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 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. Seriously:
Would you buy a mutual fund from this guy?
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.
Some of us think it's enough already.

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Comment by carole gill on August 17, 2007 at 7:25am
just deleted my comment accidently, been writing too long today. love your page. really cool and clever. glad to be your friend.
Comment by Laura Benedict on April 6, 2007 at 10:54am
A blog, dear Cornelia, even a closet conservative could love. (Did I say that out loud?!) Freaking brilliant!
Comment by Cornelia Read on March 31, 2007 at 12:17pm
But only the organic Soylent Green, which just doesn't taste as good. Crunchier, though.

(You are FUNNY!)
Comment by Tim Maleeny on March 31, 2007 at 8:46am
Cornelia, you should be the keynote speaker at the Democratic convention, if only they'd listen...Barack's got nothing on you. One more thing...I understand that you can now buy Soylent Green at Whole Foods.

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