A Republican in Democrat's Clothing
by The Cranky Media Guy
|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
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.