This is Issue 9 of the Weekly Tendown, my weekly look at the very best cultural happenings from the past 7 days; Last Week, I discussed Captain Kangaroo, the G Spot, Helicopter Dads, the Hot/Crazy Scale, and my favorite pretend Jay-Z lyric "you gotta be a baller to marry your stepdaughter" What - what do you suppose we'll look at this week...
First: Red on Red Crime.
My midweek blog this week offered my picks for the NFL playoffs and a discussion about how, as a fan of a team which does not make the playoffs, I root based on who I least dislike. When I'm left with a game between, say, the Cowboys against the Favres, I really can't muster up even the energy to watch in an unlimited channel universe. Right now, for example, Dallas is thumping the Eagles (meaning I'll have gone 2-0 today after my midday switch from Bengals to Jets) but I'm listening to this week's Adam Carolla podcasts and starting the Tendown; Carolla's good at this; I've forgotten with whom he was talking a few weeks ago, but he confessed to getting aroused when roughhousing with his young son - it was just from the friction, he wasn't looking to get handcuffed from the makeshift studio, but that's a helluva thing to admit; in previous incarnations of this blog I cut a little deeper into my life than do I now (art's tricky - you can write a terribly personal love song without fear that it will impact your professional life, but I've decided that blog posts really have to have compatible sensibilities to my professorial persona; work's a role no different than is this - but it's the one that feeds the bulldog, and I ain't got the energy to learn another trade) but I would never have cut to the bone like Carolla just to tell a joke.
The reason I'm not watching the game is, when it's two teams I actively dislike, other than injuries (joke, he wishes he didn't have to add parenthetically) I've got nothing to root for (Mike Silver on KNBR this week tossed the Mike Vick to the Niners back up the flagpole; I wrote about this in the last offseason; there is no circumstance, not a move to Los Angeles, not setting fire to jersey #16 in midfield, not another dozen losing seasons which could cause me to renounce my Niner fanship - unless we sign Mike Vick. Then I am out until he is gone and it will be the single most significant breakup of my life.)
But this week saw multiple outbursts of Republican on Republican violence and I ate up every bit of it. Simple Jack went on his radio show and said phone calls from the birthers were "the dumbest thing I ever heard" and even suggested they might be Obama plants. That got teabagger blowback, including by Alan Keyes who said Beck has "little or no understanding of the profound issues of principle" that motivate the whackos. Which must have been quite a blow to Simple Jack, given how he's devoted so much of the past 36 months to misunderstanding American history and it's only now anyone finally notices.
That was the opening act - the middle was RNC Chair Michael Steele releasing a book, apparently without the knowledge of any top Republican leaders. Steele was said to be devoting excessive time to promoting himself as opposed to the Party - Steele was criticized for taking fees to deliver speeches - Steele then said the Republicans couldn't take back the House in the midterm elections and wasn't sure if Republican candidates were ready to lead. Steele's book takes shots at both Bush 43 and 41; and scores of staffers leaked all week the heated exchanges between the various Republican heavy hitters over Steele's suitability to continue as Chair..
The main event is on 60 Minutes this evening, when John McCain's campaign manager Steve Schmidt will say that Sarah Palin's disinclination to prepare for her debate with Joe Biden led to a simplfication of her prep to avoid a "debacle" and presumably other Sarah Palin is only occasionally acquainted with the truth stories.
This doesn't even get to the 2009 Republicans v. 2002 Republicans from this week as the heads predictably opened their faces to rip Obama for waiting 3 days to discuss the Underpants Bomber when Bush's 6 day wait to talk about the Shoe Bomber went without criticism. Or that the current trial in the criminal courts system emboldens our enemies, giving them a platform to spew hateful rhetoric - but the similar domestic terrorist trials held over the previous decade demonstrated America's strength and its principles. Here's America's Mayor, who this week also said that the United States wasn't a victim of domestic terrorist attacks under Bush (continuing a weird right wing meme that's sprouted up in recent weeks, Dana Perino and Mary Matalin also said something similar). It's interesting that it just goes accepted that Bush is wholly without blame for 9-11 occuring on his watch; Matalin actually said the Bush Administration "inherited" 9-11; had President Gore gotten a brief entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the US" in a Counterfactual Bush v. Gore goes 5-4 the other way universe, I assume the Democrats would not be as successful in claiming a lack of blame.
It's just schadenfreude. Nothing here will salvage the value of my South Florida townhouse (David Corn this week predicted that a full 50% of US mortgages will be underwater by the end of 2011) and I don't mistake the red states cannibalizing themselves for positive electoral news. But it's fun. And daddy likes to have his fun.
That's the best thing that happened this week - after the Jump - the Rest of the Tendown!