One concert I attended that I reviewed was James Blunt at Conseco Fieldhouse. Blunt's big hit at the time was a song called "You're Beautiful". It is your typical pop song that I absolutely despise. Sappy, slow, generic, nothing overtly special about it. I went into the show with every single negative expectation, and it was at a venue that often isn't the best for musical acts.
I was absolutely blown away. James Blunt turned out a concert that really made a huge venue with several thousand people in it feel like an intimate, personal performance at The Vogue. His backing band was on top of their game, and Blunt performed with sincerity and passion that you don't often find in pop music filled with synchronized dancing and pre-recorded vocals.
And after I wrote this rave review on a website that was mostly populated by people into rock and roll and metal and hardcore punk, they'd jokingly talk about how I sold out or whatever. But what they didn't understand was I wasn't talking about the music I like, but I was grading the performance.
I take a similar approach to politics. At times, I like to put down my own personal opinion and analyze the situation. So let's take a look at this whole contraception boondoggle.
At the beginning of this whole thing, I was absolutely astounded that it seemed like President Barack Obama was completely unprepared for the backlash that happened, even from friendly media and members of his own party. You saw liberal Catholics like Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Chris Matthews, and Lawrence O'Donnell talk about how, even though they agree with increasing the access to contraception, they understand that those against this are doing so out of their moral teachings and are justified in doing so. GOP pundits and politicians hammered the administration by saying that this is an attack on religious liberty, and even though the vast majority of women practice birth control in some form or another, it really seemed like the GOP was winning this argument.
But then the discussion shifted from religious liberty to the merits of contraception. You had conservative talk show hosts talking about paying people to have sex, and if that's going to happen, then we should get to see sex tapes of it. And talk show hosts were also saying that another method of birth control was to have less sex. You had Rick Santorum's PAC Sugar Daddy, Foster Freeze, joking that birth control used to consist of putting aspirin between a woman's knees. The GOP state legislature in Virginia was going to mandate weird-ass ultrasounds that served no medical purpose other than to make it more difficult for women to obtain abortions. And on top of that, this discussion returned to the focus that every single GOP Presidential candidate (yes, including Ron Paul) supports these ridiculous "personhood" amendments to the US Constitution, which would define that life begins at conception and are even opposed by some pro-life organizations.
Not that President Obama has done much to win the argument. But now the argument has turned back to the GOP, and they've screwed up holding the high ground.
Did anyone else notice how Mr. Moral Majority himself, Mike Huckabee, held a presidential primary forum in a shut down factory? Almost as if he's telling these guys "Hey guys, remember the economy???? It still sucks! Let's talk about that!"
Ugh. I need a drink.