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weasel of the week
A Republican in Democrat's Clothing
by The Cranky Media Guy
Senator Robert Torricelli
Sen. Bob Torricelli

I know I've said this before, but I'm going to say it again: politics in America is every bit as real as professional wrestling (but considerably less entertaining).

One recent change in the world of wrestling (and something that truly upsets purists like me) is the willingness on the part of those in the business to admit that it isn't "real".  Back when I was a professional wrestling manager (the 80's), if you had been caught admitting to a mark (member of the audience) that the action in the ring was anything less than 100% legit, you would have been run out of the business on a rail.

Even today, though, when the cameras are rolling, everyone involved in the biz--wrestlers, announcers, managers, et al--realizes that to do the show properly, he needs to act as if everything is absolutely on the up and up.   When asses are in the seats, they go into character and they stay in character.

While politicians have learned that they don't have to be any more "real" than wrestlers, they seem to have missed the part about staying in character.  Maybe they're just so damn smug that they feel they can get away with letting their real selves show through.  After all, 95% of incumbents get reelected, so why bother with all that acting?

Bob Torricelli, Democratic Senator from New Jersey was on one of the Sunday morning BS fests this past weekend along with Republican Mitch McConnell.  As these guys are supposed to be on opposite ends of the political spectrum, you'd expect them to play out their parts.   I mean, they were on national television, after all--you know, just like WWF Raw.  The least they could do is snarl at each other a little bit, give the folks at home a decent show.  You'd expect that, but you'd be wrong.

The show began with clips showing that Torricelli (the alleged representative of working people) had pushed the China trade deal, championed the bankruptcy bill - the one designed to bring back debtor's prisons and turn working people into the chattel of big business - and generally done everything possible to stab working folks in the back.  Torricelli, who should have hung his head in shame at the revelation that he's a big fat phony, instead just beamed like a Cheshire cat. 

At one point, Republican business whore Mitch McConnell admitted to Torricelli that he just had to admire the way the Democrats have made themselves more "business friendly".  If Torricelli--who actually has had a decent record on some issues in the past--was half as professional as those who work in the "squared circle", he'd have taken the "compliment" as an opportunity to talk about how he supports the working men and women of America, etc. etc.  Let's be honest about it: when the Republicans use the term "business friendly" what they mean is letting big companies move their factories to China, merge with each other willy-nilly without regard to anti-trust laws and generally do stuff that screws over the people who work for them. Most "pro-business" legislation could just as easily be called "anti-worker" legislation - and would be, if Congress people were forced to tell the truth a la "Liar, Liar".

It's a given that a Republican will support stuff like that.  Torricelli, on the other hand,  should have acted as if calling a Democrat "business friendly" is an insult.  Of course he didn't, because as things stand today, there's damn little difference between the two major parties in the U.S.  The Democrats have figured out that taking money from special interests won't really hurt them because working people have no other party to represent them.  No other party with any realistic shot at winning, anyway.  If nothing else, the Republicans are honest about supporting big business.  The Democrats, once considered the party of the "little guy", make less and less of an effort to maintain that image with each passing election cycle.

Torricelli should have done to McConnell what any self-respecting wrestler would have done: body-slammed the miserable son of a bitch.  He didn't because what he and McConnell know is that the entire political system in this country is a show, just something to distract the masses while the guys at the top grab all the goodies they can for themselves.  There are no "sides" in politics anymore, just as there are no real sides in wrestling. 

Torricelli and McConnell did what no professional wrestler would ever do--they dropped their guard on camera, in front of the marks.  In so doing, they revealed what most of us have figured out, anyway: politics is phony.  Tsk tsk, boys.  You could at least keep up the image and make it a good show.  At least pretend that you're on opposite sides.

For "giving away the business" (as they say in the wrestling world) and for revealing that he's as big a money whore as any Republican, Bob Torricelli is hereby awarded the Hardcore Weasel of the Week Belt.



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