Cory Farley, voted "Best of Reno" 26 times in 27 years by readers of his column in the Reno Gazette-Journal, takes an unconventional look at topics from presidential elections to the best way to cook Brussels sprouts.

Location: Verdi, Nev, United States

Monday, December 17, 2007

Will it take a loon to win the GOP primary?

Conservative keening aside, most journalists I know aren't particularly liberal, and nearly all of them regardless of politics work hard to keep their opinions out of their stories.
Objectivity is a regular topic of newsroom meetings and a constant consideration in editing, to the extent that the finished stories sometimes misrepresent reality. Concepts like "mainstreaming" and "diversity" are worthwhile when they insure that every facet of society and every angle to an argument is presented, but even a good idea can be carried too far. Hang around reporters, and eventually you'll hear someone say sarcastically, "I've got the City Council bribe story wrapped up, but it can't run until I find a 300-pound Samoan lesbian to comment" (no complaints from offended 300-pounders, please: I'm just making the point that no segment of the fringe is considered irrelevant).
A classic example, one I witnessed personally: A team of reporters worked for days on a story about sexual abuse of children. They did a good job on it, found solid sources and were ready to go.
An editor congratulated them, then said, "But for balance, we need something from the point of view of a molester. Can you get that by Friday?"
A lame joke, to be sure--but they took him seriously. The doctrine of impartiality was so ingrained that they went muttering off to lunch wondering where they'd find a baby-raper who'd go on the record.
Hold that thought while you consider this:
Has the Bush administration so contorted the meaning of "Republican" that none but the loony has a chance to win the GOP primary?
What that has to do with objectivity is that I'm trying to be objective: I look at that line-up, and I see . . . weird people. I mean truly weird, far-from-the-mainstream-but-trying-to-pass hardcore ambition-crazed no-foundation cheeseballs. With nice suits, but still.
As Jon Carroll said last week in the San Francisco Chronicle, "the sanest one . . . is a former POW, and he thinks the Iraq war is a great idea. And you think Hillary Clinton is going to have trouble running against one of these guys? Please."
Carroll writes in San Francisco, of course, and he's a known lefty. He's exposed to California Thinking.
I'm a lefty, too, but I write in Reno and I'm exposed to Reno thinking. That's why I believe Hillary Clinton is going to have trouble running against those guys: There's a level of inchoate distrust and fear about her out there that Carroll probably doesn't see in his mail.
I've suspected this for years, but it didn't really come out until she began to run seriously for president. Since then, I've heard everyone from physicians and CEOs to busboys express their disdain and general fed-uppedness with George Bush, but follow it with something like, "but I could never vote for Hillary--she scares me?"
"What scares you about her?" I'll ask.
Well, they don't know. Remember how she argued for universal health care in 1993 (good thing the Repubs fought that off, or our health care system might be a real mess now)? There was that, and she's ambitious (while the rest of the candidates just sort of shambled into the race by accident?). She's too, you know, Hillaryesque.
I'm not, in fact, a big Hillary fan. I liked Bill a lot at first, but he turned into such a Republican in his last couple of years I lost faith in the whole family, at least until Chelsea's ready (not to digress here, but haven't the people who criticized the Clintons for the way their daughter was raised been quieter than church mice about the Bimbo Twins?).
Carroll nailed Mitt Romney, too. I hate to plagiarize (more accurately, I hate to be seen plagiarizing), but no one's described the Mittster better than this: "(He) looks like the typical high school suck-up, the kid whom everyone hated . . . He also had Daddy's money, and he looked as if he had Daddy's money."
Giuliani has nothing but 9/11, unless you think the GOP base is going to get behind a serial bridegroom. Ron Paul is a member of the most dangerous and delusional subculture in politics, those who believe government is inherently evil and taxes are inherently bad. Mike Huckabee is too religious; the only reason Romney's getting raked for that and he isn't is that many voters don't understand Romney's Mormon faith and are suspicious of it. Huckabee's at least from one of the normal religions (just so we're clear: I have no problem at all with any religion, but I do have problems with followers of all religions when their dogma shapes their decisions. Plus there's that annoying holier-than-thou thing, the leading characteristic of neo-conservo-Christianity, plus based on the debates, Huckabee's grasp of international affairs seems to equal Winnie the Pooh's).
I'm not saying, exactly, "Vote Democratic." What I'm saying is, "Maybe give your vote some thought this time."


Blogger sanasazi said...

The other day there was an advertisement for CBS news, with Katie asking a question that was about as dumb as "do you brush your teeth with your right or left hand?"
It's hard to understand the depth of any candidate when there are absolutely no thoughtful questions being put to them.

6:20 PM  
Blogger tuzoner said...

I hate to plagiarize too but don't you have to be sort of a loon to want that thankless job? And on top of it all you get a crappy paycheck to boot considering the all the responsibilities that go with it.

Here's my prediction for the chance of any republican winning the white house in the next election cycle: The republicans could nominate Jesus Christ himself at their convention and it won't make one whit of difference - not one.

The republicans are doomed. And they're so out of touch they can't even see the train wreck coming. Loon or no loon, Jesus Christ or no Jesus Christ, the republican party is about to self-destruct.

I do believe in miracles and this one looks like it's going to happen. And this country will be better for it.

Oh... and God Bless America

6:21 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:11 PM  
Blogger ReconRanger said...

I agree with tuzoner that you'd have to be either crazy or an ego-maniac to want to be president. Perhaps both.

I've long thought that the desire to become president should immediately disqualify any candidate. Only those who don't want to serve in that office should be allowed to run.

A few years back, we should have sent six good Special Ops guys to knock on Colin Powell's door:

"Come on, General. Pack your stuff. It's only eight years. Soldier, shut up and soldier."

As for the GOP being doomed, I'm not so sure. Don't underestimate the ability of the Democratic Party to screw up.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I'd love to know how much of Hillary's campaign support money comes from Republican coffers. I bet it's significant because they think she's the candidate they can beat.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Michael Lee said...

The only issue I have with tuzoner's comment about Jesus running on the Red ticket, is that I think I know JC's platform, and I personally don't see ANY of it being Republican.

8:05 PM  
Blogger mindervillain said...

I didn't originally intend to comment on Colin Powell, but while it may be true that wanting to be President could be construed as a disqualifier, not being willing to exercise an ounce of leadership should definitely be a disqualifier. My suggestion is that you take Powell off your list of heroes, potential or actual.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that the Republican slate is several dwarfs short of a Disney movie (as the PC police jump to attention), it's true that we Democrats are capable of screwing up almost anything.

10:28 PM  
Blogger 55fan said...

Cory, I agree we should all give our votes some thought, especially Democrats. This election the Democrats have a real chance at winning the White House, but will nominate a candidate that undecided voters won't support. The Republicans will put forward a presidential candidate that is "electable" and be in office another 4 years. It's unfortunate, but Democrats should carefully consider their primary election votes and nominate a candidate that can keep the Republicans out of the White House.

2:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evolution of any type requires unchecked chaos and extreme discomfort. Even after 8 years of GW we aren't quite there yet. To really get the quantum leap we need things are obviously going to have to get much worse. I'm actually hoping for a loonytunes landslide.

Any of the Repub candidates will fill the bill, but I'm hoping for a Repub House and Senate win too. The changes will happen much faster .

And yes, Supreme Magical Invisible Imaginary Friend bless America...



5:48 AM  
Blogger John Shaw said...

Well, I'm surprised that your article assumed a Clinton ticket. I was kind of hoping for an Obama header. I may be in the sticks of Vermont, but I did not think that things had changed so rapidly since my leaving "civilization".
I am a Republican who has had a gut full of the party leadership (or lack thereof). I'll be voting Dem, no matter who they throw at us... well, except Hillary.

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Those high speed whirring sounds you hear are the Founding Fathers spinning in their graves like turbines on a jet engine...

"Voters have elected their senators in the privacy of the voting booth since 1913. The framers of the Constitution, however, did not intend senators to be elected in this way, and included in Article I, section 3, "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote." The election of delegates to the Constitutional Convention established the precedent for state selection. The framers believed that in electing senators, state legislatures would cement their tie with the national government, which would increase the chances for ratifying the Constitution. They also expected that senators elected by state legislatures would be able to concentrate on the business at hand without pressure from the populace."


"Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector. The electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each; which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a majority, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like manner choose the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each State having one vote; A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the States, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. In every case, after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of votes of the electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate should choose from them by ballot the Vice President."

They also only expected the landed gentry and business owners would be casting votes. The only "popularly" elected Federal position would be a representative to Congress and they limited that term to two years.

The beauty pageant mentality we have now only goes to show that the framers of the Constitution may have been on to something....



7:49 AM  
Blogger dwoods48 said...

Come on sanasazi , Picking on Poor Katie.. We can do better than that. She is a single Mom trying to Multitask..

Here is a scenario that is more Scary to Me than Hillary . No One in the media is talking about, as far as I can Tell..

Dick Cheney [For Health Reasons of Course] gets the Boot and is replaced by Condi Rice , Who at the Eleventh Hour Decides to unite the Republicans....

8:04 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Please, folks, the puppetmasters will decide who becomes president. So, who will the puppetmasters pick, a Democrat or a Republican? Anybody's guess. My own take on it so far revolves around what Stan Goff says, the middle class is being saved for dessert. If the puppetmasters pick a Republican, it probably means they are not ready for dessert yet. If they pick a Democrat, goodbye middle class. Don't get me wrong. Your vote does count, up to a point. That's why the puppetmasters go to all the trouble to make sure elections come out the way they want. They can be beaten, and they know it. But that requires enough people voting for a third party to elect a third-party candidate. As long as people think they have to choose between a Democrat and a Republican, they're finished.

For your reading pleasure:

Dave McGowan's Celluloid Heroes Series Parts 1 2

Dave McGowan's What's It Really All About Series Parts 1 2 3

Dave McGowan's Special Conspiracy Theory Series Parts 1 2 3

8:51 AM  
Blogger Duckingham said...

I have yet to hear one person ever give a good reason why Hillary would not make a great president. She's smart, hard working and willing to work with both paties. Hillary bashing is a Republican past time with no basis of fact.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Soup of the Week said...

The comment about Jesus not being electable reminded me of a great satire on McSweeney's by nathan McIntire called "Vote no on Jesus" several years ago. Check it out if you haven't seen it.

11:56 AM  
Blogger sabjoro said...

There can be a real chance of a third-party candidate coming in and spoiling the election for both Demos and Repubs.

The candidate must be Centrist and maintain the middle of the road fence-sitting position.

The Repubs candidates are claiming to be so far right and Christian Conservative as much as the Demos candidates are leaning so far left and liberal Christians they are beginning to scare me.

Beginning? Some already do.

These candidates are playing, if they actually are playing, to their base they are ignoring the rest of the voters. And we all know that the majority of voters are not radicals and straddle all sides of most issues unlike the extreme right or left the candidates are courting.

A Centrist with an engaging personality and good ideas could run away with this election.

Hilary, when she is not talking to a microphone, is all smiles as I've seen in video clips. Al Gore is the same way. When he was running he was stiff and spoke in a monotone every time he was at the podium, after the elections we became more animated and if that Al was at the podium he could have taken the elections hands down.

Hilary is almost the same. Al was one note, Hilary has 3 notes.

Contrast Hilary to Oprah when the O was with Obama. O was lively, moving freely, emotional like all the keys of a piano to Hilary's do, dah, di range.

All the other candidates, both sides, must have taken lessons from the same manual on how to run for president. They all have the same tone of voice as network news anchors, no matter how emotional the story don't let it show in your expression or in your voice, let the words tell the story.

A third-party candidate with personality will take the election unless the shadow government set up by Bush right after 9/11 decides they want to remain in power.

1:04 PM  
Blogger nopastels said...

If Hillary were to be nominated next summer I will support her. I do believe that the negatives are not so much directed at her as what Bill did and the fact that Hillary stood by him and never publicly said a word. Many women hated her for not divorcing him.

Plus, the Republicans keep saying that they want her to be the Democratic candidate. That speaks volumns! They will bring all the old crap out that they used during the 1990's from Whitewater to the Rose Law Firm and the suicide of Foster. (can't remember his first name)

Any Democrat has to be better from the country that what we have had these past 8 years.


1:52 PM  
Blogger HOF1226 said...

Cory I am a life long Republican and I am fed up with these creepy Republican dudes. I am going to cast my first vote EVER for a Democratic candidate! I am done drinking the koolaide! Forgive me Mommy!

On a related topic, children are starving in America, many don't have health insurance and what is Congress going to do? Hold a session on steroids in baseball! Am I missing something here? Way to go Senators Ensign and Reid. Way to tackle the tough issues.

The Czar

4:57 PM  
Blogger Wistuh said...

I'm a Democrat. I was in Oregon when Ferraro was running for VP and I remember those mocking, "Fritz and Tits" bumper stickers so I know what people are up against.
I'm voting for Hillary if she is nominated. She is my fave, but if Obama knocks her down at the convention, he will get my vote.

It's not PC to say it, but due to various prejudices still extant in the country, maybe neither are electable, and when I think of more years of Republican rule...
the horror, the horror!

That said, what I'm REALLY worried about are those computerized voting machines.
I keep reading that they are tweakable.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Wistuh said...

It will be a loon festival.

10:50 PM  

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