Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Politics as blood sport....

As you all know my political leanings are left. I am a proud liberal and progressive. I don't think those are bad words. Progress is a good thing. Staying in one spot is not great for people or a country. And our's has not stayed in one spot in its entire history. We started progressive and have been that way all along. The Constitution of the United States of America was a pretty radical document when it came to be. And just for the record, for any Tea Party people screaming about the Constitution and taxes, it was written in most part because we were broke and the Articles of Confederation didn't have a real way for the national government to get us out of it. So every time I hear one of you yell about what the founding fathers would do I kind of giggle to myself...well we know what they would do, the would figure out a way to get money and get it.  Which they did. Behind closed doors. Read about it, the writing and the ratification process is very interesting.

So all of that being said when I espouse a belief you all know where it's coming from. I am left. But I am not a democrat. I'm not a republican either, obviously. But I don't believe that corporations are evil. I don't think the man is out to get us. I see nothing wrong with knowing how you are going to pay for something before you pass it into law. I had the basic Tea Party views before they became a party. And I might have stood with them more if they hadn't gone off on an "anti" tangent. I'm not anti, I'm pro. I voted for Obama in the last election but he wasn't my first choice. But being an independent I couldn't vote until the main election so I was choosing between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin. If John McCain circa 2000 had been running with a different running mate I would have voted for him. Obama doesn't have a lock on my vote in 2012 either, we will see who he is running against.

So why am I reiterating my political stance for you all? Because I want to talk about two of the bigger political stories from the past few weeks. The Occupy movement not the Republican Debates or Chris Christie not running or Sarah Palin grabbing a spotlight and shining it on her again, think bigger...yep, Hank Williams, Jr. and his feud with Fox and Friends and ESPN. For those of you that were living under a rock, Hank made an analogy that compared Boehner and Obama playing golf to Hitler and Netanyahu doing the same. ESPN took offense to it and pulled his song from Monday Night football which then made him scream about his first amendment rights being violated. There was a lot of buzz about comparing the President to Hitler and now he has added a  verse to his newest release calling out Fox and Friends and ESPN for the whole deal.

Oh where to start on this one....First off let me go ahead and post the transcript so you can see what it is I am talking about here:

HANK WILLIAMS, JR., ENTERTAINER: Do you remember the golf game they had, ladies and gentlemen? Remember the golf game?
STEVE DOOCY, CO-HOST: Yeah, Boehner.
WILLIAMS: That was one of the biggest political mistakes ever.
WILLIAMS: That turned a lot of people off. You know, watching -- you know, it just didn't go over.
GRETCHEN CARLSON, CO-HOST: You mean when John Boehner played golf with President Obama?
WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah! Yeah. And Biden and Kasich, yeah. Uh-huh.
CARLSON: What did you not like about it? It seems to be a really pivotal moment for you.
WILLIAMS: Come on. Come on. That'd be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu, OK?
BRIAN KILMEADE, CO-HOST: Yeah, I don't understand that analogy, actually.
DOOCY: Well, it's...
WILLIAMS: Well, I'm glad that you don't brother, because a lot of people do. You know, they're the enemy. They're the enemy.
KILMEADE: Who is the enemy?
WILLIAMS: Obama! And Biden! Are you kidding? The three stooges.

So technically when I look at this Bocephus didn't compare Obama to Hitler, he either compared Boehner to Hitler or Biden to Hitler. Depends on which coupling you took for Hitler and Netanyahu. But that's a bit nit picky since he clarified pretty quickly that Obama and Biden are the enemy. And apparently count as three people. The enemy? Really? Okay, that's a different perspective to take. I would say they are not your political party, but enemy? Hmmm... Now on to ESPN and deciding not to use the song (though he says HE left them, they didn't leave him) and first amendment rights. I've made this point before, and I am sure I will make it again, freedom of speech is not the same as freedom from repercussions. You get to say what you want without the fear of the military police showing up at your door with a jail sentence or a bullet to your head in your future. That's freedom of speech. Yes, Jr., you had every right to say what you said, but talk to The Dixie Chicks about what happens when you let your politics get a little bit too loud. Or, oh wait, were you okay with country music turning their backs on them? Freedom of Speech does not equal Freedom from Repercussions.

So now he has released his new song "Keep the Change" and he's added a verse to the end. Just in case you were confused when he trots out United Socialist States of America he wants to make it clear where he stands. But before I talk about his extra verse I do want to address the Socialist thing again. As you all know I've trotted this one out before as well. Wanting people to pay taxes doesn't make you a socialist. Disagreeing with a political opinion doesn't make them a socialist any more than disagreeing with yours makes them fascists. Though I can see how Hank might be a little worried about socialism, since one of the prevailing theories is that each will get their share from society in direct proportion to the percentage they contribute (there are a lot of different types of socialism, by the way, something he would know if he knew what a real socialist was). Not saying that the Monday Night Football theme wasn't a fun contribution, but maybe he has received a little more compensation for that then it was really worth...

Okay so now let's look at his extra verse:

So FOX and friends
Wanna put me down
Ask for my opinions
Then twist it all around
Supposed to be talkin' about my father's new CD
Well two can play that "Gotcha' Game" just wait and see
Don't tread on me

and then he ends the song like this:

Yeah, you can keep FOX and friends and ESPN outta your homes too
Cuz Bocephus and all his rowdy friends and his song is outta there!

So he thinks Fox and Friends twisted his words with some sort of gotcha game? Sorry, they didn't. You said what you said, they just aired it. Twisting your words would have gone something like this:

WILLIAMS: With the economy in the state it's in, seeing them all playing golf together it was as if they were completely  indifferent to the large numbers of people who are unemployed.
BRIAN KILMEADE, CO-HOST: Sort of like Nero fiddling while Rome burned?
CARLSON: Oh, another  leader who passed the buck like that was Pontius Pilot washing his hands of responsibility when Christ was crucified. 
KILMEADE: Oh, yes, those were bad things, right Hank?
WILLIAMS: Ummm...yeah...
(after the break)
DOOCY:  For those of you that missed it we just had Hank Williams, Jr. on who stated that he felt like Obama is passing the buck on responsibility for  Christians being burned.

Now that would be world class word twisting on Fox level...but alas, Mr. Williams, that's not what they did. You might not have meant to draw a comparison between our sitting president and Hitler but you did. You might not have meant that the president and vice president are our enemies but that's what you said. As for calling on your fans to not watch ESPN because you don't like what they did to you...well...good luck with that one. Because no matter who sings or doesn't sing Monday Night Football is on TV.

Okay, well, I've gone super long so I will leave Occupy until tomorrow. But I do want to leave with one last thought, you know who was like Hitler? Hitler.

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