Given the choice between thinking about politics and bashing themselves in the eye sockets with the prying end of a claw hammer, a large percentage of Americans would pick hammer.
We don’t blame people who feel that way, but ignoring politics fully only functions to our detriment. Politicians and pundits, despite their voracious egos, require a degree of apathy to get their self-serving evil nerd agendas enacted. Besides, if we ignored politics completely, we would have missed out on so many moments of fizzy absurdism: the Palin Wink from 2008, Congressman Michael Grimm threatening to break a NY1 reporter in half “like a boy” and heave him onto the wrong side of a balcony, and the best moment in the history of American bullshit: election night 2012, at approximately 11:25 pm.
At that exact minute, Fox News viewers witnessed sentient political potato Karl Rove receive word that his network’s analysts were calling the state of Ohio for President Obama. America watched Rove receive this information, and, in real time, decide that reality wasn’t real.
For a full half hour, nothing could shake Rove’s indomitable dead-eyed confidence that his months of pronouncements that Mitt Romney would win, that America would be Taken Back, and that everything would go back to the way he liked it were correct, even in the face of conflicting facts.
The newsroom flew into giddy, incredible turmoil. Megyn Kelly catwalk-stomped to the room where analysts were working, demanding answers on Karl’s behalf. Grown, professional men and women gently explained to Karl on camera that he was wrong, and had been wrong for months leading up to the election. This was unfathomable to Karl Rove. It was simply not possible. Everybody except him was wrong. It was a historical achievement in self-delusion. It was Olympian.
Men like Karl Rove insisting that reality bend to their belief that they are correct has, for almost all of our county’s history, formed the backbone of our political system and, since the invention of the chyron, formed the molten bullshit core of professional punditry. During non-election years, by the time a big, earth-shaking story makes it through the peristalsis of our military-intelligence complex to some low-level goon representative from a Florida bog, or to a cable news butt-chin CGI’ed into a law library, the decisions have been made, the wheels are already in motion, the ink is already dry. Why would the CIA give Michele Bachmann classified information about terrorist cells? Why would somebody give a chihuahua a machete? Everything is bluster and nothing is real.
During election years, that bluster and bullshit multiplies. Very few people know the recent past. Even fewer know the present. Nobody knows the future. In short, for the next year-plus, television and radio and internet and your inbox and eardrums will be flooded with very hot takes spouted by people who have no fucking idea what they’re talking about.
In addition to the roiling mass of maggoty garbage spread out before us, there are undiscovered pockets of joy. Jezebel’s election blog, which we’ve opted to the dismay of our ad sales department to call “The Slot,” is where we attempt to find those moments, and roll in them like an unleashed dog that just found a dead squirrel.
Like you, a random chattering cable news haircut, and your crazy aunt who won’t stop forwarding you racist political cartoons, we have very little idea what we’re talking about, and likely won’t know about anything imminent and terrible until it’s too late to warn you. But we’re swimming in the same garbage you are, and we might as well comment on the smell. The Slot, Jezebel’s definitely-not-a-vaginal-double-entendre home for political and election coverage in the runup to the 2016 American election, will give you (and us) a place to slowly go insane while the Karl Roves and Marco Rubios and Hillary Clinton spokespeople and Scott Walker struggle hairlines of the world spend the next 500 or so days spewing voluminous nothing.
Our special election coverage kicks off tonight with a liveblog of the first official GOP clownsterfuck debate and will continue on the daily with observations, inclinations, and miniature nervous breakdowns. Like you, we’ll be watching the big events, sighing through the stump speeches, minding the gaffes, renting cars and driving to New Hampshire, investigating small-time local dumbasses, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom. But we can’t handle it alone (we will literally die). We need you to fill us in on what you’ve noticed in your local and state elections, the campaign ads that are ruining your life/giving you life, and, to our very special readers working in or around politics, we invite you to tip us using our SecureDrop. Join us.
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