Thursday, July 01, 2010

From Sparrow: A Buffet of Buffoonery (Thoughts on the WA 2006 Primary Voters' Booklet)

Have you ever come across something so heartbreakingly sincere, utterly preposterous, and frankly scary that you only wish your powers to magnify the absurdity were equal to the material at hand? How I wish there were a P.J. O'Rourke or Isabel Paterson or Stephen Cox to convey to you the pain-filled pleasure of perusing the Official Local Voters' Pamphlet for the Washington State primary elections coming up on September 19! Unfortunately, an examination of this parade of parlous pandering political parasites is left to me. Jason keeps looking at the options in brief segments, so as not to burn out his eyes with their unholy glare, and puts down the pamphlet each time with a sigh, a swear and a muttered, "I hate politicians."

But how can you hate Michael Goodspaceguy Nelson (the middle name is not in quotations, by the way)? He is a Democrat running for United States Senator. Most of his platform is about colonizing outer space. He calls our planet, "Spaceship Earth," for crying out loud. He has a blog (of course he does!) at Colonize Orbital Space. Space colonization is not his only issue though, he is also very concerned with ending unemployment. He writes: "Let us use our unemployed people! Unemployment is a huge waste! Our government should back its minimum wage by employing those who apply (including people with problems)." One presumes that "people with problems" should also, in his studied opinion, be employed in the most august branches of Federal government, like the Senate. But, you'll be begging for the wisdom and temperance of Mr. Goodspaceguy should your November election choice become this next candidate.

Mike the Mover (I'm not making this name up) has the wild, glinty-eyed stare of one of those people who would not have been picked up while hitchhiking even in the carefree, pre-serial killer-hype of the early 1960's. But, inside the mind of this apparently axe-wielding mountain man lives the soul of a poet. The first paragraph of his profile statement is in rhyme (or, perhaps, in rap):

Listen to the thunder, hear the Governor roar;
Mike the Mover's loose again, and knocking at the door!
Load up the cannon, call out the law,
'Cause it's the biggest calamity folks have ever saw.
Girls run and hide, brave men shiver,
Every time they think they hear the name of Mike the Mover.
Courtesy of Disney Productions 1958.

The libertarian inside of me appreciates his irreverence toward running for political office, but the concerned citizen next to her worries that maybe he's in earnest. Mike the Mover (MTM) then goes on to list his election year beefs. He wants Saddam Hussein put back in power. He cites an 1859 altercation between Great Britain and the U.S. over the killing of a pig on the San Juan Islands that nearly resulted in war (according to him), and he links that somehow to untreated waste water allegedly poured into the Straits of Juan de Fuca by Victoria, Canada. He then challenges Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska to a boxing match in Key Arena. He ends with what could be a poignant plea for a missing child to contact his campaigning headquarters, or simply a weird non-sequitur.

Actually, Mike the Mover doesn't seem too bad. It's interesting to see someone sniping at Canada from the left side of the political spectrum. Our neighbors to the north are often mocked -- and often unjustly -- in U.S. libertarian and conservative circles for what is seen sometimes as their smug, tidy, whitebread socialism. But it's kind of refreshing to see them taken to task for environmental reasons -- whether legitimately or not. I'm not sure about putting Saddam back in power -- seems like a slap in the face to our fighting men and women -- but, I never thought he should have been removed from power in the first place (at least, not removed by us -- had the Iraqis removed him, then bless their freedom-loving, tyrant-disposing hearts). And, I would LOVE to see political differences settled once in a while by "three rounds of fisticuffs." Political rhetoric is a dead art -- no one seems to be able to talk in a meaningful and persuasive manner anymore -- so why not go mano a mano?

Mike the Mover would be a blessing compared to the next candidate listed, Mohammad H. Said. This guy's entire profile statement is a polemic against Israel. You know what would be truly exciting? A candidate named Mohammed (or any variation of that prophet's name) who didn't use the space granted on a voter information pamphlet to rail against Jewish people and the sovereign nation of Israel. I'm uncertain whether it is a glorious anthem to freedom or a frightening commentary on our times that someone can write their entire goal in seeking office as being dedicated to the dismantling of Israel and the implementation of a new state altogether. This guy probably would have done well not to submit a photograph for his profile, as I would be inclined to "profile" him, if you know what I mean.

Hong Tran is the fourth candidate listed on the two-page spread. She comes off as bland and innocuous, after the previous three stand-outs. Immediate withdrawal from Iraq . . . universal health care . . . clean environment . . . more money for social programs . . . yadda, yadda, yadda. Boring!

Maria Cantwell, our current senator, gets her own page, away from all the crazies. I'll be quite frank here and state that I find her quite annoying. Perhaps not as annoying as our senior senator, the dim-witted Patty Murray, former P.E. teacher and the consistent recipient of the dubious honor of being voted the least intelligent member of Congress by congressional staffers, but annoying nonetheless. She is very pro-abortion, which makes me sick to my stomach. I hope she loses her seat, but I doubt she will.

In comparison, the Republican candidates for Senate come off as dishwater dull as they are often purported to be by admittedly daffy, but always entertaining, Democrats. The front-runner, Mike McGavick, has a profile so riveting and inspiring you'll want to stand up and, well, stretch and yawn. Blah, blah, blah, too much partisanship, blah, blah, independent voice, blah, blah, new leadership, blah, blah, blah, common sense and civility. Man! Where's the promise to go at fisticuffs with Mike the Mover, should they both win their parties' primaries? "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday at the Key Arena! Come see the battle for Spokane to Seattle! It's Mike vs. Mike in the pennant for the Senate! Demoncrat vs. Repulican't! Be there or be taxed without representation!" Wouldn't that be GREAT?!

There are some bright spots in the other Republicans' profiles, though. Gordon Allen Pross has written a convoluted essay on 100 people and 100 red headed Lincoln pennies somehow using a formulation for taxes with a 90% to 10% ratio that needs to be turned on its head. I read it with much confusion, though I was, admittedly, listening to "The Michael Medved Show" on my headphones at the same time. Maybe I should go back and give Mr. Pross my full attention. Or, maybe not. Life is, after all, rather short.

Jason's favorite candidate is William Edward Chovil, who looks like Anna Nicole Smith's departed billionaire husband. He has one of those things on his neck that indicates that he has lost his voice-box -- you know, the ones that people are always wearing in anti-smoking ads while inhaling a cigarette through them. This is not surprising to see, when you read in his profile that he is a follower of Ayn Rand (famous and joyful smoker) and, get this, John Galt (also a prodigious smoker, though a fictitious one). I think my husband likes Mr. Chovil's constant references to communism, since that is Jason's favorite epithet for just about everyone in government.

Warren E. Hanson looks like Greg's dad, Edward, from that late, great television show, Dharma and Greg. (Yes, I am a big fan -- shutty!) He echoes Mike the Mover by bringing up Victoria's dumping of untreated waste into U.S. waters, though he neglects to mention the crucial issue of the 1859 pig-slaughtering altercation that gives MTM's stance such historical resonance. He ends his statement of principles by assuring us of his excellent health (for his age, which I'm guessing is close to 150) and his physical strength. Could he be anticipating a bout with the formidable and feisty Mike the Mover? He lastly claims "no addictions" which might just give him the edge over MTM.

B. Barry Massoudi looks like a nice guy and wrote a sane statement of ideas and goals. He would probably get my vote, were I not already enamored with Brad Klippert. Please do not hold his name ("Brad" = ugh) against him. Brad Klippert is exactly the kind of man we need in the Senate. Yes, I said, "man." He also seems to have the brains necessary to bring the average Senatorial IQ representing the state of Washington up to normal levels (no easy task when partnered with Patty Murray). The only black mark against his name is when he states that he will work toward, "saving social security." How I wish someone had the testicular fortitude to declare Social Security immoral and unsupportable and recommend taking it behind the woodshed for a bullet to the stomach (its being without a brain, you see)! But, and this is a big issue with me, he has the endorsement of Human Life of Washington for being in complete agreement with their PAC's statement of beliefs. Plus, he at least gives lip service to those other areas of liberty: low taxes, property rights, free enterprise.

Our current Representative, Dave Reichert, is no one about whom I can get excited. I'll vote for him in November (he's running unopposed in the primary), because his presumed Democratic opponent, Darcy Burner, looks like a cipher and smells like one, too. Okay, sorry, the childhood addendum to the "Happy Birthday" song took over my insightful political commentary there. She's a "by-the-book" Democrat, without an original page in her ideological tome. Not that Dave Reichert is anything other than a smarmy Republiwimp, but I personally find the values of the Dems a bit more reprehensible than those of the Reps. It is mostly the full-throttle support for the wanton destruction of our littlest citizens partnered with the enslavement of taxpayers to a statist educational system for the children that aren't aborted that disgusts me most about the Dirty Dems. Sure enough, Ms. Burner is supported by the usual denizens of depravity, NARAL; the American Federation of Indoctrinators; village idiot, Patty Murray; and the evil troll woman herself, our illegitimate "governor," Christine Gregoire. With endorsements like those, who needs enemies? Of course, sadly, many in Washington would see these as positive supporters.

By far, the most exciting race in my opinion is that for Justice of the Supreme Court, Position No. 9 between Jeanette Burrage and Tom Chambers. I'll be voting for Ms. Burrage simply for this item brought up in her opponent's radio ad: [Ms. Burrage] is best known for once ordering female attorneys to wear skirts in her courtroom. I love that! It's little things like that that really riles up women's groups. "I should be able to wear hip-hugger jeans and a sports bra with a belt made of all my aborted babies around my waist into court if I want to. Ain't nobody going to stop me! I am a WO-MAN"

So, now my great dilemma is whether to ask for a Republican or Democrat ballot on September 19. I may have to abandon Brad Klippert simply to be able to give my vote to Mike the Mover. He is, after all, the only candidate who mentioned the dramatic near-miss pig-slaughtering war between the U.S. and Canada in his platform. You've got to respect a man who knows his history. Just don't give him a ride if you see him near the freeway on-ramp. (I think he's got an axe.)

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