Friday, November 07, 2008
Following this week's historic and resounding victories by Barack Obama and the Democrats in the House and Senate, there's been much talk about what the Republican Party must do next. That it's "brand" is bankrupt and it's time to regroup and reposition. Being the generous bi-partisan patriot that I am, I am hereby offering some free advice to the GOP on how to wage more effective campaigns in the future:
1. Find some less-polarizing mouthpieces than Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. They stir the pot, but not in that awesome Rachel Ray way.
2. Immediately distance yourself from Fox News. To be sure, there's nothing Fair and Balanced happenin' over there.
3. Stop being so partisan. Some things (global warming, supporting the troops) are black and white, not red or blue.
4. Stop being so hypocritical. You gotta practice what you preach, or you'll continue to have zero credibility.
5. Bone up on Separation of Church and State. The Founding Fathers gave it to us for a reason.
6. Accept that most Americans do not want you regulating what goes on in their personal lives and bedrooms. So (and take a deep breath now...) just accept the fact that abortion and gay relationships are here to stay.
7. Start truly thinking about the poor and middle class instead of just your own pocketbooks. Politics is more than just lowering taxes for the rich. Whatever happened to your big tent?
8. Stop spying on and torturing people. That's not very nice.
9. Don't send our troops to die in battle unless you really know what the hell you're talking about.
10. Start agreeing with Democrats that Bush 43 is the worst president in history. Trust me, it's really fun when 99% of the world agrees with you.
11. Ya might also want to reconsider pairing up guys named Dick and Bush. Those two things always lead to trouble.
12. Stay away from angry, sarcastic, condescending candidates. Voters prefer humility, respect and class from their presidents.
13. Nominate a candidate who is intelligent, curious and articulate. The whole "have a beer with the guy" thing is so passe. The bar's officially closed.
14. Pay more attention to people like Mitt Romney. Your traditional "base" has shrunk to the size of a pimple on an elephant's ass. Romney, with his fiscal conservatism and moderate social positions, represents your future.
15. When Americans are facing the worst economic crisis in 75 years, terrified for their jobs, homes and savings, do not obsess for the final months of your campaign that your opponent (a) pals around with terrorists, (b) has a half-Aunt who may or may not be an illegal alien, and (c) is both an elitist and a socialist. Kinda makes voters feel like you're utterly clueless about the issues most important to them.
16. Stop playing so damned dirty. It clearly doesn't work anymore.
17. If you see Karl Rove and Steve Schmidt coming down the street, run the other way.
18. No matter how strong the temptation, do not make as a centerpiece of your campaigns the support of cartoon-like characters like Joe the Plumber, Ed the Dairy Man, Doug the Barber, Tito the Builder, Christine the Florist, Phil the Bricklayer, Cindy the Citizen, Rose the Teacher, Corina the Nurse, Vicki the Realtor or Clark the Cook. This cheap tactic turns your campaign into Sesame Street, and toddlers don't vote.
19. For what it's worth, unmarried teenage pregnancies are nothing to be proud of, especially when you're the Family Values party.
20. And for God's sake, whatever you do, do not put anymore vacuous MILFs a heartbeat from the Oval Office, especially when the person at the top of your ticket is a 72-year-old cancer survivor. Americans want a vice-president who can name the countries in North America and knows that Africa is a continent not a country. They want someone smart and qualified...like Dan Quayle.
On another subject......TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE for the November 17 Second Annual Adrienne Shelly Foundation Fundraising Gala at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Join us for a terrific evening of music, comedy and film, with scheduled appearances by Paul Rudd, Jeremy Sisto, Cheryl Hines, Mary Louise Parker, Lili Taylor, Karen Black, Ally Sheedy, Keri Russell, Maria Tucci, Michael Cerveris, Gina Gershon and others. To learn more about our mission, to make a tax-deductible donation, and to purchase tickets, please visit our website. Every contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, allows us to help others, and creates something positive out of the tragic loss two years ago of an incredibly loving and talented woman....who also happened to be my amazing wife.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Religious fanatics rejoice! You did it! You won! You've succeeded in getting amendments passed in Florida, Arizona and California banning same-sex marriage! This is your crowning moment! Rejoice, for you have now rid your states of the evils of homosexuality! There'll be no more gays around to threaten your heterosexuality and your marriages. Not at the office, on the street, in restaurants, on public transportation...anywhere! They're gone! You don't have to see them, talk to them, hear them, read about them, watch them hold hands or kiss in public, work out at the gym next to them or dance next to them at clubs. From this point on, Florida, Arizona and California will be homo-free states, right?
Er...wait a second. I think I may have gotten that all wrong. Sorry. They'll still be around. Everywhere. Living next door, working in the next cubicle, eating at the next table, shvitzing in the steam room with you. They'll still be in relationships, still be adopting children together, and they'll still be gay. Oh yeah, there's still gonna be boatloads of gay sex, my friends. In fact, while you definitely made it impossible for them to get married, they'll still have commitment ceremonies and engage in civil unions. But wait. What's really changed then? Nothing. That's right. Nothing's changed, and nothing's gonna change. All your efforts are just a big fat homophobic waste of time and money. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.
That you all feel so threatened by homosexuality, and by how much it supposedly threatens your straight marriages, makes me believe there's some skeletons in that closet of yours that you're running from. And we all know which "closet" I'm referring to.....
On another subject......TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE for the November 17 Second Annual Adrienne Shelly Foundation Fundraising Gala at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Join us for a terrific evening of music, comedy and film, with scheduled appearances by Paul Rudd, Jeremy Sisto, Cheryl Hines, Mary Louise Parker, Lili Taylor, Karen Black, Ally Sheedy, Keri Russell, Gina Gershon and others. To learn more about our mission, to make a tax-deductible donation, and to purchase tickets, please visit our website. Every contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, allows us to help others, and creates something positive out of the tragic loss two years ago of an incredibly loving and talented woman....who also happened to be my amazing wife.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
If there was one defining moment during Tuesday night's coverage of Sen. Barack Obama's historic presidential victory that crystallized the emotional enormity of this incredible accomplishment it was that of the Rev. Jesse Jackson weeping in the front rows of Chicago's Grant Park celebration. I wept right along with Jesse, as I saw behind the tears of a man who's clawed through six decades of the civil rights struggle and now stood on that proverbial mountaintop and was finally seeing the promised land. As he stood there watery-eyed, hand over mouth, watching the astonishing site of America's first black family on stage, it was impossible not to feel the same pain, anguish, shock, joy and pride that he felt at that precise moment. Though it took 43 years, the march from Selma to Montgomery had truly come to an end right there in Chicago.
How truly lovely it was to see Obama's two precious little girls, Malia, 8, and Sasha, 5, standing proudly with their father, as he and their mother Michelle held each other in what had to have been one of the most incredible moments any two people in love can possibly share. Together, they were the embodiment of the American dream. The quintessential thriving, successful, happy American family. A First-Family that truly inspires. And they're black. We should all shed a tear today, for America has demonstrated its greatness once again. A nation where, just forty years ago, a transcendent black leader was assassinated simply for dreaming the Obama dream. Yes, November 4, 2008 is a day for all Americans to be proud. The first 232 year chapter in United States history has just come to a close. The next, more enlightened, phase has just begun.
Just one year shy of fifty, I am too young to consciously recall much of the violence and racial turmoil of the sixties; it's more like a faint visual backdrop. But I am old enough, however, to have experienced the deep-seated bigotry, and even hatred, towards blacks that a youngster in the seventies encountered on a daily basis even in liberal bastions like New York. I often wondered what it must've been like in places like Mississippi if so many people were so ignorant and angry and intolerant in supposedly culturally-evolved regions like the Northeast.
I grew up at a time when there was no "N-word." It was "nigger," and it was uttered with wanton discrimination. A time when, just 15 or 20 years prior, they hung black people from trees just for being black. I often wondered during my teens, 20's, 30's and even into my 40's whether we'd ever get to that day in America when we could put our prejudice aside and look beyond color to elect a black president. To have a black First Family. To have little black children running mischievously through the Oval Office in that same way we saw little John F. Kennedy Jr. peering out from under his dad's desk. A day when we could come together as a society with common challenges and problems and goals and unite as one in our quest to find the promised land. To be, as Obama said, not just a nation of blue states and red states, but United States. Hard to believe, but that day has finally come.
To be sure, the real work must now start. President Obama (man, that sounds soooo good) has a new mountain to climb, with two wars, terrorism, and the worst economic maelstrom since the Great Depression. And he has the unenviable task of bringing the nation's political process back to the level of bipartisanship where we can once again govern productively, rationally and in the best interests of all of our citizens. He must bridge the divide between Democrat and Republican, a seemingly insurmountable chasm that began with Newt Gingrich back in the 90's and exploded under Bush/Cheney/Delay/Rove. A rift so huge that it miraculously took a 46-year-old no-name black liberal named Barack Hussein Obama to lead this new march. His job will not be easy, but throughout the campaign and his career he has indeed demonstrated the kind of curiosity, intelligence, judgement, resolve and presence of mind, and the ability to inspire, that great leaders are made of.
I am haunted by Jesse Jackson's eyes. I will never forget the raw emotional power in those weepy eyes. How incredible it must've been for him to be standing there Tuesday night, as a victorious Obama looked out onto the masses gathered before him, much as he stood beside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. forty years ago in Memphis on that fateful balcony at the Lorraine Motel. If those eyes could talk, and they certainly did last night, they said, "better days are ahead..."
On another subject......TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE for the November 17 Second Annual Adrienne Shelly Foundation Fundraising Gala at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Join us for a terrific evening of music, comedy and film, with scheduled appearances by Paul Rudd, Jeremy Sisto, Cheryl Hines, Mary Louise Parker, Kristen Bell, Lili Taylor, Ally Sheedy, Keri Russell, Gina Gershon and others. To learn more about our mission, to make a tax-deductible donation, and to purchase tickets, please visit our website. Every contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, allows us to help others, and creates something positive out of the tragic loss two years ago of an incredibly loving and talented woman.