Arts & Culture

The Ira Glass Infatuation Post/This American Life Roundup: This Party Sucks

Thank you, gods of teabaggers and democrats for giving us Glassesque coverage of the mess that is midterm elections. As refreshing as the coverage is, the topic is so much dirtier than anything this guy has had in his mouth. Ira announces the theme this week: people looking at their own political parties and declaring, “this party sucks.” Read More

By / November 3, 2010
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A show of soundbites.
Thank you, gods of teabaggers and democrats for giving us Glassesque coverage of the mess that is midterm elections. As refreshing as the coverage is, the topic is so much dirtier than anything this guy has had in his mouth. Ira announces the theme this week: people looking at their own political parties and declaring, “this party sucks.”

Act 1: El douchebag, how are you Don?

Logrolling and teabagging: these are a few of my favorite things, says the self-loathing Republican. Contenders bust eachothers’ balls in the Michigander Teaparty rivalry. Ben Calhoun eloquently, and bravely, reports from within the turmoil in Petoskey, located on the middle finger of Michigan. Rich Carlson and Glenn “Mountain Dew” Wilson duke it out as the party crumbles all around them. It’s the Armageddon of Palinites, with Joe the Plumber as their messiah. Oy.

I’m still gagging on the pubes of the ballsy baggers as I try to figure out what these “core values and principles” that they speak of are. Even with the sexiest man in the room’s sound reporting, the wavering backbone by way of TAL soundbites will give you whiplash:

“small government…free markets…natural rights (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as long as you focus on the family)…narrow interpretation of the constitution”

“his theory is glenn wilson is being bribed with stimulus money to spoil the race and rich got duped.”

“Even though I’d like to be a libertarian, I’d also like to have an influence…I don’t know anything better I can do than vote republican”

“but i still believe he should stay in the race just to rub it in the Republicans’ faces”

Calhoun observed, “Again and again the room felt like a bunch of independent minded idealists coming up against the hard political reality that  The Republican Party, the one so many or them resent, is their only real viable way to be relevant.” And as a rep announced to the Michiganders, “Don’t sit there and poke each other in the eye,” how could they help it with a name like “teabaggers?”

Act 2 You’re losing the war of soundbites

What to do about all that “lameassery” Ira speaks of chez bluestates? His guest, Jack Pitt, who spends his time yelling profanities at other strategists observed the “Savvy communicators” that were the democrats at Obamelection time and their “verbal jiujitsu gone to the wayside.” His apt observations of democratic pipedreams of bypartisan harmony point out the lack of “talking points memos” that Republicans pass around–basically the propaganda of the day post passed around the party like a cheap trick. And like a cheap trick, it does the job.

“If your enemies insist that you are a Bolshevik and no one responds with a coherent counter-message,” says Hitt, “then people who think you are a Bolshevik will get elected to congress in disturbing numbers, which is about to happen.”

So what’s to fear? Appearing antibusiness, antimuslim, anticlass, antianti. ATfter someback and forth between Hitt and Dem insider Paul Begala about where all the cajones have gone (this is definitely the ballsiest podcast/ election to date), comes the gem of the entire podcast: a sociological comparison of what it is that keeps Republicans riding the dirty memo wave and leaves Dems a castrated mess:

“It’s the nature of their culture….in the main, people who tend to be very corporate, very hierarchical, very obedient tend to be conservative. We don’t just sit waiting for orders on the left.” I need a cigarette. That was good.

We like to think for ourselves, says the dem. Unlike the Teabaggers, Hitt and Bagala stick to their points. This is not a discussion about flipflopping; it is a discussion about actively promoting one’s position and not passively pouting as shit happens. This ain’t Chicago.

“The real enemy is not the republican party but their own imagination.” Jack Hitt, that call for creative thinking and a murdering of passive tendencies is a noble one. Please return to our public airwaves.