Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I Married A Republican

By Cornelia

Considering that my childhood image of the Grand Old Party was that its members spent their abundant free time driving down America's freeways in huge cars, throwing their empty bottles of bourbon out the window while telling jokes about poor people, it seems counter-intuitive, at best, to have married one of them.

In my defense, he was only a Libertarian when first we met. As my pal Andi Shechter once said, "Didn't you know that's the LARVAL STAGE?"

Well, no. I didn't. But hoo boy do I know it NOW.

And I have to say I've never had a lot of respect for the Republican concepts of foreign policy

Over There....

Or those they've chosen to dispense it

War Criminal

Not that their domestic program has been particularly above-board, in recent memory

However, there's an awful lot not to like about the Democrats, too. And I say that having worked on Ted Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1980, when I was a high school junior.

EMK: Man of the People

While I have begun to believe that the last bi-partisan dialogue happening in the entire country takes place in my kitchen, it's dying out even there--especially when my spouse has the radio tuned to the corrosive vitriol of our local conservative talk shows on KSFO.

This is the station whose hosts (as pointed out by blogger Spocko) delight in referring to Barack Obama as a "Halfrican," opining that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi should have "a bullseye painted on her wide laughing back," that ten cruise missiles should be aimed at the mosques in Syria at noon, so as to blow up the highest possible number of worshipping muslims, and that the body of Rachel Carson, now-deceased author of the seminal environmental call to action Silent Spring, should be
"dug up so we can kill her again."

(Spocko began a campaign last year to alert KSFO advertisers to what was being said on the programs they were sponsoring. KSFO's corporate parent, ABC and hence Disney, served him with a cease-and-desist order for posting audio clips online).

My husband finds KSFO amusing, and when I mentioned all of this when asking him to turn off the damn radio, commented, "those traitor liberal pinkos say worse about upstanding patriotic conservatives."

He also thinks:

  • the war in Iraq is going brilliantly well, and his only problem with Bush & Co. is that "they're dragging ass about invading Iran."
  • The New Deal was a travesty perpetrated by commies.

  • Reagan should be worshipped as a god, for having successfully orchestrated the downfall of the Soviet Union.
And, perhaps most difficult of all for me to swallow,
  • That the Beatles suck, and have contributed no more to musical history than have, say, the Teletubbies.
Das Bootle

There is perhaps some schadenfreude justice in my having brought a man of this temperament to live in Berkeley, California.

My daughter was once told a joke about "what you call two Republicans in Berkeley?" (lost.)

She responded, "what do you call ONE Republican in Berkeley?" (my father.)

Berkeley: We Don't Eat No Steenking Grapes

Now frankly, when it comes to analysis of the actual efficacy of BOTH our national parties, I'm with "Republican Party Animal" P.J. O'Rourke, who once famously said:

The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.
Let it not be forgotten that he is ALSO the man who described Ecstasy as "St. Joseph's Baby Acid," so he's someone whose opinion I often take half-seriously.

But I think my biggest problem with politics today is not KSFO, CheneyBurton, or even the vile Ann Coulter, it's the Democratic party.

Here's why:


The Dems: Still Asleep at the Goddamn Wheel

When the Iraq invasion was imminent, the anti-war contingent took to the streets of San Francisco, the majority chanting the same tired old "Hell no, We Won't Go" crap they haven't bothered to retool since anybody actually cared about Angela Davis and/or SDS.

It's amazing to me that they didn't crank up a round of "Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh" for old times' sake. There was even a contingent who decided the best thing they could do for media attention was to stick their fingers down their throats so as to vomit on some federal building.

Great going, guys. You really made the opposition look rational and articulate. And by the way, thanks for the damn war.

I remember one of the Ellsbergs coming to speak at my college in the early Eighties. He proudly chronicled a recent foray he'd made into "symbolic political action," namely joining a group taking in the official sights of a nuclear weapons facility and breaking away from the tour guide so he could splash a vial of goat's blood on a model warhead.

I raised my hand during the Q&A portion of the evening and asked him what he'd hoped to accomplish by having done that.

"Forcing the powers that be to wake up and realize what they're culpable for," he said.

"Gee," I replied, "And here I thought you just wanted to make all of us who'd prefer to avoid global nuclear annihilation look like total fucking candyass idiots."

His is the kind of thinking that personifies a certain proportion of Baby-Boomers--generation that so efficiently eclipses my own--, that being the Boom contingent which doesn't see the irony in hiring Dennis Hopper as a TV spokesmodel for the new American Express retirement plan.



Would you buy a mutual fund from this man?

With out-of-the-box thinking like that, here's what we're going to get for a Social Security safety net:

And we'll deserve it. too.

And what was the city council of Berkeley getting its panties in a knot over, as we geared up to invade Iraq? Preserving the sanctity of shopping carts that had been misplaced by our local homeless population.

I kid you not... According the the San Francisco Chronicle, in 2003:

Berkeley bought a 40-foot-long, 8-foot-wide refrigerated container for $8,200 after public works officials complained about vermin infesting carts stored at the city's outdoor corporation yard.

The city signed a five-year, $61,500 lease with Caltrans for land under the University Avenue overpass at Interstate 80 to put the container on, and ran power to the unit.

Deputy City Attorney Matthew Orebic said the city is heeding state law that requires storage of lost goods. He said it is not clear, however, that that law applies to unattended shopping carts because they may not be lost.

"We just do that to be safe and fair, to make sure that there's no argument that we've violated any laws and to be fair to the person,'' Orebic said. "What if you've got your medication in there?''

Yeah, great, have a little more Chardonnay with our tax dollars.

Is it any wonder some people think Rush Limbaugh makes sense? I swear it makes me want to shove Ross Perot up Ralph Nader's left nostril.

Yo, my Dem Peeps, can we get with the program already?

There's a WAR on!

Some of us think it's enough already.

I think I'll let Iggy Pop have the Not-Safe-For-Work last word:


  1. War? Is that still on?

    Man, you people really need to get a grip. xx

  2. Oh sure, Mark, poke fun at US. Like that Imperialist Lapdog Blair had nothing to do with it.......


    Now if only I could get NEW BLOGGER to accept the embed codes for this excellent video of Iggy Pop singing "Louie, Louie," my day would be perfect.


  3. Republican? But he's so cute. Whodathunkit. But have no fear, there's a new chip implant surgery that will change his mind. It's done on an out-patient basis and hardly leaves a scar.

  4. The "Soylent Green" Social Security rescue plan cracked me up.

    Then my dog Nikki, a welfare mother from the L.A. Dog Pound, began gnawing my leg.

    Cornelia, I love you when you're angry!

  5. Wow, what a marriage! I probably would have dotted him one by this stage. Loved him, but dotted him good. ;-D

    We've seen the Children of Men movie several times, and bought the DVD this week. It's rough and compelling, particularly as the seeds of that society are already sewn deeply in ours.

    Soylent Green and Omega Man are two my hubby's favourite films - even if he doesn't agree with Charleton HEston's political viewpoints.

    Heh, heh, heh. JOhn Howard - the supposed Aussie Bush lapdog made some startlingly pro-bush announcements and proved that his seat of power is on rocky ground. Which is a shame really, because the self-serving Labour Party (read, smug pro-commies) is a shitload worse. I wouldn't go home to live if they were in power. Sigh.

    Hate politics! Wanna make love, not war... Can I choose who with? :-)

    Great post, Cornelia! Funny as hell in parts. :-D


  6. Ah, you guys are sweet. Maybe we can get a two-fer on that chip and give one to POTUS?

    And keep an eye on that dog, Paul. Scary stuff.

  7. Have I mentioned lately, my friend how much I adore you?

    I haven't have I? I've been remiss.


    We listen (yeah, yeah, I know it's NPR, what a cliche but really honest, it's FUNNY shit) to "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" on Saturdays on NPR and wonder CONstantly why it is that the only funny republican seems to be O'Rourke, who's not bad. I mean even the conservative comic strip they have in our newspaper - god if only it were FUNNY, it would help SO MUCH to understand these people.
    But then, you're talking about someone who went FROM liberal to FAR MORE to the left (ok, yes, while I lived in Berkeley) and yet whose first venture into politics was on Nelson (Attica, where's that?) Rockefeller's campaign. We all have our shames - and our cute little styrofoam skimmers with their cute little red, white and blue bands.

    At least Dennis H has turned into a halfway decent ACTOR. NOT sure Teddy ever turned into a halfway decent senator.

    But then again, remember I'm the one with the "What Would Wellstone Do?" button (ok when I wear it with my "WWWXD?"* necklace it IS confusing.) DAMNATION of all the damn people to lose in a #^*$%(*^ stupid ass plane crash when there are so many, i am not going to start sounding like those vicious little ringworms. (I know there's a far worse animal, that's just the 1st one that came to mind.)

    *What Would Xena Do?

  8. I adore you back, my Andi. And if you have a picture of yourself anywhere wearing the Rockefeller skimmer, I SO want a jpeg!!!

  9. Awesome post, Miss C, and I couldn't agree more. The Democrats of late have excelled at hand-wringing and saying 'tsk-tsk'. The Republicans have excelled at being organized, and getting elected.

    The Dems have let the Republicans set the agenda for far too long, and we're all paying for it.

    The other thing that really gets me going is that we, as a country, don't vote. Clinton and the Shrub were both elected to their first terms by something like 27% of eligible voters. We all bitch, but we can't get our butts out of our Barcaloungers to get to the polls.


  10. Wow, Cornelia, finally someone else who is married to a Republican( well, like me he is actually a registered Independent but he votes for THEM). What impresses me most is that you sound as if you can actually talk to him about it. We have gotten to the point where we can not discuss it at all without me coming unglued. This of course serves to make him think he is right, when in fact he is crazy. After 21 years I can say that.

    As for the picture of Ted Kennedy, well, someone has to say it, I only wish my breasts were that big!

    Cornelia, great post. You are clearly not only a talented writer but a computer genius too. Love the utube video! Makes me want to find your book all the more. I've been looking at B&N without luck, so am moving on to Amazon next. I'm sure it will be as amazing.

  11. I have a pin that says "I never thought I'd miss Nixon". Sometimes, I'm tempted to wear it. However it pales in comparison to the t-shirt Bob was given in Australia a few years back in response to the American Religious Right Republicans. It says 'Who would Jesus Bomb?" Needless to say, he's not allowed to wear it: he'd get shot or worse, hauled off by the CIA somewhere because they think it's against "w".

    Society is so stupid sometimes. Sigh.


  12. I kidnapped my hubby from the bosom of his Rush-loving family and have successfully converted him - though I suspect he may have voted for Ehrlich four years ago here in MD.

    Have you not had more luck with the J-man? My dear, you must feed him more tofu. It screws with their hormones, you know, and makes them do crazy things, like the dishes.

    The other thing to try is singing songs from Free to Be You and Me in his ear while he's sleeping.

  13. Pam, I really can't talk to him about it any more. It makes me too crazy. It's the corrosiveness that's taken over the language used by the right--really a verbal poison, and a nasty one. Makes me sad, as we used to enjoy a good set-to, even during Iran-Contra (well, that's in the book, a bit, and thank you for wanting to buy a copy!).

    Marianne, I NEED that button!! The opening quote from my second book says pretty much the same thing, only longer:

    “As a matter of fact, I’ve always had a theory about anxiety. I’ve decided my anxiety always increases in direct proportion to the absence of Richard Nixon in my life.”

    Julie began to smile. She knew where I was headed.

    “When he was around, lying, cheating, trying to destroy the Constitution, I was furious, but I had no anxiety. Then he resigned in ’74, and I swear that’s when my anxiety got really bad. What’s more, I bet I’m not the only person who is walking around psychologically crippled by the absence of Richard Nixon in their lives.”

    --Barbara Gordon
    I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can

  14. Regina, I keep trying those tapes of Carol Channing reciting the poem about how "I hate housework, your mommy hates housework, and when YOU grow up, YOU'LL hate housework too..." from FREE TO BE, but it doesn't seem to be taking...

  15. Where shall I send it, Cornelia? :-D And do I need to send chocolate with it?


  16. Jeez, Cornelia,
    You give good silver spoon/ ex-debutante. No wonder you're stuck with one of Jerry Falwell's retro Nazis. Re-RMN and the King: Nixon may have been a crook but he wasn't stupid. My favorite bumper sticker: "Somewhere in Texas, there's a village missing an idiot." In spite of your lineage, I loved "Field of Darkness." Keep 'em comin'

  17. Well, he's not religious (thank God. Heh.) and he's not anti-Semitic or racist, otherwise he'd be dead meat around me. And he came from the farm folk. I'm the fallen gentry type, by birth--born with a silver IOU in my mouth because my parents pawned the spoon.

    Very glad you liked the book, David, and thank you!

  18. Can't dispute Rae's facts: we don't, as a country, vote, and when those of us who do vote do so, we don't seem to do it well. I'm at the point that I'm scared to death when someone or thing I vote for wins.
    Someone once asked me how I accounted for the apathy and ignorance in the country, to which I could only respond: "I don't know, and really don't care."

    Tom, T.O.

  19. I have a policy of staying out of political discussions, but I will say that P.J. O'Rourke is a damn funny man. Who else do you know who can write an hilarious piece about Somalia and also make the stock market comprehensible?

    (And it looks like you got the video embedded okay to me.)

  20. Ah, but does he know the Teletubby with the handbag is a gay icon, Cornelia?

    Splendid blog, my sweet, but seeing Kennedy's man boobs caused me to expel toast crumbs all over my laptop. As I believe you Americans say: "Ewwwwwwww!"

  21. " the corrosiveness that's taken over the language used by the right--really a verbal poison, and a nasty one."

    Really? Well check out this.