Sunday, September 19, 2010

It Pays to Police Your Word Power

Words are amazing things, aren’t they? They’re our basic means of communication. They can make or break us, whether they’re true or not. The common law in the political real, since Nixon burst on the national scene in post-World War II Washington, has been simply if you repeat something enough times, even if it’s a blatant lie, people will come to believe it. White Houses are won and lost on lies – “nothing to fear but fear itself” … ” no whitewash at the White House” … ” Read my lips, no more taxes” … ” I did not have sexual relations with that woman” …

Words lost a political career and reputation last week for a man who was arguably one of the last of the dying breed of moderate Republican, something which is increasingly becoming extinct, as the Republican Party bends over to accommodate the extremist Teabaggers. Mike Castle’s last-gasp bid for the US Senate was eviscerated by the angel-faced, little-girl voiced fundamentalist Christian, Christine O’Donnell, who flutters feminine lashes and believeably plays the victim card, but who wasn’t above promulgating a lie regarding the sexual preferences and voting practices of a man who’d served the state of Delaware for more than 40 years.

However, it seems the worm might have turned on Christine, and – in turning – might have turned on the turner too, if you get my drift.
Bill Maher returned from a three-month hiatus on Friday night and spent far too much time talking about O’Donnell and her nomination triumph – and in a way he shouldn’t have done.

Narcissist that he is, Bill wasted no time in pointing out that it was he, who had introduced Christine O’Donnell to America back in the Nineties on his Politically Incorrect show. In fact, O’Donnell, a virulent Christian and celibacy advocate, had appeared on his program 22 times, one of the more frequent and regular guests. Apart from examining her recent Senate nomination campaign, Maher constantly referred to what a nice person she was, what a good friend she was and then appealed directly to her to appear as a guest on a future edition of Real Time. Not only did he appeal to her, he literally blackmailed her, with an embarrassing clip from PI from 1999, wherein O’Donnell confessed to having practiced witchcraft … and something else:-

Within 24 hours of that clip being broadcast, O’Donnell had summarily cancelled her scheduled Sunday appearances on CBS’s Face the Nation, as well as on Chris Wallace’s Fox News program. On the face of a silly clip from 11 years ago, she’d decided to forego interviews as the highest profiled Teabagger winner of the moment, a chance to be on national television for some pretty softball questions. But listen to what she says in the clip. That O’Donnell is reasonably intelligent is in no doubt. Unlike Palin, her would-be mentor, she’s able to communicate in whole sentences which contain a subject and a predicate which agree grammatically, something which Jan Brewer can’t manage. That O’Donnell’s brain is one step behind her mouth is also obvious.

In the clip, O’Donnell enthuses about not only having dabbled in witchcraft, but also having dated a witch. Got that? She dated a witch. A witch.

The couple went to a movie and then repaired to a Satanic altar for a midnight picnic and a bit of something else. O’Donnell and a witch. A witch.

Nothing unusual about that. College kids do some silly things on dates. I often went haunted house hunting with a particular beau, who was interested in the occult; and whilst he certainly wasn’t a witch, I can’t say that he didn’t fancy himself a warlock – because a male witch is a warlock.

Now, maybe O’Donnell didn’t know that, but if you’ve ever had anything to do with the occult or witchcraft in general, or even if you’ve only ever watched Sabrina the Teenaged Witch, you certainly know the difference between a witch and a warlock.

So … maybe O’Donnell’s mouth got ahead of herself and only now, eleven years later after being apprised of the clip’s existence and of Bill’s showing it, she realised what she said: that the anti-gay, ueber-Christian O’Donnell had actually admitted to going on a date with a woman, of attending a film and then sloping off to a remote spot where there was a Satanic altar, for a picnic and a bit of whatever followed.

Even more ironic was the inadvertant slip of the tongue Benefactor Bill made in the course of the program, himself, when he accidentally opened a closet door of a different type. Here’s the clip. Pay close attention to two parts, one which occurs at the 5;30 mark, which is another quasi-racist swipe at Obama as a “half-assed President” and the most important one at the 9:59 mark. Listen to the latter one carefully.

The discussion which begins about five-and-a-half minutes into the clip is about Obama’s performance and achievements as President thus far. Bill Maher, herd follower of the social-climbing neocon shepherdess, Arianna Huffington, is under express instructions not to give the President any credit for any achievement whatsoever. In point of fact, between Huffington and Maher, they’ve managed to inculcate their following, consisting of youngish voters, frustrated at being denied the fruits of immediate gratification upon which they’ve been raised, and the general lower gene pool hoi-polloi which is equally dispersed between the Left and Right fringes, into believing that Obama bailed the banks out first (when actually TARP was Bush’s puppy) and that Obama doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the middle class. In fact, Bill’s spiritual mommy, Arianna, has arranged to have her unpaid interns research and write a whole book for her to hawk about the United States in an effort, immediately before the mid-Terms, to persuade the people that – hey – Obama’s not really that into you.

At the 5:30 point in the clip, Bill pushes out his opinion that Obama’s been a half-assed President, and – mindful of the particularly rancid racism he directed towards the President earlier in the year, cloaked as bad humour, he takes a swipe from the other side now, reckoning that Obama’s been such a half-assed President, because he’s half-white, that the white man in Obama had been holding him back. If Obama had been all black (and, according to Bill’s earlier definition of that, a ghetto guy from the ‘hood, complete with a gun he’d not hesitate to use, an “undercover brother” being his latest jargon to use in describing our President), he’d have been a better leader. Notice the audience’s non-reaction to that less-than-astute assessment, which was a pretty puerile observation, to say the least.

But the remark made almost ten minutes into the clip needs attention. This is when Bill is discussing with Republican strategist, Mark McKinnon, the fact that Republicans are threatening to repeal healthcare if they gain control of the House. He wonders why they never attempted to repeal the Civil Rights Amendment, or why they didn’t attempt to do so with Medicare. And then he reveals himself: “Why can’t we just say, ‘You won,’ and move on?”


The inclusive first person plural.

Bill included himself in the Republican tent.

The Bill Maher,who formerly was at pains to reiterate to all and sundry that he was an independent, that he was not a Democrat and certainly wasn’t a Republican, would have asked the rhetorical question thus:

“Why can’t THEY just say, ‘You won?’”

One small word can change the complexion of a statement. A virulently anti-gay politician admits she went on a date, followed by a kiss and a cuddle in a secluded place with someone who may or may not have been the same sex as she. A quasi-respected political pundit-cum-satirist/bad comedian, lets his mouth run ahead of his brain and includes himself in the GOP’s ever-diminishing tent.

I don’t have any problem believing either slip-up was an inadvertant admission of something that is true. O’Donnell’s campaign was filled with rumour and innuendo directed at her opponent Mike Castle’s private life. It’s a common domain of the closeted gay to utter anti-gay rhetoric or even to support anti-gay legislative measures. Just think of Ken Mehlman and Larry Craig.

And as for Bill, his voting record speaks for itself: Reagan in 1984, Dole in 1996, supporting Schwartzenegger after Mommy Huffington dropped out, voting for McCain in the California primary in 2000 … Independent, he may be, but leaning more to the Right than the Left he professes to follow and endeavours to lead. It’s interesting to note that Bill, like most of his ilk in that part of punditry, is in a win-win situation, politically. If the Democrats win big this November and in 2012, he can go on presenting himself as the bastion of Left-leaning free thought; if the Right win and the GOP are returned to power, he has a plethora of new material with which to convince his dittoes that he’s speaking even more truth and words of wisdom … plus he gets to keep his Bush tax cuts and continue to exchange tweets with Karl Rove.

Bill twitters wittery with Rove, whilst Huffington tree-hugs Newt Gingrich on vacation, and their Progressive disciples look the other way, whilst a woman Bill foisted on America wraps herself in a flag with a cross in hopes of inflicting her party’s agenda on the American people as the true way of the Constitution.

Reality has, indeed, become an illusion.

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