Can be found here.
This is the least intellectual thing you will read this week and I am sorry. Personally, this has been an amazingly rough week for me. But then we have the news. Anthony Weiner. Ariel Castro. Beyonce’s new haircut! It’s been chaos. Chaos! So I went back to where the internet made sense: cute videos of cats doin’ stuff. And you need to watch this. Really, you do.
Check this out.
I am a Democrat (not a DINO, I have been working for Democratic campaigns since I was eight) but I honestly like the idea of having two rational parties. It behooves us all because we have real issues to tackle; the fiscal cliff, an increasingly unstable world, the Mets.
We need our leaders from both parties to start acting like adults and start working with each other. We all need to stop demogoguing people who have different views from us.
In that spirit, I have some suggestions for the Republican Party:
1. Stop proclaiming that compromise is horrible; it’s what made our country possible. And special note to people like Congressman Ron Paul, we cannot fix problems of the past but we can try to deal with what’s going on now (he said recently that we have “already gone over the cliff” and warned against compromise). Note to Speaker John Boehner: Thank you for showing some willingness to work with the White House. I think you are reasonable but you cannot expect to please every member of your caucus if you want to get enough Democrats on board.)
2. Vet your candidates better! Seriously, listen to Stephen Colbert — anytime any of them want to talk about rape (unless it’s about stopping it) they should follow the advice and stab themselves in the eye with a pencil. I say this not just because I know women can get pregnant from rape or that I don’t think a baby conceived this way is a “gift from God.” It’s because these comments shift the focus from things that matter to things that don’t.
3. Vet your surrogates better! The ridiculous caricature that is Donald Trump has no place in the public discourse. And concocting conspiracy theories to demonize the president makes reasonable people think you are anything but and then even if you have cogent points on other issues; we don’t notice because we’re too astounded by your claims that President Obama is a Kenyan born, Marxist, wanna-be-Hitler whose presidency has ushered in the end of days from the bible.
4. Remember that our Constitution was written to protect our rights from the government, not restrict them. When you continue to oppose same sex marriage and try to demonize the LGBT community you show just how on the wrong side of history you are on. A friend of mine calls this the civil rights issue of our time. It is. I cannot wait until everyone has the same rights and we can stop talking about this and get back to dealing with real issues.
5. Try to remember, this is 2012, not 1955.
The part of me that writes satire and comedy loved the circus that was Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann et al (if Jon Huntsman had been nominated, and he was more conservative that the rest of them, you would have had a better chance) but the part of me that cares about the country was deeply saddened by the missed opportunity to get people thinking about real solutions to our problems.
I don’t think the Democrats are blameless. I hate negative political ads and our side ran a ton. They make everyone jaded about a process that should excite and inspire people. Politics is also supposed to be “the art of the possible.”
Lest you think I only think Republicans field bad candidates remember, I refer you to– John Edwards, Elliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner. Neither side is perfect but that doesn’t mean they are evil either.
If this Congressman Anthony Weiner situation had happened at a different time, I would have felt differently. (I should point out before I continue that I have been pretty merciless in my criticism of John Edwards, someone I supported and worked for and when I started doing stand-up used to say “Every time I think this story cannot get any douchier, it does.” That joke is as true today as it was two years ago when I wrote it). The calls from the right for Weiner to resign and the “outrage” they have been falling over themselves to express sickens me.
You see, I have a few other scandals kicking around in my head making me put this in perspective. There is neither rhyme nor reason to the order I am using.
America’s Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani. The cheating really isn’t what bothers me. He and his then-wife – Donna Hanover – were having very public problems. This is none of my business. Not until this happened; Ms. Hanover was doing an interview where she told of how they were “trying to work things out.” As she says this, the channel goes to a split screen with the mayor giving a press conference that he was in the process of serving her with divorce papers. Yes, that’s how she learned she was getting a divorce. Ouch. Where is he now? Considering a second run for president. Oh, he was a crappy mayor, too.
The GOP “ideas” guy, Newt Gingrich. Three marriages and countless pieces of Tiffany’s jewelry later, everyone’s favorite “intellectual” and serial adulterer, divorced one of his wives while she was recovering in the hospital from cancer. Doonesbury ran a cartoon of this at the time with Newt telling her to “Press hard, woman, you’re making three copies!” Where’s this family values former Speaker? Again, running for president.
The Governator. Known for decades as groping women on film sets and press junkets around the globe, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “recent” antics should shock no one (not the LA Times who reported on this when he ran for governor). Think it gets worse than fathering a child with your maid, who continues to work for you and bring her son who looks just like you to the house you share with your wife and children? Oh, it does. Reports have indicated when confronted with his – is it indiscretion at this point? – situation he told Maria Shriver that she had to move out. Oh, and the premise of his new animated series (from the press release issued the week this story broke) is that a governor is living a dual life – as governor during the day and super hero at night – he even keeps a separate and secrete home under the home he shares with his wife and family that he doesn’t even tell them about. And where is he? Right, starring in a new Terminator movie. He said he would be back…
David “Acorn shouldn’t get funding because they support prostitution and only I am allowed to do that” Vitter. In 2007, the world learned that Senator David Vitter was a client of the “DC Madam.” He had been a “client” from 1999-2001(he was in the House of Representatives where he was serving in the seat vacated when Bob Livingston – at the time Speaker – resigned following his own adultery scandal, for which Vitter praised him saying “This is what Bill Clinton should have done.” If that doesn’t make your head spin, what does?). The main difference between Vitter’s support of prostitution and Acorn’s is the latter was investigated and found to be false while the only standing between Vitter and a criminal prosecution for his crimes is the statute of limitations. Where is he? The US Senate.
Henry Hyde – my personal favorite. This is an oldie but goodie. Congressman Henry Hyde – one of the chief prosecutors of the Clinton impeachment – admitted he cheated on his wife but explained it as being a “youthful indiscretion.” He was 51 when that happened. I have tons of time to do dumb stuff and claim it was all because of my youth. The former Congressman has passed – at 83 after retiring with a full pension and some pretty sweet health insurance.
What people do in their private lives – no matter how public they have made their lives – is private. None of what I wrote about is any of my business. I was never going to vote for any of them (except John Edwards). When Eric Cantor – Minority Whip and lead “you need to resign, Weiner!” point person – was asked about Vitter, John Ensign (affair with employee that was covered up with payments to his best friend and her husband) and Mark Sanford (flew to Argentina with state funds to have an affair) he said “We are a party of ideas, not personalities” – it makes my skin crawl.
So, no, I don’t think Anthony Weiner should resign.