Deleted Scenes: Something To Talk About

In the ever-growing slew of clichés by which I form what I wrongfully consider to be my perspective, one of the latest additions is, “You can’t predict baseball.” Now, if you’ve ever heard a New York Yankees radio broadcast in the last 20-plus years, you’ve probably heard this in the golden tenor of play-by-play announcer John Sterling. He’s got a few gems under his belt.

To pair with, “You can’t predict baseball,” I’ll add, “History is told by the winners,” and there you have my feelings on the presidential debate last week. Smiling through his perfect white teeth from under a mountain of focus-grouped hair, Republican Mitt Romney lied his ass off and President Obama apparently hadn’t gotten the memo that facts were optional.

I think that’s my favorite part about the Coke/Pepsi-style partisanism of contemporary American politics. Of all the stupid shit that’s emerged from this culture of blind, blanket disagreement—revitalization of issues like birth control, or the throbbing boner of racism, sexism and homophobia lurking just below the surface of, well, everything—the politicization of facts has to be the best. They’re facts! And then someone else goes, “Well not for me.” Brilliant.

Here’s a fact you can either believe or not: Mitt Romney will not be the next U.S. President. He never was going to. As much as the Republican Party faithful tossed out their “We need to make Obama a one-term president” toughguy rhetoric, you’ll notice no viable candidate stepped forward to run against him—Romney included—and in the primary, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty and Herman Cain all were vetted as possible candidates simply on the basis of their not being Romney. No one wants this guy to be president. I don’t even think he wants it himself.

That doesn’t mean he won’t get any votes, or that he hasn’t raised two and a half fucktons of money, it just means he won’t win without a stolen election, and I don’t think the Republican Party elders, in their giant leather wingback chairs behind huge, intricately detailed mahogany desks, give enough of a crap about him to steal the election. More likely they’ll just start campaigning for 2016 come this January and hope for a victory there.

The worst part? Everyone knows this. Everyone has known it all along.

But you know what makes a shitty news headline? “Republicans Run Complete Tool For White House, Election Over Before It Starts.”

And so you get these polls that maybe lean to one side or another of the margin of error to make it look closer. You get trumped up gaffes of the dumb shit these men say or do, or their VP candidates say or do—no shortage of material there—and the right wing media says it’s Romney all the way because that’s what their corporate masters tell them to say and the centrist media (because there is no viable large-scale left wing media in this country and if you believe otherwise, you’re one of those “Well not for me” types referenced above) says it could go either way because that’s what their corporate masters tell them to say, and all of a sudden, the pundits say it’s an election, the news says it’s an election, the candidates, no less corporately owned, say it’s an election, and looky looky, it’s an election after all.

But it’s not really an election. It’s something to fill the time until President Obama can go ahead and make another pretty speech about the hard work we’ll all have to do for the next four years. It’s something to talk about in a 24-hour news cycle. Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly can “debate” the issues, and nobody gets bored, everyone keeps buying, and the ship keeps going around in circles looking for the edge of the world to sail off. Hoo. Ray.

Only a month to go until the next thing. I’d make a guess as to what it might be, but you can’t predict baseball.

JJ Koczan