Oct 8th, 2008

To Say You Are My Friend

Thoughts on last night’s “debate”, if by debate, you mean competing talking points and stump speeches.

According to the LA Times, McCain used the phrase “my friend(s)” 24 times in 90 minutes. If you allow for the questions and Tom Brokaw reminding them of the agreed upon time limits, that would be maybe 35 minutes of talking time for each candidate, which means that John McCain referred to me as his friend on average of once every 85 seconds. It got on my nerves. There is no way in hell that he and I could ever be friends in real life.

Another annoying verbal tic on his part is that simpering, self-deprecating snigger (heh, heh, heh) whenever he says something that he thinks is clever. It reminded me of nothing more than Mickey Mouse, who does the same thing. In the same octave and register. Make of it what you will. At one point I turned to my husband and said, I would never let that man near a grade-school playground. He is very creepy. The RLA said that he thought McCain would scare the children. I was thinking something a little more sinister.

My man Barack Obama has his own little verbal ideosyncracy, which is no less annoying: He begins his statements with “Look.” And I understand, I do, I sympathize with someone who had to be the smartest guy in the room last night, trying to make a point to those who would not see…or hear. “Look, it’s really simple” is what I’m sure he wanted to say.

The faces on the crowd members ranged from “I’m smelling something nasty” to “you gotta be fuckin’ kidding me with this shit, right?” And yet, there was that control group, sitting there talking to the talking heads and professing that they still couldn’t decide who to vote for. Like there’s a choice? It’s the economy, stupid. And the economy is in the giant, reeking crapper. And that propped up rotting corpse with the FemBot Veep in the wings, waiting to bring on the End of Days has been in the catbird seat for thirty years. Keating Five. The Great Recession of the late 80s-early 90s that resulted from the deregulation of the S&Ls. Sort of the dry run for the Even Greater Depression that we are careening into today, as a result of deregulating the traditional banking industry.

I’ll tell you something else. I don’t give a flying rat’s patootie if drilling off the coast of Florida would solve all of America’s energy problems tomorrow and for the next 100 years. It would fuck up the environment irrevocably long before that. I don’t want drilling in the Gulf or the Atlantic or in the Florida Straights. Period. Stick a few hundred wind mills out there, instead. Figure out hydro solutions with the tides. Put solar panels on the roof of the new Marlins Stadium. But no drilling off-shore.

I loved the question from someone on-line who said what would you ask the American people to do, to sacrifice to help the various challenges the nation faces? Obama almost came close to having concrete answers to that. Finally, what ever happened to real debate? You know, pro/con? Lincoln vs Douglas style oration and on-your-feet thinking? I’d pay to see that, but I fear that I’ll never see that kind of political exchange in my life-time.