Politics Tuesday – Tin Soldiers

Time for some more political talk while I’m finishing up my year-end lists.

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First, in an interesting development, the second person pronoun is Time’s Person of the Year. I don’t know about that. You is good, but I’ve always been more partial to We.

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2008 Watch: Bayh is out, Warner may not be, Edwards (who rubs me the wrong way for some reason) is in, and so is Richardson (who I like a lot, actually). As for the un-entered frontrunners, a Newsweek poll has Clinton beating all GOP challengers, and Obama is a superstar.

Just to give you an idea about how deep the love is running these days, here’s a quote from John Dickerson’s Slate piece on Obama’s trip to New Hampshire: “Brenda Bladen was trying to explain why she liked Barack Obama so much—he was authentic, selfless, and inspirational. He was restoring her faith in politics. ‘I’m not comparing him to Jesus Christ but … ‘ she said, before talking about the senator’s humble beginnings.”

Yeesh. Not a bad person to almost be compared to.

When You Were Young – The Killers

(Get it? He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus…)

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Speaking of Obama and John Dickerson, here’s a plug for my favorite podcast: Slate’s Political Gabfest (RSSiTunes) with John Dickerson, Emily Bazelon, and David Plotz. It’s usually very informative and invariably entertaining. The highlight this week was Bazelon discussing Obama’s appearance finishing her thoughts with: “and then he has this amazing glinting smile…and you just want to eat him for breakfast.” The thing is, I totally understand.

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Now that he’s had time to study the Iraq Study Group report, Bush will soon be announcing his new plan to…send more troops. Remember that “thumping” Bush took in the midterms? Apparently he doesn’t.

And where are these extra troops going to come from, exactly? According to Colin Powell: “There are really no additional troops. All we would be doing is keeping some of the troops who were there there longer and escalating or accelerating the arrival of other troops.” The military is already close to the breaking point, but Bush and the neocons won’t be the ones who suffer, it’ll be the tin soldiers on the ground who are asked to die some more for their political ambitions.

Tin Soldiers – Mighty Mighty Bosstones

The original by Stiff Little Fingers is good, but the Bosstones’ cover pummels the senses like almost nothing I’ve ever heard.

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Drastically switching musical gears, but continuing on the subject of the war, here’s the Simon and Garfunkel take on Silent Night, appropriate given the season, I think. I never fail to get chills from this song, most often as the volume rises and the newscaster gets to “…chanting anti-war slogans.”

7 O’Clock News/Silent Night – Simon and Garfunkel

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Speaking of Vietnam, the neocons are hyping the new counter-insurgency plan by likening it to our efforts in the Vietnam War:

“The Keane-Kagan plan is not revolutionary. Rather, it is an application of a counterinsurgency approach that has proved to be effective elsewhere, notably in Vietnam. There, Gen. Creighton Abrams cleared out the Viet Cong so successfully that the South Vietnamese government took control of the country.”

I don’t even know where to begin. In what crazy alternate universe did the US military “clear out” the Viet Cong? Is it the same one where Richard Nixon is a beloved American hero and I’m dating Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (who is no longer fictional nor a lesbian)?

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And, because I worry sometimes that I spend too much time complaining about the state of politics in the US, here’s one reminder that things could be a lot worse:

“Lawmakers in Nigeria are debating a bill that would ban same-sex marriage and any form of association among gays, even sharing a meal at a restaurant.”

It’s an annoying country sometimes, but there sure are a lot of reasons to be glad I live here.

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Finally, from the Right Wing Watch, on the list of things too funny to invent: Soy Makes You Gay. Now, I’m strongly pro-soy and pro-gay, but I never really thought that eating one would make me the other. Shows how much I know…

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