No no, I don’t mean the United States of America. I mean the United States of Advertising (Bill Hicks).
As a card-carrying member of the Democratic Party I wanted to watch the first debate last night on CNN.
Now, I should point out, I don’t have television. I HAVE a television fer chrissakes, I am just one of those “cord cutters” you read about. So I watch everything through Apple TV and I couldn’t find it on any free service on Apple TV. Fine, it’ll be somewhere on the Internet. After about a ten minute search I eventually found it on cnn.com.
Unfortunately, it was a “preview of CNNGo” and kept kicking me out after a couple of minutes. I eventually discovered the link to stream it directly (which was as buried as Donald Trump’s empathy) and was able to tune in just as they went to a commercial break.
OK, two points here. One, if we are a Democracy (and a great deal of evidence points to the contrary…158 families funding almost half the money) I shouldn’t have to spend upwards of 20 minutes trying to find the damn thing. Of course, I could have planned a little better but I was deeply entrenched in a Michael Haneke marathon (guys a damn genius).
A presidential debate should be free and easily accessible EVERYWHERE to EVERYONE. Period. Zip it!
Second point, advertising has no place in debates. I UNDERSTAND viewership is very high, I get that. But f*ck all if interrupting a candidate or rushing a candidate to cut away to a beer commercial isn’t just offensive. You can sell lower thirds (those annoying banner ads at the bottom of the screen) and that is fine, but cutting away? Jay-suz. Have we no shame anymore? Does everything NEED to have a price tag attached to it? In the United States of Advertising, apparently it does.
I don’t think it will be long before we see a candidate explain their view on foreign policy and then look directly into the camera and say “And at the end of the day, I like to wash down my democracy with a tall cold Budweiser”.
In fact, I saw Bernie Sanders take a drink of water last night and caught myself looking to see the brand because the cynic in me thought he might be paid to do that (the thought lasted all of 10 seconds).
So what of the debate? Well:
Hillary Clinton – Jesus. She is the Keith Richards of Politics. Impossible to stop. Impervious to bullshit (unless its her own). Last night I found her solid, engaging, at times even (gasp) likable. No, I don’t agree with some of her views and think she is kinda full of shit BUT she is a brilliant politician married to the greatest politician in the past 50 years, hell, maybe ever. She knows her shit. Do NOT underestimate this woman. I would be more afraid of running into her in a dark alley than Donald Trump. Trump is a pussy doofus compared to Hillary. (PS. She’s right about shadow banking…it’s awful.)
Bernie Sanders – Look. I agree with everything this guy says and everything he stands for. I will vote for him any day of the week, even if he does remind me of an angry grandfather returning soup at a diner. He’s smart, he’s sharp, he is saying what needs to be said.
Oh, on that note, the hullabaloo about his comment about not wanting to talk about Hillary’s emails? Brilliant and CORRECT! Shame on Anderson Cooper for trying to squelch the fact that MOST (regardless of party) of America is frankly tired of it “It’s popular here in the room blah blah blah…” Shut up Anderson. Are we really that surprised Hillary did something selfish and stupid? Jesus, look at her husband. But illegal? No, I doubt it. The Clinton’s are masters of bending law to their benefit.
OK, back to Bernie. Frankly, no way in hell he wins the nomination. I may be wrong, but I believe his purpose is to push the agenda a little more left, make sure the party stays on point and to stoke people into making some changes. Winning the nomination? A long shot, at best. He’s great for the people (which I love) but bad for politics.
Martin O’Malley – Did some good things in Maryland but seems a little smarmy to me. Frankly, he smiles too damn much. People that smiley make me nervous cuz when they snap…it is UGLY.
Jim Webb – For a Marine, he is a big cry baby. Unless he has been stuck in a cave for the past five months he shoulda known this was the Hillary and Bernie show. He kept crying about not having enough time which really negated whatever message he wanted to deliver. Aside from his whining, I disagree with a lot he had to say but applaud him for sticking to his guns.
Lincoln Chaffee – So, he was the mayor or Warwick, Rhode Island. Let me reiterate that, Warwick, Rhode Island. A “city” that would make Mayberry seem like a thriving metropolis. After his fathers sudden death he was given his U.S. Senate seat by then Gov. Lincoln Almond (eventually getting elected). Chaffee has been a member of the Republican’s, he’s been an Independent and now he is a Democrat. Figure it out Lincoln. Rhode Island politics is not for the faint so he has some mettle, but seriously, this is Rhode Island. A zip code more than a state.
So who won? I dunno and frankly, I am not sure it matters unless Joe Biden steps into the race. Which I personally hope he doesn’t. It would upend the momentum Democrats have now and shatter any solidarity. It would also be a dick move and would do a great deal of damage. If we Democrats stick together the Republicans will inevitably implode. Just watch.
At the end of the day, provided Biden stays out, it is the Hillary and Bernie show. Unless Hillary makes a huge blunder, I can’t see the DNC going with any other candidate.
Remember, popularity doesn’t make the Democratic Party candidate. This is politics not a popularity contest; it isn’t always pretty and God knows it ain’t always fair.