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Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Birthers, The Donald and The Princess Bride

I don't know how you could have possibly escaped knowing, but where I am, it's all-William-and-Katharine-all-the-time.

Well, when it's not the clown circus of The Birthers and The Donald, the Comb-over Carnival Barker.

Here's where I disagree with our President. Sometimes we DO need to be at least momentarily "distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers" if we are to "solve our problems".

Sometimes, Mr. President, you just have to engage in meaningless banter at the water cooler, or put your feet up on the desk and watch a few minutes of mindless commercial television, or step outside for that cigarette you know the First Lady does not want you to have because it's not good for you, either, before you can get back to focusing in on what's really important.

I understand. The Birthers are most annoying. I'm sometimes tempted to drink bourbon straight out of the bottle when I hear them.

What's most annoying for me is that they are not only a thinly-veiled disguise for the racism that fuels them, they think no one can see and no one knows what they're all about.

That kind of annoyance CAN be a distraction. But, I'm sorry, Mr. President, that you caved into the Birther Clowns. I can't possibly understand the pressure you and your administrative staff must be under - especially with The Donald turning up the heat - but you have to know that a 'long form' birth certificate won't satisfy them. Ever.

My greater concern is that this Administration may well have slightly tarnished the prestige of the office just a tad by capitulating to them. It's certainly not a bright moment in the history of the office.

It is painfully obvious that The Donald is doing all this to satisfy his own HUGE ego and to bolster ratings for his pathetic television show. And, because, for some reason unknown to me, he has an audience.

The funny thing is that HE is 'the apprentice' in the political arena. Someone needs to look him square in the eye, point a finger and say, "You're fired."

But, no one will. Certainly not the wack-a-doodle right wingnuts who are positively giddy because they think the big, rich, powerful white guy put the black guy in his place.

If you hadn't already noticed The Birthers are fueled by a volatile mix of equal parts of racism and machismo.

Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody has pronounced Donald Trump the winner in birth certificate-gate. Here's what Brody wrote yesterday on his blog:
Chalk one up for “The Donald.” Say what you want about Trump but here’s the reality: When Trump speaks, people listen…and President Obama reacts.

There shouldn’t even be a debate here. Donald Trump wins because he FORCED this White House into releasing the birth certificate. Do you really think there is any other Republican contender for The White House that could have had the same success? Didn’t think so.

This is why Trump is resonating with many conservatives. He’s not ashamed to take on Obama with gusto, arrogance and yes, chutzpah (look it up!).

All the other candidates criticize Obama in a more seasoned, political way. It’s boring. Trump brings the heat. He is the “inside voice” of many conservatives in this country and truth be told, he actually may be the inner voice of many Independent voters in this country as well.
The whole statement practically oozes with testosterone, doesn't it? ("FORCES" in all caps was from Brody's blog. Not me.)

Brody is clearly a "bored" little white guy who has discovered that the pen (or blog) may not be mightier than the sword, but it gives lots of people a lot of power they neither deserve nor understand how to use.

"A little power in the wrong hands can do great damage." My grandmother always said that.

Case in point:

"I have done a great service to the American people....Today, I'm proud of myself," said The Donald, who, I suppose, on every other day skulks around, suffering in silent misery from terrible self-esteem issues resulting, no doubt, from "hair inadequacies".

If Mr. Trump is the driver of the Republican clown car of candidates, I say, bring it on. No, I'm not trilled with Mr. Obama's performance the past two years, but I'm willing to give him four more in order to have a chance at turning around more than thirty years of "trickle-down Reaganomics".

Speaking of clowns, did you read what Mrs. Palin had to "tweet"? The Clown Queen of All Things Inept, Silly and Bizarre wrote: "Media: admit it, Trump forced the issue. Now, don't let the WH distract you w/the birth crt from what Bernanke says today. Stay focused, eh?"

You can't make this stuff up, eh? First, you hound the man because he hasn't produced his 'long form' birth certificate and then you criticize him when he does.

It's positively adolescent - when it's not profoundly evil.

The Birthers, meanwhile, are questioning the authenticity of the 'long form' birth certificate because his father's race is written as 'African' and not 'Negro', which, these highly educated intellectuals claim - because apparently they are experts in these sorts of things - would not have been used at that time.

What they're really questioning is why the "other 'n' word" was not used.

Emily Ramshaw of The Texas Tribune quickly tracked down Leo Berman, the state representative who’s sponsoring the Texas version of the birther bill, and found him — surprise! — unconvinced. Among other things, she reported, the good Representative wants to know why the hospital where the president was allegedly born doesn’t have a “plaque on the door” commemorating the event.

I'll bet they didn't save the future presidential placenta, either. Not to worry. That wouldn't convince The Birthers, anyway.

Meanwhile, across The Pond, the British are preparing a Royal Wedding. I plan to get up and watch. watch. I did it in 1981 when Princes Di married Prince Charles. This time, I'll have a proper hat (left over from Easter), a glass of sparkling cider (last time I drank champagne at 6 AM I had been up all night and I think I got pregnant), and, of course, a feather boa.
Purple. Of course.

William and Katharine (we're all being admonished not to call her "Kate," which I totally get) seem a pretty level-headed pair. They are both rounding the corner to age 30 - a perfectly respectable age to be married - and both seem to have genuine love and respect for each other.

As part of their spiritual preparation for the wedding, the couple has had a premarital session of counsel by none other than The Archbishop of Canterbury who will officiate at the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

I would love to know if he asked them if they had both been celibate, in obedience to the strict teachings of the church, and if not (right), what might be the 'relational consequences' for such an obviously morally offensive activity.

I'm not holding my breath.

Every time I tune in to the local commercial television station to check on the weather or traffic, there's always some reporter standing on some street corner with some identifiable London tourist attraction in the background, breathlessly giving us one more teeny-tiny bit of insider information about some minutia of the wedding plans.

While the reporter prattles on, we are treated to scenes of Katharine - driving with her sister Pippa who is her Maid of Honor. The camera then zooms into some piece of paper in her purse in the back seat with some writing on it. Could it be - gasp! - a poem that will be part of the wedding ceremony?

And, is the Queen Mother not pleased with Pippa because she's reportedly a bit rowdy? To find out the answer to that burning question, tune in next time, folks. Same channel, preferably. Same vapid, breathless reporter with mindless banter that will distract you for a few moments from the 'sturm und drang' of life.

What I love about the Royal Wedding is that the whole world will get a chance to witness the magnificence of good Anglican liturgy - albeit writ large and in gold leaf lettering. What a wonderful evangelism moment.

I remember how awestruck I was, in 1981 and again at Diana's funeral, hearing I Corinthians 13:1-13 ("And now these three abide: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.").

Or, when I realized that the whole of Christendom was praying together the Lord's Prayer. It was a glorious moment I'm looking to experience again.

Once the wedding is over, we can then engage in the media frenzy over the wedding gown, where the couple went on the honeymoon, and whose face looked like what when so-and-so said such-and such.

We'll not even have time to catch our breath from all that when a veritable media industry will be built around the speculation of whether or not Katharine is preggers.

We all need clowns and fairy tale weddings to provide a bit of relief from paying a staggering $4.00 a gal for gasoline, listening to endless debates about cutting Medicare as a way to balance the budget and the deficit, the killer storms and tornadoes that have ripped through the south, the continued instability of the Middle East and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The point is not to let the Birthers, The Donald or The Princess Bride become THE focus. However, a teaspoon or two of foolishness taken every four hours, as needed - with an occasional handful of nuts - may just be the right medicine to help shake the cobwebs from the crevices in the brain and help us come back with fresh eyes to the complexity of problems we face.

We all need a little break. I know I'll be putting aside my sermon prep for Sunday and two papers due in a few weeks, while I vicariously dream the dream of the "little girl within' - who still lives in me and many woman - who was carefully taught to aspire to be a 'Princess Bride'.

Unlike some of my sisters, however, I just wasn't dreaming of a Prince. I'd rather skip down the aisle in my beautiful white dress, holding hands with my other Princess friends.

So, send in the Princess Bride on the arm of her charming Prince - but hold The Birthers and The Donald, if it's all the same to you.

Actually, strike that. I think it's time to turn the spotlight on The Birthers and especially The Donald. Let's demand to see their birth certificates and tax returns and, yes, even college transcripts.

It's time the Clown King of Birthers and all the members of his Realm of Racist Crazies got a turn at the pointy end of the Royal Boot.

While we all won't live happily ever after, we could at least get on with life's occasional foolishness and absurdities while we hang onto the hope that 'dreams really do come true'.


Frair John said...

When I suggested to one of my friends that the Donald, and the rest, were proof that the (as a professor of ours in college used to say) "The Fundamental Flaw in Democracy is that crowds of people show a level of intelligence inverse to their size," he told me to shut up. I then pointed out that the Founders robed us of a chance to have BIg Pageantry and be shielded from the likes of W, Reagan, and The Donald, she got down right hostile.
When I told her that establishing a Monarchy would shield us from Sarah Palin being our Head of State forever, she said I might have a point.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I'm just a bit snarky about this whole thing. Honest to Pete. I know it won't stop the Birthers, but do you think this will at least remove this story from the headlines?

It's such an embarrassment.

kenju said...

Almost the minute it was posted on FB this morning, the bloggers/birthers started saying it was faked and going about proving it (in their eyes). I don't think it is going away - ever.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Kenju - No, this will not go away. But, hopefully, the media will stop paying it so much attention. The Donald got what every narcissist craves: Attention. He's well over his 15 minute limit.

it's margaret said...

"There shouldn’t even be a debate here. Donald Trump wins because he FORCED this White House into releasing the birth certificate."

Well.... my political cynicism leads me to believe that the WH was not FORCED --but may be leading--craftily, like a pied piper, to a place where the birther hype and all that goes with it will finally walk off a cliff.... they will be trapped in their own idiocy.

That may be my hope too... somehow, as smart as the Obama campaigners are --there's something more here.... a trap being set....

And, as for me and my house --we have set our alarms for 5:15 so that we can have coffee in hand as the princess bride walks down the aisle!

IT said...

Several African American columnists ahve picked this up for the offensive act it is (see here for example). I had not fully appreciated how really offensive and rooted in deep history this act is. Remember, in the times of slavery, a free black man could be stopped on the street and forced to show his manumission. Next thing you know, one of them will try to call the President "Boy"... "that one" having not quite lasted.

It's bitter, disgusting.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

They are racists crazies. It's disgusting.