Now I know how football widows feel on Superbowl Sunday, just hoping to survive fiestas in their family rooms so they can get back to life sans football. As election years go, this one seems to have gone on forever, starting with a GOP primary lineup from hell. I don’t know if it was Michelle Bachman’s husband dancing or Rick Perry forgetting which cabinet he planned to abolish or the pizza guy with his 9-9-9 plan, but Saturday Night Live writers couldn’t have asked for a more target-rich environment.
Lunatic, no-nothing candidates aside, it’s the barrage of political ads ad nauseum that drives it home for me. I’m looking at a Tammy Duckworth ad right now and I’m sure that will be followed by one for Joe Walsh, Judy Biggert, Brad Schneider and Brad Foster. There’s another one in that mix, like Rick Perry I can’t remember who it is, though.
Duckworth’s the Democratic candidate here in Illinois’ 8th Congressional District. I like Tammy, she seems nice. She’s has a pleasant voice, albeit a bit monotone, but she’s not shrill and shrewish, like some female politicos and pundits. As a public speaker, she’s a bit boring. She’s also a decorated and disabled veteran, although you’d never know about the disabled part unless you saw her prosthetic legs. She talks about her family and her commitment to keeping the American dream alive for future generations. I like that, too.
Her Republican opponent, Joe Walsh seems like a nice enough guy when you meet him. I know he supports our troops, I’ve seen him at many of the rallies and homecomings in his area. He’s just got some very extreme ideas, the rightest of the Right, which may explain the Tea Party’s loyal support. In his closing arguments, he’s toeing the party line: Get rid of health care and FEMA, keep rape. He’s also a bit of a whiner. Right now he’s running an ad featuring his son, asking Tammy Duckworth in a very soulful voice to please stop attacking his family. Something about, if you can’t take the heat comes to mind here, but using your kid as a shield? That’s right out of the Hamas playbook.
Walsh’s biggest blunder, though was getting caught on video saying that Duckworth wasn’t a real hero because real heroes don’t talk about their military service. That one seemed to be the turning point for Joe, you just can’t attack a Purple Heart recipient for walking around on artificial legs. If we’re looking for a greater commitment from our military or our public servants than having both their legs blown off in combat, we might be setting the bar a wee bit too high.
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