Proust No. Three

Angie DeWaard correctly answered the Christopher D. Bennett Trivia Question:

Q: What is the 1 thing Christopher D. Bennett always buys when he goes to an Iowa State game?

A: A program.

Proust Quote

“Our intonations contain our philosophy of life, what each of us is constantly telling himself about things.”

Confessions Question

What characters in history do you most dislike?

My 2009 Answer

Proust Questionnaire Number Sixteen

There are quite a few historical figures in the last year that have raised my ire. Some have dropped off my radar and some have popped back on.  Some I’m sure will always be there.

One guy who I have a love/hate relationship with is Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard. Sometimes I hate him.  Like when he ran out Dan McCarney. Like when he ran off Wayne Morgan.

Sometimes I love him. Like when he refuses to sell single game tickets to the Iowa-Iowa State game to Iowa fans. Or when he hires Paul Rhoads.

But when he got the gift of Creighton hiring away the failed Greg McDermott and he hired Fred Hoiberg to take his place, it screamed publicity stunt and I was irate.  However, Hoiberg has turned out to be a very good hire thus far. Plus I can never really hate Jamie Pollard.  Iowa fans are terrified of him and that does tickle me so.

Glenn Beck might be on my list of most disliked historical figures as well. His Rally to Restore Honor was a pathetic joke. Learning about honor from somebody like Glenn Beck is like getting financial advice from a homeless person.

To single out one professional liar over the rest of the talking heads on Fox News or MSNBC overstates his importance.  After all, a comedian was able to get triple the number of people at his rally and he didn’t have to go on the air the next day and lie about how many people showed up for it either. Glenn Beck is merely a sad race baiter that will most likely be completely forgotten by historians.

Congress would definitely be on my list as well.  Let me explain to you how our Congress worked these last two years through a story.

16 kids are on a playground. They are playing a game of dodgeball. Since the rules for dodgeball are not universal, there is some debate on what happens when somebody throws a ball at you and you catch it. 10 of the people think that when you catch a ball, not only are you safe, one of your previously eliminated teammates gets to come back into the game. The other six think that you are safe when you catch a ball, but one of your teammates doesn’t get to come back in. They have both agreed to vote on this rule. Whomever wins the vote, the game will be played by their rules.

However, the 10 feel bad for the 6 and refuse to just have the vote because they don’t want to impose their will on the 6. So they try to compromise with them.

“We have the votes to just play by our rules, but we are willing to compromise with you.”

“No. Your way is socialism.”

“So what? The military is a socialist institution and you love it.”


“Well do you have any ideas?”


“No. Isn’t an idea.”


“We could just vote and leave you out of the process all together.”

“No. We’ll take our ball and go home.”

“It is actually our ball.”


“No isn’t an idea.”


The 10 have a huddle.

“They won’t agree with us.  I don’t know what to do!”

“We have the votes, if they don’t want to play, let’s just pass the rule and play the game.”

“I’d feel bad about it.  Instead, let’s just do nothing.”

“But we have the numbers to do something.”

“Yeah, but if we do something they are going to say that our way of playing the game involves Death Panels.”

“Only the extremely ignorant listen to that type of uninformed drivel.”

“Have you seen the standardized test scores of the rest of the 3rd Grade?”

“Right. We should do nothing.”

Then nothing gets done.

And the people suffer.

Understand, that is a simplification, but not by much.

I didn’t mind the Republicans dominated the midterm elections. I sincerely hate both political parties and I have for quite some time. I hate the way that Democrats feel that they have a monopoly on compassion. I hate the way Republicans think they have a monopoly on patriotism. I hate how both parties think they have a monopoly on good ideas.

I was disappointed however that 2 Democrats that were most responsible for a failed Congress, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid kept their jobs. I hate to see cowardice rewarded.

John McCain’s fight to become this generation’s George Wallace is pretty disheartening.  His crusade to keep the plague known as “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” is sad. I remember when McCain used to be one of my favorite politicians, but now he is a horrible shell of what he used to be.  It is sad that he flip flops on his positions more often than the Salmon and even more frustrating is that when he gets the very evidence that DADT is bad for our country that he has been asking for, he changes his mind and asks for different evidence.

I understand that he needs to sharpen his conservative credentials to keep his job in a socially backward state like Arizona, but it was the old “Straight Talk McCain” that made him a maverick. He is certainly a maverick no longer. Tea Party lapdog seems about right.

But when I think about it, it is really a no-brainer. The historical figure I dislike the most is Bob Vander Plaats.

I don’t really know how influential Bob Vander Plaats was in getting three Supreme Court judges removed from their positions for following the law and doing their jobs by ruling that gay marriage was legal in the state of Iowa. I doubt that he actually had that much influence in putting a black eye on the state of Iowa. However the fact that he was out in front on this issue and mobilizing like-minded bigots to get to the polls and vote out the judges makes him an embarrassment to our state.

There was a brief period of time where Iowa was a state of enlightenment. Personal rights and freedoms were actually protected here.  I could walk proudly in any state in the union, knowing that I was from Iowa. I’m probably better than you.  A state that actually protected equal rights. Not a backwards hick state like Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, or (God forbid) Nebraska.

Then election night came in Iowa. All three judges were thrown out. Iowa was an embarrassment.

I know this wasn’t completely Vander Plaats doing.  I know that the enthusiasm gap that the Republicans had in the midterm election was a big contributing factor. I’m not ripping on Republicans, but it is a fact that they are decidedly more socially conservative than Democrats.  That means that Republicans often have the following range of thoughts on gay people: they are gross to burn them at the stake.

Now I personally don’t know any “burn them at the stake” Republicans because I don’t hang out at too many Klan meetings like our boy Vander Plaats and his friends most likely do. (That is clearly an overstatement and parody, but Glenn Beck would try to pass that off as fact and that is just one of the things that separates us.) However, they are certainly out there. Also I try not to be friends with bigots, but that  makes me bigoted against bigots. Ironic, huh?

The surge of Republican voters certainly aided Vander Plaats. Something else that aided him was that most people that supported gay marriage didn’t know what was going on.  More than a few people approached me in the days following the election and told me that they were shocked about the judge “thing”.  If they had known, they would have went out and voted.

As unscientific as my polling data would seem to be, I am very certain that if pro-gay marriage factions had ran a better campaign, doofuses like Vander Plaats wouldn’t be running around our great state thinking that they had just received a mandate.

It makes me sick to my stomach.

It also makes me glad that Brown v. Board of Education was not decided by the Iowa Sate Supreme Court.

Christopher D. Bennett Trivia Question

Currently, what is Christopher D. Bennett’s favorite band?

Remember to be the lucky winner, you have to answer in the “Comments” section of this journal entry.

11 thoughts on “Proust No. Three”

  1. I think your story is pretty dead-on. It is sad that the crowd doesn’t vote out the people most responsible for the stalemate.

    A good friend of mine from high school was Vander Plaats’ campaign manager when he ran for governor 4 years ago; he currently even disagrees with BVP on this basic civil rights issue.

  2. I heard on the radio this morning that there is a movement to have the vote on these three judges thrown out due to the fact that the vote for the judges was not done on a separate ballot, as the law calls for. So to add to the embarrassment, our state made us vote illegally. On the upside, the vote could be overturned.

  3. I rarely get into political discussions but I agree completely with your assessment of Vander Plaat. I also heard the same thing as Shannon on the radio. Overturning it and putting it up for a seperate public vote is the only recourse they really have after that sneaky little stunt.

    I’m going to venture a guess that perhaps She & Him is your current favorite?

  4. Here is a quick response.

    She & Him is definitely a Top 5 Band, but they are not my Number One.

    So you can keep guessing.

  5. Angie,

    After I think about the story, I think it would have been better presented as a group of people on a sinking ship trying to figure out which lifeboat to take. Or a group of people in a burning building trying to figure out an escape plan.

    Also, I actually only wish that it was consistently pointed out to the people that scurried away from a public option because it was “socialist” that their favorite organization in the world, the United States military, is almost a completely socialist organization. With the small exception of the regrettable use of mercenaries (that are paid triple what our soldiers are paid) in the “War on Terror”.

    36% of our tax dollars are spent on the military. Another 18% is spent on past military, meaning veteran’s benefits and interest on a national debt that has been created by military spending.

    I understand that the military is cool because it blows stuff up and it protects the economic interests of American corporations and probably does a little bit of protecting us citizens to boot, but I would much rather spend 36% of our current budget on helping sick children.

    Oh yeah, it wouldn’t cost us anywhere near 36% (actually 54%) of our budget to create a real health care system in this country.

    I would also be remiss if I didn’t point out that the reason that are 3rd Graders are getting such a bad education is because:

    A. Our education system was designed not to educate children, but to keep them out of the workforce as long as possible.
    B. The Democrats are in bed with the teacher’s unions. These unions are terrified of actual education reform and do everything in their power to stop it.

    Check out “The Lottery” or “Waiting for Superman” if you want to be angry for days on end.

    One last thing about Congress. It makes absolutely sick that Congress can’t even get together to do something that is so obvious like getting health care for the 1st Responders on 9/11.

    I remember quite a few speeches citing these people as heroes. It is so obvious that they are heroes that it feels like it doesn’t even need to be said.

    But now these same people are dying from a wide range of cancers because of the toxins they were exposed to running in where “angels fear to tread”, we are basically telling them:

    “Should have had health insurance.”

    “I had health insurance, but when I got sick, I lost my job. Then I lost my benefits.”

    “Too bad for you. But God Bless America. Can I get you to pose for this picture with the American flag. It will look great hanging up in my country club. Hey good luck with that whole cancer thing. Wish I could help, but you know God helps those that help themselves. Jesus said that.”

    “Actually that was Ben Franklin.”

    “What did Jesus say?”

    “If somebody wants your coat, give them your cloak as well. Rich people should sell all their possessions and give the money to the poor.”

    “Whoa. That guy was way radical. Need to figure out a way to eliminate him from this whole Christmas thing.”

    But that opens up another issue that bugs me. Namely that a dangerous faction of Christianity concentrates so much energy on gay rights and abortion instead of social justice, which is where Christians belong.

    This is absolutely brilliant:


    It seems strange to be there would be a separate vote on this issue, since this is the way we’ve voted on judges forever. I’ll have to look up this news story. I hope this works out.

  6. I am simply retarded… It is the Swell Season. I retract my initial answer of the Foo Fighters and replace it with the Swell Season. Sorry dude! This slipped my mind.

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