More BOW Award Fun

April 26, 2008

Neither cons nor hangovers nor even persistent housekeeping people shall keep today’s BOW (Buffoon Of the Week) Award from being given….

Good morning from Richmond and RavenCon.  Fun Friday night, though very busy.  I was on panels at 4:00, 7:00, 9:00, and 11:00, and moderated three out of the four.  Plus we had Opening Ceremonies at 8:00.  Today is slightly less crazy.

Without further ado…

Today’s BOW Award nominees include Bill Clinton, who actually receives two nominations:  One from me, for suggesting earlier this week that during the lead-up to the South Carolina primary Barack Obama and the Senator’s campaign had “played the race card” against Bill.  First of all, at the time Obama was up in the polls in South Carolina by double digits — he didn’t need to bring up race, and in fact might well have been hurt by doing so.  Second, someone needs to remind Bill (who I used to like very much) that he’s not running for President.  It’s Hillary’s campaign, Bill.  Please be quiet.  Bill was also nominated by my friend Mark Wise for (to quote Mark) “his claiming that since his office is in Harlem that he could not possibly ever be accused of being racist.”  Didn’t see the quote, Mark.  But it’s definitely BOW worthy.  Thanks for the nomination.

To be honest, I thought that the McCain Campaign had this thing sewn up earlier this week — actually last weekend, when it came out that they were claiming in a fundraising letter that Hamas (yes, that Hamas — the Middle East terror organization) wants Barack Obama to be President and that this was why recipients of the letter should send money to John McCain.  McCain often claims that he wants to run a different kind of campaign, that he won’t resort to smears.  But he’s basically saying here, “Vote for me, because the terrorists support my opponent.”  Lovely.

But while I had been prepared to give the award away, I should have known better.  It’s never over, til it’s over.

On Wednesday, www.crooksandliars.com reported that Tony Zirkle, a Republican candidate in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional district, showed up at a Neo-Nazi celebration marking Adolph Hitler’s 119th birthday.  I’m not even sure what to say here.  This is so breathtakingly stupid, not to mention offensive, that you’d think that it would be a shoe-in for the award.  It’s also very much in keeping with other aspects of Zirkle’s . . . let’s say “quixotic” campaign for Congress.  He has also proposed a new segregation plan that would give African Americans six states to live in, apart from white America.  According to Zirkle this would help everyone, since blacks would then have twelve U.S. Senators rather than just one.  Republicans in Indiana would rather one of the other Republican candidates got the nomination.  Democrats, not so much….

But as much as I wanted to give this award to Herr Zirkle, something happened yesterday that was far more serious and disturbing and thus worthy of this week’s award.  Again, I refer you to www.crooksandliars.com for details, but basically, in the wake of the election problems our nation encountered during the 2000 and 2004 elections, Congress has been trying to pass a bill that would address some of the more egregious issues and, perhaps most importantly, help local governments pay for voting audits and paper records of all votes cast in Federal elections.  Republican members of Congress on the House Administration Committee voted unanimously in favor of this bill in early April.  But yesterday those same members, along with the vast majority of Republican House members at large voted against sending the same bill to the floor for an up-or-down vote.  The elections of 2000 and 2004, regardless of whether you believe that the final results were skewed or not, left a good many Americans feeling that they had been disenfranchised and many more wondering whether our democracy is working as well as it should be.  Congress had an opportunity here to put many of those doubts to rest.  By voting against this bill, House Republicans leave themselves open, at best, to charges of insensitivity to these legitimate concerns.  At worst, this vote smacks of crass partisanship.  It’s as if they’re saying, “The system may be broken, but it’s working to our advantage, so let’s not fix it.”  Shame on them.  For those committee members, this a flip-flop for the ages, and I hope their constituents hold them accountable come November.

In the meantime, this week’s BOW Award goes to Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Take a BOW there guys.  You’ve earned it.

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