Saturday, August 30, 2008

What?

John McCain has picked a female running mate. Sarah Palin,who up until this point has apparently been the CEO of a fruit stand in a remote Alaskan fishing village. Randall and I were discussing this in the morning, and I thought he would pick Joe Lieberman and go centrist. Or perhaps Mitt Romney, to fortify the ol' base. But it appears that McCain wants to go after those bizarrely disenfranchised Hillary Clinton Democratic voters. And that leaves me with a conundrum. McCain apparently doesn't really know this woman too well. None of us really do. Apparently she was once runner-up in the Miss Alaska beauty pageant, was a point guard on the basketball team, married her high school sweetheart, and was a sometime Alaskan sports reporter. She is also pro-drilling, doesn't believe that global warming is man-made, and wants to take polar bears off the endangered species list. So this was clearly politically motivated. And that makes me think - clearly McCain was, politically, desperate for a woman to run with him. And this woman, who is completely unknown, is...the best the Republican party has to offer?

I understand not wanting Condoleeza Rice. Distancing himself from the Bush administration is paramount. But really. Are there no other Republican women with any kind of experience who might have made a better choice? This is kind of like Stephen Harper making Rona Ambrose his deputy prime minister. I mean, she's useless, but she's kinda hot and has a fondness for Ayn Rand...

Canadians, however, seem so distracted by American politics that we're not paying attention much here at home. The fact of the matter is that Barack Obama's speech accepting the Democratic nomination last night was masterful, powerful, and magnetic. At the same time here in Canada, the top story was about a truck driver in Maple Ridge who crashed into a sushi restaurant. It seems as though Stephen Harper's crackdown on his party has produced an effect in this country where people learn nothing about the government, and so they stop paying attention to the government. And Randall this morning ends up being one of about seventy-four people nationwide who is aware of the fact that Stephen Harper is about to do something that at best is a reckless and shocking about-face, and at worst is illegal. After forcing through his bill that made sure election dates are fixed (our next fixed date is in late 2009), he wants to force an election now. A year early. Which is the exact opposite of the LAW he created himself.

The idea here is that this LAW doesn't apply to minority governments. Right. And the government can call an election if it can no longer function properly. And, at the comittee level, Harper has made absolutely sure that the government can't function properly. Which makes him the equivalent of that kid who makes his own rules when you play four-square, and then starts losing anyway, so he makes more rules. And then he's still losing, so he no longer wants to play, but everyone else still wants to be in the game, and they won't move on to play wall-ball, so he sits down in his square and refuses to participate, until the other kids get irritated and finally give in and move on to wall-ball.

Up until now, he has pushed for the election by brazenly pushing Stephane Dion around. Which, frankly, is painful to watch. Dion is a brilliant, smart man, but he has to stop getting sucked into this garbage. Here's Harper, daring Dion to call an election. And laughing in his face when he doesn't do it. And calling him a sissy for it. Of course, Harper wants Dion to call the election, because he wants an election. And that way he wouldn't have to break his own law. Again, this is schoolyard-bully stuff. This is that kid who cries during baseball games, gets nosebleeds every recess just by going outside, who gets picked last in dodgeball, and then goes home and bullies the neighbour's kids, just because he can. It's really disturbing to watch this guy work.

And that's another reason we're all watching American politics and paying less attention to our own. Who wants to watch Stephen Harper talk, ever? Or Stephane Dion? Or Layton or Elizabeth May or John Baird? You watch Barack Obama and you are captivated by his speaking ability. You watch John Baird for two minutes and wonder if he eats human flesh. You watch Dion for two minutes and you lapse into a coma. You watch Layton for thirty seconds and change channels because who cares? And you watch Stephen Harper and you wish you could have gone to high school with him to punch him in the neck when he was in grade 12 and shoving grade 9 kids into lockers. Why can't we elect someone who is actually capable of holding national interest for more than twelve minutes? Are these people not out there at all? Perhaps in Canada they don't go into politics because we need our leaders to put the most bland face possible out to the world. Perhaps if no one notices us then no one will call us out. And perhaps if no one cares what we say, then they won't notice that we are highjacking our own laws for our own political gain. And come this fall, when we get another election, we get to choose between four candidates. An irrelevant one, a more irrelevant one, a dweeb and a douche.

Hopefully something interesting will be going on in America at that time. Maybe that way Canada will be distracted, and we'll get that coveted 9 percent voter turnout we seem so anxious to achieve. In the meantime, John McCain has apparently recognized the fact that he won't win - throwing this bizarre hail mary before the actual process begins. So from now until our own election, we can just watch Obama speeches and forget that our own leaders have, combined, the charisma of his left ear.

11 comments:

  1. Stephen Harper, Stephane Dion, Jack Layton, Elizabeth May? I will be voting for none of the above whenever the hell election day comes... Quite seriously, I don't care. John McCain choosing the governor of Alaska as his VP nomination?? For that, the Republicans will DEFINITELY lose control of the White House. Well, that's enough of my rant, but at the end of the day: IT'S THE TRUTH.

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  2. Just caught your latest remark on the radio and from what I can gather, if you ever had pre-marital sex and got drunk before the age of 19 then that would make YOUR mother incapable of running a household.
    That is, of course, unless you hold Mrs. Palin to a different standard because she's a Republican.
    But Clinton getting a hummer by someone other than his wife is probably OK, right?

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  3. Really? My latest remark on the radio? I mentioned Sarah Palin once, and it was merely to point out that I saw pundits suggesting she had extensive experience in international diplomacy because Alaska was right beside Russia. Which, as Stephen Colbert pointed out last night, means that since Alaska also has the highest mountain in the U.S., she must have extensive experience with outer space as well. So...if that is the comment I made to which you are referring...boy, you sure got the point there!

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  4. OK, I'm pretty busy with renovations and overheard a DJ yesterday afternoon making snide remarks about the fact that Palin's daughter got pregnant and was caught drunk on video - to which he added that someone like this was incapable of running a household, never mind a country.
    Then he said check out the CHEZ 106 blog for more.
    If this wasn't you, I apologize.
    To whoever it was - what I said stands and he should read David Warren's Citizen article today to see why radio personalities should stick to pushing popular music instead of pushing their political opinions.
    As for your Aug.30 prediction, how much of the popular vote do you think the Democrats will DEFINITELY get.

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  5. Nope, not me. I'm on in the mornings. And frankly, I agree with Warren's column, for the most part. The problem I have is when conservative commentators point at "liberal" media outlets that will attack anything conservative, and they don't have the moral decency to stay away from this stuff. And while I think this is true, and they certainly should stay away from this stuff, these same conservatives feel that it is the exclusive domain of the liberals to "sink this low". And how quickly and conveniently they forget about the right-wing attacks that were every bit, if not more, heinous. Starting with Willie Horton and running right up to the last presidential election and the Swift Boat Veterans. And as for radio personalities voicing their political opinions, I couldn't disagree more. What's the theory there? That because we work with music, that's all we should know? That this is the only subject about which we could possibly speak intelligently? We may work with music, but we also work with news, and knowing the facts in news stories around the world is an essential part of our preparation for the job. We may be no more informed than the letter writers to the Citizen, or maybe we are more informed than most. I would suggest that (bias acknowledged) Randall Moore's commentary three times a week is a far more knowledgeable and informed piece than anything else you're likely to hear on radio. As for a prediction - I couldn't possibly make one. I can't imagine how this Sarah Palin thing is going to play out, but I just don't see it working for McCain. Guaranteed, Obama will get 45 percent of the popular vote. And McCain will, guaranteed, get 35 percent. It's like baseball. Guaranteed, you'll win 50 and lose 50, games that are foregone conclusions before you even begin. It's what you do with the other 62 games in the season that make all the difference.

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  6. OK, but at least you had the kahonas to make it.
    We'll see.......

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  7. barryglasgow, I don't know if you were responding to my post on Aug. 30. Anyway, I believe that the Democrats will receive 48% of the popular vote. The economy is not that great and McCain doesn't have that much of a chance at winning if you ask me. Things could change towards November 4... but I doubt it.

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  8. This McCain/Palin thing just keeps getting better.
    Read today's National Post article by Jonathan Kay to see just how far those left-wingers at the CBC have sunk.
    Aside from stooping to National Enquirer reporting, they couldn't have got the story more wrong - two days after everyone else on the planet with an Internet connection already had the scoop.
    This is what we taxpayers paid a billion bucks for?

    As for Palin's credentials, you guys are tripping all over yourselves, raving about how well Obama speaks. I've known a few car salesmen who can hold you spellbound for hours telling you what you want to hear.
    Palin has at least actually run something bigger than a committe or boardroom.

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