Tag Archive: Stupid Politicians


Five years ago I moved to Washington DC with the intention of finding a job on the hill. I took a job in the private sector to pay my bills but always assumed that before long I would make it back to the hallowed halls of the Capitol. Now despite my love of government and an education in congressional politics I would be hard pressed to think of a place that seems less appealing than the hill.

When I was an intern in 2005 I saw some ugly political battles, and some even uglier attitudes and posturing be hind the scenes. Still I retained faith that “my party” would get their act together. 7 years and two changes of House leadership has proven me wrong. Not only has the party that I once identified with been imploding but the other party shows little hope of being any better.

I have been sitting back and watching the fiscal cliff battle over the holidays, and I have never been more deeply disgusted with politicians. Anyone who has a passing familiarity with the basic concept of having to do your own budget (a basic life skill) knows that when addressing a budget issue you must consider both revenue and spending. This problem is so big it can not be chipped away at from only one side of that coin.

I hate paying taxes and I tend to like my schools, roads, hospitals, and social services to be well funded, but the simple fact of the matter is that we are spending too much and we are running on borrowed time. At this rate it will not be long before our country’s proverbial credit card gets cut in half.

Leaders in both parties are acting like spoiled stubborn children, unwilling to admit past mistakes or to compromise on future actions and it really is simply disgraceful. It’s been years since Congress has passed a real budget (despite being constitutionally mandated to do so annually) and even longer since that budget has been even remotely balanced and that should outrage the American people.

We need our president to be a real leader and we need the party in charge of the House of Reps to get its act together. Our politicians need to stop worrying about keeping the fringe minority sects from their parties happy and start dealing with the reality that we are in trouble and only hard and likely unpopular decisions are going to fix that.

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Debates Take 2

Last night I watched about 15 minutes of the Presidential debates before I wisely walked away before I could start hating both candidates to the point of total voter apathy. In those 15 minutes (somewhere in the middle when they were talking about immigration) I observed a few things.
* Obama literally got 2x as long to answer the same question without being interrupted. (I’m told Romney was allowed to go over earlier but I didn’t see it) What is the point of a moderator if they aren’t going to moderate?

*Both candidates making stupid smug faces while the other is talking and attempting to interrupt the other.

*Both candidates and the moderator all talking at once, over each other, all seeming like spoiled children screaming for attention.

*Both candidates pointing out technicalities rather than facing the actual questions or issues.

 

From the very little I saw, I got a better impression of Romney, but that is probably because Obama blatantly disregarding the time limit went against all things that speech forensics in high school taught me. To me both of them seemed to be acting rather childish and the moderator seemed to have lost ALL control of the situation. This is pretty much exactly why I refuse to actually sit and watch these debates in full. I would rather actually figure out the grand picture of what a candidate wants to do rather than the “safe” talking points and petty accusations that seem to be the only purpose of these debates anymore.

 

 

In closing I will leave you with a Facebook post that a friend posted about the current state of the debates. I couldn’t agree with his idea more:

I would like to propose a new style of presidential debate- one where the candidates describe their policy positions in-depth, contrast them with their opponent’s policies, and avoid ad-hominem attacks and pandering to the base. We will call it The Smart People’s Debate and it can be broadcast via NPR so the idiots can’t find it. When obfuscation and avoidance become the political norm we must ask ourselves: who do our politicians really work for? Who are they hiding their opinions and ideas from and why?

 

So despite the fact that I competed in speech and debate all through school and that I have a degree in Political Science  I can not stand the presidential debates. I’ve never been able to watch them without getting frustrated at both candidates. The posturing, refusal to ACTUALLY answer questions or debate real points, and general mockery of an actual debate setting is usually too much for me to handle. Therefore I spent last night playing video games with my boyfriend.

This morning when I woke up I was extremely shocked to see that the same media that had been saying a “victory” for Romney would be just holding his own, were actually now saying that he had won handily. The cynical part of me wonders if Obama was throwing the debate, since everyone says he was far from the charismatic likeable candidate he generally portrays himself as,  so he can play the comeback kid. That same cynical nature also wonders if the media needs this race to be closer so they can increase readership/viewership. Still in any case it seems like this race got a lot more interesting after last night, it’s almost enough to make me want to watch the recording. Almost, but not quite; instead I’ll settle for my twitter feed from my newly minted twitter account, and share the ones that made me giggle this morning.

HuffPost Hill@HuffPostHill

Don’t worry, Jim Lehrer, it gets better. #stopbullying

David Krumholtz@DaveKrumholtz Jim Lehrer’s pre-existing condition is death. We are watching the ghost of Jim Lehrer moderate this debate. He just floated through a wall.

David Krumholtz@DaveKrumholtz It would be awesome if Obama’s face morphed into Honey Boo Boo’s face right now, wouldn’t it??

David Krumholtz@DaveKrumholtz

Guaranteed paid for phony fest begins now!!! Phony 1 wears a blue tie, Phony 2 wears red. Predictable answers, rebuttals, no Rachel Maddow.

jimmy fallon@jimmyfallon

Obama: Blue Tie, Romney: Red Tie = Brian Williams: Purple Tie. #primarycolors

Bill Maher@billmaher

Obama made a lot of great points tonight. Unfortunately, most of them were for Romney

Wil Wheaton@wilw

So, in retrospect, I think the real loser of tonight’s debate was anyone expecting some of those promised zingers.

Wil Wheaton@wilw

Network note for Obama: We know you’re the leader of the free world and this other guy is a clown, but you’ve got to dial back the disgust.

Wil Wheaton@wilw

Okay, so I think this show needs a whacky neighbor to really spice things up. Maybe a talking baby, or a dog. OMG MAKE THIS FAMILY GUY!

Wil Wheaton’s Cat@WilWheatons_Cat

So I’m not political because I’m a cat…but in my opinion, the dude in the blue tie is taller.

TheBloggess@TheBloggess

Back the fuck up. If Mittens is elected he’s going to cancel Downton Abbey? I think I just got involved in politics.

Big Bird@BlGBlRD

Yo Mitt Romney, Sesame Street is brought to you today by the letters F & U! #debates #SupportBigBird

Will McAvoy@WillMcAvoyACN

If you had “not answering the fucking question” in the debate drinking game, please get yourself to a hospital.

Conan O’Brien@ConanOBrien

Just noticed that Jim Lehrer has no whites in his eyes. #Discuss

The Irrisponsible Politician

Politicians say some really stupid things sometimes, and this comes to no shock to anyone who happens to pay even the slightest attention to the news. Recently though even those of us rather inured to stupid off the cuff comments from politicians were shocked to hear a national politician speak with astounding ignorance about a very sensitive subject in a heated campaign year.

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” – Rep Todd Akin

First off I don’t even for a second want to debate the term “legitimate rape” as there is no such thing. Rape in any circumstance is wrong and that is one of the very few things I will never consider an argument against. The real anger I had against this statement however was the sentiment behind the concept not the incredibly insensitive and stupid phrasing.

The idea that a pregnancy could be prevented if it were violent enough or distressing enough to cause “shock” is an outdated, medically unproven and an incredibly dangerous thought. Many women who are abused are already afraid to come forward, or already feel as if it was their fault somehow. The idea that a woman who happened to get pregnant from rape, deserved such because her rape was not “real” because it didn’t cause enough “shock” is simply horrific. The thought that this comment might cause a woman to possibly not come forward about her rape because silence is better than facing someone saying she is not a real “victim” is tragic to me. Even if the vast majority of people have condemned these comments the fact that the sentiment is out there, and held by someone in power is very disheartening.

All of this attention to the issue of rape and abortion can not be seen as totally unfortunate however. I feel that these issues are incredibly important in today’s society. Political discourse on the issues of victims rights as well as the legality of abortion should not be prevented, but they should be respectful, and aware of the rights feelings and ramifications of those positions to victims of sexual assault.

This brings me back to the politician himself who was not knowledgeable nor respectful to victims of such horrible crimes. While I know that no one is perfect, I do believe that politicians have a moral obligation to use the voice and attention that they get in conjunction with their jobs responsibly. If they do not do so, as in this case, I think that it is a failure on their part to do their job and they should face consequences. I may not believe that one off the cuff remark taken out of context (which while not the case for this example is often the source of similar stupid politician moments) should always spell out disaster for someones career, they should expect to face some pretty serious negative repercussions when a comment is offensive, poorly researched, or outright offensive. I think it is the voters job to make sure those consequences are carried out and that we don’t vote for candidates like this who use an incorrect opinion to justify policy making.

Side note: The following are comments that I found interesting; one is a piece about a victim of rape, and the other is an opinion piece that while doesn’t conform to all of my political stances on the issue reflects the anger and dismay I felt when reading about this issue over the past week. Please note that there is also some really great pro-life commentary going on out there that isn’t offensive toward victims of rape and is attempting to clarify what many non-insane pro-life people believe and those are well worth reading as well.

Rape Fatigue and You: When there is just no anger left

Raped, Pregnant and ordeal not over