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Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011
Shit my Mother says...
Ah. Today we set sail for the Western Caribbean aboard the beautiful Crown Princess. Although there is Internet Access from the boat, I am probably writing this at least a few days before I post it. So we’re on Vacation. And that’s good. As is life, for the most part. And taking a vacation like this means leaving the kids with my parents which is good for two reasons. (1) NO KIDS! Yay! And (2) Inevitably one of my parents is going to say something that ends up being worth writing about – either my dad, who gives insight into the mind of a staunch Republican, who actually has enough money to almost making BEING a Republican a rational thing (not really, I know, but in his case, I can at least see why he IS); or my Mother who gives insight into the mind of the absolutely clueless conservative who votes Republican and buys into all the Fox-News Republican propaganda simply because she has no clue. No fucking clue at all. No ability to think, analyze, debate, learn or understand. She is the quintessential example of the kind of person who “reasons” on either of the four level or ten-point scales that I’ve written about before. I love her. I really do. And she’s watching my kids right now. But Politically? Philosophically? She’s brain-dead. So, not much of a spoiler at this point, but this week’s gem comes from my mother.
See… My father got the movie “Fair Game” from Netflix. Hey: He was curious. Now, my mother didn’t know what it about. For those of you who are also scratching your heads (and that’s forgivable – it wasn’t in theatres for very long) this is the story of the outing of CIAgent Valarie Plaime, told from the POV of Valarie Plaime (played by Naomi Watts) and her husband Joe Wilson (played by Sean Penn.) I’ll get to the movie’s strengths and weaknesses in a moment, but my mother’s reaction to that revelation, IMHO, was nothing short of priceless in revealing how conservative “think.” (I’ll just put that in quotes, but I swear it’s like I should spell it differently – ‘thynk’ maybe – because it doesn’t resemble any kind of real of rational thinking that I’ve ever come across!)
“Oh, I don’t want to watch that! It’s just going to be a bunch of Bush-bashing!”
What I unfortunately can’t convey in supplying that quote is all the dismissiveness, derision, condescension, distaste and indignation that was present in her tone. Basically? The movie sucks, because these two “traitors” want to make a point about Bush. Seriously.
And this is what I’ll never understand about conservatives. Valerie Plaime really does represent the ultimate pinnacle of IOKYAR. Apparently it’s her fault for getting outed, and his fault for… What? I don’t know? NOT finding a record or evidence of a sale of yellow-cake uranium that NEVER FUCKING HAPPENED. I suppose by that same logic it’s Albaerdai’s fault that Saddam wasn’t developing weapons of Mass Destruction. It’s really insane. Putting aside any distortions that the movie may put forth - and while it would hardly be the first time Hollywood embellished something for dramatic sake - it really wasn’t at all that far out on a limb with what we now know, and all but the dimmest among us could clearly see then, to be the FACTS. There is pretty much no denying any of the following:
1) There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq
2) There was scant EVIDENCE of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq
3) THE CIA sent Joe Wilson to follow up on a lead. (And who exactly sent him is completely irrelevant. Remember: At this time no one could know what he might have found! )
4) Joe Wilson found NO EVIDENCE of a massive sale of Uranium.
5) The Bush Administration lied about this, and about the possible used of several aluminum tubes in their case for going to war.
6) Joe Wilson called them out on their bullshit, when he realized they were lying.
7) His wife was outed in petty retaliation for this, as well as to squelch any and all other information that might have shown that the case for going to war in Iraq was based completely on bullshit.
8) Doing this was a crime. That’s a matter of fact, not opinion, BTW. For all the bullshit that followed, someone WAS convicted of this crime. Justice was never served, but there is no denying that what was done was, in fact, a crime… by definition.
9) When Joe Wilson didn’t take this nonsense lying down, the Right Wing press repeatedly slandered him and his wife, making the story about them rather than the fact that Bush was lying.
None of the above are matters of opinion. None of these points can be seriously debated. One can try argue that this was all somehow justified, due to the threat possessed by Saddam, but there’s a fundamental problem with that: What Joe Wilson, and pretty much everyone else involved in following up every one of Bush and Cheney’s bullshit leads was that Saddam didn’t pose a threat AT ALL! His infrastructure was crumbling, his economy was in shambles, he could barely muster enough spare parts to keep a few tanks running! And nothing, N-O-T-H-I-N-G, was ever presented that countered any of this! Bush and Cheney and Rice and Rumsfeld and Powell could make all the claims they wanted, but they FACT is that no one was finding ANYTHING! And the result of them vilifying anyone who dared hold a view that even slightly resembled REALITY (which, remember, has a long-established liberal bias!) our country was led down the rod of the single most disastrous piece of foreign policy in history.
Now THAT’S an opinion, I’ll grant you. But the facts simply aren’t there to debate it: There was no justification, no threat, and no reason to go to war. None. Much was lost, and the estimates of the costs of the war, both in terms of military casualties and tax-payer dollars given to us by the War’s REPUBLICAN cheer-leaders might be the single greatest example the Right has in terms of the Government underestimating something’s price tag. And can ANYONE tell me, what exactly we were supposed to GAIN from all of that? What was the BIG PLAN here? Because to me it’s like trying to figure out what the Villains original plan was in “Total Recall” – not only did the reasoning keep changing, but when you go right back to the start? There’s nothing there! It made Iran stronger, spread our troops too thin, destroyed out budget, destroyed our moral standing in the world, destroyed our credibility, hampered our military readiness - we saw that when Katrina hit, removed a SECULAR leader from power in a war against RADICAL RELIGIOUS THEOCRACY, so… WHAT THE FUCK WAS IT ALL ACTUALLY FOR?!
I’d say “blood for oil,” but I KNOW that can’t be right, because Dick Cheney said that was ABSURD, and I know Dick Cheney would NEVER LIE. (I mean… he swore an oath!) Of course, the same man, by the time the war was won and the peace was proving to be frustratingly out of reach, the new tune was “We can’t let these oil reserves fall into the hands of Al-Qaeda!”
So… yeah, it pretty much WAS, according to the guy who viciously attacked anyone ELSE who suggested it was. And, uh… IIRC, he was an oil man, right? Something to do with developing oil fields? Just sayin’.
So… consider all that for a moment. And let come back to the two people involved: Joe Wilson and Valrie Plaime. Why do Conservatives hate these people so much? Because they found out Bush was lying? OMFG! Really?! Of course… Bush gets a pass for the LIE and Wilson and Plaime are “traitors” because, this was such good foreign policy, right? I mean… it HAD to be! Because a Republican was driving it! And I’d love to take this insanity farther, but I really can’t. It’s just too absurd. What these people did, their great crime against humanity, was to FAIL TO FIND EVIDENCE THAT WASN’T FUCKING THERE.
And somehow… that makes THEM bad, rather than the guy who went to fucking WAR with a Sovereign Nation, based on the evidence that he insisted he had, but which no one could find. THAT GUY? That lying piece of shit? That war criminal? That mass fucking murderer? HE’S a fucking hero to these morons!
I’ve said it so many times, but THIS is why I’m liberal. It has nothing to do with any particular positions, but rather HOW THEY THINK. (Or THYNK, in the case of Conservatives.)
Liberals evaluate the evidence and then form a position based on it.
Conservatives form a position and then evaluate the evidence based on it.
Don’t get me wrong, I can understand why it bothers Conservatives that their leaders were exposed as liars, but… Fuck, you’d think they could muster at least SOME anger at those leaders for having LIED in the first place. Oh yeah, and then acted like petulant, spoiled children when someone revealed just ho full of shit they were. I’ll just never understand what anyone can see in a leader like that.
I’ll just never see it.
There is something else that this example reminds me of, and it really blows a gaping hole in the walls of the whole “both sides do it” argument. The idea that we all do the same thing, just with our own issues and people. It reminded me of a segment of the Rush Limbaugh program that I had heard many, many years ago, during the early days of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. (No, while I was more Conservative then, I was not a fan. My father however was and remains one to this day. I heard this segment while driving in the car with him.)
The Great Gastropod was calling, “hypocrisy” on the feminists, and the liberals, who were “throwing Paula Jones under the bus” simply because her story was going against Bill Clinton. (You know: Our ‘enlightened leader’ at the time.) The thing is? Did he play a single clip to back this up? (Are you kidding?) No, of course not. And I don’t know about YOU, but I don’t seem to remember a whole lot of liberals, or indeed ANY prominent Liberals or Feminists attacking Jones at the time. I guess not sharing his rabid, mouth-foaming irrational hatred of Bill Clinton was the same as “attacking Paula Jones” in his mynd, but in that Liberal paradise that the rest of us call REALITY, it simply ISN’T. What’s more, I don’t really think Bill Clinton was anyone’s great hero to begin with. Not LIBERALS anyway! Party DEMOCRATS maybe, but that’s not the same thing. And when you think about it, Obama pissed away his historic opportunity using pretty much the same tactics that Bill Clinton did: Move to the center, even the center-right and hope the hard-right plays fair. And the results were the same! Republicans took back the House within 2 years. They didn’t get the senate this time around, but when you look at the political landscape now, it hardly matters! So Clinton was not a ‘hero’ in the mold of a Roosevelt or a Kennedy (or in the mold of Reagan or Bush to the Right.) And Paula Jones was no villain. It’s a patently absurd suggestion! And REALLY neither was Linda Tripp.
Who were the villains, then?
The same people they always are: The Congressional Republicans who only seem to care about Sexual Harrassment, Adultery or Women’s Equality when it helps them impeach a Democrat that they can’t find any legitimate reason too. Jones was never the bad buy in our eyes. And while we made fun of her, and had little syp,mathy for the simultaneous fame, notoriety and isolation that she brought upon herself, neither was Tripp. And neither was Lewinsky, for that matter. The villain? They person we hated for all the bullshit that followed? Was NEWT GINGRICH and his Zombie-like cadre of Right Wing hooligans, who were ACTUALLY RESPONSIBLE for it.
But for the Right? Wilson and Plaime were the VILLIANS. They were the bad guys. NOT the guy that lied. Not their ‘hero.’ The Liberals of today will NEVER be like that. If someone came along with something LEGITIMATE that would take down the Obama white House? (And I don’t mean phony Kenyan Birth Certificates or a picture of him in a turban.) The fact is that the person we’d blame FIRST would Obama himself for doing [whatever it was that was WRONG.] Because the only REAL ‘party of personal responsibility’ in this country, is not even a party: It’s LIBERALS. The Republicans are the party of EVERYONE ELSE taking Responsible.
It makes me sick to hear these lying scumbags talk about “values,” it really does. OTOH, the entrepreneur in me is think of making up some bumper stickers. I figure the Liberals would display them proudly, as a bit of a wink and a nod to each other, but they might be even more popular with idiotic Republicans and Conservatives who lack enough of a sense of Irony to understand the joke.
It’s O.K. If You’re A Republican!
And the other:
Being Conservative Means Never Having to Admit You’re Wrong
What do you think? You think I could sell those? Would you guys buy either of them?
Oh yeah, as for the MOVIE…?
It was… OK. Worth seeing, like on Netflix, but really nothing special, story-wise. If there were any distortions or embellishments, I didn’t see any that the made the overall story particularly more interesting than what we already know about, and I didn’t feel that it really revealed or uncovered any territory that isn’t already common knowledge and taken for granted.
It did have several strong points however: Penn’s and Watts’ portrayals of Wilson and Plaime were both very strong performances, particularly Penn’s. (He’s come a long way from Spicolli! LOL) They captured the essences of these two human beings very well, and making them into people you could understand, relate to and sympathize with. The portrayals of Rove and Libby were also very well done, IMHO, and (what might the most amazing feat of all) these two were NOT made out to be scum-sucking demons or anything. Conniving, yes. Machiavellian, for sure. But this came through as little more than an overzealous dedication to the jobs they were doing, lacking only enough scruples to take on an “ends justifies the means” mentality about it. It really didn’t think the movie overtly vilified them. They really each played very minor roles in it, truth be told. Also, surprising, I didn’t find the film to really be overly political, considering the material being shown. Not in a truly PARTISAN / PARTY way anyway.
Really it was about the ideals and principles behind a Free Democracy. Not that it would surprise me that there might be a RW Conservative out there that would take issue with that, but they’d be rather stupid to do so (without irony.) Their objections sound more likes sour grapes to me: The just can’t stand that their guys SUCKED SO BAD, but they’re also so brainwashed that they’d rather be wrong than Liberal. And yes, it was ”biased,” (in much the same way that reality is,) but I defy anyone to show me how this was biased in any absurd or unfair ways. It was biased only from the fact that it was told from Wilson and Plaime’s POV. And really? I really didn’t think it made Wilson out to be any kind of Superhero. He was portrayed with a gruff, abrasive, outspoken personality, and was really a bit of a ball-buster than most people found hard to get along with. Plaime was portrayed as a very competent, professional and passionate Covert operative, who was very good at her job, and was the victim of something horrible being done to her. Is that biased? Perhaps. It is UNREALISTIC? Not based on anything I’ve read that wasn’t written by a RW stooge.
One other thing that was done very poorly – the sound mixing was AWFUL. I don;t usually notice thigns liek this, but in this movies, ti was TERRIBLE. There were many abrupt transitions between very quiet scenes where people were talking so low that you could barely hear them, and loud thunderous, explosive scenes that scared the crap out of you. (You know: because you had to turn it up so damned loud to hear what was going on in the previous scene!) So watch the volume control, or you’ll rupture an eardrum at some point!
Overall, I would recommend that anyone interested in the Wislon/Plaime story see it, because it’s certainly not a BAD movie. It’s just not a GREAT movie. It’s also more of a personal story and not really meant to be a documentary of what went down.