From the Publisher

Selected Televised Ass Kickings

I cannot believe the audacity of some conservatives today, questioning Senator John Kerry’s courage and questioning Senator John McCain’s sense of sacrifice. The conservative echo chamber of talk radio has recently been downplaying Kerry’s actions and resulting wounds in Vietnam.

Just for the record, Kerry jumped off his patrol boat and single-handedly took out a heavy machine gun position that was firing on the rest of his platoon. He was wounded in the fight and won a Bronze Star. John McCain was a Naval aviator who was shot down over Vietnam, broke his back, and spent five years as a prisoner of war. Two of those years were spent in solitary confinement, with a broken back.

A few weeks ago Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, in regards to a tax bill that McCain deemed unwise, said that McCain should go down to a local military hospital and view some of the soldiers returning from Iraq to learn about sacrifice. What sort of bizarro reality are these people living in? But then again, these are some of same people who questioned former Georgia Senator Max Cleland’s patriotism. Cleland lost three of his limbs in Vietnam.

To me, this constitutes talking smack, saying shit you can’t back up. Sure there’s always the usual trash-talking during a campaign, and yes, the best way to get back at these attacks is to just go out and win but at some point it just goes too far. At some point you can’t let it go on any longer. At some point people might start to think you’re soft and at that point somebody needs to get punched in the face.

Now I’m not saying anybody should punch Dennis Hastert or any talk radio hosts in the face, but in any competition your opponent needs to know where the line is drawn. On one side of the line is sportsmanship and respecting your opponent. On the other side lies an ass kicking. We liberals in this country need to redraw that line for ourselves. We are progressive, not passive, and they need to be reminded of that. Once again, I am not abdicating violence but if you are in a competition and you get hit you must hit back or your opponent will never respect you. The conservative attack machine has only gone as far as we have allowed it to.

When is the last time you were punched in the face? If you ever have been, I’m sure you remember it. That’s the type of thing that’s hard to forget. It stays engraved in your memory. From then on, you have a pretty good idea when things are about to turn physical. You can recognize it. Sense it. Your heart starts to pound faster.

The problem is that conservatives in this country don’t ever sense this when they debate progressives because it’s been a long time since they’ve had their asses kicked. Once again, not abdicating violence. What I am saying is that you shouldn’t be afraid of them physically and they should know it.

Am I being simplistic?
Yes, but we’re dealing with simplistic caveman-like people here.

You know that guy in your office who proudly listens to Rush every day? I think you can take him. Not trying to be derogatory but I think any physically-fit progressive woman could beat his flabby ditto-head ass.

Once again, I’m not advocating violence, but for them to respect us there needs to be at least one good ass-whooping. I love this country too much to see its people fighting one another in the streets, so to prevent this I will fight their champion. I will fight and best their epitome of what it means to be an American man.

This my challenge to you, Toby Keith, 2004 Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year.*

Now those of you who don’t live in the U.S. or watch NASCAR may not know who I’m talking about. He’s the Ford Truck guy who according to the song in the commercial doesn’t have any boundaries or compromise. By the way, isn’t that a nice summary of the Bush doctrine: no boundaries and no compromise. His latest hit is a catchy little piece of propaganda called “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)”. Here are some of the lyrics:

Justice will be served / And the battle will rage
This big dog will fight / When you rattle his cage
And you’ll be sorry that you messed with The U.S. of A.
‘Cause we’ll put a boot in your ass
It’s the American way

Hey Uncle Sam / Put your name at the top of his list
And the Statue of Liberty / Started shakin’ her fist
And the eagle will fly / Man, it’s gonna be hell
When you hear Mother Freedom / Start ringin’ her bell
And it feels like the whole wide world is raining down on you
Brought to you Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue

The Statue of Liberty is shaking her fist. What beautiful imagery. And with all of this boot-in-ass play who can be surprised by the photos out of Abu Ghraib?

It’s the American way don’t ya know.

You may have seen Toby’s embarrassing performance of this song at halftime of the last Super Bowl. I say embarrassing because the Super Bowl is televised worldwide. It’s like those aspects of your family that you don’t want your friends to see. I didn’t want the rest of the world to see Toby Keith’s stupid non-compromising ass parading around under a big plastic American eagle that could have only been described as menacing.

And what is this conservative fascination with not compromising? Have you ever known somebody who never compromised? NEVER? They’re assholes, complete assholes:

“I’m going to see this movie and that’s final!”
“You’re either with me or against me!”
Have a nice time.

Toby’s summer tour is called “The Big Throwdown”. How perfect is that. Just think of it, Toby. You could close off your big summer tour beating some hippy’s ass in a boxing ring. We could put it on pay-per-view and donate the money to the families of soldiers that were killed in Iraq. Seriously. Five rounds with 20-ounce gloves. No headgear though. I want your twisted face to be visible in the historic photo of that last connection. Your mouthpiece in mid-air and beads of sweat spinning off your stupid country-music hair. Speaking of headgear, what’s underneath that hat you’re always wearing? I’m saying nothing but skin.

I’m going to give you some boundaries, Toby, and I’m going to show you and all of your conservative buddies what one scruffy-looking Honda man can do to a Ford Truck man.

It’s nothing personal, Toby.
It’s just a game.
If you win, it’s a great marketing tool.
If I win, I help vanquish this idea that all liberals are soft.

I’m not abdicating violence.
Just selected televised ass kickings.
I’m not trying to stoke hatred.
I don’t hate you. I’m just not afraid of you.

* While Toby Keith is “their” epitome of an American man, Conway Twitty is their god, according to my mom. It was 1982 and my family was driving back from Florida. The back window of the 1978 Lincoln Continental was filled with all of those brochures for The Mystery Spot and Look Out Mountain. My sister and I were laughing in the back seat at the name Conway Twitty and his amusement park Twitty City. We weren’t just laughing, we were rolling with laughter very loudly in a gas station somewhere in Tennessee. All we had to say was “Twitty City” and we were friggin dying. My mother heard all of this while coming back from the washroom. She stuck her head through the open window and yelled in a teeth-clenched scream: “Stop making fun of Conway Twitty. HE’S A GOD DOWN HERE!” I have since learned to appreciate good country music and Conway Twitty’s contributions to the genre.

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