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The Weekly Umbrage

Posted in Politics and Public Affairs

The two “stories” we’re supposed to care about in the political world this week are Jesse Jackson’s overheard whispering, and Phil Gramm’s accidental statement of what he truly believes. Will this summer ever ever end?

Lemme tell you how a person who does not watch TV experienced the Jesse Jackson kerfuffel. I’ve heard bleeped versions of Jackson’s Fox News whisperings on several radio programs and podcasts. In at least one case, the audio had been enhanced. You know what? I never once understood what he said. I caught “black people” and a beep that covered Jackson’s allusion to Mr. Obama’s anatomy. So here’s my question. On TV, were there captions? There must have been. Else how could you understand a single bleepin word?

Doesn’t anyone else see the ridiculousness of this whole situation? Here you have audio of such poor quality that it requires digital enhancement and freakin captions? Wouldn’t it just be easier for all the “news” outlets to bug their green rooms? I’m sure the sound would be better, and the quotes probably just as juicy.

As to Phil Gramm (my former Senator, I’m sorry to say) blurting out that we are a nation of whiners, I can’t get too worked up. Does anyone doubt that this is what conservative Republicans believe? And let’s face it. When it comes to eminent economic crises, and the need for government to be seen doing something, whether it solves the problem or not, we are whiners. People on my side of the aisle though, knowing a good election issue when they see one, immediately set up the umbrage corps, dispatching members of Congress to express their outrage at Gramm’s comments. Obama’s Dr. Phil line was among the lames, if you ask me.

Far from truly wishing him to be thrown off the McCain bus, I suspect most of the Dems planning counterattack would love for Phil to stick around. That boy is a walking gaffe machine, as well as being a primary architect of the deregulated environment that precipitated the current hosing and economic crises. Oh, and um, the bigger issue? He’s a lobbyist fora foreign bank. Don’t the Rs hate that kind of thing?

It’s never the important stuff that gets you in trouble. It’s always the sound bite. So what else is new?

Hey, can I pick the scandal next week? Here’s what I want. I want a recording of Barack Obama leaving a really pissed-off message on Jesse Jackson’s answering machine. There should be cursing and threats, and a suggestion that Jesse is gay. Oh, and I’ll give a million imaginary dollars to the first politician who calls people whiners for complaining about gas prices.

That’d be awesome!

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