Uprisings: September 24 – October 7

By : Billy Manes
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Once upon a time, it felt like a public duty to witness the beads of sweat lining Richard Nixon’s lips while the glowing complexion of John F. Kennedy burned visible anxiety into said grumble face made for print media and the quotes that come with it. Once upon a time, there was the underlying sense that gentlemen (now women, too!) standing atop a stage in front of tens of millions of people to discuss the fate of our still-young nation was a piece of this, our great democracy, a piece not to be missed. And then 2015 happened: The debates had to be split into kids’ table and grown-ups’ table by dint of polling percentages, and all of American life turned into a reality show based around a pageant based around hate and ignorance based around what the hell life has turned into.

By no means does this column mean to discourage public communication by those who would like their finger on the imaginary red button or desire to have their private lives ravaged by the altitude of overexpression. Heavens, no. We’re all spectators out here. Bring on the dancing horses.

But it’s the overall disingenuousness of it all, that little twinge that rides behind everyone’s ears and drifts to their mouths, muttering, “They’re all liars. All politicians are crooks.” That’s not terribly healthy, nor does it inform voters in any manner. The bluster and braggadocio have already cost us such Koch-Brothers-friendly malcontents as Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, because, presumably, they can’t make any sense of the words that pile up betwixt their ears, nor can they defend themselves from the marauding hairpiece of sewn from bankruptcies named Donald Trump. But they’re also making people who believe in doing the right thing turn the channel quickly. This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio spat back in this manner when Trump called him on his absenteeism on the Senate floor, although if you try to peer through the rhetoric, it’s almost like you can see air. On a clear day, you can see forever.

“You’re right, I have missed some votes, and I’ll tell you why, Mr. Trump. Because in my years in the Senate, I’ve figured out very quickly that the political establishment in Washington, D.C. in both political parties is completely out of touch with the lives of our people,” Rubio said. “That’s why I’m missing votes. Because I am leaving the Senate, I’m not running for re-election, and I’m running for president because I know this: unless we have the right president, we cannot make America fulfill its potential, but with the right person in office, the 21st century can be the greatest era that our nation has ever known.”

Woah. Heavy.

Uprisings_MikeHuckabeeWith this clown bus, that conclusion can likely be disregarded with every other lipstick-stained napkin you’ve ever received at a bar, or every budget number you’ve read on a bathroom wall. There is no denying that these are serious times. There is also no denying that these are not dependable people, not visionaries, not leaders. Fortunately, when you “feel the Bern” or “stand with Hillary,” there isn’t quite so much shit that you have to wipe off your lips. Or sweat, really. Sorry, Dick.

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on Pope Francis visiting the U.S.A. last week: “President Obama’s classless decision to transform Pope Francis’ visit to the White House into a politicized cattle call for gay and pro-abortion activists is an insult to millions of Catholics. Why is it that Obama goes to extremes to accommodate Muslim terrorists but shows nothing but disdain for Christians? This is a new low for an administration that will go down as the most anti-Christian in American history.”

UpRising_CarlyFiorinaMaybe it’s because we’re a nation of trees that sway in political breezes of our own personal discontent, but the news that Hewlet- Packard failure and odd woman out (of the Republican presidential primary) former CEO Carly Fiorina and her trumping of bizarre wizard of breezy darkness Donald Trump at the most recent Republican debate has won her a legitimate chance in the stakes. The once-underdog scored points on calling out Trump’s commentary on women keeping up appearances of the physical variety, an act that shot her up to number two (with a bullet!) for those watching this train wreck. Trouble is, Fiorina also claimed to have seen gruesome videos about harvesting fetal brains, because Planned Parenthood. Even FOX News called her on her lie (the videos don’t exist). She, however, isn’t relenting. But she’s coming to Hernando County on Oct. 21! Maybe you can call her a liar to her face?

UpRising_Vern_BuchananThere’s always a strange, suspicious and steely aftertaste when you hear of conservative leadership taking the high road – call it Stockholm Syndrome, or the McCain effect from that one time that Sen. John McCain tried to deflect some Muslim xenophobia at a public appearance – but hearing that U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Bradenton, is fighting the filibuster as a legal construct, which a serious weight problem that is holding this country hostage, well, it’s encouraging. We’re not exactly hopping in Buchanan’s lap, mind, as he’s currently crocheting headlines together about the Senate’s refusal to debate the Iran deal that will save our lives. But, given his op-ed in the Bradenton Herald on Sept. 18, in which he calls the filibuster “a relic of the past,” we’ll pass the salt at Thanksgiving and smile with all due sincerity. He’s not even scared of Democrats passing bills! He’s a rough boy.

UpRising_Richard_CorcoranHouse Speaker-designate Richard Corcoran, R-Land o’ Lakes, isn’t wasting any time speaking out both sides of his self-righteous mouth, it appears. On Sept. 21, Politico.com reported that the crowned p7709rince of doublespeak – our name for whatever House Speaker you throw at us, unless it is a shirtless former Speaker Will Weatherford (different name, entirely) – was telling dubious lies. Gasp. Corcoran has deigned himself master of transparency, allegedly, giving speeches in which he declares things like that the House should “build an absolute firewall between our private lives and the influence of special interests” in public. Meanwhile, whilst shining his Tallahassee boots for the big dance of ethical public service, he just held a hootenanny for some 400 lobbyists and supporters. It’s so much more fun and dirty when the microphone is off.

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