A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Existence of Political Civility in Modern Civilization

The title of this blog says it all. No, it is not a thesis title conjured up by a poli-sci major at Harvard, but, as you might surmise, it will lead to an essay which could be one of the following:

a. Very short;

b. Highly fictional; or

c. An outrageous excuse to examine some of the latest shenanigans by our most cherished political targets, i.e., conservatives, and in so doing risk committing the same acts of incivility which we are decrying. Please note this essay is not guaranteed to be fair or balanced (after all, this is a left-leaning liberal blog), and I’ll give you a hint: Vegas is offering even money on answer “c”.

Let’s start with MICHELE BACHMANN. This past week, the former presidential candidate wannabe criticized President Obama’s energy policy proposal to regulate oil speculators as “waving a tar baby in the air and saying something else is the problem.” Yes, ladies and gentleman, she actually said this! She actually WENT THERE!

Of course, later in the week Bachmann was back pedaling like mad and denying that her use of a children’s storybook term which is recognized as a racial slur in reference to a chief executive who HAPPENS to be African-American was not intended to be racial. Of course, Michele, we believe you! These types of “oops” moments happen to white people all the time. No, let me amend that: this type of thing happens to INSENSITIVE white people all the time.

We also don’t believe the rumor (that I’m making up at this moment) that, while guarding Ms. Bachmann during her campaign, her Secret Service detail referred to her variously as “Tea Party Cracker” or even “Marcus’ Beard”. Oops! Now there’s an example of this incivility creeping into my carefully crafted piece of satirical art. Of course, I could just do a right click on my mouse, block out the offending phrase, then hit the delete key...but, on second thought, why would I want to do that?

Okay, moving on...and speaking of the SECRET SERVICE. My, these guys had a busy week! Not only did they get to do their day job of protecting the President, and interview an aging rocker (see TED NUGENT below), but also took time off for rest, relaxation and paid sexual intercourse. My goodness, they were busy, busy, busy!

Unfortunately, the rest and relaxation period has given birth to a scandal which many of the President’s critics are all too eager to lay at his feet as a personal failure of his leadership. Really? How is the fact that the Secret Service got into trouble with prostitutes in a foreign country his personal failure? May I remind the President’s critics that he’s been busy running a country, which includes, but is not limited to:

A. Promoting policies that will get Americans back to work and improve the country’s overall economy;

B. Creating and implementing strategies that will bring troops home from Afghanistan, while building a viable plan to deal with continued unrest in the middle east, and Iran’s and North Korea’s growing threat of nuclear weapons capabilities; and

C. As Michele Bachmann so eloquently put it, waving tar babies in the air!

Half-seriously, the Secret Service scandal casts a very poor light on the agency and Americans as a whole. Gentlemen, what were you thinking? I don’t have any qualms about consenting adults arranging a business transaction for intimate pleasure, but to do what you did is appalling! Honestly, having a service rendered to you, then trying to back out of paying the pre-arranged price just makes Americans look cheap!

Okay, so you took some well-deserved heat for your actions in Cartagena. At least you got to wave a tar baby (again paraphrasing Michele Bachmann’s assertion) and distract everyone’s attention away from your troubles when someone in this country made some questionable remarks about the President. So this weekend the Secret Service is probably breathing a collective sigh and thanking God for TED NUGENT.

Speaking of busy weeks in the uncivil political sphere, rock icon Nugent made a conservative base rousing speech at the NRA convention in St. Louis. Some of his remarks — specifically the ones about going to battle this November and chopping heads off liberals, and also predicting he would be dead or in jail if Obama is re-elected — also roused the attention of liberal critics, not to mention the White House. The remarks won Nugent an invitation for a personal interview with the Secret Service. Both sides have reported that the Wednesday meeting went well to everyone’s satisfaction. Later, the Secret Service stated that they would be taking no further action against Nugent for his remarks that were interpreted as threatening.

At the end of the week, Nugent pleaded guilty to an illegal animal kill incident which happened in 2009. The avid hunter/activist accepted responsibility for illegally hunting and transporting a tar baby, I mean black bear. Oops! That use of Michele Bachmann’s favorite caricature was a Freudian slip and not intended as an example of uncivil liberal blogger satire. Honest! (tee-hee!)

Totally serious now, the use of uncivil tones in political discourse does distract from the more important issues of job creation and improving the lives of Americans everywhere. So why do we as media consumers eat these stories up when they’re fed to us? Perhaps the drama inherent in all of this conflict provides some sort of relief from the daily ennui we all feel in our day-to-day struggle called modern civilization. Okay, so we should accept the distractions of these uncivil episodes, be amused and/or bemused by it, then move on to acknowledge that the real problems still exist and beg for a resolution.

Oh, and waving and/or shooting at tar babies does not count as a resolution...

(Thank you for reading.)


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