Saturday, January 21, 2006

And Now For Something A Little "Kinky"... Friedman That Is.

It is Saturday night and I am officially feeling old. Instead of my planning a night out all night as I did in my youth, I am waiting for my oldest son Salvatore to come home from a study-party gig. I remember them. 33% study, 66% party. Midterms senior year of High School. The last "important exam" until "Freshman Finals." Even now, most of the Senior class at Syosset (NY) High School is not taking them too seriously. I think it frustrates parents and teachers, but that is also part of the idea. I will wax poetic about senior year some other time tho.

Anyway I am leafing through my newsfeeds (my favorite feature of Opera 8.5 which is my internet browser of choice) and I come upon an interesting site that has polling information by following a link to this post by Ernie the Attorney. Now like I said it is Saturday night and I am just surfing around, so I look beyond the post and go to the actual site. On it there are a lot of really cool political polling information. I start to look at all the polling information there and I see a Texas poll about name recognition and positive feeling about the pols running for Texas Governor. I notice that the candidate with the highest name recognition/approval combo is an old name I remember from my youth. Kinky Friedman.

Kinky was part Weird Al Yankovic and part Frank Zappa. He had a band called the "Texas Jewboys" and they sang country music. He was good at lampooning the establishment and yet there was a strange truth in his music that made you think even while at a fraternity party.

Just the name of the band alone made him someone I liked. My Alma Mater, Tufts University was (and still is in some ways)a bastion of liberalism in the 1970's was at the start of the political correctness movement. I loved Tufts, but hated the PC jackasses, and still do. Seems like Kinky did too. (Note to self, write a post someday on how PC is the liberals attack on liberty making them no better than the Neo-cons*.)

Anyway Kinky is running for Governor of Texas. No way. Way! It is true. In that populist Jessie Ventura/Arnold Swartzenegger kinda way. He is running as an independent. I go to Google (way to go guys, keep fighting the government on our right to search the internet free from big brother watching us), and throw in Kinky's name and I find this interesting story about his campaign. It's a little old (August'05)but it is pretty good.

Now I think there is a definite difference between the Three populists. Arnold is unfortunately surrounded by too many people who are Neo-cons and thus they keep pulling him to the NEO-right. (Note to Arnold: You are never going to get to run for President of The United States of America. Further, as long as you are married to Maria Shriver, the Neo-cons are never going to accept you. Hence you need to get back to being an iconoclast who put liberty and free trade in front of politics, or your going to serve one term.)

Then there was Jesse Ventura who also had some bad advisors. His were on his left. Moreover Jesse wasn't really governor material. Mayor yes, Governor no.

But Kinky, now here is an interesting candidate. Especially for Texas. Minnesota is an iconoclastic state. California well... You know what they say, California is like a breakfast cereal everything that's not a nut or berry is just a flake. But Texas was the Original, original. It was a place where people went when they ran out of room in their own state. It is how George Bush the first (good ole '41) got there. It was the most iconoclastic state ever. It gave us LBJ, and Barbra Jordan. It gave us Ann Richards and George W. Bush (number 43). It is the wild west and then some. Now it gives us KINKY FRIEDMAN. His candidacy could break the mold. Brilliant, sarcastic, and evidentially serious.

Now I am not endorsing Friedman. I do not even know what he stands for. I am just thinking that anything different in politics especially Texas politics could be a good thing. Problem with Kinky is that his sense of humor gets in his way. I really wonder if the campaign is for real or not. I think however it is.

Now getting elected and serving are different skills. Independent and outside party guys have problems once they are in office. They have a fan base, among the electorate but no base in the statehouse. That means having a hard time delivering on their promises. What I like about iconoclasts is they infuse new and popular ideas into these closed political circles.

Part of the problem with American Politics today, is that regular people are on the outside of the government. Pols hang with other pols (I am including unelected pols like lobbyists and pollsters and the like in this group). They are really out of touch with the people they serve. The media stands outside of the circle (usually) but they don't really live with the rest of us either. What is left is the rest of us having no one to vote for. No one who we relate to. No one who is carrying our ideas. Hence iconoclasts for all their frustration in the administration of the executive branch provide the safety valve of airing the public's ideas frustrations hopes and fears. Sometimes they bring these ideas into being, sometimes they bring them up for others to carry the day a little later. Either way, American politics is better for the fact that the Kinky Friedmans of the world want to run and do so, and who knows sometimes even win.

Well, so much for Saturday night ruminating. That Lawyer Dude, over and (yawn)out.


*Neo-Conservative aka Neo-Con is just an old liberal who has been mugged. A That Lawyer Dude Definition.
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