Monday, September 10, 2012

The Throwaway Election

Saturday night was what we Jews call Slichot…the start of the penitential High Holy Days. When I was kid, Slichot was this big mysterious thing late on the Saturday night before Rosh HaShanah. We were always told big kids babysat little kids so parents could go and besides, kids weren’t allowed in for Slichot. When pressed, my dad would say Slichot the season opener; you threw out the first sin.

My first Slichot service was in college and while it started at midnight, it was short, to the point, and intense. It was the season opener; most of the prayers were pretty familiar even wrapped in their haunting High Holy Days melodies. And you did get to throw out the first sin. The A’shamnu was recited, each sin punctuated with rap on the chest over the heart. The list is an acrostic in plurals; there's no I, there's only we. It’s for everyone said by everyone.

ASHAMNU: We have become desolate. BAGADNU: We have betrayed. GAZALNU: We have stolen. DEBARNU DOFI: We have been hypocritical. HEYVINU: We have made things crooked. VI'HIRSHANU: And we have made others wicked. ZADNU: We have sinned intentionally. CHAMASNU: We have been violent. TAFALNU SHEKER: We have become desensitized to dishonesty. YATZNU RA: We have given bad advice. KIZAVNU: We have not lived up to our promises. LATZNU: We have been contemptuous. MARADNU: We have rebelled. NI'ATZNU: We have enraged others. SARARNU: We have turned aside. AVINU: We fallen victim to our impulses.  PASHANU: We have broken standards of behavior that we know to be right. TZARARNU: We afflicted others.  KISHINU OREF: We have been stiff-necked. RISHANU: We have been wicked. SHICHATNU: We have been immoral. TA'INU: We have erred. TITANU: We have misled others.

Maybe Romney and Ryan should give Slichot a try. Maybe the whole Republican National Committee should give it a whirl. For a bunch o’guys who claim to be so wrapped up in living a Christ-like existence, you’d think they’d get the part about fact checkers.

But they don’t. So that makes me think the lying may be intentional. I have long suspected that Romney and his evil twin Ryan really are the Garbage Pail Kids. Romney is plastic. Nothing, not even the stench of old waffles and rancid syrup stick to him. Ryan, on the other hand, has credibility issues that are probably beyond repair. Why would the RNC put up two such unlikeable, unelectable candidates?

I have a theory: this is a throwaway election.

No one expected Sarah Palin’s Tea Party wackiness in 2008. They thought they’d have an attractive female candidate who’d smile and wave during the campaign. Instead they got Medusa in a hockey mom jersey and lipstick. She got the nutty contingent out in front and center. That banner was picked up in 2012 by Michele Stepford Bachmann and the Lunatic Brigade. By March, it was pretty clear that the nut faction was gain out in force and there was no sensible way to get them back under the 5000 year old rock from whence they had emerged. So the RNC came up with a scathingly brilliant idea: let the nut faction have its own way. Nominate the most seemingly normal of the bunch, then pair him up with someone so right of center that he could become the punch line instead of the candidate who’s about as funny as a screen door on a submarine. Hence, Mittens and his partner, Fibber McRyan. 

Folks, these are not serious candidates. The RNC knows it will not win against President Obama even with a soft economy. They had no viable candidate and they weren’t about to sacrifice a potential real one. So, they opted for the ToonTown RR Clowns.

This serves two purposes: it gets rid of Romney and Ryan permanently. Romney will go back to Bain and Pinocchio will be relegated to the scrap pile. The RNC can then turn to the right wing loony division saying, “See! You cannot win an election for us." That, in turn sets the stage for a more moderate candidate in 2016 when there's no incumbent. Enter the third leg of the Bush dynasty: Li'l Jeb.

Yep. I said it. They’re gonna run Jeb in 2016. Chris Christie, if he’s hasn’t keeled over from a coronary, will put up a good fight, but he doesn’t have the yicchus Jeb has. They gonna lead with their royalty and hope that eight years will be long enough for people to forget what a total disaster W had been.

The WP predicts it’s gonna be a two yicchus race….Jeb Bush up against Andy Cuomo. There. I’ve said it in print, so it’s kinda set in inter-stone.

If I had my druthers, I’d pull the covers over my head and hibernate until November 7th. The next 58 days are not going to be pretty nor, for that matter, laden with actual facts. It’s going to be a spin fest …a whirligig of lies, damned lies, and statistics from both sides. The entire country is so sick of the ads already that it wouldn’t surprise me if the guy with the fewest ads wins.

And the really sad part? The biggest loser in this race is Us, The People.

Wifely Person's Tip O'the Week
Rosh HaShannah, Sukkkot, and Shmini Atzeret 
all begin on Sunday nights at sundown this year....
so look for the blog on Sunday afternoons.....mertz ha'Shem!


  1. Oh dear. Quite the vitriolic screed this week TWP? I think that the fact-checkers were probably too busy in Charlotte, investigating the claims of 4.5m jobs that had apparently evaporated into the ether, to worry whether Paul Ryan had run a 4 minute mile 20 years ago!

    1. @Albion: Hey, dude. Here's a thought: If the fact checkers at FOX NEWS are saying that Ryan has been less than accurate with his facts, it may be an indication that SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY WRONG with the candidate. And this blog may be vitriolic, but it ain't half as bad as the shit the RNC cranks out against the current guy in office. You want vitriol? Watch Glenn Beck. Have a nice day.

    2. I do watch and listen to Beck, and you must not know the meaning of "vitriol" if you think he spews it. He doesn't do ad hominem attacks, either, in fact saying that Obama is a nice guy, but that he disagrees with his policies fervently. Many teenagers and children are like liberals; tell them 'no' and it's all "You hate me!" Give me a break.

    3. You are either being dishonest or do not really watch Glenn Beck.

  2. "Chris Christie, if he’s hasn’t keeled over from a coronary..." Sounds like you wouldn't mind. Your analysis of the debate last night which you posted on NYTimes website was also interesting. A bully? To most liberals, someone who is assertive and confident always appears as a bully (Christ Christie, Paul Ryan, George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump, etc.). To confident people, liberals just seem like milktoasts, ready to roll over at the first chance (Neville Chamberlain, Jimmy Carter, etc.). I guess it's a different perspective, and I'd rather have an assertive, confident man who wants to fight for the job than someone who just assumes he should have it and acts like a debate (and democracy which it represents) are beneath his time to prepare for. I like a man who looks me in the eye when he disagrees with me (as Romney did to Obama last night), than a man who takes cheap shots in ads but won't say it to my face. To me, liberals are so often cowardly. Like Ann Coulter or not, she's not a coward; she'll go on any show and debate any liberal. Michelle Malkin is like that. God bless conservative, strong women! The warrior/judge Deborah from Judges comes to mind. I guess she was a bully, too, though, right?

    1. The snarky tone in your comment tells me that you know these things to be true - bullies in the ranks, and don't quite feel okay about it. I agree that liberals too often can't find their feet in a fight - it is a weakness that pains me deeply, as it seems to me that the liberal view of human nature and society are still worth fighting for.

      It could be that liberals know they have walked away from their harder to achieve ideals, and I agree that they should be held to account for that. Perhaps they got too comfortable in their affluent well educated enclaves, and stopped fighting for their true constituencies - working people, minorities, the underprivileged and most vulnerable among us - and started paying too much attention to building their campaign war-chests, and calculating their political survival.

      But liberalism is still worth fighting for. It still offers a vision of a fairer and more humane society than does the capitalism "red in tooth and claw" on offer from the hard right. And there really is nothing other than the hard right these days - all the moderates have decamped to fairer climes, either voluntarily or bfotp (by force of tea party.)

    2. I should add that FDR was perhaps the greatest liberal in US political history; and my friend he was no milquetoast. He prosecuted the war in the European and Pacific theaters with overwhelming force, shrewdness, and determination, and was beloved of the nation for his courage, fairness, patriotism, and ferocity.

      As an added aside, Coulter is not courageous - she is a self-aggrandizing performance artist whose perverse nature requires that she take the single most offensive position possible, and defend it with theatrical intensity. She is not interested in actual political positions - she is interested in attention, and will never have enough of it.