It’s the last full day before America heads to the polls to vote at a very scary time. And that has nothing to do with the fact that yesterday was Halloween, and that I wore the scariest costume I could think of. (See the picture above. Read to the bottom of the post to find out who I was.)
It seems as if there’s more at stake now than ever before-but the Democrats aren’t a whole lot better than the Republicans, so perhaps that’s what’s so scary about it.
I didn’t go to Washington DC this weekend to attend John Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity. Unfortunately, I spent much of the time it was airing on TV at the vet with my dog Pooh. But I got in the car and tuned into C-Span radio just in time to hear his closing speech, which hit just the right chord. He said it perfectly…
We’ll check in with Lizz Winstead this morning for a re-cap of the day’s festivities. The co-creator of the Daily Show (and also of Air America Radio) was there Saturday, and performed two post-rally shows in nearby Arlington, VA Saturday night, and will fill us in on what went on.
I’ll also chat with Congressman Ron Klein this morning, who represents Florida’s 22nd District (where I currently live), and is being challenged by one of the scariest of the tea partiers out there – Allen West.
And, since it’s Monday, Nicole Belle of Crooks and Liars will be here for our weekly “Fools on the Hill” segment. Here’s her peek at this weeks’ madness:
For the final weekend before the midterm elections, it was a surprisingly subdued Sunday schedule. Perhaps the thwarted Yemeni explosive/terrorist threat sucked out all the oxygen, maybe the news channels felt chastened by Jon Stewart and the Rally for Sanity (which I seriously doubt, but stranger things have happened), but I was not impressed by the caliber of guests nor the conversation this Sunday.
Not that we’re completely devoid of news of the absurd. Case in point, Sarah Palin, the ostensible queen of the Tea Party and great GOP hope for 2012 showed up on Fox News Sunday (naturally, she’s won’t appear anywhere else). Sarah defended herself against charges by Karl Rove and others that she can’t really be a credible candidate in 2012, because she’s doing a reality television show and that doesn’t show the gravitas of a say, George W. Bush.
Karl Rove told the British newspaper Telegraph last week that Palin’s new TLC show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, doesn’t help her 2012 chances.
“With all due candor, appearing on your own reality show on the Discovery Channel, I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of ‘that helps me see you in the Oval Office,'” Rove said.
“There are high standards that the American people have for it[the presidency] and they require a certain level of gravitas, and they want to look at the candidate and say ‘that candidate is doing things that gives me confidence that they are up to the most demanding job in the world,'” he said.
Palin’s defense? Ronald Reagan was an actor too. That’s right, she compared herself to St. Ronnie of the rightwing.
Then there is Haley Barbour, giving progressives like me the single best reason for us to make sure to vote this year, even with our own frustrations with the Democratic Party. Barbour, head of the Republican Governors Association, promises that if the GOP gets the majority, they will make sure that “you won’t recognize” health care reform when they get done with it.
Now I’m the first one to say that the health care reform passed by Congress is milquetoast-y and far too catering to for-profit health insurance companies, but can you imagine what will happen if the Republicans get hold of it? Bye bye, pre-existing condition exemption; see you later, extension of coverage to age 26, The only thing they’ll hold on to is the requirement that you must purchase insurance, just to enrich the bottom line of the health care companies that donate so much to their campaigns.
The other favorite topic of the Villagers is the issue of deficit reduction. Why? Maybe because jobs and extending unemployment insurance for those 99ers isn’t nearly as sexy and affects just the little people. Maybe because it’s the rallying cry of the astroturf organizations behind the tea party groups. I don’t know why the deficit causes so much concern, especially since economists who have been right about the stimulus and the dangers of this economy keep saying that deficit reduction is the worst thing we could do to the economy. But Christiane Amanpour has quickly been wrappd up in the DC groupthink and asks John Cornyn and Bob Menendez about the thing that “everyone” is thinking about. (The entire clip is 12 minutes long, but the deficit slash comment is at 7:20 or so of the clip from ABC.)
The irony meter redlined during Bob Schieffer’s concluding commentary on Face the Nation. Schieffer said he was glad that we don’t decide our elections the same way they pick bowl championship teams, by computer. Um, can you say Diebold? Maybe Bob should listen to Democracy Now and Mark Crispin Miller’s recounting of the stolen 2004 election. And speaking of stolen elections, the RNC has launched a new site to get out the Republican vote, called No More Frankens. Their ad basically implies that Franken stole the election from Norm Coleman, either through illegal convict votes or through the courts. The ad itself has no dialog, so it’s not worth grabbing for a radio show, but it’s important to note that they assert this election impropriety with absolutely no proof (and deny it when asked directly), but shows complete and utter hypocrisy in the face of Bush v. Gore.
And then in the face of a lot of indignation on the part of progressives to be lumped in what they see as a false equivalencies of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally for Sanity and/or Fear, the other comedian who tells more truth than most of the news media combined, Bill Maher, points out that most of the violence is coming from the right side of the aisle.
Now for the scary costume… Yes, I was Christine “I’m Not a Witch, I’m You!” O’Donnell. I’ll explain the reaction at the beginning of the show. If you miss it live, come back later for the podcast…