Go home Garrison

I got this email today that was purported to be a copy of an article written by Garrison Keillor. I don’t know if the man actually wrote it, and I don’t really care if he did – I happen to have been a fan of his since childhood, and I think that he’s entitled to his own opinions. I just think that this email – and the snarky comments that I came up with during it, ought to impart some bipartisan laughs. By the way, this is not a declaration of my support for either party so please don’t start emailing me from either side. Those that do know who I intend to vote for seem to believe that if they harass me enough that I’ll change my mind. While current events may do so, you will not as I’m firmly and happily rooted in place. Then there are folks who just like to stir the pot and see what I’ll say, you’re welcome to email me if you value my opinion (which I have a lot of that I’ll be happy to impart to you!) – like the gent that sent me this (my comments are in italics):

By Garrison Keillor

Something has gone seriously haywire with the Republican Party. Once, it was the party of pragmatic Main Street businessmen in steel-rimmed spectacles who decried profligacy and waste, were devoted to their communities and supported the sort of prosperity that raises all ships. They were good-hearted people who vanquished the gnarlier elements of their party, the paranoid Roosevelt-haters, the flat Earthers and Prohibitionists, the antipapist antiforeigner
element. The genial Eisenhower was their man, a genuine American hero of D-Day, who made it OK for reasonable people to vote Republican. He brought the Korean War to a stalemate, produced the Interstate Highway System, declined to rescue the French colonial army in Vietnam, and gave us a period of peace and prosperity, in which (oddly) American arts and letters flourished and higher education burgeoned-and there was a degree of plain decency in the country.

Why is that odd? And surely lif wasn’t all that peaceful. Sounds like a nostalgic utopia

Fifties Republicans were giants compared to today’s.

That’s because they were still standing on their nuclear weapons. Not to mention the fact that they were running the dream of a utopian society into the ground while ignoring the plight of the repressd around them. Sorry, I hate fuzzy nostalgic speeches that just wistfully remove all the hard edges of life as it was. Garrison should go down to Mississippi and ask some of the folks there how much they enjoyed the fifties, and life in general before (and during) the Civil Rights Act of ’65 (hope I got the year right, I’m pulling most of this out of my memory, and it’s been a long week)

Richard Nixon was the last Republican leader to feel a Christian obligation toward the poor.

With the possible exception of his poor opponent – couldn’t help that one

In the years between Nixon and Newt Gingrich, the party migrated southward down the Twisting Trail of Rhetoric and sneered at the idea of public service and became the Scourge of Liberalism, the Great Crusade Against the Sixties, the Death Star of Government, a gang of pirates that diverted and fascinated the media by their sheer chutzpah, such as the misty-eyed
flag-waving of Ronald Reagan who, while George McGovern flew bombers in World War II,
took a pass and made training films in Long Beach.

Wow, that was quite a run-on, worthy of Dennis Miller! I’d also like say “Shame on you, Garrison” for attacking the Gipper when he can’t fight back. Where is this Christian attitude that you were touting earlier? Didn’t your mama teach you not to speak ill of the dead. Besides, Nancy’s still around, and I’d be afraid of ticking that woman off…

The Nixon moderate vanished like the passenger pigeon, purged by a legion of angry white men who rose to power on pure punk politics.

Um, I’m a little confused here, wasn’t that a carrier pigeon that went nearly extinct? And what does it have to do with punk rock? Also, isn’t Garrison the “angry white man” in question here?

“Bipartisanship is another term of date rape,” says Grover Norquist, the Sid Vicious of the GOP. “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it
into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” The boy has Oedipal problems and
government is his daddy.

Yuck. Sounds like he just made the top of everbody’s assasination list. What a schmo

The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks,
fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk.

You remember the run-on that I discussed earlier? I think we just redefined the word. Try this: just say this sentence out load, and see if you can make it through, at a resonable speed without running out of breath at the end. I do have an insane desire to meet either a nihilist in golf pants, or a Lamborghini libertarians. I figure if I’m ever going to, its going to be here in Austin, though. And only Chris Carter seems to really believe that the moon landing was filmed in Roswell, and he’d probably shoot you for insuating he’s a Republican.

Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we’re deaf, dumb and dangerous.

Ah, and our philandering brain trust of a former president didn’t? Can this guy actually be nostalgic for that administration?? Did Garrison hit his head stepping off his comfy stage in St. Paul?

Rich ironies abound! Lies pop up like toadstools in the forest!

I think he’s been chewing on some of those toadstools

Wild swine crowd round the public trough! Outrageous gerrymandering! Pocket lining on a
massive scale! Paid lobbyists sit in committee rooms and write legislation to alleviate the suffering of billionaires! Hypocrisies shine like cat turds in the moonlight!

You have got to give the author some points for his evocative descriptions. Cat turds in the moonlight. Ye gods!

O Mark Twain, where art thou at this hour? Arise and behold the Gilded Age reincarnated gaudier than ever, upholding great wealth as the sure sign of Divine Grace.

Here in 2004, George W. Bush is running for reelection on a platform of tragedy-the single greatest failure of national defense in our history, the attacks of 9/11 in which 19 men with box cutters put this nation into a tailspin, a failure the details of which the White House fought to keep secret even as it ran the country into hock up to the hubcaps, thanks to generous tax cuts
for the well-fixed, hoping to lead us into a box canyon of debt that will render government impotent, even as we engage in a war against a small country that was undertaken for the president’s personal satisfaction but sold to the American public on the basis of brazen misinformation, a war whose purpose is to distract us from an enormous transfer of wealth taking place in this country, flowing upward, and the deception is working beautifully.

I tell you what, Garrison, why don’t you go ahead and give me all the wealth that you’ve amassed over the years? That way I can relieve you of this burden that is hanging like a millstone over your neck. I’m more than capable of handling it, I can assure you. Oh, and while you’re at it, let me just remind you that Iraq was on Clinton’s to-do list thanks to them balking the UN inspectors for so many years. He just decided to hand off that hornet’s nest to the person that came after his – especially once he realized that it was a Republican.

The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few is the death knell of democracy. No republic in the history of humanity has survived this.

Um, this may not be the greatest example in the world, but what about Russia? Oh, and Mexico, the Phillipines, S. Korea….none of these countries have a middle class to speak of, and they’re still all republics

The election of 2004 will say something about what happens to ours. The omens are not good.

He’s moved from happy toadstools to reading tea leaves. This guy is all over the place!

Our beloved land has been fogged with fear-fear, the greatest political strategy ever. An ominous silence, distant sirens, a drumbeat of whispered warnings and alarms to keep the public uneasy and silence the opposition.

I’m finding it real hard to take this guy seriously. It sounds like he’s having auditory hallucinations now.

And in a time of vague fear, you can appoint bullet-brained judges, strip the bark off the Constitution, eviscerate federal regulatory agencies, bring public education to a standstill, stupefy the press, lavish gorgeous tax breaks on the rich. There is a stink drifting through this election year. It isn’t the Florida recount or the Supreme Court decision. No, it’s 9/11 that we keep coming back to. It wasn’t the “end of innocence,” or a turning point in our history, or a
cosmic occurrence, it was an event, a lapse of security.

Amen to that, it was a lapse of security. A lapse that the british have been warning us about for years. It was, in effect, an end of innocence for all the isolationist freaks that have been hanging around since WWII. I’m not meaning this to cheapen anyone’s loss, but I think that we should use this as a wake up call to get our heads out of the sand.

And patriotism shouldn’t prevent people from asking hard questions of the man who was
purportedly in charge of national security at the time. Whenever I think of those New Yorkers hurrying along Park Place or getting off the No.1 Broadway local, hustling toward their office on the 90th floor, the morning paper under their arms, I think of that non-reader George W.
Bush and how he hopes to exploit those people with a little economic uptick, maybe the capture of Osama, cruise to victory in November and proceed to get some serious nation-changing done in his second term.

Did you get in a good jerk on those hearstrings Garrison?

This year, as in the past, Republicans will portray us Democrats as embittered academics, desiccated Unitarians, whacked-out hippies and communards, people who talk to telephone poles, the party of the Deadheads.

Hmmm….let’s just ignore the fact that I was just accusing him of most of those things, shall we? But seriously folks, I really wish they were that interesting, it would make people watching fun, and save a lot of money on polling (excuse the pun)

They will wave enormous flags and wow over and over the footage of firemen in the wreckage of the World Trade Center and bodies being carried out and they will lie about their economic policies with astonishing enthusiasm. The Union is what needs defending this year.

Which Union? It makes me nervous when Yankees say that sort of thing. I start looking to Reconstructionists and Carpetbaggers

Government of Enron and by Halliburton and for the Southern Baptists is not the same as what
Lincoln spoke of. This gang of Pithecanthropus Republicanii has humbugged us to death on
terrorism and tax cuts for the comfy and school prayer and flag burning and claimed the right to know what books we read and to dump their sewage upstream from the town and clear-cut the forests and gut the IRS and mark up the constitution on behalf of intolerance and promote the corporate takeover of the public airwaves and to hell with anybody who opposes them.

Wow, that really makes Republicans sound evil. As a friend of mine says, “Bitter much??” I think that I’ll go back to hanging out with the misanthropic frat boys they were a lot more fun

This is a great country, and it wasn’t made so by angry people. We have a sacred duty to bequeath it to our grandchildren in better shape than however we found it. We have a long way to go and we’re not getting any younger.

I wanna know why anyone thinks that this is possible, since it hasn’t been managed since the cradle of civiliazation. While we’re on the subject of children, by the way, I also don’t look forward to explaining to my children why we let Clinton, who is about 4 cards short of a deck, to publicly and flagrantly abuse his wedding vows while in office… and with a bunch of girls that he was charged to mentor, no less. No honey, you can’t be an intern. EVER. that the hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral, so I have spoken my piece, and thank you dear reader.

It’s been a while since I’ve read Dante’s Inferno, but was the traitor (personified by Judas Escariot) the one sitting in the hot seat at the center of hell?

It’s a beautiful world, rain or shine, and there is more to life than winning.

Then why are you whining???

About Matt

In 2002 I started contributing to Open Source software, and life has just gotten better from there. Co-founder of WordPress, founder Automattic.
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