In The Political System, The People Are Represented By Two Separate Yet Equally Important Groups...

...The idiots who run for President, and the idiots who organize inane political parties.

Between Fred Thompson's somnambulant run for higher office, and Sam Waterston's really-should've-known-better efforts at faux bipartisanship, it's been a heck of a year for the Law & Order cast, hasn't it? To paraphrase David Letterman's classic line about Jay Leno meeting George W. Bush, the conversations around that set's craft service table must be a real summit meeting.


Bob Westal said…
I'm with you on this one. In fact, I've been meaning to write something about this. I basically turn into Lou Ferrigno every time I hear words to the effect of "we must abandon the extremes of both the right and the left."

This makes me crazy because, until very recently, most of the what passes for a mainstream left in this country has been steadily moving right ever since Reagan took office, while the Republicans have grown ever more rightwing to the point where we have a President in office who tried to rewrite the constitution to make himself a king.

These people really mean "if you crazy liberals will give up evey remaining principle, we'll try and get the Weekly Standard guys to stop calling you terrorist enabling Stalinists."

Cinephile said…
Oh, come on-- the WEEKLY STANDARD would never do that! (: I think my problem is with the dissing of partisanship, which can certainly go to crazy-ass extreme lengths, but is also a vehicle for discussion and debate-- the two things that are at the root of democracy. I'm not sure that clearly stating different positions means there's no room for conciliation or compromise (which is also an important part of democracy), but I think it's important to know where we stand, or at least to have a sense of the variety of positions out there. Why do we fear argument so much? And why-- as Digby and others have said-- does this sort of "bipartisan" rhetoric only come up when the right is in disarray?

Oh, one more thing, so I don't pitifully pad the earlier comment thread about Leno (:-- while my views are much more to the center-left, I also think a genuine conservative comedy show (not the fox blowhard faux conservative, or that horrible 1/2 comedy hour thing) might be interesting. One of the things I liked about FNL, which I'm not sure I made clear in that post, was the quiet and genuine respect it had for its small-town traditions, like religious belief, for example: it's there, without condescension or comment, as a thread in the characters' lives, and it shows how these things we so often align with one side or another actually cut across different kinds of cultural and political boundaries. A comedy program that reflected that might be intriguing, actually, even if I didn't agree with it. But that's not, for me, what Leno is, and I don't think that's the kind of "bipartisanship" Bloomberg and Broder have in mind (in fairness, it might be what Waterston is trying-- and failing-- to do).
Bob Westal said…
I haven't watched it in a while, but that show you're describing sounds an awful lot like "King of the Hill." Some people have even labeled Mike Judge a conservative of sorts, though I really don't know for sure that he is.

And, of course, conservatives can be funny; it's always been as much a conservative thing as a liberal thing. I think the difference is that comedy never works if it's specifically tied to a particular religious or political agenda, right, left, or center.

I've seen some pretty hideous attempts at liberal humor/entertainment over the years as well -- the moment you try to "use" humor to make a point, you're probably doomed, because you're no longer being honest.

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