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Monday, August 27, 2012

Ah, Politics! I Hardly Knew Ye!

I'm seriously thinking of giving up The Politics completely.  Truly, I am.  The past couple of years I've removed myself gradually, anyway--with a few relapses here and there--because it has all gotten to be so much noise.

Those of us in the Swing States (CNN currently lists them as Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, and New Hampshire; The NYT adds Wisconsin) are in a constant media maelstrom of Super PAC propaganda.  In the evening hours especially, political adverts are stacked one on top of the other in a relentless barrage of partisan garbage.  Every single commercial break in Ohio has at least one (and that number would be a blessing), but more often, there are three or four in a row.  I witnessed the same fusillade of campaign proselytizing in Virginia in June.  Virginians also have a Senate race to decide, as do Ohioans, so we both get an extra helping of PAC crap.

I don't even listen anymore.  Yes, I've read The Research:  I know that the reason the ads are so negative is because They Work.  And, yes, I was one of the ones who said that Pres. Obama needed to get tough and dirty with the republicans because that's how they played the game.  For the record, I still say that.

But, thanks to the Supreme Court decision in 2010, we're all on overload.  A modicum of relief is coming, however:  On September 11th, the official campaigns of both presidential candidates are suspending ads.  Additionally, the primary pro-Obama Super PAC has agreed to stop running commercials in deference to the day as well.  But I want more.

I want the ads to be confined to one political ad per candidate per commercial break.  I want the ads to run only three months before any election.  I want there to be Ad-Free Days during the week, decided by each network, and that can be decided locally or nationally; I don't care.  I think those parameters are more than fair.  I've stated no regulations here about positive or negative; none regarding the Super PAC's monies or whether or not they have to be traceable or local in origin.  That stuff is already a lost cause.

The Politics used to be Fun for me.  Now it's ugly and tedious and tiresome, like cleaning the basement or arguing with a friend.  Whenever I can, I get rid of anything that's not fulfilling me.  So, The Politics has to go.

Part of my disgust, I think, has been all my reading and research into President Lincoln.  He was far from perfect, but in his service to the country, he remained thoughtful and mindful of the country.  He knew that some of the advisers he had around him had personal agendas and personal animosity toward him, but he valued them for their common desire to preserve the Union and for the expertise they brought in achieving that outcome.  He was a man who faced many tribulations simultaneously in all facets of his life:  a country at war, the deaths of his sons, a mercurial wife, a rebellious Congress, an often melancholy spirit, a series of failures as General for his Army of the Potomac, the cruelty of a fickle public and press, but he worked tirelessly for the restoration of his country.

The irony that my favourite president is a republican is not lost on me.  Yet, one would have to search deeply and profoundly to find any similarity between the current republican party and the party of Abraham Lincoln.  I wonder if he would be able to call himself a republican were he to find himself alive today.

In the meantime, I'll absent myself from The Politics of today in favour of the politics of yesterday.   

12 comments:

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. It's exhausting and disgusting. I'm SO glad to live in California, where we don't see much of this crap, and that we watch a lot of our TV on OnDemand, which seems to have some commercials, but not many, and not political.

    The more I learn about Lincoln, the more I think he was a great man. I wonder, if he had been elected in a quieter time, if we would have gotten a glimpse of that?

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  2. I sure don't blame you for dropping the whole business - although I always enjoy your scathing analysis :)

    The things we watch don't have very many political commercials (especially because we watch the Braves on our computers), but sometimes I go to a friend's house & eat dinner with her & we watch Jeopardy & Wheel of Fortune & boy howdy at the ads! It's a tsunami!

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  3. Mikey G.2:41 AM

    I stopped watching real television a long time ago. I get everything OnDemand or OnLine, where I rarely get political ads and can skip through them if necessary. But even without all of the commercials, I'm still sick of The Politics. I feel like half of the ads are full of lies, half of the people in this country believe those lies, and you can't argue with people who will believe outlandish statements from the media but not honest to goodness logic.

    I also hate people who blame the President (current or past) for not doing enough. When someone becomes the POTUS, they also become the commander in chief, and thus they inherit all of the nation's problems as well as all of the secrets that are held for the commander in chief. You can't know what the job will be like before you get it, and so when you get the job, everything changes. You're stuck with what you have to work with, and that's that.

    Okay, that was more of The Politics than I wanted to deal with. I am washing my hands of it all and going back to watching trashy reality television.

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  4. My husband is glued to his American channels. I am summoned to listen to Ryan tonight.
    Glad the garbage is not coming over the border, except in news and commentary, because that is plenty.

    Sending sympathy. And letting you know I just posted about some of it.

    Love from Canada, home of the six week election campaign.

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  5. Mary G--Oh, Canada! Can you not stop being Wonderful In Everything? (Excepting weather, of course.) Tell your husband you are allergic or have a headache or need to sort your canned goods. Good heavens. Why would you allow him to dictate your Television Viewing? Rick never even attempts that. I often try to guide his, naturally, and have made a Downton Abbey fan of him. I am ridiculously proud.

    I am going to your space soon to read your new post.

    Mikey G.--Oh, but do you not trust The Wisdom Of The American People? Bleah. If I hear that one more time, I may do myself An Injury.

    I completely agree with you re: the new CIC becoming privy to dire situations not known to him previously which will amend some of his actions, not always for the immediate good. It is all so Tiresome and Tedious and Irksome. Rick and I are often driven to cable to watch reruns of Big Bang and other shows just for escape.

    Bug--Oh, and I do love to scathe! Thank you for the compliment, and I know many of my readers tune in for The Politics here. It's a tough habit to break.

    I am not allowed to watch/play Jeopardy in the company of my family because of my speed-reading prowess. I learned the skill decades and decades ago from my sister, and it gives me Unfair Advantage.

    J@jj--I think we would have. I sincerely do. He was a man of great humour and reflection, and we would have seen that more, I think. There are days, after reading his words and of his life, that I simply cannot look at his photograph. It is too much for me, quite honestly. I don't know what it is. But it is a very real feeling for me.

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  6. Nance,

    Do you think you would feel differently about Politics if the fun would come back into it via the Tea Party?

    Remember the little Asian girl with her "I'm a hard Woking Girl sign" or the guy with his Revolutionary costume that didn't fit and his fly was open;the pants were up to his knees and he had brown tie up shoes with buckles over the laces.

    How about the guy who had a sign claiming that he was OVERRTXED and wanted his CONTRY back?

    Don't say you wouldn't leap right back into the fray with the right incentives....Like Palin and her kids,Trig,Trap,and Tarp? Or "I am not a witch" O'Donnell....

    You are simply not interested because you do not have an interesting adversary to debate.

    Stay tuned. It's early. Someone is bound to come along who is as nuts as they all were.

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  7. Nancy--Oh, there are always plenty of Nuts in the republican party. Look at the birthers who are still around: Trump, most notably, and the shadow birthers.

    I've already weighed in slightly about the way the rethugs are trying to steal women's rights and finally showing their true colours as far as their overall misogynistic tendencies. I could get started on their voter suppression movements, esp. in Ohio and Florida, but I'm just sick and tired of it all. It's ugly and nasty and so incredibly destructive to this country and everything that everyone fought for, both in war and civil revolutions, that I cannot do it anymore. My outrage has moved into sadness and disappointment. And shame. And when I heard of the numbers of Uber-Rich who have actually renounced their citizenship of this, Their Country, just to avoid taxes (!!!!), I gave up. What on Earth has happened to PEOPLE?!

    I have often said that America gets what it deserves, but damn it, I am America too, and hell be damn sure, I don't really deserve all of this.

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  8. Nance,

    You are so right! You and the rest of us loyal Americans don't deserve the treatment we are getting from the powers that be in our States and in our Country.

    I live in a State (Pennsylvania)
    where the republican governor has pushed through a ruling that every person must have a picture ID or they cannot vote.

    Many people do not drive or have a picture ID and they have only a few months to obtain one. They say this is needed because of voter fraud, but when the law was challenged in court last month the judge who was presiding asked for examples of the fraud and not one case could be produced. The republican judge upheld the law anyway. It is estimated that thousands of people will be turned away at the polls in November because they do not have the proper ID. Naturally, it is poor people,mainly Democrats, who will not be permitted to vote.

    I won't even go into the early voting situation in Ohio because that's your bailiwick and I am certain you know more about that situation than I do,but we see it almost every night on Rachel or Larry...

    But we cannot just give up and turn the Country over to dolts like Romney or radicals like Paul Ryan. We went the Dolt route in 2000 and 2004 and look where that got us.

    Come on, Nance, you know we need you to see us through the next few months and the election.We know you are sad and disappointed, but so are we.

    Let's not let the bastards get us down. I know you know the latin for that, but I don't. That's another reason we need you, Defender of The language.

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  9. Wonderful post. You have a way of making the whole process sound humorously tragic. I have heard there is an island off the UK where all electioneering is limited to one week before elections. I'd love to live there.

    I live in PA, but the TV station that comes in best (for cableless me) is in Youngstown so I, too, am bombarded with Ohio ads. My email inbox is filled with solicitations for money or adding my name to a poll for every progressive cause and candidate. I find myself going from being deeply concerned about the elections and taking action to burying my head in the sand because I can't stand it anymore.

    I've donated to the Democratic party and several other organizations, but it seems almost useless, as we can never keep up with the $billions that can be donated by the Koch brothers and commercial enterprises who expect politicians to fight for their limited agendas. The American people aren't as important as having enough money to win the next campaign.

    I am convinced that we are now ruled by the emperors of big business. No one cares about the middle class, let alone the poor. Romney is running ads about welfare ---which is just a throwback to Reagan's dog whistle/code word for 'blacks' and/or 'hispanics.'

    I can't believe that Obama can ever be tough enough to defeat the nasty lies propagated by Karl Rove and friends. They have no soul. And then there are those Republicans who think women can "shut down" pregnancy when raped or that all gays should be executed. This is what some Republicans think are morals and family values? God, help us.

    Once Jeopardy reruns started, I stopped watching the news and other programs I record at night. My husband has instructions to let me know if anything truly important happens.

    Instead, I have been watching TV and movies on Hulu or PBS ---without cable, I can watch only one CBS and one NBC station where I live ---but still, there are political ads, I think because my computer thinks I am in Ohio.

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  10. CJ--But PBS is carrying unending gavel-to-gavel coverage of the republican convention. i feel so betrayed. That is what we have CSPAN for. Urg.

    After the two Elections Of The Dark Times, my husband and I came to an agreement that I would stop giving the Discover card a workout and end my donations to political campaigns. Now, I really do not see why anyone would donate to the national parties or candidates at all. It's ridiculous. And with the bitter state of The Politics today, and with the inanity of a Congress that does little more than amass its warchest and avoid Doing The American People's Business, I won't give to those candidates, either. (Only my deep love to Sherrod Brown.) No, I've decided to give money locally only and to causes I care about or places where it can do profound good for the people who are being ignored by those we elected to ostensibly help us.

    I think everyone should.

    Nancy--Even TX has had to come to its senses re: Voter Laws recently. Ohio is still a mess, and the gerrymandering issue is finally on the ballot, but now the language is being debated. The early voting issue is a huge entanglement, and the ID question is so confusing here that no one knows--even the poll workers--what the law is.

    It's too damn bad that the teapartiers didn't mobilize behind something really worthwhile and worthy of their inspiration besides all their bullshit proselytizing about socialism and mortgaging their grandchildren's futures. Instead of masking their glints of uneasy racism and gay-bashing and gun mania, they could have been sounding the alarm on the true terrors coming down the pike: the rise of an oligarchy; the abrogation of women's rights; the disenfranchisement of the poor and minority voters; the sale of the country to the SuperPACs and lobbyists.

    It's sickening.

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  11. I couldn't bring myself to watch the RNC...even if only to poke fun and make a drinking game out of it.

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  12. RM--Ditto, except that, for me, drinking is never a game. ;-)

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Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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