Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Dropping the Ball

Like any sane American, I'm looking to Nov. 7 as a watershed event in American history: the day when the most corrupt, lawless administration that has ever occupied the seats of power gets shown the door. Make no mistake: anything less than a clear mandate from the American people that they have Had Enough will be taken by BushCo as a mandate for their agenda. We need to win, and we need to win big.

As Robert Parry notes, the Party Without a Spine seems to be laying back and letting the action come to them. I have The Fear that this is a terrible mistake.

How many times, lo these last years, have the Republicans lobbed up a softball, perfect for smacking out the park, only to see the Dems refuse to take a swing. Here are a few:

- most recently, the Military Commissions Act, a particularly ugly and un-American piece of legislation that jeopardizes habeas rights for all Americans;

- electronic voting with no paper trail: seriously, is there anyone who thinks this is a grand idea? Sure, lobbyists for Diebold are giddy, but that's gotta be a small and lonely crowd;

- a couple of weeks back, Bush said that he would stay the course in Iraq if "only my wife and my dog agreed with me." Wha....? Huh? Surely I heard that wrong.

And I could go on in listing the insults and outrages, large and small, that have been heaped on our heads by BushCo. I'm pissed, and so are you. Whatcha got, Dems? Something like a cross between Keith Olbermann and Hunter S. Thompson would work for me.

***** crickets ****** the wind whistles across the prairie ******

Yeah, that's what I thought. The polls, strongly in your favor at this point, tell you that it's time to play it safe, to keep your mouth shut. Let me clue you in, boys and girls: the Had Enough segment of the country is not looking for NotBush, for Republican Lite, for mealy-mouthed wafflers and triangulators. They, we, I, we're looking for vision, for someone to level with us no matter how hard the truth is. We want to hear about a whole new path.

Sadly, we've heard none of this; not even close, and hence The Fear. Because, at the end of the day, there is this: Republicans stand for something, no matter how wrongheaded it may be. What does Joe Biden stand for? Or, for all his oratorial skills, Barack Obama? For Gawd's sake, say something; take a stand. Out here in the real world, us grownups do it all the time. You might be surprised at the result.


Sarah Lena said...

"Hell, I've never voted for anything. I always vote against." - WC Fields

enjoitherhythm said...

I'm glad you said something about ole' Hunter. He's been on my mind lately. I had a funny vision of a cackling skeleton wearing bermuda shorts, tube socks, and low top converse chasing Denny Hastert around like a scandal grim reaper. hehe. I wish he was still around, right now espcially.

Las Torrejas said...

These days, if you are depressed about politics and the status of our country, all you have to do is logon to your computer and stream some radio. Though talk radio was once full of nothing but hate mongering right wingers like Limbaugh, Ollie North, and O'Rielly, like Bush's falling polling numbers, the times they are indeed a-changing. Today, progressive talk radio is a-streaming on the web.

This is important to me as my family and I are currently ex-pats, living in Costa Rica, cut off from traditional news and entertainment sources. I had no idea so much was out there.

Take the MIC, 92.1, out of Madison, WI. It carries a lot of the stars of Air America Radio, Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, Sam Seder, Mike Malloy, and Laura Flanders, but it also has several locally produced programs including The Pro Show, an excellent morning show.

Then there is Radiopower.org, a listener supported station that features liberal talk and is now broadcasting the Head On Radio Network. This is a good place to go and get an idea of what is out there, and to find personalities you might want to hear more of.

Whiterosesociety.org is an archive of millions of hours of progressive talk radio stars, current and former, and it also streams several programs. Some of the voices there include Peter Werbe from Detroit, Liz Brown, an African American woman from St. Louis, Mike Malloy from North Georgia, and Bob Kincaid's Head On Radio from West Virginia. These are all progressive, left leaning, but independent thinkers from radically different parts of the country. They are definitely not of one mind. But they illustrate that the progressive radio audience is growing nationwide.

Then there are pirate stations like Free Radio Santa Cruz which broadcasts political music, alternative music, international music, adult comedy, with a good mix of national, international, and regional politics, audio montages, and even mainstream programs like Democracy Now.

Our one addiction is three hours of Stephanie Miller, five days a week. Like they say, you have to laugh out loud or you'll just cry. Her show has three main segments. Right Wing World takes on all the right wing talk media stars and uses their own words to humiliate them by playing recorded sound bites. Stand Up News, does the same with politicians but also highlights positive events and personalities (Rep. Conyers and Sen. Barbara Boxeer are the show's patron saints). Tinsel Talk explores the absurdities of Hollywood stars, but will praise them if they deserve it. Stephanie is accompanied by an amazing and funny impersonator, Jim Ward, who can do almost anyone's voice from William F Buckley to Kim Jong Il to Arnold Schwarzenegger to Britt Hume to Bush. He also does the best Rumsfield you will ever hear.

Progressive radio; it's good for you! Log on, tune in, and let it rip. It will educate you, it will keep you informed, motivated, and entertained, and it will leave you ROTFLYAO (rolling on the floor and laughing your ass off). And if you tire of bashing Bush and the neocons, you can always tune to publicradiofan.com, which provides up to the minute schedules and links to English language programs ranging from the BBC World News, Alternative Radio, and Democracy Now, to Whaddya Know, This American Life, and programs you have never heard of, from stations around the US and the rest of the world.

If you are down about the world situation, give these voices a listen, whether you are at work in your cubicle, or at home as you putter about. You won't regret it. It will help keep you sane through these troubled times. It is much, much, better, than what ever is on TV.