October 29, 2004

New Feature: Ask a Hysterical Liberal!

Thanks to the unprecedented support ReverseVoteSwap.org has received this election cycle, we have been able to greatly expand our operations. In addition to adding several new full-time staffers dedicated to organizing Reverse Vote Swaps, our new additions will include a regular column feature, Ask a Hysterical Liberal! Every week (depending upon the schedule of recounts) you can ask political questions, factual questions—even relationship questions are fair game. Our resident Hysterical Liberal will answer them with the appropriate liberal hysteria. We provide this as part of an effort to be appropriately fair and balanced, so that you need not have your election news limited to facts; uninformed rants are clearly also an important part of an informational diet. So sit back, relax, and Ask a Hysterical Liberal!

HL: Hi there! I appreciate ReverseVoteSwap.org giving me the chance to share with you my personal innermost feelings about this election. Clearly, our nation is at a crossroads, and only John Kerry has the character and nuance necessary to protect the American dream. I agree with ReverseVoteSwap.org one hundred percent. I just feel like this election is not the right time for Reverse Vote Swapping. The stakes are just too high! But enough about me! Onto the questions!

I hate Bush because of the war in Iraq. I want to end the war, but it doesn’t really seem like Kerry is against it. I hear he voted for it himself. I’m really depressed about this election. Two of my friends are serving in Iraq and I’m really worried about them. What should I do?
---Nervous in Niantic

HL: First of all, relax. Have some chai. Then, get the facts straight. Of course Kerry is against the war! I shouldn’t have to tell you that all politicians lie. They do. After the election, Kerry will shed his moderate cocoon and bring the troops home with honor. Never fear. Remember, Americans are all right-wing and stupid. They have to be lied to because they don’t know what’s best for them. I know we’re both against the war, and almost everyone we know is against it. But everyone else in the country is for it. So buck up, and vote Kerry! No more questions about the war, please.

I voted for Al Gore in 2000 because I was worried about whom George Bush might appoint to the Supreme Court. But now, Kerry is saying he’s “personally opposed” to abortion, and that he would appoint anti-choice judges to lower courts. I feel like pro-choice voters are doing the wrong thing by giving our votes away to Kerry without any demands. What should I do?
---Pro-Choice in Peoria

HL: First of all, we’ve got to think both strategically and tactically. I think it was a famous person who said, “I disagree with you talking, but I’ll defend you’re right to talk.” Therefore, someone personally opposed to abortion is probably our best defender of Roe v. Wade. He’s unbiased, and will enforce the law. So vote Kerry, ok? He’s seriously pro-choice. No matter what he says, or what he’s voted against. No more questions about abortion, please--it's a wedge issue.

I’m a laid-off union machinist. I had a job during the Clinton years, although it infuriated me to no end how much my boss’s salary got raised while I got nothing but raised healthcare costs. Now I’m out of work, and Kerry’s plan is just to pay my boss more and hope he’ll hire me back. I don’t want to vote for this billionaire, but I’m sure not going to vote for Bush. What should I do?
---Job Free in Philly

HL: First of all, I agree with you one hundred percent. Things are certainly quite difficult for the middle class, of which you and I are certainly both a part. And sure, the rich are getting richer. That’s the way the economy works, and that’s where jobs come from. And, Kerry may be a billionaire, but he understands what you’re going through. He’s a man of the people, and if you were to talk to him, he would certainly listen to you. Don’t, though. He’s under a lot of stress and really can’t be bothered right now so don’t worry about what he’s saying about jobs. Just vote for him, ok? God. Why won’t anyone listen to me? It's so obvious!

Hysterical Liberal, what would you say are the major differences between Kerry and Bush?

HL: The differences are night and day. If Bush is night, Kerry is day. If Bush is yin, Kerry is yang. It’s a fresh start for America, and for Iraq, and for the world. Kerry just has the character, and the courage. I don’t really want to get into a political debate about the election. I just feel like the differences are really big and important. Ok? Now shut up and vote for him!

My cousin joined the NLF when American soldiers razed our village and forced my family to move from our ancestral homeland. Men like John Kerry killed him, and thousands more. I thought Kerry spoke against his country's war on my people, but now I see how he brags about doing murder against my countrymen. How do you suppose the man lives with this inner corruption?
--Long in Vietnam

HL: Finally, a decent question! As you mention, Kerry is a three-time Purple Heart winner. Although personally opposed to the Vietnam War (if only we'd had a Democrat in office!), when Kerry saw brave American soldiers getting killed, he went right into the thick of things. When America makes an enemy, you can bet John Kerry will report for duty to destroy them. Compare that to Bush, who not only didn't want to kill Vietnamese--he didn't even want to go to Vietnam. Thanks for the opportunity to talk about Kerry's military heroism, Long! Too bad there aren't still a lot of Americans in Vietnam to cast absentee ballots for John Kerry!

Posted by convener at 01:52 AM

October 31, 2004

Love, Hysterical Style!

As a Hysterical Liberal, I of course agree with you one hundred percent. I just think we got off on the wrong foot a little bit with my first column. So for my next column, I’m going to go ahead and stay away from political questions and really focus on the issues that we agree about so that we can find some common ground and go back to making America the greatest country in the universe, as we all know it is. That’s why I’m sticking exclusively to non-political matters and taking your relationship questions. So sit back, relax, and Ask a Hysterical Liberal!

I’m having some real trouble in my marriage. I’m the proud father of two young children, but I just got notice that I’ll be shipping out to Iraq to “pacify” Falluja. I don’t want to go, my wife doesn’t want me to go, and it’s really making things stressful around the house. What should I do?
--Doug in Des Moines

Just go ahead and get out the vote for John Kerry, because hope is on the way! John Kerry will make sure that it’s not just Americans bombing Falluja, but people from other countries, too. That’s the kind of fresh start we need! So when you head out to Iraq, you can rest assured that as soon as John Kerry is elected, the war will stop being bad and start being good for America and the world. In the meantime, why not go door-knocking for Kerry-Edwards? That’s just the sort of activity sure to bring two people closer together! Take my advice: Don’t worry about Iraq. Remember how on the way hope is, and vote Kerry!

I’ve been in a relationship with someone since I was about 18. A lot of my friends don’t like this guy. Some even say he’s abusive, but I’m not sure. I mean, yeah, he is always hitting me up for money and never giving me anything in return. Yes, he does often prevent me from doing what I want to do, and he screams at me if I ever talk to anyone else. But he seems pretty confident that the problem isn’t with him, but with the other people I could potentially be dating instead. He says they’re much worse, and that after all, I have to be with someone. I’m not sure. What do you think?
--Melanie in Michigan

The only way to reform this relationship is from the inside, so you’d be foolish to leave it. I’m sure this guy means well. This is a pretty sexist country, and your boyfriend probably can't afford to alienate sexists by being too nice to you. In fact, I don’t want to be rude, but have you ever considered the idea that maybe you are entirely to blame? He’s likely just looking out for your own interests, and any poor behavior on his part is probably just in reaction to your unreasonable expectations. So stick with him! Also, have you thought about door knocking for Kerry? Maybe that would make him love you more. Try that! And remember that hope is on the way. This Bush administration has really encouraged bad relationships between people so make sure he doesn’t get re-elected!

I’m single working mother. I have to take two jobs just to make ends meet, and that leaves me little time to spend with my children. It makes me worry that I’m not being a good parent, but at the same time, things are really out of my control. I also have been having a hard time meeting anyone, between my two jobs and the kids. What can I do to make things better?
--Alice in Akron

Well, I can see your first problem right away. I notice you didn’t mention anything about getting out the vote for John Kerry. Not only is that a great way to meet people, it’s also your ticket to a better life starting in 2005. He’ll make sure that your job pays better and that your kids are well-behaved. I’ve heard from a lot of parents that their children have been acting up for the last four years due to the irresponsible tone set by Bush. It has a real trickle-down effect. So don’t worry; get out the vote for John and John!

I’m a man in my mid-twenties currently living at home. I can’t afford my own place on my Wal-Mart paycheck, but I’d really like to move out because living at home at my age is a real drag. This is particularly true with my parents always nagging me about getting a better job. I just can’t seem to get them to understand how much I want a better job, but can’t find one in this job market. What should I do?
--Paul in Portland

The exit strategy for your situation is completely clear. Vote for John Kerry. Thanks for your letter! Hope is on the way!

There. Wasn’t that nicer? I’m glad we can all go back to agreeing. I’m sick of this partisan bickering. I look forward to having one united America again, just like we had through all periods of history until the Bush administration. Hope is on the way!

Posted by convener at 12:40 PM

November 15, 2004

We Belong at Applebee's!

Hi guys, it's the Hysterical Liberal. I know I haven't done a column in a while, but this whole election thing has been...just really hard, you know? I mean, I'm pretty good at separating politics from my personal life, but I just feel like, by electing Bush, Americans are showing how much they want to hurt me, my friends, and my pets. At one particularly dark moment, I even put my head in the oven. Fortunately I have an electric oven, but I did singe my ponytail and left ear.

So I was feeling pretty down until I heard the awesome news that KERRY MIGHT UNCONCEDE! WAY TO GO JOHN!!! I always knew Kerry was a true fighter! I know some of you might be skeptical of a story hosted on a blog, but I have received confirmation from several other blogs. So this election's not over yet! That, along with some amateur talk therapy with my platonic life-partner, raised my spirits enough for another column! So please Ask a Hysterical Liberal!

Man, this country's going down the crapper, and I wanted to do something about it. All my liberal friends told me to vote for Kerry, even though Ralph Nader was the only candidate who took the right positions, or even took any positions, period. They said the number one thing was to beat Bush. Now Bush won, the Democrats are trying to be more like him, and I didn't even get to vote for what I believed in. Shouldn't I have voted for Nader instead?
--Paul in Pueblo

No way! All that would have done is increase Bush's mandate. When the Republicans look at the number of Nader votes, they just think, "Oh, here's a bunch of people who are unpragmatic, uncompromising, and unwilling to work patiently inside the system. Let's roll!" It's clear that Nader really doesn't understand how to win social change. While he was off running his vanity campaign, true progressives like James Carville toiled in obscurity. And if Nader was truly concerned about democracy, he would be looking into all these vote fraud scandals!

Sorry to interrupt, but that is actually what he's doing.

Look, I don't want to get into an argument with you guys about Nader, OK? I think we can all agree that Nader is a sort of political suicide bomber. I respect that you support suicide bombers, I'm respectful of all opinions. Let's end the discussion on that positive note, OK?

Hysterical Liberal, I've been thinking that maybe elections aren't the most important way to make social change. I want to get involved in some grassroots activism. What should I do?
--Dave in Dallas

Don't give up hope in our democracy, Dave! Every important change in this country has come through voting, assuming you vote for Democrats! If the civil rights movement had concentrated on getting out the vote for Kennedy and Johnson, they would have had a bigger mandate and could have passed civil rights legislation sooner (which they secretly wanted to do all along, but they had to hide it in order to win the South). Besides, "grassroots" groups often have a hard time staying on message and relating to swing voters. They tend to meet in left-wing cloisters like churches, independent cafes, or universities instead of mainstream community centers like Applebee's or the sports stadium. Remember, 2006 is just around the corner--you can start getting out the vote right now (but please clear anything you say with the DNC first)!

I met this really cool guy a couple of weeks ago, and we've been seeing a lot of each other. We like a lot of the same stuff and communicate really well. But the other day I found out that he's from a Red State! Should I break it off now?
--Connie in Connecticut

Hmm, this is a tough one! People used to say there were "two Americas" in terms of rich and poor, but now we know that the real chasm is between the more politically-conscious Blue States and the more ignorant Red States. I think most columns would tell you to dump the hick, but I really feel like it's important for us to help uplift the less fortunate. Here's a simple three-step process you can use to evolve him in a positive direction!

  1. Red State men like their women simple-minded and submissive. You'll need to act that way in order to relate to his moral values framework.
  2. If your Blue State friends express resentment at your new personality, tell them that you're just acting ignorant in order to win the Red State guy's trust, while secretly pursuing a more enlightened agenda.
  3. Let several months pass. Then, at the first sign of your Red State beau not doing as you would like, come down on him in the hardest, most insulting way possible.
That ought to do the trick!

Posted by convener at 12:45 AM

April 12, 2005

The Doctor Is In!

Hey everybody! Wow. It has been a busy 2005, and it's only going to get busier, since mid-term elections are just around the corner. Not to mention the fact that new DNC Chairman Howard Dean is completely reinventing the Party! It is truly, truly, an exciting time to be a Hysterical Liberal.

I'm sorry that I haven't answered your questions in a while! I've been involved in an awful lot of lobbying efforts lately, and I'm proud to say that all of them resulted in partial victories! For instance, though most of the Senate voted to accept Gonzalez as the new Attorney General, three dozen voted against him! Way to take a stand! (Usually I think that the Senate should just confirm nominees; after all, that's what we'd want Republicans to do if we had a Democrat in the White House, so why not pre-emptively return the favor? But in this unique case, the nominee in question is associated with torture, and torture is something I am personally against in most cases. Therefore, I had to speak out!)

Also, 162 Democrats voted to give Bush additional money for the war in Iraq, but several voted against it. Partial victory!

But enough about me; I should do the job the fine folks at ReverseVoteSwap.org are paying me to do. Let's answer some questions!

Dear Hysterical Liberal: At first, I was pretty jazzed about Dean taking over as head of the DNC. Later, however, I took a look at his pledge which describes his plans for the party. Have you seen this garbage? It doesn't say anything at all about bringing a more progressive agenda into the party. It just says, "use the internet." Shouldn't Dean be saying something about Iraq, or Social Security, or gay rights, or something?
--Blue-State Blues

Dear B-SB: First of all, no. You have to try better to understand the difference between politics and organizing! The two are very different things. Politics are things we talk about amongst ourselves. Organizing is what we do with other people, and it's important not to get the two confused! I know I'm still excited about the work of Dr. Chairman Dean, and I recite his pledge every night as I lay me down to sleep. It's just what the doctor ordered! (No pun intended!) Besides, I think he's really on to something with this internet thing. For instance, I think some liberal blogs would be a good idea, don't you? I think that some liberal bloggers could seriously shake things up and be a major force in 2008! So take the pledge, and quit whining.

Dear Hysterical Liberal: Did you notice that MoveOn.org has moved on from talking about the war? I thought that those guys were a serious political outfit, but now they won't talk about the most important issue in all of world politics. I'm seriously considering cancelling my membership. What do you think?
--Moving On Out

Dear MOO: First of all, you're totally wrong. Iraq obviously isn't the most important issue in all of world politics. To find out what's really most important, do what I do: Watch some TV, and see what the news guys are talking about most. Clearly, in light of the recent fight around Terry Schiavo and all the coverage given to the Pope, the most important issue in all of world politics is the death of people who are already basically dead. This is what liberals should be talking about! Maybe it wouldn't be so big a deal to be near death if Americans got to live in a country where a Democrat was President. Did you ever think about it that way? I'll bet not! My prescription for you? Take Dr. Dean's pledge! (No pun intended!)

Dear Hysterical Liberal: I don't understand why the Democrats don't take advantage of Republican stupidity. For instance, a clear majority of people were against Congressional meddling in the Schiavo case. The Democrats should have pointed out how absurd it was that Schiavo's parents tried to betray her wishes. Isn't Howard Dean a doctor or something? It seems like he could have really nailed Bill Frist. Why aren't these guys doing a better job?
--Dismayed or Confused

Dear DOC: First of all, these guys are doing a great job! You just have to understand pragmatic politics. Can you imagine the outcry from Jesusland if Democrats had said something reasonable about Terry Schiavo? The GOP would have accused them of being anti-life. Which is the same thing as pro-death. And that is not a label you want to be stuck with in politics! Democrats completely made the right decision on this one. Now they can refocus their energy on the real tasks of the day: getting Democrats elected! DOC, heal thyself! And take the pledge. (Pun implied.)

That's it for now, friends! I've got some envelopes to stuff!

Posted by convener at 01:11 PM