Thursday, July 20, 2006

To Care About Politics, or Not to Care

I had a dispiriting conversation with a friend from work yesterday. We're journalists, mind you, and we know more than your average Joe about what's going on in this town. We talk to "officials" and "sources" and "spokespeople," and we follow how things get done and what the powerful do with their power. And this guy is no slouch upstairs -- never mind military environmental policy, the stuff he writes about is obscure. And he does very well. So he should know when he's being sold a snow job.

And yet, he came out with the old "both the Democrats and Republicans do it" line that drives me crazy like nothing else. I just do not understand where this comes from. This guy has made no secret of the fact that he doesn't like living here, and he's said it's about the phoniness of the people and the dispiriting abuses of authority. That's fine. I haven't lived here as long as he has, and I'm sure he's seen his share of phonies. But he uses this, in his mind, to tell himself that all politics, all politicians and all political arguments are essentially the same species of bullshit. He believes the Democrats lie as often and as badly as the Republicans. I got him to say a Democrat probably wouldn't be tapping peoples' phones, but that was it. And that's sad. I think my subsequent rant made some headway with him -- I never stammered and everything I said made sense -- but what I really, really needed just then was to show him this video of Bush. Because it says it all. He scripted an interview with some soldiers and then pretended it was a spontaneous, warmly humorous episode that displayed his common touch. Not only was the administration outed as having written the entire thing ahead of time, Bush comes off looking like a complete idiot, like he's struggling to remember a few simple lines.

Show me a serious Democrat -- a presidential contender -- who could have foisted this performance on the public, and I'll show you a Manchurian Candidate.


Anonymous mikeswanson said...

I agree with the sentiment that both halves of the duocracy are corrupt--the approval for the Iraq war is the only proof you need. Aside from that if you still don't get it, I'll point you towards the still sitting president and the fact that he is this despite lying to the Senate during a state of the union address. The Democrats don't even have the political will to enforce the law. You're probably frustrated because you don't see an alternative, but there is-- an end to national power-politics and probably the growth economy as well with

12:09 AM  

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