Thursday, June 30, 2005

How to Get Mad Without Sounding Bonkers: A Primer

How to Get Mad Without Sounding Bonkers: A Primer
Adam McKay

If you're like me, George W. Bush's justification for the war that aired the other night made you a tad miffed or a smidge tweaked. Maybe even some of your "ill humors" were engaged. When he said he would listen to his Generals' advice concerning the number of troops deployed, you might have, if you're at all like me, thrown a ceramic T-Bird decanter at the TV and yelled "Why didn't you listen before you beady-eyed spoiled oil brat!" Or perhaps when he trotted out his paper-thin compassion for those who have suffered from the war you bit a TV Guide in half and shrieked "If you cared so much why didn't you spend ten honest minutes trying to avoid this frickin war rather than stroking yourself off to GI Joe Action figures with Rummy, Cheney, Wolfy and the rest of your mummified chicken hawk cronies!!!"

And if you did in fact react at all like me, you also realized that Democrats -- or "the not hypnotized," as I refer to anyone who gets that these bastards are dismantling our great Nation -- are not great at expressing anger.

Dick Durbin had a hard time with it recently when he expressed outrage over the basically above board torture that our government has been conducting in Gauntanamo, Iraq and Afghanistan. This torture essentially makes the Geneva Convention null and void. This makes me so mad I want to kick Santa Claus in the nuts. Durbin did the political equivalent: he made a Nazi comparison.

Howard Dean too, still has much work to do when it comes to appropriately expressing the degree to which his dander is up. He called Republicans the party of the "white Christians." This basically ceded God to the very people who are warring and giving to the rich. Not a great chess move, but I get it Howard. I really do.

So here, in the spirit of constructive outrage, is a primer for Dems on how to get angry without sounding bonkers.

LESSON #1: Be very careful when making Hitler or Nazi comparisons.

Here's the bottom line: The Nazis killed like fifty-million people. They were the Babe Ruths of evil. W has screwed up Iraq and the EPA. So he's got a long, long way to go. He's more like the Dan Quisenberry of evil. Now that doesn't mean this group isn't ugly and dangerous -- they are -- but the Nazis were incredibly efficient and W and his band of goons are really, really incompetent. So the comparison gets sloppy.

So here's the Fix: Rather than saying Bush is like Hitler say that Bush is playing with "the seeds of fascism." And then you can go on to warn people about what kind of fruit these seeds bear. Or try comparing W to more appropriate fascist regimes like Nixon or the Shah of Iran or Matt Dillon in My Bodyguard.

LESSON #2 Don't lump all of Bush's 51% together.

This is the Dean mistake. "The party of white Christians" or "They don't earn an honest living." Whoah Deanie...whoah! Of the 51% who voted for W, how many did it because they were frightened or lied to? Probably 40% The rest were rich greedy people or religious zealots or mentally ill. But let's not throw out the forty percent. I sympathize with them. We all get caught up in hysteria. Remember the movie Independence Day? Try watching that now. Or what about Puddle of Mudd. Yikes. These Bush voters have been duped and played by a multibillion dollar media and PR machine that has them voting against themselves. Plus a lot of them are pretty cool and know where to find good pulled pork sandwiches and draft beer so let's not push them away too far.

The Fix: Refer to the modern Republican party as a party led by an elite few which it is. Call it "the party of CEOs" or "the corporate right" or "that party with the rich dickheads." It's true and it's inclusive. And if you must call out the disgusting rubes who use religion to gain power call them what they are: "Pat Robertson."

LESSON #3: It's okay to raise your voice.

Howard Dean scared Dems off of yelling for fifty years after that one much over-hyped night in Iowa. But it's okay to raise your voice. Really it is. Joe Biden is good at it. And so is Green Day. And Joe Biden and Green Day aren't demagogic lunatics. And here's a good phrase to yell at the President after he's evoked the memory of 9/11 for the hundredth time for political gain: shame on you! What ever happened to shame on you? I'm guessing Barbara Bush used to say it to George W. when he'd laugh at another kid for not wearing six hundred dollar cowboy boots or when he'd lie about hitting a homerun in a game he was actually a cheerleader for (by the way, I know it's old info but this is downplayed... our President was a Let's try trotting it out when these creeps wheel out wedge issues to distract us from the war or try and use Jesus to distract from Corporate looting of taxpayers' dollars... Shame on you Senator Frist! Shame on you Vice President Cheaney! Shame! Man that feels old fashioned good. After we master this maybe we can lead Rumsfeld by the ear to the Outhouse to drink castor oil.

Lesson #4: Don't beat others up when they do sound bonkers.

Seeing Dems descending on Dean for his comments was like seeing cops making fun of a mugging victim because he yelled "Help, Police!" in a weird high pitched voice. Dean didn't start a bogus war based on lies and Dean didn't dismantle the regulatory system and try and flood the courts with Nazis, uh...pardon me, fledgling fascists. So lay off! He'll get the hang of it.

And the worse this gets with this traitorous administration the more people we're going to see getting righteously angry for the first time in their lives. And some of them will say poorly chosen words and others will say things in too high pitched a voice. But we all have to remember, practice makes perfect.