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January 14, 2008
News by Osmosis: Campaign Edition

I've come a long way from my days as a graduate student, immersed in thoughts and discussions about politics. Now I avoid political discussions like Michael Moore avoids vegetables. I even let my newspaper subscription lapse, so I could have more time to read what matters.

Political news is unavoidable, however, and so I thought I'd get you to evaluate my osmosis. Here's my ill-informed reading of the status of our national presidential marathon, based on what I've gleaned from airport conversations and the occasional glance at Google news headlines:

On the Democratic side of things, Obama isn't such a bad guy, if we can get him to renounce terrorism and stop-fathering crack babies, which you didn't hear from the Hillary camp. Clinton, meanwhile, is being perhaps a little too feminine on the campaign trail, what with the cleavage and the crying, though his wife remains the shrill, cast-iron harpy we've all come to loathe and fear. John Edwards is dragging his poor sick wife across the country in a quest to improve health care. He stands on principle against any hedge fund of which he's not a partner. The rest of the Democratic field is a collection of sissies, malcontents, and nutjobs.

On the Republican side, meanwhile, Giuliani is a polygamist. No wait, that's McCain. Sorry, I meant Fred Thompson. Mitt Romney? No, he's a hard-working, family-oriented husband of one wife who stands for everything that made America great, except that he's in a Satanic cult. The one-time darling of the Libertarians, Ron Paul, used to own slaves. Mike Huckabee, meanwhile, seems to drive Peggy Noonan apoplectic, which is reason enough to recommend him. Someone just needs to stop him from channeling Herbert Hoover. The rest of the Republican field is a collection of conspiracy theorists, isolationists, and psychopaths.

As for policy positions, as best I can tell, the Democrats want to give most of the southwest U.S. to Mexico, and invite Muslim terrorists to publicly behead everyone making more than a million dollars a year, except for Steven Spielberg and George Soros. Republicans, meanwhile, want to kick anyone with a Mexican-sounding name out of the U.S., and conquer the entire Middle East so that Halliburton will have work after it kills all the porpoises while drilling for oil off the U.S. coast, which will soon be just east of Kansas City, as a result of the Bush-Reagan-Hitler global warming conspiracy.

Both parties are convinced that government is exceptionally skilled at doing things they want more of, and entirely incompetent when it comes to things they don't like. Every candidate is a candidate for change, using the failed ideas of the past, to create a brave new world for the children.

Does that about sum it up?

Posted by Woodlief on January 14, 2008 at 03:53 PM



Posted by: Deoxy at January 14, 2008 4:05 PM

Yeah, umm, that about sums it up. You did forget the part about Fred Thompson being so lazy that he wouldn't stand up if he sat on his own testicles. Other than that, I think you've pretty well nailed it.

Posted by: Jack Ensor at January 14, 2008 4:11 PM

Yep, that about sums it up...much better than I ever could.
Thanks for the chuckle.

Posted by: Jennifer at January 14, 2008 4:34 PM

so who are you voting for...you are voting aren't you?

Posted by: angela at January 14, 2008 8:15 PM


Once again you speak my thouhts more eloquently than I think them. (I snorted.)

(FYI the blog address has changed. Come see.)


Posted by: Rob Hadding at January 14, 2008 8:52 PM

Oh my GOSH Tony, I love you. Which is not news to you, though it may be to Mrs. Woodlief.

Posted by: Danielle at January 14, 2008 10:15 PM


Step away from the CNN feed. The further you get from that network, the more enlightened you'll feel.

Posted by: Cordeiro at January 15, 2008 8:11 AM

So you don't like Peggy Noonan?

Posted by: Gray at January 15, 2008 8:16 AM

I blog with Rob Hadding and pleased as punch that he recommended this little bit of truthiness. May your tribe increase.

al sends

Posted by: al at January 15, 2008 8:26 AM

Isn't Al Gore the one who is showing cleavage? That's either a support bra or a bullet proof vest.

Posted by: Cris at January 16, 2008 5:58 AM

WOW. I was introduced to you through my searching out critics of Libertarianism in which I clicked into your 2002 archives. I was very impressed with your insight and arguments and wanted more so I clicked into your current blog and am disappointed with your apathy to the current election. Though I found it mildly and trivially funny I expected some quality expression especially with the rise in”popularity” of Ron Paul – a true Libertarian. I guess the passion has been refocused to areas that are more meaning to you and there’s nothing wrong with that. Good luck.

Posted by: GG at January 18, 2008 8:18 AM

I haven't decided who I will vote for, which is compounded by the fact that, despite possessing multiple degrees in political science, I can't figure out exactly how to "de-register" myself from the Republican party.

On the whole I enjoy Noonan's writing, but I think she deifies Reagan, and wants to make faith a tertiary part of public life -- something one engages quietly, say, at mass once a week. She's also hitching her wagon to Mitt Romney's star, such that her columns lately seem unbalanced in both directions -- hagiography toward Romney, and vitriol toward Huckabee, perceived as his biggest threat.

I suspect once she abandons the notion that national salvation will be delivered through a president-as-father-figure, her essays will be more tolerable.

I'm increasingly convinced that politics reflect, rather than compel, social movements, i.e., that the levers are elsewhere, and therefore that to obsess over horse races is to be a back seat driver turned toward the rear window.

Posted by: Tony at January 22, 2008 6:57 AM

wow. Your response to GG was even more incisive and insightful than this post. Bookmark!

Posted by: Eric at January 23, 2008 3:01 AM

Tony - I agree with your response to GG with one tweak: I think *modern* politics reflect, rather than compel social movements. That, I hope, is a temporary state of affairs. My readings of U.S. history lead me to believe that the leaders of the Republic once took that charge more seriously...

Posted by: John at January 29, 2008 6:37 PM

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