Posts Tagged ‘Gore’

Hail to the Thieves!

By mike flugennockThursday - December 7th, 2000Categories: Bushit, Clintontime, elections, media

Throughout the campaign, the Repuglicans slang mud, made up outrageous claims based on words pulled from random context (Al Gore saying “I invented the Internet”), and made the most absurd threats they could think of to suppress minority turnout. The Donkeycrats, meanwhile, were busy bullying, belittling and threatening Nader/Green supporters and the rest of the Left for not supporting their craven, gutless asses, and threatening them with guilt for bringing down the bloody boot heel of GOP tyranny on all of us for voting Green (”a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush”).

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Finally, as we all know, it came down to the good and saintly Donkeycrats against the mean old nasty Repuglicans in a close one in Florida — as some wags like to say, “close enough to steal”. The mean old nasty Repuglicans were doing things like busing in gangs of college brownshirts — these Brownshirts wore crisp white shirts and nice ties and khaki pants, though — to harass election-office workers and disrupt the recount; the good and saintly Donkeycrats, meanwhile, not wanting to reveal their years of complicity in profiling and other racist Drug War policies that created thousands of young black felons — and, subsequently, thousands of young black non-voters — were reduced to mealy-mouthed lawyerly tap-dancing about hanging chads, pregnant chads, the intent of the voter, and all sorts of other banal “meaning of is” bullshit.

In the middle of all the pissing contests in the media and in the streets in front of the Supreme Court building, there was still the Counter-Inaugural mobilizations to be planned and organized and, of course, the poster to be designed and made street-ready by the middle of December. Considering the behavior of the two major parties throughout the campaign, and especially during the Florida recount circus, the whole theater playing out in front of me started to look less like a political dispute between two election campaigns and more like a gang war, like in a Quentin Tarantino film, like Reservoir Dogs or something. The suspicion, jealousy and paranoia had gotten to be too much, and the two hoods who pulled off the caper were turning on each other.

Medium-res jpg image, 774k

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Let the People Into the Debates

By mike flugennockFriday - September 1st, 2000Categories: Bushit, Clintontime, elections, media

Ah, Y2K… a simpler, happier time. Nothing important having to do with computers or networks crashed, failed, collapsed, imploded or fell over. We still didn’t have our flying cars yet, but we were still wired to the teeth on the solidarity high from A16. Of course, we didn’t have a whole lot of time to bitch about not having our flying cars yet, as it was fast approaching time to decide how we were going to organize around the Presidential “Election” circus, and the attendant party conventions. This being DC, we spent a lot of time spotlighting Statehood organizing and the “debates”.

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Every Presidential “election” year, the Commission On Presidential Debates, a totally bipartisan outfit, convenes to decide, in an entirely bipartisan fashion, how to prevent anybody other than Republicans and Democrats from appearing in the nationally televised “debates”. This, of course, was also the first year in many that the Democrats were facing any kind of serious challenge from the Left — and by “the Left”, I don’t mean “candy-assed phony ‘Pwogwessives’ who vote Democratic, mail checks to NPR and read Mother Jones while they’re taking a dump”; by that, I mean the goddamned Left, from the outside, in the form of Ralph Nader and the Green Party USA, who actually were close to polling numbers high enough to qualify for Federal matching funds and automatic ballot access in the next “election” year. Needless to say, most of the Democratic Party’s most vigorous campaigning wasn’t against the GOP, but against the Left — basically, against its own base — for daring to decide they had a choice, and that they didn’t need the Democrats’ permission to take action, and to call the Democratic leadership to account for their abandonment of core values, its failure to defend working people and, basically, being such a worthless, no-account, dive-artist outfit while still attempting to put up a shabby, weak, Liberal/Progressive facade. It was the year the Democratic Party finally revealed what it was really all about by doing everything it could to keep off the ballot and out of the “debates” a party whose platform would’ve been raised proudly by the Democratic Party themselves in, say, the early ’70s.

This poster advertised a series of protests held in downtown DC, at the headquarters of the Commission on Presidential Debates, calling out the Democrats for their hypocrisy and cowardice, and calling out the CPD for rigging the rules in favor of rich, well-connected establishment politicians, and for allowing corporate influence in the form of Anheuser-Busch’s sponsorship of the telecasts. This was also the year where you couldn’t turn on your TV set without at least once seeing that goddamn’ “Whazzuuuuuuup!” commercial at least ten times. Still, it was silly enough to hold my attention for more than ten seconds, and my friends and I were already using it as a form of ironic, absurdist greeting, so when I let my mind wander a bit and started riffing on the whole Presidential Debate/Whazzuuuuuup idea, it didn’t take long to start asking myself what influence Anheuser-Busch’s sponsorship will take. Would they be allowed to hang their logo onstage, like those old quiz shows from the ’50s? Would A-B be allowed final say on the questions…and have us reduced to an hour a night for three nights of Gush and Bore standing there going “Whazzuuuuuuuup?” This, while not the most likely, proved to be the more entertaining vision.

11×17 medium-res grayscale .jpeg image, 660kb

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