It's fun to watch the GOP take over Congress and instantly make fools of themselves while their party implodes. Until you realize that one reason Republicans won the majority in both houses in the midterms after the "shellacking" during the previous midterms is that Democrats are failing to fire up anyone -- we had the lowest voter turn-out in 72 years.
It's also a hoot to see Sarah Palin's recent, discombobulated speech which put the nail in her political coffin, even drawing widespread criticism from within the GOP. And I enjoyed laughing at Baptist minister Mike Huckleberry's (sic) anti-gay bacon-wrapped shellfish pronouncements, rolling my eyes over Mitt Romney's on-again, off-again candidacy and at Chris Christie and Rand Paul's recent gaffes over measles vaccines. They're putting on a freak show which is easy to mock. But last week, I was rather surprised to see MSNBC's Chris Hayes format an election update as a game show, complete with a studio audience and a Jeopardy-style game board. Don't get me wrong -- I love to laugh and feel that all Republican policies are laughable. But leave the comedy news to Jon Stewart. Despite claims of a vast left-wing media bias, MSNBC is the only national TV station which leans left. So could that one liberal voice please focus more on real issues and less on Chris Hayes's and Rachel Maddow's silly game shows? Why so much focus on slamming Republican candidates who won't even be here in a month's time? And while we're at it, let's keep it to real issues of TODAY. Not constant reporting on an election two years off. We've got plenty of time to poke fun at GOP presidential hopefuls.
But that might force MSNBC to focus on both why nine Democrats who are obviously not concerned with climate change voted for the Keystone pipeline, though the president of their party has vowed to veto it. Or focus on income equality still being felt so strongly that to many, the recession never ended except for the CEOs making record profits. A liberal channel might focus more on why Obama, a Democrat, has more support from Republicans than his own party on the TPP, the disastrous, secret trade deal he's trying to ram through without discussion via fast track. (And which Hillary also supports.) Or even going over the president's own State Of The Union address and determining what needs to be done to effect his suddenly progressive agenda so that the SOTU doesn't become more like his empty campaign promises. It's easy to offer free community college, paid sick leave and equal pay for women when you know it can't get through a Republican-run Congress. But instead critiquing Obama, who is running the nation right now, we get game shows instead of analysis.
Then again, it's tough to discuss the Democratic presidential hopefuls' sparring since there's only one: Hillary Clinton, who has yet to even announce her candidacy. With no challengers, Clinton's just the heir apparent who we must accept as the inevitable democratic nominee. Hillary's people recently decided that rather than announce her run in April, as planned, they'd wait until July. Now if you embrace Hillary, it may be a smart strategy to sit and watch the GOP candidates rip themselves to shreds. But if you feel as I do -- that Hillary is to the right of Obama -- Democrats are being left with the choice of totally insane Tea Party Republicans, insane old-fashioned Republicans and corporate Democrat/Republican-lite Hillary, who is seen as more of a hawk, more of a friend to corporations and less progressive than our current president. What a false choice! Will it fail to enthuse voters as it did in the midterms and create a losing ticket in 2016? Paging Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders!
The move from April to July also gives Hillary more time to craft her platform -- which will presumably be anything we want to hear to get her elected. Get into office and continue wars and serve the corporations who funded her campaign rather than the people. I'm curious as to why my own gay people vigorously support Hillary. Based on what? She has no platform! Do we have fuzzy feelings about the rosier economy of her husband's two terms and dream that she might somehow channel them? Do we think she'll fight for gay rights? It's hard to tell. Hillary is so slippery that when interviewed on NPR this past summer by a real investigative reporter who asked for her stance on gay marriage, her answer was so unclear that interviewer Terry Gross held her feet to the fire for more of an explanation. Hillary then got huffy, suggesting to many that she isn't yet ready for prime time. And that she can't even take a firm stand on gay marriage even though most of her party supports it and it's happening on it's own in two thirds of the nation's states?
Hillary is the opposite of a leader with bold ideas. At least the Republicans are raring to go with an agenda -- regardless of how ill-conceived. The idea that Clinton is all set to just ease into the White House because no Democratic challenger can match her fundraising is infuriating. Not to mention the sad state of affairs that no Democrat with a more progressive vision even wants to try and lead because the entire party and it's donors are locked up behind one candidate. So go ahead and giggle at the GOP candidates. At least their party has a choice. And they aren't afraid to share their ideas for the country, no matter how laughable I think they are. What's Hillary's vision? I guess we'll have to wait a little longer for her to cook up some vague yet inspiring soundbites and read between the lines of her tweets until July. Until then, we must support her simply because she's not a Republican. Our "liberal" news can keep on laughing at the GOP. But the joke's on you, Democrats.