Sullivan here makes the argument that, bad as Glenn Beck is, it's a completely different species of bad from the insidious propaganda of Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. I can see the argument, only in that no one could ever mistake Beck for "reasonable," whereas, for instance, BO seems that way to many(in fact, particularly now compared TO Beck, even Jon Stewart--wrong more often than previously lately--thinks O'Reilly is the "adult" in the room there. Well yes, and Trinity was the adult in his household; your point?) and therefore communicates to far more people than Beck really can. Beck is a straight-up huckster and there's an upper limit to how many he can fool, but not so with Fox's approach otherwise. It's a bit like the difference between Newt Gingrich and, say, Fred Phelps. There are plenty of reasonable people who would give the vile, cynical manipulator Gingrich a hearing, and might think he had a point, while even if Fred Phelps got TV time he's only going to appeal to the most bigoted, most paranoid, most hateful parts of the population. Gingrich is more dangerous in the discourse, in a broader sense, because he might actually affect policy. But just the same, Phelps could get people killed. But there's still a ceiling to his influence, thankfully a very low one in his case.
But that's narrow Beltway thinking. Beck's still dangerous, just in a different way, in that he stirs up the violent crazies and does fool them, even if he could never fool anyone else.
I mean, apart from the fact that Dexter indirectly caused her, in his words in a eulogy(!), "brutal death" at the hands of John Lithgow's Trinity Killer(possibly one of Lithgow's more committed, and definitely most frightening, performances). Rita was annoying, to most fans of Dexter and to myself, though acted quite well. The problem was that she became fairly one-note once her criminal ex-husband was out of the picture. From that point onward she gives the appearance of one-note yammering about whatever self-help book or TV show she saw that day, all focused on becoming the most perfect suburban middle-class family, acting in every way as such people are supposed to do.
But if you shift perspective, there's an aspect to this that Dexter and, I think, even the writers may have missed. They never seemed that interested in Rita's inner life, though they're certainly interested in Deb's, and Rita's kiss with the neighbor was almost the only thing that she was given to do that, at least at that moment, didn't relate directly to Dexter's point of view. And Deb's inner life is, pretty much, her relationships with Dexter and the "wrong men" she keeps sleeping with, either twisted or doomed. Basically, they were given inner lives insofar as sex was related.
But here's what I think is missed about Rita, and that signifies lost opportunities with her. Why is Dexter, initially, with her? Because she's good cover for his activities. Then, slowly, he gets sucked more earnestly into domestic life. But one major theme with Dexter Morgan is his attempt to seem as normal as he can, and so he tries to learn what humans consider normal things to do so that he can act the part as well as he can, believing himself to lack humanity and empathy, and a grounding in thinking of any of this as a given the way "normal" people do. This, however, isn't so much meant toward getting a happier life as it is--at first--to facilitate his hobby of murder. It's only later--as he starts to learn he does have emotions and does feel empathy, and you'll notice fewer murders--that his domestic life becomes part of him.
The reason they connected, though neither ever realized it(she less than he, though) was that Rita was always doing the same thing as he, only for different reasons. For normal reasons: for the sake of her children, and to assure a happy life for herself as well, after a great deal of suffering and obvious shame(even when happy she always looked a second before or after tears) that drove her from being part of normal society, at least, certainly, in her own mind. So she tries to learn what a normal person does. She tries to improve herself, move into the middle class, live in a nice house in a nice place, be married, reset her life. And not completely comfortably for her; imitating something till she becomes it. The self-help, Oprah kinds of things she would say were annoying, but they still did not come from an unreasonable place: the desire to be as good as she could by society's standards. The desire to be accepted after her abusing, junkie husband drove her to rock bottom. The desire to be, at the least, thought a fit mother.
Rita was the version of what Dexter does that normal people pursue. You know, ones that aren't sociopathic killers.
It's Not Like Obama Had Reason To Think the GOP Would Be His Friends...
No, Rolling Stone interviewed him early in his presidency and he said he was fully aware their plan was to slow him down, stall him, block him. He knew full well.
He knew from the start they were going to block everything he did. A smart president, knowing that, would look at his solid majorities, write off the GOP, and move forward. But this appears not to be a smart president, because he kept trying to win them over; so focused was he on being the president of people who didn't vote for him too that he ended up being ONLY their president as far as his focus, but they didn't want him. He's George Costanza trying to win over that girlfriend of Jerry's that didn't like him. Obama: they were never going to like you, ever.
He was fully aware of this. He said so. And yet he gave them ground he never had to give them. And now he has none of his own. This is unforgivable political stupidity--especially from a Chicago politician. His opponents mention the city as a way of implying he's sleazy or corrupt. No, if this were a real Chicago politician, he would at least be effective. He would have bulldozed right past them. This man has no bone in his back.
And now all that time is wasted and gone. I don't care that it was lost to him. But it was lost, by him, to us. And he blames us? He actually can find the nerve for that, but not to even stop one single Republican senator from holding up all legislation from now till the election? Obama, they're fucking with you, and have been from the start, and I imagine they can't stop laughing at you and what an easy mark you turned out to be for the most unscrupulous political bullies in America.
We didn't fail Obama. He failed us. It's tragic. And we'll pay the price, not him.
Unless he continues to press overtly--one hopes it's not too late in the game--like this.
Fresh off yesterday's revelation of Biden's contempt for the base is this from Obama. What's next, White House? Will you call us a bunch of pussies? How much blame are you setting up your base to absorb for the losses you seem to want? Why do you think whipping up actual enthusiasm is beneath you?
You're mad as hell at the voters. If you keep it up, no worries: you won't have to take it anymore.
Blame us as much as you like. Me, I just wish there were a viable third party that actually stood a chance. I'd vote for them. We can do better than cowards and bastards who both despise their voters. As it is I must vote for the Democrats, because as disappointed as I am with the Democrats I don't think the solution is political suicide.
Unlike the Democrats.
Tell you what, Obama, Biden, and the rest: YOU stop whining about your base and do something positive to get them to the polls. These messages:
"Coulda been worse" "We tried but government is hard" "Who else you gonna vote for?"
...are going to get you destroyed. We're not one big abused wife. We're not doormats. Stop treating us as though we were.
Biden Turns On The Charm: "Stop Whining" His Only Answer to Democratic Base
So what is the Democratic way to shore up its base? Is it to give them anything, at all, they thought they were voting for? Is it to stand up, just once, to the Republicans? Is it to stop the war in Afghanistan? Or close Guantanamo? Or create a health care law with any teeth in it? To fight for the end of DADT or for middle class tax relief? Or create any jobs?
Biden attended a fundraiser for Rep. Paul Hodes, who is running for the Senate; Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, who is seeking re-election to a third term; and the state Democratic Party. He said Democrats can win both races if they draw clear distinctions between themselves and their Republican opponents, and he urged Democrats to "remind our base constituency to stop whining and get out there and look at the alternatives. This president has done an incredible job. He's kept his promises."
Translated: You're our bitch. Now keep sucking it.
The GOP couldn't be presenting a more monstrous alternative, and the Democrats couldn't be throwing this away more.
It's now obvious you guys haven't any more respect for your voters than the GOP. Maybe less. At least the GOP knows it needs them.
FUCK YOU, BIDEN. Does it occur to you many simply may not vote? I still will. Plenty of others aren't as stupid as I am, though.
This election. These Democrats. It's theirs to lose. Seriously, if the Democrats weren't scared of their own shadow, the GOP really couldn't be making this easier for them. Look at the monstrous GOP candidates.
Actually, you can't help it, because the Democrats themselves are barely making us aware who their own are, preferring in ads to weakly (if at all) attack the other side, but also merely increasing the opponents' name visibility at the expense of their own most of the time. Tell me who's running against Joe Miller or Christine O'Donnell without looking it up. But I'll bet you can name three more Republican candidates besides the two I just mentioned without a problem. Well, that is a problem, isn't it?
This week, the Democrats decided, as they did with DADT the week before, to give up without a fight on the issue of giving the middle class tax cuts. Because somehow they thought giving most voters tax cuts would hurt them in the election. They fear the ads. But they also forget that now the Republicans can run whatever speculative ads they wish on the issue and the Democrats can only counter that they gave up. Once the GOP takes power again they will immediately make the Bush upper-bracket tax cuts permanent, and the Democrats will have lost the chance forever. Why? They think they have a good thing going with all these crazy GOP candidates and why rock the boat? The Democrats think people are pleased with them and that they barely have to campaign. The Democrats, in short, are letting this happen, because fighting for anything seems beneath them. Perhaps too political? They're happy to leave the fighting to the Republicans. No one ever lost, they assume, by relying on the informed voter to take up the slack.
And now the final piss on our heads: the Republicans, who have obscured everything that was in the health reform act to the point that--well, I couldn't tell you what's in it exactly and be sure without a cheat sheet; will now take credit for all the stuff they made sure people didn't know about the act. Much of which took effect this week, not that you'd know, because the White House barely said anything about it, as though they're ashamed of having made it so kids can't be taken off the plan, or so pre-existing conditions can't prevent you from getting a policy. Because people would hate to know that.
And the Democrats, who failed to educate the public about the act or to take any credit for it in any visible way, will...lose. They will lose. They lost this week, possibly, with the tax cut vote, which proved that, even with a popular issue the other side might have caved on, they have no will to fight and don't even seem to take their precious majority--which will be in nicely unused mint condition when given to the GOP, who will then begin with wiping their asses with it--seriously.
I think we're done already, though everyone should vote just the same. I hope not, but I think we are.
One side are evil bastards, the other are weak, cowardly, and perhaps just stupid. I don't like where that leads us. I don't like that Obama has been so feckless that not only is he defaulting the country back to the people who wrecked it, but to the worst version of it in my lifetime. I imagine the Republicans themselves have trouble believing how easy he's making this for them.
And Democrats can attack me for saying all this, and blame people like me for undermining the president when the election is lost. But I still intend to vote. You enablers who only try to shut up your own side, it's your fault the Democratic Party's unwarranted, lazy overconfidence will lose the election, if it's anyone's on this side.
Oh Jesus. No change then. I can believe this, however.
Look, Obama, they're just not that into you.
Don't work with them. They will not return the gesture except with a single finger.
Work around and past them. Figure this out before it's too late. They only want to do two things with you: stall you till they take back the government, made easier by said stalling creating the perception(not entirely unjustified) that you haven't done anything; paralyze you into indecision, or worse, capitulation. Both have been accomplished.
They're about to make you the lamest of ducks. And I do not even want to think about a worse possibility: what the combination of a Republican speaker of the House(a position third in line to the presidency), and the violent feelings the GOP and the Teashirts have been stirring up against the president, could result in.
Sharron "Just Vote For Me You Assholes" Angle seems to not realize that when she says things, people remember them afterward. Or rather, she hates that they do, because she doesn't, perhaps. Every time anyone asks her a question about one of her bits of bluster, she must like this as much as a drunk being asked about all the crap they did Saturday night when they were blitzed.
Because can't you just picture it? She goes on and on with her shrill paranoia and then Reid asks her about something having to do with Nevada's real problems. She gets flustered and either freezes like Jan Brewer, or even better, throws a tantrum, screaming and stamping her feet, maybe even threatening Reid's life as she already has in a veiled way. All in front of everyone, on camera.
I really wish she hadn't backed out. I would pay to see the last thread of sanity or composure on which she still hangs snap--well, before she gets any position of power, anyway.
"Eternity in the company of Beelzebub, and all of his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me & this pencil." --E. Blackadder, 1789 Questionable
words & pictures from John Linton Roberson