Archive - Jan 23, 2012

Patty Hearst Called, She Wants Her Syndrome Back

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Memo to Chuck Todd: YOU ARE THE BUTT.There's an old saying that I just made up that's really appropriate to today's topic. When someone tells a joke, look to your left, then look to your right. If you're the only one not laughing, the joke's probably at your expense.

If you haven't been following the Colbert SuperPAC, currently operating under the nom de guerre "The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert SuperPac", then why are you wasting ten minutes a day reading me? I mean, don't get me wrong. I have a huge ego. I think I'm wildly entertaining and insightful. But I can't even begin to consider reaching out to touch the hems of the Colbert SuperPac stuff, which for months now has been the greatest political satire of a generation. Get thee to a Viacom-approved streaming site and get caught up.

In case you don't want to bother, or in case the Viacom-approved streaming site doesn't actually let you watch all the clips in a simple and clear fashion, Colbert and his staff have basically taken the post-Citizen's United world of unlimited corporate "speech" in the form of hundreds of millions of almost completely unregulated dollars, and ripped it at least eight new orifices through the brilliant mechanic of participating in it. Except that unlike everyone else participating in it, Colbert is televising each step of the process, from forming the PAC, turning it into a SuperPAC, collecting donations, then using the SuperPAC to support his own political ambitions.

And by doing so, he's demonstrating exactly how much you can get away with under the new rules, as well as how toothlessly enforced the few new rules that still exist actually are. As a side benefit, it also brought about the Suq Madiq moment, which should come with a free Poise pad that you can put in place before you watch it and piss yourself laughing.

So let's go back to what I said above. Who's not laughing at Stephen Colbert? It's not the rival SuperPACS. They're not threatened. Notice that while I said "greatest", I didn't say "most effective" political satire of a generation. That's because election reform is the tallest, heaviest windmill you can tilt at as a political crusader. Because the bad shit that happens only crawls out into the light once every two years, tops, and our system can no longer handle an issue that requires an attention span of more than about a month. So the SuperPACs know they've got at least this election to roam free, and probably every election from now on.

But you know who isn't laughing? Chuck Todd, Washington pundit and "political journalist". When you wondered why "the press" was treating John McCain's "maverick" bullshit with respect four years ago, you were wondering, in essence, what the fuck was wrong with Chuck Todd. Todd believes in the symbiotic circle-jerk between the politicians, the press, and The System. Believes it to his very core. And while what Colbert is doing will ultimately be futile, it is clearly a threat to the fiction, vital to both the politicians and the press, that The System is still good, old-fashioned American democracy in action. Which is why he's all crankypants. ACTUAL CRANKYPANTS TIME!

"Is it fair to the process? Yes, the process is a mess, but he’s doing it in a way that it feels as if he’s trying to influence it with his own agenda, that may be anti-Republican. And we in the media are covering it as a schtick and a satire, but it’s like, ‘Well wait a minute here…’ he’s also trying to do his best to marginalize the candidates, and we’re participating in that marginalization.” - Todd, speaking at a Winthrop University panel.

You see what's happening here? Stephen Colbert, by getting the press to report on his SuperPAC antics, has forced them to do their fucking job. I mean, has Chuck Todd SEEN the 2012 GOP candidates? Exactly how many of them shouldn't be marginalized? Which ones? Should we not marginalize the guy who held a prayer rally in a stadium and can't remember three things? The one whose husband tortures gay people? The one with the ethics violations and the three wives? The one who stole his tax plan from a computer game? The gold standard fetishist who thought you could get AIDS through the mail? Senator Man On Dog, for fuck's sake?

There are exactly two candidates from the entire field who didn't marginalize themselves. One couldn't get any traction because he worked for Obama, and one got where he was by repudiating every stated belief he used to get elected for the past two decades. Marginalizing is too good for these fucks.

Notice Chuck Todd's big but. "Yes, the process is a mess, but..." Chuck Todd knows the process is a mess. What is Chuck Todd doing about it? Nothing. Because Chuck Todd is invested in the process, whatever that process is. He's beholden to the process. He's more faithful to the process than Newt Gingrich is to his wives.

Is it anti-Republican? Right now it is, because it's the Republican primary, and the Republican SuperPACS that are collecting and spending all the money. But Obama's got some SuperPACs on his side, too, and if you think those are being funded by small donations, devoted supporters, or "nice" corporations, well, hang onto that delusion, because you're going to need it.

But don't take it from me that Todd's being a whiny little dick. Let's turn to an even more reliable source.

"No one will aver accuse me of being a Chuck Todd fan, but let’s give the man credit where it’s due." - John Nolte, Big Hollywood.

When John Nolte approves of what you're saying, it's time to seriously re-examine your life choices, Chuck.