2014's fast food atrocities
Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.
The recent headlines about President Obama working to crush primary campaigns against Democratic incumbents would be great fodder for a canned column looking at hypocrisy.
Yes, it would be easy to read about the president trying to clear the Empire State’s primary field for appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and then pen a screed wondering how that squares with Obama promising to avoid “be(ing) the kingmaker” in local elections.
With the White House citing genteel deference to incumbents as justification for its efforts to stop a Democratic primary against Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, it would be a cinch to write an essay noting that Obama might never have become a successful politician had he not first taken on incumbents in 1996 and 2000.
Watching Obama help newly appointed Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., attempt to thwart a primary challenge from former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D), I might have a grand time simply railing on a president who never would have reached national prominence had he not run against machine-backed puppets in a Senate primary. Indeed, this Colorado example is a replica of that now-famous Illinois contest in 2004. Bennet, like one of Obama’s toughest opponents back then, is a millionaire who has never run for public office. And as in 2004, that millionaire is being propped up by the establishment against an Obama-esque state legislator who has oodles of experience and grass-roots support. The hypocrisy, of course, is that Obama is now backing the tycoon instead of his former self.
No doubt, if I devoted this column to any of that history, presidential aides would respond (if at all) by saying Obama is only aiming to preserve Democratic Party strength. And then I would publish an even easier-to-write follow-up reminding those aides that last year, Obama said primaries like his 2008 presidential campaign have helped the Democratic Party because they have “engaged and involved people like never before.”
But incongruity and deceit are tired subjects. From Glenn Beck attacking Wall Street largess that he previously applauded, to Congresspeople criticizing deficits they originally created, there’s so much discrepancy in today’s public sphere that it is no longer interesting. Obviously, Obama and other politicians are happy to “kick away the ladder,” as the saying goes — that is, to close off paths they once used and to undermine local democracy with tactics they heretofore inveighed against. Obviously. And it would be a waste of space to obsess over that grotesque banality.
Far less obvious — and far more worthy of precious column inches — is an examination of what the hypocrisy says about the president’s outlook, beyond letting us know he sees Washington as a country club that must protect its own members.
At a moment when Obama’s agenda is acutely threatened by congressional Democratic recalcitrance, the president’s anti-primary posture tells all Democratic incumbents he will defend them, regardless of their position on issues. And that message blunts Obama’s most powerful instrument of legislative leverage: fear of contested elections.
Without vigorous primaries forcing Democratic legislators to face Democratic voters, those legislators feel free to defy the president’s Democratic agenda. Alternately, with primaries, Democratic lawmakers typically compete to show who is more committed to the Democratic agenda. As two examples, Sens. Specter and Bennet went from mealy-mouthed equivocation to strong support of the public healthcare option immediately after opponents announced primary challenges to them.
Hence, in trying to prevent or weaken primaries against incumbents, Obama is not merely signaling a royalist’s disdain for local democracy. He is exposing a corrupted pol’s willingness to prioritize country club etiquette over policy results. If his agenda ends up being killed, that cynical choice will be a key cause of death.
© 2009 Creators.com
David Sirota is a senior writer for the International Business Times and the best-selling author of the books "Hostile Takeover," "The Uprising" and "Back to Our Future." E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter @davidsirota or visit his website at www.davidsirota.com.More David Sirota.
Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.
KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.
Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.
Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.
Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.