Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Sexiest Political Endorsements Living In America

It's not often that I keep up with all of the latest culture and fashion magazines, but once in a while a cover will catch my eye. One such is the current issue of Esquire, which proclaims Scarlett Johansson to be "The Sexiest Woman Alive". A few years ago I might have agreed wholeheartedly with such a proclamation; nowadays, I am naturally skeptical of any such statement. Did Esquire examine every single woman currently alive? And what about this Scarlett chick? Is she really sexier than any other woman under the magazine's consideration, or is she just some cutie with big lips who does a passable job of putting on her makeup? Anyone who subscribes to Esquire should demand at least one makeup-free photo of each "sexy" woman photographed for inclusion. The consumer can decide whether or not she's really sexy after he sees what she really looks like.

In any event, that's not what I want to comment on.

The real main feature inside the mag is a lengthy feat of civic responsibility called "Esquire Endorses America". Esquire weighs in on every gubernatorial, senatorial, and congressional race in the country this year, making endorsements in nearly every case, and encouraging write-ins in a handful of unopposed races. It's rather impressive, considering that a periodical not normally know for the depth of its political coverage (such as it is) covers so much ground in one fell swoop.

Not surprisingly, Esquire leans decidedly left of center. If the magazine writers/editors get their way, America will be a Democrat stronghold for the next two years. (Which leads me to ask...who is going to cast their vote based on an Esquire endorsement? Is it that important to anyone? Or do you look at it as a bit of fun, as I do?) There are some special sections such as "The Cynthia McKinney Awards For The Worst Members of Congress" (mostly Republicans) and "The Nine Pillars of Congress" (mixed R's and D's, but mostly leftist). The overwhelming theme seems to be "Esquire endorses Democrats who act like Democrats, and Republicans who act like Democrats".

So what does this men's pop culture and fashion publication have to say about candidates for office in my area? Let's start with the Governor's race.

Lynn Swann (R) Ed Rendell (D)
Ed Rendell, the first "America's Mayor," has had a harder time fixing
Pennsylvania's woes than he did Philadelphia's--though a lot of the blame falls
to the Republican-controlled state-house. And despite efforts to thwart him,
he's tackled increased education funding and property-tax relief since taking
office in 2003.

Esquire endorses: Rendell

If this clown was ever "America's Mayor", then it's time for a new American Revolution. There's no mention that the Republican state house leadership was dominated by moderate "play along to get along" types. (Until this year's primaries, that is.) So, of course, those Republicans can be blamed. And no mention of Lynn Swann, outside of his name. As far as Esquire is concerned, this race is a referendum on the incumbent's performance -- as well it should be. I won't forget how Eddie has played fast and loose with the state budget. That's why my endorsement goes to Lynn Swann.

Rick Santorum (R)
Bob Casey (D)
See "The Cynthia McKinney Awards For The Worst Members of Congress".
Esquire endorses: Casey
Ah, okay. Let's go see why Esquire awards Rick this very special status.

For the love of God, people, it's long past time that Rick Santorum did his
man-on-dog, dog-on-man ruminations on his own time. WWJD? This one's a
That's it??? That's all this rag has to say about this race? Rick said "man-on-dog" once, and that makes him such a terrible Senator? It's nice to know that Esquire has such deep-thought, well-considered commentary on its pages or we just would not know who to vote for.

Seriously, Rick Santorum has been one of the most consistent politicians in Washington the last few years. Sure, he's made a few compromises here and there, but his beliefs and values are well-rooted. And if "by his enemies you shall know him" is anything to go on, then the incumbent definitely deserves a third term. One again, I thumb my nose at Esquire and heartily endorse Rick Santorum for Senate.

In one Congressional endorsement (Jason Altmire over Melissa Hart), Esquire lets loose with some shocking sexual ruminations of its own:

Want to see Rick Santorum in a dress?
No thanks. But if you want to mess around with Photoshop on your own time, it's no one's business but yours.

As for my own district:

District 18
Tim Murphy (R)
Chad Kluko (D)
Who is Tim Murphy? He's a guy who puts out lots of press releases about what he supports. Little of which is noteworthy.
Esquire endorses: Kluko

Does one not get the impression that the magazine didn't put a lot of thought into some of these Congressional races? Let me tell you something about Tim Murphy: He puts out a lot of press releases because he wants to keep his constituents informed about what is going on in Washington, and because he knows what issues are important to people in his district. He is, by vocation, a psychologist, and provides the Congress with a much-needed insider's view of what's wrong with health care in America, and what can be done to fix it. None of this may matter to the Esquire writers who sit in their posh offices, likely in an upper floor of a building somewhere in New York, passing judgment on things and people about which they know nothing -- and, unlike most bloggers, get paid for doing so. But I have been represented by Dr. Murphy at both the state and federal level for ten years now, and I know enough about him to say that I endorse Tim Murphy for re-election to the U.S. Congress.

HILLARY SEZ: Don't forget about me! I'm a "Pillar of Congress"! Watch out, I'm gonna be President someday!

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