Thursday, November 15, 2012

Campaign Redux.

A few of the reasons I did not blog about the 2012 US Presidential election:

• It was a boring campaign. Oh sure there were a few scary moments when it looked like Bachmann, Santorum, Trump and Cain were actually being considered as legitimate contenders. But once we were all done laughing at them it was dull as dishwater.

• It was a really long campaign. It lasted 4,675 months. Give or take 6 months. 

• I didn't think that Barack Obama would win.

• I didn't think that Mitt Romney would win.

• I was 100% sure that Sarah Palin wasn't going to win. That in and of itself was HUGELY comforting.

• On Twitter many political discussions were saturated with cynicism directed at politicians and the political process.  Buncha sooky babies -- apathy and cynicism are luxuries no grown up can afford.

• I was not entirely sure that it mattered who won the US Presidential election. I think non-Americans have more respect for the President than many American citizens and we often over-estimate the power of the office. The President can not do much if (as has been the case for the last few years) the senate and the congress are populated by people whose main goal is spouting populist rhetoric in order to get a sound bite picked up by the media.

• Recently I read "The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings: A Five-Generation History of the Ultimate Irish-Catholic Family"by Thomas Maier. This book used the Kennedy family as a frame work upon which to pin discussion of the changing political and economic climate in the US for the last 150 years. It was disheartening to see the similarities between the racist treatment of Irish immigrant politicians (ie Kennedy's ancestors) in the late 1800s and minority politicians (ie Barack Obama) today. Furthermore, the issues faced by John Kennedy and Richard Nixon in the 1960 election were more nuanced, sophisticated and progressive than those in the 2012 election.

• After years of catering to the religious right (a segment of the American population that frequently derides both Catholics and Mormons as NON-Christians), the Republican party put a Mormon and a Catholic on the same ticket. I am still laughing.


• We were out of town when the Republicans had their convention. Then our internet crapped out during the Democratic convention and so I didn't watch either. I'm pretty sure if I'd watched Clint Eastwood yell at that chair I'd have written a blog post.  It would've involved going through a checklist of symptoms indicating a person suffers from dementia or Alzheimer's. 

• After reading Rebecca Traister's "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women," I realized that despite watching the 2008 campaigns (from afar) with keen interest I missed a lot of that election's nuance.  This made me question how accurate a bead I was getting this time around.

• I could not think of a witty way of saying "Hey America, your economy is tanking and people set up blogs to solicit donations from strangers in order to pay their medical bills. Don't let your election get bogged down by asinine discussions of bullshit "issues" like Legitimate Rape. FOCUS!" See. That's not witty. It's just angry. But damn accurate.

But it's all over now. As of November 6, America has Obama for another four years. All Americans will have health insurance healthcare coverage.  Referendums were passed to make gay marriage legal and in other places marijuana was decriminalized. In short: America is becoming more like Canada.

Damn. They're stealing all our good shit.






16 comments:

  1. That last pic was my favourite thing to come out of the election. Oh, how I laughed.

    On Friday night, Bill Maher said on his show that America is becoming more like Canada, and this weird silence fell over his studio audience. He looked kind of startled and said "well, what's wrong with being like Canada? You know, a modern country?"

    Right on.

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    1. WHA -- ?? Bill Maher is on TV?! In AMERICA?!?! Does Donald Trump know this?

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    2. Donald Trump's hair might. It gets mentioned on the show so frequently HBO probably has to pay it residuals.

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    3. The hair and the twitter rants lead me to believe the Donald should have a competency hearing in the very near future.

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  2. Waaaallll (cue David Tennant's Doctor Who)....It was a frustratingly boring election. And I think real issues did get buried in the sound bites, as per usual. The thing the I find PARTICULARLY frustrating is that facts get spun. It is nearly impossible to find them. For instance, the President kept saying how health insurance premiums for everyone were going to go down, and yet everyone's is going up.

    I keep thinking, why can't they just tell us the truth. Many of us are grown-ups and can handle the truth. We might not LIKE it. Well, I take it back. I think the election showed us that most are NOT grown-ups.

    GAH!

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    1. In Rebecca Traister's book there's some discussion about the shitty attitudes and behaviours by young, male, supposedly-grown-up Obama supporters leading up to the 2008 election. I had no idea then and was aware that because I'm not American I don't get to see and hear things first hand, even with access to social media. I put a fair bit of effort into keeping up to date on politics and I fight the impulse to stay with news sources that validate my own preconceived notions and ideas. The problem lies with the media because reporters are (for a myriad of reasons) no longer reporters, they're stenographers.

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  3. All Americans will NOT have health insurance, and I'm puzzled why I keep seeing this around the web. The Affordable Care Act will make sure more people are covered, but the estimates are that there will still be millions of people left uninsured. That's not a partisan statement. The president has not claimed everyone will be insured under his plan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act#Change_in_number_of_uninsured

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    1. Damn. I was trying to find a way of saying that 50 million uninsured Americans will be able to secure affordable health insurance coverage once Obamacare comes into full effect in 2016, while at the same time stop-gap measures like the expansion of Medicaid eligibility and Children's Health Insurance Program coverage will come into play, without stepping on the joke. And in doing so I lost the plot. I'll edit that to healthcare coverage. Thanks.

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  4. FOCUS! I love it. I wish we could focus.

    I know apathy is wrong, but it's hard sometimes. I did the HOPE thing in '08 and then learned what you have. The President does not have that much power. When the other people in our legislative branch fight like cats and dogs and try as hard as they may to make the executive branch look bad, it doesn't work. I felt myself slipping into an "it doesn't matter" place.

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    1. Know what else didn't help? That stupid Nobel Peace Prize. "Way to set expectations really, really high, Nobel Peace Prize committee people."

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  5. This is only a somewhat related comment because as you know I tend to stay far, far away from political discussions. Mr and I have been watching Breaking Bad and you know, the whole theme of the show is this man who has cancer and in order to pay for treatments, he starts a meth lab. I'm fascinated with this show because it's a good show, but also - HE STARTS A METH LAB TO PAY FOR CANCER TREATMENTS. I need add nothing further, I think.

    Yes, I realize it is a fictional television program, but it is mind blowing to think that there are sick, sick people who have to go into enormous debt to pay for medical treatment.

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    1. I use to see those paypal donation buttons and think that people were being tacky. Then I got my head out of my ass and realized that I am really privileged because what I see as tacky other people see as a necessity.

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  6. Damn you! I thought this was just going to be funny and I think I accidentally learned something. Shit.

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    1. I dedicate the follow up post to you because you are guaranteed to not learn a single thing.

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  7. As a Conservative, I am going to restrain myself from replying to the majority of this post, except to say that Paul Ryan is HAWT.

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    1. As someone who confessed to being sexually attracted to William Shatner, I am going to restrain myself from replying to the idea that "Paul Ryan is HAWT."

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