Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t remember any Ensure ads during the last Democratic debate on MSNBC. I couldn’t help feeling during Thursday night’s Republican debate like I should hang my head in equal measures of shame and respect as I was undergoing a thorough dressing-down by The Legion Of Dads. “I don’t give a good goddamn if all the other kids are against the war. It’s the right thing to do. If the other kids walked out into traffic, would you do it, too? Sarbanes-Oxley, my ass. These men work hard for their money. Why should they have to kow-tow to a bunch of bean counters who think if there’s a nickel out of place then they’re stealing from someone’s retirement fund? And another thing, that colored boy’s got a good head on his shoulders, but we are NEVER going to elect a woman to the White House as long as I’m alive and as long as this is a country of men.”
It was purely Pavlovian that I straightened up and took my goddamned elbows off the table, because I was raised better than that.
As a white man I don’t necessarily have a problem with being represented by one of my own (the last seven years notwithstanding), but, with the possible exception of Ron Paul, I’m not sure I want to spend the next four years being harangued by any of these surly old men about what the immigrants and the gays and the tax-and-spend Democrats have been doing to wreck this country, and to shut my punk mouth and let the grown-ups who know what they’re doing get this war done. I’d be just as happy with them relegated to op-eds, guest spots on Fox News, and anyplace on the radio dial where I can keep scanning for “Car Talk” if I happen to land on one of their rants.
The economic stimulus is particularly Dad Behavior: There’s trouble at home, Mom and Dad are fighting like Apaches, we’ve had Hamburger Helper for the fourth time this week–here’s a couple of twenties, why don’t you run off to the mall?
I might be willing to follow anyone who can lead me out my cubicle, but at this point, I think I’m ready to listen to Mom for awhile. Eat my vegetables and take better care of myself. Do well in school and be nice to the other kids, and if you have to deal with a bully, just poke him in the eyes and kick him in the shins (my Mom was tougher than most), and keep walking, because you made your point, and he’ll probably never do it again.
Curmudgeon Fatigue, I guess.
I’m not particularly worried about Mitt Romney. If by some perverted twist of fate he’s actually elected, a Democratic Congress will flip him like a pancake. No politician has had greater Quisling potential since Vidkun Quisling himself.
That’s how I’m feeling right now. We’ll talk again after I see what the Moms say in South Carolina tonight.
ROMNEY’S “BULGE” MOMENT: If anyone doubted that there might be a hand up Romney’s bum moving his arms and flapping his gums, one curious moment at Thursday’s debate should have given them pause. Tim Russert asked, “Governor Romney, you are a big fan of Ronald Reagan. Will you do to save Social Security what Ronald Reagan did in 1983?” An audible whisper popped up out of nowhere, “Raise taxes.” Barely a second later, a cocksure Romney announced, “I will not raise taxes.”
MSNBC initially ascribed it to problems with Romney’s microphone, and then gave the candidate the benefit of the doubt and blamed it on an an unidentified mike picking up a whisper from the audience. Alright. No need to unnecessarily embarrass the poor man, I guess. After all, they weren’t too terribly hard on George Bush for his “bulge” in the first 2004 Presidential Debate, when a fleeting rear shot clearly showed a rectangular bulge underneath the President’s suit beneath his shoulder blades, suggesting that he had a transmitter in place to feed him much-needed facts, figures, and proper English pronunciations.