Monday, January 28, 2008

Writer's Strike

(Photo Credit: Monica Almeida, New York Times)

Moose is still refusing to type for Roxie’s World.

“What’s the point?” she asks mournfully. “It’s all over, isn’t it? I mean, Bill Clinton got the knickers of the punditocracy in a wad by pointing out that the significance of Obama’s opposition to the war in Iraq (while a state senator from Illinois) has been greatly exaggerated. Suddenly, the republic is on the brink of collapse because of an alleged violation of the rules on how former presidents are supposed to behave when their spouses are running for the highest office in the land, rules which somehow exist despite the fact that the founders of said land denied the rights of voting and running for office to their spouses and, oh yeah, the black folks they owned at the time.”

“Moose, that’s just the hormones talking. Don’t give up hope! Clinton still leads in the delegate count, and she’s not doing badly in the Kennedy count either. Yes, Caroline and Ted have thrown their support to Obama, but Clinton’s got Kathleen, Kerry, and RFK, Jr. That’s nothing to sneeze at!”

“Rox, please, don’t be naïve. Ted Kennedy steps into a highly contested primary race to endorse one senator with less seniority over another. It’s a big deal, dammit! It’s a huge deal! Why is that not a catastrophic breach of political decorum? Why are the bloviators not howling about how this will divide the Democratic party and destroy the unity essential to victory in November? Why do the Clintons always get blamed for this sort of crap?”

“Well, Paul Krugman did say he thought Dems had gone a little nuts over Bill Clinton’s remarks. . . .”

“Right, but Toni Morrison also endorsed Obama today with some airy tribute to his supposed ‘wisdom.’ ‘It is too bad if we associate [wisdom] only with gray hair and old age. Or if we call searing vision naivete. Or if we believe cunning is insight.’ My god, I could puke! A Nobel Prize winning writer whom I revere above almost any other living being implying that another woman is ‘cunning’ and holding forth as though ‘wisdom’ had any meaning or worth apart from action, apart from the hard work of living, breathing, and choosing in the world every godforsaken day of our pathetic little lives.”

“Moose, take a breath, seriously. I think the basketball has got you down.”

“No, Rox, my species has got me down, my party has got me down, and my country makes me insane. What was so awful about Hillary Clinton’s obviously (historically) accurate claim that President Johnson’s leadership was essential to the success of the struggle for civil rights for African Americans? Bill Moyers, who worked in the Johnson White House, certainly thought it was a fair point to make. And Obama’s remarks about Reagan were full of code words like ‘the excesses of 1960s and 1970s’ that were clearly aimed at assuring Republicans and independents that he was no liberal. Clinton’s response was well within bounds of fair political critique, but people fall all over themselves to denounce it as a Lee Atwater-scale attack on a fellow Democrat. Why, on the other hand, was it apparently quite acceptable to the Emily Posts of the punditocracy for Obama strategist David Axelrod to insinuate that Clinton’s vote to authorize military action in Iraq implicated her in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto? Where was the outrage on that? Where were the cries of, ‘Over the line! Off the deep end! Divider! Meanie!’”

“Perhaps there is a bit of a double standard in play here. A lot of people do really seem to hate the Clintons, you know. Still, Moose, you’ve got to call off this strike. I need you to type for me again. My readers are starving. You’ve got another speaking gig coming up next week, and we’ve got a lot of new readers coming in to see what Roxie’s World is all about. We can’t let them down. They need us! The guys in Clicks and Eyeballs are screaming for fresh content and hot links.”

“Well, maybe if you’d let me do that funny bit I was thinking about the other day – You know, ‘A President Like My Father.’”

“Oh, yeah, the funny one where you propose that what America needs is a mild-mannered Republican accountant with a secret gift for filthy song parodies and a bizarre obsession with The Sound of Music?”

“Yeah, that’s the one – about the candidate who makes Ted Kennedy reconsider his support for Obama with a hearty, ‘Hey, why not?’”

“Great idea, Moose. Grab the laptop and plop right down in the red chair. It’s time to get back to work!”

“Okay, but only if you promise I get to help write the Academy Awards post.”

“Sorry, but we'll leave that to the crack team of homosexual film critics over at Mod Fab and QTA. Anybody can write about politics, but it takes a real expert to decide who will end up with those gaudy gold statues.”

"Damn, Rox, sometimes I wish I was a homo."

"I know, I know, Moose, but you just don't have the wardrobe for it. Now, come on -- Start typing!"


  1. Hey Roxie. My Mom was oh so happy she got to vote for Hillary today. Lil 'splainin' to do here.

    We live in Jupiter, a tiny little hamlet in the northernmost reaches of Palm Beach County, Florida. My Mom loves pollyticks and is a card carrying Demoncrat. Fade back to the year 2000......

    Mom was vice chair of Gore2000 for Palm Beach County. She organized events, she coordinated volunteers up here in the far reaches, she walked precincts, she sang the songs, she walked the walk. And she made plenty of phone calls! I, the good Dog-ocrat that I am, walked quite a few precincts with her.

    Move forward to the night before election 2000 - Mommy was at a beachside rally in South Beach. Al Gore was there, along with Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sampora, Stevie Wonder, Robert DeNiro and lots of others! She was singing along, and dancing, and clapping to the speeches....She didn't get back home til after 4 am!!!!!! Then she had to be out at 6 am putting up Gore2000 signs outside polling places, then handing out literature at polling places - so she was really tired by the time she went to vote.

    Bleary eyed she poured over the ballot - there was A LOT to vote for and tons of long squooshy writing. Well, she thinks she voted for Pat Buchanan by accident.

    So, she got to vote, but the next day lots of stuff happened here and I didn't see much of her for weeks after that. And she still cries because even though she voted she can't be sure her vote counted.

    Move on to Election 2004. Mommy had dropped out of pollyticks but someone piqued her interest. Not one to hang back, she ended up being the Palm Beach County coordinator for General Clark's presidential campaign. Here we go again; meetings, speeches, phone calls, organizing. Even a trip to Charleston South Carolina to walk precincts and hand out literature right before their primary.

    Well, poor Mommy didn't get a chance to vote in Florida's primary, because Florida didn't have one that year. The candidate was decided before our primary date.

    This brings us up to today. Mommy is REALLY so not involved in pollyticks anymore. She did get a chance to vote this time, and voted for HILLARY as every woman should. But you see her vote, once again, won't count. Florida has been stripped of their delegates at the Demoncratic Convention. Why? Because they moved their primary up so their votes WOULD count this time.

    Florida is one of the 4 largest states in delegate/vote counts in the country. My Mom really does deserve the chance to help decide things around here. So I think, yes I am a dog capable of reason, that FLORIDA'S VOTES NEED TO COUNT!!!!

    Bussie Kissies

  2. That is quite a story, Buster! Thanks for passing it along. And the mighty Democrats of Roxie's World certainly agree that Florida's votes ought to count, every single one of them. That's a position we've held since the dark days of 2000. The moms went downtown back then carrying signs that said things like, "No Fuzzy Math!" and "Democracy Counts -- and Re-Counts!" It's a good thing we dogs are capable of reason, Buster, 'cause some days I seriously doubt that the humans are!

  3. Anonymous10:09 AM EST

    ". . . voted for HILLARY as every woman should. . ."

    Roxie, my human hasn't yet decided which way she's going, but things got very excited around here when she read that. She's now stomping around the room (not getting my dinner) muttering about how she thinks maybe, just MAYBE, she can decide her vote with her brain, not with her womb, mere female as she is (oh, things are getting venomous) (and also my dinner is not getting gotten), and maybe Buster could just please come explain to our neighbor that, being a black man, he needs NOT to vote for Hillary? My human mutters that she has no idea how his wife is supposed to vote, her being both black and female. (We do recall that this question confused poor CNN no end, although my human assures me she doesn’t know any African American women who are that easily confused.) And meantime, . . . um, . . . no beagles are being fed. Just sayin’.

    I, however, being a beagle, am much calmer about the whole thing (not about the not getting dinner thing, but about the voting thing*), because calm is what we beagles specialize in. So I would say, “Listen, Buster!” (Mostly because, watching lots of 40’s movies, I’ve always wanted to say that, so I’m going to enjoy it while I’ve got the chance) “Too much is at stake after 7 years of our very own homegrown American Caligula to vote for anyone but the best candidate to pull us out of this mess. If Hillary is it, then EVERYONE should vote for her. But saying ‘every woman should’ implies that being female is a reason to vote for her, so non-females have *fewer* reasons to vote for her. Did you really want to imply that Hillary wasn’t the best candidate for ALL Americans?” I thought the official position of Roxie’s world was that Hillary was the best, period.

    Good. So now that we have that settled, maybe we can all calm down and a certain very patient beagle can have his dinner.

    *My human says I’m sounding like Little Bush’s daddy, which is EXTREMELY insulting and just goes to show how upset she is at the suggestion that she votes her chromosomes. Humans!

  4. Anonymous11:00 AM EST

    According to the NY Daily News today (p.7), addressing her own campaign (in keeping the battle out of the gutter), Hillary said:

    "We have to bear, perhaps, the lion's share of responsibility because of our record, because of who we are, because of how long we've been doing this, to make sure this campaign does get back on what's important to Americans."

    Can you imagine a Presidency, a United States! that would choose to hold itself to that kind of responsibility! Go Hillary!


  5. Well, I am just a terrier with a VERY SHORT attention span...but I do recall Mom going on and on about Hillary being the best for all worlds.....She just kinda gets the hair up on the back of her neck sometimes.

    So, Hillary won Florida and gets no notice from the newsies for it. Where is the non-stop reporting of the change of tide for Hillary?

    Oh, Morning Joe Screw-boro did take the occasion to comment that with McCain's 40+ years in Washington and Hillary's 35 years experience people obviously were not voting for change. So, NOW he is ready to admit she DOES have experience and her experience DOES count? Of course because he is using it NEGATIVELY!!!!

    Screwsies the Newsies!

    Bussie Kissies

  6. Anonymous8:29 PM EST

    Ah. Listening to Joe Scarborough. Well, that accounts for it. Look, Buster (dang, I love saying that!), you know and I know and Roxie knows that that kind of thing isn't good for your brain. But the humans often don't catch on. Can you get the human to change the channel? I don't let mine listen to that sort of tripe. (I'm the Tripe Nazi--"no tripe for you!" Of course, the ability to bay loudly and in such a way as to drown out nearly everything helps a lot.)

    About Florida--that's another whole story. It's not reported because the votes don't count, and they don't count because there was some kind of oddity going on with a Democrat moving the Florida caucus earlier and the DNC telling FL to move it back, and the Republicans not allowing FL to move it back, so the DNC (going along--is anybody surprised by this anymore?--with the desires of the Republicans) decided they'd punish the Dems of Florida by not counting their votes.


    I say again: humans!

  7. Well, I'm certainly glad that Buster and Dudley managed to make peace. If terriers and beagles can't get along, is there any hope for peace between the Clintonistas and the Obamaniacs once the primaries are over?

    I have to report that a major depression is settling in over Roxie's World over the tone and tide of things recently. We hate the fact that the media are back in their gleeful, ding-dong the witch is just about dead mode, and we are bewildered as to why so many of Obama's supporters are such ardent Clinton haters. Isn't he supposed to be the peace, love, and uniter guy? Aren't we supposed to be "transcending" our differences and just getting along? Do people not realize or care how dangerous it is to demonize one of our own, especially now that it appears more and more likely that McCain will be the Republican nominee? For some strange reason, independents love McCain. If the Dems end up in a bloodbath, off those voters will go, and we'll end up with a couple more members of the Federalist Society on the Supreme Court.

  8. Anonymous9:16 AM EST

    Roxie, what did you make of Frank Rich's piece in last Sunday's paper? You know my heart is with Clinton, but Rich's argument about a McCain/Clinton match-up gave me pause.

  9. You mean that piece of garbage penned by He Whose Name Is No Longer Spoken in Roxie's World? We hated it. We think he's been drinking out of MoDo's coffee cup. We think the head-to-head polls are still meaningless. Yes, we're worried about Bill. Yes, we're worried about the irrational forces of Clinton hatred, but Rich's column spun a nightmare out of unproven charges that really wouldn't amount to much even if they were true.

    Note to Readers: We need to come up with a name shorter than He Whose Names Is No Longer Spoken in Roxie's World. My typist hates that. Suggestions?

  10. Anonymous10:50 AM EST

    Sympathy Is Hurting Obama's Readiness To Face Republicans
    by Kathleen Reardon

    "If Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination, it looks now as though he'll have to be ready to face Romney or McCain. The former will mimic and belittle Obama with an onslaught of economic jargon and slights far beyond what he has endured from Hillary or Bill Clinton. And McCain won't play Mr. Nice Guy either.

    "Barack Obama has a lot to offer this country. He and Michelle may indeed be nicer than Hillary and Bill Clinton -- at least for now having not been pummeled by the Republicans for decades. That would give anyone a crust. But where's the backbone and verbal agility that can beat today's Republicans? Their machine isn't a bulldozer; it's a shredder.

    "Sympathy is a soft, short-lived passion. It helps a bit at first, but fizzles to nothing, or worse disappointment. In politics, if you can't respond to adversarial remarks with intellect and wit eventually you're toast -- even with a dual Kennedy endorsement."


  11. Anonymous10:56 AM EST

    In my prevous post, the blogger formatting makes it look as if RutgersAlumna's url is Kathleen Reardon's, which obviously it is not! But I read her often and would stand by much she says!

  12. Anonymous9:13 PM EST

    OK, can we at least find a point of agreement, regardless of which Dem wins?

    Valerie Plame for CIA Director!


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