Maudlin Mawkishness in the Age of the Gush

~~By Kenosha Marge

Supposedly we are now in the “Age of Obama”. I find it more the “Age of the Gush”. To me it seems an era of adults slobbering all over their keyboards or a microphone in spasms of adolescent lovesickness that should be embarrassing for anyone over the ago of 12.

These over-aged adolescents more than likely don’t realize how silly they look and sound because there are so many other fools acting the same way. It’s always easier to make an ass of yourself if others are doing it too. Misery isn’t the only one that loves company. Thus we are presented with group foolishness and many find that acceptable. It is a large and loud choral group of nitwitted nincompoops twittering their lovesickness for the entire world to see.

Will Obama be one of the few great presidents we have had? According to many of the mawkish minions worshipping at the Obamessiah’s feet, he all ready is. Who knew winning an election, a nasty contentious election filled with race baiting and misogyny was a sign of greatness? Coulda fooled me. It certainly exposes the thought processes, or lack thereof, of a lot of folks if that’s what they find heroic.

I have always found it amazing when people hero-worship any one let alone a politician. There are a few, very few, politicians here and there for whom I can find some small measure of respect. You probably have a few of your own. There are even those that I find worthy of genuine admiration at times for some specific reason.

Russ Feingold and his lonely stand against the Patriot Act is one instance. That was an act of courage and integrity I cannot remember ever seeing in another politician. Others may remember others acts of which I am unaware or have simply forgotten. I do know at the time I was very proud to have voted for a person of character.

On other issues, Feingold being a politician, he disappoints from time to time. Thus I don’t hero-worship, gush or in other ways act like an adolescent about the Senator from my home state. Letting him know when I think he’s right and letting him know when I don’t seems like an adult way to act and react. Maybe I just lack the gush gene.

Respect and even admiration is fine with me although all too often neither is earned. If certain politicians vote the correct way that most benefits our country they aren’t heroes, they’re just doing their damn job. And damn seldom do most of them do that.

This tendency of supposed adults to go all maudlin and gushy over some politician makes me nauseous. Perhaps it was just the way I was raised. We respected and admired certain people, even some politicians. We saved the worshipping for church on Sunday. I was raised to never trust a used car salesman or a politician.

I also turned to the media for news. Just that. I wasn’t looking to be entertained nor was I interested in some reporter’s opinion. What I expected then and still would like now is news. All I want is the facts. Give me them damn old boring facts and I’ll make up my own mind about how I feel and what I think. Don’t expect me to hero worship some media type for simply doing their job. These over-paid people so seldom do their job that when they do we all go into spasms of joy. How dumb is that?

Media types like politicians aren’t heroes/heroines when they do their job. They shouldn’t be lauded for doing what they are supposed to do but should get a good swift kick in the ass when they don’t. For what they are paid the very least we should get is competent reporting.

One politician once said: “The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal – that you can gather votes like box tops – is… the ultimate indignity to the democratic process. “

That politician was Adlai Stevenson at the Democratic National Convention on, August 18 1956. That was 53 years ago. Even then candidates were being put forth as “merchandise” and some people didn’t think it was a good idea. Wonder what ‘Ol Adlai would have thought of a PR Pres complete with acolytes fainting at his feet.

In this tech age where we are advertised “at” every waking minute many of our fellow citizens have allowed their cognitive abilities to deteriorate and just float along on a sea of admiration for people because they are told it’s the thing to do. God forbid that some over aged adolescent isn’t in with the cool crowd.

The adolescent raptures of people old enough to know better is a sign of our times. Not a pretty or encouraging sign. These people are old enough to know better. The cognitive discourse of the emerging generation is frightening. With some electronic gizmo residing in every available orifice, tats and piercings dominating their torsos and more misinformation stuffed inside their heads than would seem possible, they are the hope of the future.

Even the most rabid of gushers may find it hard to be hopeful about that. Even the dimmest of wits who finds their hero/heroine in the political arena may someday have a very small light go off in the back of their empty little heads and wonder why they were so exited about so and so. What had so and so done? What were their accomplishments? Why are they being touted as great?

Greatness may well be, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. In which case a lot of eye tests need to be scheduled. Educating about the difference between cool and great might help, too.

And for heaven’s sake stop with the mawkish, maudlin, histrionic, theatrical, schmaltzy, gushy crap! Grow up America even if you are afraid to grow old.

Part 1–Independent Thinking: PARTISAN NO MORE

Editor’s Note: Originally planned as a double post on the subject of “independent thinking” in the wake of the Democratic Party’s recent actions, we’ve decided to post each piece individually since each has it’s own distincet tone and content. Part 2 will appear on Friday…

Partisan No More

~~By kenosha Marge

When you discard something that has been a part of your identity for all of your adult life it’s frightening. It’s a lonely feeling when you abandon your tribe. It was home. It was comfort.

That was what it meant to me to leave the Democratic Party. It was not a decision I made lightly. It was a long lonely process that ended on May 31st 2008. That was the day that the Democratic Party, the DNC and the RBC decided that democracy didn’t matter anymore. That was the day I became an Independent.

Clicking around the Internet I find many people like me. Many of us now feel free to pick and choose when casting our votes. We do not feel bound by partisanship or loyalty to a party. I also see people who are just waiting for the party to come to its senses so that they can rush back home. I will not do that.

I found out a fundamental thing about myself this election cycle. For years I cringed as fellow liberals called conservatives horrid names and impugned their intellect. I cringed because I had family and friends who were good, decent people and, horror of horrors, Republicans. My maternal Grandparents, who were two of the best people I have ever known, were Republicans. Evil Ratfuckers? That I did nothing but cringe is shameful.

Taking a step back and looking around I began to wonder how many of my other preconceived notions were wrong. This election cycle has challenged the core beliefs for many of us. We look around without the bias of our partisanship and we don’t like what we see. We have had the nastiness and name-calling turned on us by fellow Democrats/Liberals and we are outraged.

Partisanship forces people to hang onto the most outrageous nonsense in an effort to avoid admitting they’re wrong. Some will refuse to see what is indisputable simply because they don’t want to see. What’s the old proverb; “None so blind as those that will not see”? I used to think that only meant Republicans.

We on the left like to pretend it’s only those stupid Conservatives who just won’t wake up and smell the coffee. They have a chance to be right, as in correct, if only they thought like us.

Partisanship allows people to do and say things they would find detestable if done by others.

Senator John W. Warner of Virginia was a man I respected even though I often disagreed with him. I thought him a good, decent man. So I ask myself how could this good, decent man go along with the Bush Administration so over and over again? Did he become evil over night? I don’t think so. I think that he simply put his party before everything else. In doing so he allowed his partisanship to compromise his integrity.

I believe most politicians put their party and their own re-election chances before their country and their integrity. Therefore they don’t actually represent the people who elected them.

I confess that I used to believe, and believe profoundly that all Democrats were better than all Republicans. I still believe that one of my Senators, Russ Feingold, is better than most Republicans. I’m also convinced he’s better than the majority of Democrats. Any time I become upset when he doesn’t vote exactly as I want him to vote, I remember the vote on the repulsive Patriot Act. The vote was 98 to 1. Clinton voted for it. McCain voted for it. Biden voted for it. The one man, with the integrity to stand alone for what he knew was right was Russ Feingold. (Landrieu (D-LA) did not vote.)

Just FYI, when reauthorization came up on March 2, 2006 the vote was 89 to 10 with Daniel Inouye not voting. Voting for? Most of the same cast of characters voted aye with the addition of the Junior Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. Clinton, McCain, Biden all voted for the reauthorization. Daniel Akaka, Jeff Bingaman, Robert Byrd, Tom Harkin, Patrick Leahy, Carl Levin, Patty Murray and Ron Wyden had the integrity to join Russ Feingold. As I am a supporter of the 30% solution it’s nice to see at least one female Senator with the integrity to vote against this atrocity.

My other Wisconsin Senator is Herb Kohl. How could he be better than a Republican when he basically is a Republican? I really dislike DINOs, RINOs, and Blue Dog Democrats more than any other political critters. No one should vote for people that lack the courage to state who and what they are when running for office.

Another example of someone unafraid to be who and what he is, is Senator Bernie Sanders. He calls himself a Democratic Socialist and is classified as an Independent. Listen to what Bernie Sanders says sometimes and you’ll discover a man of integrity and decency. Men like Sanders and Feingold are few and far between. They do offer hope that people of integrity can be elected, just not many or often.

Partisan Republicans will vote for Republican Crooks over good decent Democrats; indeed they will deny that such a creature exists. Partisan Democrats will vote for Democratic Crooks over good decent Republicans and insist from their partisan viewpoint that there are no good Republicans. Partisan voters insist there is no good to be found in the other party.

And elected officials will follow the party line, with a few exceptions, whether the party line is good for the country or not. Our country is going to hell in a partisan handbasket.