Crawl Across the Ocean

Friday, November 26, 2004

Partisan madness, Onionized version

So, I re-read my last column, and I still think I have a good point, but the post itself is way too long, goes off on a number of digressions and lacks both a proper introduction and a decent structure. In my defense, it was just a stream-of-consciousness ramble that took about 15 minutes to type out, but still.

So, I was thinking about posting a revised version, but that seemed kind of dull, so in an effort to make it more entertaining while still getting the point across, I decided to Onionize** it as follows:

But Who’s Counting?

Citing homeland security concerns, White house officials announced today that they will no longer be making federal budget figures publicly available.

“Given the number of people who would like to use these figures as a means to financially attack the U.S., it is no longer prudent for this sensitive information to be distributed to such a wide audience,” said White house spokesman, Bill Frobisher.

Reaction to the proposal on Capitol Hill was mixed. “It’s about time the White House showed some leadership on this issue,” said Republican Senator Carol Hedberg, “allowing this information to fall into the hands of foreign traders is like giving them a veto over U.S. government policy.”

Meanwhile, with one unnamed Democratic source quoted as calling the proposed changes, ‘stupid’, George Lakoff called on Democrats to turn away from name-calling and instead try to frame the issue in terms of progressive American values such as accountability and responsibility.

Pundits were also split on the issue with Conservative commentators suggesting that the move would help Bush shore up support with his base since they were clearly motivated more by security issues than by economic ones. On the other hand, Liberal talking-heads suggested that it could widen the rift in the Republican Party between so called ‘Fiscal Conservatives’ and ‘Social Conservatives’.

The discussion got heated throughout the Blogosphere with hundreds of left-wing readers reassuring themselves that the proposal was indeed stupid at DailyKos, while an equal number of readers vied to outdo each other in explaining why it was a good idea at pro-Republican blogs.

Understandably, some citizens were left a little bewildered by the conflicting reactions:

“Both sides just want to try to sell you their side of the story,” said Danny Black, 55, of Michigan, “I just tune out anything that has to do with politics.”

Maria Cox, 44, from Georgia takes a different approach, “The way I figure,” she said, “If two people have extreme views on something, the right answer is likely about halfway in between, maybe there’s some sort of compromise that everyone could agree to on keeping the budget numbers secret.”

Xavier Madsen, 22 of Oregon had the strongest reaction, “Man,” he said, “they need to change that Republican symbol from an elephant to an ostrich. That’s their reaction to any kind of problem, just pretend it doesn’t exist and hope for the best. If Bush keeps doing stuff like this for the next four years, I’m totally going to have to think about maybe going out and voting in the next election.”

** Onionize v. To take an extreme example which demonstrates your point and write a deadpan story which presents your extreme example in a factual ‘news-report’ style.

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