Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Super-Sized Fat Tuesday Recap: Conan / Colbert Causality Conclusion; Clinton, McCain, Candidates, and Caucuses; Carpenter's "Clock" Cover

Conan / Colbert Causality Conclusion

Super-sized Fat Tuesday began with the dramatic - nay, epic - conclusion to the ongoing feud between Conan O'Brien and Stephen Colbert (with Jon Stewart) over who made Mike Huckabee. What started as a two-on-one handicap match comically degenerated into a every-man-for-himself triple threat street fight...

...and a final interference by Mike Huckabee ended the feud once and for all. How's that for pro wrasslin'?

Clinton, McCain, Candidates, and Caucuses

On a relatively more serious note, let's get into a few rant-filled analyses about Super Tuesday:

According to various reports about voter turnout for the several-state primaries or caucuses, it seems that Americans want their country back and are exercising one of their Constitutionally-guaranteed rights to do so by voting. Keep in mind that this is not yet November's general election, and people are energized more than previous decades. I have a couple of reasons at the tip of my fingers (so to speak) to hypothesize why this is so:

1. The proliferation of broadband Internet as an information source alongside broadcast/cable/print news. In 2004 and the decade before, people had the World Wide Web to surf through text articles and the beginnings (post-Doogie Howser) of blogging. However, Internet video was few, far-between, and f-ed up in usual quality. Now we have YouTube and other Flash-based streaming video to supplement text news and information. We're not stuck with the traditional venues of media - though admittedly still strong in 2008 - and new technologies have energized young people to vote...hopefully.

2. No incumbents or vice presidents running for office - which creates excitement for both major parties. This is one of Vice President Dick Cheney's better decisions, to not run for president. His omission from the ballot has created excitement for the GOP pool of nominees, and has spared Cheney the probable embarrassment of not being the front-runner (that is, unless Karl Rove reemerges to Swift Boat all opponents).

It's been decades since we've had an incumbent-free primary season like 2008:

2004 had President George W. Bush.
2000 had Vice President Al Gore.
1996 had President Bill Clinton.
1992 had President George H. W. Bush.
1988 had Vice President George H. W. Bush.
1984 had President Ronald Reagan.
1980 had President Jimmy Carter.
1976 had President Gerald Ford.
1972 had President Richard Nixon.
1968 kinda-sorta had President Lyndon B. Johnson; 1968 also had Vice President Hubert Humphrey.
1964 had President Lyndon B. Johnson.
1960 had Vice President Richard Nixon.
1956 had President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
1952 kinda-sorta had President Harry S. Truman; 1952 also had Vice President Alben W. Barkley.
1948 had President Harry S. Truman.
1944 had President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1940 had President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1936 had President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1932 had President Herbert Hoover.
1928 had Vice President Charles Dawes.
1924 had President Calvin Coolidge.
1920 had no incumbents, presidential or vice-presidential.

88 years. Trying to jot down the above list from memory until around 1928's entry on the list, I did not expect it to go back 88 years. But does that at least make me smarter than a fifth grader?

3. If no one else enters and shrewdly steals all delegates, the current Democratic party candidate pool shows archetypal change. Senator Clinton or Senator Obama. One is also a former first lady. The other had a father from Kenya, a mother from Kansas, was born in Hawaii, and spent early years in Indonesia. A sort of feminism, or a sort of multiculturalism. Ideologically similar, and both represent change (at face value, at the very least). That was just my long-winded way to say "one's a woman, the other's black (with a white mom), and neither is an old white dude." Sometimes being long-winded gives time to think, and I wish voters would think and research instead of reacting to Pavlov's bells.

Anyhow, Hillary Clinton is currently in the lead in a close race to the nomination.

4. The Republican party is divided. Moderates like John McCain. Conservatives are divided between Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Libertarians - either few in number as registered Republicans or apathetic to get out to vote (or another conspiracy theory) - theoretically like Ron Paul. Without writing out any full names, just as long as another Bush Republican (Willard) doesn't make it to November, I - and a possibly big chunk of America - can rest easy.

McCain - disdained by Bush Republicans in the media - is the current front-runner by a large margin. The GOPs best bet for reclaiming the Oval Office could possibly be a McCain / Huckabee ticket. If McCain wants to be an ultimate badass, though, the ticket would read McCain / Lieberman. That's right. Joe Lieberman: Democrat-turned-Independent, hanging out at McCain's rally yesterday, and Jewish. Oh yeah, and Bush kissed him. That ticket would be badass, John McCain! Something only a war hero could pull off...and something reeking of what's that word?


Carpenter's "Clock" Cover in Stone Carpenter Gossard of Pearl Jam. To show his political leanings in a fun way, Stone enlisted his Pearl Jam bandmates (including Boom Gaspar, minus Eddie Vedder) to record a political parody of "Rock Around the Clock" called "Rock Around Barack." Right-click on the link in the preceding sentence to save the m4a file of the song (as long as it's valid at Pearl Jam's website).

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