Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sex, Politics, and Stupidity

Something to consider if you are really, REALLY getting sick of politics . . . by gwilmore
a photo by gwilmore on Flickr.
American politics never cease to amaze me. I just watched 30 minutes of Andrea Mitchell Reports, always a thoughtful interview program on MSNBC.

It began with a terrific analysis of the U.S./China relationship by Jon Huntsman, former ambassador to China and former Republican candidate for president of the United States. He demonstrated a vast command of the history and culture of China and urged all candidates to avoid the sound bites and give the issue the thoughtful reflection that this very complex and highly consequential matter deserves.
Jon Huntsman

I never did understand why Huntsman didn't make a bigger splash in the GOP nomination process. He always seemed to be a guy who understands the importance of bipartisanship; he was appointed to the ambassadorial post in China by Democratic President Obama. The Republican base saw that as a problem not as evidence of his ability to be effective across party lines.

Instead of listening to the likes of Huntsman the party preferred a three ring circus where the lion tamer was up first, soon replaced by the high wire artist, and then completely taken over by the clowns. And the ringmaster? Nowhere to be found.

Foster Friess
So just as I settled back appreciating Huntsman's civility and intelligence, there cometh Foster Friess, the millionaire backer of Rick Santorum's presidential aspirations. Asked about the statements attributed to Santorum that contraception was "dangerous" he dismissed the issue by saying, "Back in my days they used Bayer Aspirin for contraception--the gals put it between their knees." Even the veteran reporter Andrea Mitchell was nonplussed, stumbling along in an effort to salvage a moment of grace out of the statement's stupidity. 

It's this kind of stuff that comedians like Bill Maher loves. On the Tonight Show he left Jay Leno cracking up when he said that Rick Santorum "believes that life begins at erection." I laugh right along with everyone else, always willing to be titillated by a little naughty joke or edgy comment now and then. 

But then I stop. Do we realize that the world is laughing at us? We have people who are considered serious candidates for leader of the free world babbling on about social issues that have been settled for decades, sometimes generations. 

Mr Santorum, it is not contraception that is dangerous. It is you.