2008 Presidential Election Primer: Its Not As Bad As You Think
Real True Confessions With Padre Pienbique
Happy election season folks- the one Great American Get Together that we cant wait to run its course, only to wish would happen again because the day after, we realize what terrible and tragic horrors weve brought upon ourselves.
But before we get to the fun: My friend, former roadie and now independent California horticulturalist wanted to chime in with the kind of story that only happens in Los Angeles.
Take it away, Matt McQueen-
Here you go Andy- This is gonna be interesting. I’m hungover and typing this on my phone so bear with me.
Bathead: Its What’s For Dinner
September 19, Beverly Hills, Ca:
Its not often you find yourself in a high end restaurant and bar stinking of weed when Wolfgang Puck fights his way between E! News cameras only to find a rich, hot piece of ass so talented the whole staff didn’t know or care who it was, turned out to be Heidi Montag from the hills on MTV. Never have I seen such ass kissing and I know a guy named Al.
We are seated and more noises from the pointless gallery more wading through cameras a quick glance at Wolfgang We were seated and ordering, here’s when it gets good.
Our appetizers come out and I look up and say " Holy shit, Ozzy Osbourne just walked in the door!" There he was, hunched over and stumbling in the restaurant only to be seated next to me and mumbling something when Sharon walked in, (by the way, she is pretty short.)
Now I’m not one to be star struck; but fuck man, we are talking about Ozzy here. No I didn’t go up to him because it’s rude and I was eating my 16 oz bone in filet mignon (which was delicious by the way.)
This is what got me: Their table ordered some appetizers, mini tacos and mini burgers. Now it doesnt sound funny, but when you are watching the man who bit the head off a live bat nibble at a mini taco, enough said.
Ozzy got up and couldn’t find the bathroom so a server led him to the staff bathroom through the kitchen: It was like a live demonstration of alzheimers.
Anyway it’s always impressive to be in the presence of greatness, keep that in mind next time you see me.
Now the nation will never stop regretting it.
I havent even brought up Al Gore, who makes the mind recoil, not just as a candidate, but as a pompous ass dressed up to do little more than blow an election like a Global Warming Donkey Show.
Be it simple chance or just an unquenchable thirst to keep rolling the dice in search of an all-forgiving payoff, we finally got it right. For the first time in my life: Simple, God-fearing Americans have a choice between two reputable candidates.
The above is one of the few sentences I had to think twice about before writing. But fuck it- its my story and Im gonna explain it.
Nobody else is this dumb. Although the basis of political discussion these days via Anderson Cooper or Bill OReilly cant be underestimated in terms of dumb and dumber, I have yet to see one person on CNN concede that America will still be a country if the opposite guy wins. But Im here to tell you that by accident or providence, we got it right when these two won their respective nominations.
Of course, theres no guarantee that neither of these two arent the Anti-Christ, or Latter Day Herbert Hoovers/Jimmy Carters, but in this day and age, well take our chances. Ever since George W. Bush proved that anybody can the President of the United States of America. He also verified by default that we dont necessarily need one either.
So what I have compiled is a simple compare-and-contrast in four parts to break down the candidates prospective views. Because I dont trust any political media besides Daniel Schorr, (Edward R. Murrows last-standing champion of actual journalism) Im going to boldly use each candidates website as my primary source for judgment- as long as theyre referring to themselves. We dont have time to weigh the general demerits of their sucker punches.
The four categories are:
1. Top 5 Issues They Posted: Taking not only what the issues are, but where they landed on their Top 5. They not only chose the what, but the where. Well take a look at the why.
2. The Party Line: Historically, each party props their pet issues above others. So lets look and see if their Top 5 views tow the traditional party line or put issues through the 2008 Presidential Tilt-N-Screw to further define or blur further for their respective advantage.
3. Draw The Line: In support of, or despite the party line above, lets see how far McCain or Obama will bend over before realizing theyre reaching for the soap the other guy dropped in the shower. If youve ever been in a car accident youll understand that brakes are ultimately more important than how fast you can go.
4. The Record Vs. The Delivery: This is where Ill guess both will do the most slipping. Promises of a solid BJ pale if your date has steadily refused a little glad-handing in the past. Hope is just another four-letter word if she tops it off with talk of anything kinkier.
I flipped a coin to see who goes first, with alternating honors to follow.
THE PRESIDENTIAL TOP 5:
1. OBAMA: CIVIL RIGHTS- A no-brainer, Barack has no interest in ignoring the um white elephant in the room. Hes breaking ground in several important ways, even though Im not alone in thinking that the most curious element of his remarkable campaign is his meteoric rise to the nomination, not his race. In his own way, hes telling everybody that he cant elect himself, so if a group of folks have ever gotten crapped on, they can get their asses to the polls and do something about it.
Ironically, hes been able to get minorities to vote as a majority. Nice way to clear the air while filling the room.
McCAIN: ECONOMY- Even the first and smarter George Bush had this turn on him. (Its the economy, stupid! James Carville, Clinton strategist) This is a double-edged sword for the Republicans. The long held rule of elections is that when all the chips have been pushed into the pot, folks vote their pocketbook. But after eight years of suffering a Republican Spend-A-Thon chasing a bearded, goat-fucking ghost in the hills of Bumfuck, Nowhere combined with lackluster production at home, Democrats are starting to look thrifty.
Counteracting a semi-successful ad campaign by the Dems that McCain is a Bush Stooge, Viet-John is pushing his brand of slash-and-burn budget policies with some muster.
2. McCAIN: ENERGY POLICY- Everybody knows theyre paying a lot for fuel, but only a few will voluntarily admit that hybred Toyotas and Al Gore movies wont do shit in the short-to-medium span of years to come. With classic election year double-speak, McCain wants us to break our addiction to foreign oil while spiking the veins at home. To make matters weirder, hes happy to offer big time tax breaks to those large, evil corporations to research clean energies. Never mind that its those same sinister conglomerates that will pave the way to a cleaner future (because we want to buy those) while getting a tax break (which were told is the ultimate evil of our time.)
OBAMA: DEFENSE- Generally a Republican go-to issue, the current president has bungled this so badly, Democrats would be crazy not to pick this up.
Barack is having a field day with promoting his idea of a 21st Century Army (whatever that is) while riding the concept that we dont have to fight the world if we go back to having the world side with us.
Its true that he knows nothing of screaming This is my rifle, this is my gun; This is for fighting, this is for fun! but our current trigger-happy president doesnt either.
Bill Clinton never learned how to march, but that didnt stop him from whipping out the armed forces on a monthly basis. Very chancy play for the Illinois Senator, but if elected, hell inherit a military thats already in play. Good luck.
3. OBAMA: DISABILITIES- Ummmm What? Lets not forget that it was George H. W. Bush that signed the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990. Wide ranging and regarded as pretty damn thorough, this is why your local municipally owned liquor store went through serious reconstruction in regards to the in/out doors a few years ago.
Obama is all about inclusiveness, so I guess this is what happens when you let your campaign managers nephew or whatever tell you whats important. Next time, pass him the potatoes and tell him to shut up.
McCAIN: NATIONAL SECURITY- Im not sure whether it was McCains Chuck Norris-esque reputation as a world-class hard case, Obamas lack of experience, or our fear of a sinking DOW that caused something like national security to slip this far down his wish list. Perhaps it was nothing more than a flip of the coin. Either way, McCain doesnt feel compelled to talk anymore about it than he has to (which is plenty, thank you.)
Although hell have to deal with Americas current engagements pestering various Middle East stooges, he has no problem with telling us that Iran, along with anybody else that wants to wear the nuclear big boy pants, should fuck off. This is the natural and default position of America, and with good reason: Nukes are expensive. If youre spending money on them instead of infrastructure, youre playing a game you cant afford to win or lose.
It doesnt take a Harvard graduate to understand that most countries would greatly benefit from building their own economies, (thus building equity people dont want nuked) rather than an arsenal they cant afford to maintain, let alone use.
4. McCAIN: HEALTH CARE- Akin to Obama going for an early play on defense, McCain boldly goes where no Republican has willingly gone before: Health Fucking Care. He acknowledges that it broken, too many people dont have insurance, and that perhaps they should.
The fundamental difference between his plan and Obamas is terrifically Republican: Competition for health dollars should drive the market within new governmental guidelines, as opposed to well, just having government. While it cant be guaranteed to have the unrelenting consistence of say, sappy episodes of Greys Anatomy, health care would greatly improve if tax breaks funded individual choice of plans, even if you or I change jobs.
This would make government managed Health Savings Accounts a household word. And you thought Social Security was a fun toilet to flush your money down
OBAMA: ECONOMY- As stated before, Its the economy, stupid. And with every liberal-leaning candidate before him, Obama plans to use the government as not only a battery to jump start (his words) the economy, but as a steering wheel to drive it into the ditch. The problem with the right using this argument is that the current Republican In Charge beat Obama to it. You see, Bill Clintons monkeys used the good times to loosen credit standards beyond responsible boundaries and Bush couldnt reel them in because that would make Wild Bill look like more of a Responsible Republican than himself. In todays windfall-to-pitfall economic climate, government oversight (read: selectively tax and spend) feels like a good thing.
Either way, lets not fool ourselves. The same people we just bailed out will be the first ones in line to help fix the problem they just got rich off of. Obama suggests we fork over another $50 billion to bail out, I mean jumpstart the economy- as long as youre a state government employee or private vendor in danger of getting your ass cut from the payroll.
5. OBAMA: EDUCATION- Hes against it.
Just kidding. Hes certainly for it, but its a fabulous example of the difference between price and cost. Obama correctly points out that W.s infamous No Child Left Behind fell short of expectations because of two reasons: It was under-funded and under-governmented (is that a word?) Obamas plan is to properly fund Bushs failure. (Confused? Just wait, it gets weirder.)
Unlike rock-n-roll, the design of Mercedes-Benz, and the brewing of fine beers such as Old Style, education is one of those things that are best left to government. If the federal government was in charge of the former three, we would all be stuck driving to a liquor store that only sells Bud Lite in a Yugo listening to Sonny & Cher. Not to mention itll be closed on Columbus Day. When it comes to the three Rs, uniform standards help us explain why some folks become ditch diggers, others make a fortune running porn sites, while a few go on to own baseball teams.
As you can see, the above illustrates that work ethic is all one needs to dig a ditch. Opportunity paves the way to transform our fascination with boobs into producing filthy lucre. But it wasnt education- or at least intelligence- that transformed a man that somehow lost money owning a baseball team into the dumbest president of our lifetime.
In turn, Obama seeks to drop some knowledge bombs on the youth and fund the living bejeezus out of education. Which should be a good thing, no?
As President, Barack has a plan that smells of B.S.- not because it doesnt do enough good- but because it seeks to do too much good.
Obamas plan starts with voluntary, universal pre-school. Last time I checked, this was being instigated by my aunt teaching me how to spell my name with crayons and my older brother illustrating the finer points of chemistry by blowing up army men with lady fingers. No grand government plan needed.
The madness goes on with various plans to somehow pay for child care; I was hoping the kids were in school, thus being watched.
I could go on and on. Personally, I hated school and all its trappings. Really; I gave myself an education in getting the hell out of there without my parents finding out. That was free.
McCAIN: IRAQ- It doesnt matter who wins the keys to the White House Executive Crapper, theyll both find Iraq to be the turd that just wont flush Keep pressing the handle and it just goes round and round, but never down the pipes. Shitty deal.
Irony abounds everywhere in politics. Plenty of folks on both sides of the aisle want Iraqis to get on with their lives, on their own time. What McCain has gotten into his head is that what Middle East in general, and Iraq in particular, needs is more American Foreign Policy.
Its not that chunks of the Iraqi wouldnt benefit from having the occupational allies keep some law and order, its keeping a degree of genocide at bay. But the fun starts when the first point of McCains website calls to Push for Political Reconciliation and Good Government. Fuq Iraq: We could use that right here at home.
Except that political reconciliation in Iraq is impossible and good government everywhere else hasnt exactly been an overwhelming success. Last time I checked, government (both good and bad) got everybody into this mess. Furthermore, Im not really interested in seeing the U.S. unleash a Hair Of The Dog policy in countries that dont really like us to start with. This may work on a personal level, (a foundation of my constitution) but Im not a good model of citizenship, especially for a Muslim country that bans booze for fun.
McCain goes on to rally the reconstruction of Iraqs economy, which shouldnt be hard as they are sitting on an unlimited supply of the very thing were paying through the nose for. All they have to do is turn on the fucking spigot. Which gives me an idea: Since were already imposing every other unsavory idea upon them, why dont we pocket some black gold when theyre busy building good governments and enjoying political reconciliation? Im sure nobody will notice if a few spare billion barrels fell off a truck. We can justify it as building good will, or if they protest, tribute for killing Saddam before ruining their fucking lives.
On the bright side, both McCain and Obama understand that we cant afford an additional showdown with Iran or Syria- even though they are both ripe for a good old-fashioned ass whoopin. But thats where boring stuff like diplomacy comes in. I say comes in because it hasnt been here in quite some time. But thats what this is all about, isnt it?Okay, thats it. If nothing else, ignore the usual bullshit like: McCain voted with Bush 90% off the time! (Not on what you think) or Obama is going to raise your taxes til you choke! (Probably will, but so will McCain, so its a swindle on both sides.)
Beyond that, go check out their Presidential Goofiness on their respective sites:
Drink your milk,
Be nice to your mother
Then go vote- Its still free!