The We Hate Bush Tour

Discussion in 'Politics' started by wonderwench, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. wonderwench
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    wonderwench Guest

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    Wow. The Left is clueless. They really think that something like this has a chance of getting support from moderate Americans?

    Funny, I eat sushi and drive a Volvo - but I'm not convinced by these guys. Maybe it's because I drink cappuccinos instead of lattes.

    Loathing President Bush is an art form in Berkeley, a disgust so pointed that 3,500 people recently gave a standing ovation to a trio of best- selling Bush-bashing authors -- comedian Al Franken, economist Paul Krugman and ex-Nixon strategist Kevin Phillips -- before they uttered a word onstage.

    Unbeknownst to most in the sold-out Berkeley Community Theater audience, they were beta-testing a show that East Coast promoters are developing into a national barnstorming tour. The promoters were impressed; dates in New York and New Haven, Conn., are expected to be announced in the next week on what's being billed as the "Rolling Thunder" tour.

    Bookers in Los Angeles and Chicago are gauging the reception of the unorthodox concept -- three disparate authors, fronted by three different publishers, united only by their common pounding of the leader of the free world -- before scheduling local versions.

    While political commentary wrapped in entertainment harkens back at least to the 1950s and such comics as Mort Sahl, the concept has largely been hibernating until recently, dismissed as box-office death for those to the left of Rush Limbaugh. That attitude began to change last fall, when best- sellers by Franken and filmmaker Michael Moore uncovered an appetite for Bush- bashing entertainment.

    Propelling it forward are performers who are willing to sacrifice ego and cash for the cause; the authors at the Berkeley show waived five-figure speaking fees.

    But while the progressive faithful are thrilled with the books, music and performance art that's bubbling up, the real test will be whether such political entertainment can convert voters in the "red states" that supported Bush over Al Gore in 2000.

    "The truth is, I don't know. I know writing for journals with a circulation of 3,000 won't do it," Krugman, a New York Times columnist, said before last Sunday's Berkeley show. Facetiously, he added, "And writing for the New York Times only gets the latte-drinking, Volvo-driving, sushi-eating types. What we really need to do is reach out and grab people."

    The barnstorming tour is the latest lapel-grab from progressive voices. Franken, the Emmy-award-winning writer, will host a program on a soon-to-be- launched liberal radio network. His book, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right," is in its 21st week on the best- seller list. This past week, it was joined by Phillips' "American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush."

    Krugman's "The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way" was a best-seller for more than two months last fall.

    The trend is turning up in other media as well. MoveOn.org, the Berkeley- birthed grassroots online organization, peppered CNN all week with the winner of its "Bush in 30 Seconds" contest, chosen from more than 1,000 submissions created by nonpoliticos and judged by hipsters such as musician-actor Jack Black.

    In the Bay Area, activists are trying to jolt armchair liberals into action with a little entertainment.

    A show featuring comedy, music, film and "censored truths," dubbed "Behind Every Terrorist Is a Bush," is set for next Sunday at the Herbst Theater. In April, the San Francisco punk rock label Fat Wreck Chords will release "Rock Against Bush," a compilation of political songs, and stage a tour by several bands.

    A series of performances aimed at getting young clubbers interested in politics debuted Jan. 11 at San Francisco's Cafe Du Nord, where a larger-than- normal Sunday night audience saw a lineup featuring veteran Bay Area stage actor Geoff Hoyle, video artist VJ Luna and longtime activist David Harris.

    The next gig in that series, however, won't be in a red state. It will be in Berkeley.

    "Club owners are a hard nut," said the series' co-creator, Infotainment Posse's Michael Ward. "They're going to have to be convinced that it's not a dog show, so I'm going to have to show them this is going to work on a commercial level."

    Even the people behind the Franken-headlined event in Berkeley were reluctant to call it "entertainment." One preferred "intellectual resistance."

    "I see this as more about politics and a movement than just entertainment, " said Drake McFeely, chairman and president of W.W. Norton and Co., the New York outfit that published Krugman's book and united the three authors in Berkeley. "If this keeps drawing 3,500 people, we're going to try to keep it going as long as we can. If we can get four or five dates out of this, I'd be overjoyed."

    Commercially, the Berkeley audience at Sunday's author show gobbled up everything the three authors tossed them.

    "It was really entertaining," said Chris Vibbets, a 30-year-old Forestville musician, as he waited for Franken to sign his book afterward. "It's a way to convey something political to people who would otherwise not want to deal with politics."

    The audience jeered mentions of Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly and Nixon attorney general John Mitchell and cheered nods to filmmaker Moore. Confident his audience was conversant with the new book by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, which compared Bush to a "blind man in a roomful of deaf people" during cabinet meetings, Franken opened by saying O'Neill "was going to come on as a surprise guest. But earlier today, he was murdered."

    The crowd roared. Then again, this was Berkeley.

    "I don't know if it's the kind of thing that will play beyond the universities. I don't see it playing in, say, Georgia unless it's at a college, " said Steven Barclay of Petaluma, an agent for 40 top national lecturers including Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner and humorist David Sedaris. He is not affiliated with any of the authors.

    "Part of me likes to believe it could, though," Barclay said, noting that many in his stable have toured the Deep South. "You could find audiences for (progressives) everywhere."


    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/01/25/MNGBF4CVRG21.DTL
     
  2. Moi
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    Moi Active Member

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    The guy from the NYTimes has another thing coming when, for the almighty dollar, they had a recognizable photograph on the front of the Sept. 12th edition of someone who dove out of the WTC.

    Hypocritical POS.
     
  3. wonderwench
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    Yep. That they are.

    But I'm not at all bothered that they are making asses of themselves. It's good when their true colors show through.
     
  4. jones
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    *caugh* cheap labor..:rolleyes:
     
  5. wonderwench
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    jonsie!

    I would think you'd be a groupie on the tour bus for this one.
     
  6. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Wrong messengers:

    http://www.suntimes.com/output/steyn/cst-edt-steyn25.html


    Mad Dr. Dean jolts Kerry campaign to life

    January 25, 2004

    BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST Advertisement

    I think we can all agree that Howard Dean overreacted. I'm not talking about his overreaction on Iowa caucus night. I'm talking about his overreaction to his overreaction. Ever since last Monday's audition for ''An American Werewolf In Des Moines,'' the Vermonster has been in sleep mode.

    ''What I'm not is a rock star,'' he told Diane Sawyer, as she struggled to stay awake. No, indeed. He's turned into Perry Como. Not Perry Como sitting in a patterned sweater in a rocking chair singing ''Sleepy Time Gal.'' But Perry Como after some shortsighted elephant hunter has fired an extra-strength tranquilizer dart into his butt. Instead of impassioned pleas about taking back the country so everyone has the right to live the American Scream, er, Dream, he talked in a voice so evenly modulated that Diane Sawyer kept dropping in tape of the Howlin' Howard roar every five minutes like Baron von Frankenstein frantically clamping the electrodes to the monster and getting no response. Sitting next to the Vermonster, for the first time ever on TV, was his wife, Dr. Judith Steinberg. After being absent for months, all of a sudden she can't leave his side, just in case his medication wears off.

    As some readers may recall, having spent a decade watching Dean govern Vermont as a dull centrist, I've long argued that the crazy guy running around this last year was just an act, a bit of canny opportunism from a minor local pol who needed to get himself a national profile in nothing flat. Unfortunately, Dean's simulated Mad How disease was so convincing he caught a touch of it himself. If you've seen ''Lost In Translation,'' you'll know there's a marvelous scene where sad middle-age Bill Murray has a night out with Scarlett Johansson and comes to life doing karaoke versions of '80s rock songs. That's Dean. He's right: He's not a rock star. But for months on end he's been doing rock-star karaoke with legions of Scarlett Johansson-type college cuties. You can't blame the guy for getting carried away.

    The trouble is that he has now overcompensated. His minders have evidently told him it's not enough to go back to being the authentically boring Howard Dean -- he's got to be mega-boring. In his interview with Diane from Vermont's charmingly restored Norwich Inn, he seemed to be fading into the authentic colonial wainscoting. The Vermonster had become, in '80s karaoke terms, the Calmer Calmer Calmer Calmer Calmer Chameleon. At Thursday's Democratic debate in New Hampshire, the calmer he got -- ''balanced budgets, fiscally conservative manageable budgets, budgets in balance fiscally conservative'' -- the more the bored Dean watchers speculated that he was about to go berserk, like kids at the zoo eager to start lobbing pebbles at the slumbering gorilla.

    Not even Al Gore, in his bewildering array of alternative identities, managed to be both crazy and comatose in the same week. The governor seems to have come up with his own variation on the fiscally conservative/socially liberal shtick: Vote for Dean -- fiscally balanced, emotionally unbalanced.

    None of the Vermonster's many enemies in the Democratic Party could have devised as exquisite a torture for Howard Dean as this last week. But, whether they've solved their party's problem is another matter. What seems to be happening on the ground in New Hampshire is this: Now that John Kerry is the sane alternative to Howard Dean, much of Wesley Clark's support has leached away to Kerry. But at the same time Dean has been so subdued and demoralized that some of his wackier support has leached away to Clark. If Kerry is the sane alternative to Dean, Clark is the crazy alternative to Kerry.

    Don't take my word for it -- ask Michael Moore, the corpulent conspirazoid. He has endorsed Clark, not Dean. Message: Vote for the real crazy, not the karaoke crazy. In Thursday's debate, Peter Jennings twice gave Gen. Clark the opportunity to repudiate retrospectively Moore's characterization of the president as a ''deserter,'' as Clark had failed to do when Moore made the charge standing alongside him. Instead, Clark claimed to have no views on the matter, not to have looked into it, and said that Moore is ''not the only person who's said that.'' Clark doesn't scream: He has that weirdly intense stare. But, for as long as he's in the race, he'll do more damage to Democratic credibility than any amount of howling from Howard. He's very touchy about status: As he pointed out on CNN, he's a four-star general while Kerry was a mere lieutenant. In the ranks of the deranged, he's Field Marshal Flakey while Dean would be lucky to make corporal.

    That brings us to the ''Comeback Kerry,'' as he styled himself last Monday, though even his missus, Theresa Heinz, could only force a grin at that line. In Iowa, the Ketchup Kid left Dean lying in a big pool of red sticky stuff, and establishment Dems breathed a sigh of relief. But it's hard to see why. Consciously or otherwise, Democrats seemed to be trying to neutralize the war as an issue -- the overwhelming majority is still opposed to it but in Iowa they just wanted it to go away, so they could get back to talking about their issues: health, education, mandatory bicycling helmets, etc.

    That sounds fine in theory. But let's suppose it works, and the Dems nominate Kerry, whose argument is that, because he's a veteran, his plan to give Jacques Chirac a veto over American foreign policy sounds butcher than it would coming from Dennis Kucinich. Fine. But take away the war from Kerry and what's left? An old-school Massachusetts liberal. Not a mere lieutenant, but a mere lieutenant-governor. To Michael Dukakis. Kerry's record on domestic issues is well to the left of Dean's, and a much fatter target for Republicans. He's soft on drug pushers and murderers, big on tax hikes and partial-birth abortion. If I were Bush and I had to choose between running against Howard Dean's Vermont or John Kerry's Massachusetts, I know which guy I'd be rooting for.

    So that's the net result of the Democrats' moment of sanity in Iowa. The runaway favorite for the nomination is an unimaginative doctrinaire New England Democrat, and his principal rival is a paranoid narcissist who thinks Bush is a deserter who allowed 9/11 to happen. It's too much to expect Democratic primary voters to boost Joe Lieberman up to double figures. But, if I were voting on Tuesday, my calculation of the party's best bet would be this: If it's going to be the South against New England this primary season, better Edwards vs. Dean than Kerry vs. Clark.
     
  7. wonderwench
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    I adore Mark Steyn. Another great column!

    Thanks K!
     
  8. Annie
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    Welcome WW. Thought it put all of them in perspective.
     
  9. jimnyc
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    I'm gonna buy a couple hundred cases of tinfoil and follow them around the country. :laugh:
     
  10. William Joyce
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    William Joyce Chemotherapy for PC

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    You don't have to be on the left to hate Bush. I can't stand the illiterate moron, and I'm about as far right as it gets. What's for a conservative to like? He spends like a drunken Democrat, fights wars for Israel instead of the U.S., thinks "education" is a priority of the federal government, wants to let all the illegals come pouring in, is the first president in decades to open up new bureaucracies at the Cabinet level, and doesn't have two brain cells to rub together besides. With Republicans like this, who needs Democrats?
     

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