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May 17, 2004

Kerry event in Hollywood: pure showbiz

(This entry by Bob Harris)

My first post here, either an honored guest or an unwanted interloper...

Was invited tonight to a small $40-per-head Kerry fundraiser by a friend here in Hollywood (who, if you're a pop-culture geek, played one of the murderous nerds on Buffy The Vampire Slayer; I mention this only to tweak freepers convinced that all of Hollywood is a massive anti-Bush conspiracy... yes, I say to you -- it is! Even bit players on a cancelled show are in on it! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha...).

So I showed up, since I'm planning to vote for Kerry, given that I prefer my war criminals to have retail experience. Truth be told, I was even considering working for Kerry, since he's not a babbling alcoholic con artist who thinks he talks to God.

So out come the catered chicken bits on skewers, served by young actress wannabes quietly scanning for producers they can feed on. And out come the glad-handing best friends, of whom I suddenly have several dozen. And finally, out comes a 30ish Kerry campaign worker to thank us all and drone for thirty minutes about what a scintillating speaker John Kerry really is.

Compared to her, yes, definitely.

And then she started taking questions. So I asked one -- do forgive my impudence -- essentially: "given that the nation is finally realizing that the war in Iraq is a spectacular failure based on a pack of lies, wouldn't it behoove the candidate to begin proposing more specific, positive alternatives to the Bush policies? Wouldn't it help the Kerry campaign immensely to give voters coming to their senses about Iraq a clearer choice of someone to vote for, as opposed to simply someone to vote against?"

Oops. No answer. Not only was the Kerry worker unable to generate a single specific way (and there are several, if nothing on the order of withdrawal) in which Kerry's policy would be different from Bush's -- she wouldn't even acknowledge that it might be helpful. She simply expected that we'd all be thrilled to know that electing Kerry would give U.S. policy more credibility that this White House can muster.

True enough. As would a toaster on fire, a wheel of gouda, or a rabid hamster. All of these have more credibility than Bush.

Meanwhile, things are getting worse in Iraq. American doesn't need another politician. We need a goddam leader. In subtext, I was asking, straight out: is Kerry an actual leader? And she was answering, straight out: no. Not right now. Maybe later.

A few questions later, I raised my hand again. No other hands were raised, so the campaiger looked right at me, announced that the question time was just about over, and that she'd really like questions from someone who hadn't asked any yet. Pure Scott McClellan.

After which, I was ostracized by some whose us-against-them political thinking is no more sophisticated than the people we're trying to defeat. Sigh.

Thank goodness for the main event: another Buffy nerd played songs with his band in the living room, while the first nerd hit on chicks and the third nerd wondered allowed about Kerry's position on gay marriages. (Yes, the actors who played the three nerds from Buffy still socialize in real life. They're actually really wonderful guys. Honest.) This was all quite spendid, almost enough to make me forget that I'm honestly planning to vote for an admitted killer of innocents with no clear agenda for stopping the continued killing of innocents.


I am forty bucks lighter. I have had an absurd and delightful evening filled with singing fictional nerds. But while Kerry will get my vote, and I couldn't be more distressed about Bush on almost every issue imaginable (what's the White House position on drilling the skulls of baby seals for oil? If the issue existed, we already know what the GOP would say), I find myself just not that damned interested in volunteering for the Kerry campaign -- at least until the candidate articulates the very positions that are energizing many of those in his own campaign, and the people who work for him decide to give straightforward answers to the simplest and most urgent of questions.

Asking a lot, I know...

Posted at May 17, 2004 02:39 AM | TrackBack

I has the same conversation the other night while speaking to a less glamorous group - Friends of the Marysville (CA) Libary. Seems many in this group will vote for Kerry for one reason only - he is not Bush. I will vote for him just because I fear what would happen to the country if Bush stays and gets to nominate 2 or 3 Supreme Court Justices. Can you image another Thomas or Scalia? Scary!

Posted by: Dan Gougherty at May 18, 2004 12:10 AM

In Mr. Bush's defense, the drilling is meant to make the baby seals disclose the location of the oil. He is aware that the skulls themselves do not contain valuable hydrocarbons.

Posted by: Harry at May 18, 2004 06:29 AM