Monday, April 21, 2008

Are we done with the primaries yet?

I love my RSS reader - I can't always read everything that comes across, but I generally skim everything to see if there is anything that catches my interested. I have separate sections for blogs of friends, fun stuff, geeky stuff, LGBT related blogs, lifestyle-specific blogs, news, politics, science, tech stuff, miscellaneous editorial commentary, blogs by writers/about writing, and a category for totally random stuff (like the archive). I typically read 2 specific left-wing blogs for my daily dose of political commentary; AMERICAblog and Crooks & Liars.

I said "typically." For the last month or so, I've been largely skipping all posts from AMERICAblog on my RSS reader, and sticking entirely to C&L. Why? Because in recent weeks, AMERICAblog has become all about the Hillary Clinton hounding. I get that they love Obama, that's cool. He's a great candidate, and I will happily vote for him in the general election if he gets the dem nomination. I don't necessarily think he's better suited to the job of president than Hillary is, but they are so close on issues that I have no problem with pledging my vote to either one. I get that they are endorsing Obama, that's cool too. They are certainly entitled to endorse whomever they wish for the nomination.

That said, why do the authors of a left wing blog feel the need to get so hyped up, practically to the point of frothing at the mouth about Hillary, another left wing candidate? Has she, or people near her, said or done things that weren't completely politically correct? Yep. Has Obama or people near him said or done things that weren't completely politically correct? Yep again. It just seems to me that this is another tiresome instance of focusing on everything but the issues - you know, the things that matter. But then again, I suppose that when the candidates are so close on the issues, there isn't anything left to focus on but the extraneous bits.

Seriously, aren't there better things to report about than the left wing candidates' associates' brothers' dog pissing on the shoe of the other candidate? The dem primary is one small part of the larger political scene, and there are so many other things going on, politically, that should be talked about. I am normally very invested and interested in primary politics, and follow it eagerly up to the end - but now? I am just so sick of hearing about how the candidates are at each others' throats, I just want this season of politics to be over. It's not the candidates and what they are saying or doing that prompts that feeling for me, however - it's the "vast circle jerk of pomposity" that just won't stop.

For the reference made in the last paragraph, and some wise, strong words from Bill Maher on this subject, see this clip of 'new rules' from C&L.

When the primary season is over, and I can be reasonably sure I won't have 10 posts a day hounding after Hillary, or something one of her associates said or did, I'll resume regular reading of AMERICAblog - but until then, I'll be skimming post titles and clicking the handy "Mark all as read" button.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

International politics are so much fun to watch

I woke up today thinking that politicians in other countries are so much more interesting than the ones we grow here.

President Sarkozy of France, for example, is on his third marriage. He won this last election while married to his 2nd wife, but they divorced in November (or thereabouts). In less than 5 months, he courted & married Italian supermodel Carla Bruni - a very unpopular move on his part, according to opinion polls of the French people. What politician would be willing to get a high profile divorce while in office here, let alone rapidly remarry someone from another country while still in office?

Then there is Silvio Berlusconi, candidate for Prime Minister in Italy. He is seeking a 3rd term in office, after leaving office in 2006. The man is 71, has a permanent tan, and has had cosmetic surgery around his mouth and eyes. He is Italy's richest man, and has been on trial at least 6 different times for corruption, though never convicted. In reference to himself, Berlusconi has said that he is "The best political leader in Europe and the world."

Last year, after openly flirting with some women at an awards dinner (saying such things as "If I weren't married, I'd marry you right away" and "With you I'd go anywhere"), his wife Veronica - Berlusconi's 2nd marriage - demanded a public apology. He is nothing if not silver-tongued, however. His public apology included such statements as "Forgive me, I beg you. And take this public show of my private pride giving in to your fury as an act of love. One of many." and "I guard your dignity, like a treasure within my heart, even when careless comments slip off my tongue." The latest from Berlusconi is his assertion that the left wing in Italy has "no taste in women" and that the right wing women are much more beautiful.

Now, I wouldn't really want to have to deal with either of these gentleman on a regular basis, but I cannot deny that they are much more interesting to read about than our politicians.