Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Channeling His Inner Bittinger

Buffalo, New York has unleashed an egotistical, ignorant boor on the rest of the world before, which means that this man's act is not only frightening but plagiarism. Well, not plagiarism exactly I must confess, but at the very least it is not very original. You see the last time Buffalo allowed to spring forth from its loins a being as toxic and virulent as the GOP candidate in New York for Governor, we only had to tolerate his behavior for 22 minutes a week. And soon after he arrived, he was gone. Wanna bet that twenty-five years from now, no one misses Carl nearly as much as some still miss Bill? It was a rhetorical wager folks. I would actually feel badly taking your money - even those of you I hardly know.

I suppose that reasonable minds (or the feckless idiots who dominate political talk in this country these days from Beck to Matthews, from O'Reilly to Olbermann) can disagree all day over who is responsible for the phenomenon of anger politics that is much the rage (pun intended) throughout the country. Frankly I care not who is to blame. Actually, I suspect that blame is a commodity present in such copious quantities that we have enough to share equally among those of all shapes, sizes and political affiliations. And perhaps we should. You stand and scream at one another and talk over one another long enough and you begin to manufacture an environment in which the lowest common denominator candidate emerges.

When the LCD candidate manifests himself or herself in fairly benign form (think object of ridicule as opposed to object of fear), then we the people tend to ride it out, have a chuckle or two at the poor dupe's expense and hope for better during the next election cycle. However, when the LCD candidate converts Howard Beale's rant into his or her stump speech, then crickets replace laughter as the soundtrack of the national discourse.

At some level, it is the people who run the Republican Party in the State of New York who we can blame for putting Darth Carl on the top of their ticket. They are after all the same gang who decided to give Rick Lazio the party line and to do all they could to squelch any "legitimate" opposition to Lazio for the party's nomination. After all, Lazio had done so much to earn his favored candidate status as the party's gubernatorial nominee. He wore his empty suit with such panache one supposes.

Long before he became part of what is arguably the most famously screwed up newspaper headline in the history of American politics, Thomas Dewey was the Governor of New York. Like Darth Carl and Young Rick, Dewey was a Republican. He served three terms as Governor of New York, retiring at the expiration of his third term in 1955.

Is it just me or does it seem as if - in New York anyway - 1955 was a hell of a lot longer ago than fifty-five years? The New York GOP has come a long way since then. The direction it is heading? Methinks that is not a newspaper headline that any Republican wants to read either.

Time to sign the petition to get Buffalo Bill back on the air. The rest of the Empire State is finally ready for him.


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