I guess this must be one for those of us who spent the 90s wanting to throw large objects through the television set as we watched that sanctimonious, finger wagging, judgmental scold Joe Lieberman on the floor of the Senate joining with the Republicans to derail the constitution over Bill Clinton's zipper:
Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Evan Bayh (D-IN), and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) called for a thorough review of the video game ratings process in the wake of "Manhunt 2" receiving a "Mature" rating. In a letter to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB), the Senators detailed how the change in rating opened the door to widespread release of the game, which depicts acts of horrific violence.
Well that is just peachy. Do we suppose Hillary sat down and actually played Manhunt 2 on the campaign trail in order to arrive at this conclusion, or did she just take Joe's word for it, much like she did when she voted for the Kyl-Lieberman amendment that others have quite rightly pilloried her for? Because Joe, you'll recall, was a useful idiot for the Bushies when they discovered Iran had no nuclear weapons program and they had to find another reason to bomb them into the stone age -- something they neglected to tell the public about. And despite the fact that Clinton's excuse for voting for the AUMF was that she had "bad information" from the Bush Administration on the Iraq weapons program, she decided to trust them -- and Lieberman -- and amp up the Iran war rhetoric.
One wonders at what point she will stop following Lieberman over the cliff.
I agree that the current ratings system and all its consequences needs to be seriously re-evaluated, but not in the sense that Clinton et al apparently do, which is that Manhunt 2 never should have been released.
The uncharitable amongst us might conclude that this is simply a cynical ploy on Clinton's part to pander to old people, upon whom her Iowa chances depend. I'm sure that's not the case. Which is why I'd like to resurrect a suggestion from last year that Clinton find her voice and condemn the violent religious intolerance expressed in the Left Behind video game.
Jon Hutson describes the game:
Imagine: you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued high-tech military weaponry, and instructed to engage the infidel on the streets of New York City. You are on a mission - both a religious mission and a military mission -- to convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state - especially moderate, mainstream Christians. Your mission is "to conduct physical and spiritual warfare"; all who resist must be taken out with extreme prejudice. You have never felt so powerful, so driven by a purpose: you are 13 years old. You are playing a real-time strategy video game whose creators are linked to the empire of mega-church pastor Rick Warren, best selling author of The Purpose Driven Life.
Christian, Muslim and Jewish groups denounced it at the time of its release, but out of Clinton and Lieberman, who have made themselves the scolding nags of video game morality, why -- not a peep.
Some might find this potentially much more dangerous than Manhunt II, given the fact that people who act out on suggestions made by video games are relatively few, but people are dying in the Middle East at an alarming rate because politicians like Joe Lieberman have decided they will manufacture reasons to wage war there if none exist, and amping up religious bigotry among young people sets an excellent stage.
Since Mitt Romney has said that there will be no Muslim members of his cabinet (though the New York Times hasn"t quite tripped to that fact yet), I think it's an excellent time to show that Senator Clinton's views regarding religious tolerance are deeply felt and not just some Sunday morning prayer group she attends to further her political ambitions. If she's in the video game denouncement business, she needs to denounce this one, too.
And if she's really a political leader capable of leading the country she can demonstrate it by getting ol' bipartisan Joe to join her. May make him a bit uncomfortable showing up at the next Christian-Zionist convention and confronting all those tough questions from the Rapture crowd, but hey, Joe has made a career out of telling the right lie at the right time.
I'm sure he'll have no trouble.
Jane Hamsher blogs regularly at firedoglake.com