The Johns' American Values

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When a Howard Dean rally got out of hand, Dean quickly stepped up to say that he didn't approve of everything that had gone on there. He didn't say which parts he didn't approve of, but I assume he thought it obvious. Vulgar, lewd comments about President Bush were part of it. As angry as Dean became known for being, he didn't stoop to endorsing Saturday Night Live humor about the President of the United States. (Well, I suppose I can only be sure that Dean had the decency to realize he needed to pretend he had this kind of moral high ground. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, though, and assume he was sincere.) I don't mean SNL political humor, just to be clear. President Bush actually thought Will Ferrell's caricature of him was really funny, probably because he knew it fit with exactly the picture the rest of the media were painting of him and didn't mind anyone underestimating him. I'm talking about everything else SNL does nowadays. Any mention of anything sexual is supposed to be funny, and if they repeat it often enough the whole audience laughs. If they repeat the skit often enough, the viewers at home will even think it's funny. Apply that kind of method to someone's desire to lower the President of the United States to the lowest position possible. That's what Dean condemned at his own fundraiser. It's also what Whoopi Goldberg did this week at a Kerry/Edwards rally. What was their response? They thought it was a wonderful rally that expressed the values of America, because Kerry and Edwards (of course) express the values of America. I think they're right. These are the values of Americans all over, at least those in junior high.

I never expected to say that Howard Dean has the moral high ground over John Kerry and John Edwards, but here it is. The Hollywood rally for them was at least as bad as Dean's. Whoopi Goldberg's comments were just like those at the Dean rally and would have been condemned by him. Instead, these guys endorse it. If voters go for these guys, they deserve what they get.

I can't endorse the new label for this team -- the ambiguously gay duo (as far as I know, inspired by but not originating with, Drudge). They have been really touchy-feely, and they may be the most gay-friendly ticket ever. The SNL humor they've endorsed makes me really want to assign them an SNL name, and I do think it's funny. It's just not right. That would be stooping to their level (or at least to the level they've officially expressed their support for).

Thanks to King of Fools for the link.

7 Comments

Ahem:

The Democratic nominee and his running mate said it was that kind of anger toward the president that prompted entertainers at Thursday's Democratic fundraising concert in New York to attack Bush as a "cheap thug" and a killer. "Obviously some performers, in my judgment and John's, stepped over a line neither of us believes appropriate, but we can't control that," Kerry said. "On the other hand, we understand the anger, we understand the frustration."
source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A41190-2004Jul10.html

I don't deny that Kerry was just being uncareful when he endorsed the whole event by saying that "every performer" there "coveyed to you the heart and soul of our country". If he'd been paying more attention to the conservative values he's been trying to say he holds, he wouldn't have said what he said.

It's his uncarefulness that I'm complaining about. It's as bad as Trent Lott's speech about Strom Thurmond. The problem with both is that they didn't think about what they said. It just came out because it reflects that their concerns aren't what the people who might get mad about their comments would consider important. In Lott's case it shows that how black people would hear such a comment isn't on his radar screen. In Kerry's case it shows that what would offend a great many people isn't the sort of thing he'd think to apologize for or distance himself from until two days later, after it made the news rounds. Howard Dean distanced himself from it the next morning. Kerry's comment the next morning is the one I'm complaining about.

Doesnt he have masters in Philosophy ... heh heh

"It's as bad as Trent Lott's speech about Strom Thurmond."

Oh, for crying out loud, a little perspective please. Kerry's carelessness revealed that he enjoys off-color jokes. Lott's carelessness revealed that he was nostalgic for the days of American apartheid.

Forgive me, I'm new to your blog, but I assume you posted about Vice President Cheney's remarks to Patrick Leahy in the Senate?

No, I don't particularly care for comments within the Senate among its members and president. I wouldn't use the kind of language Cheney allegedly used, but I don't find whatever content his sentence had to be false or slanderous. He was responding to someone who had said extremely harsh (not to mention false) things about him all week and now wanted to be buddy-buddy.

Trent Lott was talking about defense. Do you really believe he'd say something as stupid as he did, knowing that it had the connotations it did for black people? You can't get elected to the Senate if you're that dumb. Even at a conservative gathering, senators can't say things that they know sound racist. There's no way he was deliberately saying something that he saw as harkening back to segregation. He was thinking about other elements of Thurmond's long and distinguished career, much of which was focused on foreign policy.

Kerry's carelessness revealed that he enjoys jokes that sexually demean people that he, as a professed Christian, should be honoring. They also reveal that he doesn't get how most of America will view those comments when he thinks the whole event reveals American values. Those parts of it didn't, and he just didn't understand how many people he's totally out of touch with on this sort of thing. Someone who swears regularly doesn't tend to understand that there are those who flinch whenever they hear such language, even in the movies. This is just a more extreme case of the same kind of being out-of-touch.

Thanks for the response. I doubt either of us is going to sway the other. The argument that "no senator could be that stupid" doesn't get us very far when we're comparing two Senators. Lott referred to Thurmond's Dixiecrat candidacy for President--I don't see how we can write that off as pertaining to foreign policy.

Neither you nor I can judge the whole event in New York. Many people spoke, not just Whoopi Goldberg. You seem to hold Kerry more responsible for something someone else said, than you hold Cheney and Lott responsible for the words that came out of their own mouths.

Incidentally, I was at a Kerry/Edwards rally in North Carolina on Saturday. No off-color humor. Lots of talk about values -- Kerry referring to his military service, Edwards to his small-town childhood, Kerry telling cute stories about the antics of Edwards's small children.

I'm not saying Kerry's comment was stupid. Both comments were out-of-touch. Lott's comment would have been stupid if it was deliberately saying something in favor of segregation. People who are that dumb aren't capable of getting themselves elected to a town council, never mind senator. It's conplete idiocy to make public statements about segregation in this day and age, even if you agree with them, at least if you're white. Everyone knows how politically dangerous it would be to say such things. Even Thurmond wouldn't say such things in the post-Civil Rights era. Lott showed how out-of-touch he was with how black people would view it. He didn't show that he supports segregation or longed for the days when the U.S. was enforcing segregation.

I'm not holding Kerry responsible for what Goldberg said but for what he uncarefully said about her, just as I'm not holding Trent Lott responsible for what Thurmond said but for what he said about Thurmond.

That the majority of Kerry and Edwards' words is in promotion of conservative values doesn't undermine my point. It supports it. My point was that despite such words they are out-of-touch with most conservatives at the gut level, even if they can mouth the words.

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