October 15, 2010


We are doomed. I'm watching the news blame Harry Reid for being boring in last night's debate against tea party candidate Sharron Angle. He was dithering and he is always soft-spoken. He also cluelessly failed to point out that Angle wants to bring back prohibition (yes, of alcohol) and is running in the state of Nevad...a, home of Las Vegas. According to the pundits on MSNBC, all Sharron had to do was hold her own and appear to be Harry's equal. No knock-out punches were thrown, so apparently Angle achieved that.

But everyone's talking about Sharron's call to Harry to "Man up" and face the fact that social security is broken. Female republican candidates like Palin and O'Donnell have frequently used negative sissy imagery to refer to their opponents in this race--possibly to appeal to voters who want things to be restored to old stereotypes of when men were men, women were women and black men weren't in the White House.

And "man up", which she actually flinched while saying so you know it was scripted, snatches all the headlines. Not the fact that social security actually IS solvent and there's only a problem with it if you want to abolish it, as Angle does--though she now has softened her language to "personalizing" it. So she tells one of several blatant falsehoods, but the overall outcome is to focus on Reid's lack of manhood.

He's certainly no macho man and he missed opportunities galore to ridicule Sharron's crazy positions on issues like abortion--she feels abortion is so wrong that you must bear the child of your rapist even if related to them. (I'm guessing this is a tradition in her family?) But what's SO insane here is that Reid is being faulted for not being entertaining. People, he's not on American Idol or Dancing With The Stars. He backed up his points with facts, but we're too dumb to dissect the issues. We tune out when we hear facts, especially if the explanation is lengthy. We want soundbites. That's all we can handle. Insults are entertainment. Don't you dare bore us us with facts addressing policies which will shape our lives for years if you're elected. Doomed, I say.

Harry is dithering. If he "manned up", he might be more popular. If he were faster on his feet and had some snappy zingers and insults for Angle would he have "won" the debate? I would have loved to see him question her femininity and looks in retaliation. Unlike her tea party sisters Palin, O'Donnell and Bachmann, she's no hottie. If she had an agent, she'd be sent on casting calls for parts like Aunt Esmerelda on Bewitched, the muddled, frumpy witch played so brilliantly by Alice Ghostley. Or as a nervous villager extra in a Hobbit film. Don't let the daffy exterior fool you, though. With her personal insults, wrongful accusations about Reid's income and flat-out lies, she proved that she can also play the psycho bitch. Now isn't that a button-pushing negative female stereotype to throw at her? And she earned it!

Look Harry, you blew it last night. But I don't wish this nut job on even the most republican state so I'm gonna give you a comeback line to use that's just as sexist and would go perfectly with most of Sharron's policy descriptions or complaints: "Crazy bitch, are you on your period? Forgive me, I almost forgot that you're waaaaay past the age to get periods anymore. Must've been that bad die job."

(I don't mean to offend any ladies besides Ms. Angle, but Reid does need some help in this department. You don't fight fire with a wet noodle and win.)

We're brainless if we require our candidates to be entertaining because we don't possess the focus to break down issues. That's why Bush would go and chop wood on his ranch on vacation to trick us into thinking he was just ordinary folks like us. And it worked! I wonder how many times he's been at that old chopping block since he left the White House? And Sarah Palin's reality show is preparing to debut on the Learning Channel. An "entertainer" who quit her first term as governor to be on Fox is the lead pick for the next republican presidential candidate. Well, I hope you're all thoroughly entertained when that Palin mess gets elected and our foreign policy is based on some evangelical End Of Days road map. Doomed, I tell you.