Lot of brouhaha surrounds the HBO film 'Game Change' starring Julianne Moore and Ed Harris as Sarah Palin and John McCain respectively.
Opinions on the show vary with complaints coming from Republican John McCain who says the film continues "to attack her person" referring of course to Sarah Palin. In an e-mail to ABC News, even Palin herself has weighed in saying "I believe my family has the right priorities and knows what really matters." Typically, I suppose, her comments are oblique and one cannot tell if she has seen the show and loves or hates it. Which has kind of been her problem all along. When asked a simple question, her ability to give a coherent, informed, direct answer simply eludes her.
"Game Change" is based on a book by John Hellemann and Mark Halperin. Palin is not portrayed as evil, just a woman under extraordinary pressure and prone to making ignorant statements, something which was immediately apparent to anybody paying attention to her in 2008. Unfortunately, once her statements put the campaign in crisis mode, McCain and campaign strategists had to support her and get her to memorize correct answers and pivot direct questions to predetermined statements of partisan rhetoric - something she still does to this day.
I recommend watching the show which runs 118 minutes but speeds along thanks to the fine direction of Jay Roach that it feels like it has a running time of only an hour. It is well written (kudos to the ultra-talented Danny Strong), well acted and informative. Also, according to Steve Schmidt, McCain's former campaign strategist (and played with great gusto by Woody Harrelson), it is a "very accurate" depiction of the Presidential campaign of 2008. I found the internal, strategic machinations of the Presidential campaign fascinating, and certainly propelled the drama forward making for a fast sixty minutes.
To comment on the phenomena of the existence of Palin on the national scene is to recognize the foisting of someone that any thinking American knew was simply unqualified to hold the office of Vice President of the United States of America, much less the Presidency, only a heartbeat away.
Lesson to take away from this show? A Vice-President without a working knowledge of the economy, foreign policy, or even basic geography is not what is needed in this country at this or any time. Also, in 2008, it seems the Republicans were willing to compromise the quality of leadership at the top in order to win an election. It was akin to concentrating on fixing a symptom instead of curing the illness. Unfortunately, to capitalize on modern political celebrity became the overriding concern, something they felt Obama had but their candidate (McCain) did not.
A convincing argument could be made that the American people were insulted by having presented and supported before them a representative person who fell very short on basic knowledge in critical areas. Blind support from their constituents was sought setting aside a true and accurate understanding in the name of popularity. This in retrospect proved to be a kind of superficial, short-sighted goal - and at the very least displayed a kind of sliding-scale value system which hurt their party then, and continues to hurt them to this day, every time Palin's name is held in high regard and every time her opinions are held as thoughtful and relevant.
Since 'Mad Men' won the 2009 Golden Globe for Best Television Series: Drama, I've been on the lookout for anything to do with the series and this is what my wife found and smartly drew to my attention the other day in the grocery store. I guess 'va-va-voom' is just the kind of 1960's reaction you'd expect when seeing January Jones' (from AMC's 'Mad Men') photos in Vanity Fair this month. There are more photos (various stages of revealing) and as of this writing you can see them on Vanity Fair's website (vanityfair.com). Check them out. Yes I am a 'Mad Men' fan and yes I am a January Jones fan. Can't wait for the series to start up again. I expect more publicity as the series ramps up for it's third season to begin broadcasting this summer.
There has been talk lately about trying Bush for war crimes, crimes against humanity and/or failure to adhere to the agreed upon tenets of the Geneva Conventions. Several books have been written, outlining in detail easily over 250 instances where war crimes were commited by Bush and his Administration. At the very least, there is a movement that promotes investigating the crimes of our political leaders by the International Criminal Court.
One book, written by Vincent Bugliosi (famous Charles Manson murders prosecutor) entitled 'The Prosecution of George W Bush for Murder', argues that because Bush misled the country into war with Iraq, he should be criminally held responsible for the deaths of American soldiers.
I believe that the war crimes should at least be investigated as Jonathan Turley suggests in the video, as a matter of principle during Obama's term as president. And the sooner, the better. I mean, the statement 'When Clinton lied, nobody died' holds true. Bush avoided impeachment during his terms in office, but he should be held accountable if he broke the law, which it appears he has, numerous times.
The past eight years represents to me a kind of 'Dark Ages' from which we, as Americans, are about to emerge. Yes, let's all step into the light! I am grateful and looking forward to a President of which we can all be proud, who represents what is right and fair and true about the best that America has to offer. Over the years, I stood in abject disbelief as pro-Bush politicos defended his idiocy with partisan rhetoric which was neither thoughtful or truthful. Unbelievable! All it did was drive me away from political discussion because somehow it always led to anger and derision. Plus, I was made to think less of my family and friends who spouted that rhetoric and those feelings disgusted me. The frustrating thing was - I got really, really tired of being represented by an inarticulate, close-minded buffoon. Hopefully, better times are around the corner (we just have to get through a few wars and a global financial crisis) but with an intelligent man like Obama at the helm, I can't wait for the inauguration. It'll be truly the 'End of an Error'.
God, I hope the 2008 Presidential Election lives up to its promise. It's a mandate for change to our nation's leaders. Stop the systematic destruction of our country. Find your moral center. Heal and rebuild. Do your job.
This is a great night for America - a historical, wonderful evening. My wish for Barack Obama, the 44th President (elect) of our nation is to fulfill our collective expectation of him as a glorious leader, able to inspire us to come together, end the divisive partisan bickering, and act for the betterment of us all and future generations. Our kids deserve something better than what has been going on since the '80's, when Reagan took office, and the dawn of modern, divisive politics arguably began.
I love that tonight's speech sought to bring us together in a way that hasn't been heard on the national scene since Kennedy (both John and Bobby). It's corny, but if Oprah can speak to our better selves from the 'pulpit' of her talk show, then CERTAINLY the President can, from his rightful place as a respected worldwide leader, in the oval office.
I look forward to our nation being uplifted and respected again throughout the world, with our economic infrastructure and wounded national pride on its way to restoration, by an articulate, soul-stirring, inspirational, exciting, inclusive, intelligent leader. It's what has been missing for so very long. It's what I have yearned and ached for and it's what we all, as Americans, deserve.
I studied filmmaking and animation, became an illustrator (published in a few books), and graphic designer. I am currently working as a financial services marketing professional. I have a deep yearning for artistic expression and particularly, improving my filmmaking, character design and drawing ability. Follow my @vdr tweets on Twitter! Check out my other blogs below.