FREE, WHITE AND UNDER 95
Re: Wake Me Up in Four More Years [Dissonance, March 8--14]. Im probably in the IQ-under-95 wing of the Republican Party, to use Marc Coopers parlance. It certainly didnt take a rocket scientist to understand how Dick Riordans campaign for governor turned into a miserable disaster. The fact is, Riordan was off the reservation as far as most Republicans were concerned. Hell, his own wife couldnt even bring herself to vote for him. Why should anyone else?
Why Riordan is a Republican is a mystery to many. He twice backed liberal Mayor Tom Bradley for governor against the immensely popular and genuinely Republican George Deukmejian. He has a long history of contributing to and supporting a number of left-wing Democrats, including Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Heres a question for the Weeklys left-leaning readers: Suppose a Democrat were running for high office and it was learned that he had, over the years, contributed to the political campaigns of Jesse Helms and Tom DeLay. How would that sit with you? Well, now you know how we in the under-95-IQ crowd felt about Dick Riordan.
It goes without saying that Bill Simon is the underdog going up against the powerfully entrenched and politically ruthless Gray Davis. But at least California voters will be offered a real choice between two different individuals with two different philosophies. I voted against Dick Riordan in the GOP primary because I think one Democratic Party in this state is enough. The challenge for the California Republican Party is to find a way to adjust to the states changing demographics without putting our core values into a blind trust.
The destruction of Riordan may bring some joy to Democrats who want to re-elect Stone Cold Gray Davis this November. Riordan was, after all, only a corporate liberal who was hostile to workers interests and a defender of bad police relations with poor neighborhoods. But there is a dark underbelly to this good news. Marc Cooper wrote about a GOP groups angry reception to reactionary Kansas Senator Brownbacks call to legalize currently illegal immigrants in this country, and how this portends more money going to Davis and the Democrats this fall.
The bad news is that such money comes with a price: Corporate liberalmoderate Republicans leave the Republican Party for the Dems, but they bring their elitist version of diversity and their anti-worker policies with them. The Republican Party becomes the voice of an irrational, hateful populism, while the FDR types in the Democratic Party, who possess a progressive populism, are left nowhere to build any meaningful class-based coalition. Worse, it allows the corporate media to denounce all natural populist impulses as irrational, ignoring the progressive populist message of inclusion and understanding of working people of all colors, creeds and ethnic heritages.
--Mitchell J. Freedman
KUDOS AND BAD IRRELIGION
I would just like to say that the article that Brendan Mullen wrote on Bad Religion [Darwin, Dogma and Loud Guitars, March 1--7] was ace! He did an awesome job. It was really informative and a great read. Well done. Very interesting.
Its sad to see Bad Religion fighting an orthodoxy that died over 100 years ago. They should be fighting the mindless orthodoxy that is in power today: Darwinism itself. Let them fight the quasi religion that insists that the marvels of design that surround us came about through accidental mutation and natural selection. Let them fight for the scientists who, under the banner of intelligent design, are destroying the scientific basis for Darwinism. Darwinism is bad religion.
CAST AGAINST TYPE
Many thanks to Judith Lewis for her critiques of Tammy Bruce and Norah Vincent in her recent column Review This Book or Else [March 8--14]. Both Bruce and Vincent have long been known for making obnoxious statements that have nothing to do with facts or reality (they never have any evidence to back up their claims). Yet these two so-called pundits, who are about 18 years old psychologically, are sought out by the conservative-dominated media because they represent two types one might think of as being liberal and progressive but instead go the other way. After all, why bring out a William Bennett to bash women or a Jerry Falwell to bash gays and expose the medias obvious conservative bias? Its much easier to bring these two out, and it will seem cleaner and less messy, even though the dagger wounds these two inflict will be just as hurtful and as damaging.
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In last weeks Film Special Events preview of the New Irish Cinema program at the American Cinematheque, Pogues singer-songwriter Shane MacGowans name was spelled two different ways, both of them incorrect.