Wednesday, August 09, 2006
No Go

Is it too late for me to give back my Joe-mentum?

It doesn't sound like the deal it was back when I first bought me some back in '04.

Sure, I was a Wesley Clark guy in the Democratic primary process that year (what can I say, I'm a sucker for a guy who could credibly wear a uniform but no longer does... and an investment banker, too! Investment banking gets me all hot), but that was a business decision. I just happened to think he had the most potential as a candidate.

I also backed John Kerry once it became apparent we had no other goddamn choice, but once he was out there as the Not George Bush, I was invested.

I also really liked John Edwards. Howard Dean ran a fascinating sideshow. Dennis Kucinich was a funny little elf-man. Al Sharpton had some terrific hair.

So maybe Joe Lieberman was sixth or seventh on my list of people I would have supported for president that year. But he had the best accidentally-kitschy should-have-been-more-embarrassed-than-he-seemed-to-be slogan with the "Joe-mentum." Sure, I rejected him as a person, but I immediately adopted his slogan as a personal life-mantra.

I tried the same thing in the mid-'80s when I fell for the "Frankie Says Relax" campaign. That was a total disaster seeing as I was only 10 years old and not really up on all the subtext in the song that inspired the phenomenon (I know it was a phenomenon because there were t-shirts). I tried just being more relaxed in general, but in retrospect, the Frankie Goes To Hollywood philosophy really doesn't work without the gay sex.

After 2004, as a fully realized adult person, I knew going in that there was no gay-sex component to "Joe-mentum." After all, he was from Connecticut, not Massachusetts. So I was fully on board.

Better-developed cognitive reasoning skills were no help, however. The fate of Lieberman's 2004 primary campaign should have been a clue. Every time I declared that I had "Joe-mentum!" (and I would declare it, quite loudly) whatever I was attempting would immediately turn to shit. Lawn care, child-rearing, online personals for couples, none of them worked out. Just a bunch of dead grass, temper tantrums in grocery stores and fat people with shocking amounts of body hair, respectively.

Take it from me, people. Joe-mentum is a bad deal.

Before anyone gets on me about being an anti-Semite just because Joe Lieberman is Jewish, let me just tell you this: I have no problem with Jews in positions of political power. I've voted for Dianne Feinstein several times. I'd vote for Russ Feingold in '08. I don't understand the people who are uncomfortable with this, frankly. Come on, it's 2006. Let's be modern people. Besides, we all know the world is run by seven Jewish bankers who live in a bank vault in Switzerland anyway. What's one more senator or president? Anti-Semitism in this respect at least is just laughably naive.

I say that so all of you know that when I reject Joe-mentum, it's a combination of personal experience and observation of events, 2004 in combination with yesterday's total clusterfuck of a primary.

Maybe I'm being too hasty. Maybe Joe will run as an independent and, incumbent retention rates being what they are, sweep to victory once Republicans are allowed to vote for him, restoring some of the rhetorical luster to the concept of Joe-mentum.

Until that crisis of cognitive dissonance is upon us, I elect forthwith to employ the term "Joe-mentum" exclusively in an ironic fashion. It's new ground for me, but I hope you will all make the journey with me.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 7.0



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