Rudy as “the perfect candidate” and “the person with the best shot to win the Republican nomination”, moments after Rudy announced his end of the chase, Matthews could be heard saying things like “What Rudy Giuliani lacked all along was a purpose, a big idea as to why he should be president,” and “9-11 is a thing of the past.”
Some people don’t realize he does this every day. Some people don’t realize that this is not the first time he does this, but that it is in fact, his strategy, the way he makes his buck: by letting things happen and then explaining them away as if he had said it all along. He’s like a modern day Nostradamus, using vague stories and strange explanations that most don’t understand entirely to confound the people that would otherwise be looking at the man behind the curtain. It’s literary slight of hand, and in the English language we have a word to describe people who can pull this trick on the distracted and willing public. That word is: illusionist. A talented street thief with an act.
The man is a magician with words. He tells you what you want to hear and then he purposefully (as his paycheck depends on it) deceives you. And you let him. You have to let him, you have to want him to deceive you, or else he wouldn’t get away with it. With rubber balls, playing cards and handkerchiefs, that’s fine; that’s the way the game is played. But with the knowledge that gives you the power to make an informed decision about how to be governed, that’s fucking tragic.
Romney’s campaign, by the way, is one loin-cloth away from the mummy and I give the man standing room only because he outspends all of his candidates combined by 53 to 32. But don’t forget that he has 17 million in debt to his opponent’s 2 million. Deficit is, after all, what makes a president these days.
The Huckster, while he looked good on “The Daily Show” a few months ago, has degenerated into a Baptist-spewing lunatic that will not stand well when confronted by the rest of the nation after the primaries are over. Changing the constitution has never been an easy task, least of all to the President, who actually has little to do with the process, but Huckabee wants to use it to pour Bible talk over us all. And it’s not that American’s will not stand for this kind of insurgency – America will stand for almost anything it’s properly told to do. It’s that they’re too used to the idea that saying church stuff in public elicits lawsuits, and no one wants more of those, except the plaintiff’s lawyers, and they’re all on the other side, always. The Republican Party is not so stupid that they don’t realize this. They are, after all, the more political of the two animals.
So John McCain is going to be the GOP candidate. There; I said it. No wiggle room. Either I’m right or I’m not. This could be great. Or it could be horrible.
Great because with someone so inherently contradictory, so violently linked to the former regime, we can’t help but have a democrat in the White House; it would be a beating so ugly it would make Nixon roll in his grave after the Kennedy election. Any one of them should beat the guy by a 15 point spread.
Terrible because America did elect George W. Bush twice running now, and seems poised to learn not a single thing from that mistake. After all that has happened, I will NOT put my money on the American public’s ability to learn history, no more than I would wager that Bush has learned from Iraq and will definitely NOT bomb Iran for reasons even he can’t explain.
For those that don’t know, by the way, John McCain has come right out and said that there will be another war. Mind you, not “more” war; “another” war. He hasn’t specified that it will be Iran he’ll bomb, be he’s not talking about Iraq or Afghanistan, if those even count as “war” because no self-respecting general will spread American forces thinner than they already are. Shit, we couldn’t rake some one’s yard after a drizzle with the National Guard we have now.
Besides, the childish criminal and terrorist tactics of a few disgruntled old men that pass for war these days is atrocious. Men like Churchill and FDR lived in war; these guys are simply creating the largest scale playground bully antics the world has seen to date. They create their own problem. They supply the solution. They subsequently fail. Talk about a systemic monopoly, eh?
And it’s crazy. The man has war experience. He’s got to make more sense than this talk of secrecy and trust us we know what we’re doing maneuvers that the Bush White House has gotten America used to hearing. He’s got to know better.
Shit man, I’ve been to Vietnam, I’ve walked through the gates of the Hanoi Hilton, I’ve seen the place where John McCain was imprisoned and tortured at the hands of the North Vietnamese. It doesn’t make sense, and so much for straight talk.
The Democrats are a little more complicated, but I’m going to call it for Obama, and not because John Edwards, the solid-choice, high-road taking John Edwards has dropped out of the race for lack of funds, or because Hilary seems to have no scruples whatsoever. It’s about a man we all know well. It’s about Bill.
Indeed. Where is Bill?
Where is Bill Clinton these days? Is he standing by Hilary, attracting the spotlight the way he necessarily can? Is he shouting her name and getting American’s from all walks of life to shout it with him? Is he discussing his plans for how he’ll contribute as the first… ladies-man? Well, yeah. Kinda.
But look closer. His heart’s not in it. He’s not standing beside her, he’s near her. He’s not getting people to shout her name, he’s getting people to say it. He’s not talking about his plans about serving as first ladies-man because he’s thinking about his plans for serving in the cabinet or office of whoever does win, and that will be the man he doesn’t disparage. Bill Clinton is the only one playing a clean game in this horse race, and his golden stare is looking straight at Barack.
Not that it matters. Hilary could lose to McCain, that’s true, but not likely. Edwards would’ve made a scene of the man and probably will when Obama offers him a spot on his cabinet. Hell, it could even be close. But there is no way – and I know I’ve thought this before – but there is no way a war president will be replaced by a fresh war president. Especially not one who makes as little sense as John McCain.
And there you have it, readers. And lest you think my arrogance is accidental in this matter I will tell you upfront that I’m just getting to know this business, and from what I see you can’t half-ass this shit. Hell, if you can at least put out something you can respect, that’s more gold than most of the hacks around are doing, correct or not. So long as it’s factual. Clearly label your opinions… so that you know to throw them out later. Maybe I’ll learn to be more understanding or less judgmental, but you’ll start noticing when that happens.
For now and until that day, keep your ear to the grindstone.